Citizens from the Union Station area met yesterday with staff representatives of Sen. Paul S. Trible (R-Va.) and expressed opposition to a plan to place a heliport at the train station.
Members of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and Capitol Hill-Southeast Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B complained that noise and safety hazards would afflict the neighborhood if a heliport were placed at Union Station. Trible has proposed the facility to provide commuter service from the train station to the underutilized Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International airports.
After the meeting, representatives of Trible's staff agreed to provide the residents with an environmental impact statement that would address their concerns about noise, flight paths and possible hours of operation of the heliport.
The staff members told the residents that the heliport would be operated in the daylight hours, would not be open to military aircraft and would be funded totally through the federal government.
They said that Trible was also willing to look at other possible locations for the heliport, such as the Southeast Federal Center near the Washington Navy Yard, the Portal Site, an urban renewal area south of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a building at 2000 L St., which already has a helicopter pad on its roof.
"Senator Trible is committed to working with District residents and the District government. He doesn't want to have any decision just dropped in their laps," said Carolyn Pixley, Trible's assistant news secretary.
She said the senator's staff would meet again with neighborhood groups within the next few weeks. The heliport plan would have to receive the approval of Congress.