Cecil Chao

Tycoon's helicopter irks nearby resident

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 August, 2007, 12:00am


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Police are investigating a complaint about noise from a helicopter landing and taking off from tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung's luxury villa in Southern District.

The complaint was lodged by an unidentified foreign woman resident, who filed a report to police at about 11.30am yesterday, saying the helicopter had taken off from Villa Cecil in Victoria Road.

Mr Chao, who was piloting the chopper, said he was transporting friends from his house to his luxury yacht. The Civil Aviation Department said helicopters were allowed to operate on private land if there was consent from the owners.

While there is no rule limiting the time of flying during the day, a pilot holding a private licence is not supposed to fly at night.

But a licensed pilot should take into account any noise impact on nearby residents and had to inform the department's air traffic control centre about flight plans, according to a department spokeswoman.

Ko Tam-kan, a Southern District councillor, said he had not received noise complaints about the helipad. 'We don't know how frequently it operates. If the chopper only flies once or twice in a year and refrains from flying at night, it should not cause too much of a problem.'

But Cyd Ho Sau-lan, a member of Central and Western District Council, said the government should clarify laws regulating the operation of private choppers, saying flight safety was a concern.