http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2014/01/25/saturday-afternoon-can-anyone-else-hear-all-the-airplanes


Town Square

Saturday afternoon, can anyone else hear all the planes?

Original post made by What is going on?, Crescent Park, on Jan 25, 2014

Is this usual?

NON-STOP airplane noise???

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Congratulations - you bought a house near an airport and it is Saturday when lots of people like to play tennis or golf or fly.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"Congratulations - you bought a house near an airport and it is Saturday when lots of people like to play tennis or golf or fly."

Golf and tennis do not sound like leaf blowers.

"Sounds" to me like these sports should conform to regular public nuisance issues.

The sound is considerably more of a nuisance than leaf blowers actually, and they pose risks as well. People "practicing" above homes is silly. I would think they had better things to do than nose into Palo Alto back yards.


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Posted by heard it too
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 26, 2014 at 11:25 pm

We don't get much airplane noise usually, and yes, there was a frightening amount of airplane noise. One in particular that had my kid standing wide-eyed and frightened, like the plane might run into the house! We're over by Gunn, not much airplane noise here usually.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2014 at 6:51 am

I'm getting visions of that scene in North by Northwest.


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Posted by Noticed it, too
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

We were at Bol Park Sunday afternoon and noticed three large jets in a row coming from the west--presumably from Asia, in the 1-1/2 hour period our children were playing in the park. Friday afternoons through Monday mornings are always the peak times for planes loaded with business travelers arriving and departing.

They fly quite low, and my concern is all the pollution from jet fuel that they cause.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

You can get used to this kind of noise if nothing is done about it. Practically all cross-Peninsula SFO air traffic goes right over Palo Alto. And a new 'nextgen' air traffic control system will mean the planes fly at lower altitudes (and have the capability of flying closer together as well.)

If you read through the thread here: Web Link, you can see how San Mateo County and individual cities like Atherton have taken political action to see that their skies are relatively free of overhead jets to the detriment of Palo Alto.

I think this has the potential of significantly affecting the quality of life in Palo Alto.


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Posted by TooManyAHs
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 1, 2014 at 1:22 am

> Congratulations - you bought a house near an airport and it is Saturday when lots of people like to play tennis or golf or fly.

[Portion removed.]

What would you suggest, those houses go vacant because no one should buy them, or just that people who have to afford less in a house be subject to noise and pollution because they deserve it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

When you purchase a home it is reasonable that you be aware of the existing conditions and incorporate those conditions into your purchase decision.

It is unreasonable to expect that pre-existing long term uses to be stopped simply because someone who describes himself as TooManyAHS moves into the neighborhood without having done any 'homework'.


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Posted by Reasonable
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

People who have lived twenty miles away from an airport should not reasonably expect to begin hearing loud airplane sounds constantly during regular periods daily, nor should they reasonably expect to hear these sounds late at night as a result of rerouting of flights associated with that airport. This is not subjective whining. These people should be pitied and helped.

People who are willing for many others to suffer a loss of life quality and health, and actively fight against their efforts to improve their lot, just to support a fiction that a chunk of their own life's work was permanently the right thing to do, should also be pitied and helped.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

1 - Midtown is less than 3 miles from the Palo Alto airport.

2 -"People who have lived twenty miles away from an airport should not reasonably expect to begin hearing loud airplane sounds constantly during regular periods daily, nor should they reasonably expect to hear these sounds late at night as a result of rerouting of flights associated with that airport." Do these people reasonable expect that SFO will simply stop flying airplanes? What rerouting are you referring to?


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

Airplane noise has been an increasingly bothersome issue in Palo Alto and the subject of numerous threads on this forum recently. See for example here: Web Link

Ignore Peter Carpenter's attempts to convince us that our concerns are unreasonable. He lives in Atherton, which has relatively little airplane traffic and therefor benefits from political deals that have diverted SFO traffic from San Mateo County cities to overflying Palo Alto. This is discussed in the above mentioned threads.

We didn't always have this constant airplane noise in PA. I moved here 20 years ago, and for a decade or more, it was very quiet for the most part. It was only when SFO traffic was diverted from San Mateo County to us that this constant aircraft din began. (I DID my homework before moving!)

There appear to be several people who are attempting to get some group action going on this to force some political change as a solution to this unfair situation. Details again in the other thread.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter Carpenter's attempts to convince us that our concerns are unreasonable. "

I do not think your concerns are unreasonable and I have repeatedly posted that " I understand and respect the fact that you and others object to the noise created by airplanes - sensitivity to noise is a personal and subjective matter."

What is unreasonable is your expectation that your neighbors and neighboring facilities change their long standing behavior because you have now decide that their behavior is unacceptable.

A person with allergies to animals would not reasonably locate next to a farm nor should a person who is sensitive to noise reasonably locate near known noise sources like airports.
*****
"political deals that have diverted SFO traffic from San Mateo County cities to overflying Palo Alto. This is discussed in the above mentioned threads." Yes, it is discussed but, lacking any evidence to support this allegation, it appears to be an urban myth. I would welcome evidence to the contrary.

"There appear to be several people who are attempting to get some group action going"
By my count less than 20 unique individuals have expressed such concerns so I suspect that little action will actually occur.


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Posted by Which Airport?
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

Peter -

Many of the planes we are seeing and hearing are large commercial 747 type planes, making just about a u-turn over Palo Alto and end up heading west going past University ave, north of 101 at altitude. They are here at the same time every day. They are lower than they used to be.

Which airport are these going to?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Large commercial planes over Palo Alto, generally above 4000 ft, are landing at SFO.

As noted these planes also fly over southern San Mateo county at much lower altitudes:

Web Link


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:35 am

@Mary Anne

Not saying you're wrong, but can you point to any evidence that flights have been rerouted away from SM county over the last 20 years? I've looked high and low for changes in the published FAA routes and I can't find anything. I also can't find any published "nextgen" routes into SFO. They may exist, but I can't find them. If you go looking for them they would be called an "RNAV (RNP) Arrival" and you'd see curved paths on the charts. Peter has pointed to what the FAA calls a Letter of Agreement regarding altitudes for oceanic arrivals, and it appears from a little bit of flightaware.com flight tracking they are following their LOA.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:37 am

Peter Carpenter,

"sensitivity to noise is a personal and subjective matter."

"What is unreasonable is your expectation that your neighbors and neighboring facilities change their long standing behavior because you have now decide that their behavior is unacceptable."

Peter,

Are you saying that there are no rules on airplane noise? They can all be as loud as they want?

There are absolutely no rules on airplane noise levels?

You replied to my initial post and equated airplane noise to golf and tennis. Airplane noise is considered a sport?

Why is the FAA regulating a sport?

I completely disagree with you that there should be no reasonable expectation of behavior among neighbors. San Francisco Airport is not even really a neighbor though. My expectation is even higher for a non-neighbor, as we have have no reason to co-exist.

You seem to have been/are an authority on these matters, so maybe you could actually explain how the FAA makes decisions about routes. I looked at their website, and could not find the names of the people responsible for making these decisions for SFO or Palo Alto airport.

Does the FAA deal with noise at all, do they even consider noise when making route decisions? If not, can you describe how the FAA's operates and what is a reasonable expectation to have about their duties.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:50 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Safety is the FAA's primary consideration and the FAA has never made a decision to compromise safety in order to reduce noise levels.

The FAA does routing based on assuring both horizontal and vertical separation between airplanes and from topographical features. Newer technologies that permit much more flexible routing are now being implemented under NextGen.

Web Link

More efficient operations are almost always quieter.


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Posted by Which Airport
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

Peter -

Here in the quiet residential areas of Palo Alto, most of the increased noise from airplanes we have noted comes from these commercial planes. They appear to be not only flying lower than 4000 feet, but somehow to be noisier while turning than while flying straight. This noise increase has occurred primarily over the past seven years, probably mostly over the past five years.

Does their route cause these planes to generate even more noise over the quiet residential areas of San Mateo county?

It would appear that as they go north they fly over the bay.


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Posted by Which Airport
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Peter -

Is this out of date?

USC Section 44715 authorizes the FAA, after consulting with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to prescribe standards and regulations to measure, control, and reduce aircraft noise.

This code specifies that an airport is responsible for the noise it generates, and the standards specify how noise is to be measured and limited for areas zoned residential and zoned other ways. It specifies, among other things, that nighttime noise should be 1/10 daytime noise, and that local authorities determine the zoning for the purpose of these limits rather than the airport.

Is this section for some reason not relevant here?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Here's a link that helps explain how the FAA thinks about airplane noise.

Web Link

It's very unlikely an SFO-bound plane would be below 4000 feet at Barron Park. Look on flightaware.com and see if you can find examples. Barron park is roughly at 37.25 N / -122.85 W. Your car GPS can probably give you a more accurate fix.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"Safety is the FAA's primary consideration and the FAA has never made a decision to compromise safety in order to reduce noise levels.

The FAA does routing based on assuring both horizontal and vertical separation between airplanes and from topographical features. Newer technologies that permit much more flexible routing are now being implemented under NextGen."

You mention airplane separation is the FAA safety concern,and NextGen allows less separation among planes.

How would Palo Alto turn out to be a safe place to have more planes closer together, as opposed to having more planes together where the airport actually is? Palo Alto is a high density area with hospitals, schools, and research facilities which.

Besides proximity of airplanes, the FAA has no other safety criteria to designate patterns?

On these threads, there has been comment of lobbying carried out by Atherton, and the more elite neighborhoods to send the traffic to EPA and Palo Alto. Can you explain how that was a safety measure?

If you can post a link to the FAA Authorities who are overseeing these decisions, that would be helpful. There appears to be a regional division, but I cannot find the link for safety inquiries.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" there has been comment of lobbying carried out by Atherton, and the more elite neighborhoods to send the traffic to EPA and Palo Alto. Can you explain how that was a safety measure? "

No, and I have opposed such efforts:
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 11, 2014 at 4:30 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
My home in Lindenwood is actually closer to the current IFR approach than most of the homes in Fair Oaks. I do not believe that simply moving the approach to our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east is a fair solution.

****
"Besides proximity of airplanes, the FAA has no other safety criteria to designate patterns?"
AS noted proximity to topography, hills, antennas, tall buildings etc., is the other major consideration.

"NextGen allows less separation among planes. " Because the technology allows that to be done without compromising safety. In the old days all flights were based on visual separation and there were a lot of mid air collisions - those rarely happen today and one of the reasons is the highly complex and restrictive airspace such as we have in the Bay area.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If you can post a link to the FAA Authorities who are overseeing these decisions, that would be helpful."

Here is a partial answer - please don't shoot the messenger:

"FAA Changes the Rules for National Environmental Policy Act Review
Posted on August 26, 2013 by Barbara E. Lichman, Ph.D., J.D.
Inspired by Congressional intervention, the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") has begun the process of revising and reorganizing FAA Order 1050.1E, "Environmental Impact: Policies and Procedures" in a new Order, 1050.1F (by the same name). 78 Fed.Reg. 49596-49600 (August 14, 2013). That in itself would not be particularly notable, except for the importance of the changes that are being made, and their significance for both airport operators and the communities around airports that are the direct recipients of both the disbenefit of the environmental impacts of airport projects, and the potential benefit of the adequate environmental review of those impacts.
The most important of the potential revisions to Order 1050.1E involves FAA's relief from the burdens of environmental review granted by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, H.R. 658 (112th) ("FMRA"). Specifically, two legislatively created categorical exclusions are added in 1050.1F, paragraphs 5-6.5q and 5-6.5r, Exemption from NEPA Review which basically give a free pass to changes to air traffic procedures throughout the country."


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Pretty shocking to hear that, as you confirm, there are efforts which are lobbying the FAA on the basis of noise!

Is that the SFO Roundtable? Or more like the "Friends of SFO" organization which apparently has found the way to achieve noise abatement is to kick it to EPA.

"AS noted proximity to topography, hills, antennas, tall buildings etc., is the other major consideration."

There are no considerations about taking patterns away from high density areas?

None? Is that a worldwide thing, nobody cares about how many people you have on ground when you send commercial airplanes over them?


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm


Peter,

"FAA Changes the Rules for National Environmental Policy Act Review
Posted on August 26, 2013 by Barbara E. Lichman, Ph.D., J.D.
Inspired by Congressional intervention, the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") has begun the process of revising and reorganizing FAA Order 1050.1E, "Environmental Impact: Policies and Procedures" in a new Order, 1050.1F (by the same name). 78 Fed.Reg. 49596-49600 (August 14, 2013). That in itself would not be particularly notable, except for the importance of the changes that are being made, and their significance for both airport operators and the communities around airports that are the direct recipients of both the disbenefit of the environmental impacts of airport projects, and the potential benefit of the adequate environmental review of those impacts.
The most important of the potential revisions to Order 1050.1E involves FAA's relief from the burdens of environmental review granted by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, H.R. 658 (112th) ("FMRA"). Specifically, two legislatively created categorical exclusions are added in 1050.1F, paragraphs 5-6.5q and 5-6.5r, Exemption from NEPA Review which basically give a free pass to changes to air traffic procedures throughout the country."

OK, what stands out to me is 2013, this is a recent change and it was originated when, where why, and passed by whom?

I don't understand much of this so if you can put this in language which a regular person could understand, that would be nice.

Does it mean that as of 2013, the FAA has no control of how airports deal with their routes?



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"OK, what stands out to me is 2013, this is a recent change and it was originated when, where why, and passed by whom?"

FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, H.R. 658 was passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Does it mean that as of 2013, the FAA has no control of how airports deal with their routes?"

Not at all - as has always been the case the FAA has sole authority over aircraft in flight and the airports have none.

Note from SFO Roundtable:
"The authority to control aircraft in flight and on the ground is vested exclusively in the FAA. The FAA, however, cannot control the number of flights nor the time of day of aircraft operations. Federal law preempts any local government agency from implementing any action that is intended to control the routes of aircraft in flight. Neither the Roundtable, local elected officials nor airport management can control the routes of aircraft in flight or on the ground."


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"importance of the changes that are being made, and their significance for both airport operators and the communities around airports that are the direct recipients of both the disbenefit of the environmental impacts of airport projects, and the potential benefit of the adequate environmental review of those impacts.
The most important of the potential revisions to Order 1050.1E involves FAA's relief from the burdens of environmental review granted by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, H.R. 658 (112th) ("FMRA"). Specifically, two legislatively created categorical exclusions are added in 1050.1F, paragraphs 5-6.5q and 5-6.5r, Exemption from NEPA Review which basically give a free pass to changes to air traffic procedures throughout the country."

Translation anyone?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Translation anyone?"

Here is the language from the law as passed - "the Administrator shall issue and file a categorical exclusion for the new procedure."
seems clear to me:

"(2)Nextgen procedures
Any navigation performance or other performance based navigation procedure developed, certified, published, or implemented that, in the determination of the Administrator, would result in measurable reductions in fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and noise, on a per flight basis, as compared to aircraft operations that follow existing instrument flight rules procedures in the same airspace, shall be presumed to have no significant affect on the quality of the human environment and the Administrator shall issue and file a categorical exclusion for the new procedure."


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Peter Carpenter,

This law needs to be challenged on the fact that there are no metrics to declare this extremely broad declaration "Any navigation performance or other performance based navigation procedure developed, certified, published, or implemented that, in the determination of the Administrator"

Who is the Administrator? A king somewhere?

For all this garble to be believable, what is missing are metrics, and they cannot possibly just be simply "declared."


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 3:39 pm



I will add that the metrics missing are actual noise on the ground, and what is considered a pass by the Administrator.

The noise level needs to be measured in Palo Alto, would you know what technology does that? Who pays for it? What responsibility SFO has to measure that for the paths they have?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

SFO and SJO both conduct noise monitoring programs. I do not believe that either airport's noise monitoring program has sensors in Palo Alto primarily as Palo Alto has a much lower ground level noise footprint from airplanes than do all of the communities which are closer to San Jose or SFO.

SJO has a superb web tracking tool that actually covers the entire peninsula. It is particularly helpful in identifying which airline is flying overhead and at what altitude - and it is Mac friendly which SFO's is not:

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"For all this garble to be believable, what is missing are metrics, and they cannot possibly just be simply "declared." "

There is lots of good data to support that Controlled Descent Approaches are more fuel efficient and therefore quieter.

The Controlled Descent Approach concept was tested the Overseas Traffic Arrival (OTA) study in January 2007 with over a month long period using a United 777 inbound from Honolulu.

"The OTA route clearance consisted of the entire set of lateral and vertical constraints needed by the FMS for building an idle-thrust guidance trajectory. The OTA route clearance was developed iteratively, relying on extensive flight simulation with UAL and Boeing line pilots under various wind conditions and descent-speed assumptions.
The primary objective was to avoid leaving the airplane low on energy relative to the VNAV path, which would trigger undesired throttle inputs from the autopilot. The second objective was to avoid leaving the airplane high on energy relative to the VNAV path, which would require speed brakes, unusual flap settings, and/or steep descent segments - all of which can increase pilot workload and passenger discomfort, while compromising desired fuel, emissions, and noise benefits."

Field Evaluation of the Tailored Arrivals Concept for
Datalink-Enabled Continuous Descent Approach
Richard A. Coppenbarger*
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, 94035
Rob W. Mead†
The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, 98124
and
Douglas N. Sweet‡
Sensis Corporation, Campbell, CA, 95008

These CDA approaches use less fuel and create less noise. By 2010 25% of SFO overseas arrivals were using this technique. As older jets are phased out and are replaced with newer ones with advanced navigational capabilities the ground noise footprint everywhere on the peninsula will be reduced - although some individuals who are particularly noise sensitive may still be disturbed.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"I do not believe that either airport's noise monitoring program has sensors in Palo Alto primarily as Palo Alto has a much lower ground level noise footprint from airplanes than do all of the communities which are closer to San Jose or SFO.

If there are no metrics collected from Palo Alto, how can the comparable be made and conclusion reached that "Palo Alto has a much lower ground level noise footprint"?????????????





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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"how can the comparable be made and conclusion reached that "Palo Alto has a much lower ground level noise footprint"?????????????
"

Altitude, altitude, altitude. Planes passing over Palo Alto going to SFO are lower everywhere north of Palo Alto than they are over Palo Alto because they are descending. The ground noise footprint of a flight at 4,000 feet is approximately four times quieter than one at 2,000 feet.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Peter Carpenter,

Are you saying that SFO flights over Palo Alto are at least 4,000 feet in altitude?

Are planes at 4000 feet visible?




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

All of the planes that I have tracked going over Palo Alto to SFO have been above 4000 ft and they then go lower over East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and points north.

You can easily see a plane 4000 ft above you.

Watch the SJC radar monitoring and compare what you see with the reported altitudes.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Peter Carpenter,

Why do they have sensors in the communities closer to SFO, if the only data that is needed is self-reported altitude?

Can you comment on why 4000 feet acceptable?

Is that a rule around the country?

4000 feet is certainly not working over here. Too close, too loud, too frequent.

And who is the "Administrator" mentioned above?




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Posted by Ma Bell
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Peter Carpenter and What is Going On? -- Please exchange phone numbers or email addresses and have your private conversation offline. Thank you.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Ma Bell - it is easy, just ignore what does not interest you so that Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion for others.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Jet noise is increasing over Palo Alto, here's why...

In August 2013 the South China Morning Post reported that the FAA, in response to the Asiana crash at SFO, "temporarily" banned Foreign Airlines from using the 5,000' visual approach to SFO, and instead advised them to only fly 3,000' GPS final approach routes. These overseas flights, which typically use older four-engined aircraft, are the jets rattling your windows, and vibrating your walls.

The two-engined jets that emit a loud "whoosh" or whistle, are transitioning to a new approach profile known as "NextGen". The FAA kicked-off the three-year roll-out of "NextGen" at SFO in January 2013. Under "NextGen", aircraft "coast" down from altitude at high speed along several precisely navigated approach routes. If you live under one of the "NextGen" approach routes, the noise will be relentless. The precision navigation used in the "Nextgen" system will channel air traffic along several narrow flight paths into SFO, and allow air traffic control to use much tighter aircraft-to-aircraft spacing. While the "Nextgen" approach may reduce the engine noise emitted by an aircraft, residents living under a "Nextgen" approach route will experience a dramatic increase in noise on the ground due to the greater number of aircraft passing overhead, the lower altitudes flown by "NextGen" approach profiles, and the higher approach speeds, which produce more airframe noise.

"FAA Plan Seeks More Direct Air Routes in Bay Area"
SF Gate ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Web Link

"New Technology Promises Less Noise from Jet Engines, but to Whose Ears?"
The Almanac ~ August 29, 2012 Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Under the prevailing westerly winds, there are five basic approach routes into SFO. Three of the five routes pass over Palo Alto. One route from the North flies over the bay, and one route from the East flies over Fremont.

For anyone unfamiliar with the airspace over the Peninsula, the diagram linked below illustrates the approach and departure plan for bay area airports under the prevailing westerly wind pattern. When flying a GPS approach, SFO bound arrivals should cross 101 in Palo Alto at 3,000'-3,300'. The quieter visual approach, which was "temporarily" banned by the FAA in August 2013, specifies an altitude of 5,000' for SFO bound arrivals at 101 in Palo Alto.

The GAO has criticized the FAA for forfeiting much of the fuel savings "NextGen" was supposed to realize, by simply overlaying the "NextGen" CDA over longer existing approach routes, instead of charting new shorter airport approach routes.

SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

As bad as the noise is... the pollution may be worse.

Under continuous-decent-approach (CDA), aircraft "coast" down from altitude with their engines at idle in a (failed) attempt to reduce noise. Idling jet engines do not burn fuel efficiently. At idle, jet engines spew microscopic droplets of unburned jet-fuel in their exhaust.

A study conducted by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, and published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal, found that when the exhaust from idling jet engines was exposed to sunlight in a smog chamber, the unburned droplets in the exhaust broke down into microscopic particles that can penetrate the lungs, and blood-brain barrier.

The researchers were shocked to find that the quantity of particles produced by this process was 35 times the number of particles originally expelled by the engine.

The heavily trafficked southern approach route to SFO, flies directly over Palo Alto High School, and the nearby Castilleja School all day long. In the busy morning, and afternoon rush hours, these schools will typically see an aircraft passing overhead every six minutes at an altitude of little more than 3,000'.

"Idling Jet Exhaust Exposed to Sun Produce 35 times More Particles"
News.cam.au ~ May 13, 2011 Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm

The link below shows one hour of SFO arrivals traced across a map of Palo Alto on February 4, 2014 from 8:00am to 9:00am.

SFO Arrivals 2/4/14 8:00-9:00am: Web Link

The flight information is from SFO's "flight tracker" web tool. The "flight tracker" tool only allows a maximum recording time of one hour, but is available for public use on SFO's website (requires Java): Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:08 am

The night of 02/07 we had a PR105, SFO to Manila at 9:43 PM; 12:38 AM BR17D EVA Air 17) SFO to TPE, and one other international flight which I checked on flight tracker departures. They left SFO, came down to PA - general area, circled and returned to go up the peninsula and out over the Pacific. These are the very large planes. So we had noise coming and going in a continuous racket within the departure path. That may have been dealing with the storm off the coast which created a problem. I am going to see if this is a repeated cycle and report to SFO noise disruption. I know other arriving flights are late so overall planning may be affected.
I thought the departures are very noisy because they are taking of going south but have to circle back up to move out over the Pacific.
Planes departing to the east coast take off and turn inland so not a problem.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:39 am

@ resident 1

I sure heard those planes 24 hours ago and will report them.

Jetman, Mary Anne, and I are already in touch and we are starting a group of concerned Palo Alto residents against SFO noise. Anyone who wants to join us, please contact us at

Veroforyou at gmail dot com


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Planes departing to the east coast take off and turn inland so not a problem."

Of course, no one lives inland of PALO ALTO.

"The link below shows one hour of SFO arrivals traced across a map of Palo Alto on February 4, 2014 from 8:00am to 9:00am."

But ONLY over PALO ALTO and it does not show the other arrival streams into SFO - because, of course, nobody lives anywhere but PALO ALTO.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

Palo Alto gets far more than its share of airplane traffic, noise and pollution.

As jetman details above, most air traffic from the north, south and west are funneled by the SFO air traffic system down the Peninsula and directly over Palo Alto (and then on to the south east corner of San Mateo County that includes the less advantaged areas of East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park).

A few planes stray from this flight pattern over other cities, but every day -day after day - the majority of SFO bound flights crossing over the Peninsula do so over Palo Alto. Anyone desiring a fuller discussion of this phenomenon can do so at this thread: Web Link

This unfair situation is purely the result of political pressure that San Mateo County residents put on their politicians to influence the flight paths over their county. As longer time residents can tell you, it wasn't always this way in Palo Alto. SFO bound traffic used to cross the Peninsula further north. (This is detailed in the above cited thread.)

If you review this forum, you can see that the problem of air traffic noise and hydrocarbon pollution has been percolating for a while. If enough residents become concerned enough to act, we can do what San Mateo County did and relieve ourselves of some of this burden.

I've responded to Midtowner's post above. Anyone else who wants to do something - not merely write in online forums - should consider doing so as well.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The misinformation continues:
"Anyone desiring a fuller discussion of this phenomenon can do so at this thread: Web Link"

However, it turns out that:

"Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed."
*************************
"Palo Alto gets far more than its share of airplane traffic, noise and pollution. "

When you look at the big picture, not just PALO ALTO, a lot of other cities/people get more SFO inbound traffic than does PALO ALTO:

Web Link


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

Anyone examining the link posted by Peter Carpenter will see that what I've stated is true. The link shows most traffic over the Peninsula going directly over Palo Alto.

The evidence for this is so overwhelming that it's fair to label those who dispute it "Airplane Noise Deniers". Like Science Deniers everywhere, they make a lot of misleading noise, but can't win an honest debate.

In the thread cited, I issued the following challenge to any Denier who wants to argue the majority of cross Peninsula airplane arrivals into SFO don't fly over Palo Alto:

"Specify one day - any day of your choosing - when most of the cross-Peninsula airplane traffic for airplanes arriving into SFO does not do so over Palo Alto."

The official SFO website has a tool, referenced above by Jetman, that allows one to track every flight, every day, into SFO. Anyone perusing the data, can see that what I say is true.

So let's get down to facts, Deniers, tell us one day - any day of your choosing - when most arrivals into SFO that cross the Peninsula don't do so over Palo Alto.

The Deniers misdirect, prevaricate, and wave their arms - but they won's specify even a single day when what any casual observer knows about airplane noise in Palo Alto. They won't do this because they can't. No such day exists.


Most of the Deniers live in places other than Palo Alto. Perhaps the reason they are so concerned in trying to convince us that our problems with air traffic noise are not unusual and unfair, is that any change to the status quo might affect their relatively quiet skies.



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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

Peter - your comments above are inappropriate. We are trying to have a rational discussion of what is happening and you are busy creating spin. It is like talking to a person in the debate club. You are debating for the sole purpose of debate only.
The problem is not only in arrivals - it is in departures because the planes are using a runway heading south. SFO has 4 runways so has choices as to how it is directing traffic.
An enjoyable day is to go up to the Marriott Burlingame, get a Starbucks, and watch the planes take off and land. It gives a real picture on arrivals and departures which change based on weather.
Cross country planes take off and head east over the valley. Planes focused on the Pacific rim side, including LAX to and from SFO, and trans-Pacific are working a different set of problems. If you fly cross-country and trans-pacific you know the difference.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The link shows most traffic over the Peninsula going directly over Palo Alto."
1 - BUT most of the traffic going to SFO does not go over PALO ALTO

2 - And all of the traffic that goes over PALO ALTO also goes over east Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, Redwood Shores and Foster city - and over all of these cities the planes are lower and therefor the ground noise greater.

Being PALO ALTO centric is not a good way to either do analysis or to win the "we are being discriminated against" argument. The handful of noise sensitive Palo Altans have gained no traction for their cause for this very reason - they have no interest in the denominator, just the PALO ALTO numerator. And in the process they are denying that other people bear an even greater burden from SFO inbound traffic - they are the deniers.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter - your comments above are inappropriate. We are trying to have a rational discussion of what is happening"

Then you need to start looking at the denominator. PALO ALTO is not the only city impacted by SFO inbound traffic and it certainly does not get the most ground level noise. Your definition of rational is to deny that any other communities under the inbound SFO flight paths exist. That is clearly not true:

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The problem is not only in arrivals - it is in departures because the planes are using a runway heading south."

It is the wind!! When the Bay area has southerly wind the airports turn around so that the planes can land and take off into the wind. This happens 5-10% of the time and when it happens all of the communities south of SFO experience the same problem, not just PALO ALTO. And when it happens then none of those horrible arrivals fly over PALO ALTO.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We are trying to have a rational discussion of what is happening"

Here is some totally independent advice on how to do that:

Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

The only web link I look at is the SFO Flight Tracker. I am now a registered member. I check out when a flight is expected, how it is doing, and what departures are planned. How are they doing? Last night was okay, the night before a nightmare. More foreign pilots with no visuals to tell them where they are.
If you click on a specific plane it will tell you everything you need to know and you can see it move along with dotted lines. Size of plane very important.

If anyone is going to have a discussion with SFO to complain of noise you will have to use their tool - Flight Tracker - to explain your complaint. It is the common ground point for discussion. I check it throughout the day to see who I should expect in my backyard. I know who is coming and when they will come. And they show up.
Airports that are on the receiving end of these flights use the tool to plan manpower support for hotel pick-ups, car rentals, and close airport services for night. Also when to start services in the morning. A lot of manpower is devoted to this.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Actually the SJO flight tracker provides more and better information on SFO inbound flights - including trails and point of closest approach to any ground point that you select:

Web Link


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

As predicted, the Deniers can't specify a single day - even one - where the majority of SFO inbound traffic passing over the Peninsula does not go over Palo Alto.

The thread cited above - closed presumably because of one particular troll who was of unusual vehemence in his irrationality - discusses in detail how East Menlo and EPA were sacrificed when the wealthy areas of San Mateo County acted in concert to divert traffic over Palo Alto and thus to these poorer areas of SMC. If anything EPA and EMP problems are worse because the planes are lower there. So any action Palo Alto could force that moved traffic away from Palo ALto would have the beneficial effect of alleviating EPA and EMP of their air traffic issues.

The Redwood Shores and Foster City citation is a complete red herring. The flights going up the bayside of the peninsula do so over water except on very rare and minor occasions. They do not fly directly over residential areas as they do in PA, EPA and EMP.

The challenge to any Denier who chooses to continue to dispute the obvious - that the majority of SFO inbound traffic passes over Palo Alto - remains.

Is there any day - only one - where this statement is untrue: "Most inbound traffic into SFo that passes over the Peninsula crosses over Palo Alto"?

This is a clearly testable and answerable proposition. The data, exists, is clear and comes from the official SFO website. So,there's a definite answer to the question of whether there's a single day when the Palo Alto doesn't have the majority of sfo arrival overflight on the peninsula. But, you won't get an answer from any of the deniers, because there is no such day.

So expect more misdirection and unhelpful provocations from self-interested Deniers. Expect cherry picking of quotes taken out of context here to be grist for straw man arguments. But don't expect an answer to a simple and objective question that would further the discussion.

Meanwhile...

If there are enough people who care about this to do something - as Woodside, Portola Valley and Atherton residents have done, we can perhaps get a more equitable sharing of the burden of SFO among Peninsula cities.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"he Redwood Shores and Foster City citation is a complete red herring. The flights going up the bayside of the peninsula do so over water except on very rare and minor occasions. They do not fly directly over residential areas as they do in PA, EPA and EMP."

Wrong, they almost always fly over Foster City, particularly if the plane is landing on runway 28 Left, and guess what - real people live in Foster City.

I will stipulate that a lot of planes fly over PALO ALTO and that some people in PALO ALTO finds this annoying. I understand and respect the fact that you and others object to the noise created by airplanes - sensitivity to noise is a personal and subjective matter.

But there has been NO evidence provided that PALO ALTO gets more ground level noise than Newark, Fremont, east Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Redwood Shores or Foster City and NO solution provide to PALO ALTO's "problem" that also discusses the impact of that proposed solution on other communities.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm

So what's the day - any day - when most sfo-bound planes that go over the Peninsula did not pass over Palo Alto?

As predicted, we get only diversion from the discussion - which is about the disproportionate burden PA (and EPA and EMP)bears of cross Peninsula air traffic, and whether a more equitable sharing of the burden can be forced on SFO and the FAA.

This issue has nothing to do with Newark and Fremont or any of the misdirection you hear from the Deniers. When San Mateo County cities got concerned enough about airplane noise, they organized politically and changes were put into effect that benefited the wealthy areas of Portola Valley, Woodside and Atherton to the detriment of Palo Alto (and EPA and EMP).

Here's the one possible "impact" of changing the flight patterns to something more like what existed before SMC got them altered: some of the planes that currently torment us here in Palo Alto - as is well documented on this thread- might instead fly over (gasp!) Deniers' houses in Atherton.

We're still waiting to hear the Deniers specify a day - a single day - when Palo Alto doesn't get the majority of cross-Peninsula air traffic into SFO....


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have long ago gone on record stating that moving aircraft noise from above my home to other neighborhoods is wrong -

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
"a permanent remedy that will move Surf Air planes east of Middlefield Road for good."

Sure, just shove the problem off on our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east."

Are May Ann and Resident 1 and Midtown prepared to states the same?

How arrogant can we be?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"specify a day - a single day - when Palo Alto doesn't get the majority of cross-Peninsula air traffic into SFO...."

I will grant that is the case just as it is the case that all tall people are tall. You have defined the problem in Palo Alto centric terms solely to satisfy your personal objective.

Your complaint is noise - please prove that Palo Alto has a higher aircraft noise footprint than east Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Redwood Shores, Fremont, Newark or Foster City.

Your solution to your perceived problem is what? Where do you want to shift the noise footprint and have you asked those people how they feel about your proposed solution?


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm

At least we now have a (former?) Denier implicitly admitting that Palo Alto has an airplane noise issue. This noise issue is caused by the unfair San Mateo County's complaints were addressed when their wealthy cities complained.

That is noise was shifted from these areas to another area - no matter which particular residents' complaints generated this shift

Palo Alto is bearing the burden of having had the air routes into SFO shifted further south from their previous SMC routes. It hardly seems arrogant to suggest a return to the status quo ante - or to suggest that one city (along with adjacent areas of poorer neighboring towns) shouldn't have to bear all the burden.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

"Your solution to your perceived problem is what? Where do you want to shift the noise footprint and have you asked those people how they feel about your proposed solution?"

That's easy: I want some of the planes now flying over Palo Alto to fly over Atherton like they did before politics intervened.

I don't have to ask people in Atherton how they feel about that. As the single poster from Atherton posting here demonstrates, they won't like it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have always (posted about 20 times) accepted that you and others object to the noise created by airplanes - sensitivity to noise is a personal and subjective matter.

That does not equal "that Palo Alto has an airplane noise issue" or that the solution to the problem of a handful of self interested people is to simply push it off on someone else.

I have long ago gone on record stating that moving aircraft noise from above my home to other neighborhoods is wrong -

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
"a permanent remedy that will move Surf Air planes east of Middlefield Road for good."

Sure, just shove the problem off on our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east."

Are May Ann and Resident 1 and Midtown prepared to states the same?


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm

"Sure, just shove the problem off on our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east."

Nope. Let's shove the problem off to our very vocal and very affluent neighbors to the north.

Noise is a subjective issue. You only think you won't like it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Another publicly stated position that precedes this discussion:

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 11, 2014 at 4:30 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
My home in Lindenwood is actually closer to the current IFR approach than most of the homes in Fair Oaks. I do not believe that simply moving the approach to our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east is a fair solution.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It turns out that more affluent neighborhoods have an increased sensitivity to aircraft noise:

Assessment of noise annoyance in three distinct communities living in close proximity to a UK regional airport

A Whitfield

International Journal of Environmental Health Research

Volume 13, Issue 4, 2003


Abstract
Previous researchers have considered demographic variables relating to deprivation such as income, social status and home ownership, and their relationship with both community and individual reaction to environmental noise. These variables have been found not to be important. Intuitively this seems implausible and the findings of a recent African study increase the doubt. The present study aims to look at the effect of deprivation using an index of deprivation developed and adopted in a different context. A postal questionnaire was used to survey three communities around Birmingham International Airport, UK. The main selection criterion for these areas was the Townsend overall index of deprivation (ODI). The typical aircraft noise exposure levels for all of the survey areas were determined from the aircraft noise exposure contours provided by Birmingham International Airport. An overall response rate of 40% was achieved and it was found that the area of lowest deprivation (greatest affluence) has a significantly greater proportion of highly annoyed persons due to aircraft noise than the other two areas, with the lowest noise exposure category accounting for the significant difference.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Well, that explains why it was Portola Valley, Woodside and Atherton led the charge when San Mateo County complained about aircraft noise shortly before Anna Eshoo negotiated an agreement with SFO on their behalf.

It's time for more equity in the matter of SFO aircraft overflight on the Peninsula.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Noise is a subjective issue. You only think you won't like it."

Wrong, I ACCEPT the noise and do not want to shove it off on others. My home in Lindenwood IS actually closer to the current IFR approach than most of the homes in Fair Oaks. I do not believe that simply moving the approach to our less vocal and less affluent neighbors to the east is a fair solution.

I chose to live in a dynamic, densely populate urban area and I ACCEPT the fact that my choice comes with certain consequences. Do you?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Oops - someone forgot to tell them to fly over Palo Alto:

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The challenges for the Palo Alto 'believers" are:
1 - Do more than four people share your belief that Palo Alto has an aircraft noise problem?
2 - What is the data that shows that Palo Alto's aircraft noise footprint is greater than that of other communities in the vicinity of SFO?
3 - How do the 'believers' propose to lower Palo Alto's noise footprint and what will be the impacts on other communities of their proposed solution?


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Minor correction to resident 1, SFO has EIGHT runways, namely 01L, 01R, 10L, 10R, 19L, 19R, 28L and 28R. I'll agree they only point in four different directions.


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Posted by Ma Bell
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

On February 1, there was a discussion above about planes flying at 4000 feet to San Francisco airport. Last Thursday morning, February 7, at 9:15 am I noticed a plane flying much lower over Palo Alto that live.airport.com/sfo/flights.asp identified as U.S. Airways 519 at 2115 feet that was one of a number of planes at that approximate altitude making their approach to San Jose airport by flying north over Palo Alto and then turning around to land at San Jose.


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Posted by Ma Bell
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Typo. That should be February 6, not 7.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Airways 519 at 2115 feet that was one of a number of planes at that approximate altitude making their approach to San Jose airport by flying north over Palo Alto and then turning around to land at San Jose."

Yep, both SJO and SFO were "turned around" (landing and takeoff to the south). The winds at SJO were SE at 17 knots. This is an unusual situation and requires some very careful work by the controllers to keep SFO and SJO planes separated.


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Posted by Kein Problem!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I live a block away from the train tracks, so to me the noises of aircraft flying overhead are a non-problem. I guess it is all in one's perspective.

Personally, I am more concerned with the pollution these planes spew on all of us. After 9/11, when all the airports were closed, the air was never clearer or fresher, and I was able to cut the doses of my asthma meds by 75%.

With this in mind, it is amazing to think that some of the most expensive property on the planet is smack dab between two major international airports,


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm

And even more expensive is property with a producing oil well. Go figure.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Musical - thank you. I was up there this afternoon - all of the planes were taking off and landing on the far east side except for two very large planes. It was a low traffic day.
SFO said it was closing 2 out of four runways in the May through August time period.


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Posted by Kevin Problem!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:52 am

At least a property with an oil well produces income for the property owner as long as oil gushes forth!

A house in Palo Alto or Atherton just produces expensive maintenance, mortgage payments, and property taxes, I.e, income for someone other than the owner.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:56 am

The Silicon Valley economy is our oil well gushing forth, attracting investment and people from all over the world. The increase in property value outpaces the cost of mortgage, tax and maintenance. A perpetual motion wealth machine! (Measured in dollars, not livability -- but your comment was about the area being most expensive, not most livable.)


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Palo Alto is bearing the burden of having had the air routes into SFO shifted further south from their previous SMC routes"

Here are 6 inbound SFO flights - five approach from the east side of the bay and one crosses over the peninsula at Mountain View. None come near Palo Alto. This is why it is important to look at the big picture and not just what flies over Palo Alto.

Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Here is the big picture...

Under the prevailing westerly wind pattern, which is in effect 83% of the time, there are five approach routes into SFO. Three of the five routes pass over Palo Alto.

Westerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

"Minneapolis Man Takes On Feds Over Proposed (NextGen) Flight Path"
KAAL TV6 News ~ June 09, 2013 Web Link

"The Federal Government has not disclosed how many airplanes could soon fly over Southwest Minneapolis and Edina, if a newly proposed flight path change is approved. But, one man who has crunched numbers and analyzed data for the CIA and the Defense Department's Intelligence Division says he has a pretty good idea how many planes will be over his neighborhood... if the change is adopted. Kevin Terrell says he's dissected data of the Federal Aviation Administration and he estimates Southwest Minneapolis and Edina could have as many as 135 flights overhead every day. Right now, he says, there are only about 20 to 30 daily flights near his home..."


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The Real Impacts of NextGen
Aviation Impact Reform ~ June 10, 2013 Web Link

"A short article by a TV station in Minnesota helps illustrate the problem with FAA's huge (and very costly) NextGen program. Simply put, NextGen is designed to narrow the flight paths, which will intensify noise impacts under those thin flight paths. In this story, a local citizen pointed out that this would be problematic to those living under the narrower flight paths; FAA's response was to do nothing, and just play dumb."


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Westerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link" = a conceptual drawing not based on actual flight data.

Realty is the radar tracks of all SFO inbound flights and most of those flights do not go over Palo Alto.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Last year Almanac reporter Dave Boyce wrote an excellent article about "NextGen" air traffic control entitled "New Technology Promises Less Noise from Jet Engines, but to Whose Ears?" in which he asked FAA spokesman Ian Gregor many good questions, but received few answers.

"New Technology Promises Less Noise from Jet Engines, but to Whose Ears?"
The Almanac ~ August 29, 2012 Web Link


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is an example - 5 flights inbound SFO and not one of them flies over Palo Alto:

Web Link=

And here are 6 more flights inbound SFO and not one of them flies over Palo Alto:

Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

More on the "NextGen" boondoggle:

"NextGen" was originally forecast to cost $40 billion, split between government and industry, and to be completed by 2025. But an internal FAA report estimates it will cost three times that much and take 10 years longer to complete, Scovel said. FAA officials have largely stopped talking about end dates and completion costs as the technologies that make up NextGen continue to evolve. The agency currently spends about $800 million a year on the program." Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Whoops, sorry about the broken link above!

For the big picture...

Under the prevailing westerly wind pattern, which is in effect 83% of the time, there are five approach routes into SFO. Three of the five routes pass over Palo Alto.

Westerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Peter Carpenter,

I think you like to taunt Palo Alto residents. Not just trolling.

Your most recent post is consistent with that.

Why?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I love fact based discussions.

Many of the posters on this thread don't want to see the facts so they attack the messenger.

Allowing false and misleading statements to go unchallenged is irresponsible.

If What thinks that challenging false and misleading statements is 'taunting' then What does not have much confidence in his/her 'facts' - like What stating that ""Taking over a local thread is kind of trollish" rather than debating the issues.

I prefer that the Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

In one of Peter's earlier post he states he use to live here and be on the PA planning commission. Also on the round table for air noise abatement for San Mateo County. It is possible he is he master of how traffic was directed way back when San Mateo got involved. Sounds like he has a direct investment in this topic. If someone goes back to the regional round table I suspect they will find his name.

As to looking at maps and graphs it is the Pacific flyway planes that are a problem. Those departing to and coming from east coast cities tend to be on the east side of the SFO property, Yesterday there was almost no traffic on the west side - possibly due to flooding. I was over there and there was nothing to see except one very large plane. There is a certain amount of practicality as to how traffic is directed on any one day in a stormy period.
Peter we do not need to see your maps -we can look at the Flight Tracker to see the official maps.

But that points up the opportunity to put large trans-pacific planes on the east side. Problem though is that some are going to the international terminal and I think they try and land the planes near their terminal so they are not taxing all over on the ground. That is a good question for SFO is how do they determine which area the plane lands in. If they can direct the very large trans-pacific planes to more eastern side of property then we could reduce the noise.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Also on the round table for air noise abatement for San Mateo County."

A perfect example of a total falsehood - where do these people come up with such lies?

"Peter we do not need to see your maps -we can look at the Flight Tracker to see the official maps." The maps I have posted are not my maps but screen shots of the actual radar tracks - which are very official. No one else is posting this quality of data.

"If they can direct the very large trans-pacific planes to more eastern side of property then we could reduce the noise."

Wrong - This is such a nonsense statement which has no basis in the facts. All of the commercial terminals are on the same side of the 28 L and 28 R runways - the west side. All planes approaching runways 28 L or 28 R fly the same approach path. Planes from the west land on both 28L and 28R - it is an easy transition after landing to taxi to the commercial terminals from either 28 L or 28 R.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm

What is not nonsense is that trolling Airplane Noise Deniers cannot name even one day on which most planes descending across the Peninsula for landing at SFO do not cross directly over Palo Alto - not one.

Makes those six planes cited above seem pretty paltry, doesn't it?


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

And if you want some "quality data" that destroys your argument, display the 24 hourly maps from any day of your choosing of flights into SFO. Count the planes going into SFO that cross over Palo Alto with those crossing over all the rest of the Peninsula combined... you'll see quality maps.

Or if you are too lazy to do the work yourself, specify the one single day when you think most airplanes crossing the Peninsula don't cross over PA, and I'll do the work for you.

But you won't specify such a day for the very good reason that you know no such day exists.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Mary Ann - You are the ones that PALO ALTO has a larger ground noise footprint THAN ANY OTHER community and it is you that refuses to provide the comparative data.

Numerator - the number on top = Palo Alto's aircraft noise footprint

Denominator - the number on the bottom = other communities' aircraft noise footprint.

Note that the posters who claim that PA is being harmed are the only one calling other people names - deniers, trolls, etc.. Please respond with facts and not by calling other posters silly names.

"Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion."


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Sorry - yesterday most planes were departing and approaching / landing on the east side - almost none on the west side - which is usually very busy.
SFO can make choices since the west side was possibly flooded.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Sorry - yesterday most planes were departing and approaching / landing on the east side - almost none on the west side - which is usually very busy."

It is the wind!! When the Bay area has southerly winds the airports turn around so that the planes can land and take off into the wind. This happens 5-10% of the time and when it happens all of the communities south of SFO experience the same problem, not just PALO ALTO. And when it happens then none of those horrible arrivals fly over PALO ALTO.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

You see, after having - time after time after time (see e.g.,Web Link) - argued about the number of planes - an objective and measurable phenomenon for which very good official sfo data exists, and been shown up as data frauds, the Deniers now want to argue about "aircraft noise footprint" for which there is NO objective data that would answer the question of whether Palo Alto bears an unfair burden.




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is an example of what was happening yesterday at SFO. Delta 469 was arriving from the east and landing on runway 19 and Delta 61 was departing on runway 10 going south east.

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Mary Ann - use either number of planes or the sound footprint, I don't care, but put up the comparative data or just sit down.

As I have said before:
The challenges for the Palo Alto 'believers" are:
1 - Do more than four people share your belief that Palo Alto has an aircraft noise problem?
2 - What is the data that shows that Palo Alto's aircraft noise footprint is greater than that of other communities in the vicinity of SFO?
3 - How do the 'believers' propose to lower Palo Alto's noise footprint and what will be the impacts on other communities of their proposed solution?

Again, use either number of planes or the sound footprint, I don't care, but put up the comparative data or just sit down.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

"use either number of planes or the sound footprint, I don't care, but put up the comparative data ..."

And on which date would you like the numbers for? I.e. Is there ONE date on which the majority of the many planes crossing the Peninsula to land at SFO did not pass over Palo Alto? The answer is NO...

Which is why we don't get a simple objective answer to a simple objective question.

Since the Deniers don't share our approach to this issue (or pretend not to so that they can put forth the spurious argumentativeness we see here), I'll make them a deal. We'll answer Peter Carpenter's 3 questions and he answers only one of mine.

Here's the answers to the 3 questions:

"1 - Do more than four people share your belief that Palo Alto has an aircraft noise problem?"
- Yep. We already have more than that on our email list.

"2 - What is the data that shows that Palo Alto's aircraft noise footprint is greater than that of other communities in the vicinity of SFO?"

Our evidence is that the Deniers can't name even one day on which the majority of air traffic crossing the Peninsula doesn't go over Palo Alto. The data doesn't exist for "noise footprints" - even if the term were universally defined, which it is not. If the Deniers have data on "noise footprints that's germane to this discussion, and that would counter the implicitly accepted (by the Deniers) fact that PA gets more air traffic, let's see it.

"3 - How do the 'believers' propose to lower Palo Alto's noise footprint and what will be the impacts on other communities of their proposed solution?"

That's an easy one: we propose to send some of the airplanes that now clutter our skies spewing noise and pollution further north - over Atherton. The impact is that you won't like it and that a lot of your rich friends will raise a ruckus....but we'll reply that it's only going back to the state of affairs before Anna Eshoo did a deal with SFO that sent planes over Palo Alto from Atherton and other wealthy SMC cities.

Ok, Denier(s), there's your answer. Now before you go off on another tangent that has nothing to do with what we're talking about here (Airplanes over Palo Alto), and before your start your tendentious criticisms of my answers to your questions, it's only fair you answer my one question:

1-On which day has the following statement not been true?

The majority of planes passing over the Peninsula on their way to landing at SFO pass over Palo Alto.


Simple straightforward question.....





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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

1 - Do more than four people share your belief that Palo Alto has an aircraft noise problem?
Ok, more than four; how many?

2 - What is the data that shows that Palo Alto's aircraft noise footprint is greater than that of other communities in the vicinity of SFO?
NONE because you are UNABLE to provide comparative data and ludicrously suggest that the burden of proof is on others. YOU have complained that Palo Alto is carrying more than its share yet YOU refuse to quantify that share and you even demand that all inbound traffic coming from the east doesn't count because it ONLY passes over non-Palo Alto people. What arrogance!

3 - How do the 'believers' propose to lower Palo Alto's noise footprint and what will be the impacts on other communities of their proposed solution?
"That's an easy one: we propose to send some of the airplanes that now clutter our skies spewing noise and pollution further north - over Atherton." Fine with me since many of those planes are already crossing north of Palo Alto as I have documented by actual wide- area radar tracks. But exactly who are you going to get to make this change, particularly given your lack of evidence?

Please quit the name calling, it adds nothing to the discussion or to your cause.


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Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

You didn't stick to the deal. You were supposed to answer my question BEFORE you started your tendentious criticism of my answers to your questions.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"All of the commercial terminals are on the same side of the 28 L and 28 R runways - the west side. All planes approaching runways 28 L or 28 R fly the same approach path. Planes from the west land on both 28L and 28R - it is an easy transition after landing to taxi to the commercial terminals from either 28 L or 28 R."

"When the Bay area has southerly winds the airports turn around so that the planes can land and take off into the wind. This happens 5-10% of the time and when it happens all of the communities south of SFO experience the same problem, not just PALO ALTO. And when it happens then none of those horrible arrivals fly over PALO ALTO."

Did we just hear this from you?

Only 10-15% of the time PALO ALTO has a break because of the winds. But 90 -95% of the time PALO ALTO has the arrivals of ALL of the commercial terminals on terminals 28L and 28R?

Can you explain that?




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"You didn't stick to the deal. You were supposed to answer my question BEFORE you started your tendentious criticism of my answers to your questions."

Mary Ann - this is just another one of your outrageous statements. First, you have made the claim that Palo Alto has more than its share of aircraft traffic yet you do not seem to understand that "share" means a proportion which means BOTH a numerator AND a denominator. This is YOUR claim, not mine therefore the burden of proof is on you.

Second, I would not make deal with you on anything based on your willingness to play with the truth.

This issue will not be decided by me or in this Forum but will either die for a lack of interest or be rejected by the powers that be for a lack of evidence.

I am sorry that I had to repeat myself so often but I was hopeful that I could help people understand the facts and the challenge of trying to change the status quo. Sadly, I failed.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Peter Carpenter,

Did we just hear this from you?

Only 10-15% of the time PALO ALTO has a break because of the winds. But 90 -95% of the time PALO ALTO has the arrivals of ALL of the commercial terminals on terminals 28L and 28R?

Can you explain that?


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Resident1:

There are two basic approach/departure plans for SFO. The westerly plan (when the winds are predominately out of the west), and the southerly plan (when the winds are predominately out of the south).

Since the winds are predominately out of the west at SFO, the westerly plan is in effect 83% of the time. The southerly plan is more likely to be in effect during stormy weather. Here is the big picture...

Westerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link

Southerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Jetman - quit using comic book style illustrations and instead provide the actual bay area flight paths as shown by radar tracking of actual flights. What you are posting is like posting hand drawn maps of the world when actual satellite photographs are available.

On second thought, perhaps comic book illustrations are in your best interest and that is why you prefer that level of understanding.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The illustrations below are used by the SFO Noise Abatement Office in their reports to explain the standard approach/departure plans for SFO.

Westerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link

Southerly SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

approach/departure "illustrations" for SFO are not the actual approach/departure flight paths as recording by radar tracking.

Illustration - "An illustration is a visualization or a depiction made by an artist, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph, or other kind of image of things seen, remembered or imagined, using a graphical representation. " Wikipedia


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Jetman,

"Since the winds are predominately out of the west at SFO, the westerly plan is in effect 83% of the time."

Ok, so far what I have is that the noise I am hearing right now (different and reduced by Peter Carpenter's own admission) is what happens less than 15% of the time - during storms.

83% of the time we have GREATER amount of NOISE also by Carpenter's admission.

By the way, I cannot look at pictures very well, so can someone explain the Runways 28L and 28R activity during WESTERLY winds (IN WORDS NOT LINKS).


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm

One more question,

WIll Google's activity at Moffet Field add to the noise problem?

Web Link

Weekly,

Isn't it time to do an investigative story about what airplane noise actually happens over Palo Alto?

Please include the story behind why the most highly populated areas of EPA, EMP and Palo Alto have more noise than Atherton, Woodside, and the other WESTERLY neighborhoods.

That or we can ask 20/20 or 60 minutes to come in and take a look.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" so can someone explain the Runways 28L and 28R activity during WESTERLY winds (IN WORDS NOT LINKS)."

Runways 28L and 28R are two parallel runways that have a magnetic orientation of 280 deg when approach from the south and 100 deg when approached from the north. They are 11870 ft long x 200 ft wide and about 1000 ft apart (too close to be used for simultaneous IFR operations).

During westerly winds most planes approach from the south and land on either 28L or 28 R.
Some smaller planes land on the shorter pair of parallel runways that are oriented on heading 190.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Ok, so far what I have is that the noise I am hearing right now (different and reduced by Peter Carpenter's own admission) is what happens less than 15% of the time - during storms."

No, right now the wind is 8 knots from the northwest and landings are to the north - the normal pattern.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Palo Alto Online Editors and Moderators,

Can we please close this thread? This discussion has gone long past being a useful and thoughtful discussion about the topic of aircraft noise in Palo Alto.


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Posted by so
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

So I hear the planes, and given I live within hearing distance of 101, the planes don't really bother me. That said using the web site Peter gave us. Web Link, one can watch the traffic coming from the South coming from over the Santa Cruz mountains, flying over Palo Alto, then turning toward SFO once they almost at the bay for SFO landing approach. Also you can see flights approaching from the North, passing SFO, turning above Palo Alto then flying above the bay for an SFO landing approach. So Peter has provided the very site that demonstrated the lots of planes fly over Palo Alto as part of their SFO approach. Now as for if that is a problem, I'll leave that for all of you to continue duke out, but it was an interesting thing to watch for a moment. BTW, if you place your cursor over the planes, you can get some interesting info on the flights.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"watch the traffic coming from the South coming from over the Santa Cruz mountains, flying over Palo Alto, then turning toward SFO once they almost at the bay for SFO landing approach. Also you can see flights approaching from the North, passing SFO, turning above Palo Alto then flying above the bay for an SFO landing approach."

Correction - SOME of the planes fly over Palo Alto but certainly, as you imply, not all of them do.

"BTW, if you place your cursor over the planes, you can get some interesting info on the flights." Yes indeed and if you click on the plane then you can select "Show static track" which shows you its actual flight path.


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Posted by so
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm

well using unscientific sample, it was about 50%, but my sample size was too small to be significant. They were pretty frequent though. 1 every few minutes. They were all about 4500-5500 feet above PA. Like I said interesting to watch. I form no conclusions from what I saw.


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Posted by What is going on?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

So,

"interesting to watch. I form no conclusions from what I saw."

Thanks for the count. It is frequent traffic, sounds much closer to me.

I do form conclusions. People either do not spend any time outdoors, are deaf or simply think airplane noise is OK.

How many seniors do we have living in Palo Alto?