News


Residents hope to drown out airplane noise with complaints

New FAA rules have increased noise to levels some Palo Alto residents say are unbearable

When Amy Christel moved from Barron Park to her new Midtown Palo Alto home last summer, she welcomed the time she could spend outdoors in her garden. But the roar of low-flying commercial aircraft has her running for cover, she said.

"I can't tell you the number of times I've rushed from the garden. The planes are flying so low I can read the number on the tail. My perception was, 'Oh my God, we bought a house under the air-traffic path,'" she said.

Christel initially wondered if she was only noticing the air noise because she was spending more time outdoors. But even the birds have changed their activity, she said.

"They fly away; they seek shelter. That's the impulse I have too," she said this week.

Palo Alto residents such as Christel are starting to complain to San Francisco International Airport since the Federal Aviation Administration booted up its NextGen program in March. The new flight rules force aircraft to travel within a narrow corridor to free up airspace for future traffic growth.

The U.S. Congress mandated the FAA to revise flight areas to make room for commercial drones and military use, and to prepare for an overall increase in commercial air traffic. Some detractors of the plan have called the paths in which commercial planes now fly "superhighways."

Pilots are also instructed to use a continuous-descent pattern -- coming down diagonally -- as opposed to a descent in steps. That causes the engines to throttle back to reduce speed more rapidly, which increases noise, members of Palo Alto's [Skyposse http://www.skypossepaloalto.org/ Sky Posse anti-airplane-noise group, said.

The problem has become so pervasive that some members of Congress, including Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier, formed the Quiet Skies Caucus to address the issue.

Three major flight paths cross over Palo Alto, according to SFO. Christel said that data she and her husband have collected from San Francisco International Airport show that more than 100 flights a day travel less than three minutes apart within a 2-mile swath of their house.

Looking at data during a 24-hour period for three Thursdays in October 2014 and February and April 2015, Christel and her husband, a scientist, discovered the traffic over Midtown had increased 96 percent for flights traveling at 3,000 to 5,000 feet altitude, while the highest altitude flights of 5,000 to 6,000 feet decreased by 40 percent.

"They've brought the planes down lower," she said.

The noise problem isn't limited to Midtown. Cheryl Lilienstein of Barron Park said there is more noise since NextGen kicked in on March 5.

"We've lived here in Barron Park over 20 years and I remember plane noise being intermittently but minimally distracting, but the frequency and intensity has really changed.

She said that her son, who is now 35 and recently returned for a visit, initially dismissed her complaints.

"The next day he came to me and said, 'I know what you are talking about now! I was outside in the evening yesterday trying to have a conversation and every 30 seconds we had to stop talking because we couldn't hear each other!'" she said in an email.

Tiffany Pan, a Crescent Park resident, said she has definitely noticed the difference, and she has complained to SFO. She called the airport at midnight, after planes came roaring low overhead. The flights often awaken her at 5 a.m., she said.

"I have a one-story house. Before, I occasionally could hear it, but now it is consistently coming by one by one. We have no control," she said.

Xu Jie, who lives near San Antonio Road, said he fears what the summer will bring when it is too hot to keep windows and doors closed.

"How can we get sleep? This is an issue that affects everyone's rights," he said.

Some neighborhood associations are using social media to inform residents of ways to complain. Sky Posse has two links for filing complaints with SFO and offers information on the group's efforts, on legislation and on how to organize. Old Palo Alto, Midtown and Barron Park associations are spreading the news by email, and residents using the social-media website Nextdoor sent out links on how to complain to 12 neighborhoods.

Barron Park resident Alison Raleigh, a member of Sky Posse, said she has lodged close to 100 complaints to SFO regarding excessive noise over the course of a single weekend.

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said the airport is aware of the shift in flight patterns that has occurred with the implementation of the "SERFR1" NextGen approach.

"But as this pattern first began in March 2015, it may not correlate very highly to the stats (Christel mentions). More likely is that it is a result of several factors under review, including increased air service at San Carlos Airport as well as vectoring (direction by air traffic control) of traffic into SFO.

"We're actively involved in the Palo Alto concerns and have attended Palo Alto City Council meetings to ensure we're hearing directly from the community. We also continue to work with airlines at SFO and the FAA to review these concerns," he said in an email.

Jon Zwieg, a member of Sky Posse, said the group is actively pursuing a variety of approaches to get the FAA to listen. The group is looking to enlist Reps. Eshoo and Sam Farr (D-Central Coast) to write a congressional rider into the Appropriations Act regarding airplane-noise reductions.

Former Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Phoenix) wrote and placed such a rider into the 2015 appropriations bill, which directs the FAA to quickly identify mitigations and to provide the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations with a progress report on the measures within 90 days of the act's enactment.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) secured language in the fiscal year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill mandating the FAA to develop short- and long-term measures to address the excessive airplane noise experienced by local communities around O'Hare International Airport. The bill passed the House Appropriations Committee this month and will now head to the full House of Representatives for a vote, according to a press release issued by his office. The rider would also require an FAA report within 90 days.

Sky Posse and other groups have called for a change in the 65-decibel metric used by the FAA to determine acceptable airplane noise. In April, the Office of Management and Budget green-lighted a study to see if the metric should be changed to address the increased noise pollution. Sixty-five decibels has been the standard since the 1970s when air-traffic volume was far lower than it is today, Quigley's office noted in it announcement.

Eshoo's office could not immediately be reached regarding sponsoring a rider due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Comments

28 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 8:27 am

Before people start complaining below, it should be noted that the FAA's new NextGen policy affects communities all across the country, not just the People's Republic of Palo Alto.

Also, the airplanes will always be there and even more in the future. If they aren't flying over your house, they'll be flying over someone else's. Atherton? Mountain View, Los Altos? Menlo Park?

I myself live fairly close to Moffett Field, which I knew had light traffic when I moved in. I'm aware that this could change someday.

Population growth, a healthy local economy, and overall increase in air travel will increase the number of aircraft in our skies. It's never going to be like it was thirty, forty, fifty years ago.


16 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 8:43 am

The planes are flying so low I can read the number on the tail."
Well according g to christen the flights are at 3000-5000 feet, so she can read a tail number at that height? Plus given how a plane flies, it seems diificult to read a number f a tail of n a plane that is right above you!!!

[Portion removed.]


34 people like this
Posted by bob@wenzlau.net
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 24, 2015 at 9:06 am

Thanks Amy and Sky Posse for organizing our community around controlling low flying aircraft across the peninsula!


21 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 9:12 am

The reason why we can read the tail numbers is because these planes are below 2000 feet. There's no enforcement of the airspace rules.

And why write an article like this without putting the link to the organization in it.

Web Link


20 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 9:12 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The planes are flying so low I can read the number on the tail."

Really? Please provide examples of the numbers you are reading.

Standing on the ground next to parked airplanes it is difficult to read even the biggest numbers from 500 ft.


15 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 9:28 am



The noise metrics and "standards" that the FAA uses are completely OUTDATED and ridiculous.

So, the entire noise standard thing needs to be gutted.

The FAA's "standard" FAILS in many ways, but the 2 big fails are

1) They are a metric to assess "annoyance" for an AVERAGE ADULT (the FAA does not recognize youth or children)
2) Does not register the REAL annoyance of incessant flights

Many other fails in their standards I am sure.

The FAA wants waste time "studying" the problem, of course.


36 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

I'm SO happy to read this article and to hear that other Palo Alto residents are concerned about the incessant plane noise night and day from SFO arrivals over Palo Alto. The problem is very real and the frequency and low altitudes are making life in Palo Alto, for those of us under the flight paths, unbearable. Another problem is that the planes are now flying low over homes up until 1am in the morning. My family can't get a good nights sleep anymore.

I'm also happy to see that the change.org petition has grown from 890 signatures to 1,211 in about 5 days! Keep it going Palo Alto so we can make some NOISE of our own!!! The SJC tracker tells all. There is no disputing the fact that the planes are disproportionately distributed over the peninsula communities and that Palo Alto has become SFO's dumping ground.


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2015 at 9:47 am

Folks, on the 6/21 evening incoming flights to San Jose and Morning flights 6/22 San Jose directed their arrivals across Palo Alto, down Embarcadero - over the PAO and out over the bay - they were +/- 1900 feet. I complained and they said they could not help that due to winds. However they then shifted to arrivals down HWY 87 to San Jose.

Whether anyone has good enough eyes to read the number or not is irrelevant - that is an age thing - that was out-of bounds air control irregularity.

So much for bogus claims - there are a party of people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo - their jobs - or dreading the eventual clamor they will have to go through as congress people working this issue. Get used to it is going too happen.


18 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

[Portion removed.]

You live in a very busy corridor. Noise goes with it. Nothing is going to be like 30 or 40 years ago. You are not going to be like 30 or 40 years ago. [Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 10:01 am


One more thing, the FAA has made itself responsibility FREE of impacts of noise on the ground or pollution with a bunch or funny "rules" like changes in the air above 3000 feet (as opposed to paving the runways) do not need to consider any impacts, and they have a Categorical Exclusion from full Environmental Assessments (courtesy of the airlines and the industry that lobby Congress more adeptly than we do) so that they can really do ANYTHING they want, and they do.

Web Link

Web Link






10 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 10:05 am

Resident (see above) and I must be living in a different Downtown North than the one I live in, since I only hear planes sporadically, and not a lot of noise out of it. My hearing is excellent. So, there must be another downtown north somewhere in Palo Alto.


27 people like this
Posted by More accurately
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 10:15 am

@Reader

If you look at statistics, you will see that overall commercial jet traffic has been flat in the Bay Area since the 1990s. Yet the increase in traffic above Palo Alto has been substantial particularly when it comes to low flying jets.

So, yes, traffic has been shifted to Palo Alto and some nearby towns [portion removed.] Palo Alto and some immediate neighbors ARE disproportionately affected.


6 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 10:17 am

[Portion removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by TKO PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2015 at 10:20 am

While on the subject of aircraft noise i never miss an opportunity to complain about our friends at Palo Alto airport(PAO). This morning (Sunday!) at 8am a red helicopter was doing take off and landing practice. For those of you who don't know Sirius flying offers helicopter lessons out of PAO.

Web Link

I guess they have no regard or consideration for Palo Alto residents by offering Sunday morning lessons.

Complaints should be sent to PAO can be sent to pao@cityofpaloalto.org



37 people like this
Posted by Alison Raleigh
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

Thanks, Sue, for another informative article on aviation noise.

What those of us who seek relief from intensive aviation noise are asking is that the FAA and airports consider noise impacts as seriously as they consider safety when designing air traffic routes, so that noise impacts on the ground are as minimal and equitably distributed as possible. This goes not only for the SF Bay Area midpeninsula, but for all areas across the country similarly impacted by NextGen's ill-designed implementation. Some of us are active in a national effort to enact change as well as local efforts.

Congress has given the FAA a fast-track pass on doing full environmental impact studies while designing and implementing NextGen jet paths.The result is that those of us living under NextGen's concentrated flight paths are now experiencing an onslaught of aviation noise on an almost continuous basis. It's not necessary. Nothing about NextGen's technology requires this sort of relentlessly concentrated parade of airplanes down the same unvarying pathways over the same populations.

If you live under SERFR 1, or any of the other SFO approach paths into SFO that converge over Palo Alto, and the noise bothers you, take action. Lodge complaints at SFO, call or write to Palo Alto City Council, call or write to State Senator Joe Simitian, call or write to Congressional Representative Anna Eshoo, call or write to Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, call or write to the EPA, the Surgeon General, sign the petition at Sky Posse's site Web Link

The only way this situation is going to change is if enough pressure is exerted on our elected officials that they eventually feel compelled to act on our behalf.

Noise pollution is not an "annoyance"; it's a health hazard. Europe officially recognizes it as such, as does the World Health Organization.

And yes there are a multitude of dire, life-threatening problems facing us and every living thing on the planet today, and some may say noise is unimportant in light of such problems. But don't believe it. Noise pollution is one of the clearest markers of our loss of sensitivity towards our natural environment and all the attendant ills that such a loss has entailed. Working to make noise pollution understood and regulated is work that benefits us all.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 10:31 am

ndn, where in downtown north do you live? What type of home or apt, condo? All of this makes a difference. We are right under the Big Sur Route where the 3 flight paths converge on their way to the Menlo Intersection. If you live closer to the tracks you won't hear it. We are in a top story building with double paned windows and we can hear the loud thunder of airplanes and high pitched whining overhead until 1am.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 10:44 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"on their way to the Menlo Intersection" which is in, surprise, Menlo Park. And any plane over Palo Alto enrollee to MENLO intersection will be descending so higher over Palo Alto than over MENLO intersection.


Is there ground level noise - Yes.

Is all that noise from airplanes - No

Does the same level of noise bother everyone - No

Does Palo Alto get more ground level noise from airplanes than do communities closer to SFO - No

[Portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by More accurately
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 10:54 am

With all due respect, Mr Carpenter, Palo Alto gets more SFO noise, day and night, than Atherton does as has already been pointed out repeatedly in other threads. Last I heard, Atherton is closer to SFO than PA.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"With all due respect, Mr Carpenter, Palo Alto gets more SFO noise, day and night, than Atherton does as has already been pointed out repeatedly "

It certainly has been pointed out but there is absolutely no DATA to support that fact.

Assertions do not make truth.

So I challenge you to provide comparative ground level airplane noise data from Palo Alto and all points north up to including Burlingame.


9 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:04 am



Not only is Atherton closer, but the place where airplanes used to turn to go to SFO was around FILOLI gardens.

That was and is probably the most efficient way to align to arrive at SFO.




5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

I love the factoids from San Mateo County - Atherton. You are now in the realm of political fallout and if you all noted that has not worked well in Atherton regarding Surf Air. They do not care what you think - factoid or not.

Santa Clara County has to deal with the flight paths of three major airports, SFO all of the time - Oakland going to Hawaii - and San Jose when they are out of control. And don't forget Moffett - yes they do have flights under the radar. PAO seems to have a number of hot dog pilots as well as real estate people who advertise they will fly over your house.

So we are going to get busy here and all of the detractors talk on - no one is listening to you. If there is a plane over my house flying low then that is a fact. No debating it.


9 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

Peter Carpenter,

Please challenge the FAA to do their job.

THEY should have the comparative ground level airplane noise data.

SFO should have that data.

The creepy old noise models you have previously defended have been upgraded, maybe they will actually be useful now. And the FAA has some Nextgen tools to address noise and pollution impacts.


12 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:16 am



And just so we are not arguing about this into eternity,

Time to get MANY noise monitors in Palo Alto.

The City just saved $125,000 in signs for City Hall, that buys a few.

Placed where the airports can't tell where they are because it is suspected that when SFO puts temporary noise monitors, things get quieter.

And not to measure the FAA standards. FAA standards cannot even be called a standard.


23 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

Just watched the tracker and read the stats (10:22am - 10:52am). Can't deny the facts of 10 planes on arrival to SFO/SJC flying over Palo Alto and only one over Atherton in 30 minutes. 10 planes versus 1 plane is very disproportionate to me.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 11:31 am


"Does Palo Alto get more ground level noise from airplanes than do communities closer to SFO - No"

Very ambiguous statement Peter.

Peter, let's turn this around and you show me that facts that Atherton, which is a community closer to SFO, gets more plane noise from SFO arrivals than Palo Alto. Try to show me that fact.


9 people like this
Posted by look at the diagram
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 24, 2015 at 11:39 am

Peter Carpenter et al -

The route map posted with this article shows that there are 5 flight paths into SFO. 3 of those converage over palo alto before going over the bay on the way to the airport. None of them are over Menlo Park or Atherton. There has been a significant pickup in noise - from the occasional Moffett field military plane to a fairly constant noise.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

I think there are more houses now that are being torn down and replaced with new homes that have an underground level. Lots of digging going on.
So there are homes with bunkers that are designed specifically to have a level of the house that is protected from all noise because underground.

For our purposes let's assume that is not the people who are complaining about airplane noise. Let's assume that the majority of people who care about this topic live in homes that do not have an underground bunker or are not built with reinforced walls.


19 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

What is SFO?

SFO is a for-profit corporation owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco. Profits from the operations of this large industrial facility (SFO) go into the City and County of San Francisco’s general fund, and the toxic waste products (noise and air pollution) are dumped on the people living in cities under the departure and arrival routes.

Under the prevailing westerly winds, three of the five approach routes into SFO fly over Palo Alto at between 4,000-5,000'. Of the nine routes into and out of SFO, only one crosses over the western most portion of San Francisco, at over 10,000′.

SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:43 am


If you step up to the challenge PC, just count Atherton please.

P. Carpenter always adds Brisbane to his noise count.

And tries to compare that obvious proportion (by SFO) to us here.



3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2015 at 11:46 am

If you go up to Redwood City the arriving planes to SFO are out over the baylands east of 101 or the over the water. I can stand in a parking lot near the new Kaiser hospital and see the planes but they are not overhead - the noise level is very low based on their location in the arrival path.

You can see that yourself when you fly in - once you make the turn in PA and head north you are making your way to the baylands and water.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The "illustration" which you posted is a comic book graphic representation of general patterns - it contains no data and is not based on actual data. So please provide the data that supports your contention that Palo Alto is more adversely impacted by the total amount of ground level airplane noise than is any/every other Bay area community.

New questions:

Are some people more sensitive to certain noises than are other people - Yes

Are some people more inclined to complain about airplane noise than other people who are actually exposed to higher levels of airplane noise at ground level - Yes

Should public policy be driven by safety rather than convenience/inconvenience - Yes


13 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 11:57 am

Peter Carpenter,

The "comic book" graphic is from SFO!

And yes it should contain more data.

Please stop the nonsense of comparing us to communities AT the airport.

The perfect comparable is Atherton actually.

You could provide the data that supports your arguments (no noise, no problem) but you don't.

Are you still offering to go to our homes to check it out for yourself? Is that to also talk people out of complaining like SFO has apparently been doing?


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 11:58 am

Peter, your not off the hook that easy with creating a new set of questions. I'm waiting for your response to my question and the facts you should be able to provide. Let me state it again.


"Does Palo Alto get more ground level noise from airplanes than do communities closer to SFO - No"

Very ambiguous statement Peter.

Peter, let's turn this around and you show me the facts that Atherton, which is a community closer to SFO, gets more plane noise from SFO arrivals than Palo Alto. Try to show me that fact.


5 people like this
Posted by Songbird
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Carpenter,

Nextgen is mostly about increasing airport capacity on the backs of a few. The Nextgen promotional pieces HIDE this real reason for the changes.

Is this safer?


9 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Resident 1-- homes with bunkers???? Really??? and I suppose people who,live in these homes with bunkers, live in the bunker only so they do not complain about the noise???? Really!!!!!!
This is another in the long list of non-issues that a small minority of Palo Alto residents worked themselves in a lather over. Let's face it, palo,alto has issues with all forms of modern transportation-- trains, planes and automobiles.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, let's turn this around and you show me the facts that Atherton, which is a community closer to SFO, gets more plane noise from SFO arrivals than Palo Alto. Try to show me that fact."

I can't and I don't care:
- I am not the one make the unsubstantiated claim that my community is more adversely impacted by ground level airplane noise than all other communities.
- I personally am not bothered by airplane noise but that is a personal perception and value statement and says nothing about airplane ground level noise levels.


9 people like this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

If Shoreline Amphitheater were allowed to turn up their sound it would drowned out the jet noise.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

I knew you couldn't show us the facts, so please stop berating Palo Altans that want to have a discussion about plane noise over their community. You have jumped on this Palo Alto discussion for over a year now and it's not helping anyone. You are all about the facts but can't show me the facts to your own statements. If you can't be positive and show some sympathy for what Palo Altans are experiencing then it would be much appreciated if you would not comment at all. [Portion removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

This kind of statement comes up in every thread regarding this subject:
". If you can't be positive and show some sympathy for what Palo Altans are experiencing then it would be much appreciated if you would not comment at all."

In other words if you do not think there is a problem and you do not agree completely with a small group of people, then refrain from commenting on this forum. In other words, let's try to stifle anyone that dares to expose the fact that a problem does not exist.

That is not how it works. [Portion removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" can't show me the facts to your own statements."

Oh, but I have time and time again - there is NO data on ground level airport noise for Palo Alto or any of the other nearby communities.

To prove me wrong just post the data.

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

1,216 people think its a problem.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by GA resident
a resident of Green Acres
on May 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Interestingly, dnd's post says it all. His/her "hearing is excellent" but "onlu hears planes sporadically, and not a lot of noise out of it." Since the noise problem does not affect where he/she lives, people including those who are affected should stop complaining.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Feel free to complain but do not expect others to be overwhelmed or even impressed by complaints that neither have a factual basis nor a comparison to other communities.


26 people like this
Posted by Kerry55
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

To Peter Carpenter and Not yours:
I have lived in Palo Alto for my whole life, the last 10 years in midtown. For the preceding 8 years I was able to work on my garden, enjoy eating in backyard, use a water table outside with my children, meditate outside and enjoy the peace and quiet of my beautiful house on a quiet street in Palo Alto. I now walk around 2 miles a day all over midtown,Safeway,Alta Mesa Cemetery, the Dish, Bol Park, Greer Park, Seale Park, Baylands and Crescent Park. Starting 2 years ago, I started to hear the highway in the sky over my house and neighborhood. Over 180 planes a day fly low and loud over my house and disproportionally affect the other areas I mentioned in Palo Alto. I feel that I am under siege from the planes and there is no escape, even being inside with the windows closed, I hear the planes. Environmental laws and regulations are for the everyone, we need to come together to work on solutions so 1 City is not becoming the dumping ground for SFO growth and arrivals. Maybe one of you can find out why the Menlo IAF was moved to its current placement from 5 miles north a few years back.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Maybe one of you can find out why the Menlo IAF was moved to its current placement from 5 miles north a few years back."

Easy - it was not moved. MENLO was established decades ago at its current location.

Clue - five miles north would not be in Menlo Park.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For example, here is a Dc 2000 reference to MENLO which indicates that it was then exactly where it is now:

"User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3525 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted Fri Dec 15 2000 00:47:30 your local time (14 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5011 times:


Actually, one passes over MENLO intersection at 5000'msl. MENLO is just southwest of Dumbarton Bridges."


8 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

[Portion removed.]
Resident- that petition has been up for months. I hardly think 1000+ signatures is an accomplishment or anything to use as justification for claiming that there is a problem


14 people like this
Posted by jsun
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Thanks Sky posse for spreading the words. I was in my garden this morning for about 30 minutes and there was a constant stream of aircraft passing by every 2 - 3 minutes, the sound was so loud that I felt like we are about to be air raided by some enemy bombers.

I have lived in Palo Alto for 15 years, I used to be able to lie in a reclined chair in my garden to hear the bird chirping and bee humming, but this elevated level of aircraft noise has definitely changed that.

This would have a profound impact on our real estate values here.

-JS


6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Even though certified noise monitoring stations are fairly expensive, in order to make a case Palo has to obtain some real data. How about trying to get Keene or the City Council to allocate some funds to measure airplane noise in various locations? Without real data, it will be Peter Carpenter vs Sky Posse and neither has the data to substantiate their claims.


2 people like this
Posted by Where do I sign the complaint
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

The frightening ones are when everything seems to shake and the sound seems like the airplane might be diving. I can think of many times when my child has stopped and looked up with fear that something is going to crash. It's very disconcerting.


9 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Jsun:
"the sound was so loud that I felt like we are about to be air raided by some enemy bombers."
Wow. That is quite the story. How high were the planes? 100 feet? This is the kind of comment that insures that no one will take your complaints seriously.

"
This would have a profound impact on our real estate values here."
Perhaps you should read this article:
Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Not yours
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 24, 2015 at 3:14 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on May 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

I definitely hear significant throttle changes from Inside my House in BP in both the Early Morning and late evening. At those times, air is cooler and more dense.

I also hear the first Caltrains horns in the morning (about 5am), They are a lot quieter than the current aircraft.

Before something changed, we got intermittent Helo flights to the VA which WAS our major aircraft noise source.

I think the Major source of the noise is the Throttle change Roar.


11 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The county of San Francisco which owns SFO, should monitarilly compensate Palo Alto and other cities effected by the airplanes noise AND pollution. [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Where do I sign the complaint -

You can sign the petition here

Web Link

The Palo Alto working group can be linked to here

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Mauricio, I always agree with your comments and views on so many topics around Palo Alto. Thanks for posting!


6 people like this
Posted by Where do I sign the complaint
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by townie1967
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by townie1967
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm

i've lived on alma street in the midtown area since the mid 1980s. how about you live in my apartment for a week? you won't notice the planes over the cars and trains!


38 people like this
Posted by Scott Thompson
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 6:43 pm

I'm from out of town and I can't believe how mean some of you are! Making fun of this lady's misery. It was probably a misquote anyway. In high schools, I think they call that "bullying". I hope those of you who made those shameful remarks have the strength of character to apologize.

I'm here on business in Silicon Valley. I must say, you sure do have a lot of jets flying over you in Palo Alto though. Probably some people don't notice it or have gotten used to it like the old boiling frogs story, but clearly a lot of people don't like all that noise.

Buy why the vehemence against those who are miserable? The only reason I can think of for the mean spirited comments here is that there's something selfish going on. Maybe it's people in neighboring communities who want the noise to stay in Palo Alto? Or maybe it's people with a stake in the airlines or airport or something?


Like this comment
Posted by Phillip brunasky
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2015 at 9:30 pm

I moved to Palo Alto in the mid-70's and then Menlo Park in the 90's. The frequency and dB level of the airplane traffic has definitely worsened. In Menlo Park, we used to hear the landing gear drop and the funny noise that makes. But the planes were still relatively high. Now the airplanes are much lower and it's just a constant aerodynamic noise and not the sound of landing gear dropping.


4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2015 at 9:40 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

The plane noise doesn't bother me, and I am happy that we have two great commercial airports to choose from nearby. For every person complaining, there are 100's who either don't hear, don't register or aren't affected in the least by the plane noise.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 25, 2015 at 9:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Without real data, it will be Peter Carpenter vs Sky Posse and neither has the data to substantiate their claims."

I do not claim to have any data on the contrary I simply ask that the people who claim that Palo Alto is being disproportionately impacted by airplane noise provide comparative data that includes all of the communities between Palo Alto and SFO. Absent that data their claim has no validity.

I acknowledge that some people are very sensitive to particular noises.


3 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Chris Zaharias and Peter Carpenter,

It's both noise, and air pollution.

Sucking up the garbage from SFO and or any of the airports you are affiliated with may not bother you, but you are not doctors, you are not health professionals, and you like the FAA should not be writing or deciding on Environmental policy.

Speaking of which, that in itself should concern everyone. That the airlines, industry (via the FAA), and enthusiasts (any which way you can) decide on health matters.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 25, 2015 at 11:02 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident 3 (or is it 1 or 2 or X?) - I am just one voice providing both my opinions and whatever factual information that I am able to discover relevant to the problem. I have a great deal of relevant experience as a former pilot, as the former and long time Chair of the PAO Joint Community Relations Committee and and as a former Palo Alto Planning Commissioner. I have no idea what your credentials are but I am prepared to listen to your opinions and to judge them for their inherent worth.

I do not subscribe to your approach of attempting to silence those who disagree with you.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2015 at 11:50 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

I responded to yours and Zaharias' dismissiveness of a problem which is real, for a variety of reasons. Anyone should be free to respond, and to have a real discussion you could tell me exactly what part of my point you disagree with.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"what part of my point you disagree with."

Your dismissing people with expertise on the problem and attributing ulterior motives to them like "Sucking up the garbage from SFO and or any of the airports you are affiliated with "

"ex·per·tise (ĕk′spûr-tēz′) Skill or knowledge in a particular area."

In my ten years as Chair of the PAO JCRC (1999-2009) I personally met with or talked to EVERY single person who submitted a PAO noise complaint and by working directly with individual pilots and with the FAA tower staff I was able to resolve most of those issues.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Aviation experience and affiliation are great for many things, not for public health policy.

If my response to your comments sounded dismissive of your experience, it was not meant that way.























4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident 3 - Re Public Health policy expertise, I served as the Executive Director of the Stanford University Medical Center, on the Dean's Advisory Board at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, on various Institute of Medicine Committees, as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford's Center for Biomedical Ethics and as Chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR).


3 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

rick is a registered user.

KCBS is giving this story 35 seconds of air-time in their hourly news cycle today.


13 people like this
Posted by wmartin46
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

wmartin46 is a registered user.

The clear issue here is that there is not enough legitimate data to make a case to the City Council, the SFO/SJO Airports, and the Palo Alto City Council about the nature, and severity, of the problems being described in this thread.

Noise has been a growing problem in this town for a long time. It wasn’t that long ago that we were waging war against the gardeners who were using gas-powered leaf blowers to clear up their work, and spread their noise all over the neighborhoods. Construction in the neighborhoods certainly has raised the level of noise significantly, and now we are focusing on the noise coming from planes overhead, and on the ground at the Palo Alto Airport.

Numerous residents in Palo Alto have suggested that the City conduct periodic noise surveys, so that the extent of this problem can be determined analytically, and in a way where increases/decreases in noise levels/locals, can be mapped. Sadly, this approach to characterizing the problem has been adroitly ignored by everyone up and down the levels of bureaucracy each time it has been suggested. Even though the cost of purchasing the equipment to do this sort of noise measurement is not at all great, the City has failed to ever consider such a program in any meaningful way (to the best of my knowledge). People banding together to fight airport noise should consider outlining the framework for such a continuous noise monitoring program—and make it an issue with the Council.

The problem of planes flying overhead at too low an altitude is one that requires a much more costly solution. What’s needed is a positive tracking system that monitors the Palo Alto airport, recording the time, day, transponder number, tail code (from transponder number), height of aircraft over Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park (at least). From this data, the plane’s owner, and/or local organization responsible for the plane, would be added to each individual plane’s record (if known), and this information displayed on the Palo Alto Airport web-site. The data would be available for display as quickly as possible (html/xml/etc.) and also in a text format that can be downloaded. The data should be archived in perpetuity.

At a minimum, having these two datasets would provide everyone with the data needed to understand the noise contributions of planes over Palo Alto, as well as having hard data about planes that are flying at too low an altitude into/out of the Palo Alto Airport.

Hopefully, the “Skyposse” folks will work on getting the City to agree to fund these sorts of monitoring programs as soon as possible.


2 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2015 at 5:05 pm

rick is a registered user.

@Wayne, your suggested costly tracking system is the FAA radar already in place. Or maybe you are suggesting the costly part is City of Palo Alto gaining access to the streaming data, recording it, and making it presentable.

Meanwhile anyone with a suitable internet connection can look at WebTrak.


11 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2015 at 8:02 am

True is a registered user.

I am a stay-at-home mom and can't stand it anymore. It's 3-4 in a row from early morning until I fall asleep at 1AM, probably later too, but I'm asleep.


6 people like this
Posted by Citizen21
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 26, 2015 at 10:40 am

Citizen21 is a registered user.

Had a guest spend the night on Saturday. They told me the next morning they had a hard time sleeping because of the noise from the airplanes. I have noticed the increase of flights overhead and assumed it was a flight pattern change that was temporary. WOW, thanks for letting me know this isn't temporary, why cant they fly directly over the bay on their descent to SFO?
The noise is noticeable and a nuisance. But I guess what do you expect given the affordability of housing here on the peninsula.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 26, 2015 at 11:14 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Tracking tools are located on the official web sites for the airports - it is a commercial system so there is a lag in data - however you can see the planes - click on them to get relevant information on tail number, altitude, type plane, etc. Go to the SFO / SJC web sites and click on Tracker.

Or you can down load a tracking tool made by Bruel & Kjaer which shows all air traffic in the vicinity including PAO and San Carlos.

If anyone reads these streams you will note that most people can tell you about specific planes and specific flight paths. That information is out there for anyone to use.

If you go to the SFO official website you can click on Arrivals which provides a listing of the planes expected to arrive within a specified time period and all information on that plane.

There are no mysteries here - we can all see where the planes are.

Since that information is readily available then I would not expect PAO to pay for an existing product that most are already aware of.


7 people like this
Posted by SouthPaloAltan
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 26, 2015 at 11:25 am

SouthPaloAltan is a registered user.

Looking at the SFO noise complaint line statistics, it appears that there has indeed been a significant increase in calls from Palo Alto recently, but from a very small number of unique individuals. If one person calls 50 times that has a different impact than 50 people calling once.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Yes, any new individuals complaining is impactful.

Repeated complaints (from efficient complainers) are also very important because the register the offending flights.

When flights are within minutes of each other, non-stop early morning, or during dinner time - they deserve the full glory of a complaint - every single one of them. Those who can do it, good on them.

It is recommended to request an email confirmation from SFO for the complaint.

Yes, noise monitors will be necessary to deal with this issue. They can do the registering for us.





7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" If one person calls 50 times that has a different impact than 50 people calling once."

Absolutely - at one time 99% of the noise complaints at Reed Hillview Airport were from the same individual. Quite properly those complaints were ignored.


3 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Another great reason for noise monitors.

Until we have noise monitors, we have hundreds of noise monitor that will have to do - our ears.

If a flight or many flights are offending or impacting your quality of life, let the FAA know.

There is no such thing as complaint etiquette, the whole point is to complain.

According to this article, SFO is looking at our situation and more information is always better.


Like this comment
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

And complainers do not need to say what precise flight offended them.

Time of the disturbance, number of disturbances.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Recognize that noise monitors will very likely confirm that the aggregate ground noise from airplanes over Palo Alto is significantly less than that of other communities closer to SFO.

Sound levels (technically sound pressures) decrease by the inverse square of the distance from the source so ground level sound from an an airplane at 4000 ft is only 25% of the ground level sound from an airplane at 2000 ft..

Clue - why are existing noise monitors all near SFO and SJC? Because that is where the highest ground sound levels occur.


2 people like this
Posted by SouthPaloAltan
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm

SouthPaloAltan is a registered user.

Isn't this discussion moot if there are not enough people impacted to justify spending taxpayer dollars on additional noise monitors? Doesn't Sky Posse have some dB meters to loan out?


7 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

KP is a registered user.

How can this be a real issue? I guess our next one will be the CalTrain noise! Oh Brother!
I live on E Meadow and the planes don't bother me. You get used to it...or you frickin move! I can hear the train at times, but I got used to that, too.
People just need something to complain about...get a hobby, get a job, do something but dwell on the little stuff.

Haven't we all heard "pick your battles"? I think there are bigger issues in PA to worry about...like, over crowding with all the stupid excess housing going in/up!
JS


5 people like this
Posted by Citizen21
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Citizen21 is a registered user.

Obviously the train cannot be moved, you chose to live there hopefully based on knowing what you were getting. The noise we are commenting on, has NOT always been there and can be addressed. Just like the Shoreline Amphitheater noise problem that was solved, this to can be.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Just like the Shoreline Amphitheater noise problem that was solved, this to can be."

"Obviously the train cannot be moved"

Bad comparisons.

Shoreline Amphitheater is controlled by a local government. Aviation is controlled by the FAA.

And just like the train tracks SFO has been there for a very long time and it cannot be moved.


10 people like this
Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

As helpful as hard data is in determining the relative amounts of airplane noise from place to place, or in a given place over time, it is incorrect to insist that observations lacking hard data are meaningless. The article is about people's qualitative perceptions of change in a place over time, based on those people's stories. One person's story is often easily discounted, as I'm sure Peter Carpenter learned during his tenure with PAO. But as the number of people telling the same story increases, so does the likelihood that the story is true. To say that people shouldn't tell the story unless they can present hard data, is to ignore the data at hand: people are bothered by the noise.

Is the noise worse in Palo Alto than elsewhere? It isn't the most important question for Palo Altans, and this is, after all, a Palo Alto newspaper. We don't know. We know that in certain places, people are interrupted more often by plane noise than they used to be. Those places -- Midtown and Barron Park are mentioned most often -- align well with SFO's published flight path maps. They also align well with real-time data available from online flight trackers. It also appears that flights, on average, are closer to the ground at these places than before. And all of this is consistent with a recent change in air traffic control strategy.

If people lives are being disrupted by airplane noise, they should voice their concerns here, and at every level of government, from City Council and SFO, right to the top. The more the authorities hear from people, the more likely they are to explore alternative solutions.


3 people like this
Posted by Citizen21
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Citizen21 is a registered user.

Obviously flight patterns can change. Bureaucracy's are bureaucracy's. It's a great comparison.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"people are bothered by the noise."

I have repeatedly stated that some people in Palo Alto are bothered by the airplane noise - that is not the issue.

The issue is whether or not the residents of Palo Alto are more impacted by airplane noise than residents of other communities. If not, then why should some remedy be provided for Palo Alto residents?

Everyone shares both the benefits and the costs of living in this bustling urban area. It is only when the costs are borne disproportionately or the costs become unbearable to society as a whole that there is justification for reducing those costs by reducing the benefits. For example, we as a society have made significant changes in the way we regulate air pollution because the costs of that pollution outweighed the benefits. We have made far fewer changes with respect to the use of single passenger automobiles.

In my opinion only a small percentage of local residents would list airplane noise as one of the most important nuisances to control. Air pollution, water pollution, crime, lack of affordable housing, better public transportation, better schools, better roads would, in my opinion, all trump airplane noise as a priority.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Obviously flight patterns can change."

Theoretically yes if you live in the middle of an unpopulated area with no airports.

But in the Bay area with 3 major airports and more than a dozen smaller airports we have a very crowded airspace and there are few options available to change flight paths. Plus simply moving your problem to someone else's community is neither fair or a solution.

"San Francisco airport is surrounded by class B airspace (B for Big). It is depicted by thick blue lines in concentric circles that go out to as far as 30 nautical miles from SFO airport. Class B airspace is shaped link and up-side down wedding cake. The standard spacing for class B rings is five nautical miles. The upper and lower limits of the class B airspace segments are depicted by altitudes in hundreds of feet MSL, like sfc/100 or 40/100. SFC means surface and 100 is the top of the airspace times 100 feet, or 10,000 feet.
San Jose and Oakland airports are surrounded by class C airspace (C for Crowded). The inner core for class C airspace has a 5 nautical mile radius, with standard vertical limits from the surface to 4000 feet AGL. The outer shelf for the C airspace extends from 5 to a 10 nautical mile radius, with standard vertical limits from 1500 to 4000 feet AGL. Depicted as sfc/40 or 15/40. Altitudes are giver in hundreds of feet MSL.
Note - The upper limit of Oakland’s last c airspace is depicted in an unusual way. Instead of an altitude in hundreds of feet MSL a T is printed on the chart, 15/T. If you look northwest of the city of San Francisco you will see a note explaining the meaning of this T. the note states that the T. designates the ceiling of the Charlie is the floor of the overlying b. The team makes more sense if you consider that class b airspace used to be ca lled TCA or terminal control area, so the top of the c airspace was the bottom of the TCA.
The smallest tower airports are surrounded by class D airspace (D for Dialog required). Class D airspace has a standard radius of 4 nautical miles, with standard vertical limits from the surface to 2500 feet AGL. Class D airspace is depicted by dashed blue lines surrounding the airport. The upper limit of the class D airspace is depicted by an altitude in hundreds of feet MSL inside a four-cornered box. A minus before the altitude means does not include that altitude. Some D airports in the Bay Area have a 3 NM radius."
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"It is only when the costs are borne disproportionately or the costs become unbearable to society as a whole that there is justification for reducing those costs by reducing the benefits."

Check out this site, Nextgennoise.org Web Link

There is quite a bit of unbearable already happening with the Nextgen procedures.


2 people like this
Posted by SouthPaloAltan
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm

SouthPaloAltan is a registered user.

@Mike Alexander: All true, but we need -something- quantifiable before throwing money at it. So far all it seems to be is someone hearing a loud airplane and identifying that aircraft on a web page. We already know there are aircraft up there. They are following standard arrival routes above mandated altitudes with some variation in track to vector them around each other. I'm talking about commercial aircraft from SFO/OAK/SJC. People here often conflate them with light aircraft out of PAO when talking about reading registration numbers or altitude. As near as I can tell, we have a few people complaining frequently over something that is not an issue for most Palo Altans. I don't know what we can do about that. I seem to remember that in SSF they threw some money into sound insulation for some neighborhoods, but that Is not going to happen down here.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Can you explain - same paths, same everything, same growth rate in overall traffic, but in just one year

Before Nextgen - less or no noise problems

After Nextgen - a ton of noise



9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 26, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Standing on the ground next to parked airplanes it is difficult to read even the biggest numbers from 500 ft."

Then stand somewhere else besides next to parked airplanes. Or visit your optometrist. Or try again: I believe the writer is referring to somewhat bigger planes than the ones you have been standing next to.

"In my ten years as Chair of the PAO JCRC (1999-2009) I personally met with or talked to EVERY single person who submitted a PAO noise complaint and by working directly with individual pilots and with the FAA tower staff I was able to resolve most of those issues."

The meaning of the word "resolve" is wide open. Lemme guess: based on your line of commentary in this thread, you summarily dismissed most of the complaints.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Lemme guess: based on your line of commentary in this thread, you summarily dismissed most of the complaints."

Wrong. I personally talked on the phone or met with each person who complained and each complaint was then used to encourage a particular pilot to change their operating procedure when possible and safe to do so and/or was used to work with the FAA tower staff to make changes in flight procedures for all planes. For example, we instituted a requested 5 deg change to the right after take off under VFR conditions to avoid populated areas that were under the direct runway heading flight path.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

PC - you mention 2009 as the period in which you worked with PAO. That is 6 years ago. A lot has changed since then - increased population, increased buildings - both personal and commercial, increased traffic, increased pressure for urbanization. There was no Surf Air back then and the number of airlines that used SFO were less. San Jose was not as big, Oakland was not as big. All things have increased and there is a breaking point in which people have to say no more.

The status quo in 2009 is not the status quo in 2015.
Noise impact - most of the arriving planes to SFO are over the water once they cross Dumbarton Bridge. That does not equate to more noise. It is less impact to people on land.

We can see that on the tracking systems - why do you keep arguing about it?
I don't see why you keep denying that time has evolved into higher traffic and the situation is now out-of-control.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We can see that on the tracking systems - why do you keep arguing about it?"

I don't. The facts are the facts. What I don't accept is that somehow Palo Alto is disproportionately impacted by the current air traffic.

"the situation is now out-of-control."
That is your opinion - but it is not a fact.

"most of the arriving planes to SFO are over the water once they cross Dumbarton Bridge"

Wrong. All of the planes that are routed over the MENLO intersection fly over Menlo Park and cross over the shoreline North of the Dumbarton bridge.

There is a huge ignorance of the facts in this discussion.


16 people like this
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Bru is a registered user.

In Crescent Park just about every night there is at least one flight I can count on to rattle my windows somewhere between 12:30 and 1:30 AM. There are other flights too, but that time in the early morning there is at least one flight that comes in low over Crescent Park.


12 people like this
Posted by jsun
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2015 at 6:53 pm

jsun is a registered user.

I think for some people, even facts are presented, they will still find one way or another to deny it just like the fact about global warming...


5 people like this
Posted by SouthPaloAltan
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm

SouthPaloAltan is a registered user.

I think after all this back and forth it is pretty clear that Palo Alto doesn't have a noise footprint from aircraft that is disprortionate to any other city on the peninsula. Given that SFO and SJC are not able to bend physics to create a special bubble around our city (remember the eruv?), it's just part and parcel of living in one of the best commnities on the planet.


7 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes!

Palo Alto is becoming a terrible place to live with the horrific airplane noise and pollution, gridlock, ghost houses, no houses, developers and real estate moguls determined to eke out every cent possible from struggling professionals and local business people.

As the I Ching says---trying to become too beautiful one becomes ugly.



Like this comment
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2015 at 9:39 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"All of the planes that are routed over the MENLO intersection fly over Menlo Park and cross over the shoreline North of the Dumbarton bridge."

This is very misleading.

Peter Carpenter makes it sound like this intersection only impacts Menlo Park.

I hope he can clarify.


9 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2015 at 11:48 pm

rick is a registered user.

I looked at the SFO arrival traffic on Webtrak during the busy hour from 6:00 to 7:00 PM this evening (Tuesday) and was surprised to see that 18 of the 19 flights on the peninsula side crossed 101 north of University Avenue, mostly near Willow Road, and were miles west of the Dumbarton Bridge before getting over the bay. Classic MENLO approach. Crescent Park was taking direct overflights around 4200 feet and East Menlo Park at 3800 feet. I assume Atherton was peripherally affected, or at least the flights were audible.

Had to go play back the 8:00 to 9:00 AM traffic to confirm my recollection of planes further east/south over Palo Alto. Of the 20 inbound flights during that morning hour, there were 6 crossing near the MENLO fix, 5 crossing 101 more between Embarcadero and San Antonio, and 9 crossing 101 down in Mountain View. Most were way over the bay before getting to the Dumbarton Bridge. All were over Palo Alto at some point.

The upshot is that yes, inbound SFO flights over Palo Alto often average 3-minute intervals, and yes, the flight paths depend on when you look. All I can think of is that today's difference between morning and evening was related to cloudcover in the AM, clearing in the PM.

Somebody can do all the statistics manually, or pay for a radar data-feed and cobble some software to do it. Then we can get down to splitting hairs over who has the greater traffic burdens.


9 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2015 at 6:56 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

In regard to the discussion about "data": I find this extremely insensitive to those expressing distress over the noise. Individuals respond differently to both noise and pollution. What may be unnoticed by some, is torture to another. However, there is "data" that people monitored during sleep show stress reactions to airplane noise.

From reading these posts, it is apparent that some are suffering in response to the aircraft noise. Respect for this is warranted.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 27, 2015 at 7:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This statement was made:
"most of the arriving planes to SFO are over the water once they cross Dumbarton Bridge"

I corrected it.
Wrong. All of the planes that are routed over the MENLO intersection fly over Menlo Park and cross over the shoreline North of the Dumbarton bridge.

Then :
"Peter Carpenter makes it sound like this intersection only impacts Menlo Park.

I hope he can clarify."

Plane arriving at the MENLO intersection must first fly over Palo Alto but they do so at a higher altitude.

Clear?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 27, 2015 at 7:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"From reading these posts, it is apparent that some are suffering in response to the aircraft noise. Respect for this is warranted."

That acknowledgment has been made many, many times - in this thread and many others.
Example:
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
17 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
"people are bothered by the noise."

I have repeatedly stated that some people in Palo Alto are bothered by the airplane noise - that is not the issue.


12 people like this
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 27, 2015 at 9:22 am

Bru is a registered user.

>> "people are bothered by the noise."
>I have repeatedly stated that some people in Palo Alto are bothered by the airplane noise - that is not the issue.

Carpenter, I recall back to some10 years ago when this problem was first started to get out of hand. The first posts by a few, myself included were met with denial, opposition and even derision, and one of the most strident was you.

That opposition has gone through all the stages. Denial of the problem. Blaming people being somehow defective for being bothered by the noise. Minimizing the issue. Telling people to move. Saying that if people bought houses or lived here it was their own fault - they should have known better. A whole host and litany of resistance to hearing or helping solve the problem that were unproductive and designed to dismiss the issue.

For some to say that now they recognized the problem ignores the steady and underhanded resistance to this issue that has been directed towards those of us who experience this. I remember being the first or one of the first because of my work schedule of staying up very late into the morning and being totally surprised at the number of planes I heard, both commercial airliners and private planes overflying Palo Alto, specifically Crescent Park. Later while sleeping realizing how I was being awakened just enough in the middle of sleep enough to hear the planes fading off into the distance and posting about it.

I am glad people are waking up to the fact of toxic airplane noise in Palo Alto, but still there is no infrastructure in place to measure noise and automate this.

A real solution would be to have some monitoring stations that post data to a web page somewhere and fines for those place that exceed a certain noise level. I'd like to see people supporting this option so that all the argument that is a waste of time can be avoided. Measuring the problem by the number of people who can take the time to wake up, find a phone number and then stay on the phone long enough to register a complaint is just a way to putting off acknowledgement of the issue.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Carpenter, I recall back to some10 years ago when this problem was first started to get out of hand. The first posts by a few, myself included were met with denial, opposition and even derision, and one of the most strident was you."

Examples please rather than unsubstantiated claims.

I have always been supportive of a data based discussion and I have always acknowledged that some people are very sensitive to and bothered by airplane noise.

And no one has contributed more facts to this discussion than I have.

Your interest in monitoring follow many many people, myself included, who called for this long ago.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 27, 2015 at 10:03 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Folks - put a notepad next to the bed - when an offending flight comes over note the time over your house. Later go to the Bruel & Kjaer site and click the history section at the bottom. You can put when over your location. It will show you the plane and other traffic - click on it and it will tell you all of the info for that plane. It will show the plane and altitude as it is traveling on the arrival path.

Then go to the SFO Official site - which you have already bookmarked in your computer. You can provide an online notification citing the plane, time, altitude, etc. You do not have to call. It is better to have an on-line complaint as it is now in their computer. You should get a notification that the complaint has been filed.

So notepad by bed, cites for trackers bookmarked in your computer, and once you do this it will become easier as you familiarize yourself with all of the tools that are already on the official cites.

You can also check the Arrivals on the SFO cite to see who will be over your head and approximately what time to expect them.

Once you get familiar with the tools that are already there then you have the same impact as everyone else - you another voter in the complaint war.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 27, 2015 at 10:09 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident 1 - Excellent advice. Thanks.


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Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 27, 2015 at 10:11 am

Bru is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Thank you to Sky Posse - you are doing a great job. Great newscast.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

One can complain to SFO with no specifics about the info of the plane. The complaint form does not ask that, and you can use a drop down menu to answer questions like "Activity disturbed" ie. Conversation, Reading, Study etc.

Our neighbors in Santa Cruz are filed over 1000 complaints this weekend!

Check out NOISEGEN.INFO
Web Link





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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

@ SouthPaloAltan, I agree data is needed to enable change, but it isn't needed for this discussion.

@ Peter Carpenter, you don't need to be so grumpy. Your experience is valuable to the discussion. I agree with much of what you say, but not the dismissive, arrogant way you tend to say it.

A few observations, speculations, and questions:

I've paid a lot of attention recently to planes inbound to SFO. There are lots over and near my neighborhood, basically Midtown PA, sometimes one every two minutes. Most of them don't rate as "disruptive" to me. Those that do, pass within 0.5 km. Those 1 km or more away I barely hear. Of those overhead, the faster the speed, lower the altitude, and more high-pitched the engine noise, the more disruptive. There's a wide range in the amount of noise from various plane types.

There is apparently a lot of latitude about the path that might be used. Except at the busiest times, consecutive planes rarely follow identical paths. Planes cross 101 anywhere from Redwood City to Mtn View, but the vast majority hit that MENLO beacon by the Dumbarton Bridge. Most cross 101 at about 4000 ft., 200 kts, and vertical speed of ~ -1200 ft/min, then slow down and flatten out after the last turn to SFO.

My guess about which community gets the worst noise would be East Palo Alto, because of the high number of planes straight overhead, plus their speed. But it might be Foster City, which gets more planes, lower and closer, but also slower and not overhead. At the other end of the scale, probably Atherton. Very, very few SFO planes pass anywhere near Atherton.

I wonder if these planes could cross 101 higher, say at 5000 ft instead of 4000 ft. I wonder if they really need to hit that MENLO mark, or if their paths could be alternated among several marks spaced, say, 0.5 km apart. If it would reduce noise on the ground, I wonder if they could slow to under 200 kts sooner, say at 6000 ft. instead of < 4000 ft. Maybe someone with expertise knows these things.

Finally, there's that one plane, sometime between midnight and 1 am, that always rattles the dishes. I'm not at the computer to see what it is or what it's doing, but that one needs to change.


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Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 12:39 am

rick is a registered user.

"there's that one plane, sometime between midnight and 1 am"

That would be Korean Air flight KAL213, the daily 747-800 freighter from Seoul/Incheon via Anchorage and LAX.

The flight was somewhat earlier than usual tonight. Webtrak showed its path inbound over Atherton and West Menlo Park before just touching the border of Palo Alto around midnight heading out over the bay. I heard it a half hour ago even from 3 miles away. Sound carries well downwind, and there's little competing noise from vehicle traffic at this hour.

There's also a Kalitta Air 747-400 freighter identified as flight CKS2847 from Seoul via LAX on a more erratic schedule and not every day. It's the one that occasionally rattles the dishes at 4 a.m.


6 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 12:55 am

rick is a registered user.

Oops. Just heard Asiana 284 overhead, another 747 inbound from Seoul via LAX. Must be something special about that routing. Webtrak (10 minute delayed) is showing the plane on a standard MENLO approach, over Gunn at 5400, Cal Ave at 4900, Lucie Stern at 4500, and the Menlo fix right at 4000 feet.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2015 at 8:49 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

After lengthy debates about the altitude over the Dumbarton Bridge I watched and most large planes entering from the west were under 4,000, approximately 3,800 - 3.900, while the planes entering from the east side were at the 4,000 altitude.

When looking at the web track there are two lines of approach - the group coming from the east coast works a different approach and altitude than the planes coming in from the west coast.

Those coming in over the Pacific are high over the mountains then go into a steep decline to reach the turning point in the baylands at which point they have to realign to get into the line up with the east coast planes that are also in their approach path. That is where the variation comes in.

Different results that do not seem to be monitored by the air control staff until they reach a designated point which calibrates their position. Then they adjust.
Time to work on the overnight group of planes and get those out of the residential area - here is NO COMPETITION for air space so no reason why they are moving over the space like a beached whale.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 9:00 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Res 1

"no reason why they are moving over the space like a beached whale."



So, this has been said over and over and over again,

WHY do they send the night flights over highly populated areas.

a) SFO and the FAA do not care whether people sleep or not. Not their problem.

b) They care but it's too much trouble to do anything about it

c) If they did anything about it, any airline could still do whatever they want

Anybody care to explain how SFO gets to dump noise in the middle of the night when there is NO good reason for it?




6 people like this
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 28, 2015 at 9:16 am

Bru is a registered user.

What a surprise Carpenter (from Atherton) denies that he disagreed with people there as an airplane noise problem. OK, that is selective memory.

> Your interest in monitoring follow many many people, myself included, who called for this long ago.

Guess I don't remember that. You asked people without the ability to "prove it" while you were denying the problem in every other possible way. So, bottom line is that I am glad you adjusted your attitude, but I have to agree with other posters, you have a provocative and negative way of expressing it.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 14, 2013 at 9:13 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
Julie - 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.


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 11:07 am

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

@rick: Thanks for the ID. My sense is that that plane (KAL-213) is especially low and slow. Is that right?

The 747-8 is huge and carries a huge payload. Must take a lot of thrust to keep it up. There's no way into SFO at night that doesn't go over sleeping people, but there must be a way to do it more quietly. This is low-hanging fruit for the FAA in the noise struggle. They should pick it.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

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

That is because the airlines and Co. (using the FAA) have conveniently dismissed it as such. Health impacts from noise are not just "subjective."

I hear noise can even make you fat.

Traffic noise factor pot belly - swedish study

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

rick is a registered user.

@Mike, descending actually takes no thrust at all. A 747 (or any airliner) could completely shut off its engines 100 miles away from its landing spot, sort of like you could do in your car coming down Page Mill Road. Of course that would be ridiculous, but the question is why can't the currently used power settings be reduced to something less noisy?

I don't know. I suspect safety and economy are major factors. Also I don't know how much of the noise is engines and how much is just aerodynamical. Some of the higher pitches come from wing flaps or slats.

I doubt that KAL-213 is especially low and slow. Maybe just sounds louder because is has less ambient noise to compete with at that hour, or the cooler more still air carries the sound more efficiently. And 747s are comparatively louder than the smaller airliners.


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Posted by pepperkat
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm

pepperkat is a registered user.

"It is only when the costs are borne disproportionately ... that there is justification for reducing those costs by reducing the benefits."

But inflicting costs disproportionately is exactly what NextGen DOES. That is what it is DESIGNED to do.

About this, at least, the FAA has been quite forthright.

See, for example, the FAA's "Implications of Environmental Requirements for NextGen," in which the agency asserts that creating highly concentrated "precise navigation" flight paths would "reduce fuel burn/emissions and noise exposure" overall by increasing noise exposure and affecting surface air quality concentrations "in some areas."

That is the very definition of a "disproportionate" infliction of costs.

Highly concentrated flight routes that funnel all directional traffic within 200 miles of a major airport over the same narrow bands of homes again and again and again? Disproportionately costly to those neighborhoods, communities, and homeowners.

The "Net Noise Reduction Method" used by the FAA to justify increasing noise – even substantially -- for a few, as long as it is reduced for most? Disproportionately costly to the "few."

The agency's similar justification for increasing emissions/surface air quality concentrations in some areas by funneling ALL directional traffic through them? Disproportionately costly to the "some."

As you point out, noise sensitivity is highly personal and subjective. I know that I am highly noise sensitive. That's exactly why we chose to buy our home where we did some 15 years ago, in this formerly very tranquil, very peaceful, very quiet, very serene neighborhood in the Santa Cruz Mountains, over an hour and two counties removed from SFO. And it's why we are so particularly devastated to find that the property our once very quiet home occupies now sits terribly near the point where the arrival path and the departure path for the new SERFR 1 route seem to intersect.

Every few weeks since this nightmare began for us in early March, I waste half a day compiling data from the tracker to create a formal "spot" log of traffic over a 24-hour period. (For this purpose, I count only those planes passing within what I know from the last several painful months of mapping to be the primary "noise impact zone" for my home. I assume it is the same for my immediate neighbors, though homes higher on the ridge may experience more or less echo, or may experience noise from additional planes on the other side of the ridge.)

I compiled my most recent log on Sunday, May 17. On that day, over a 24-hour period, some 250 planes roared, rumbled, groaned, and grinded over our canyon. 113 were arriving flights to SFO (flying 5000 – 8000 feet above my 2000-foot-elevation home). 66 were departing flights (flying at higher altitudes, but with their engines on full thrust). 25 were departing flights from Oakland. 10 were arriving flights to SJC (flying 3000 to 4000 feet above my 2000-foot-elevation home). 4 were identified PAO planes, 1 was an identified San Carlos plane, and 1 was an identified Half Moon Bay plane. We had 11 additional unidentified small planes and 3 unidentified helicopters. We had 4 unidentified arriving jets (probably going to SFO). We had 7 unidentified departing jets (which could have been either from SFO or OAK, but statistically were probably from SFO). And we had something like 4 overflights that neither originated nor landed at local airports (I didn't actually log these on my chart).

Prior to NextGen, when the flight routes this far from major airports were widely and equitably (as in NOT DISPROPORTIONATELY) dispersed, we would certainly have had overflights -- but they would have been far higher, far quieter, far less frequent, and much less bothersome. Now, because of NextGen's extreme (and DISPROPORTIONATE) concentration, combined with the significantly lowered altitudes of arriving flights, the assault is continual, extremely intrusive, and highly disturbing.

Like residents and homeowners in the other NextGen-afflicted neighborhoods around the nation, I would certainly argue that I am being made to bear the "costs" of "air transportation modernization" disproportionately.

Those "disproportionate" costs so far to me personally are to my ability to sleep without repeated interruption ... to concentrate on my work here in my home office throughout the day ... to focus on what I am saying (or what is being said to me) ... to enjoy ANY use of my deck or yard … to be free for more than a minute or two at a time of unpleasant physical sensations generated by the sort of low-frequency sound waves that laughable "A"-weighted metrics and ordinances don't even consider (and that "A"-weighted sound meters don't even measure) ... to think about much of anything but this ... and to not have my home value drop precipitously overnight because the government decided to turn my neighborhood into a runway extension for an airport an hour away.

Mr. Carpenter, everyone gets that you don't agree that Palo Alto is "disproportionately" burdened by flights and noise for SFO compared to other Bay Area cities. But since you DO agree that when "the costs are borne disproportionately ... there is justification for reducing those costs by reducing the benefits," can I assume you agree there IS at least justification for reducing the supposed benefits of NextGen ... and redistributing its costs (i.e., ROUTES) more equitably?

If not, why not? Is it that you don't agree the "costs" of NextGen ARE being borne "disproportionately" by a fraction of the American public? And if you don't agree, why don't you? Respectfully, IS there any line in the sand? How many planes WOULD have to fly over someone else's home every day (or how low WOULD those planes have to fly) before the burden being inflicted on that person in comparison to the one being inflicted on you DID seem disproportionate enough for you to acknowledge that his/her expressed misery was justified (not merely "subjective" or "personal") ... and that perhaps something should be done?


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I am getting the suspicion from all said that it is intentional that there is no noise monitor in the line of flight from the top of the hills to the bottom turning point. It would seen logical to have a noise monitor at PAO after all of this discussion but there is total resistance from the powers to be to do that. They do not want the answer. They do not want it documented as that could result in a law suite.

There are law suites going on all over concerning this topic as it affects many cities.

I am also wondering where the flight control people are as the planes are coming down from the hills since there is such a varying degree of altitudes as they come into the turn to go north.

That seems to be an area that is too loosely hanging together. We know from the Malaysian flights that if the systems have a hole in coverage they will insert the required altitude until the plane gets to the next checkpoint.

Time to scope out from SFO exactly how that is handled. Given the number of people who access the trackers there is an army of people who have information as to coordination on the flights. Need to get that data from SFO.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Careful what you wish for - accurate noise monitoring in Palo Alto will show that the total ground level airplane noise level in Palo Alto is lower than it is in communities closer to SFO.

Sound levels (technically sound pressures) decrease by the inverse square of the distance from the source so ground level sound from an an airplane at 4000 ft is only 25% of the ground level sound from an airplane at 2000 ft..

Clue - why are the existing noise monitors all near SFO and SJC? Because that is where the highest ground sound levels occur.

I predict that with accurate noise data for Palo Alto it will no longer be possible to claim that Palo Alto is being disproportionately impacted.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Yes - we have heard that many times from you. However the planes are over the baylands or water for most of their time in San Mateo County. The noise monitors are there because you have a SFO roundtable that is politically situated to move air traffic from over the homes in that county. They used to come in over HWY 84 and HWY 92.
The political push has moved the planes over Santa Clara County for the "over land and houses" portion of the incoming traffic.
Time to document that and put this problem on the table.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"However the planes are over the baylands or water for most of their time in San Mateo County."

Actually most of them pass over East Palo Alto and/or west Menlo Park and they do so at lower altitudes than when they were over Palo Alto. And they are all closer in direct distance to Redwood Shores, Foster City and Burlingame than they were when over Palo Alto including those that come from the East and never pass over Palo Alto.

"Time to document that and put this problem on the table."

I TOTALLY agree.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

pepperkat,

"How many planes WOULD have to fly over someone else's home every day (or how low WOULD those planes have to fly) before the burden being inflicted on that person in comparison to the one being inflicted on you DID seem disproportionate enough for you to acknowledge that his/her expressed misery was justified (not merely "subjective" or "personal") ... and that perhaps something should be done?"

Notice that PC is now asking for a "document that puts the problem on the table" (in CAPS nonetheless). What could possibly be in that document if the principle is subjectivity.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2015 at 8:15 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

SFO has 2 types of flight to monitor - Arrivals - and Departures. Palo Alto is affected by the Arrivals for the lower end altitude issues, and less so Departures which are higher altitude issues. Cities north of the airport are more affected by the Departures. The Arrivals are lined up over the bay.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" What could possibly be in that document if the principle is subjectivity. "

The principle of democratic rule making is not subjectivity but objectivity - that is why data and facts trump opinions.


11 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 9:08 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

I have observed this list and a previous one and see the same pattern:

Initially people comment about suffering created by the airplane noise. I see their need for support and being heard and understood as essential.

But soon PC and similar others take over and drown out the voices that I perceive as being extremely important.

I believe there is a strong need for support for those impacted by noise and pollution and that anyone would dismiss this for any "reason" seems to me regrettable. Sensitivity would be welcome.


8 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 9:22 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"The principle of democratic rule making is not subjectivity but objectivity - that is why data and facts trump opinions."

Do you think the FAA will provide the "document" which answers pepperkat's question?.

It would be the responsible and objective analysis to have. What data do they use for making these health decisions?

"How many planes WOULD have to fly over someone else's home every day (or how low WOULD those planes have to fly) before the burden being inflicted on that person in comparison to the one being inflicted on you DID seem disproportionate enough for you to acknowledge that his/her expressed misery was justified (not merely "subjective" or "personal") ... and that perhaps something should be done?"




6 people like this
Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 10:24 am

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

@ pepperkat: Yours is a heart-breaking story. It opens my eyes to what happens at the extremes of this new control scheme, and makes whatever suffering Palo Altans have seem like having one's toes tickled. I'm sorry.

I see what's described as a posh house for sale on Bear Creek Way for $1.8M, well below what the current market would predict. But I think it's within a few thousand feet of your location, so noise may explain it.

@ Peter Carpenter: In a democracy, the mostly objective process of counting votes makes decisions. But, how and why people vote the way they do is a very subjective process. I assert that that messy, inefficient process is the principle of democracy.

If these new FAA rules had been democratically pursued, they would never have been implemented. Now, after the horse is out of the barn, people are trying, democratically, to bring it back. That's what this whole story is about.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2015 at 10:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Do you think the FAA will provide the "document" which answers pepperkat's question?."

No, What pepperkat called for was some sort of opinion pool on noise perception - that is not the FAA's job.

Pepperkat also stated " and to not have my home value drop precipitously overnight because the government decided to turn my neighborhood into a runway extension for an airport an hour away." Again the data does not support any such drop in home values but rather quite the contrary.

What Resident 1-Adobe Meadows called for was a document that addressed this issue:
"The political push has moved the planes over Santa Clara County for the "over land and houses" portion of the incoming traffic.
Time to document that and put this problem on the table."

I agree.


8 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 10:59 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Mike,

It's not a "toe tickling" over in Palo Alto. It's the same traffic as Santa Cruz, same highway. You can hear noise with flights at very high altitudes in Santa Cruz, and here but both places the planes are flying much lower. The main issue is volume of flights, and concentrated paths.

The decision to dump SFO traffic on a few concentrated lanes, stacking the planes (cough cough - the AIR pollution and chemicals left over from that is not joke) is a matter of public health policy.

Peter Carpenter,

"No, What pepperkat called for was some sort of opinion pool on noise perception - that is not the FAA's job."

That's not what she asked.

But I agree the FAA's job is to not to do an opinion pool of noise perceptions. The FAA has no business in addressing noise health policy at all. It's like the tobacco industry being in charge of addressing smoking health policy.



6 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

resident3 is a registered user.

sorry pepperkat, I actually don't know is you are a she or a he, no matter.

Your question deserves an answer. Somebody must have this information, or how else was the decision made to dump SFO traffic so low and so intensely.

"How many planes WOULD have to fly over someone else's home every day (or how low WOULD those planes have to fly) before the burden being inflicted on that person in comparison to the one being inflicted on you DID seem disproportionate enough for you to acknowledge that his/her expressed misery was justified (not merely "subjective" or "personal") ... and that perhaps something should be done?"


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

@ resident3: I think pepperkat's experience is quite different than that in PA because of his location in a small mountain valley (echo chamber), under both inbound traffic @ 300 kts, and outbound traffic at full thrust. Takes nothing away from the PA experience, but it is more extreme.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The community needs to realize that active citizen participation in the development of SF Bay area NextGen. NextGen is an amazing tool and it can be used in many different ways. NextGen permits every single flight to be assigned a different path to an airport. NextGen allows constant rate descents at low power in contrast to the current step down approach which require frequent power changes.

Some will point out that NextGen applications elsewhere have been done poorly - true. Do we have to repeat those mistakes -NO.

In fact NextGen could be used to minimize noise impact in special geographical sites like where pepperkat seems to reside.

Rather than waste all the energy on the shortcomings of the current, soon to be replaced , air traffic system and routes please focus on making NextGen work better for all concerned.

Note that low noise constant descent glide path flight paths are not only quieter they are also more fuel efficient = win-win.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"Note that low noise constant descent glide path flight paths are not only quieter they are also more fuel efficient = win-win."

Except in a traffic jam.

It's all about quantity of traffic. Volume and concentration. All goes to hell when there is too much traffic. And don't even start with quieter planes. Volume and concentration of traffic should not be unleashed on a few people, at all.

Anyway, using the new navigation system, things could immediately be corrected.

What would be the point of Nextgen if you can't use it democratically.



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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If you look t the picture of the house on Bear Creek in Los Gatos it is in a depression with a lot of trees. I think a lot of people are trying to dump houses that are in potential fire hazard locations. A lot of homes in Saratoga are for sale - woody and tall grass locations.

However I was on the Los Gatos Creek Trail and was surprised to see a plane coming in to SJC that was extremely low. WOW - what a racket that was.

As to upcoming flight changes it is time to "help" and "assist" the FAA make better decisions as to where planes are. You will note that SJC does not encourage planes at all times of night. So airports do have policies on flight times in recognition of noise.


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

As I understand it, "optimized descents" are an element of NextGen, focused on time and fuel efficiency, and implemented without regard to environmental concerns other than emissions.

I for one think the local program needs tuning; that there are simple things that can be done at some cost to fuel efficiency that will improve the result on the ground. I have signed the Sky Posse call-for-action petition: Web Link

Similar techniques are in use for outbound traffic at La Guardia airport, with similar public outcry, and airport operators and FAA digging in their heels. See Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Mike - The biggest problems with the petition are that it is Palo Alto centric "#3 ADDRESSING AVIATION NOISE POLLUTION OVER PALO ALTO IS AN URGENT ISSUE" and "An FAA administrator liaison specifically assigned to work with Palo Alto would be a good first step. "
and that is assumes facts not in evidence such as "#2 PALO ALTO IS DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED".


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

Peter, I know. Nothing's perfect. Sometimes a collective voice has more impact, though. Besides, that statement is to a certain extent true, and it's different than saying the problem is worse in PA than anywhere else.


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Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Mike Alexander is a registered user.

By the way, I came to this discussion with no axe to grind, and largely ignorant of both the technical and social issues. Thanks to you all, I have a better idea where I stand and what's at stake. Cheers.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Maybe say," addressing aviation noise pollution over" (the world) is an urgent issue? Or maybe address aviation noise pollution over anywhere else except Palo Alto?

With all your expertise Peter, how would you help solve the problems in Santa Cruz?




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 29, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"With all your expertise Peter, how would you help solve the problems in Santa Cruz?"

As already posted - In fact NextGen could be used to minimize noise impact in special geographical sites like where pepperkat seems to reside.


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Posted by Jasmine
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2015 at 4:35 am

Jasmine is a registered user.

This is INSANE! I could not fall in asleep at 12:30 midnight due to airplane noise, and then at 4:30 I am already awaken by the airplane noise again!!! This noise pollution will disturb our sleep and mental health. We talk about in our community, our children have depression. Well, lack of sleep is definitely a big reason towards depression. Please, we all act together to file petition to have the airplanes go back to 5000+ altitude! I understand the economy growth will mean more airplanes, but at least can they fly at an altitude that they were flying before? Why need to fly so LOW???

Please sign the petition at Web Link


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Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2015 at 6:04 am

rick is a registered user.

Jasmine's post prompted me to review WebTrak. That United 777 at 4:23 from Honolulu went over at 6500 feet. I didn't hear it at all. And their 757 from Kahului at 4:33 was at 7000 mostly over Mountain View. The flight from Kona at 4:48 was lower, like 4700 feet, but again mostly over Mountain View. I was up all night studying and this seemed to be one of our quieter nights, maybe because of the thick fog layer. There were a couple scattered smaller airliners during the midnight hour, and of course our favorite KAL213 747 at 1:23 over Midtown 4500 feet. I guess I was too absorbed to notice any of them.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Rick's and Jasmine's posts illustrate perfectly a key fact in this discussion - different people have very different reactions to exactly the same physical stimulus (in this case sound).

Political energy is a scarce resource that is usually devoted to activities that impact a relatively large number of people.

Political solutions are an even scarcer resource and they are usually reserved for reducing the impact of some very undesirable activity that impacts a large number of people.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So let's look at the logic here - 4:23 AM - UAL 396, HNL to SFO, a B772 is coming up the peninsula north over the mountains headed to SFO - then makes a right hand turn over Woodside / PA and actually has to make a southern adjustment to cross the Googleplex before then turning north to SFO.

There are no other planes in the area at this point in time - the plane is the single flight that has the whole airspace. Yet it does not cross Atherton which would be the straight shot in - it actually has to make an adjustment slightly south to the Mountain View location - crossing PA in transit.

So what is the point of all that? It does not save gas money; it is a waste of time; but it did pointedly turn away from Atherton and had to make a southern adjustment to do that.

So there you go - nonsense attributed to the whole event.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"So what is the point of all that?"

Actually it is to keep the flight higher up until it reaches the Bay. This flight crossed Palo Alto above 6000 ft but then very quickly descended to 3800 ft when it reached the Dumbarton Bridge. Had it proceeded directly to the Bay it would have been below 4000 ft over East Menlo Park. This sure looks like a better flight path for all concerned.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Jasmine, the higher altitude planes can also be hell a noisy! Especially at night.

That United flight at 4:2 AM @ 6500 altitude plane belongs over the water or maybe Atherton would like to share it for a few months?

















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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

An SFO bound plane cannot be as high as 6000 ft if it is crossing Atherton and Menlo Park since it must then be below 4000 when it then reaches the Bay North of Dumbarton Bridge.

And a plane at 4000 ft is about 60% noisier at ground level than a plane at 6000 ft.

This actual flight routing significantly reduced the ground level noise for all of the populated areas over which it flew compared to the alternative routing.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Sorry - no sale - the plane was fine where it was heading straight into SFO. All it had to do was veer east over the bridge and it would be fine.
It doesn't matter what the altitude was - I woke up and marked down the time. You could hear this coming and going forever.

If you look at all of the possibilities over time the planes coming in from the east coast are higher than 4,000 feet - +/- based on plane.
There is no set rule and most coming from the west are lower than 4,000 feet. We have already had that discussion.

The plane is an old, clumsy piece of junk that should not be out there.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Sorry - no sale - the plane was fine where it was heading straight into SFO. All it had to do was veer east over the bridge and it would be fine."

Please add the vertical component to your 2 dimensional analysis.

An SFO bound plane cannot be as high as 6000 ft if it is crossing Atherton and Menlo Park and East Palo Alto since it must then be below 4000 when it crosses the Dumbarton Bridge. Neither the pilots or the passengers in these planes are interested in becoming dive bombers.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

What prevents the plane from being lower over Atherton to be "in place" fro the Dumbarton Bridge?

Seems to me you could be anywhere you want to be, at any altitude you want to be, if you work it that way.




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"What prevents the plane from being lower over Atherton to be "in place" fro the Dumbarton Bridge?"

The very same things that prevents it from being lower over Palo Alto - it would make too much noise - particularly for east Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.

Are you suggesting that moving a plane that is at 6000 ft over Palo Alto to be a plane at 4400 ft over east Menlo Park and East Palo Alto is a win-win?


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peer Carpenter,

I thought so, nothing prevents the planes crossing Atherton, as they do over Palo Alto, at below 5000 feet except that the noise would be too bothersome for Atherton.

All the "dimensional analysis" and contortions are just that.

Cute that you tack East Palo Alto to Atherton as if the planes are not already slamming both East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park when they cross over land.

Anyway, I was only pointing to this fact, that noise sharing is possible. A better idea would be for these planes to be over the water.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident3 - You simply refuse to read what I have stated.

I am pleased to let my fact based analysis speak for itself.



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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Flight VRD963, A320, SAN-SFO 6:22 Pm just crossed over the northern tip of Stanford then went on to SFO without crossing the Dumbarton Bridge - he was inside on the 101 until past the bridge. No - he did not cross over Atherton but just shy of it.
Bottom line is that the UAL flight this morning could have performed the same flight pattern - There was no requirement to go south to Mountain View in order to go north to SFO - this mornings route was superfluous.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

AAL686 just crossed the Dumbarton Bridge at +/- 4900 altitude. There was a small plane on beacon 3576 flying directly in front of that plane and maintained position under it by 300 ft. That pushed the AAL686 higher. Hope the police are waiting for the small plane. Just what we need a bunch of small planes harassing large planes. 300 foot differential is harassment.
Where is the air control people here?


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Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2015 at 10:49 pm

rick is a registered user.

These two planes were both inbound to SFO, talking to air traffic control. Insufficient data on WebTrak to know size of aircraft squawking 3576, probably a corporate jet which could be anything from a NetJets Cessna to Prince Alwaleed's 747. This "unknown" arrival was sequenced 2 miles ahead of the Airbus from Pheonix, a separation of about 40 seconds. No problem - two runways. Again, insufficient data to know which was cleared for runway 28-left and which was cleared for 28-right.

A caveat is given under the Help tab: "WebTrak is not designed to be a detailed analysis system and it should not be used as such."


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 10:36 am

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Definitely Web Trak can only tell part of the mess that SFO traffic causes over Palo Alto.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 11:03 am

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Actually Web Trak is very versatile.

Here is a zoomed in screen grab show two planes landing simultaneously at SFO - one on 28L and the other on 28R:

Web Link


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Posted by Paul Robichaux
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2015 at 11:26 am

Paul Robichaux is a registered user.

I'm a former Mountain View resident who worked in Palo Alto and a pilot who did the majority of my flight training out of PAO; I'm very familiar with the traffic patterns and airspace design of the Bay Area both pre- and post-NextGen. I happen to like airplane noise but I certainly understand that many people find it bothersome, and a few find it nearly unbearable. I'd love to see comprehensive data on ground-measured sound pressure levels correlated with air traffic. I think that data would probably prove what Peter Carpenter has been saying, but perhaps not.

One thing I haven't seen discussed is the fact that SFO is capacity-constrained; it can only absorb a certain number of airplane arrivals and departures per hour. That number changes according to the prevailing winds and weather conditions. One of the key drivers behind NextGen is to provide better traffic management for arrivals and departures at places such as SFO (and LaGuardia, mentioned upthread). Who benefits from this? Passengers, e.g. *us*. For about two years, I had to commute from the Bay Area to see my kids in another state. I'd estimate that about 75% of my flights returning to SFO were delayed due to traffic flow management.

I'd also like to take a shot at dispelling the belief that pilots can pretty much pick their own routes in controlled airspace. It's true that a pilot can request a particular routing, but in the vast majority of cases we're stuck with accepting what ATC gives us. Each navigation fix on an approach path has specific altitude restrictions associated with it. Sometimes these are expressed as minimum altitudes, sometimes as a range, and sometimes as a maximum. In addition, each route has specific lateral limits. If you look at the approach diagram for SERFR1 (Web Link) you'll see the altitudes and speeds shown with underlines (e.g. when you're vectored to MENLO you must cross at or above 4000' and above 230kts). Controllers monitor the altitude of flights very carefully; in fact their job performance is graded, in part, by how good a job they do at identifying, correcting, and (if necessary) reporting altitude infractions by pilots. I can guarantee you that if ATC assigns an altitude to cross MENLO at 5000', no pilot is going to get away with crossing it below 4700' without having an unpleasant call with the FAA.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 11:39 am

resident3 is a registered user.

They must be using the double runways (double trouble) this morning, started early, very noisy.

Noise doesn't sound like "descents at low power", and certainly no "different paths" since it's repetitive noise.

Repetitive, like most garbage and waste is.



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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 12:03 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Paul,

Depends on what the noise comparison is for.

To measure it for the FAA's counting system, it's useless and you know it. Unless you would care to defend "average" noise (over 24 hours), the 65 db standard, or the standard that noise it's "annoying" instead of the standards that stress induced health problems from aircraft noise are real.

Single event noise, a more accurate way to reflect the experience of noise is something the FAA will ignore so which
"ground-measured sound pressure levels correlated with air traffic" are you proposing?

Seems like the better way evaluate the noise that we (not the ground) are experiencing is the change in noise levels, measured as single events. The FAA can put this data together that, so can SFO, and all of you "in the know" should be responsible for getting that kind of analysis to the public. And certainly all the airlines and commercial interests should not be in charge of setting noise policies.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

My impression is that flights going into an international hub (SFO) airport are required to have a flight plan. The plane 3576 was flying on beacon and had no flight plan. It did not indicate any information - that is not standard. If there is no flight plan filed and on record I would consider that an infringement on the rules. I hope there was some type of security check when those people landed - we cannot run an airport when planes have no data and intersect with commercial planes that do have a flight plan. That should not be tolerated at a major international airport.

As to the 4.23AM flight coming in from Hawaii yesterday are you saying that ATC directed that plane to turn south east, go to Mountain View - then turn north to SFO? Given that there was no other traffic in the area and the weather was not excessive that sounds like someone has made a "deal" concerning where planes go at certain times of day. A noise control issue between friends?

Planes later in the day were making a straight shot in - crossing at 101 and 84 - bridge or not - optional - and then making the straight shot in to SFO. Rules of the game change based on time of day? If that is a "deal" then we need to take that on.

Strange that Rick saw what was going on but failed to mention that the plane dragged itself across PA to Mountain View whining and moaning the whole way.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Given that there was no other traffic in the area and the weather was not excessive that sounds like someone has made a "deal" concerning where planes go at certain times of day"

No, as I have tried to patiently explain that maneuver was to to:
1) keep the plane higher over populated areas and

2) take it far enough South so that it could intercept the SFO approach path from its higher altitude but over the Bay.

a clear win-win for all concerned except that it cost the airline a bit more for the slight deviation in terms of added fuel.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The plane 3576 was flying on beacon and had no flight plan. It did not indicate any information - that is not standard."

3576 was its Air Traffic Control assigned discreet squawk code - ATC knew exactly what plane it was. Pilots and owners can apply to have their identity information removed from public displays like Flight Trak.

ATC would never allow an unknown airplane to enter controlled airspace - they just call for an intercept by a not so friendly fighter plane.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 12:53 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"Pilots and owners can apply to have their identity information removed from public displays like Flight Trak."

And why do they take their identity from public displays?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"And why do they take their identity from public displays? "

Perhaps for the same reason that you post here anonymously.

Actually the FAA has a much higher standard than does the Town Forum:
"
With respect to the procedures for aircraft owner and operator requests to block and unblock aircraft from inclusion in the FAA’s ASDI data feed, the FAA concludes as follows:
1. Requestors. The FAA will honor each written request of an aircraft owner and operator, submitted in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 to block or unblock their aircraft’s appearance in the FAA’s public ASDI data feed. Aircraft owners and operators may submit their request on their own behalf, or they may do so through a legally authorized agent, including an attorney or an aircraft management company with a fiduciary duty to carry out the owner’s or operator’s express wishes with respect to the aircraft."

"2. Substance of Requests. To assist the FAA in processing aircraft owner or operator requests promptly, all requests related to an aircraft’s ASDI blocking or unblocking must include the following information:
• The name of the requestor;
• the registration number(s) of the aircraft to be blocked or unblocked;
• a certification that the requestor is the owner or operator of the specified aircraft or is a legally authorized representative of the aircraft owner or operator;
• a telephone number or electronic mail address to which the FAA can direct any questions about the request; and
• for a request to block one or more aircraft, a statement indicating the requestor’s desired level of ASDI blocking—either at the FAA source or at the ASDI subscriber level."


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 1:36 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

If the pilots are being anonymous for the same reasons I am it's because they consider themselves unsafe in the space they are choosing to participate in.

It's unfortunate, but unlike you I am not a former Executive Director of the Stanford University Medical Center, or served on the Dean's Advisory Board at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, or at various Institute of Medicine Committees, or as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford's Center for Biomedical Ethics and as Chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR).

My opinions on aircraft noise are dismissed, ignored, ridiculed, on a regular basis, and I do not feel "safe" for lack of a better word.

However, this is an online forum.

The pilots who are flying over our neighborhoods should have much higher standards, and not be allowed to be anonymous.

That the FAA knows who they are does not give me much comfort because the FAA is more concerned about the safety of the people in the air and not the people whoa have to live with the waste and garbage of the entertainment or business of the anonymous pilots.

As a matter of fact the FAA should not allow anonymous pilots or commercial businesses who fly over our homes.

If they have something to fear about the space they are participating in, please explain.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Meant to say that commercial businesses should not be allowed to fly anonymously.

It's very rare for example that you would find Surf Air on the WebTrak. For the number of flights they have, you'd think they would turn up. Very rarely,

Does Surf Air fly anonymously?




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Paul Robichaux
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Paul Robichaux is a registered user.

Resident3: I am sure there are people who suffer stress-induced illness due to airplane noise. There are people who suffer all sorts of stress-induced illnesses due to all sorts of things. There is a wide range of opinion about what level of stressor is enough to trigger illness, and that level apparently varies from person to person. I'm not a doctor or a mental health professional, so my opinion on the matter isn't really relevant.

Average sound level is useful as a baseline. I presume the higher average noise level is higher for people who live right next to 101 than for those who live elsewhere, for example-- so the measurement of "event noise" would seem to require a baseline for comparison. Since I am not an acoustic engineer, I'm happy to admit that I don't know what the best method of accurately measuring the amount of noise produced by these airplanes is. Since you're not one either AFAIK I would suggest the same is true of you.

As to why flights hide their ID, you have to look no further than Palo Alto's own Steve Jobs; I remember reading (can't find the source now) that he had his personal Gulfstream's ID hidden when flying from the Bay Area to seek treatment for his illness. For both personal and business reasons, he considered it unnecessary to broadcast to the world where he was going. Lots of other similar reasons exist, too, all related to personal or business privacy.

I also note that the reason it's called "controlled" airspace is because you cannot legally enter it without two-way radio communications with ATC. Cross my heart, ATC knows who every airplane in that airspace is and what they're doing. Some low-altitude airspace in the local area is uncontrolled, meaning you can fly through it without talking to ATC, but there's very little in the Bay Area because there are so many airports so close together. if you take a look at Web Link you'll see that pretty clearly.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The plane in question - 3576 - purposely went under the larger plane AAL686
and was trying to mask it's location on the tracker. If you look at the sequence you can see the confusion I think on the AAL pilots part as to what was going on here - there was a sudden jump. This was a purposeful attempt at subterfuge - no plane should be 300 ft under another as it is coming in for a landing at a major airport.

Giving flight information does not tell you who the individual is - or the company - only that the flight has been recorded and is on record as happening. Also what type of plane it is, origin and destination. Even personal planes going out of PAO have that type of information.

As a matter of policy I think this is irresponsible.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

I disagree with you.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Does Surf Air fly anonymously?"

I have always seen Surf Air flight tags with full info and I have never seen a Surf Air flight that was not fully depicted on Flight Trak.

But I cannot prove a negative..


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The plane in question - 3576 - purposely went under the larger plane AAL686
and was trying to mask it's location on the tracker. "

Please give the date and time of this event.

Thanks


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Posted by Asher Waldfogel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Asher Waldfogel is a registered user.

With a bit of sleuthing - at 6:27:50 pm yesterday San Francisco Tower cleared B-LHR (beacon code 3576) to land on runway 28R. At 6:29:15 San Francisco Tower cleared AAL686 to land on runway 28L. After landing B-LRH went to Signature Aviation. No audible ATC drama.

B-LRH is a Bombardier Global 5000 registered to Dynamic Sense International in Hong Kong.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 3:34 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Then please do share the Flight Trak pictures of Surf AIr. You must have many since they have many flights.

The Private Club flights like Surf Air who use GA to run a commercial shuttles should not be allowed to hide. Like many of the trucks that go on the highways they could use a "How Am I doing?" sticker too.

On the roads we are BTW not anonymous, we all have licence plates. So what I am asking for is not "hogwash."

I would use that term for other things, but not for my suggestion that commercial carriers not be allowed to transit hiding their logo. There aren't that many people who need absolute anonymity so there must be other reasons they have requested to be anonymous.

Again, the pilots and aircraft should have much higher standards than those for an online forum.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Asher - Thanks for the sleuthing.

"The plane in question - 3576 - purposely went under the larger plane AAL686
and was trying to mask it's location on the tracker"

Clearly there was no interference between the two planes. The 300ft separation in altitude is perfectly safe and legal if the planes are also horizontally separated as was the case here.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Then please do share the Flight Trak pictures of Surf AIr. You must have many since they have many flights. "

I have posted those many times - here is a brand new one:

Web Link

Note the URF call sign - that is Surf Air

Note how close it comes to my house.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 4:01 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

With the amount of SFO traffic today, Surf Air would have to be low.

As rick said "WebTrak is not designed to be a detailed analysis system and it should not be used as such." We can all spend time looking at one flight or another but the cumulative amount of flights is still not considered.

The people "in the know" will not provide cumulative data and sparse about what is right and wrong about one sample or another.

I had my suspicion about why there is no cumulative data, and why people suggest to spend time on Web Trak - it's much easier to play mirror games with it.



9 people like this
Posted by iSez
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm

iSez is a registered user.

I just scrolled down to the bottom here to vent, so maybe the answer is somewhere above. Today has been absolutely horrible for jets and airplane noise from small airplanes. I could sit here all day, just logging in complaints because there is such a high quantity of noise! This is seriously a helpless feeling! Is there any hope of curbing the noise? Why again, has this gotten so bad? Because they want to save on fuel?


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Which web track are you referring to? If you are using the Bruel & Kjaer web track then you can see all of the flights in the area - all airports -
that includes Palo Alto and San Carlos - Surf Air's home base. You can see the Surf Air flights on this web track. This is useful for collecting information and seeing the planes in flight but if you are going to report a plane then you need to go to the SFO or SJC specific Official sites. Or the San Carlos or PAO official web-sites.

If you are using the SFO or SJC Trackers then they are selecting the flights specific to their airport.

It all makes sense - any airport assumes you are concerned with tracking a flight that you are presumably ticketed on.

These are commercial programs provided by the airports to make your flying experience better. They are not FAA specific tools.
No one out there assumes that people are looking at airport management of flights with these tools - but that is what we are doing.

If you officially connect to the SJC and SFO fight trackers they will send you notifications concerning your ticketed flight - if late or delayed - they recognize you by your email address and connect you to ticketed flights. That is a neat feature.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Paul,

About the baseline noise, for sure the baseline is much lower at night, and on weekends which makes the SFO noise dump on weekends particularly bad.

Even if you and I are not professional acoustics experts, it's pretty obvious what's a problem.

The biggest problem is repetitive noise.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 4:28 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

ISez,

"Today has been absolutely horrible for jets and airplane noise from small airplanes."

I would say non-stop.

Resident 1 -

So if you can see all the flights for today, why not just add them up? This game of looking at one flight or the other is getting old. It's always "so easy" but if it's so easy why not just post the tally.

That could get a better discussion about the concept of continuous noise.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Resident 3 - I am looking at the web track to resolve a specific question - like who is the fool that is rolling over at 4:22 in the AM - I am going to report that plane. The plane enters the area but travels south then turns north when north is the way to SFO.

Then another question comes up - PC keeps trying to bound the discussion by "rules" of what everyone is suppose to be doing - but if you look then the "rules" are not in play - not everyone is playing by the "rules"
Some are under 4,000 crossing the DB Bridge. Some don't even cross it - they cut across 101 / 84 and head up to SFO. Bridge is not an issue.

When you are trying to research a specific issue then you see something strange going on that is inconsistent with what everyone else is doing.
A plane 3576 if flying "on beacon". That usually refers to a pilot out for recreational flying. That is what you would see on a PAO flight or San Carlos flight. However when a unnamed flight "on beacon" starts heading into SFO in proximity of a commercial flight that is preparing to land then that is a show stopper. If that is the way this plane is reflected in any program that another pilot would be looking at then they would be confused.
That is a policy issue - other pilots in the area cannot judge what is happening if this plane is in their flight path.

I don't care about sitting around counting up flights - not of interest to me - but you could certainly take that on if that is your concern.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 5:27 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Res 1

Just wanted to point out that one can't stare at Web Trak to come up with a conclusive analysis of the situation, and that cumulative data - which the experts should be doing (not us), is missing. Lack of accountability there.

That 4:22 AM is a repeated disturbance which has been reported for months. SFO does nothing to explain it or do anything about it. If you find out what it's all about and any of the "rules" that should be news.




1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are the SAFO arrival rules:

Web Link


STARs - Standard Terminal Arrivals
BDEGA ONE (RNAV) download (219KB)
BIG SUR TWO download (135KB)
DYAMD ONE (RNAV) **NEW** 2 pages: [1] [2] (439KB)
GOLDEN GATE SIX download (327KB)
HADLY TWO download (186KB)
LOCKE ONE download (290KB)
MODESTO FIVE download (336KB)
POINT REYES ONE 2 pages: [1] [2] (270KB)
RISTI FOUR download (154KB)
SERFR ONE (RNAV) 2 pages: [1] [2] (287KB)
STINS TWO download (279KB)
STLER ONE (RNAV) download (187KB)
YOSEM THREE (RNAV) **NEW** download (155KB)

IAPs - Instrument Approach Procedures
ILS OR LOC RWY 19L download (406KB)
ILS OR LOC RWY 28L download (422KB)
ILS OR LOC RWY 28R download (413KB)
ILS RWY 28R (SA CAT I) download (333KB)
ILS RWY 28R (CAT II - III) download (332KB)
ILS RWY 28L (SA CAT II) download (354KB)
RNAV (RNP) Y RWY 28R **CHANGED** download (251KB)
RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 10R download (252KB)
RNAV (GPS) RWY 10L download (230KB)
RNAV (GPS) RWY 19L download (258KB)
RNAV (GPS) RWY 19R download (250KB)
RNAV (GPS) RWY 28L download (295KB)
RNAV (GPS) X RWY 28R download (296KB)
RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 10R download (231KB)
RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 28R download (268KB)
LDA/DME RWY 28R download (337KB)
VOR RWY 19L download (329KB)
VOR-B download (241KB)
PRM AAUP 2 pages: [1] [2] (888KB)
PRM AAUP, CONT.2 download (480KB)
ILS PRM RWY 28L download (377KB)
RNAV (GPS) PRM RWY 28L download (316KB)
RNAV (GPS) PRM X RWY 28R download (330KB)
LDA PRM RWY 28R download (367KB)
QUIET BRIDGE VISUAL RWY 28L/R download (282KB)
TIPP TOE VISUAL RWY 28L/R download (257KB)
NOTE: Special Alternate Minimums apply download (29KB)


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The 4 AM United flight is always routed in the same fashion - to keep it at higher altitudes over populated areas and for it to be able to descend to the assigned crossing altitude of 4000 ft at ROKME intersection (which is about the Dumbarton Bridge). If it were routed to cross the shoreline any further North then it would have to be lower over a populated area. Looks like a "sound" air traffic policy to me.

Here was today's flight path - directly on course from HNL until it was turned over the Bay to intersect the SFO 28L IFR approach:

Web Link

What would you have done differently?


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 6:39 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Are you all talking about the flight that flies over Palo Alto at 4 AM?

Sounds like you are talking about one that doesn't fly over here. Where are the rules that make all 4 AM flights not fly over populated areas, and why do several night flights have to be over here?



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Are you all talking about the flight that flies over Palo Alto at 4 AM?"

YES - and the track shows it over Palo Alto - did you even look at what I posted??????

PLEASE read what I have written:

The 4 AM United flight is always routed in the same fashion - to keep it at higher altitudes over populated areas and for it to be able to descend to the assigned crossing altitude of 4000 ft at ROKME intersection (which is about the Dumbarton Bridge). If it were routed to cross the shoreline any further North then it would have to be lower over a populated area. Looks like a "sound" air traffic policy to me.

Here was today's flight path - directly on course from HNL until it was turned over the Bay to intersect the SFO 28L IFR approach:

Web Link

Resident3 - What would you have done differently with this flight?
How would you propose that it get to the Bay without flying over any populated areas?


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Sounds like that flight needs to be cancelled then because it is flying over the same community repeatedly and waking a lot of people up at a very bad time.

Is this the one that Res 1 suggested could better fly over Atherton?

Funny that there is only 1 way to fly that flight, so much for Nextgen.

Having the 4 AM AND the non-stop traffic during the day is a bit much.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Question to Resident3 - What would you have done differently with this flight?
How would you propose that it get to the Bay without flying over any populated areas?

Answer from Resident 3 -"Sounds like that flight needs to be cancelled then because it is flying over the same community repeatedly and waking a lot of people up at a very bad time."

If that is the best alternative that Resident 3 can come up with then I suggest that the present routing is the best possible alternative.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 7:15 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"If that is the best alternative that Resident 3 can come up with then I suggest that the present routing is the best possible alternative."

Clearly you and SFO have all the answers, and we have all the waste.

I suggest that if present routing is" the best possible alternative", and that same answer goes for all the creative flying going over here, then I would say Palo Alto, we have a problem.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident3 - I invited you to come up with better routing and the best you could do was to say "shut it down".

So yes, If that is the best alternative that Resident 3 can come up with then I suggest that the present routing is the best possible alternative.

6000 ft over a populated area produces significantly less noise than a flight at 4000 ft would and is, in my opinion, very thoughtful routing of a nighttime flight.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 31, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

P.S. I hear the sounds from highway 101 some nights.

Does that mean that I have the right to demand that 101 be shut down while I am trying to sleep?


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 7:28 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Oh I forgot,

according to Peter Carpenter

"Political energy is a scarce resource that is usually devoted to activities that impact a relatively large number of people."

So we have an even bigger problem if the problem has a designated threshold the problem needs to be a problem for a "large number of people" to be considered a problem.

And apparently the FAA was counting on this gem of reasoning. Why else reduce and concentrate noise on "the few."


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2015 at 7:34 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

[Post removed.]





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Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2015 at 11:34 pm

rick is a registered user.

Lively thread here. 208 comments and 7893 views as of my last refresh. About 40 unique commenter IDs, but hard to tell because we went to log-in mode after 66 comments. Since we love statistics, my leaderboard shows Peter with 55 comments, resident3 with 37, and Resident 1 with 22. This is my 9th comment.

I wanted to compliment Asher on tracking down the SFO arrival squawking 3576.

I wanted to give Resident 1 my not-too-technical take on what "beacon" means. All aircraft in this area must have an altitude-encoding transponder, which sends a 4-digit code and barometric altitude to the air traffic control radars. The standard code for flights under visual flight rules (VFR) is 1200. The pilot dials it in on the instrument panel before take-off. For a flight under instrument flight rules (IFR), air traffic control (ATC) will give the pilot some other 4-digit number to dial in. If a VFR flight wants or needs some extra ATC handling, the VFR flight will be assigned some number other than 1200, so that it shows up uniquely on the ATC radar. ATC keeps track of which tail number or which airline flight number has been assigned to which 4-digit code. The codes are temporary, for the duration of the flight or until ATC tells the pilot to squawk some other number.

The Bruel & Kjaer WebTrak application somehow decides which information to display. Most training or sightseeing flights out of Palo Alto will just show Beacon 1200. The flights given other codes may display as "Tail Number" and/or "Flight ID". I often see different combinations depending on whether I click on the plane or just hover my mouse over it.

While it's fair to assume that most flights into SFO will be on a flight plan, it's not a requirement. When WebTrak just says Beacon 3576, that says nothing about whether or not it's on a flight plan.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"While it's fair to assume that most flights into SFO will be on a flight plan, it's not a requirement."

Correct BUT to fly into SFO Class B airspace an aircraft MUST be in contact with Air Traffic Control and ATC will give every aircraft a unique squawk code in order for ATC to know where a particular airplane is within the Class B airspace.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:04 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Rick - thank you for the explanation. I typically do not concern myself with what I think is recreational flyers. This particular situation unfolded while I was looking for something else so I was watching this plane as it ran in front - then under the AA plane. The AA plane jumped - like he did not know the plane was there - a point of confusion.
Still think this was an unnecessary situation for the AA pilot who had a plane filled with passengers.

Think there needs to be some type policy that separates the planes by more than 300 feet. There is no telling if the small plane pilot was trained - how many hours flying. The training of the pilot was a roll of the dice.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Think there needs to be some type policy that separates the planes by more than 300 feet. "

There is - ATC is required to separate planes both vertically and horizontally and at no time would these two planes be 300 ft apart. What you may have been looking at was the altitude difference between the two planes and not the vertical difference.

Please give me the exact date and time and I will attempt to determine the approximate total separation between these two planes.


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Posted by Asher Waldfogel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:03 am

Asher Waldfogel is a registered user.

Peter,

The time is 6:31pm on Saturday. The WebTrak data is a bit garbled. The situation is clearer if you listen to the LiveATC SFO tower archive. On course the two flights were conducting parallel approaches which means they were laterally 750 feet separated.

B-LRH was about 30 seconds ahead. On final 30 seconds is 1 mile which is 277 feet vertically on glideslope. Both flights reported they were established on their respective ILS.

AAL686 reported having B-LRH in sight. In visual conditions that's good separation. The Challenger is a 92,000 pound "ultra-heavy business jet" requiring a type rating and a multi-pilot crew. Slightly smaller than a 737.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Parallel landings at SFO, the most minimal distance between planes - it's a good thing that so many Palo Alto airplane noise lovers are not bothered.

and how perfect that technology is being used to "win" like this
Web Link




10 people like this
Posted by Bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Bru is a registered user.

>> P.S. I hear the sounds from highway 101 some nights.
>> Does that mean that I have the right to demand that 101 be shut down while I am trying to sleep?

These deliberately pointless, misleading comments would be funny. I don't this kind of comment
ever adds to the discussion although those on this side of the argument vote it up, but
no one else can counter that by voting it down. It is deliberately off-topic and provocative.

YES, if someone was traveling on 101 with an unmuffled car that woke up half the city there
would be a problem.

NO one is talking about shutting down the skies, as everyone knows. So, why make this comment?

YES, if someone drove off 101 with a very loud illegal car and right by your house to wake you
you us and shake your house.

But, also YES, you have the right to demand anything, but no one has to agree with your or
follow you. Apparently a lot of people in Palo Alto do not like the loud airplane noise we have
to deal with every morning.

Last night at about 3:30, I think, ( I was a little sleepy at the time ) yet another airplane came
by at low altitude and woke me up. I don't know if it was a commercial jetliner, I don't think so,
but it was loud and right over Crescent Park. I think this should be off limits whoever it is,
unless there is an emergency.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Bru - you seem to miss the point here. Cars on 101 presumably will stay on 101 - the ground. They will get off 101 when they reach their destination. However on HWY 880 cars race and can create a major problem - which is their goal. Drunk people sometimes get on the wrong way - some level of mayhem in process. And some cars break down / malfunction.

Airplanes in the sky are a different issue - they are not on the ground - they are over your head with a very powerful piece of machinery that can take out a whole block(s) if something goes wrong and kill all passengers on board, on the ground, etc. We assume that the pilots are trained but have seen very strange activity.

The higher the plane - 5,000 altitude which used to be in place gives the pilot more time to correct a problem and more time for air controllers to manage the air space. There is a huge number of moving parts over your head, over your house and property, that you have no control over.

Given the number of moving parts people need to attempt to manage what appears to be an out-of-control situation. Many law suits on this matter so not just PA.


12 people like this
Posted by jsun
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

jsun is a registered user.

"Last night at about 3:30, I think, ( I was a little sleepy at the time ) yet another airplane came
by at low altitude and woke me up."

Bru, I think it was 2:19am last night and it was this fool from LAX flying at 3,900ft over crescent park. Totally insane!!!!

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"NO one is talking about shutting down the skies, as everyone knows. So, why make this comment?"

That is precisely what was proposed regarding this flight:
Resident 3 -"Sounds like that flight needs to be cancelled then because it is flying over the same community repeatedly and waking a lot of people up at a very bad time."


7 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

Why does there need to be an alarmist response to canceling 1 night flight?

Are night curfews such a bad idea?

Since SFO, and the FAA do not control the number of flights that want to hit the runways, and they have an inherent interest in multiplying the number of flights (at any hour), what's a person to do if the "best" alternatives are still noisy, disturbing, and unhealthy.

I know, you'll say that not enough people are bothered, so let's not worry about it, even if the person bothered is ill, vulnerable, or young. It's just a statistic.

I stand by my suggestion for canceling a night flight that "must" wake people up to get to Hawaii on time. And suggest that curfews, strict curfews should be considered.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"my suggestion for canceling a night flight that "must" wake people up to get to Hawaii on time. "

Note that this is a flight ARRIVING from Hawaii - but don't let the facts get in your way.

Ignoring or mis-stating the facts significantly impairs the arguments of those who do so.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:36 pm

resident3 is a registered user.


Even better, the people arriving at 4 Am from Hawaii also need their sleep

Win-win to cancel the flight waking everyone up at 4 AM.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

San Jose does not have flights in the wee hours. It recognizes the problem of noise abatement and schedules their flights between specific hours.

Turning the Hawaii flights into an all night event is hard on the crews at Hawaii for car returns, TSA, luggage handling, keeping crews up to required numbers. Does that cost everyone more money - yes it does. Many of the food services in the airport are closed when these planes take off.



1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

SFO could certainly enact a night time curfew - and it would then cease to be a viable international airport which would have huge negative economic consequences for the entire Bay area.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:28 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Say Palo Alto currently has a dozen night flights that are disturbing.

Unless there are 10 Palo Altos out there, why would a dozen flights cause SFO to "cease" being a viable international airport?

Please Peter Carpenter, provide some data to back up your assertion that SFO would cease to be a viable international airport if it cancelled the Hawaii flights.

And frankly how disturbing that SFO would have the "open for business" at night when the "only" alternative is to wake up Palo Alto. Again, when you present some data to explain exactly what the economic consequences are, then we could evaluate how much our sleep is being sold for.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There are hundreds of night time flights into SFO. By US law and international treaties any curfew has to apply across the board not just to flights which bother one small community.


6 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

resident3 is a registered user.



Can you please share what law and what international treaty says that "any curfew has to apply across the board not just to flights which bother one small community"?


2 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:08 pm

rick is a registered user.

Resident 1, these Hawaii departures are around 9 in the evening. They do not cost everyone more money. What costs more money is a billion dollars in assets sitting idle on the ground all night. And the airplanes need to get here so they can operate as the next morning's flights back to Hawaii.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

You quoted a US law and an international treaty, why not reference it?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

I suggested a curfew, and you retorted a US law and an international treaty about curfews.

Sounds like you don't have the law or the treaty to reference. You could just say that - that you don't have them instead of putting word in my mouth that I have a "proposal" You also have no data to back up your claim that SFO would "cease" to be a viable airport without night flights.

rick says "billion dollars in assets sitting idle on the ground all night" - that about right? SFO would lose billion dollars in assets for canceling the Hawaii flight that wakes up Palo Alto every morning?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident3 - It is your proposal. You do the cost/benefit analysis. You look at the US laws and treaties.

[Portion removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:22 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

[Post removed.]



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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:25 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

I believe I already posted this

Traffic noise exposure linked to bigger bellies

Web Link


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Posted by Asher Waldfogel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2015 at 6:30 am

Asher Waldfogel is a registered user.

From www.flysfo.com:

Why isn’t there a curfew for flight operations at SFO?

In 1990, Congress passed the Airport Noise and Capacity Act. This law was a compromise between the airlines and the airports: airlines were required to phase out the use of the noisiest aircraft (known as Stage 2 aircraft) and airport operators were prohibited from creating curfews or other operating restrictions. Airports with existing curfews were allowed to keep the curfew in place under a “grandfather” clause. Since SFO did not have an operations curfew in place at the time the law was enacted it is now prohibited from establishing one.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:21 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Asher,

This is actually a law?

A law for the airports and the airlines "compromise" on noise and capacity? Pretty sick.

Worst, the airlines got a deal to operate at night in exchange for doing something they should do anyway?!
Where were people's heads in 1990, sure it was not 1890?

Clearly this needs to change, and a good start would be to stop the corruption of airlines and airports negotiating on noise. Negotiating people's health.

The word corrupt comes to mind in many senses.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:23 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The flight UAL396, HNL to SFO is using different routes for different times of day. On 5/31 the plane crossed San Gregorio, Portola Valley, SU and made a downward - South East turn to Mountain View - this was a cross town PA route from one side to another - then turn back north up the bay. No other traffic at this time to contend with. Approx 4:23 AM

Today 6/2 the flight UAL396, HNL to SFO was delayed in HNL for three hours, so now arriving down the coast at Big Basin to Boulder Creek, across Rancho San Antonio (RSA) to Mountain View. Approx 7:10 AM. Not a lot of traffic at this time overall.

The route changes for different times of day. So there is some flight management for standard routes.

If you go to the SFO Arrivals table you will see many of the flights were delayed. That is whole point of that service is to advice delays of flights / or cancellations. Most times they cannot cancel as the airline then has to pay for hotel, and people miss their connecting flights in SFO. All of those people had to make other flights. If they did not make their connecting flight in SF then the airline has to work to get them onto other flights - a lot of work. Many delays occur at night - they are required to have a full crew and pilots that have had some rest.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:33 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Resident 1,

Good luck in finding reason in what the airports and airlines do.

There is an "Act" from Congress which allows the airlines to compromise with airports on noise and capacity.

It sounds like this - Airlines can make noise all night, and airports can increase capacity as much as they possibly can.

It's actually called a Noise and Capacity act.

Or Noise is not going to be a reason to do anything. Now we know.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:35 am

resident3 is a registered user.

I guess you're trying to find reason to what Air Traffic Control is doing?

ATC is just doing what the airlines decide.

And there is apparently no central Airline office to deal with, that may be Congress.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:42 am

resident3 is a registered user.

The law that makes curfews "illegal" is actually called a "Noise and Capacity Act"

Can this be repealed?

Oh no, probably not because there are billions of dollars involved. The added up all the billions and sold our sleep in 1990.





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Posted by Asher Waldfogel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:46 am

Asher Waldfogel is a registered user.

Here's a link to the law: Web Link

If you look at 47524(c) it describes a post-1990 process for noise and operations restrictions that goes through the airport, the airlines and on to the US Transportation Secretary. I can't find any examples of post-1990 curfew implementations, but that's not to say it can't be done.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:07 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Asher,

This only gets worst.

In 1990 Congress sold our sleep, and dismissed noise with this.

>(5) community concerns can be alleviated through the use of new technology aircraft
and the use of revenues, including those available from passenger facility fees, for noise
management;<

And 2015 the technology they are using is being used to make even more noise.

Combined with the creepy noise measures like 24 hour average, we really do have a big problem.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Town of East Hampton Explores Limits of Aircraft Noise Regulation
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Barbara E. Lichman, Ph.D., J.D.
In an unprecedented action aimed at limiting or eliminating noisy helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from use of the East Hampton Airport, in East Hampton, Long Island, New York (“Airport”), on April 6, 2015, the East Hampton Town Board, operator of the airport, imposed strict noise limits, including a curfew, on the hitherto largely unregulated Airport. The greatest source of the problem that has generated a flood of local noise complaints appears to be the increasing helicopter traffic that ferries well-to-do city dwellers and LaGuardia and Kennedy passengers who live on Long Island to the beach community. The noise has apparently increased with the imposition of a new rule by the FAA requiring helicopters to fly off the North Shore of Long Island, and cross Long Island at, and into, East Hampton on the South Shore. The proposed regulatory protocol is dramatic.
Regulations include an 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew, year round, and 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., for so-called “noisy” aircraft. “Noisy” aircraft are defined as aircraft (fixed-wing or helicopter) with Effective Perceived Noise in Decibels (“EPNDB”) approach levels of 91 decibels or greater. Further, aircraft denominated as “noisy,” will be allowed one take-off and landing per week between May and September. The Board is scheduled to decide on fines and penalties at its meeting on May 7, 2015.
Not surprisingly, pro-airport groups such as Friends of East Hampton Airport (“Friends”), consisting of, among others, several aviation businesses on the Airport, are displeased with the Board’s decision. In a graphic demonstration of their disagreement, on April 21, 2015, Friends filed suit in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, challenging the Board’s “authority to promulgate noise or access restrictions that conflict with Federal law and policy.” Friends base their claim principally on the waiver by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) of contractual obligations incurred by the Airport when it accepted Federal funding for Airport improvements (“Grant Assurances”). 49 U.S.C. § 47107. Grant Assurance No. 9, for example, prohibits Airport operators from “discriminat[ing] unjustly between categories and classes of aircraft.” The FAA, which would normally enforce the Grant Assurances by, among other mechanisms, withholding Federal funds, or even “clawing back” funds already allocated, has apparently agreed that East Hampton’s Grant Assurance obligations expired in 2014. Friends, on the other hand, take the position that FAA has no authority to waive the Grant Assurances which, by Friends’ calculation, do not expire until 2021.

Both sides, however, appear to miss the point. In 1990, Congress established a higher authority over airport noise and access than even the Grant Assurances, i.e., the Airport Noise and Capacity Act, 49 U.S.C. § 47521, et seq., (“ANCA”). ANCA gives FAA preemptive authority over the setting of noise levels and imposition of noise and capacity restrictions at airports. See 49 U.S.C. § 47524(c). While a limited number of specific exemptions from ANCA do exist, see 49 U.S.C. § 47524(d), the restrictions imposed by East Hampton do not appear to fall within any of those specified exemptions, nor has the Board to date asserted that they do. Consequently, it further appears that, even if FAA could establish that it properly waived Grant Assurance compliance, the jury remains out as to whether FAA may construe its regulatory function to include an additional waiver of Congress’ express terms and intent as set forth in ANCA, to preempt a “patchwork of local regulations” restricting airport noise and access.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Jasmine
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:35 am

Jasmine is a registered user.

The airplane noise is getting worse... I have filed complains again and again on websites such as Congresswoman Eshoo's, SFO, Santa Clara County supervisor, Cit of Palo Alto. But nothing is changed, just getting worse.

The airplanes flying day and night. I can only get 3 or 4 hours of sleep everyday now. My day now starts at 4:30am when I am awaken by the airplanes, and by the 1am THE NEXT DAY midnight there are still planes (6/2/2015 at 1am there were airplanes).

I have been only getting 3 or 4 hours max sleep everyday. This is very dangerous for my health and my safety when I drive kids to school and I drive to work. We need to get our quality life back. SFO can fly the airplanes higher and distribute the airplanes across the region. Can the planes fly over bay? This is disturbing our daily lives and is dangerous.

Everyone, please file complaints! Woodside & Portola Valley have sued FAA. Can City of Palo Alto do the same thing?
Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:50 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Which is why any of the rules that the airlines and Congress have written are suspect. Certainly the 1990 Act with the name "Noise and Capacity" is policy gone amok.

And any other super-powers that the airlines (via the FAA) have gotten from Congress.

What a mess of conflicts of interest. That the "Noise and Capacity Act" was a compromise between airlines and airports. These and the various "rules" that have been stacked against health concerns should be made illegal and "modernized" instead of allowing the FAA to have even more leverage to hurt people, just because it's a "small community" concern.

And what health studies support the conclusions that insulation and quieter airplane technology is enough to alleviate noise concerns?

Surely they wrote the "Noise and Capacity Act" with fear mongering about the transportation industry, and forgot everything else.


8 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Jasmine,

Sorry my previous post was for Peter Carpenter who has the long post about the "law" and the "rules" that make curfews illegal.

It is in fact dangerous what these rules and laws are doing, and they need to be corrected.

It is not safe.



6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 2, 2015 at 10:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The good news is that we live in a representative democracy so if you don't like the laws then you can work, note WORK, to change those laws. In my opinion laws get made and changed based on well documented facts not based on opinions or an outcry from a small number of people in a large metropolitan area.


11 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

resident3 is a registered user.

An article about lawmakers - When members of Congress sleep with lobbysist

Web Link

"There’s already so much overlap between Airlines for America and the lawmaker that it’d be difficult to point to where any impropriety began, or ended. “He recently hired Chris Brown, A4A’s vice president for legislative and regulatory policy, to be staff director on the Transportation Committee’s aviation subcommittee. That panel is playing a critical role in the FAA reauthorization,” Politico noted. “Shuster’s personal office chief of staff, Eric Burgeson, is married to Christine Burgeson, senior vice president of government relations at A4A.” And they’ve given tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign committees. With that level of influence, who would need to bother with a relationship that was anything less than genuine?"

Hmmm representative democracy, and then there is money.

No wonder ear plugs and insulation are recommended.


7 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2015 at 7:46 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

To PC,

Law and rule makers are influenced by money not the needs of people.

Lobbyists, for example, represent ways that needs of corporations hold sway.

Each one of us seeking to make a profit from stock investments also are influence bearers.

A step towards a more compassionate world happens when one cares about the feelings and needs of others more than their bank account.

The suffering of some of those under flight paths is as factual as it gets.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 10, 2015 at 7:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Law and rule makers are influenced by money not the needs of people."

That is easy to answer - we disagree. In my opinion the vast majority of lawmakers and the laws they pass are motivated by the needs of the people.


1 person likes this
Posted by rick
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2015 at 9:17 am

rick is a registered user.

If my junk mail is any indication, people's greatest need is money.


2 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

PC-Ask the people who live under the flight paths going to the Chicago O'Hare hub and see what they think


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

thoughtful? - no need to ask people in Chicago, just ask the people in Redwood Shores, Burlingame and Belmont.


11 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:58 am

resident3 is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter,

"...the vast majority of lawmakers and the laws they pass are motivated by the needs of the people."

On Aviation matters there is clearly a conflict of interest between the needs of the airlines, and airports and the needs of the people being asked to suck up their waste. Under labels like economic progress, or the guise that we all "benefit" from the economic prosperity, the FAA and the industry they work for, and protect are untouchable regarding environmental concerns.

Wake up Palo Alto, we have been chosen to suck it up while the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster is sleeping with a top lobbyist for the leading U.S. airline trade association

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by jsun
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2015 at 6:39 am

jsun is a registered user.

Very good article about the NextGen system:

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is a huge amount of data on Bay Area airplane traffic patterns:


Web Link

See in particular exhibit 2 NorCal OAPM NIRS Arrival Tracks - Existing Conditions
and exhibit 6 Action (i.e.NextGen) vs no action (pre NextGen procedures) arrivals mapping.

Also Table 2 - Department of Transportation Act, Section 4(f) Properties Inventory and Noise Exposure Results which includes as data points the Palo Alto Southern Pacific Railroad
Depot 95 University Ave. and the Menlo Park Railroad Station 1100 Merrill St.. At neither the Palo Alto or Menlo Park data point was there projected to be an increase in noise from NextGen but rather small decreases.


Enjoy this immense amount of data.


6 people like this
Posted by jsun
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2015 at 11:03 am

jsun is a registered user.

Thanks PC.

A close study on ATAC revealed that it is one of the major software designers of NextGen. I do not know how objective this environment report is.

Smells to me like it is both a referee and player at the same time in a baseball game


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2015 at 11:12 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"A close study on ATAC revealed that it is one of the major software designers of NextGen."

And the alternative would be a firm that knew nothing about the air traffic control system?

What specific aspects of this study, which is very well documented, do you disagree with?

Did ATAC make incorrect assumptions?

Did ATAC use an invalid method of comparison?

Where are any examples of ATAC's inappropriate bias?


It is interesting that every time actual data is posted on this thread the only response is to attempt to discredit the source of that data rather than dealing with the data.


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