Norton to introduce bill requiring helicopters in DC to fly at max altitude

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said Wednesday she plans to introduce a bill requiring helicopters in District airspace to fly at the maximum altitude permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

There would be a few exceptions — namely for active law enforcement investigations, transporting the president and vice president and safety.

“I hear from D.C. residents almost daily about helicopter noise,” Norton said in a statement. “Helicopters can harm health, quality of life and structural integrity of homes. I am pursuing a multipronged approach to combat helicopter noise in D.C., from working with federal agencies that fly helicopters in D.C. airspace to pursuing legislation.”

Norton is the co-chair of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus and a member of the Subcommittee on Aviation.

Maryland Democrats Jamie Raskin and Dutch Ruppersberger and Virginia Democrat Don Beyer are also on the Quiet Skies Caucus.

The government conducted a study of helicopter noise in the national capital region back in 2019 after Norton sent a letter to the GAO. The study was released in 2021.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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