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South Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads

Updated: Thursday, November 8 2012, 10:02 PM CST

They are the preferred mode of transportation for VIPs looking to avoid Formula One race day traffic, and Thursday night the Austin City Council approved several new helicopter landing sites around the city.

The helicopters will be going from three area airports and landing at the Embassy Suites downtown, and on top of a building at 901 South Mopac.

We wanted to find out just how loud and intrusive those helicopters will be on race weekend.

There's a lot of city noise at the downtown sit, so the helicopters landing aren't expected to be that noticeable, but residents in the Zilker Park and Barton Hills neighborhood can't say the same about their landing zone.

Marissa Hester says she was already debating leaving town for F1 but after finding out about the helipad not far away from her Barton Hills home, pushed her over the edge.

“We're going to leave town and get some rest if we can,” she says.

Just how noisy it will be for residents is up in the air says pilot Blake Bryam. “Depending on how heavily they're loaded and the type and how many blades there are and how fast the rotor is spinning, there's a bunch of different variable that decide on the noise,” he says.

Charlie Bravo Charter owner Rene Banglesdorf has 15 helicopters flying during Formula One weekend. “It won't be the middle of the night, won't be low and loud over residential neighborhoods. It really should not be very disruptive to regular Austin life,” she says.

She says she understands the concerns, but has worked with the FAA to find the best compromise

Helicopters taking off from downtown will fly to the lake and then follow it to I-35, and they'll follow the highways and the roads to the race track.   

By Karen KileySouth Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads


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