Saint-Tropez Muzzles Helicopter Operations

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According to reports from Reuters, French authorities have limited helicopter flights to Saint-Tropez after receiving numerous aircraft noise complaints. The decision to close the helipad that accounts for about 30 percent of helicopter traffic to the exclusive resort came after a voluntary agreement failed to curb the number of flights, local official Francoise Souliman told Reuters. Helicopters are frequently used to avoid traffic jams in the resort town, as well as provide transport to villages and marinas along the coast. "There's a shocking noise at all times of the day and they're quite often flying over the marinas at Gassin, so you've got helicopters flying very low," Souliman said. The voluntary agreement drafted last year allowed approximately 1,200 flight movements a year and regulated flying times during the day. However, Souliman claims that 5,000 flights had been registered between June and August last year. "There are companies that respect the rules completely, but there are one or two companies that don't respect anything at all," she said. "We've had times when the nuisance has been so great that we had to hit hard."