While the ACNUSA (Airport Noise Control Authority) has just issued a report confirming that Reunion Island is subjected to unbearable noise pollution from helicopters and imposing on the State services a strong response to regulate and restrict the use of helicopters, a manager of a helicopter company has decided to provoke the people of Reunion Island who can no longer tolerate all this noise by proposing to move!
The reaction of this operator illustrates well the total contempt of the air tourism companies for the population of Reunion, indifferent to the sufferings of those they fly over. That Mafate Hélicoptères asks the Mafatais to move, one cannot do worse, whereas this company was created at the time to open up the cirque of Mafate and to be at the service of the Mafatais.
Today, unfortunately, the air operators have become businessmen eager for growth and turnover, while hiding behind the alibi of helping the Mafatais. However, it is the tourist overflights which represent the greatest part of their turnover, and which is also the greatest source of noise pollution for the population of the island, and for the fauna of our mountains.
Air tourism will eventually kill tourism.
Contrary to popular belief, these overflights, which contribute to air pollution and the destruction of our biodiversity, are not essential either to our economy (very few jobs) or to tourism. On the contrary, it is the development of tourism that has led to the development of air operators! The leap in tourism in Reunion Island followed the creation of the National Park and the attribution of the Unesco Heritage label. The operators have taken advantage of the windfall to double or even triple their fleets, create new helipads, increase their services (short circuits in the lagoon and cirques, transport to hotels or golf courses, heli-carriages in our rivers, etc.), flooding Reunion with overflights to the point of creating a veritable anger movement among the population.
Tourists themselves are far from approving this evolution: for a few satisfied (5% take the helicopter or the ULM), 100% are polluted, and many of them attracted by the National Park and Unesco labels do not understand that we can tolerate this level of noise pollution in these remarkable and supposedly protected natural areas. Air tourism will eventually kill tourism.
It is time to give back to the people of Reunion their peace of mind and their quality of life. Different proposals to regulate the activity have been written and transmitted to the public authorities by several associations including Kolair974. We are counting on the new prefect to take up the problem and work on concrete solutions.
Member of the National Council and Overseas referent of Génération Ecologie
Departmental spokesperson and Western referent of Génération Ecologie La Réunion
Source : LIBRE EXPRESSION // Parallèle SUD