Bridgeport residents complain about helicopter noise

John Garcia Image
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's a growing number of noise complaints about a helicopter tour company in Chicago.

The Chicago Helicopter Experience started offering flights a year and a half ago from a heliport in the Bridgeport neighborhood. People living near Archer and Halsted are upset about the noise from the choppers.

Neighbors have shot video of helicopters buzzing over their homes. They said it happens at all hours nearly every day of the week.

"It's just nonstop noise. You can't sit out on your deck on the weekend. It's just helicopters buzzing in and out all day long," John Tominello said.

Tominello lives half a block away from the Chicago Helicopter Experience helipad in Bridgeport. He and a number of his neighbors said they have been complaining about the noise since the company began operating about a year and a half ago. One resident, Howard Ho, works a night shift and said the choppers make sleeping difficult.

A number of neighbors plan to be at a community meeting at the helipad Tuesday night to talk about the noise issues with the company. Chicago Helicopter Experience meantime has gotten good reviews for their tours including a Valentine's

Day promotion partnering with the rideshare company Uber, offering free tours to couples.

The company's owner says he's unaware of any problems. In a statement, he said, "We are operating as neighborly as possible. It's not perfect but we do everything we can to minimize our impact."

It's an accident waiting to happen. It's an atrocity. It ruins the quality life for the people who live around here," Tominello said.

The owner of Chicago Helicopter Experience said the company flies thousands of flights a year and has gotten relatively few complaints. Many neighbors ABC 7 spoke with said they plan to make sure the owner hears their complaints.