LETTERS: Sound effects reverberate

Letter-writers express concern over the arrival of a helicopter-tour business to the Peninsula waterfront


This weekend, the City of White Rock had to endure noise that was reminiscent of living in a war zone, listening to a helicopter taking off from and landing at the Semiahmoo land to provide eight-minute rides along the beach, much to the chagrin (Beachfront chopper tours irk residents, July 27) of people who come to White Rock to enjoy their time playing, relaxing, dining out, shopping, working, walking or just living here. This will affect businesses in a negative way as well.

I first noticed it Saturday morning when I went for what I thought was going to be a peaceful one-hour paddleboard, only to have my solitude disrupted throughout my time on the water.

This didn’t end when I went home to relax on my deck and enjoy the view of Semiahmoo Bay after the stress of working and commuting in heavy traffic to downtown Vancouver all week. I moved to White Rock to get away from all the noise in the big city. My understanding is that this is to continue all summer weekends.

This is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with.

Not only did this affect everyone who came to the beach, but it was unbearable to enjoy our home and the businesses and activities along Marine Drive and on White Rock beach and promenade with this constant disturbance. It left me with a huge headache and I was under a lot of stress as a result from having to endure this all weekend.

The helicopter was flying too low and too close to our homes and the beaches. Not only was this noisy but it was dangerous as it flew right over the pier and towards someone who was flying an ultralight at East Beach of which I have video footage. I am especially concerned about the safety of those at East Beach who are flying kites or kiteboarding. I also believe this will have an effect on the wildlife.

Until this issue is resolved to bring back the peace and quiet, I will be boycotting all Semiahmoo First Nation fundraising activities.

Given the enormity of issues which affected the majority of the city, I trust that this will be addressed with the band chief to the satisfaction of all residents. It is interesting to note that this did not cause a disturbance to the residents of the Semiahmoo land, as the helicopter did not fly along the beach in that area.

I hope that this matter will be dealt with swiftly so that come this weekend, people can enjoy the beach for what it was intended.

Sylvia Van Sickle, White Rock

What is the story behind the helicopter that is flying out of the old baseball diamond on the Semiahmoo reserve?

It is more disturbing than the train. It looks as if it is giving tours.

How is this safe? And is it on the reserve to avoid Transport Canada and zoning compliances?

Rick Lengert, White Rock

I am writing as I just realized we have a helicopter flying up and down the beach in White Rock.

Most people probably don’t realize this is a commercial company running this aircraft giving people tours for 10 or 15 minutes at a cost of $55 per trip to see our beach and Crescent Beach from the air.

I have to ask who gave this company permission to do this and what effect it has on our town with the noise it makes.

People complain about the noise of motorcycles, cars and the train and now we can add a helicopter.

What do other people think and who authorized this?

Lynne Browne, White Rock