A response from the Helicopter Film Services. Thanks for pointing our that London is a "world class city"...!
"Thank you for your email message. Sorry for the tardy response but I have only now had the time to respond.
As you will no doubt appreciate, London is a world class city, and as such attracts publicity and film makers from all over the world. I am sorry we caused you any discomfort, we do our best to limit the noise exposure to the residents of London from our helicopter activities.
On this occasion, we were requested to carry out aerial filming of a police escort scene taking place over Tower Bridge. We had originally been requested to perform this task at 04:00, as the bridge was only under police control between the hours of 04:00 and 08:00. We declined to fly at this extremely early hour and instead compromised on the later time of 06:30 which allowed us some time for any changes or unforeseen delays. I curtailed our flying activity earlier than production wanted as I was concerned about our noise impact
As part of standard industry practice, we asked for mailers or flyers and appropriate notice be given to local residents and businesses on both sides of the river around Tower Bridge. We were assured by the production company that this had in fact been done and I have requested copies of the flyers. All the flying was conducted in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority Rules and with the appropriate permissions and exemptions.
Once again I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused to you and your neighbours and will do our utmost to limit this in the future.
FELLOW SE1 LONDONERS - EAST LONDONERS SHARE YOUR PAIN!! GREAT SITE...THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED...
Loud helicopter early Sat morning...
ANOTHER LOW FLYING HELICPTER (200-400 feet) HAS WOKEN US AND 10'000 TOWER HAMLET RESIDENTS AT 7 AM SATURDAY 17th JULY - THIS IS THE 3rd SATURDAY IN A ROW!!! THE HELICOPTER HOVERS AND FLYS AROUND THE TOWER HAMLETS AREA FOR BETWEEN ONE AND TWO HOURS!
THIS IS COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE, UNTOLLERABLE AND DISRESPECTFUL TO PEOPLE INCLUDING FAMILIES WHO WORK HARDER THAN EVER DURING THE WEEK. WE VERY MUCH DESERVE REST AND PEACE DURING THE WEEKENDS ESPECIALLY EARLY SATURDAY OR SUNDAY MORNINGS!
AS THIS IS THE 3rd SATURDAY IN AS MANY WEEKS - ACTION NEEDS TO BE TAKEN!
Phoned police - they said ‘it is not a police helicopter but are aware. It is a privately operated charter helicopter taking photo's or filming'. They couldn't tell me who the operator was. They gave me Tower Hamlets Noisy control / out of hour phone number - 02073647070.
Phoned Hamlets and lodged complaint with out of hour team as Tower Hamlets I thought must give permission to companies who request to film over the borough - They suggested calling back on Monday to get more info and also trying to find out who owns the helicopter and of course the CAA.
Tower Hamlets bless them called me back within half an hour to say that are going to invest on Monday but they didn't think that permission from the council was needed.
Did a quick ring around of Private Helicopter charter firms inc. Excel Charter, Helicopter Services, Helicopter Film Services Ltd and ARENA (they do a lot of filming work for SKY and BBC).
Got through to Excel and Helicopter Services, Helicopter Film Services Ltd - they assured me that all their helicopter were grounded on Saturday morning. Left message with ARENA.
Called the CAA Civil Aviation Authority - Main Switchboard: 020 7379 7311 (This telephone number can also be used for all out of hours emergencies). Got through and was told that ‘without helicopter registration number it is hard to find out more info. Also they said that most likely the company was granted a license to fly at those times and also that in some situations helicopters can be granted permission to fly as low as 200 feet' YES HOW DISGUSTING! Also the chappy gave me the number for yes you guessed it the - ‘Out of hours Low Flying Helicopters Support Line' - 02074536193.. … Who the hell made that one up?? ……. Surprise surprise … no body there! Left a message and will follow up on Monday.
MY FAMILY AND I DO NOT DESERVE TO BE CONTINUALLY WOKEN UP AT 7 AM ON A SATURDAY MORNING.I THINK THAT I PROBABLY REPRESENT A VERY LARGE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING SUCH INCLUSIVE DISRUPTION.
To conclude -
This is a privately owned charter helicopter that is being used for photographic or filming purposes.
IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO TRY AND GET THE HELICOPTER NUMBER ON THE SIDE OR BOTTOM OF THE HELI.
The CAA HAVE granted permission for these flights to take place within the current CAA governing laws so the buck stops on their door!
You can complain to the following -
CAA - number above or
Aviation Related Environmental Enquiries
Directorate of Airspace Policy
Civil Aviation Authority
London WC2B 6TE
GLA - yes old BORIS has a responsibility too - 020 7983 4000
The private helicopter companies who are chartering these flights out to the film and photographic seem to be working within the law but pressure can be placed upon charter companys and their clients. (I haven't been able so far to find out who owns the helicopter that continues to fly very early on Saturday morning - but I will!)
If you're concerned about the rise in anti social Helicopter private charter flights then use your voice and complain! And if that doesn't work then we must get a campaign together and fight to change the law governing such matters. Yes I am quite aware that there are more serious issues to campaign about.I can put up with many things in life (rainforest and endangered animals not included) but I can not do anything well if I am deprived of sleep, rest and peace… a basic human right!