News


Two new bills aim to lower volume on airplane noise

Legislative proposals would reform to Federal Aviation Administration, re-open of EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control

Responding to an upswell of concern from constituents about airplane noise, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo is co-sponsoring a pair of bills that she hopes will restore some peace to local skies.

Both of the bills propose reforms to the federal agencies charged with monitoring and mitigating airplane noise. One, known as the Quiet Community Act, would re-establish the Office of Noise Abatement and Control, which was created by Congress in 1972, and remained in effect before getting defunded in 1982 during the Reagan Administration.

At that time, the White House argued that noise issues were best handled at the state or local government level, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Funding for the EPA office was phased out in 1992.

The second proposed bill, known as the FAA Community Accountability Act, would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with local communities to limit noise impacts any time new flights are being planned or implemented.

Both proposed acts were prompted by the soaring number of complaints from Palo Alto and nearby communities about the new flight plans recently implemented by the FAA as part of its transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen.

The effort, which aims to standardize arrival and departure routes through the use of GPS-based technologies, has created what residents say amounts to highway lanes over Palo Alto, with flights now flying in greater numbers and at lower altitudes.

In August, the Palo Alto council passed a resolution requesting that the FAA mitigate the noise impacts of aircrafts caused by the project and that it immediately raise the altitude of all flight paths over the city and redesign flight paths so that "noise burden is borne equitably by all communities that benefit from air travel."

The resolution pointed to the steeply rising number of complaints submitted from Palo Alto residents to the San Francisco Airport Noise Abatement Office over the past year. The number went from 60 in June 2014 to 2,733 in June 2015. Other communities that are now seeing more airplane noise because of the redesigned path are Los Gatos and the Summit/Skyline area, according to the city's resolution.

The two proposed bills don't spell out a remedy for the airplane noise, but rather propose new rules that would require both the FAA and the EPA to study the topic and consider mitigations.

According to Eshoo's announcement, the Quiet Community Act would restore the Office of Noise Abatement and Control and require the Administrator of the EPA to evaluate the effectiveness of FAA's noise-measurement methods, health impact thresholds and abatement programs.

The FAA Community Accountability Act would go a step further and require the FAA to "reconsider existing routes that are exposing residents to unacceptably high levels of aviation noise." This bill would also create a new community ombudsman in each FAA region to monitor the impact of NextGen implementation and make policy recommendations to the FAA and Congress.

In a statement, Eshoo said that because of NextGen, "constituents throughout my congressional district and our region are being subjected to increased jet engine noise."

"The bills I've introduced require the FAA to plan with communities when implementing NextGen, and restore the EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control which was defunded more than three years ago," said Eshoo, who is a founding member of the Quiet Skies Caucus. "With this legislation we can mitigate unacceptably high levels of aircraft noise, while continually modernizing our aviation system."

The FAA bill, known as H.R. 3965, was sponsored by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., and now includes 14 sponsors, including Eshoo. It was introduced on Nov. 5 and referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

While Eshoo and her colleagues in the U.S. Congress pursuing the federal legislation, Palo Alto officials are moving ahead with their own efforts to gather information about the issue of airplane noise.

In late August, the City Council directed staff to issue a request for proposals for a technical study for analyzing aircraft noise over Palo Alto. The study will also include recommendations for reducing the noise.

Staff was directed to return to the council with results of the request for proposals by no later than the end of 2015.

Comments

23 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Low and slow is the problem. Air Traffic Control (ATC) is the answer.

The primary noise problem comes from airliners ("heavies") heading for a landing at SFO. Normally, ATC directs traffic so heavies start their glide at an altitude that never requires airliners add power before making the turn toward SFO runway 28 Left. If airliners are too low or too slow at any point, they must add power to adjust.

Adding power creates the noise so objectionable to many.

Anna Eshoo is on the right track, and has the clout to properly influence the FAA, and in turn, ATC guidance instructions.

This is not rocket science. It is simple math which, applied professionally, can solve most air noise problems.


13 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Gennady, PAW

"The number went from 60 in June 2014 to 2,733 in June 2015."

For current Palo Alto complaint numbers, please see Web Link and Web Link

Palo Alto complaints, August 2015 :

296 complainants
8,770 complaints


10 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm

> The primary noise problem comes from airliners ("heavies") heading for a landing at SFO.

I think that is probably true in terms of frequency of the problem, but local private airplane
noise can be as bad or worse, and it for sure ruins the Baylands as a place to recreate and
go to be around nature.

I would really love to see the private airport moved out of Palo Alto and over to San Carlos
or have something done with Moffett Field.

The airlines do not really have to go do low, and are not supposed to, but the private
planes seem to think it's fine to buzz the City and don't seem to care or give a thought to
it at all.


21 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Glad to see this on Eshoo's part, though getting anything through Congress these days is a crapshoot.

Chris, you're right, the low and slow are definitely the worst and many of them--usually from Asia and Hawaii make their noise in the middle of the night. Really disruptive. I've noticed when walking that the altitude makes a huge difference--anything around the 5,000 ceiling. It hurts my ears when I'm outside.


12 people like this
Posted by Pele23
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Ummm! I have a good hearing but somehow never really experienced excessive airplane noise in our PA neighborhood. Maybe the planes don't frequently fly over south Palo Alto air space! An occasional neighborhood motorcycle engine revving at night or someone's horn chirp are noises that are more bothersome. Maybe Ms. Eshoo should be working on something more useful like promoting public transportation and affordable housing.


19 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Pele23,

Then consider yourself lucky. Check out Flightradar and you can see where the flightpath--hundreds of planes use it a day to fly to SFO.


Like this comment
Posted by Marlen
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2015 at 5:58 pm

[Post removed.]


27 people like this
Posted by Kevin Ohlson
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Something has definitely changed in the last year. Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting around 8, they come in low, every 2-3 minutes. You don't really notice it at first, but after 10 go by - you wonder what's happening. Some nights, same thing. Some nights, even at 11-11:30, it;s one after the other for 30-40 minutes. Yeah, I am glad that Anna Eshoo is working on this.


2 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2015 at 7:05 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Marlen,

[Portion removed.] Fact--NextGen meant three flightways converged over Palo Alto when they hadn't done so previously. Fact: Sky Posse has put together a strong case. (One of the people was a well-qualified researcher at Stanford.) Fact: not everyone who lives in Palo Alto lives under a flightway--so, no, the noise doesn't affect everyone equally.

[Portion removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2015 at 7:57 pm

I don't get Pele23 - talking about South Palo Alto. I live in South Palo Alto and the planes are directly overhead of my house. And not just the SFO but the insufferable San Jose Planes - they are worse because they fly so low. And that China Airlines plane is like a buffalo wandering across the prairie, low and slow like it is still unclear as to why it has to turn north to go to the PAO before it turns south to go to San Jose. I can just imagine what type of conversation is going on in the cockpit on that plane. And maybe the pilots do not speak English so do not understand whatever is said.

Half the time I think that they are trying to avoid events at the stadium so are snaking around the place. It is like they are on a site seeing tour.
Maybe Pele is old and has lost hearing - that even happens to young people who have listened to loud music on ear phones and damaged their ear drums.

If pele has ever followed the topic of airplanes then they should be able to look at the SFO tracker that shows exactly where the planes are and what the altitude is. You can see the planes as they make flight across the valley to go up to SFO. Or maybe pele is an employee of some type airline industry.


24 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm

I have to add that each topic on the TS has a title for the topic. If the topic does not concern you then why are you looking at it?

My son is graduated so I do not comment on the school system topics because I do not have immediate knowledge of what is happening. And when I do peek in I see the same names of people who are very concerned about the school system.

So why are you surprised that each topic has a concentrated group of people who want to talk about that topic. Why is that worthy of comment?

I truly wonder about people who feel the need to comment on a subject they profess to have no interest in. I sometimes think they are really an employee of some institution or company that does not want negative feedback on the airline industry. That is such a give away.


9 people like this
Posted by Pele23
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm

As the Pope said, who am I to judge other people. Perhaps some people are really bothered by plane noise. Frankly, it does not bother me and I do have reasonable hearing. So, what are the recommendations to mitigate the problem:
a) shift the landing/takeoff approach to above another city: selfish;
b) Have planes 10-20 miles away from airports stay in higher elevation: dive landing - don't want to be a passenger in that plane; not safe for passengers;
c) Reduce night flights: will cause havoc in commercial aviation;
d) Randomize flight paths: add yet another planning decision for air traffic controllers who already have a busy schedule (and occasional doze); unsafe.
e) turn off one engine or glide: you must be kidding;
f) Let Ms. Eshoo solve the problem: I guess!


21 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2015 at 5:24 am

So the going position is that you hear nothing. Then your next position is that you have all types of thoughts concerning the problem. So don't be poker player because you have too many tells. You are displeased by adverse comments on the airline industry. Having to deal with the problem has some adverse affect on you. What a political conundrum. From where I am sitting the planes traffic can be shifted back to where it used to be - a tad north over the less populated portion of the peninsula.


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Reference to Moffett Field - Moffett is a US Navy / NASA site with outstanding leases to Google pending resolution to Super Fund site issues which are in process. Every agency is involved including water quality, EPA, Mountain View City, Sunnyvale City, and on and on.

If you are interested there is a meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) November 12 at the Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue, MV from 7PM to 9PM. This is an open meeting for information to the surrounding communities.

People keep popping up with notions of doing something for small private planes or Surf Air at Moffett. That is not going to happen.
If you thought the SFO Roundtable is tough then you haven't seen the city of MV, Sunnyvale, Google, the US Navy or NASA.


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm

There is a county airport in San Jose - Reid Hillview. It has an excellent web page - check it out. People keep talking like San Carlos is the only other game in town - not so.


10 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

FWIW, I agree with Pele23. I live in South PA. I see the aircraft directly overhead and the noise doesn't bother me. I think it is reasonable for the majority who are -not- bothered to chime in on threads like these because mitigating the impact for the few will have a corresponding cost that is borne by all.


13 people like this
Posted by West Coast Skeptic
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

Eshoo knows that any bill she introduces will be ignored. Even members of the California Democratic caucus do not take her seriously. She has a better chance of reducing airplane noise by standing on a soap box and using her useless words to drown out the incessant sound of SurfAir. She spent months pushing through a bill to regulate volume level of TV commercials knowing full well that the FCC already had this power. She is a poster child for why people have contempt for Congress.


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

Rick - Pele implied that the planes do not fly over South PA. I know they do and you know they do. So stick to the topic of what Pele said. And based on your previous inputs on airplane noise I suspect that you are an employee of some type airline industry function.

Whether Pele is bothered or not the implication was categorically untrue.
If Pele or you looks at the trackers you will see planes flying over your head. In fact the lunch commute is ongoing now - one after another.

The majority of people that post on the airplane sites are totally familiar with the flight trackers and can name the planes and altitudes.


12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 9, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" I think it is reasonable for the majority who are -not- bothered to chime in on threads like these because mitigating the impact for the few will have a corresponding cost that is borne by all."

Absolutely correct. Thank you.

The anti-noise posters would like to simply disenfranchise those who do not share their views in order to have these forums appear to confirm their version of the truth.

Yes, some people are truly bothered by airplane noise.

Yes, some people are sensitized to airplane noise.

But the majority of people accept such noise as an integral part of our dynamic urban environment.


22 people like this
Posted by sleepless
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm

For those of you who wish to EFFICIENTLY complain with one touch, please download this ap:
stop.jetnoise.net

The ap has offered me an easy way to communicate my continuous annoyance, and I'm grateful for its availability.
And I thank Anna Eshoo's office for sponsoring these bills. I hope for a speedy passage and improved quality of life for all.

Perhaps some of us who value peace and quiet and moved into our homes because this place offered that. We didn't choose an urban environment. We did not choose to live in a home under an airplane flight path, and never wanted our lives to be subject to this noise.

In the past I occasionally had several planes fly overhead and that did not bother me. But, this concentration of flight paths is a CHANGE brought about by the NextGen system that concentrated the flight paths. An equitable solution would be to spread out the noise, not to concentrate it. Surely if computers can concentrate planes safely, they can also spread them out safely.





3 people like this
Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We didn't choose an urban environment."

If you moved into this area anytime in the last 25 years then you made a mistake in judgment - this is and has long been an urban environment.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 9, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" An equitable solution would be to spread out the noise, not to concentrate it. Surely if computers can concentrate planes safely, they can also spread them out safely."

That solution has been posted months ago but the anti-noise posters are unwilling to support any concrete solution except moving their entire problem someplace else.


Here is the distribution proposal once again:

Using the concept of a herring bone pattern and Advanced (or curved) Controlled Descent Approachs (CDA’a) here is a Draft SFO Arrivals Protocol:

1 – Establish two 25 mile plus 284 degree radials form SFO – one as an extension of Runway 28 Right and the second as an extension of Runway 28 Left.

2 – Place intercept points on each of these 284 deg radials at ½ mile intervals starting 10 miles from SFO where the 3 degree glide path interception point would be at 3000 ft and continuing out to the 25 mile point for a total of 32 interception points on both radials.

3 – ATC to randomly assign Curving CDAs to airplanes from the North and East to the 16 interception points on 28 Right radial.

4 - ATC to randomly assign Curving CDAs to airplanes from the South and West to the 16 interception points on 28 Left radial.

5 – Between 2100 (9 PM) and 0600 (6 AM) aircraft would be randomly assigned to interceptions point no closer than 20 miles from SFO.

6 - Future improvements could be made when and if steeper glide paths ( greater than 3 degrees) are approved.

What are the specific problems with this DRAFT proposal?

How can it be improved?

Is it simple?

Is it equitable?

Is it technically feasible?



9 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Ban the helicopter practice in the Baylands! Hovering at 10 feet for minutes! Can't possibly be under noise limits in the marshes. Bad for the wildlife. Hundreds of landings and take offs with constant buzzing around.


7 people like this
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Pele,
Require the planes to use the inland glide path up the valley, just like they had been doing for the last 40 years.
Then the only folks that are disturbed are the artichokes and cows.


21 people like this
Posted by Sleepless in midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Thank you to the other sleepless folks trying to retain some quality of life, especially over noise issues. I have lived in Palo Alto, over 50 years, and now find myself bombarded with 200+ flights a day, many directly over my house. Living in midtown for the last 11 years, I was not bothered by the occasional planes overhead, but with SERFR One and 2 other arrival routes converging over Palo Alto in the last year, I am constantly aware of rumbling and whining of jets overhead. I walk 2-3 miles daily in all sections of town, and pick up children for daily activities. There is no way to NOT be aware of the volume and loudness of jets/general aviation planes. Yes, I know we are becoming a more urban environment, and I accept that. However, the R1 neighborhoods were peaceful, bucolic, serene and walkable. There is a high price to pay for those who want to live in Palo Alto, but if the quality of life deteriorates to such a great extent in ONE YEAR, then residents like myself will have to pull up stakes or advocate forcefully for noise standards similar to Newport Beach and other communities in Southern California. To deny the problem, doesn't make it go away. I thank Anna Eshoo for attempting to get reliable noise standards in place. I also thank Peter Carpenter for making concrete suggestions to help solve the problem. Let's work together to preserve our wonderful, beautiful Bay Area!


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Require the planes to use the inland glide path up the valley, just like they had been doing for the last 40 years.
Then the only folks that are disturbed are the artichokes and cows."

Exactly as I just posted - "the anti-noise posters are unwilling to support any concrete solution except moving their entire problem someplace else."

And they seem to forget that far more people live under "the inland glide path up the valley" than live in Palo Alto.


2 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

When I was a child, watching the GA aircraft taking off from PAO was fun; THERE WERE FEWER AIRCRAFT BECAUSE ONLY THE RICH ( AND WHITE ) PALO ALTO RESIDENTS COULD AFFORD ONE!
So here we are, complaining about more aircraft and more noise 50 years later!
Now, the many activists have their say and NextGen tries to save the Baylands wildlife by rerouting the approach paths for incoming jets.
Traditionally the " Heavies " approached over the Baylands and up the bay. Our " inverted wedding cake " ATC rules worked and the noise problem stayed over the poor populated cities like East Palo Alto. I will not mention WHY in this issue; The PA-Online knows all about that if they know the history.
I hate to see this: How about this drone craze forcing both private and commercial aircraft stay above 400 to 1000 feet up before final approach?
That would be consistent with the protests in the SFBA of the 60s and 70s.
Having a the commercial ( noisy ) turboprop suck in a drone and pancake into the Bay sends a far better message than yak-yak-yak words and not deeds.
That WAS the Palo Alto spirit about protests back then as the Palo Alto newspaper(s) joined in. I even remember The Sedition in those ( mostly Peaceful protest ) days.

The solution Mr. Carpenter talks about is what USED to happen. Jets and PAO shared the airway OVER THE BAY for over 50 years; I watched them coming in on that dike that helped create East Palo Alto next to Cooley's Landing.


3 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

BTW: Closing PAO and relocating GA and the FBO to Moffett Field is a darn good idea. We used to hear the P3s and random NASA and NAVY aircraft all the time in Mountain View. When the weather was right, you could hear " Reveille " and " Taps " from the base loudspeakers.


12 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

"And they seem to forget that far more people live under "the inland glide path up the valley" than live in Palo Alto."

Hey, Atherton's relatively thinly populated, ain't it? Hmmm.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If you read my proposal you will note that it randomly distributes incoming airplanes over the entire South Bay.
In fact, low population density communities get more flights per resident than do higher population density communities.

What are the specific problems with this DRAFT proposal?

How can it be improved?

Is it simple?

Is it equitable?

Is it technically feasible?


3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Thank you Anna!


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Punnisher - if you noted the comment above on Moffett Field it is a NASA / NAVY base with super fund issues. Since you live in Mountain View you can come to the Moffett Restoration Advisory Board Meeting at the MV Senior Center 7-9 Pm Thursday 11/12/15. You will find some of your more notable MV City Council members there.

You can ask the question as to the feasibility of your idea.


6 people like this
Posted by Partisan Politics
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2015 at 1:24 am

>> ...which was created by Congress in 1972, and remained in effect before getting defunded in 1982 during the Reagan Administration.

>> At that time, the White House argued that noise issues were best handled at the state or local government level, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Really? Please provide source information, as any professional reporting agent would.

These decisions were acts of Congress, not the President or the White House. In 1982 the Democrats had the majority in the House and the Republicans had a new majority in the Senate.

None of this was decided by the "Reagan administration" or the "White House."


24 people like this
Posted by Marie-Jo Fremont
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:23 am

I have lived in my house 19 years and did not mind the occasional noisy airplane jet, small aircraft, or helicopter over my house. I chose to live in an urban area. And I fly. But when I bought my house, I paid attention to the location, including the surrounding noise (freeways, trains, roads). Low, loud, and frequent jets flying over my neighborhood did not exist then.

But now they do. Basically the FAA built a superhighway over densely populated areas overnight, without any consideration of the potential impact on populations living below. Sounds like "No Taxation Without Representation" to me.

I get that some people are more sensitive to noise than others.
I get that some Palo Alto neighborhoods may be more affected than others (though Palo Alto is pretty small).
But I don't get why people get so upset about affected residents trying to do something about the recent change imposed by the FAA (for the record, the City of Palo Alto was never consulted even though it has been disproportionately impacted).

Efforts to force the FAA to consider environmental impact can only benefit all residents --and not just Palo Alto -other cities (nearby, in California, and nationwide).

And for those of you who want to join the fight or learn more about the problem, look at this one-page handout (Web Link )


7 people like this
Posted by Agreed
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

well said Marie-Jo. And let me add that this is not just a PA issue. There are DEFINITELY more low planes flying directly over us here in MV as well. If it were just a few it's not an issue but this is a BIG difference.


4 people like this
Posted by Jim Hols
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm

I'm looking for help from one of the more knowledgable commenter on this forum. What's the best way to see airline tracks. Can we see them online in real time? or by particular hours of the day?

More importantly, I looked at a tracker here on flysfo Web Link.

But It is really zoomed out so the entire SF Bay area is like a thumbnail size. I can't find a way to zoom in further.

Also, just as a comment, I see that there are folks on this thread that minimize the issue and they are from other communities that seem to have very little overhead traffic. Los Gatos, Portola Valley, Brisbane, and Palo Alto seem to be getting the brunt of it. These other communities are urban areas also. But without the flight paths.


2 people like this
Posted by Commentator
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm

"None of this was decided by the "Reagan administration" or the "White House.""

Of course it was. The White House proposed, its partisans in Congress put the provision in a bill, and Ronald Reagan signed it. Any civics student can tell you that's how the government operates.


3 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Chip is a registered user.

In the '70s & '80s, incoming planes headed for Moffett Field dumped excess fuel over southwestern Los Altos as that was under the landing path. Sure made a mess of skylights and outdoor furniture, to say nothing of the environmental effect of living under this. Is there any research yet on a "cluster" for diseases? They've figured out that there's a major cancer cluster in an area where houses were built on what been Mariani fruit orchards, due to pesticide use.


2 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Jim,

Try this link for tracking flights:

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Partisan Politics
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2015 at 1:36 am

>> "Of course it was. The White House proposed, its partisans in Congress put the provision in a bill, and Ronald Reagan signed it. Any civics student can tell you that's how the government operates."

I'm not sure who "proposed," but yes, the bill was created in Congress, who passed it, and the President signed it.

Thank you for confirming my earlier point, that Congress created and passed the bill. The President rubber-stamped it as is typical unless he vehemently disagrees or there is a major political outcry.

Citing this decision as being done during the "Reagan administration" may be technically accurate, but is also distracting and misleading.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 11, 2015 at 7:36 am

The San Jose Airport uses the Bruel & Kjaer company system which focuses on sound and vibration measurement. Their tracker is: Web Link. This is the 5-webtrack which is currently off-line due to technical difficulties. This web track follows all of the planes in the airspace - SFO, SJC, Oakland, PAO, etc.

The airports used to provide direct access from the official web site for a tracker called: flightstats. The airports have updated their official web sites and do not appear to indicate a link to flight trackers since the viewers now are all tracking planes all over the place and using that data to complain - providing specific plane data with altitude measurements.

Once you are on a tracking system you will see in the corner a + or - to enhance the size or reduce it and you can move the map around to focus on a specific area.

While airports do have a section for noise abatement and a page to complain officially on their web site.


Like this comment
Posted by Tell It Like It Is
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:17 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:35 am

Green Acres doesn't get the constant loud airplane noise so you can't really know whether or not you would like to live with it. My guess is that if you were under a next gen flight path you would change your view. For those of us that are losing sleep, losing productivity, can't have a peaceful 5 minutes without the high pitched whining of SFO jets are doing the right thing by complaining and bringing awareness of our decreased quality of life. Asking people to move is such an insensitive and immature comment.


Like this comment
Posted by Tell It Like It Is
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 11, 2015 at 10:13 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2015 at 11:28 am

The censorship on this board is pretty ridiculous. We are fully within our rights to call this airplane noise a non-issue. Deleting posts by those who convey that message is nothing more than framing the conversation as you see fit. Not very journalistic of you.

Moderator's Note: Expressing your own opinion that the noise doesn't bother you is fine, but when a post criticizes another person for holding the opposite view and tells them to move out of the community if they don't like it is not. Engaging in a respectful conversation means respecting other points of view, and those posters who choose not to will be edited or deleted.



8 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

"This is the 5-webtrack which is currently off-line due to technical difficulties"

Is it really "technical difficulties"? Call me a doubter, but I can think of a much more cynical explanation to the current absence of the SJC webtrak.


11 people like this
Posted by Jim Hols
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

To those that complain they are censored because they want to express that nothing needs to be done, I'd say this is not a debate over whether you think we should be able to "accept the noise". You can certainly say you are not bothered by noise, but you can't say no one else should be bothered or that others should move away.

This is one of the definitions of being a troll when you try to either change the topic or deny the value of it to those who do care.

People have a right to try and minimize noise just as much as we have a right to zone districts and control road traffic or water quality.

This is a discussion about how to help make this urban life better for folks that ARE disturbed by the noise.

I'm really tired of hearing people argue that people that don't like the noise should leave. You are adding nothing to a solution.

And many of these views are from people living in communities that are not effected by the new flight paths.

Many thanks to the several people that actually provide positive proposals.


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Why is a resident of Mountain View complaining? You should be happy that your City Council moved to keep Federal Express out of Moffett Field. If they had not done that then you would be in Federal Express non-stop activity. As it is they go to the other airports in the middle of the night.

There are periods when the San Jose arrivals stream down and cross Palo Alto and go to the Palo Alto Airport and then circle over Google to go to the San Jose Airport. They are at about 1,600 altitude when this happens. Have a Southwest airline over your head at 1,600 feet and it is not a good deal for anyone.


23 people like this
Posted by Tell It Like It Is
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

[Post removed.]



Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Jim - the commercial system you noted is not that good. Go to Google and pick up Flightstats. It is used for all airports so you can input the airport you are looking for, The data is very manipulative so you can zoom in or zoom out and pick up individual place information.


12 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Tell it like it is,

Strange situation with mentioning the overall benefits of air travel, like a mother's love, but not really quantifying the associated costs to the environment and people. Even car travel is acknowledged to have associated costs. Auto highways, roads, streets scrutinized in terms of impacts (from bad air and noise, to parking problems). Have these costs (in the case of cars) been dismissed because people "appreciate" sucking up fumes, getting noise, seeing the cars, or having no due process in having a highway built through their back yard?

When I buy an airline ticket, it does not say anywhere that I personally also trade in additional benefits for Bay area travel or for commercial transportation benefits that are utilized by millions of others.

I suggest that we need more information about how airlines and the aviation industry are compensating for the costs (besides taking our money in tickets and taxes to help them navigate better). Say "sharing" in the costs if nothing else.

Not a list of how they are investing in passenger comfort, but in taking care of their waste. Let's compare that to the benefits; who really pays, who benefits.


10 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:52 pm

When people discuss an issue that is problem to them and this issue is a non-problem to me, I just do not spend time or effort denying their problem. I just ignore their discussion at worst. Sometimes, I sympathize briefly. I think this is what most people would do if not bothered by something, ... unless, unless they have something to lose if any action is taken to remedy the problem at hand. In this case, who would be potentially impacted by any attempt to lessen noise?

- Residents of other communities who are worried they will experience increase noise.
- Airlines that may need to fly a wee bit longer to go around communities on the ground (and airline management and staff).
- Airports and air traffic control (and staff) that would also have to adjust.

So, what is the real identity of people who come here and deny the airplane noise problem? [Portion removed.] What is their agenda?


10 people like this
Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:25 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"what is the real identity of people who come here "

Posted by an anonymous individual - how ironic.


9 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Identity could mean what interests are behind some of the posts, not so much the name of the posters.

Anonymous posting he/she is bothered by noise (on a relevant thread) is one thing. Anonymous posting against efforts to reduce noise is another. And to argue for keeping the noise, because one likes it, is not exactly a case.



2 people like this
Posted by Commentator
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 11, 2015 at 9:59 pm

"Thank you for confirming my earlier point, that Congress created and passed the bill."

You're welcome. In those bygone days, Congress usually gave the president pretty much what he asked for.


"The President rubber-stamped it as is typical unless he vehemently disagrees or there is a major political outcry."

Of course he would sign a measure he asked for.


"Citing this decision as being done during the "Reagan administration" may be technically accurate, but is also distracting and misleading."

Truth is misleading? George Orwell, you missed a big one.


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:47 am

We have an interesting problem here. The 18th Congressional District includes portions of San Mateo County including Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, Redwood City. It does not include the city of San Jose - only some unincorporated portions of San Jose.

The SFO roundtable includes San Mateo representation and excludes Santa Clara County representation. So for the purposes of SFO we have the San Mateo cities which are working to exclude air travel over their cities. They have effectively shifted the arrival flight path into Santa Clara County.

On the flip side the San Jose Airport is starting to shift their arrival path over Palo Alto vs HWY 85.

So despite what the representation is there is a conflict of interests alone in the way the Congressional Districts are set up as relates to the county.

We also have the problem of there being two major airports and other smaller airports which do have FAA/ATC representation. So people are arguing jobs, quality of life in their air space, and the political fallout of different interests working in opposition within the congressional district. That puts our representation in a conflicted position.

So many people taking different positions based on where they prioritize their positions within the county vs congressional districts and their jobs.

Suggest that the SFO Roundtable rethink their position as congressional vs county.
Suggest that San Jose Airport rethink their position as county vs congressional. More Joe Simitian needed here.


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

The WSJ today 11/12/15 - "Sound and Fury over New Routes". Very good article which highlights the problems of the NexGen routes. Noted is Georgetown, DC; Phoenix, AZ; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and finally Silicon Valley.

The arguments note that many cities organized housing tracks relative to the old airline routes and now these are the very locations that planes fly over.

The article is a blistering commentary on the FAA who despite law suites and complaints makes the case that there are no significant impacts. The goal is savings in costs for the airlines and more efficiency in operations overall.

So everyone can draw their opinions relative to what impact that has on them as relates to jobs, political impact (contributions to campaigns and political pressure) and quality of life and health.

Obviously there will never be total agreement so maybe some people can skip the sarcasm.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is an excellent WSJ article and it makes it clear that NextGen is not the problem but the problem is the poor use of NextGen technology. Right now NextGen approaches concentrate traffic which used to be more dispersed but that same NextGen technology could easily be used to better and more evenly distribute flights as I have proposed above.

Concerned residents need to stop blaming NextGen technology for the noise concentration problem and start proposing and supporting better uses of NextGen. As Portola Valley Councilwoman Maryann Derwin said definitive proposals will be important in getting congressional assistance, . "If we want their help, they are actually going to want to see A, B and C solutions," she said.



3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

The WSJ article pointed out that some cities have provided alternate solutions that would provide the same benefits to the airlines but those suggestions have been ignored. The problem is the FAA who have dug themselves into a hole that is providing benefits to the industry but not the person under the planes.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The WSJ article pointed out that some cities have provided alternate solutions that would provide the same benefits to the airlines but those suggestions have been ignored."

Actually the WSJ article only specifies one city that proposed alternative solutions, Phoenix, and those proposals were accompanied by a lawsuit against the FAA. Anyone with Wash DC experience would know that a lawsuit brings any administrative action on the same issue to a halt.

Hopefully Silicon Valley is smarter than Phoenix.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:47 am

[Portion removed.]

Smartness may not be the criteria here. Mr. Martin - head of SFO is due to retire and the person indicated as his replacement is a Mayor Lee - SF subordinate who has little experience with the management of an airport.

So that is the way it goes in SF. You can forget any action out of SFO in support of noise abatement. SFO is a money maker for the city so they will plow ahead with whatever brings in more cash.


3 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:52 am

Yes - the solution parameters for NextGen were simplified to "save gas" with no other considerations, such as flight path and frequency/volume.

I don't know if NextGen has the ability to do so or not, but hopefully the software can take the next step which is to evenly distribute the flight paths on a much wider plane (excuse the pun).


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I don't know if NextGen has the ability to do so or not, but hopefully the software can take the next step which is to evenly distribute the flight paths on a much wider plane (excuse the pun)."

Yes, NextGen could do this.


"Potential NextGen Noise Solutions
NextGen includes a range of solutions that will reduce noise emissions. These are summarized below.
CLEEN: The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program is a NextGen e ort to accelerate development and commercial deployment of environmentally promising aircra technologies with signi cant noise reduc on. For example current research includes aircra technology that may reduce noise levels by 32 dB cumulative, relative to the Stage 4 standard.

Advanced Air Traffic Management and Operations: New Air Traffic Management and opera onal procedures may offer the potential to reduce noise impacts. For example, the FAA is implementing a range of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) such as optimized profile decent and Radius to Fix Leg, which can avoid certain noise impacts."

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by PA resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:55 pm

On paper and promises, Nextgen looks as good as the promise of quieter airplanes.

The reality about quieter airplanes is that the "quieter" part are maybe the engine; the rest about airplanes are noisy as ever.

Think Airbus.

Hundreds or airplanes every day at rock bottom altitudes? Not quiet.

Beware of the promises of technology with Nextgen.

Ask yourselves, is what is happening now already Nextgen?

Perhaps Mr. Carpenter can help us understand if this is NG?


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The reality about quieter airplanes is that the "quieter" part are maybe the engine; the rest about airplanes are noisy as ever. "

The noise standards are for the entire plane as certified, not just the engines. The new and huge A380 is quieter than any other Airbus.


Like this comment
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 12, 2015 at 6:20 pm

"On the flip side the San Jose Airport is starting to shift their arrival path over Palo Alto vs HWY 85."

Eventually SFO and SJC will compromise on the county line in San Francisquito creek, and crew and passengers will get violently airsick as the planes faithfully trace its course through the air.

You heard it here first.


2 people like this
Posted by Simon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

I read comments and outraged by some arrogant people who said it is fine what is happening. I am a father of a 4 yo child with autism who is sensitive to noise. I am afraid she won't be able to play outside when it gets warmer. It was somewhat acceptable until November 2015 when it became a nightmare.
The solution is very simple as said above - revert to old routs.
I am hoping that legal options are possible...









Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 41 comments | 1,502 views

Global Warming Diet
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,253 views

Couples: "Taming Your Gremlin" by Richard Carson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,102 views

Preparing for kindergarten
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 608 views

 

Pre-registration ends tomorrow!

​On Friday, September 21, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, or—for the first time—half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More