News

Study aims to bring data to Palo Alto's loud debate over airplane noise

City Council approves resolution asking FAA to address citizen concerns about new flight patterns

With citizen complaints about airplane noise on the rise, Palo Alto officials on Monday unanimously agreed to commission a study focused on recent changes in air traffic.

The study will consider both the changes in flight patterns that have occurred over Palo Alto in the last few years and the "dramatic increase in concentrated, low-altitude flights and associated noise levels," according to a report from the office of City Manager James Keene. The effort was prompted by a chorus of complaints from residents throughout Palo Alto about the noticeable increase in low-flying planes at all hours of the day and night.

Several residents made the case on Monday, including Bonnie Bernstein, who said she's been living in Palo Alto for 29 years and that she now finds herself "right under the line of airplanes," making it impossible to have any sense of relaxation.

"We're just bombarded by being under the landing path – that really has a tremendous impact," she said.

So far, the City Council has reached out to the city's federal representatives and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has jurisdiction over flight patterns. The council also on Monday passed a resolution calling for the FAA to "immediately mitigate the increased airplane noise at ground level," an increase that the city attributes to the FAA's ongoing transition to the new NextGen flight system, which requires aircraft to travel within a narrower corridor to free up airspace for commercial and military drones.

The federal agency's new approach aims to standardize arrival and departure routes in 21 identified metroplexes, according to the city's resolution.

The new routes, however, are having a disproportionate and disruptive impact on Palo Alto and areas around it, city officials maintain. According to the resolution passed Monday, it is "primarily impacting Santa Clara County residents of Los Gatos, Palo Alto and the Summit/Skyline area, and to a lesser degree the residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Saratoga."

"The considerable increase in the number of flights overhead each day and the lower flight altitudes result in a significant increase in the amount of aircraft noise experienced on the ground," the adopted resolution states. "As evidenced by the increasing number of complaints received by the City of Palo Alto City Council and staff, the new routes have created noise impacts that appear to be far more adverse than those of the former routes for our residents."

For evidence, Palo Alto officials pointed to the number of noise complaints submitted to the SFO Noise Abatement Office by local residents. The number of complaints had gone up from 60 in June 2014 to 2,733 in June 2015, according to the city. Local residents have also formed a new citizens group, Sky Posse, which now advocates for quieter skies.

With its vote on Monday, the council approved a request of proposals for the airplane study. After soliciting proposals, staff plans to return to the council in December, at which point the contract for the study would be approved.

City officials have also requested help from their elected representatives at the county and federal levels. In April, U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Sam Farr wrote a letter to the FAA requesting that the agency hold more public forums to give residents a chance to express their concerns about the new flight patterns.

"When the FAA began implementing the NextGen program last month, the dramatic increase in airplane noise over previously peaceful neighborhoods in our respective districts came as a complete surprise to residents," the two representatives wrote. "This change has dramatically affected the quality of life in several quiet rural areas that had previously experienced little or no aircraft noise impacts."

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors also joined the conversation this week, passing a resolution that calls for the FAA to consider, as an immediate solution, raising altitudes on the new flight paths. The resolution, which was proposed by supervisors Joe Simitian and Dave Cortese, also asks the federal agency to consider, as part of a longer-term solution, to redesign the flight paths within the Northern California metroplex in a way that does not result in simply moving the noise from one community to another.

The supervisors also requested that Congress implement "statutory changes to the FAA that require more robust community engagement before flight paths are changed, more accurate measures of noise experienced on the ground, and independent research on the health impacts of aviation noise," the resolution reads.

Simitian said in a statement that while the problem of airplane noise "stretches over at least three counties, it certainly seems severe in our area." Last weekend, Simitian said, he heard from folks in Saratoga, Mountain View and Menlo Park, all in a 24-hour period. He also pointed at the rapid rise of noise complaints from Palo Alto. The number has gone from 587 in all of 2014 to more than 5,000 by June 2015, according to the SFO Noise Abatement Office.

"If it does nothing else, my hope is that this resolution strengthens the hand of our Congressional representatives in dealing with the FAA," Simitian said.

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

How incredibly wealth centric!

The communities of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park are more severely impacted but ignored by this resolution.


15 people like this
Posted by duveneck
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

I appreciate that EPA and E. Menlo Park are impacted. However, I doubt that the flyovers in those areas exceed that in our neighborhood of PA...about 2-3 every 5 minutes at altitudes of 3900 to 5000 feet. If you don't live directly beneath these 3 flight paths, then you can't understand the discomfort.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"However, I doubt that the flyovers in those areas exceed that in our neighborhood of PA..."

Exactly - you don't know because in its arrogance Palo Alto has only focussed on the skies above Palo Alto and claim disproportionate impact without actually looking at the impact on others - particularly the less wealthy and the less vocal.


2 people like this
Posted by Important study on flight noise over Palo Alto
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

See this recent report, with eye-opening data.

Web Link

Review this study, at least skim the charts, if you want to learn about this issue.


24 people like this
Posted by Color of the Pot
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

>> "How incredibly wealth centric! The communities of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park are more severely impacted but ignored by this resolution."

Perhaps this is only about Santa Clara County, since San Mateo already has organized with the FAA and not allowed SC to participate. Is San Mateo doing anyting for their brethren in EPA and EMP?

Tell me, did Atherton consider EPA and EMP when they pushed the traffic away from their skies?


34 people like this
Posted by Midtwon resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

It's a Palo Alto City Council resolution. Of course it's Palo Alto centric. That's totally appropriate. The wealth of a community has nothing to do with it.

And by the way, there's nothing wealth centric about asking planes to fly higher. That would benefit everyone.


19 people like this
Posted by Pilot
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

"The communities of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park are more severely impacted..."

Please cite objective recent data supporting this conclusion.


24 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

"How incredibly wealth centric!

The communities of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park are more severely impacted but ignored by this resolution."

But surely Atherton will take them under its impoverished but generous wing, with Peter Carpenter leading.


16 people like this
Posted by 1Voice
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:55 am

Residents of San Carlos have tried to express their opinion on the matter of low-flying, extremely noisy SurfAir flights, but have been largely silenced. One woman, the manager at San Carlos Airport, made the decision to allow this commercial flight service to use the SC airport .Neither residents of San Carlos nor of surrounding cities were consulted. It used to be a "General Aviation" airport...private airplanes, small airplanes, pilot training airplanes. Now we have more than one commercial airline landing frequently from early morning until late night. Their flight path takes them directly over residential areas and several schools from Palo Alto to Redwood City. Most disruptive change in decades. I'd wager this is a case of "follow the "$$."

I'd hate to see our communities divided into groups based on social status or monetary status. We should all band together to protect ourselves from a terrible encroachment. Quality of life has been changed for everyone.


28 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

It is unfortunate, but Mr. Carpenter seems to have a habit a of parsing language in an attempt to portray Palo Alto in the worst possible light.

From the article:

"The new routes, however, are having a disproportionate and disruptive impact on Palo Alto AND AREAS AROUND IT, city officials maintain" (emphasis added)

Last Time I checked, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto were AREAS AROUND Palo Alto?


29 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm

It's really weird to me the way Peter Carpenter seeks to undermine the legitimacy of our complaints. He spent months dismissing the impact of jet noise on Palo Alto until the well-done Sky Posse study had him do an about-face. Now he's back to insulting Palo Alto residents and government for being concerned about the impact on--Palo Alto.

"Wealth-centric"--really??? from someone in Atherton. That would be the city with no affordable housing, let alone a mobile home park, a low percentage of renters, oh and is part of the county that created the integration issues that led to the Tinsley agreement--with Palo Alto, which is not part of San Mateo County, taking on a large percentage of the VTA kids, while Atherton has done nothing.

It's quite clear that Peter Carpenter's presence here is all about the jets and planes now using Palo Alto as an aerial freeway from moving north, which in terms of fuel consumption is the natural route. Fine--I get being self-serving, but it's time Mr. Carpenter owned what's clear to everybody else and quit insulting people in Palo Alto for a legitimate beef.

People who live 20 miles from an airport shouldn't have to deal with jet noise rattling their homes at 1 at night. Outdoor plays shouldn't be drowned out multiple times by jet noise when you're 20 miles from an airport.

Why is that *so* hard to get? And what does wealth have to do with any of it?

[Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Peter,

Opar brought up some pretty good statements,

Your turn to respond.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Folks,

You can all choose your words more carefully, work together and get the FAA to adjust the approaches, or you can keep sniping at each other. While you are sniping, Rep's Eshoo and Speier (sic) will have a harder time pushing the FAA on your behalf. Mr. Carpenter has explained things, reposted things many times as folks have asked, and generally been civil. EPA and Menlo Park, by virtue of being closer to the Bay get the planes lower than we do. SFO previously excluded Palo Alto, true, but before NextGen came on-line I believe. Most Great Circle Routes from the west can get onto the 3 degree approach for SFO with no extra flying, just a change in heading. Mr. Carpenter's approach as presented here seems reasonable and feasible, but now, instead of moving forward with the FAA, we will all await the results of Palo Alto's study, Which won't even start until December. The RFP for the study is what was just approved. Most folks commenting here seem to ignore the presence of PAO, Moffett, and SJC in their ideas about how planes should approach SFO. Since we live halfway between two airports whose airspaces practically touch, how is it we are supposed to be spared aircraft noise?


9 people like this
Posted by thank you Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Old Steve,

The way I see a study is that it can offer some sorely needed analysis and understanding of what the real parameters and constraints are for fixing the problem (s). Last time there was a quickie solution, this happened - per the Sky Posse petition

"Furthermore, in 2000, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and then-Mayor Gary Fazzino, announced an agreement with the FAA and SFO to route flights at a minimum altitude of 5000 feet over Palo Alto in an effort to reduce noise, but planes are now flying much lower. Oakland, San Jose and San Carlos airports are also increasing traffic over our communities with flights as low as 2000 feet."

Before trying to discredit efforts underway, it would be good to know more about what the study is about, just because it says "study." Studying is a good thing. That's what we teach our kids to do before jumping to conclusions.


10 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

[Portion removed.] Thank you Palo Alto for finally taking this matter seriously and making an effort to seek change.


10 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm

East Palo Alto is under two of the Palo Alto flight paths so if there is a positive change for Palo Alto it would be a positive change for East Palo Alto too.


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm

The FAA cannot do anything slyly. Whether we were paying attention before the approach patterns changed is a different question. NextGen responds to an Act of Congress that our local Rep's supported, so it was not exactly imposed from afar. It can certainly be adjusted, and Palo Alto's Study will provide data, at the cost of ongoing noise persisting longer.

Just so we are all aware.


13 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Old Steve,

Peter Carpenter has been civil at times, but he wasn't in the post in this thread.
He has a history of coming into a Palo Alto forum and denying that our concerns about increased jet noise were valid. (As do you.)

This isn't a meeting--this is a discussion forum. Sky Posse, bless them, has taken on the hard work of presenting our concerns.

Fact is, we didn't have this issue with low-flying jets and increased noise 15 years ago when Moffett was more active and SJC and PAO were both operational. Fact is, Palo Alto was excluded from the inner circle when it came to discussing noise and it's not an accident that the main route from three directions converges just south of the cities that were in that inner circle.

Peter Carpenter doesn't live in Palo Alto--if you don't want bickering, I suggest you and he both step back and *not* attempt to minimize our issues with jet noise. If Peter Carpenter wants to work with people in Palo Alto and get them to agree with him, then he, not us, needs to lay off comments like "wealth-centric." I wouldn't go into an Atherton residents forum and tell them, repeatedly, that their concerns aren't valid or real.

See, the thing is, we don't need Peter Carpenter to solve our problems--maybe his solution is a good one, maybe not--but there's really no shortage of problem solver types in Palo Alto itself. So, really, if Carpenter wants to protect Atherton--he can try persuading us of the benefits of his plan to Palo Alto.

Because here's the real deal--now that the issue's up, the jet noise will be dealt with one way or another--and while Atherton has money, it doesn't have the votes and energy Palo Alto has. The jets can't go much farther to the south because they start running into SJC traffic.

So . . . if Peter Carpenter's herringbone idea isn't adapted, those jets will go right back up north where they were before.

It's really been a case of "Don't do unto us, what we did unto you."


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"He has a history of coming into a Palo Alto forum and denying that our concerns about increased jet noise were valid"

Wrong.
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:25 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
sketchy - in my decades of dealing with airplane noise complaints and my 5? years of experience with Town Forum discussions on airplane noise I have come to appreciate that:
1 - the majority of people who complain sincerely believe that they are being significantly and personally impacted by airplane noise
2 -some of these people engage, like we all sometimes do, in both hyperbole and exaggeration in order to emphasize and justify their complaints
3 - the only way to have a fact based discussion is to encourage people to provide date, time, place information which can then be used to independently assess what actually happened.
4 - no amount of data can deny how a person feels but the documented facts can be used to stimulate timely discussion and decisions regarding what public policy changes are appropriate.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" if Peter Carpenter's herringbone idea isn't adapted, those jets will go right back up north where they were before."

Wrong - those flights will stay where they are.

Read the SFO Roundtable Policy:

The Airport/Community Roundtable reaffirms and memorializes its longstanding policy regarding the
“shifting” of aircraft-generated noise, related to aircraft operations at San Francisco International
Airport, as follows: “The Airport/Community Roundtable members, as a group, when
considering and taking actions to mitigate noise, will not knowingly or deliberately support,
encourage, or adopt actions, rules, regulations or policies, that result in the “shifting” of
aircraft noise from one community to another, when related to aircraft operations at San
Francisco International Airport.” (Source: Roundtable Resolution No. 93-01)


8 people like this
Posted by thank you Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Old Steve,

Do you speak for the FAA?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Sky Posse, bless them, has taken on the hard work of presenting our concerns. "

Having served as a Palo Alto Planning Commissioner for 4 1/2 years and for 18 years as a City Council appointed member of the PAO Joint Community Relations Committee (including ten years as Chair) I am wel family with the Palo Alto Process . Lots of discussion, no decisions and no action.

I prefer to present a concrete proposal, ask for criticisms and alternatives and move towards a solution.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It's a Palo Alto City Council resolution. Of course it's Palo Alto centric."

But the resolution states ""primarily impacting Santa Clara County residents of Los Gatos, Palo Alto and the Summit/Skyline area, and to a lesser degree the residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Saratoga." There is no mention of East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park.


13 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Peter,

Sorry, that won't wash--you're doing it again. You're using loaded words--"hyperbole", "people feel", "exaggeration"--all of these seek to undermine the validity of people's complaints.

Fact is--you refused to acknowledge that our complaints were fact-based--that, in fact, Palo Alto was seeing a much greater increase in low-flying air traffic than were communities such as Atherton and Fremont. People would cite flights, times and elevation from online sources and, even then, you would try to discredit the cites.

You did an about-face because Sky Posse's study didn't leave you room to do otherwise. You ran out of wiggle room. I would have thought better of you, though, if you'd just admitted it instead of hiding behind the herringbone sales pitch.

May I suggest a little self-examination as to why you needed to be convinced to that degree?


10 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter -The resolution doesn't say the noise primarily affects Santa Clara, it is says the the Santa Clara cities that are primarily affected by the noise increase are Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Summit/Skyline. EPA and Menlo have their own city/county hierarchy to complain to.


13 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Palo Alto's resolution does not preclude other towns/cities from issuing their own resolution. Certainly, with Palo Alto having issued a resolution, these other towns will follow PA's lead.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" I would have thought better of you, though, if you'd just admitted it instead of hiding behind the herringbone sales pitch."

Frankly I do not care what anonymous people feel or post about me - just deal with the facts.

Show me any proposal that anyone else has made to more evenly share the airplane traffic - you can't.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Not sure what I wrote that would convey the concept that I could speak for the FAA. Plenty of information about NextGen is widely available. Mr. Carpenter has linked some of it on earlier threads, I believe trying to be helpful. Atherton wishes it had enough clout to shift approach routes. Maybe it does, but only as Eshoo's home jurisdiction. My only point is that the first result of PA's study is that noise won't change before the study is done.


8 people like this
Posted by InFairness
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm


Absolutely, in my opinion East Palo Alto, and especially East Menlo Park, deserve the full attention of the FAA regarding the impact of SFO arrivals on these communities, just as Palo Alto does.


23 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

>> "It's a Palo Alto City Council resolution. Of course it's Palo Alto centric."

One of the biggest complaints about the City of Palo Alto is that they DO NOT
act in the best interest of Palo Altans, they seem to be a cover for developers,
privatization and corporations ... so, don't say "of course". Our local city
government is supposed to act for the benefit of its citizens, but that is not
happening in the perceptions of many of us.

Also, O Par, is more correct than she knows ... this airplane noise discussion
has been going on for many years now, at least 5, and probably 7 since airplane
noise started to go through the roof, no pun intended. In all that time PC has
been dismissive, or obfuscative in my opinion.

As a member of the planning commission and city council this is probably his
job description ... so, certainly not, of course.

The end of Palo Alto as a livable city will because of the "experts" who are so
good at telling us how our perceptions are all wrong and the market forces will
fix everything.


11 people like this
Posted by InFairness
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm

A quick look at the text of the change.org petition shows that neither the Posse, nor the City as a whole, is indifferent to EPA and East Menlo Park.


13 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:14 pm

"I prefer to present a concrete proposal, ask for criticisms and alternatives and move towards a solution."

Peter why do you feel the need to be such an integral part of the resolution? Atherton is not highly affected by SFO plane noise.


11 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Peter,

The Palo Alto Process refers to real-estate developments. Not the same issues at stake here. No residents association is going to come forward to block the city's complaints about air noise. Red herring on your part.

As for where the flights will go--you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Well, no, actually I think you're playing a game here. Political clout matters--we ended up with the jets because Atherton and other San Mateo communities made noise and were in the position to make noise. Now there's another group of communities affected and have the political clout (and, yes, wealth) to make something happen.

Air routes aren't set in stone--push and they get moved. You know that and I know that, so let's not pretend otherwise.

After working to discredit PA concerns about noise, you're now telling us we have to get on board with the herringbone idea, otherwise we're stuck with the noise forever. Maybe, but I'm sure there are plenty of other people around here who also have ideas that are every bit as "right" as yours.

I look forward to hearing from people who didn't spend months dismissing complaints about noise as "hyperbole" and "exaggeration".


4 people like this
Posted by thank you Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:23 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Since I notice the planes no more or less than I notice Caltrain, garbage trucks, or leaf blowers, it does not matter to me how long the City decides to study the problem. I just know that once the study is done, any changes will still take time, meanwhile those who are bothered will continue to be bothered. The local meeting with FAA was closed door, so those with possible solutions to offer, in lingo usable by FAA were not able to present, as they were not invited.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter why do you feel the need to be such an integral part of the resolution? "

1 - Because I am a citizen
2 - Because I know a lot about the issues involved
3 - Because I have a great deal of personal experience with airplane noise issues and the Bay Area airspace
4 - Because I believe in working for change rather than study, study study and ignoring the denominator in those studies
5 - Because my self esteem does not derive from comments by anonymous posters


19 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Peter,

"Just the facts"--I saw you dismiss fact after fact a few months ago--people would give routes and elevations from online tracking sites and you would say that those sites weren't accurate.

There's no such thing as "just the facts"--you have an agenda, just like everybody else here. Pretending that you are, now, somehow above the fray when the *facts* show that this is not the case is dubious, at best.

Your "wealth-centric" comment that started this thread, for example, is not "just the facts"--it's an opinion and not one well-grounded in the facts at hand.

As I said earlier, it doesn't bother me that you have an agenda, but it would be great if you owned it and quit discounting the views of others as "hyperbole".


9 people like this
Posted by thank you Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

This much is clear - if self-proclaimed experts who wanted to present solutions at the recent FAA meeting were not invited, it must have been for a reason. Either they were not considered experts, or the meeting was not to accept bids for solutions.

And from what I have followed on these threads, all the local self-proclaimed experts did not see a problem with the noise. Why would anyone want to hear from "experts" who can't hear the noise?


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:47 pm

On line flight tracking sites are like anything else on the internet that somebody wants to make money from. "Some are better than others". Some of it is lingo. How many people commenting understand "approach radials", "nautical miles" or "knots" just as examples. Most people don't pay attention until they think they have been taken advantage of. By then, many decisions have already been made, including financial commitments. We could establish betting pool on how long the study and changes will take, and use the proceeds to offset the City's cost of a Study.

Palo Alto decided it had to DO something. So they will DO a study.


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

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

All - Please feel free to critique my proposal rather than wasting time attacking me.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 23, 2015 at 10:58 am
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
OK, let's develop a Draft SFO Approach Protocol which is based on simplicity, equity and technical feasibility.

As a starting point I recommend the following report:

An AEF Report for HACAN on:
Approach Noise at Heathrow: Concentrating the Problem

Here is the full report:
Web Link

Here are some highly relevant excerpts:

"And the solution that has been championed concerns air traffic management, specifically the more
widespread use of Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs). Traditional approach paths involved
aircraft descending through different blocks of airspace in a series of steps, using flaps and power
changes to manage speed. In CDAs, in contrast, aircraft descend into the airport at a steady 3
degrees; while there will still be some noise from the engine, additional noise from the aircraft itself
is reduced. This procedure, combined with the use of P‐RNAV and changes to the joining point for
final approach, have increased the concentration of aircraft along corridors. For pilots, this reduces
the number of factors having to be taken into account when landing. For Government, it helps to
satisfy the environmental objective of minimising the number of people affected by aircraft noise
when determining arrival and departure paths and airspace revisions.
Changes in the joining point to optimise Continuous Descent Approaches have produced as many
losers as winners: it has resulted in more concentration of flight paths many miles from the airport."

"But alternative approaches do exist…..a number of schemes are being trialled at airports around
the world or at least being assessed.

To deal with the issue of concentration of traffic, some airports have been trialling curved CDA
approaches. This gives the benefit of a continuous descent but allows air traffic controllers to have
several CDA approaches – more akin to the fanning effect of traditional approach paths – reducing
the number of overflights in any given place. Other airports have also looked at using curved CDA to
join the final straight approach at different points, effectively a herring bone pattern."

Here is a diagram of such a herring bone pattern:
Web Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*************************************

What are the specific problems with this DRAFT proposal?

How can it be improved?

Is it simple?

Is it equitable?

Is it technically feasible?


4 people like this
Posted by thank you Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 26, 2015 at 4:10 pm

[Portion removed.] Fifty years of living on the Peninsula, 20 in St. Claire Gardens, means I know how long things take. My point was simply that if we are concerned about noise now, forcing the City to do a study does nothing immediately about noise now. My sarcasm about NCAA style office pools and their proceeds might not be funny to somebody sleep deprived under the overnight approaches, but that does not mean I don't have the right to express myself without be labeled a "fear monger".


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is worthwhile to actually read the Staff Report"

Timing - "Direct staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Technical Study, including data analysis of aircraft noise over Palo Alto and recommendations for alternatives to reduce noise, and return to Council with the results of the RFP by no later than December 2015.' So responses to the RFP will be received, they hope, by December and the contract probably won't be awarded until 2016. And the RFP does not specify the date required for completion of the study. Palo Alto Process anybody?

Impact - " Staff does want to caution the community that cities have a limited role in the area of airspace and that this resource is governed by the federal government."

Scope -"the proposed scope of services described in the RFP is largely focused on quantifying the change in air traffic patterns that has occurred over Palo Alto over the past few years.." If you only look at the numerator how in the world do you determine disproportionate (numerators over denominators) impact? Fortunately the Draft RFP (but not the Staff Report) does take a broader perspective.


19 people like this
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm

[Portion removed.]

Everyone else: I propose we shun the trolls, get objective data, and figure out how to solve this thing.


15 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Article: "...the new NextGen flight system, which requires aircraft to travel within a narrower corridor to free up airspace for commercial and military drones."

So a potential "benefit" of having a constant stream of low-flying commercial aircraft is that people on those routes may not, at some point in the future, be subjected to a constant stream of low-flying drones? Drones which may be a big as a commercial airplane such as the Boeing 737 (Web Link, second sentence) which has a wingspan of 93-117 feet.

I am relieved that the FAA doesn't anticipate a need to have military drones routinely flying over Palo Alto. ;-)


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"the city attributes to the FAA's ongoing transition to the new NextGen flight system, which requires aircraft to travel within a narrower corridor to free up airspace for commercial and military drones."

This assertion by the City is factually incorrect.

NextGen technology is permissive not directive.

NextGen technology can easily be used to create far more alternative pathways to an airport than does the pre-NextGen approach technology.

Funneling traffic into a narrow corridor is a policy decision not something that is required by NextGen technology.


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Douglas Moran,

Airspace is the new land-use issue. We are currently in the early stages of a history-making airspace land-grab, which will bring fortune to those who prevail. The FAA is preparing the airspace for the "gold-rush". Palo Alto, and Palo Altans, need to be prepared. The study is a good start.

Yes, the drones are coming. Not the friendly little ones that we have been told will be delivering our pizzas, but the big ones that can scrape petabytes of information from realspace... and some of them are a lot bigger than a 737.

"Giant Military Surveillance Blimp to Constantly Monitor the East Coast"
Motherboard ~ January 23, 2014 Web Link

"U.S. Navy to get drone with the wingspan of a BOEING 757"
Daily Mail ~ January 8, 2014 Web Link

"Facebook about to Test Its Enormous Solar-Powered Drone"
Wired ~ July 30, 2015 Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm

PC said:

"Funneling traffic into a narrow corridor is a policy decision not something that is required by NextGen technology"

This just a combination of speculation and wishful thinking on your part. While "nextgen" may have been initially envisioned to be a "permissive" technology, in no case has the FAA used "nextgen" to spread-out or randomize the flight paths, so there is no proof that "nextgen" actually has the capability you suggest.

The FAA's aversion to flight path "complexity", seems to suggest "nextgen" has not fulfilled the promise, originally envisioned for the technology.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have reviewed the Draft RFP and here are my opinions:

1 - It IS comprehensive - "The Contractor shall propose a list of Regions and Cities for analysis. At a
minimum they should include Palo Alto and nearby cities between San Francisco and San Jose, and relevant areas with NorCal Metroplex traffic."

2 - Flight paths are to be based on actual radar data.

3 - Noise will be modeled rather than based on actual noise measurements - "Consultant shall model ground level noise effects of aircraft using the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) or equivalent system to provide information about noise exposure to populations on the ground."

4 - CNEL levels will not be computed but rather DNL levels. All of the Federal and State legislation is based on using CNEL so the study may end up with an apples and oranges problem.

5. "Assessing Alternatives
Identify ‘lesser used’ airspace and/or routes and operational procedures
to eliminate low-altitude flights over Palo Alto and neighboring
communities; to have fewer and less frequent flights below 8,000 feet
overland, and these with a more equitable distribution. Seeking to
eliminate nighttime flights over residences, IFR procedures crossing
Menlo IAF and San Jose flights transiting below SFO traffic at 2000 feet.
Among specific alternatives, a solution that steers flights at an altitude of
about 10,000 feet at the South of the Bay should be evaluated."
************

On balance I think it is a well written and ambitious document. However, given the proposed scope of work I will be very surprised if the lowest qualified bid is under One Million Dollars. In addition, the Palo Alto study will provide invaluable data for other communities to pursue their own agendas at no cost to those communities.

I look forward to other posters' evaluations of the Draft RFP.


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Posted by Steve Ludington
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I haven't followed this topic closely because the noise doesn't bother me. But the planes have to approach the airport somewhere, no? If there is more traffic here now, that means there is less traffic somewhere else in the bay area. And that there was more there (wherever that is) before the apparent recent changes in landing patterns. I would imagine the ATC computers could store the cumulative flight paths and make a map of the entire 3-airport area. If we could see that, we could see who the winners and losers are.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"there is no proof that "nextgen" actually has the capability you suggest."

NextGen is based on the utilization of GPS defined waypoints rather than on a very limited number of geographical defined waypoints (such at the MENLO intersection and the Woodside VOR) in the pre-NextGen system. Consequently the number of potential waypoints in the NextGen system is infinite. What we have is a failure to exploit the capabilities of NextGen not a failure in the design of the NextGen system.

"NextGen also allows airplanes to fly curved, instead of straight, paths, especially on takeoff and landing approaches. While planes often fly curved approaches, the GPS and flight computers can keep them on a tighter track, allowing more planes to fly through the same area simultaneously." And there is no reason with NextGen that planes have to fly the same track - doing so is a management decision not a requirement of the system.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I see this NextGen system having the approach patterns from the South Bay and mostly over OPEN WATER. Line up the planes much farther South and vector SJC traffic first, then vector the fights to SFO & Oakland over the Bay water areas to the respective airport landing patterns still over the bay waters.

I do notice the heavier moan sounds created by the new TURBOFAN ENGINES which are considered HIGH BYPASS jet turbine engines. Similar in scope to the Pilatus turboprop engine. Think of these new engines like a ducted fan engine that keeps some, but not all of the sound inside the engine.

I note that the adjustable slats and ailerons eliminate all of the noise from the airframe itself ( except when you regrettably go past Vne ) and everything discussed here focuses on reducing engine noise.

San Carlos Airport was never supposed to go commercial. The FBO was originally for PRIVATE flights because SFO did not want private planes mixing with commercial heavy aircraft. " Cessna 172, you are cleared for takeoff after that United 747 " " I CAN'T because the wake turbulence just flipped over my plane ". You get the picture. That leaves the FBO with a real noise problem from the Pilatus turbo props. That loud drone as the aircraft has 100% power on the engine swinging the noisy prop. The best solution would move operations to PAO and interleave the turbo prop into the over bay water climb with the descending jets. Vectoring outbound traffic will still go over the bay waters and climb East. SFO TOWER operations have been using the right angle runways in that fashion for decades.

That IS what NextGen can do, right?

Myself, I prefer the " inverted wedding cake " TCA Pattern....


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Next Gen can do anything it is directed to do - it is gold - the problem is the direction being provided. The question in my mind is why the FAA / ATC are using it the way they are. Airports across America are complaining about the low flying planes and noise.

We have no great number of drones at the time in the commercial airport flight patterns so that argument does not work. We have no great numbers of military planes in the commercial planes traffic so that argument does not work. All of the rationale being provided is not supported by actual examples (planes, drones) in the immediate area.

Military planes get clearance and generally do not want people to know they are there - they do not want to be targets of attention. Most military in commercial flight areas are on the down low and do not advertise their presence. Moffett has some planes but they do not interact with the commercial traffic patterns.

All of the arguments as to why they are doing what they are doing do not wash with any circumstances present in the area. My question would be why they are functioning in a manner that calls attention to what they are doing in such a clumsy manner. They are trying to bring attention to themselves as opposed to running a smooth operation that is seamless and not observable to the residents. That is a demonstration of peculiar, heavy handed behavior.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 26, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"My question would be why they are functioning in a manner that calls attention to what they are doing in such a clumsy manner."

Incompetence.

It is up to informed citizens to demand that the poor implementation of NextGen be changed.

But you cannot fight a poorly implemented program with a wish and a prayer - you have to have a concrete, viable alternative.


13 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Peter said:

"NextGen is based on the utilization of GPS defined waypoints rather than on a very limited number of geographical defined waypoints (such at the MENLO intersection and the Woodside VOR) in the pre-NextGen system. Consequently the number of potential waypoints in the NextGen system is infinite. What we have is a failure to exploit the capabilities of NextGen not a failure in the design of the NextGen system"

Again, you are just regurgitating the capabilities "nextgen" is SUPPOSED to have, not the capabilities "nextgen" actually has. Since randomized flight path have never been implemented, even in a smaller, simpler airspace, we do not know if "nextgen" can actually safely handle that level of complexity in the real world conditions, of a major metroplex.

The FAA's number one priority is safety. They are not going to experiment with randomization in the Norcal metroplex. Before attempting to implement randomization in the Norcal metroplex the FAA must first be able to demonstrate that it can work as a computer simulation of smaller airports, and complicated metroplexes, and then that it can work in the real world conditions of a smaller regional airport. Randomization is at least a decade away... but we will probably never see it.

It wouldn't be the first time a big government program failed to meet its original specification.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2015 at 11:59 pm

As an aside,

Would everyone please stop calling it East Menlo Park,
There is no such place or jurisdiction. The area east of highway 101 in Menlo Park is called the Belle Haven neighborhood. It is in the city of Menlo Park. It has all Menlo Park city services. It is part of incorporated Menlo Park in San Mateo County.

East Palo Alto is it's own city. It is incorporated, Look it up on Wikipedia, It's becoming a city is a long and interesting story. However it has nothing to do with Menlo Park,

Remember there is no East Menlo Park,


18 people like this
Posted by Reality Bites
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 27, 2015 at 1:25 am


Peter,

It is the height of hypocrisy to cite the SF RoundTable's charter as proof that the noise shifting that San Mateo County has propagated to the FAA with misleading information, and then implemented, can't be properly reversed based on comprehensive and accurate information. (San Mateo County can count itself lucky that such a reversal may not be necessary, because its neighbor, Palo Alto, is working on a broad-based solution to the problem, as you have acknowledged.)

The RoundTable noise shifting clause only applies to the RoundTable itself, and would have been clearly violated when it comes to outside communities, such as Palo Alto to which San Mateo County has, in fact, shifted noise, and quite massively, as shown and specifically quantified by the recent Sky Posse expert reports.

Palo Alto is not a voting member of the RoundTable and does not subscribe to the unidirectional noise shifts that you effectively claim are now set in stone because of your clause. You know this very well Peter, yet you insist on spreading misleading information. And then you have the temerity to accuse others of "hyperbole" and "exaggeration".

You can do better.


8 people like this
Posted by leaving on a jet plane
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 27, 2015 at 6:26 am

Skyposse's heat map data over MENLO waypoint clearly showed that Palo Alto desperately needs a seat at the Roundtable or those big red circles over PA would only get bigger and redder !!!


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Posted by My Ears
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

I won't profess to have any hard data at my fingertips, but my ears are telling me that we are experiencing many more and lower flights over East Palo Alto. What's interesting too is that the increase has been more prevalent since the FAA meeting with Congresswoman Eshoo and the different city representatives in her district.

I'm not blaming anyone, mind you, but I do wonder if the pressure on FAA is having some effect. Might they quietly be shifting some of the burden onto EPA or other locales? Or is it a product of changing weather patterns as fall approaches? We have always gotten more air traffic when weather is overcast or rainy, as an example.


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 27, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I checked out the Almanac - the San Mateo on-line system. Yes - they have a stream on Surf air which is migrating to the FAA. Suggest that Mr. Carpenter take his plans and let the San Mateo folks critique it.

San Mateo appears fixed on Surf Air - probably because the SFO traffic is not a big issue for them.

The 3,000 ft guide noted above is specific to San Mateo - Palo Alto is 5,000 ft.
So see - you have a Palo Alto critique.

I think your San Mateo fan base should have a go at your plan.


11 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Peter Carpenter does have the right to approach Anna Eshoo--she's our local rep.
However, looking at Jetman's comments in the other thread, Mr. Carpenter's plan seems more like wishful thinking about nextgen technology rather than the reality.

Pretty much all planes coming from the East fly over Fremont, but Fremont's not complaining. Why? The planes are a lot higher (around 10,000 feet) and descend over the SF Bay--even though the distance from Fremont to SFO and PA to SFO isn't that different.

So, here are my thoughts:

We shouldn't get flights from the north over our heads at all, unless there's an unusual weather occurrence. A flight from Seattle just flew over, whining and banking, of course. All flights from the north should follow a different path.

Flights from the south can come in higher and farther south--again, there shouldn't be a huge banking over our heads. I can't believe that's efficient as far flight paths go. I get that there might be issues with SJO traffic, but we get these flights late at night when traffic at SJC is minimal.

The only flights that have a legitimate reason to be flying over us come from the East, but here, again, I don't see why we're being subject to the low banking we get at say 1:30 in the morning. Last night, a Korean Air cargo plane actually did a bloody loop and flew over Palo Alto *twice* before landing at 12:45 last night.

So, the converging of three major flight paths over one city 20 miles away from the airport needs to stop. It's a crazy idea to do this over a densely populated area, among other things. Other Bay Area cities benefit from having a major airport--they can shoulder some of the traffic.

I can deal with air traffic from one direction, but flights after 10 at night need to be flying higher over densely populated areas. Air traffic is low in the middle of the night, no reason that a flight path where the descent is primarily over the bay, a la Fremont can't happen.

So, no crazy randomization is needed, just some common sense and breaking up the burden. I really do have to wonder why SFO and the FAA think it's okay to have three flight paths converge over a densely populated area if safety is the key concern.


6 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Resident
a resident of another community

Please, do not take it badly that people have called Belle Haven "East Menlo Park". We do call the area of Palo Alto located south of Oregon Expressway "South Palo Alto" even though it is not a separate city. There is no evil intent here. It is just a convenient label. That is all.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

@OPar, I didn't see anything pass over Palo Alto twice last night (this morning). The KAL cargo came over once at 01:08, descending through 5400 feet. On Wednesday morning it was a thousand feet lower, which may be grounds for complaint, but still just one pass, at 00:45.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm

There is a good article in the SJM today 08/27/15 - "New Bridge to London". This is a discussion concerning British Airways having a non-stop to the UK once a day out of San Jose Airport.

What is most interesting about this article is the amount of detail on the "shopping" of the airport to make up for the debt attributed to the expansion, the degree of competition with SFO and Oakland, and the monetary concessions in the contract to British Airways to locate an office in the airport area.

Everyone who is anyone is involved, including the Mayor of San Jose - Sam Liccardo, Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group representing the major companies in the area that want expansion of travel choices, increased business opportunities - (don't go to SFO - it is all here in San Jose).

San Jose is actively "shopping" it's airport. How does Southwest feel about the concessions made to BA? San Jose is considered the Number 3 airport in the area with SFO the main dog followed by Oakland.

The business base of an airport and its contribution to the general business base of a city is a major political power house relative to the FAA and ATC.

So planes randomly flying around on the Friday and Saturday forays over Palo Alto, Googleplex, etc. - is this part of the "shopping" expedition to pump up the San Jose Airport's profile?

We all have seen some very bizarre and unexplainable plane maneuvers on the trackers that do not make sense if the story line is to "save gas money".

We need the City Managers, and mayors to get involved in pushing the interests of the cities so there is some balance here.

Political push is an important as engineering - the engineering has already been done - so now is the time to manage it in relation to the welfare of the cities directly affected by - up to now- incompetent direction.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

IF you want a simple solution then Palo Alto should just request that the FAA do the follow three things:

1 - All SFO inbound traffic from the North and the East must use the RNAV (GPS) X RWY 28R approach and must enter that approach at the ANETE Initial Approach Fix (IAF) for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,

Web Link

Alternatively these aircraft could us the ILS or LOC RWY 28R approach and must enter at ARCHI IAF for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,

Web Link

2 - All SFO inbound traffic from the South and the West must use the RNAV (GPS) X RWY 28L approach and must enter that approach at the Faith IAF which has a minimum crossing altitude of 7000 ft.,

Web Link

Entry to this approach via MENLO intersection would not be permitted.

Alternatively these aircraft could us the ILS or LOC RWY 28L approach and must enter at the FAITH IAF for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,

Web Link

Entry to this approach via MENLO intersection would not be permitted.


3 - SFO and SJC must be landing in the same direction unless the wind differential between them is greater than 1o knots.

These recommendations use existing and established procedures and do not impinge on the SJC airspace.

If these recommendations were to be adopted then Palo Alto's problem would go away. Some communities further to the South would see significant increases in overflights but these would be at higher altitudes.


2 people like this
Posted by midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

@Peter Carpenter,

That IAF approach via MENLO @4000ft for planes from the South and West is the
major pain point for Palo Alto. Is there any reason why ROKME, WETOR weren't considered in the first place?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"That IAF approach via MENLO @4000ft for planes from the South and West is the
major pain point for Palo Alto."

I have no reason to defend the MENLO approach nor can I explain its origin. My objective is to move forward.

As I proposed :"Entry to this approach via MENLO intersection would not be permitted."


8 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Musical,

Nope, the darn thing did a loop. It came over Palo Alto, headed north, went around the SF Peninsula, then crossed over Palo Alto again around 12:45. I'm assuming it was a one-off thing, but it's kind of absurd. I checked the route on flightradar24 and there it was.

Oh, great, now we're about to get an Airbus from Heathrow (BAW287) overhead--another one of those flights that should never have a reason to be over Palo Alto. Why should a flight coming from the northeast ever come over Palo Alto? At least it was above 5,000.

What's becoming clear is that Nextgen has been used to narrow the flight paths as much as possible, *whether or not* it actually makes sense to do so. I think we can thank our Round Table neighbors to the north for this. It's time they took some of the burden back--particularly as San Mateo County actually benefit more from SFO than does Santa Clara.

It does *not* make sense to have flights from the northeast fly over the Pacific and then do a bank over PA to head up the bay. That flight should bank over the East Bay.

The triple convergence of flight paths (and banking) ups the odds of a collision over a densely populated area. It's reckless, frankly.

Hey, there's a flight from Miami that just flew over us. What the hell, SFO?


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 27, 2015 at 7:38 pm

I saw flightradar24 mentioned. There is a large article about this in the WSJ - Personal Journal today. Excellent story - two young men in Sweden thought up putting a receiver on the roof to track planes. Then many people joined in and eventually this grew into a massive movement with receivers all over the world. They are now considered the Facebook of Aviation and are used by the industry to track planes and the specifics of the planes.
This is going to compete for the next gen system. Good story.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 27, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Yes, there are lots of tools but what is missing is action.

I have intimate personal knowledge of the Palo Alto Process and it is telling that fewer than a handful of postings present specific solutions.


9 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm

@OPar, my apology. I was checking SJC WebTrak, and looked like KAL213 had landed normally at SFO up in the corner of the map. Instead it initiated a go-around at 700 feet, and did indeed make a big counterclockwise loop returning to Palo Alto at 1:22am, ultimately landing at 1:27. Can't tell whether this was driven by some anomaly on short-final or done for training on SFO procedures. I see now that Flightradar24 may be better for historical data and definately for a global view, but the UTC times can befuddle.

@Peter, are there any "solutions" or just compromises?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"@Peter, are there any "solutions""

Yes - Have have proposed two very specific solutions. One is based on the intelligent use of NextGen technology and the second is based on existing approved SFO approaches. Both are posted in this thread,

[Portion removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Monroe Park
on Aug 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm

@pc,

I haven't proposed any solutions yet because

1. I'm still at the understanding the problem stage
and
2. I'm not an aviation expert

I do know that a few years ago I didn't have as many planes flying over my house as low as I do now. Thanks to skyposse for posting the report that confirmed my memory.


11 people like this
Posted by Little Ego
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

The flights over our house this evening our just relentless. Every one to three minutes, all the way through dinner and the evening, and they just keep coming. Last night they had me awake at 10:30 and 1:30. I would love a break.


6 people like this
Posted by Mike-Crescent Park
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:03 am

Mike-Crescent Park is a registered user.

Based on a conversation I had two weeks ago with an FAA guy there seems to be some very strange logic in the bureaucracy.

I was having dinner with friends on a restaurant patio in Monterey. A couple seated nearby were recognized as friends by my friends. I was explaining to my friends (former Palo Alto residents of my Crescent Park neighborhood) about the current airplane noise controversy and Sky Posse. On hearing this the man of the other couple asked if he could add to the conversation. He said he is a FAA employee and apparently fairly high up in management. He went through a description of former Bay Area flight paths and current ones from NextGen. He described vectors and paths and beacons and GPS and altitudes. His bottom line point was that nothing is worse than before and that the problem is all in "perception". I.e. Because attention is now being directed to the flights everyone perceives it to be noisier but it's not.

Obviously this is not true if you live anywhere around here. This fellow is an educated, polite and well spoken guy but he is either sadly misinformed or the FAA has adopted talking points to justify their actions.


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Posted by midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

"His bottom line point was that nothing is worse than before and that the problem is all in "perception""

The solution is simple, if he cares enough to understand the problem a bit
more, just send a couple of men down here and stay for a day or two. Then he
can appreciate what kind of pain the FAA has caused to the citizens living
below the flight paths.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

Comments above on the FAA talking points have been recognized by many people. These people have a job with benefits and if they do not follow the talking points they will be out the door. We have seen those people post in our discussions - they are the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil people.

Time to include the Transportation Safety Board since they have to clean up messes. Time to clean up the mess before something happens rather than after something happens.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If the FAA sends people to every community under the SFO arrivals flight path I guarantee that Palo Alto will not be very high on the pain list. After they spend a few nights in Foster City, Redwood Shores and East Palo Alto they will beat a sigh of relief during their Palo Alto stay.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

Thank you Peter - you have correctly aligned your priorities here. Duly noted.

You forgot to point out that many FAA people actually live here - they are fully aware of what is going on. They probably live in San Mateo County near the airport. Or Atherton? Do not dismiss the presence of major government agencies in one of the biggest economies in the world.

Note to the San Jose Airport - the people in the new soccer stadium next door are amazed that they do not hear the airplane noise to the extent they expected. The planes at that point are on the ground - or near the ground.
Noise of fan base in soccer exceeds the noise of planes. Serve up more beer here. I guess that concern can be put on the back burner. What a surprise.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have no priorities here except for the truth and a deep respect for the laws of physics which state that noise levels decrease as the square of the distance from the source. Planes at 4000 ft create 1/16 th the ground noise level as do planes at 1000 ft and it makes no difference if the distance is vertical, horizontal or a combination of both.

"You forgot to point out that many FAA people actually live here" Really - how many and where is here?

"Do not dismiss the presence of major government agencies in one of the biggest economies in the world."
Sorry I haven't seen any black helicopters lately.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 11:29 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Opar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Musical,

No problem. It was weird--the flight came from Korea, so doing a training loop in the middle of the night seems sort of strange, but so would looping to avoid the largely non-existent traffic. All I can think is that the pilot missed some sort of benchmark.

I see Peter Carpenter's back to the whole deny that Palo Alto's getting it in the neck--also if East Palo Alto's got problems, Palo Alto's got problems--it's the same damn issue. Solve one, you solve the other--so Peter Carpenter's attempt at divisiveness is absurd here.

But, anyway, Sky Posse's well-done study shows the issue is real.

Not sure why knowing that there's a problem and complaining about it means that we're supposed to solve it. I'm not an aviation expert.

I do, however, think that it's clear that you shouldn't have three major flight paths converge over a densely populated area.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I see Peter Carpenter's back to the whole deny that Palo Alto's getting it in the neck"

I have never made that claim and have always acknowledged that some people in Palo Alto are personally sensitive to and impacted by airplane noise.

There is no data to support the claim that Palo Alto is disproportionately impacted by ground level airplane noise - as is proven by the decision of the City Council to spend probably $1 million on a study to get such data.

However, I have moved on to solving the problem rather than debating perceptions and sensitivities and personal opinions. Try it, you might like it.


7 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Peter Carpenter,

We went over this the other day. For someone who claims to care only about the facts, you love using loaded words: "personally sensitive" and now you're ignoring the Sky Posse report on air traffic issues here.

"Disproportionate" is subjective--and revealing of your shove-it-down-south bias.

As I said, I don't care that you have a bias, but your pretending otherwise is tiresome--and the "wealth-centric" comment the other day was ridiculous from somebody in Atherton.

You don't want any increase in air traffic where you are--I get that. But quit ignoring the fact that NextGen and the Rounnd Table has meant three corridors converging over Palo Alto--big increase in traffic and noise as a result. That goes beyond "personally sensitive". I'm not even directly under the planes and my house shakes when one of them flies too low. Sorry, shaking house is not a case of "personally sensitive".

I am "personally sensitive" about the taste of avocados. The jet traffic and issues it causes are not matters of personal sensitivity.







1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

This is a Palo Alto Forum for people to share information. I think most people here are smart enough to draw the line at what could be construed as proprietary information vs public information derived from public sites.

People cannot provide information that was developed on company funds or are currently invested in any studies for which they are receiving payment.
People cannot out the addresses of FAA personnel - or any other personnel
that is in a position of employment with any agency under discussion.

From where I am sitting that is where this is at - so spin all you want but what you see is what you get.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

For all of you calling Peter Carpenter on his point of view - please remember that what happens here isn't the best reflection of real life. I think a decent perception of what's happening re these flights, for those who may not be aware, is that East Palo Alto and Belle Haven *are* involved. There's a lot of reciprocity going on via NextDoor and email lists.

Opar - Tinsley really is a red herring here, which I think you know. Atherton's only public high school - Menlo-Atherton - is part of the Sequoia Union High School District. As I'm sure you know, our county's high schools aren't in individual city districts. You may be unaware that Carpenter has a wonderfully fair view of the education issues facing Belle Haven, which he has mentioned a number of times in local online forums. And you're right - these noise issues aren't a wealthy vs less wealthy issue AT ALL. Those characterizing them as such either have little info or are deliberately trying to change the narrative.


5 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Hmmm,

I agree that Tinsley's a bit off-topic, but I'm a Bay Area native and San Mateo County has a long history of looking after its own interests while Santa Clara gets it in the gut--BART being the most obvious. San Mateo voted down BART, while Santa Clara has paid a sale tax for decades for benefit it never gets. (Palo Alto doesn't even get high-speed rail.)

Tinsley came about because cities in San Mateo discriminated against POC communities when it came to school zoning. Palo Alto signed onto Tinsley, but wasn't part of San Mateo's school district shenanigans.

Round Table--another set of primarily San Mateo communities who seem to have been all too happy to see three air traffic corridors converge conveniently to the south of San Mateo County except for that bit over East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, while it rakes in the benefits of having SFO.

So Peter Carpenter may have a great track record on schools, but San Mateo, whose interests he seems to be defending here, does not have a great record when it comes to dealing with its southern neighbor. Or, frankly, EPA and Belle Haven--the two San Mateo communities that do get a ton of low-flying planes--basically, whatever we get, you get, but even lower.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" San Mateo County has a long history of looking after its own interests while Santa Clara gets it in the gut-"

Like when Palo Alto stole the land for the golf course and airport from San Mateo County by diverting the creek?


4 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Didn't know that Palo Alto did that--glad to hear it, given how often the shoe's been on the other foot. So, let's see--Palo Alto's bayshore--public parks, sewage treatment, dump, golf course, airport. I'd say we've made pretty good use of it all, wouldn't you?

Seriously, though, that's pretty minor league compared to San Mateo County's history of not playing well with others. I'm not, by the way, from SC originally--San Mateo's rep. is pretty well-known by the other eight Bay Area counties. San Mateo likes reaping the benefits of economic growth while taking on as little of the burden as possible.

That said, we should probably get back on-track for this thread.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

OPar - thank you for your thoughtful response. East Palo Alto has had to deal with land theft from both counties and also its neighboring cities. You're right about the SM Co. rep. My take on its vibe growing up is that it just pretty much did its own thing in a "touch me not/water off a duck's back" kind of way. But really - it's not like the county lives in a vacuum, so that's a pretty lousy attitude. In current years, many of its cities have gotten pretty smug and entitled, similar to Palo Alto. Our sheriff, from your city, and undersheriff, who used to work in your city, are both really a problem here, too. Shame on my county for not recalling them after the illegal bordello brouhaha!

OTOH, we have a great animal shelter that has been doing fabulous things here and in Malibu and Hawaii which wouldn't otherwise be done without local support and direction. For me, that's one of the big positives. Another current positive is how many locals have drawn together over the airplane noise issue. Some of this current goodwill may also really come in handy when/if El Nino hits and we all may need to rely on each other for information and even safety.

The airplane noise issue is complicated and there's been a lot of misinformation. I'm grateful that there are people dedicated to getting out accurate data and helping everyone with this troublesome issue.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interesting moderator bias here"

Omar states "That said, we should probably get back on-track for this thread."

I reply that I agree to get back on topic and my comment is deleted.

Clearly the best way to get preferential treatment on this Forum is to not use you real name.


1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Peter - I can't imagine why your comment was deleted - that was weird. But of course grinding your old ax about using real names is as annoying as ever.


3 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Hmmm,

Yes, in general, Santa Clara county has been more of a team player than San Mateo, I think, simply because it's always been more diverse--ethnically and economically. Palo Alto's actually a bit of an outlier--it behaves more like a San Mateo city in a lot of ways, though I think it being a college town has made it less conservative and more community-oriented, though less so than it was. Housing prices mean that we've lost our working-class areas (such as Sterling Gardens) and are currently losing our middle-class areas (south Palo Alto and the Eichler areas in the north.)

Meanwhile, the poor/disadvantaged minority areas of San Mateo were conveniently left unincorporated for years with a crappy school system to boot. East Palo Alto kind of incorporated itself by its bootstraps, while East Menlo/Belle Haven was left hanging until the land started looking too valuable to leave alone. Now, there's just North Fair Oaks--something tells me that Atherton will avoid expanding its borders to take in Little Michoacan. Well, until someone starts buying it up to put in a luxury development.

But, anyway, back on-topic--Palo Alto and East Palo Alto have a shared interest on this one. SFO and the FAA seemed to be so busy making the San Mateo cities happy that they didn't think about how the planes would be concentrated over a few communities. It's not at all surprising that they're getting blowback from all over the place.


14 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

I mean no disrespect of anyone.

However,perhaps the moderator might give Peter Carpenter a "blog" of his own to create a space for others to share their experiences and opinions and people who want to just dialogue with PC can do so.

I have many issues relating to the aircraft over Palo Alto but find my concerns along with those of others are quickly run over.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The purpose Town Square is to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion.

If you have opinions then please share them.

If you have facts then please share them.

No on except the moderators can run over you if you have thoughtful opinions and documented facts.


20 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 8:59 pm

I do find it very strange that Peter, who basically says that there is no real airplane noise problem in Palo Alto, now also claims to want and help solve it. His stance actually changed after data was released on the shift of noise from San Mateo County to Santa Clara County (Palo Alto) over the years.

My impression is that Mr Carpenter has himself shifted, from denying the problem to trying to manage it. Unfortunately, since he lives in Atherton, one of the main beneficiaries of the traffic and noise displacement that has occurred over the years, Mr. Carpenter's intentions remain suspicious in the eyes of many, if not most of us, Palo Alto residents. He would have much more legitimacy if he was a Palo Alto resident, but he no longer is, despite all his mentions of his former ties with Palo Alto. I simply cannot trust what he says, no matter his credentials.


12 people like this
Posted by another res
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Peter, I personally refuse to accept that you can be the arbiter of the "only solution" that exists. There are Palo Alto residents engaged in a deliberate and thoughtful process to identify the solutions. I see no reason to rush into the one solution you advocate and assert is the only one.

Solutions are being worked on, and reasonable people will give it the proper amount of time without being pressured by any person into adopting the one and only fix they brandish. It is especially so, once again, when this person has no current ties with Palo Alto and other badly impacted communities that launched this process, and when this person has benefited from past shifts that now affect us but were not properly studied (for their impact on us) before implementation.


5 people like this
Posted by another res
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Mr. C,

No disrespect. You may want to direct your message to the authorities. Its a sleepy Friday night on Town Square and this may not be the place to get real air time, no pun intended.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 7:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

". You may want to direct your message to the authorities"

As noted both of my proposals have already been submitted to the FAA via Cong. Eshoo's Office.

[Portion removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2015 at 7:34 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

[Post removed.]




1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 7:59 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by another res
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 12, 2015 at 8:24 am

Mr. C,

By the way, I don't see the "invention" in your solution.

Spread out the planes and have them go over water was not only not invented by Palo Alto, or you - it's common sense.

And wasn't that how planes used to fly?

Please - you have been interrupting these threads to argue about the problem, now you want to argue about a solution. There is no need to argue about either.

If somebody wants to post that they are upset about the planes you don't need to get huffy about what your role is in the issue.

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 8:32 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I did not claim to have invented anything but rather to have "presented a solution" and when I did so I asked for others to critique and improve it. I am aware that one person has done a superb job of improving on my proposed solution and hope that he will feel free to post it here.



4 people like this
Posted by another res
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 12, 2015 at 8:54 am

Mr. C,

Why do you need to get "ciritque" on Town Square?

Is this how you find other experts to improve upon "your" solution? That's kind of worrisome.

Please do go to the authorities with your friend's improvement. Only after you have directed your suggestions to the right people maybe you can come back and share how you can improve upon the brilliant concept of spreading the planes and flying over water.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:13 am

A concept is not a solution.

An air traffic solution provides specific, detailed instructions that can be followed by any ATC controller or pilot.

Getting the input of others in a diverse, well educated community can improve proposed solutions.

Some of the people I am working with on this problem to developie proposed solutions are aviation experts.


2 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:37 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 9:46 am

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by another res
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 12, 2015 at 10:32 am

Mr. C,

Who can offer critique to "detailed instructions" to be followed by a pilot?

I can only point to a map and explain where there is water, and where there are people. And I can share that when planes are really low it is scary, loud, annoying, and interfering with the health of my family. It's hell when it's too many planes.

Stop acting like we can be so "diverse and educated" to "present" acronyms. I am educated enough to know that I should not be the one critiquing any specific instructions for Air Traffic Control, or bullied out of a thread on aircraft noise because I won't.

You experts have been nowhere about solutions until now. You were too busy denying the problem and making people sound crazy. Nothing prevents you and your circle of friends to fix anything!

It's a wonder there was ever a problem with the "specific, detailed instructions that can be followed by any ATC controller or pilot."

Until the problem is fixed you would be thoughtful to understand that people will express frustration without having to opine on acronyms for pilots.

And very worrisome that you experts need this forum to sort out your specific instructions for Air Traffic Control.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 10:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Until the problem is fixed you would be thoughtful to understand that people will express frustration without having to opine on acronyms for pilots. "

I understand that and that is why I am working hard to solve the problem.

"And very worrisome that you experts need this forum to sort out your specific instructions for Air Traffic Control."

Please understand that the current routing was done without listening to people on forums such as this and look at the result.

Putting experts in one box and everybody else in another box may provide "neat" technical solutions that don't really solve the 'everybody's' statement of the problem

[Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by tt
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton

on Sep 12, 2015 at 11:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


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3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Just in case I missed it - has anybody else posted alternative SFO approach procedures that either distribute the current SFO inbound traffic more evenly or that relocate the IAFs to higher altitudes?

Which is more important - to distribute the current SFO inbound traffic more evenly
- to relocate the IAFs to higher altitudes?


Like this comment
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Who is going to pay for the study? The taxpayers? Or will it be Sky Posse, since they are the ones claiming there is a problem? It seems to me that it should be the latter.


6 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm

The good citizens of Portola Valley have their own aviation technical study.

Web Link

Maybe we can learn from them.



1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Note from the Portola Valley article:

"Definitive proposals will be important in getting congressional assistance, Councilwoman Maryann Derwin said. "If we want their help, they are actually going to want to see A, B and C solutions," she said."


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Peter Carpenter,

Why not bid on the Portola Valley Study?

It says

"The objective: an independent analysis, based on data, to find alternatives to the current situation. "

You seem to have a definitive proposal, also based on data?


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Resident 3 - While I consider myself both interested and well informed I do not consider myself to be an independent expert on these issues.

I hope that whomever they select will carefully evaluate the two SFO Approach proposals that I have made.


13 people like this
Posted by The Ghost
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Great advice:

"The purpose Town Square is to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion.

If you have opinions then please share them.

If you have facts then please share them."


9 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 12, 2015 at 11:03 pm

The alternative flight path has already happened. PC keeps talking about the Menlo intersection. That is suppose to be on Willow Road? Planes are not flying over Menlo Park - Willow Road. They are flying to the PAO that has at night a giant tower with lights that rotate - saying "Over Here" - "Over Here".

What was happening last year is not happening now. It has all shifted south over PA.

Maybe it is time for it to shift back over Menlo Park - Willow Road? If PC is selling Menlo Park then get those planes back to Menlo Park. Once the planes hit the VOR between Portola Valley and Woodside then it is more advantageous for the planes to go down the line of HY 84 to the north approach instead of taking a turn southeast to PA.

Having just been on that favorite flight from across the ocean the planes reduce speed before they hit land so they are already preparing for landing before they get on the peninsula. If they are in a reduced speed flight over the land then all of the discussion on glide path, etc. appears superfluous. They are already in a reduced noise operating system at night.
Or trying to be - I think it depends on the age of the plane.


12 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

I an restating my belief that Palo Alto residents need a forum to address significant losses of sleep, access to outdoors, and the increasingly polluted environment and subsequent health concerns caused by increased aviation activity.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Town Square Forum - Create New Topic

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 13, 2015 at 6:57 pm

I love the comments on the Creek. PA changed the route of the creek creating the problem we have now. Recommendation is to change it back to a straight shot down to the bay - that from Peter Carpenter.

Does that not sound like the problem we have now on the airline flight paths? Why not change it back to where it was before - the planes come over the VOR between Woodside and Portola Valley and used to be a straight shot down to the bay. Sounds like a plan to me.

Someone should check and see if the Menlo tracker that is suppose to be on Willow is still there - has it been stolen by the metal thieves? The planes do not cross the Willow Road location so must have been moved?


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Recommendation is to change it back to a straight shot down to the bay "

Check again - no one made that recommendation.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 13, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Kazu - the PACC already voted to perform the study - the city is paying for it.


7 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

The FAA supports high profits for the airlines and and lower fuel costs, and now to create drone highways.

Why is it believed that coming up with better flight paths will make a difference if these do not enhance the goals of the FAA?

In 1997 I attended the Roundtable and similar plans were espoused with no impact whatsoever.

Huge funds were spent on developing Next Gen and unless forced to do so, why would the FAA just abandon it for the interests of those on the ground?


18 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2015 at 10:38 pm

The big beneficiaries of "nextgen" are not really the airlines. For years the airlines resisted "nextgen" because by their calculations the huge cost associated with "nextgen" would never be paid back by the small fuel savings promised by "nextgen".

Most of the airlines were only very reluctantly dragged into "nextgen" by promises of huge fuel savings (which never really materialized), and eventually by the FAA agreeing to pay for half of the airlines multi-billion dollar "nextgen" equipment costs.

The real clear beneficiaries of "nextgen" are the four defense contractors who are the prime contractors for "nextgen":

1. ITT Exelis - Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

2. Harris Corp - Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS).

3. Lockheed Martin - En Route Automation Modernization Program (ERAM).

4. Raytheon - Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS).

At $40 billion "nextgen" is already $20 billion over budget, and according to an internal FAA planning office, the $40 billion "nextgen" cost could quadruple again to $160 billion, before it is finished.


"The Road to NextGen"
Aviation Today ~ September 1, 2013 Web Link

"FAA NextGen Air Traffic Control Costs Could Quadruple"
Information Week ~ December 3, 2010 Web Link?


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 14, 2015 at 5:50 am

Nex Gen is about directing air traffic via satellite vs radar. Where and how you direct traffic is an option that is open to the ATC based on how much traffic is in the air and the type of plane.

Some flights coming in from the islands take a predictable path but some are now south of Portola Valley indicating that they are not going over the VOR between Woodside and Portola Valley - that is a change. UAL 724 on 09/12 was south of Portola Valley over Foothill Park. That was a new plane.

The flights that are coming from the north - or fly overs coming down the peninsula do go over the Willow Road Area at times but also rotate between University and Embarcadero. Yes - some cross over at Willow but is not a mandatory cross over for all planes.

The number of mandatory cross points - or check points no longer appears to be in place for the large commercial planes. I think that how the planes are directed is based on the age of the plane and modifications to the plane to incorporate the required equipment for Nex Gen.

There are still the problems of altitude - that has to be corrected. That does not make sense. Nex Gen should not be the reason that altitude is lowered. The lowering of altitude is a decision made by ATC extraneous to Nex Gen. Altitude is negotiable.


Like this comment
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Wondering if the varied altitudes could be a safety measure assuring separation?


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Reduced altitude is occurring when there is relatively little cross traffic in the air at any time. It appears to be a concession to the airline industry to reduce the cost of gasoline. If that is the going in position then it does not explain why the planes are being directed to go off course in large round-abouts to get into position.

If you look at the three planes that come in from the islands - they travel as a group - they each individually follow a different course once they arrive on land. The plane from Kauai goes to the southern point - San Antonio Road then out to Don Edwards preserve across the bay. The other two planes - Maui and Honolulu follow different paths once they hit land.

Honolulu had to go to the International terminal because there were no open gates in the United terminal - then people had to trek through the terminals to get to the United baggage - domestic area.

We need to determine who is directing traffic at lower altitudes - which ATC organization at whose directions. This then may circle back to the specific airport who has negotiated contracts with the specific airlines.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

From the article Jetman posted

"FAA expects NextGen to provide fuel savings of $2.3 million per year eventually. Yet savings are being realized already with NextGen. "

"The Road to NextGen"
Aviation Today ~ September 1, 2013

I wonder if it is really gas savings. I bet it has to do more with saving minutes or seconds to crunch the planes together.


1 person likes this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Res 3

Good point. Air traffic is predicted to increase greatly.


8 people like this
Posted by pares
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 15, 2015 at 11:03 am

Last night I was awoken by a plane that must have been flying lower than usual at 4:35am over Green Acres. My mirror closet doors rattled as it flew by. Too loud and too early in the morning!


Like this comment
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

@ pares

I looked up flights above our area at 4:35 AM this morning.

It appears that what you heard may have been a medivac, a Life Flight helicopter headed to Stanford. It was flying above Palo Alto at 1,400 feet coming from Sunnyvale and Mountain View.

As much as I have a big problem with aircraft noise above our town, I make a big exception for medivac helicopters that are used in emergency situations and can save lives.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 15, 2015 at 11:52 am

United 737 from Kona at 5800 feet, 4:23 a.m.
United 777 from Honolulu at 5400 feet, 4:28 a.m.

That helicopter was probably noisiest, directly over Maybell & Coulombe.


20 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Might have been a one-two punch. The first two aircraft might have roused Pares from deep sleep, than the subsequent helicopter roused Pares to full consciousness.

Aircraft are usually only audible for about 60 seconds. This may be enough to rouse someone from deep sleep, but it may take a lot longer to gain full consciousness.

Low frequency sound (vibration) probably triggers a very primitive arousal response (a predator is very close by). The earlier aircraft could have generated some low frequency sound, if they were adjusting throttle settings, as they passed over.


13 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

In my mind, the big question is why these late night and very early morning flights are always above Palo Alto. Examples for this would be the midnight to 1 AM Korean cargo flights out of LAX and the 4 or 5 AM Hawaii arrivals.

They could easily fly north or south of us, and they never do. The best solution would be for them to enter the bay farther south and higher, so as to wake as few people up as possible. Otherwise, equity would demand that all towns share these flights if indeed they cannot be made to fly in higher (which in itself is dubious).


2 people like this
Posted by tt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Does anyone know why SFO noise abatement office has not released July stats? We are now well into Sept. I wonder if they are taking the time to "digest" some data.

Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 10:39 pm

JPT,

The late night flights pass over Palo Alto, because Palo Alto is where the planned nominal flight paths are. During the day congestion frequently requires ATC to detour (or vector) flights off of the planned nominal routes to maintain spacing, or sequence, planes merging onto the final approach radial lined up with SFO's runway 28.

On a busy Sunday evening close to 100% of the flights from the south might be "vectored" (detoured) off of the planned nominal flight path from the south. Between midnight a 5:00am, there a very few aircraft in the air, so the few aircraft headed for SFO, are usually able to fly the planned nominal route over Palo Alto.

SFO approach and departure plan illustrated: Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2015 at 11:21 pm

What a disturbing thought to have no night curfews and planned nominal flight paths over our houses.

It couldn't possibly have been planned this way.


2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2015 at 12:46 am

> How incredibly wealth centric!

I admire the mental gymnastics that comes up with this strange argument, but no, no it's not.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"In my mind, the big question is why these late night and very early morning flights are always above Palo Alto. Examples for this would be the midnight to 1 AM Korean cargo flights out of LAX and the 4 or 5 AM Hawaii arrivals."

Has anybody written these carriers and ask them to alter their flight paths/alitudes for these particular flights?

What was their response?


Like this comment
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:42 am


That has been suggested before, to appeal to airlines. I heard that suggestion comes from the airports because they cannot enforce where or how planes fly.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The suggestion comes from me because I believe that the only way to get these FAA legal flight paths changed is to work directly with the specific airline whose planes are causing the problem. The airport cannot require them to change legal flight paths. The FAA cannot require them to change legal flight paths. The answer is that concerned citizens must address the offending airlines directly.

If Korean Air, United and Delta each received hundreds of letters protesting these specific flight paths and the media were copied on those letters then changes would be made.

Posting comments in this Forum will have zero impact on the offending airlines.


Like this comment
Posted by redident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:19 am


The reason to suggest appealing to the airlines directly appears to be the same, that there is no guidance or enforcement to be had with airlines.





3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

Comments above are interesting - we started with the position that the FAA rules the airspace and everyone should just go sit and color why the planes are grinding away overhead.

Now the position stated above is that the FAA has no control over the airspace relative to specific planes - talk to the airlines.

At the recent drone conference the drone people were vexed by the FAA who wanted to control the airspace.

So what is the translation to that set of positions? The FAA does not want to be bothered by anyone - just go sit and color - leave them alone.

Since the ATC who are controlling the vectoring of flights within the broader flight path then the FAA / ATC are the appropriate targets for complaints. Either the FAA has control over the airspace and where the planes are flying or it doesn't.

The next question is which ATC is creating the problem? Is it a local ATC at the local airports or the Great FAA/ATC at Mather AFB in the Sacramento area.
We need to get who is in charge here.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Now the position stated above is that the FAA has no control over the airspace relative to specific planes - talk to the airlines."

Please read my comment more carefully. I am referring to specific flights that DO comply with FAA regulations but whose flight paths still bother some people. The only way to get those specific flight paths changed is to work with the specific airlines involved.

This is no way changes the fact that the FAA controls what are the legal flights paths - this remains a separate issue.

" Either the FAA has control over the airspace and where the planes are flying or it doesn't. "

As usual in life things are not that simple. The FAA has control over the airspace in the same way that the CHP has control over the highways - they establish and enforce a set of rules. However those rules still permit flying or driving in a manner that causes problems for some people and those problems can only be solved by dealing with the flyers/drivers involved.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

Peter Carpenter,

On the ground - if you drive in a manner or use roads in a manner that causes problems for some people, you can get stopped and may be subjected to some type of enforcement (depending on what you did). Is there an analogy of what somebody could do on the road that would give you no recourse but to appeal directly to the driver, or to be asked to write hundreds of letters to the driver with copies to the media.


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

Comparing the FAA to the CHP is questionable. The CHP doesn't plan, build, maintain, and direct traffic on the highways (unless there is an emergency). Caltrans may be a better comparison for the FAA.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 16, 2015 at 9:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Publisher has directed that I not engage in iterative debates with individual posters so I will not respond to these comments.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 10:09 am


As things get more automated up there, expecting the airlines to succumb to media pressure may only do so much good anyway.

Now Arriving: Airport Control Towers With No Humans Inside
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is the kind of thing that can be done with the intelligent use of technology:

"But in May, air-traffic controllers started routinely spacing airplanes on final approach to Heathrow by minutes instead of miles. Computers calculate safe spacing based on current wind conditions: If a plane normally needs to be 5 miles behind the one it’s following, but the headwind at 3,000 feet above sea level is 50 knots, or 58 miles an hour, now the plane might move a mile closer. Time between touchdowns remains the same, even with the headwinds slowing down the flight.

The results of the first-in-the-world system have been dramatic. With time-based separation, or TBS, 36 to 40 flights land at Heathrow in strong headwinds, almost the normal rate. Headwind-related delays have dropped by 50%."

Add TBS to the proposed requirement of all SFO flights to entering the approach pattern via ARCHI, FAITH and ANETE would totally solve the airplane ground noise problem AND maintain the capacity of SFO.


2 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:31 pm


And without the use of intelligent technology, they used to fly over the water and spread the flights.

And that is with less SFO operations than now.

Go figure.


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Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Correction:

With "more" SFO operations than now

In the 1990s's without the use of intelligent technology, they used to fly over the water and spread the flights with same or MORE flights.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:29 am

Resident 3 - People keep saying flying over the water. If a plane is flying in from the west over the ocean then it has to cross land to get to the bay.

Note - the planes coming in from the east coast come in over Fremont and the water / bay so we are not concerned with those flights. However if it is commute time - heavy traffic then some of those planes do a fly over SFO and circle down the peninsula and rotate back up to SFO on the bay.

Please explain what happened before vs now as to flying "over water".


2 people like this
Posted by data
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

Where is the best place to get current and historic flight data pertaining to the number of and elevation of flights? While the irritating shrill of decelerating engines after 11pm are nerve racking it I is the seldom ending, every several minute repeat that had totally ruined any enjoyable outdoor experience, I am interested in quantifying the increase in flights and decrease in altitude over PA verses other peninsula city's, especially Atherton.

I am also surprised that this is not a more constant topic within our community. I wonder what are the disclosure requirements when it comes time to sell my house? Do I need to say planes fly over every 3 minutes at an average altitude of 2000 feet? Not sure having a flight path moved over a city is good for real ester prices.

Better act soon before the nexgen paint dries..


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:41 am

Data,

Go to the Sky Posse homepage, and scroll down to "Quantitative Analysis Of FOIA Flight Track Data".

Sky Posse: Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm

The WSJ today - 09/17 has a large article in the Personal Journal Section titled "Plan to Cut Flight Delays". It is discussion of a plan in which the planes are staged by minutes of separation versus miles of separation. It is sponsored by the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) at Heathrow. It is an attempt to reduce the wait time relative to strong headwinds experienced at Heathrow which impacts delays.

The separation by minutes during landing has to take into consideration the size of the plane and the resultant vortex - turbulence created to the plane that is following behind it.

It is currently being used at Heathrow and the FAA is trying to integrate it into the other airports. It is referred to as Time Based Flow Management.

During this discussion in which they will produce a non-stop flow of planes there is no discussion on the impact on the ground. The goal is to squeeze out as much as they can on the runway.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Adding TBS (time based separation) to the proposed requirement of all SFO flights to entering the approach pattern via ARCHI, FAITH and ANETE would totally solve the airplane ground noise problem AND maintain the capacity of SFO.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

This is not a happy dance article.
The article indicates that there are many problems to be resolved concerning this program. There appears to be a higher need at Heathrow due to strong headwinds. This program was developed for high wind days but the controllers like the program. They do require training on the program.

That the noise level would be reduced is an opinion only - if planes are now streaming in a successive pattern then my opinion would be that the noise level would increase.

We know that the people on the ground at Heathrow are very upset with the status quo. They are lowering the altitude level.

In part it has to do with altitude - if they plan on streaming planes in rapid succession then that could be an increase is noise level to what we are experiencing now.

If there is some advantage then the planes could be directed straight down HWY 84 to the bay to reduce the time in the landing pattern. There would be no need to come all the way to Santa Clara County if that is the case. Eliminate the miles between planes and now have the minutes between planes to load up the flight path then San Mateo can handle this.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

resident1

Please explain what happened before vs now as to flying "over water".

After the mid-90's there was a surge in noise complaints from the mid-Peninsula.

Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 23, 1997 Web Link
Can't stop the noise
What's behind the sudden increase in complaints from Midpeninsulans about airplanes landing at SFO?
by Sara Selis

"Planes that were ONCE TAKEN QUIETLY OVER THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY (for emphasis) are increasingly being rerouted down the Midpeninsula. And the reason for that? The Bay Area's booming air traffic business."

Specifics of how they used the Bay (quieter approach) "then" in the early 90s (with more SFO operations than now) must be something the airports can answer.


4 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm

"The Bay Area's booming air traffic business" - as we now know (from the Sky Posse data) was not necessarily booming - only the mid-Peninsula air traffic business has been "booming."


4 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 17, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Lots of noisy flights this evening!


7 people like this
Posted by tt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm

SFO's July noise complaint report is finally released. Number of complaints in Palo Alto has doubled compared to June.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 18, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

We have real problems in River City:

Residents complain about geese invasion at Mitchell Park


8 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

The only certain solution to count on is that global warming will raise the sea levels and SFO will go underwater and then there will be longed for peace and quiet.


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 18, 2015 at 11:00 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by HELP!
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Sep 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Today has been AWFUL for plane noise! I have double-paned windows and I cannot even drown out the low plane noise with the TV on!

I tried to nap this morning and kept getting woken up by planes!

This is completely unfair to our health.


9 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2015 at 8:40 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Dear HELP

This is an extreme stressor and I am sorry for your distress.

Tips I have from my experience:

The best is to get the highest quality air filter you can. Perhaps review Consumer Reports-or I can tell you what I have that was recommended. The filter removes the pollution(this made me feel better) and makes the perfect white noise background. Instead of leaving TV on-might try one of the relaxation calming music choices on YOU TUBE. Ones with nature sounds are a good antidote. The combination of air filter and calming music may help with the noise.

Try to get away to a quiet place. Best to go overnight-but great parks around area. Likely Bert Ganoug in SFO NOISE OFFICE-will tell you flight path free areas where you can escape to relax and know what you need to do to cope.


20 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Interesting--Palo Alto doesn't have the most complaints--that honor goes to Los Gatos, followed by Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley. Palo Alto, though, has the highest number of individual callers.

The only city in the Round Table with a substantial number of complaints is Portola Valley, but its numbers are dwarfed by those in PA and the cities along the 17 corridor. Atherton had two callers make five calls. Palo Alto had more than 100 times that.

So much for the argument that we're somehow paying for the convenience of being "near" a major airport. None of the cities nearer to SFO (except maybe EPA, which isn't listed for some reason) is getting the noise and traffic that we're getting. The only cities getting the same sort of impact are *farther* away.

Top airline offenders--Skywest and Virgin (with its whining A320s--a fix on that whine ought to be *mandatory.*) UAL leads in sheer number of offending flights--but then there are just many, many more UAL flights--SFO being a UAL hub. Hawaiian's are lower than I thought they'd be, but people are probably just too tired to figure out when exactly the red-eyes from the islands woke them up.

The situation sucks.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by HELP!
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Is it true that if everyone complains once, it's more impact than the same people complaining? Can't we have all 60,000 residents complain at least once?


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"None of the cities nearer to SFO (except maybe EPA, which isn't listed for some reason) is getting the noise and traffic that we're getting. The only cities getting the same sort of impact are *farther* away."

East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park, Redwood Shores and Foster City all get more ground level airplane noise than does Palo Alto - primarily because airplanes over those communities are lower than when those same planes are over Palo Alto.


9 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Solving the problem over Palo Alto would also help relieve it over East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park.

Although all planes fly above water and not directly over housing in Foster City and Redwood Shores, regardless of their actual noise levels there, these two cities are so much closer to SFO than Palo Alto that one can only expect they will have such noise. I moved to Palo Alto when there was next to no SFO traffic over PA, and I would never have considered moving to Redwood Shores and Foster City precisely to avoid their SFO traffic.

Meanwhile Atherton has it pretty good for some reason.


5 people like this
Posted by Just Passing Through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

@ HELP

Yes, it is true that the number of individual complainants is very important. Make sure you file your complaints with SFO, and do it monthly. Go to the SkyPosse website for details on how to file complaints.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Although all planes fly above water and not directly over housing in Foster City"

Here are photo from an inbound SFO plane OVER Belle Haven, East Palo Alto and Foster City:

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link

This plane never flew over Palo Alto.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 26, 2015 at 8:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


"A Review of Noise Abatement Procedures for SF Bay Area Airports"
Topic: Noise Abatement
On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 12:00
Location:
San Carlos Flight Center
655 Skyway Road
Suite 215
San Carlos, CA 94070
Select Number:
WP1564979

Description:
Anytime you’re flying below your enroute altitude, you should be actively selecting a route that allows for a safe landing in the event of engine failure. Selecting the right safe approach into an airport area is generally left entirely to the pilot. However, the rise of communities clustered in close proximity to airports gives rise to a new concern - Noise Abatement Procedures.



Flying is freedom for many of us. For some, it is one of our most cherished freedoms. With freedom, comes responsibility, and we must acknowledge that our hobby/passion/lifestyle does have a larger footprint on our neighbors and our neighborhoods than something like stamp collecting. We make noise; we scare people; we distract people; and our ways are often misunderstood by the people on the ground.



In this FAA Safety Seminar for Pilots, we discuss the ways Bay Area pilots can minimize their impact on the local communities with a thorough review of the Noise Abatement Procedures established for Bay Area airports. What are the local routes? What are the local procedures? What days/times have we agreed as pilots to limit some types of activities? What role does the Airport Office play? What authority does the tower have? What happens when your flight plan requires an early morning or non-standard departure?



SCFC flight instructors will show that adhering to local noise abatement procedures may bring additional risk to a pilot guarding against engine failure. Together, let’s identify a way we can fly both safely and quietly.


13 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:07 am

It amazes me when PC states that "This plane never flew over Palo Alto". I don't think that everyone thinks that all planes fly over Palo Alto. No one ever said they do.

We have had exhaustive discussions on flight paths which fit a general pattern in which the majority of planes coming from the east coast arrive over Fremont, over the bay and travel north for the SFO. We are not concerned with those flights from our vantage point in PA.

The majority of planes arriving from the Pacific and coast cities fly over the south bay at some point to cross over to the bay for their approach to SFO. Those are the flights that we are discussing from our vantage point in PA.

Then there is the high commute periods in the morning and evening when the airports have to line up the planes and deal with more flights than can land in a specific time period. These flights are directed over the SFO at high altitude and circle down the bay for a revised slot in the landing pattern. Some planes make their rotation higher up the peninsula, and some make their rotation lower on the peninsula - it is a matter of how much traffic is in the air at any time and the size of the planes.

The very large planes are less fleet than the smaller commuter planes and tend to lumber along at a lower altitude. Most international flights are on larger planes. Many International flights arriving from the east cross over SFO at high altitude to get assigned a landing slot and come down the peninsula.

My observation from a RWC parking lot - Kaiser Hospital on Veteran - is that the SFO planes crossing at that point make very little noise - it is a matter of how much natural sound proofing exists via altitude, location of water and land. They are not directly overhead at that point but are off shore.

The only noticeable planes are the Surf Air planes at that juncture and the other private planes.

San Mateo County does not get the results of the San Jose flights which take it upon themselves to cross the whole of Palo Alto at a low altitude, go to the PAO, over the bay, and circle back to the San Jose Airport. This all at about 2,000 altitude or lower. That is our vantage point problem.

The bottom line is that each area has a vantage point not shared by all - Atherton appears to have a great vantage point regarding SFO, but rotten concerning Surf Air. And they make no bones in the complaint department regarding that. It is all about location, location, location - as the real estate people say - and now the "airport" people.

PC - I cheer when a large plane goes over Atherton - yes - that is where it belongs. One day some Chinese Airline plane was going north over the peninsula - over the land- it was clearly lost and not communicating well with ATC - sometimes you look at a plane and wonder what is going on there in the cockpit - what kind of discussion is going on that a plane is so clearly in the wrong place from any perspective.

So all is not well in the ATC world - we are seeing more strange patterns that suggest a bunch of people having a test on what they think is the latest in flight paths and experimental concepts. We are sometimes looking at other people "in charge" with possibly hacked computer systems trying to make something happen and not very good at it. We are entering a period when safety should be a higher priority than experimental concepts being tried out by newly trained people with little actual experience.


10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Although all planes fly above water and not directly over housing in Foster City"

This photo proves that the above statement is not correct:

Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Just passing through
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Peter

Your one photo does NOT prove that the statement made is not correct. You fail to apply the same standards you constantly demand be applied by others in this airplane noise discussion. One exception (your photo) does not disprove the rule: (almost all) planes fly above water and not directly above houses in Foster City.

[Portion removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have been directed not to reply to Just's posts.


7 people like this
Posted by Petered Out
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:04 pm

"East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park, Redwood Shores and Foster City all get more ground level airplane noise than does Palo Alto - primarily because airplanes over those communities are lower than when those same planes are over Palo Alto."

What's the supposed value of this news? Are you suggesting we gloat over someone else's greater misfortune?


4 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Mr. Carpenter's comment seems to have been an attempt to undermine the comments I made about Palo Alto having the highest number of individuals complaining to SFO.

But, the fact is, Menlo Park, which includes East Menlo, is not making that many complaints--there were 64 calls from 36 residents, compared to more than 5,000 complaints from more than 200 callers in Palo Alto or, to keep it in San Mateo--more than 2,000 from 51 callers in Portola Valley.

Why is this the case? Well, looking it over, some possibilities might be that Peter Carpenter is wrong. Looking at flight SKW5484 (mostly because it's happening as I write this), I see a flight that crosses over west Palo Alto, south Palo Alto and then the Duveneck area. It crosses 101 and flies to the bay over the Baylands, averting the residential areas of EPA and all of Menlo Park. This isn't always the case, but it's the case often enough that I'd dispute Peter Carpenter's assertion without more evidence. It may or may not be the case that the residents of EPA get more noise than Palo Alto.

While there are occasional planes that fly over Foster City and Redwood Shores, those planes are the exception not the rule--at this point the path is intended to be over the water. UNLIKE Palo Alto, which is simply under the flight path and *intended* to be so for flights coming from the west, south and some of the north into SFO. Palo Alto is intended to be under the *majority* of flight into SFO.

Personally, I don't mind the occasional plane--what I do mind is that we now have plane after plane. I tried to watch yesterday's spectacular sunset from my yard last night. I had to go back in because the three planes that flew by in a ten-minute period hurt my ears.

Oh, and I misread part of the report earlier--the biggest offenders are Asiana and Korean Air--which makes sense, they're the ones who fly low and arrive in the early morning hours. United does lead in total number of complaints, but, again, that's because there are tons of UAL flights.


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2015 at 9:28 pm

I have been thinking about the Portola Valley people. Planes coming in over the ocean do cross between Portola and Woodside, usually at about 8,000 - 7,500 feet.

However there is the second group of planes that are the fly-overs - the ones that have had to cross over SFO, come down the peninsula for a slot in a busy commute time period. I am thinking that those are the planes that are creating the noise issue. I was watching a plane in the HWY 280 cross over that was at 4,500 altitude and could not figure out why that plane was so low.

Again that takes us back to what type of ATC communication is taking place. Is there any communication or are the planes just trying to figure it out based on some computer direction? I think our problem is direction from the ATC and not sure which one - SFO or the great FAA/ATC at Mather AFB in Sacramento. I think there is a lot of transition going on and training of people that is not working very well.


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Posted by PR machine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Peter Carpenter

Your post about noise abatement event

What does this mean?

"SCFC flight instructors will show that adhering to local noise abatement procedures may bring additional risk to a


Like this comment
Posted by PR machine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm

additional risk to a pilot guarding against engine failure


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Posted by Obey
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by tt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2015 at 11:18 am

So this is doable after all. Note to FAA/SFO, Please distribute the noise evenly !

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Pilot
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm

"...additional risk to a pilot guarding against engine failure"

Possibly to an OX-5 pilot, but this is the ETOPS age. Modern turbofans are very, very, very reliable.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"SCFC flight instructors will show that adhering to local noise abatement procedures may bring additional risk to a pilot guarding against engine failure. Together, let's identify a way we can fly both safely and quietly."

This statement by the San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) flight instructors explicitly applies to general aviation pilots are flying into airports like San Carlos and Palo Alto. For those pilots the single biggest risk of takeoffs and landings is engine failure (there are zero ETOPS planes flying into these airports) and the best protection in the event of an engine failure is altitude and proximity to the airport. Therefore, these pilots properly and wisely plan their takeoffs and landings to maintain as much proximity as possible to the airport during the low altitude portions of their operations.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

"This statement by the San Carlos Flight Center (SCFC) flight instructors explicitly applies to general aviation pilots...engine failure... ."

OK, but this forum is about excessive noise from overflying commercial aircraft, not private pilots with failure-prone engines. The hazard to ground life and property from that source does need to be addressez in another forum nevertheless.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please see the photo included in the original story - of a plane flying into San Carlos, not SFO:

"The Surf Air Pilatus PC-12 plane comes in for arrival at the San Carlos Airport on Oct. 17, 2014. File photo by Veronica Weber."


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Please see the photo included in the original story - of a plane flying into San Carlos..."

I don't need a photo; I've seen lots of those Pilati in person, flying low on approach courses guaranteed to drop them onto homes and businesses when their engine quits. Also heard them loud and clear, which is the point of this forum.


5 people like this
Posted by Data
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:40 pm

My goal is 10 complaints a day. I think I have logged about 300 in the last 6 weeks. I have also been in touch with an app developer that built a pretty cool complaint app for the folks in Santa Cruz. I now use two apps to identify flight detail and another to file the complaint. Be nice to have just one with the ability to just tap and send. On a second note I have seen the before and after Nexgen flight numbers, altitude and complaints for Palo Alto but would be interested in those broken down by cities represented in the SFO Roundtable and those that are not. I would probably not be surprised ...


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Posted by Private pilot
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:01 am



I would pay money for a tap and yapp app. that would show time, location and offender,

Surf Air please go away, Things were fine for San Carlos pilots and other users until you got here. Now us regular pilots are getting feedback, and it aint' positive.

San Carlos noise line is 650-573-3700, Calls do make a difference


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Posted by PR machine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:41 am

Private pilot

"Now us regular pilots are getting feedback"

Feedback from whom about what?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Spacefrog works well for quick complaint submissions.


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

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