Date: Saturday, March 05, 2011 @ 01:51:27 EST
Topic: Palm Beach County


Director "NO" - Bruce Pelly Director of Department of Airports Palm Beach County

Click here for FEB 21 meeting part 1

Click here for FEB 21 meeting part 2

Monday night February 21, was the second in a series of multi-community monthly meetings with the County to resolve the long standing issue of helicopters training over densely populated areas in violation of their own rules.

As most of you may remember, it was only a year ago that County Guidelines were discovered that entitled our communities to be free of helicopters training over our homes and families. Although these Guidelines have been on the books for fifteen years, the County Department of Airports (DOA) neglected to inform the public about them so residents never knew the helicopters weren't supposed to be training over their homes and families.

Though these guidelines/rules are voluntary, they represent what the County expected of the Tenant and other training schools. Everyone should have a copy as we requested the Department of Airports (DOA) send them directly to all residents of Lake Osborne Estates.

After a PowerPoint presentation showing the County's own study confirmed helicopter operators routinely train over the communities where they agreed with the County NOT to train... Director of the DOA (Department of Airports) Bruce Pelly nixed every suggestion for relief by declaring all of them "no" or "you can't do that." But despite his best efforts, Palm Beach County Commissioner Vana agreed to consider the suggestions... and we would strongly suggest, with independent legal counsel instead of Director "NO" at the helm. The DOA has become an advocacy group for corporate interests according to one Association President.

And no one has yet explained how the DOA could somehow have failed for ten years to gain any compliance to County guidelines that were agreed to by the operators... while operators clearly benefited from the obvious green light by the DOA. Nor can anyone figure why the DOA has stubbornly defended the myth that the Tenant training school was in compliance when the County's own study clearly showed two years ago... the opposite to be true.

At our January 17th meeting we established some basic understandings that were confirmed at our February 21 meeting:

1. that these guidelines were designed by helicopter operators, schools and airport users

2. that helicopter schools and operators “agreed” to abide by them

3. they bear the County Commission's seal

Although it may sound trivial, it took a year and the data from our own study to yield these significant admissions.

At the February 21 meeting with our Commissioner Shelley Vana and the Director and staff of the DOA present the following things were accomplished:

1. That the data for our study which shows the extent and depth of the problem has been accepted by the DOA

2. That our recommendation from our June 17, 2010 meeting with Commissioner Vana to have the online listing, filing and browsing of complaints WITH DOA follow up… will finally become a reality

3. With a slide presentation report it became clear that the County helicopter study showed that helicopters were routinely training over our communities and that there was universal non compliance with the voluntary guidelines agreed to by the training schools

4. The primary offender was identified in the statistics involving nearly a thousand reports on file at the DOA as the Tenant training school, Palm Beach Helicopters

5. We also tendered four suggestions for possible solutions

This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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