Sitting in my backyard Easter weekend, enjoying the sun and watching spring burst forth.

The soft rumble of private planes as people wanting, and able, to avoid bumper-to-bumper on the highways fly to their homes or holiday destinations.

Then the grating sound of helicopter blades intruded on this peaceful scene. Of course, I immediately thought it was someone being transported to the hospital or police activity. But as I looked up, I realized it was a private helicopter. And then I imagined this, sure to increase, sound infiltrating the Napa Valley if heliports are allowed on private property.

As road traffic increases and affluence here rises, the demand for personal heliports by those who can afford it will surely increase as well.

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Measure D will prevent this. What it will not do is prevent helicopter take-offs and landings for medical or emergency purposes or permitted agricultural uses.

Senator Bill Dodd’s argument against Measure D, that there have been only three applications for private helipads in the past 40 years, is naïve. Napa is no longer the sleepy little town where it took 15 minutes to drive to Vallejo. The demand for private helipads can only increase if allowed.

Iris Barrie


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