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AIR CONGESTION LEADS TO LOW-FLYING CHOPPERS

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Helicopters are becoming more of a nuisance over the capital because they have to fly at a lower level as a result ...
Helicopters are becoming more of a nuisance over the capital because they have to fly at a lower level as a result of congestion in the skies, the London Assembly heard today.

Representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority, British Helicopter Advisory Board, and the Metropolitan Police Air Service Support Unit said the number of helicopters over London was increasing and this was likely to continue.

But, they told the Assembly's Environment Committee, the full extent of the problem was not known as there was a lack of information and monitoring of helicopter traffic.

Residents said there was no proper procedure for complaints to be registered and responded to. They expressed concern about discussions to build another heliport in London, as it would encourage more traffic and would disrupt people's lives still further. At present, there is only one heliport in Battersea.

The committee heard suggestions that a levy, in addition to the landing charge, should be paid by helicopters for air traffic control services, should the number of helicopters in the skies increase.

The committee will visit Battersea heliport on 25 July and meet with residents. The report will be published in the Autumn.

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