Provence & Côte d'Azur: The Prefecture of the Var has reinforced a regulation on helicopters for summer this year
Crackdown on helicopters in the Var
The Prefecture of the Var has reissued a series of restrictions, stating that helicopters are only allowed to operate at specific times during the day. Helicopter stations in Gassin, Grimaud, Ramatuelle and Saint Tropez will all have to undergo a mandatory break between the hours of 1pm and 6pm; flights have also been suspended before 10am and after 8pm. The number of helicopter operations per day will be limited (see details below).
The decision comes after significant opposition from local residents who are constantly complaining about the droning sound of rotor blades slicing through the air, some requesting a complete ban on the use of helicopters in the region. A few years ago, celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stirred up widespread anger after they flew above the region of Agen, trying to get a glimpse of a few holiday residences in the area.
However, the limited operating hours has ruffled a few feathers amongst helicopter companies in the region. For instance, Michel de Rohozinski, an operator of the carrier company Hélipartner, fears for the future financial situation of the company. He told a local media Var Matin that he had submitted a request last September for the construction of three temporary helicopter stations in three practical locations: Gassin, Ramatuelle and in the north of Saint Tropez. All three landing fields would be located close to the sea and prevent aircraft from flying above the town.
But the Prefecture will not discuss the suggestion until autumn, leaving operators to deal with the restraints this summer.
The helicopter regulations for 2012 will be in force until the 28th October. They are:
Regulations for each public landing field
Le Pin Maria – max. 12 arrivals and departures per day
Kon tiki – max. 10 arrivals and departures per day
Le Pin du Merle – max. 10 arrivals and departures per day
Pampelonne – max. 8 arrivals and departures per day
Belieu – max. 15 arrivals and departures per day
Polo Club – max. 19 arrival and departures per day
La mort du Luc – max. 10 arrivals and departures per day
All helicopter stations will be open between the hours 10am – 1pm and 4pm-8pm, except for Cogolin which is open 10am-4pm.