JUNEAU (AP) -- Petition booklets for an initiative seeking to limit sightseeing flights may be on the streets of Juneau by early next week.
A group calling itself the Peace and Quiet Coalition wants flightseeing from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft limited to the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through September. The initiative also would ban flightseeing on Saturdays.
The group will need 2,165 voter signatures to put the proposed limit on the October ballot. Signatures must be obtained within 30 days after the group receives petition booklets.
Juneau City Clerk Laurie Sica said she verified signatures of petitioners last week. She and City Attorney John Corso drafted language that will appear on the petition booklets. That language is now under review by Ray Preston and other initiative sponsors.
''I wish the assembly had addressed the issue in a meaningful way,'' Preston told the Juneau Empire. ''This problem didn't happen overnight. The first letter I wrote to the assembly (about aircraft noise) was nine years ago.''
The measure would ban new heliports unless developers showed they would not add to existing noise levels. In addition, the Juneau Assembly would be barred from expanding the number of areas where heliports could be built and prohibited from spending money to study new heliports, including the noise they might cause.
Destination Juneau, a pro-tourism group that claims to represent more than 200 businesses, already has begun advertising in opposition to the limit. The group suggests a ''No, thank you'' answer to signature-collectors, according to President Jack Cadigan.
Cadigan said passage of the initiative would bring a 42 percent reduction in flightseeing operations. He said he wondered why a group opposing noise also opposes noise studies.
The coalition ''has come in in a vitriolic fashion against work already done by the mayor and the assembly,'' Cadigan said.
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