Author: George Block

Military helicopters have had to be re-routed after complaints from residents living near the Papakura Military Camp – home of the Special Air Service (SAS).

Another complaint from a nearby resident has caused troops to stop washing down their inflatable boats late at night.

NZ SAS troopers at Papakura Military Camp

A resident living near the camp, in south Auckland's Papakura, complained in late 2018 when they became concerned branches dislodged from trees by the down-draft of a NH-90 helicopter posed a safety risk for children playing outside, according to a letter supplied by Air Commodore A.J. Woods under the Official Information Act.

"Military personnel assisted in cleaning up the debris on the property," Woods said.

"The approach and departure routes for helicopters are now defined, and pilots are briefed on them for all flights into and out of the camp."

In May this year, a horse owner living near the Battle Training Facility in Ardmore complained a helicopter was hovering low above their property.

"The complainant was contacted to discuss their concerns, and further helicopter activity was routed away from that location where possible," Woods said.

A third resident complained in March 2018 about noise emanating from inside the SAS base. 

They said engine noise and vehicle washing inside the camp was keeping them awake. The noise turned out to be the sound of washing down inflatable boats following training activities.

"This is no longer done late at night, where possible," Woods said.

Explosions, flames and abseiling soldiers marked the opening of the new Battle Training Facility in Ardmore in 2016.

Details about the complaints emerged after the Environment Court released a decision in September upholding a noise complaint about late-night testing of aircraft engines at Whenuapai Air Force Base in West Auckland.

In 2018, a local body politician sent more than 150 complaints and profanity-laden videos to police over the noise made by the Eagle helicopter flying over his home.

Ōrākei Local Board member and Remuera resident Troy Churton said the complaints – 12 of which were laid on a single day – were a "nuisance audit" of the chopper's activities.

Note from Nighthawk.NZ: Nighthawk.NZ say stop bitching ... 
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