Residents Irritated By Constant Noise
Helicopters are becoming as
plentiful as birds in the French Riviera. The sound of rotor blades
slicing through the air has angered many residents of St. Tropez, a
seaside town famous for its wealthy natives. Now, locals are
attempting to force a complete ban on what they deem is a loud,
According to The Daily Telegraph, residents of St. Tropez
recently succeeded in forcing the Bourrian a Gassin helipad to
close, which accounted for more than 30 percent of the helicopter
landings close to the town. And there are a lot of landings...
Between June and August of 2006 alone, there were an estimated
5,000 take-offs and landings in St. Tropez.
The St. Tropez residents also complain celebrities visiting the
seaside resort town are increasingly using helicopters to escape
traffic and photographers. "The helicopters were responsible for a
very distressing amount of noise at all times of the day,"
Françoise Souliman, the spokesman for the nearby regional
government center of Draguignan, told the Telegraph. "Swarms of
them were being used to beat the traffic jams during the day, with
people using them to pop to the beach or to lunch.
"Many were flying very low over marinas, causing even more
distress, as well as safety fears." Souliman explained. "Opposition
was so great that closure was our only option, and many people in
the area are calling for further shutdowns."
A real-estate scouting trip by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
infuriated residents last month, as they flew around the area
searching for a country estate. The owner of one such estate was
extremely upset when Pitt and company decided to land on his
manicured lawn, hoping he might be interested in doing
"My chateau was not even for sale." The owner told the La
Dépêche du Midi newspaper. "It was almost like an
invasion -- Brad Pitt thinks he's God."
The Telegraph reports a code of good conduct was introduced in
the St. Tropez area last year. The goal was to limit the number of
rotorcraft flights, but the measure was ignored.
One resident calling for a complete ban on helicopters, Michel
Perrault, told the Telegraph opponents were ready to take the law
into their own hands by physically stopping the flights.
"If such action is necessary then hundreds are prepared to get
involved," he said. "Such action may be the only way of halting
Hopefully the hundreds of people will watch out for the rotor
blades, as they tend to be invisible.