Big Island residents renew call for end to noisy lava tour helicopters flying over homes

(Image: Big Island Video News)
(Image: Big Island Video News)
Updated: Aug. 29, 2017 at 6:01 PM HST
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HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island residents fed up with noisy tour helicopters took their message to the streets Tuesday, waving signs calling for the end to noise.

Someone community members want the sound of choppers constantly flying over residential areas to stop.

Instead, they want tour helicopters to fly over the ocean until they approach Kilauea or the airport.

"This has got to stop. There are people at wit's end. They're at the point saying, 'We can't live here any longer. We're leaving,'" Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono President Bob Ernst said.

Mayor Harry Kim met with the island's tour helicopter companies Tuesday morning.

"The majority of these issues are individual in nature. One size will not fit all as far as regulations," Mayor Kim said.

The noisy nuisance grew as lava air tours flourished in popularity. Many visitors take to the sky to get a bird's-eye view of Kilauea's majestic lava flow. 

Mayor Kim says the tour companies agreed to try to work with residents to minimize the noise pollution. Before any regulations are set, Kim says residents and tour companies will be included in the decision making process.

He plans to schedule a community meeting with all of the stakeholders.

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