- Associated Press - Friday, April 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - For months last fall, a movie producer’s commute by helicopter woke babies, rattled windows and alarmed dogs in a quiet, leafy neighborhood near a landing pad atop a hotel.

Residents finally breathed a sigh of relief when the California Department of Transportation intervened, and Ryan Kavanaugh, chief executive of Relativity Media, stopped using the helipad meant for emergencies, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

But now, the Sofitel Hotel plans to apply for a permit to allow non-emergency use of the helipad, the newspaper said.

“We didn’t move next to an airport,” resident Ali Behzad told the Times. “We moved next to a hotel.”

All buildings over 75-feet tall in Los Angeles are required to have a rooftop helipad for emergency use. Any other use requires a special permit.

Residents complained to state officials last November about Kavanaugh’s use of the helipad for his commute from Malibu to the west side of Los Angeles. A month later, the Sofitel was ordered to end improper helicopter activity.

Kavanaugh immediately stopped using the helipad after being informed of the permitting issue and will not land anywhere else in the city unless the proper permits are in place, his spokesman Adam Keen said.

Keen said the company does not plan on using the Sofitel helipad in the future and has not received any complaints.

Sofitel General Manager Gunther Zweimuller told the Times the hotel is looking at offering helipad use as an additional amenity for guests.

Hours and flight times would be limited, and residents were told flight paths would avoid the neighborhood.

Still, residents say they oppose any expanded use of the helipad.

Zweimuller did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking further comment.

Kavanaugh, 36, is known as a high-flying Hollywood producer. His company’s latest release is the thriller “Limitless.” Its other recent films include: “Battle Los Angeles,” “The Fighter” and “Little Fockers.”


Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com

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