Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 3272

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2022

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred S.B. No. 3272 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Establish the Helicopter Noise and Safety Task Force; and


(2) Require the Director of Transportation to adopt rules to require tour aircraft operators to have commercial general liability insurance coverage of at least $10,000,000 and to report details of each flight taken by the tour aircraft operation in order to renew a tour aircraft operation permit.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Oahu Tour Helicopter Safety and Noise Inter-Action Group and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Transportation, Blue Hawaiian, Paradise Helicopters Hawaii, and one individual.


Your Committee finds that tour helicopters and small aircraft operations constitute a significant risk to passengers and residents on the ground. Over the past five years, tour helicopters and small aircraft operations in Hawaii accounted for nearly seventeen percent of the nation-wide accidents that prompted investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. In one ten-month period spanning 2019 to 2020, twenty-three lives were lost in four separate tour helicopter or small aircraft accidents on Oahu and Kauai. Your Committee therefore finds that decisive action must be taken to increase safety precautions.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Renaming the task force as the Air Noise and Safety Task Force;


(2) Amending the scope of the task force to include aircrafts, rather than helicopters;


(3) Inviting communities impacted by aircraft noise, helicopter operators, and small aircraft operators to join the task force;


(4) Clarifying that the term of membership of the task force is a two-year term;


(5) Removing language that would have required commercial general liability insurance coverage for tour aircraft operations;


(6) Requiring the Director of Transportation to adopt rules to require tour aircraft operations to submit monthly reports of certain flight data; and


(7) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3272, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 3272, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,