F1 in Austin
- F-1 Is Over But Traffic Woes Remain
- UT Football And F-1 Take Over Austin
- Traffic Hassles Pile Up As F1 Crowds Head Downtown
- Public Safety A Priority For F1
- City of Austin, Cap Metro, ABIA Prepare for Formula 1
- F1 Fans Pushing Austin Flood Victims Out Of Hotels
- Austin Fan Fest Line-up Announced
- Multiple Big Events To Snarl Downtown Traffic This Weekend
- UT's 2013 Football Schedule Shows OSU Game During F1 Weekend Race
- Austin Airport Busy With F1 Attendee Departures
- Austin F1 Race Over, but Debate on Tax Subsidies Continues
- F1 Weekend is a Tax Windfall -- For Some
- Central Texas Hotels Already Gearing Up For 2013 Formula One Race
- Retailers Outside Austin See Spike In Sales For F1
- 117,000 Fans Attend Austin's Inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix
- Brit Lewis Hamilton Wins Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix In Austin
- Things Run Smoothly At F1 Track
- 82,000 Attend Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix Qualifying In Austin
- Business Down For Some Downtown Austin Stores Due To Fan Fest
- Fans Mellow So Far At Austin Fan Fest
- F1 Fan Fest Draws Big Crowds To Downtown Austin
- Austinites Check Out 1st Day Of F1
- Download F1 Road Closures Map
- Turning Laps In The Sky For Austin F1
- KEYE TV News Tests the F1 Shuttles For You
- 24 Hours Emergency Operations Center Open For F1 Weekend
- F1 Austin Fan Fest Begins Today
- Officials Make Final Austin F1 Traffic Plans
- Fan Fest Chaos Poses Challenges For Downtown Austin Businesses
- Austin Fan Fest Street Closures Continue
- Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment
- Formula 1 Track Shows Off Race Day Emergency Plan
- Cap Metro Makes F1 Backup Plans As Union Threatens Strike
- South Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads
- Austin Council Eyes F1 Helipad Code Changes After Neighborhood Outcry
- Austin Council Annexes F1 Race Track Land
- Bike Route Planned From Downtown Austin To Formula 1 Track
- Austin Formula 1 Racetrack Opens Saturday For Running Event
- Capital Metro To Provide Free Bus Service Around Downtown For F1 Weekend
- F1 Marks First Lap, Leaders to Discuss Preparedness
- Helipads Approved In South Austin For F1
- F1 Announces More Bands For Race Weekend
- Police, Nonprofits Bracing For Human Trafficking Increase
- How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Tickets
- Austin F1 Transportation Plan Announced
- Austin Race Track Gets Green Light As Deadline Nears
- Pflugerville Wants To Study Impact Of F1
- Nelly Joins Aerosmith As Top Acts At F1 Grand Prix Concerts
- Condo Owners Wanting To Make Some Quick Cash Could Be Fined Thousands
- Festivals Planned During Austin's F1 Race Weekend
- Tens Of Thousands To Flock To Downtown Austin For F1 Grand Prix Events
- F1 Bringing Aerosmith To Austin During Race Weekend
- Texas Gov. Perry Promotes Austin F1 Race During Italy Trip
- Workers Needed For F1 Race
Austin Council Eyes F1 Helipad Code Changes After Neighborhood Outcry
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:06 PM CDT
An outcry from the Barton Hills Neighborhood Association and other nearby residents has pushed the Austin City Council to consider limits on temporary civilian helipads.
At around 4 p.m. Thursday, the Aviation Department approved two temporary landing sites for Formula One weekend near Zilker Park, one on the roof of the Embassy Suites parking garage at 300 S. Congress, the other on the roof of an office building at 901 S. Mopac.
The city has allowed 66 flight operations on Sunday, with the helipads open from Friday, November 16, through Sunday, November 18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jim Halbrook, a spokesman for the airport, says those flight numbers represent less than half of the original requested flights. Neighbors say they don’t like their neighborhood being used as an F1 shuttle site for helicopters, they never had a chance to weigh in, and they want to see restrictions.
"A helipad basically yards away from our residential neighborhood and the Barton Creek Greenbelt," says resident John Luther, who along with others worry about the impact of the dozens of flights.
"There's wildlife there, noise pollution is not good for them, it's not good for our residents," said Luther.
Luther says he only found out about the plan after talking to a neighbor.
"We were disappointed that we weren't involved in some of the initial planning."
Austin City Council wants to lay out rules for temporary helipads, a first in the code. The proposed ordinance would cap the number of takeoffs and landings at 18, plus put restrictions on location, frequency, time of day, and noise sensitive areas. Another ordinance directs the city manager to come up with guidelines for a plan to give advance notice and feedback to nearby residents and businesses for future temporary helipads.
The Aviation Director, Jim Smith, gives the final approval of these permits. When we spoke with him at Thursday’s City Council meeting and asked about the residents’ concerns, Smith told us there was no notification because that rule was never written into the code.
Luther says he hopes any changes to the code by the council give Austinites a say down the road.
"They're plopping this thing right down in the middle of us, and we didn't know about it," said Luther.
If approved, staff tells us the changes would take effect after ten days and would not affect current applications, meaning the helipads approved Thursday would still be operational for F1.
Halbrook, the airport spokesman, told us his department does take letters from residents into consideration when deciding on permit approval, which also follows FAA approval and inspection by public safety and other departments.
By Adam Bennett
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