Why so many helicopters flying over The Jewel?

There has been a significant increase in the frequency of helicopter flights over and around La Jolla in the last couple of years. Sometimes I feel as if I am living on a military base due to the frequent, low and noisy flights at all hours of the day and night.

In addition, there has been an increase, particularly on weekends, of small, fixed-wing aircraft over the area. As a longtime resident, I know this has not always been the case. It seems that at one time, flights were usually off the coast or along the I-15 corridor rather than over La Jolla itself.

With Mount Soledad at just over 800 feet high, the helicopters appear to be barely 1,000 feet off the ground. The San Diego government website ( admits to a low flight level: “Although most police air units fly much lower, ABLE (Air Borne Law Enforcement) usually flies missions at approximately 1,500 feet during the day and 2,000 feet after 11 p.m. to help alleviate helicopter noise.”

I completely agree with the recent letter writer who is frustrated about the continual helicopter noise and I would like to request an investigation into this trend, as well.

Gillian Ackland

Tool that tracks aircraft flights can be found on the Web

San Diego International Airport uses a software tool called WebTrak to track aircraft (including sometimes helicopters), departing and originating from its airport and Montgomery Field. It resides on the Web and can be accessed by the public at

It records and displays the aircraft flight path, tail number, aircraft type and flight altitude. It maintains a historical record of this data.

Pete Ward