If you want to visit Bath you are very welcome, but don’t just hover over our city says the city’s MP Wera Hobhouse. She has revived her “Stop the Choppers” campaign, after residents have raised concerns about helicopter joy rides returning over the city.
Last year Wera Hobhouse MP ran a campaign to stop the choppers disrupting Bath residents. The helicopters were taking off from Bath Racecourse but after Mrs Hobhouse raised the concerns of local residents, the racecourse released a statement confirming that no sightseeing trips would take place in 2022, but that racecourse guests could fly there if they chose to.
With helicopter joy rides returning to the city, the MP has revived the campaign to Stop the Choppers disrupting Bath residents. Wera has written to Virgin Experience Days who are advertising the tours, and has written to the private business where the helicopters are taking off. The identity of the business will not be disclosed until they have offered a response.
Local authorities do not have the legal power to take action on matters of aircraft noise, nor does the Civil Aviation Authority have any legal power to prevent aircraft flying over a particular location or at a particular time for environmental reasons. The Civil Aviation Authority’s website states that “Aircraft noise is not currently a statutory nuisance in the UK as it is not covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Noise Act 1996.”
Commenting, Wera Hobhouse MP advised that she will be taking up the issue:
“These helicopter joy rides are disrupting residents and are damaging to our environment. Bath is a beautiful city. It does not fit in with our World Heritage status to have noisy, sight-seeing helicopters polluting the air above our city, especially at a time where we are tackling a climate crisis.
“I’ve written to Virgin Experience Days who are organising the tours and the private business whose property is being used by the helicopters to raise residents’ concerns. Just to confirm, these joy rides are not taking off from the racecourse. When this issue came up last year, the racecourse agreed to stop providing a site for the helicopters to take off from.
“Our unique heritage city can be easily appreciated on foot rather than from a helicopter. I will be taking this issue forward in the hope that we can stop the choppers disrupting Bath residents.”