News

New rules launched for Palo Alto Airport

City Council approves stop-gap 'minimum standards' for local airport, prepares to engage the community for permanent standards

When Palo Alto formally took over the operations of its eponymous airport last year, the goal was to turn the bustling but long-neglected facility into a community treasure.

While that remains the long-term objective, the city is now facing a more urgent task: establishing rules to guide which services would be allowed at the airport and creating requirements for leasing, maintaining and constructing facilities at the busy Baylands hub.

On Monday night, the City Council took a step toward accomplishing this critical task when it adopted what is known as "minimum standards" for the Palo Alto Airport, a policy document that touches on everything from the application process for airport vendors to insurance and staffing requirements for fixed-base operators.

Though minimum standards are a routine fixture in airports throughout the nation, Palo Alto Airport has operated without these rules. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends the development of minimum standards "to promote safety in all airport activities, protect airport users from unlicensed and unauthorized products and services, maintain and enhance the availability of adequate services for all airport users, promote the orderly development of airport land, and ensure efficiency of operations," according to an FAA Advisory Circular devoted to the topic.

The FAA document states that the standards should be "fair and reasonable to all on-airport aeronautical service providers and relevant to the aeronautical activity to which it is applied."

In recent months, the city's consulting firm Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell considered the minimum standards at other similar airports and proposed a set for Palo Alto to adopt. In a memo to the city, the firm cited recent interest from private companies as a reason to move ahead with the effort.

"Since the transfer of the airport, the city has received several inquiries about new or expanded aeronautical activities at the airport, and the absence of minimum standards places the city in the legally awkward position of not being able to answer inquiries about the city's requirements with definitive information," the memo states. "It is critically important that the city be able to provide not only authoritative answers to such inquiries but also that its responses be consistent, so that the city meets its federal obligation to operate the airport in a fair and reasonable manner, not unjustly discriminate among providers of aeronautical services and not improperly prohibit access to the Airport for such activities.

"The existence of minimum standards will alleviate this problem."

The 32-page document of standards that Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell proposed for Palo Alto would be stop-gap measure that will tide the airport over until the city and the community adopt standards more in keeping with local wants and needs. The largely technical document includes policies on things like leasing of airport land, flight reservation, staffing levels for fixed-base operators, qualifications for air-taxi companies and insurance minimums for different types of airport users.

The council voted unanimously to adopt the document. It also directed staff to work with community stakeholders to come up with permanent minimum standards for the airport, an effort that will begin in 2016.

Councilwoman Liz Kniss, who served as a Santa Clara County supervisor at a time when the county and the city were involved in the airport transfer, said she was surprised that the county hadn't already adopted minimum standards for Palo Alto Airport. She also noted that airports have recently become a more urgent topic, with recent shifts in federal policy about flight paths and altitudes prompting a flurry of citizen complaints about growing airport noise.

"I think airports ... had become far more of a pressing issue now, especially now that we have the new NextGen in place that is so distressing," Kniss said, referring to FAA's recently launched and increasingly controversial program to standardize travel lanes for airplanes.

Councilman Eric Filseth added his voice of support to adopting the minimum standards.

"I'm surprised the county hadn't done it already," Filseth said. "It's high time we did it."

Not everyone was as excited. Several concerned residents, along with members of the local group Sky Posse, which has been at the forefront of the grassroots effort to reduce airplane noise, urged the council not to rush ahead with adopting standards that have not been vetted by the community.

Resident Amy Christel said she was concerned that the hastily adopted minimum standards would enable the city to enter into a long-term arrangement with a service provider that would not be in the best interests of the community.

"Why are we having this discussion now, after the airport has been in our hands for a year without such minimum standards?" Christel asked.

She was one of several residents who urged the council to hold off on adopting the minimum standards until there has been more engagement with, and feedback from, the broader community. City Attorney Molly Stump noted, however, that even without minimum standards, the airport can already move ahead with a leasing or permitting process.

"It would go forward without those uniform protective standards in place," Stump said. "We think it's advantageous to all to put the standards in place on an interim basis, subject to the community process that will take place next year."

Comments

5 people like this
Posted by S
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:43 am

Great!!

Note that any NextGen-related airport noise in Palo Alto is not related to the Palo Alto Airport. The instrument approach to Palo Alto is over Mountain View and the Baylands.


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

Would love to see this airport fully utilized and brought up to date. Vancouver BC has a fleet of seaplanes to give tourists a bird's eye view of the city. We could have helicopter taxis to get to Napa, or Berkeley. The possibilities of what could happen here are out there, just hope someone does something.


11 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2015 at 1:19 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

You think you have noise problems now? Just think of what you will have under the MINIMAL minimal standards being applied.
Moving GAO and FBOs to Moffett Field looks better all the time. Turn PAO into cheap housing.


20 people like this
Posted by Amy Christel
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

The City could not wait to pass Interim Standards that allow leases and "expansion" and "development" of the Airport ahead of any community hearing or input. Changes at PAO are being forced onto our community without a democratic process. I find the actions of the Council on Monday night, and the casual mention of "airport expansion", extremely concerning. The Baylands Master Plan calls for no increase in 'intensity' of airport operations. The City is bending over backward to re-interpret that Master Plan wording in a way that favors the very few in aviation who stand to benefit from growth at Palo Alto Airport.

I challenge anyone to point to anything in these Interim Standards which could be reassuring to residents who do not want an increase in numbers of aircraft over their homes, the Baylands, and neighboring communities--especially aircraft at low altitudes that are louder than jets and serve only a few people. There is not one standard that asks the service provider or operator to pass a community impact or environmental standard, but their are loopholes, waivers, and variances in abundance to benefit aviation operators. I hope Council Members read the documents and didn't just rely on the opinions of aviation attorneys and the City Manager. They did not ask many questions, but perhaps there were back room discussions in advance of the meeting.

I suppose we should be grateful for the nod to community input; that the 2016 effort to craft "long term standards" will Include "discussions" (a word carefully chosen by staff and council) with stakeholders. No referendum, no vote, no way for the majority to weigh in--rather like the 'discussion' that took place Monday night. None of our objections or questions were actually answered by Council, attorneys, or staff on Monday night.

The city government is not thinking creatively; by seeking to expand airport operations they are blindly supporting the special interest groups who benefit from PAO, and passing along the cost to the entire community. There could be a way to preserve the Airport in a low impact way, but having taken FAA grants for improvements assures that any plan for limiting growth will not prevail. We have ceded control to aviation interests. I would rather the city outright support the operations of the airport and maintain control.

This drum beat to protect and GROW PAO is going to change Palo Alto permanently, without a doubt, and most will regret the day we accepted the weak standards that will "grandfather in" soon-to-be-approved operations at the Airport, even if better standards are developed later.


I think it is very telling that there is no process in place whereby the community can learn (in advance) what entities want to set up operations at PAO. This is the opposite of transparent government and we should demand better! It is almost like some don't want the rest of us to have representation and standards that assure protection of environmental and residential quality. It is also telling that no noise monitors have been placed anywhere in Palo Alto, and that no citizen noise complaints to PAO are ever reported to the public, or Council. If that data is being collected, why not take a look at the kinds of operations that impact citizens (to the extent that they take the time to file the complaint) and seek to avoid more of those operations? The simple answer is that the Airport can't break even without more activity, and more activity will likely result in diminished quality of life in this town, the Baylands, and adjacent towns. Plus, the complaint reports might reveal that the airport staff has "no control" over how and where aircraft fly, something many residents do not realize. No one can tell GA pilots what to do--we are just to trust that they are infallible and considerate.

There is a lot of propaganda coming from the aviation community about PAO benefits to this community. I can say with conviction that I don't feel it is an 'asset' we should make QOL sacrifices to protect. The Council should be thinking outside the FAA rule box. Stanford could have it's own helicopter refueling site --perhaps up at SLAC, away from the bulk of residents. (BTW, I've heard that Stanford is eliminating one of its helipads, which will put even more helicopter traffic over homes en route to PAO.) Maybe SLAC can house an airstrip too, if that is necessary for the University hospital. OR, Perhaps we just ask Stanford to help pay for airport improvements instead of taking FAA AIP grants that force us to keep up the airport indefinitely and force us to expand operations to break even.

No creative solutions to airport impacts are being considered. Instead, we are playing by FAA's and the aviation lobby's rules--which have not been great for our lot in the past. That is the only link to the NEXGEN debacle--a pattern of misinformation and false assurances to local governments and the public and a disregard for the impacts of operations on groundlings.

I urge all concerned about the future of PAO to write council members and request a community survey be sent to households asking what "all of us" want to see as the future of Palo Alto Airport. At the very least we need a chance to weigh in on proposed changes at the airport-- which will be exempt from environmental review if said to be 'necessary' to the financial solvency of the airport. Ask for transparency about new operations inquiries and timely public hearings. We can hope.


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:07 pm

It is good to see our city support the growth of PAO...way past time for this potential jewel to prosper. Can hardly wait for the improvements.


28 people like this
Posted by quality of life
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Why doesn't the City wake up and see the writing on the wall. The takeover of the Palo Alto Airport is a DUD. Now by accepting an FAA Grant for the runway, the City will have to earn back the improvements(12 million dollars). The citizens never agreed to EXPANSION of the airport, most of us just wanted things to continue as usual, but flight training schools, helicopter training, airport taxi services........NO. Surf Air is just waiting to get into Palo Alto, and with the FAA minimum requirements, I'm sure they will be able to lease here.
As long as the City is working on Minimum Standards for Lessees, they can work on minimum standards to safeguard my quality of life. The noise from PAO and SFO arrivals has kept me from going in my backyard, gardening or taking walks in my neighborhood. When is the City going to wake up and see the forest through the trees.


5 people like this
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

As a native Palo Altan, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the PA airport, and I especially love this great news that the opportunities for increased variety of uses is arriving. Well done.


28 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Convert the airport to something usefull that does not pollute the natural environment
and the human environment. I don't know about housing, but this is a fantastic asset
to the city and it should serve the whole city not just a few people who can own airplanes.

But that is not the end of it either because it spews lead pollution into the air over our
heads and drowns the whole area with noise.

Make the Palo Alto waterfront a useful public and human asset again - get rid of the
airport and do something to clean up and modernize the sewage treatment plant so it
does not saturate the whole area with stink.

The whole city would be so much nicer, and it would make whoever takes over and runs
the old Fresh Market a lot more profitable to have people driving by there constantly on
the way to do stuff on the other side.

The airport is just another example of socialism for the 0.1% at the expense of the
rest of us.


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The very existence of PAO is entirely unnecessary, destructive, disruptive, and frankly, offensive. We would be so much better off getting rid of this boondoggle. It looks like the city wants to give the airport a free hand to increase noise, pollution and danger. There are already landings and takeoffs at godawful hours, as well as flying too low over neighborhoods, all activities that were tolerated and never punished by the previous airport administration. It seems like this administration wants to let those increase with impunity.


4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in about PAO
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:22 pm

Palo Alto sent a survey about priorities,

in "peak democracy"

"Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its Annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive particular, unusual and significant attention during the year."

Web Link



16 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

@Plane Speaker & mauricio

Indeed, it would be a very good thing to close the airport--which is essentially a playground for the moneyed licensed few--and open the land to everybody, perhaps as much needed athletic fields which would be usable by all. The fact that our city government keeps and subsidizes such an expensive exclusive toy is a stain on all of Palo Alto.


17 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm

The "bum's rush" to develop PAO is driven by an alliance from hell between the fossilized aviation industry complex, and the insatiable real-estate development forces only slightly submerged below the surface of Palo Alto politics.

This alliance, which appears to be led by council-woman Liz Kniss, seems to be drinking a rather intoxicating flavor of the "aerotropolis" cool-aid.

In the self-serving dystopian fantasies of the "aerotropolists", airport development serves as a nucleation site around which urban development crystallizes, stimulating demand for commercial and residential real-estate.

Aerotropolis (wikipedia): Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 19, 2015 at 5:22 am

I am a fan of the PAO. However - if you are there a high tide it is obvious that there is a limitation on how much development will take place in the bay lands in general. At high tide the area between the PAO and duck pond is at it's limit for water containment. And since this is an area where you have flight school activity you have a number of inexperienced pilots who may be uncomfortable navigating over water containment areas.

It is unclear how much investment the city is going to make in the area in general since there are plans for the nature center and boat ramp.

I do not see how a lot of investment in growth in this area has a long term benefit. Any new buildings will be subject to extreme insurance rates, as well as additional structural protection for water damage.

Side note - the post office is higher up on East Bayshore - my post person said that it was flooded there in last year's one rain.


12 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:01 am

Another concern is the amount of fuel that is stored at the airport. It must currently be cleared by a government agency for the amount of fuel storage utilized for the current amount of activity. If the amount of activity is increased - let's say Surf Air or many other commercial ventures - then that is going to require a substantial increase in the amount of fuel that is stored there on any one day.

It is noted that SU has eliminated a heliport on campus - possibly due to fuel storage?

Facebook has installed a fuel storage location for it's generators in the event of an electrical blackout that had to be cleared by a government agency so let's assume that there is some requirement for how much fuel is sitting there - how and where it is stored - and some documentation that supports inspection on a regular basis which indicates some outside organization performing that function.

It becomes the cities job to determine how and where this is going to happen - and the amount of liability and protection of the fuel storage area.
So we can talk about increased activity and the FAA lurking about but there still has to be the ability to service this activity and there is a lot of liability associated with it.

Side Note - Moffett is a super fund site that is being cleaned up by the Navy, EPA, etc, and has contaminants that are working through the sewer system. Development at Moffett is on hold until it is cleaned up. This is common for most military bases in that area. PCB's in the soil is a major problem. You cannot put houses on that type soil. Golf courses yes - houses no.

Any ideas that the PAO does not share some of those characteristics needs to be well thought out. As you all recall we had a yacht harbor that got eliminated because of the PCB's in the soil. How long has it taken for that area to get clear - it still a mud flat.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:29 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"As you all recall we had a yacht harbor that got eliminated because of the PCB's in the soil."

The yacht harbor was eleminated because the drdeging required to keep it open was no longer allowed. PCBs were not involved.


10 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 19, 2015 at 8:31 am

Excuse me - you cannot dredge and move soil that has contaminants / PCB's in it. And yes - the contaminant's / PCB's in the mud is what disqualified it from been dredged and eventually dumped somewhere else. There was lot of write-up on this topic at the time of occurrence.

If you go look at the location of the yacht harbor that was suppose to go back to it's natural state it is very obvious that the area is not dealing with the "back to nature" anticipated.

And while you are at it some analysis needs to be made as to what affect the PAO has on the immediate area it sits on. Don't mention the EPA coming to visit the PAO? Suggest that a lot of work be done before anyone thinks up additional activity at that location.

Any why you are at it note that the San Carlos Airport is now being subjected to additional planned growth in the immediate area which hampers their ability to grow. So what to do with Surf Air at that location?

And do not parse my comments - if you have a complete thought than put it on paper and do not use my words.

And the FAA at this point is losing ground as to the functioning of airports and the resultant contamination that results from it. Moffett is a super fund site as are the rest of the military base operations that got shut down.

And putting houses on what was a dump site? Methane gas is the major problem. When they put a lot of buildings on Charleston east of 101 the trees kept dying because of the methane gas in the ground.


14 people like this
Posted by Get rid of PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:28 am

Anyone who thinks PAO is a community asset doesn't live near the airport. The constant take off and landing of planes is a nuisance. The voluntary noise abatement rules are a joke and unenforceable. Why does the city support something that benefits 1% of the population. Cover it up and put in something useful like soccer fields


2 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

"Cover it up and put in something useful like soccer fields"

Now that's funny.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What percentage of Palo Alto residents use:
1 - the Golf Course
2 -the libraries
3 -the chidrens' museum
4 -the swimming pools
etc.


12 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

1 - the Golf Course
2 -the libraries
3 -the chidrens' museum
4 -the swimming pools

None of these things spew noise and lead pollution throughout the city.


5 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Amy Crystal said:

"That is the only link to the NEXGEN debacle--a pattern of misinformation and false assurances to local governments and the public and a disregard for the impacts of operations on groundlings".

No exactly true. "Nextgen" is a complete redesign of the national air transportation system, not just a collection of navigation technologies, or a redesign of the air-routes. The "nextgen" redesign reaches down to the smallest parts of the system, including small "feeder" airports like PAO.

JPDO's "Concept of Operations for the Next Generation Air Transportation System" states:

"Achieving the capacity growth needed to meet future demand for aircraft operations and passenger/cargo movements at airports is a significant challenge. NextGen seeks substantial improvements in the utilization of existing infrastructure as well as the development of new infrastructure and technological advancements at both scheduled air transport service and GA airports to benefit passengers, cargo, and GA aircraft operators that use the NAS (National Air Space)"

The paragraph above is the second paragraph in a whole section (3.0) of the document dedicated to "nextgen" plans to increase system capacity by developing airports (including GA airports).

"Concept of Operations for the Next Generation Air Transportation System" Web Link




16 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Before the council received the grants from the FAA it should have put the entire PAO endeavor on the ballot. Most residents are not aware of what a a polluting, noisy, boondoggle, resources drenching white elephant this airport has been for so long.


15 people like this
Posted by Get rid of PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm

ok let's try this a different way. Let's pretend PAO was gone tomorrow. Can someone out there tell me, please tell me what loss that would bring to the vast majority of citizens of Palo Alto. What am i missing that's worth the noise and pollution. I'm waiting...........


10 people like this
Posted by agree with Amy
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Amy- thanks for your insightful comments. I agree it's alarming the lack of public input on the future direction of PAO. I plan to write to our city council. Please let us know how else we can help and any future efforts you organize. thanks


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

The City Council has had many public sessions on the airport and the clear majority of public comment has been in favor of the airport.

The new rules were on a public agenda and in a public meeting.


1 person likes this
Posted by agree with Amy
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:41 pm

How many of the above posters even bothered to attend the Council meeting where the new rules were adopted?


5 people like this
Posted by agree with Amy
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Didn't know about it- that's the problem the people with vested interests show-up those who don't don't. Saying the clear majority of public comment is favorable to the airport maybe true but clearly misleading. Let's send a survey to households and see what results we get.

thanks Amy for the wake-up call.

Peter- you still haven't answered the question


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm

There's many things in Palo Alto I wouldn't miss if they left. This is not a sensible way of looking at things.

The point is that the airport brings a great deal of enterprise to the region. It is a regional amenity not just a Palo Alto facility. I mean we can't have an airport in every single little city up and down the Peninsula. Mountain View has things we use and our airport is used by lots of residents in a 25 mile radius (or whatever).

I think we should be promoting the airport as well as the Baylands for many new and innovative enterprises by encouraging infrastructure to support them. Look at Shoreline Park, lots of amenities and well used by Palo Altans just as much as Mountain View people.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Citizenship is hard work.

The agendas are public - if you don't bother to pay attention then that is your choice.


8 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm

The last time I attended the Council Meeting the garage was totally full and the surrounding streets were totally full. I went home and looked at it on TV. Downtown PA is not an easy adventure in the evening when people want to park in the area for getting home and restaurants. Stop the blame game.


7 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2015 at 2:03 am

> The point is that the airport brings a great deal of enterprise to the region.

I've heard this claim, but I seriously doubt it, especially versus how much unpleasantness
it brings to the whole rest of the area. I'd bet if you measured people's hearing and their
stress hormone levels working underneath those planes constantly taking off and landing,
even when you are trying to relax and have a game of gold is stress inducing. Not to
mention the animal life that is just starting to come back.

The other day i saw a fox out by the Byxbee Park parking lot.

If the airport was gone another airport more fitting could be used ... just a little bit
farther away, San Carlos or Mountain View. I seriously doubt we would lose any
enterprise, and if we did it might be a positive thing to spread business and housing
out instead of building up Palo Alto so densely.

Since when in our country, city or state did the government just start ignoring the people?

I don't much have any use for golf, but I wonder also compared to the golf course in the
area how is the Palo Alto Golf Course thought of, what can it charge and how full is it
compared to other courses? It's a joke too. The whole area could be restored to natural
condition and quietude, and sensible development that did not interfere with that, and
was build appropriately could take place. Who wants to live and work out there now
with the noise and stink?


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 20, 2015 at 8:09 am

Attacking the airport is one thing - attacking the golf course is another. We have spent wonderful times in the AM and add a really good breakfast on the patio. And the airplane people are in the back room studying their class notes. My son worked there as did some of the high school golf team kids - it is a great place. Brad Lozarus ran a really great place for all age people to enjoy and he gave jobs to the kids. And the animals were everywhere - it is a safe place for them. Not so the geese - a person in a cart with his dog was out clearing the grounds of geese in the AM - the dog really enjoyed this. That was fun to watch - geese then would fly to the Sunnyvale Golf Course. That is the cross town geese route.

The push against the golf course I think is in part some developers dream scheme - see open land and start to dream up the utopian business deal. Then the flood control people needed to build up the waterway - or attempt to. Then the soccer people got mobilized - another patch of green grass.

Side note - I was an AYSO member and played adult soccer so understand the cost and need for additional playing areas. But the "CITY" turned it into a dirt dumping ground. But proximity to the bay is part of the problem - the salt water encroaches underground and makes keeping the grass and plants healthy is a challenge.

Whether you play golf or not golf courses are the perfect sport for a flood zone - a staff keeps it clean and the city generates some income from it and provides a place for the juniors to learn some good skills which will help them now and in the future. And if you don't play golf go over and have breakfast or lunch - sit outside - or inside and enjoy the view. Any time I am in the area the place is being used by a lot of people so dirt piles or not it is still a challenge and fun. The bigger challenge for the whole baylands area is what is "The Plan" for it. Huge trucks carrying dirt are in continual motions, equipment is pushing dirt around on top of the dirt mountain.

Then go over to Shoreline and look at a well done area in total - Michaels Restaurant is well used by many organizations for events. the whole place is well thought out and attractive. The place is filled with families on the weekends. And it still performs it's purpose as a flood zone if it comes to that.

Side note - the Reid Hillview airport is on the south side of San Jose and has a great web page - check it out - we have airports in the area.


4 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 21, 2015 at 1:19 am

> Attacking the airport is one thing - attacking the golf course is another.

resident1 ... sorry to "attack golf", you are correct it doesn't have anything
to do with the airport, and it does not cause noise pollution. I am happy you
get something from the golf course in Palo Alto.

What I was trying to get out was that I personally do not play golf or have much
interest in it ... so I don't know about it. I was asking if golf at the Palo Alto
course is as pleasant as golf in other places. Does the noise from the airport
interfere with your game, or the occasional odor from the sewage treatment
plant if the wind shifts ruin your game. In other words, how does the airport
affect other things in the area.

I used the baylands practically daily, and when I park at Byxbee a good proportion
of the time the place smells like an outhouse, and in the general area extending
all of the way over to Shoreline Park the airplane noise and frequency makes
it diffcult to listen to music or audiobooks even wearing headphones. I think
this would be damaging to human hearing and wildlife if anyone bothered to think
about it, measure it or cared about it.

Then there is the lead I'm told that is in aviation fuel.

These environmental hazards are being ignored, just not picked up on, when it
is entirely possible that combining these issues in a risk assessment way could
sum up to more than many of the things the average Palo Alto hears more and
spends more time on.

Really my intent was not to attack golf at all. When I walk out on the trails
towards the airport along the golf course I hear the noise that you must hear
as well and it does not seem like a lot of fun to have those planes constantly
overhead. I don't know but isn't golf the kind of thing where you walk and
talk a lot ... how do you keep a conversation going with all that noise? ;-)


Like this comment
Posted by other
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2015 at 2:04 am

Is there some limitation being placed on growth at San Carlos?

"And why you are at it note that the San Carlos Airport is now being subjected to additional planned growth in the immediate area which hampers their ability to grow. So what to do with Surf Air at that location?"


Like this comment
Posted by other
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2015 at 2:14 am

Among the plans to improve the airport is a runway extension part of it?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 21, 2015 at 3:54 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Among the plans to improve the airport is a runway extension part of it?"

Unlikely given that the creek limits growth to the North and the Duck Pond limits growth to the South.


6 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 21, 2015 at 6:21 am

If the PAO disappeared tomorrow, it would have zero affect on the area's economy.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 21, 2015 at 6:25 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If the PAO disappeared tomorrow, it would have zero affect on the area's economy."

Fascinating assertion given all the businesses currently located at the airport. Do you assume that these businesses generate no revenue and have no employees?


7 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 9:31 am

"Do you assume that these businesses generate no revenue and have no employees?"

Is it a large economy over there? I assume that it may not be large and the jobs and revenue would change but not disappear. Some numbers would help.


1 person likes this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2015 at 11:19 am

To quote an interaction I once had with the CHP: "If you don't like the conditions, bicycle on a different road". It makes no sense to buy or rent housing near an airport and then spend your time complaining about the noise. Palo Alto airport is used by a large number of people, including my daughter and her friends. They love flying fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft. The airport is friendly and very communal. Everybody knows everyone else at the flight schools and in the tower. It's a wonderful place to learn the basics of flying. I suggest that perhaps the various sour-pusses that are trying to create a drumbeat of disapproval for PAO might enjoy a flying lesson. Try it, you might like it!


1 person likes this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2015 at 11:25 am

SteveU is a registered user.

No effect on the economy! Really?
Have you ever bought a plane? A Tesla is almost cheaper.
Aircraft maintenance and certification can not be deferred. A hole in the Air that you pour money into. (same as boats)

Sales Tax (parts and services), Fuel Taxes, Personal Property Taxes
Tie-down/hanger fees

Every hear about Global Warming? New Housing absolutely does not belong in these former marshlands. Parks and Golf courses can be easily abandoned. Not so with Condos and needed access roads

I don't Golf, play Tennis of baseball. Get rid of those.
I have lived (close enough to read wing numbers unaided) in the approaches to Moffet, San Jose. The small airports have been there a LONG TIME and serve LOCALS. If you didn't like your neighbors, why did you buy there?


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 21, 2015 at 11:42 am

The issue is not that the airport is there. The issue is what the plans are to extend and increase the service.

People bought into a "small, local airport". The airport has morphed into the beacon for the SFO and San Jose airports who use it as a rotation / reference point.

The San Carlos has morphed into the airport for a very noisy, controversial small airline - Surf Air. And the San Mateo County people hate it.

So please forgo the argument that if we knew it was there why move in near it.

No one moved into a local, small airport who has delusions of grandeur and wants to be the go to place for all airport services, including commercial flights that function on a non-stop basis. And helicopters that are running taxi services on a non-stop basis.

This has to do with the Super Bowl - you can just see city planners and FAA people figuring out how to increase the amount of air support for that function - and every other function that goes on at the stadiums.

They are spinning away on how to make more money to increase the air traffic at every ones expense.

No - we moved in to proximity to a small, local airport that now wants to grow and multiply. That is the problem here.


6 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

When you take into account that without the incredible generosity of the Palo Alto tax payers for so many years, this airport wouldn't be able to survive economically, the very valuable land that could've been used to actually benefit the entire community and not a few, most of whom aren't even Palo Alto residents, the decades of dumping lead onto the air, soil and bodies, the obnoxious noise pollution, yes, its net economic impact has been zero, probably negative.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If the PAO disappeared tomorrow, it would have zero affect on the area's economy."

Fascinating assertion given all the businesses currently located at the airport.

Do you assume that these businesses generate no revenue and have no employees?

Business Name Contact Services / Description Fuel Prices Comments
Rossi Aircraft 650-493-3326
650-493-1673
[web site]
[email] Aviation fuel, Oxygen service, Aircraft maintenance

More info about Rossi Aircraft
Avfuel
100LL Jet A
FS $4.59 $4.60

Palo Alto Fuel Service 650-856-7640 Aviation fuel, Flight training, Aircraft rental, Flying club, Pilots lounge / snooze room, Public telephone, Computerized weather, Internet access, Restrooms

More info about Palo Alto Fuel Service
Phillips 66
100LL
FS $4.69
SS $4.49
Updated 13-Nov-2015


FS=Full service
SS=Self service
Update Fuel Prices

Aviation Businesses, Services, and Facilities

Business Name Contact Services / Description Distance Comments
Advanced Flyers 650-494-1646
[web site]
[email] Passenger terminal and lounge, Flight training, Aircraft rental, Aerial tours / aerial sightseeing, Aerial photography, Aircraft sales / leasing / brokerage, Aircraft management, ...

PSI FAA Test Center

More info about Advanced Flyers
on airport
write

Peninsula Avionics
650-858-2000
[web site]
[email] Avionics sales and service, Aircraft interiors, Aviation accessories

Avidyne Garmin

More info about Peninsula Avionics
on airport
10 read write

Sundance Flying Club 650-494-7768
[web site]
[email] Flight training, Aircraft rental, Aerial tours / aerial sightseeing, Pilot supplies, Flying club

Wireless Internet Access (WiFi)

More info about Sundance Flying Club
on airport
write

West Valley Flying Club 650-856-2030
[web site] Flight training, Aircraft rental, Aircraft maintenance, Flying club, Pilots lounge / snooze room, Computerized weather, Internet access, Restrooms

More info about West Valley Flying Club
on airport
write

Stanford Flying Club 650-858-2200
[web site]
[email] Flight training, Aircraft rental, Aircraft management, Pilot supplies, Flying club, Organization with aviation interests, Pilots lounge / snooze room, Computerized weather, ...

More info about Stanford Flying Club
0.7 miles
write


2 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

Gee resident 1
Things have grown.

In the 60's I flew poor sailors airlines (PSA) monthly to come home. I went to a fairly small terminal at San Jose. We walked out to our plane (737).
Planes got bigger, they extended the runway (PSA still flew there. We would hit the Taxiway turn at speed. Oh My.) The terminal grew, then another was added.
Corporations have grown and multiplied. Corporate planes, became Jets. (and houses were $40K)
Personally, I would rather see all you NIMBYs leave rather than force out another corporate payroll/tax payer who just happens to have a corporate plane handy so they can make more business.


4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm



"things have grown"

Surf Air grows and grows and grows and literally into back yards, so I would disagree about having the corporate/payroll taxpayer take over back yards with no apparent economic benefit to the back yards and cities it pollutes.

some numbers are missing, like how it would compare to other corporate/payroll taxpayer which is not as polluting.


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm

What a strange comparison. The San Jose airport has a private plane section - as does SFO. No one is stopping the private corporate jet but they usually stick to the big airports. PAO has a limited capability to handle corporate jets - it tends to the private propeller planes.

Thanks for the sentiment - I am assuming you do not know who these mysterious corporate people are - you are just interested in their money. And you are not interested in any other person's opinion who may be your neighbor.
What a guy.


Like this comment
Posted by Pilot
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 21, 2015 at 8:45 pm

"In the 60's I flew poor sailors airlines (PSA) monthly to come home. I went to a fairly small terminal at San Jose. We walked out to our plane (737)."

Wrong. Air California flew 737s. PSA used 727s.


8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm

" "If the PAO disappeared tomorrow, it would have zero affect on the area's economy."

Fascinating assertion given all the businesses currently located at the airport.

"Do you assume that these businesses generate no revenue and have no employees?" "


No, only that their contributions to the local economy are negligible, zero for all practical purposes. The economy would never know they went away.


10 people like this
Posted by restrict PAO
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm

For those of you who say quit whining you bought a house near the airport get over it you miss the point. i bought 25 years ago- i'm certainly no dummie and realized full well there was an airport. But over the course of those 25 years flights are more numerous , the planes are louder and now to add to our enjoyment we have helicopter lessons flying over neighborhood. We need more transparency on PAO- it's purpose it's plans


9 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm

restrict PAO ... if it is not the "you knowingly bought" argument, then it is something else the people who want to reduce your property rights and voice use to block you ... and if you come back with a logical argument, they just ignore that too and skip on the next straw-man attack.

The bottom line is that more and more of this city and our values are being usurped without due process, and agreement or any consideration other than who has more money or more highly placed network contacts. Candidates for office are serving corporate interests and instead of being leaders are just actors trying to make this process look legit.

The rights of the people and rights of the environment are ignored. I don't think transparency is the issue, (not that transparency is bad), but so what if we can better see our rights being steamrolled, we need public involvement and some ground rules that in terms of measurable lifestyle metrics things should be getting better, not worse. And not pretend that the process here online that is easily out-yelled is a legitimate plebiscite when we really do not know how many people are for what, or if they are real people.

The idea that buying a house is a PRO vote on everything that was happening before, during and since the house was built is a foolish and disingenuous one. I suppose that would mean that we are OK and voted for leaded aviation gas fumes to be wafted into our windows or into the wetlands for the animals to ingest.

And, no, that is not a call for getting rid of anonymous posting.


9 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

The businesses associated with the airport wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the incredible (and forced) generosity of the Palo Alto tax payer who have been subsidizing this boondoggle forever. If those businesses disappeared tomorrow, the economy wouldn't even notice. They would, but they wouldn't even exist without us. It's one of the one the most agregious case studies of socialism for the few. They can whatever they please, get away with breaking all safety and noise abating regulations, and then whine about NiMBY from the very same people who made their necessary existence possible. They are welfare recipients who have no intention of getting off the dole.

Notice how the pro growth advocates like Liz Kniss made sure that acts like PAO agreeing to receive grants from the FAA, which would make it practically impossible to shut down this boondoogle would never get on the ballot.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:19 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"the Palo Alto tax payer who have been subsidizing this boondoggle forever."

Please provide the exact amounts that the City of Palo Alto has paid to support this airport for each of the last ten years - I'll pass on asking about "forever".


P.s. Before the City took over the airport from the County the City's payments were zero while they did, and continue to have, significant property and unsecured tax payments from the airport even when it was owned by the County.

Facts please.


3 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:35 am

The airport operates rent free on vary valuable property that should serve the Palo Alto residents instead of serving as a playground for mostly out of owners. You do the math.


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:39 am

This Wednesday will be the highest and lowest tides of the year. The highest at mid-morning and lowest at late afternoon. All of the inner-state and bay lands should have a good showing of birds.

Consider a family adventure down to the baylands to check out what the latest status is of the golf course, "soccer field" (dirt mound), and the surrounding area that wraps around the airport facility - flood control dyke. Check out the mountain(s) of dirt that equipment keeps pushing around - what is the purpose of pushing the dirt around? So it does not collapse downward to the bay and highway?

One of the biggest concerns at the San Jose Airport is the birds that get sucked into the engines. Hawaiian has moved a number of flights to the Oakland Airport for this reason.

Growth and number of flights at the PAO has a direct effect on the bay lands since it sits directly in the middle of it all. And the utilization of the PAO as a vector point for the SJC and SFO planes has a continual negative effect on the conservation efforts for that area. Add to that the helicopter activity which is a major activity of late.

We have a number of contradicting efforts in process here. The city needs to set the priority of who is in charge of this area - what we are trying to accomplish here - what we are getting and what we are giving up.

At this point the city is elusive as to purpose and intent. Time to get focused on what all of the various agencies are trying to accomplish. If the FAA is allowed to rule this roost then we are in a downward spiral. We will end up like Moffett - a super fund site that the city has no funding or capability to manage.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:40 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:09 am

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Golf course?
Parks?
Swimming pools?
Tennis courts?
etc. etc.

Total false equivalency.

PC ... none of these have the negative impacts the airport does too,
all cities want recreational areas, but not all want a noisy and air
polluting airport that is constantly allowing planes to fly overhead.


1- what are the real stats, how many planes & takeoffs over time?

People would not be complaining about the airport if if there were
no noise and pollution. Your so up on your numbers, though they
have been questionable in the past - do you happen to be able to
post the number of airplanes "berthed" if that is the correct term
out of the Palo Alto airport. How about the number of flights?

In the past the planes were smaller and quieter. I was out there
yesterday and I noticed in the time I was there, from about 2:30
on, there was more than one plane per minute taking off.

2- what are the real stats on the noise, amplitude, duration?

Many of them were small and quiet which is how I remember the
Palo Alto airport being when I moved here. Now there are a
very high percentage of planes that are loud enough to swamp
the whole area with enough noise to make it impossible to hear
music when one is wearing earphones. And that noise blasts
a much wider area as well.

3- projections for the future

What are the projections and expectations for the future?
We know how the noise and number of flights has increased in
the last decade to a problem point ... so what are the projections
for the future? I'd have to guess GROWTH ...

- more airplanes
- bigger airplanes
- louder airplanes
- more takeoffs
- more landings
- more pollution

No one expected this, no one voted for this, this has changed in
nature from a small private plane takeoff and landing and berthing
strip to a full fledged airport, and it has become intolerable to
the people who lives here, and a barrier to the enjoyment of the
Palo Alto waterfront, which we need now and in the future more
than ever.

The trends are clear, at some point the airport will have to go.
And airport in the middle of an expensive residential area is
incompatible - so, gone sooner rather than later is better.

[Portion removed.]



5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I hope that those who say think that things in Palo Alto are for PA residents only remember that when it comes to visiting the Shoreline theaters, or the Shoreline Amphitheater, or San Antonio or Menlo Safeways, or Target, or Walmart, or Ikea, or, or, or, or,

Stop the pettiness. It is a regional facility for the region.


9 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm

resident ...
This is about "what it does", not "who it's for" ... but if the Palo Alto airport serves a small group at the expense of everyone, it doesn't matter who they are they are depriving others of rights of enjoyment of their city that we all paid a lot for and do not want to lose or have lessened. Our kids lose some IQ points because of lead in the air, but hey, we all have to give a little so pilots can save a few minutes in their travel time, and we all have to get woken up in the middle of the night so pilots can save a little gas money and time landing in the middle of the night. Baloney.


2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Here is an interesting document:

Resolution Authorizing City Manager to Execute Future FAA & DOT Grants Web Link

From the above document:

"These grants are the main source of funding for maintenance activities
for the Palo Alto Airport"

and

"The FAA requires that the City, as a condition of receiving these grant funds, to enter into a grant agreement which establishes the conditions governing the use of the grant funds and the obligations for the City to operate the airport in compliance with FAA requirements"


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I wonder if our legal department has reviewed the agreement and the City Manager and staff has signed it in full recognition of the legal implications of the document. I wonder if the City Council understands what is going on and has approved this.


Like this comment
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Res 1,

Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump was chief council for SFO before coming to Palo Alto, so I am pretty sure she knows all AIP grant contracts.

Council woman Liz Kniss served on both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and the Palo Alto City Council, during the period in which the transfer of the airport was being negotiated.

Holman, Schmid, Scharff, Burt, Berman, (and Kniss) were on the PACC when the council voted unanimous to transfer the airport from Santa Clara County, to Palo Alto.

Not sure how much Wolbac, Filseth, and DuBois know about all of this.


"Council votes to take over Palo Alto Airport"
Palo Alto Online ~ August 12, 2014 Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

These new rules were part of a public agenda posted in advance of the Council meeting and the vote to adopt these new rules was not held until any and all public comments were heard on these new rules.

"The council voted unanimously to adopt the document. It also directed staff to work with community stakeholders to come up with permanent minimum standards for the airport, an effort that will begin in 2016."

So what exactly is the issue?















4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 7:16 am

looks like the FAA grants business was posted one week in advance in August

this is the sort of thing you should ask/inform the public about one year in advance, hold public sessions, and have 2 - 3 council meetings during a better time than August.

PAO business seems to be surprise business or August business.




14 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 24, 2015 at 7:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Council meeting at which the new PAO rules were publicly discussed and unanimously adopted was on November 17th.

Citizenship is hard work aud it involves more than posting anonymous comments after decisons have been made in a totally open forum.


13 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm

"Why is the City and the Council working on "minimum" standards for the airport? Shouldn't they be working on comprehensive standards for the airport?

The reason the City and Council are working on "minimum" standards is because "minimun" standards are the only standards the council can enact. The Council sold their rights and responsibility to enact comprehensive standards to the FAA, when they entered into an AIP contract with the FAA.


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Reading the other stream om the upcoming El Nino the "city" is not working to get prepared. Opportunity time was in the summer - how much done on the Searsville Dam and downward creek is clear that not much clearing of trees and shrubs in the creek has been done.

So we are coming up to truth time - the baylands is the recipient of the downward creek water and the upward tidal surge - the highest for the year to date is this week.

So the best plans of the FAA and the "city" may be for naught - nature did not read the contract. This will be interesting. Are there enough sand bags for all of those planes out there?


5 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Here's the solution: require the airport to be self supporting; forbid any use of city funds for operations, maintenance, or capital projects. The resulting user fees should shut it down in a couple years or so.


10 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Curmudgeon,

City funds might not be needed to develop the airport, as long as the Council is willing to continue to sell their right and responsibility to govern the airport to the FAA.

The most recent AIP Grant was for $1.6M, and it was used to repave the runway. PACC has authorized City Manager Keene to seek as many AIP grants as possible. Every time PACC approves a new AIP Grant, it effectively gives the FAA governance of the airport for another 20+ years.

FAA grants are a two-for. The FAA gets to develop the airport (which they want to do anyway!), and as an added bonus they get effective governance of the airport for 20+ years.

Pro-development forces within city government get the airport developed, without using city funds, or floating a bond (which the residents would never approve), and simultaneously get to shift blame for all of the negative byproducts of the development, onto the FAA.

The FAA's AIP Grant scam makes "taxation without representation" look quaint by comparison. The FAA AIP Grant scam uses Federal taxation, to BUY representation.

Not sure anything short of putting a voter sponsored initiative on the ballot, is going to stop this corruption of democracy. Everyone wins except the residents, who pay federal taxes, and lose their local representation.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 25, 2015 at 2:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Palo Alto airport is revenue neutral for the city and all of the FAA Airport Improvement Program Grant dollars come from aviation fuel taxes so both Cur's and Jet's concerns are baseless.


5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:47 am

The airport working group report from 2007 indicated annual revenue of $12.5M. Total payroll $5.3M. Property and sales taxes exceeding $2M, "supporting the local schools and community colleges as well as the City and County
general funds."

Airport operating income (leases, tie-down fees, fuel surcharges) $1.89M. Operating expense (salaries, benefits, maintenance) $0.88M. Net earnings $1.01M. (Annual numbers averaged over 5 year period.)

Airport detractors at the time said "Yeah, but we can make a lot more money by turning it all into condominiums."


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2015 at 8:11 am

I wish people would get it out of their heads that any residential building can go on the airport property and be financially viable.

The flood insurance would be prohibitive.
The clean-up of PCB's in the soil would be required prior to any building at that site for residential purposes. We live in a new world now where those type concerns have been baked into law.
It is a designated bay flood zone and on a levee for the outflow / inflow of the SF Creek.
It is next to a power plant (?) and dump(?) - what ever you want to call it.
The underpinnings to the buildings would be cost prohibitive.

People just don't think despite the fact that their own homes are vulnerable to flooding.

As to commercial businesses look at the buildings in that location which are continually for lease. If commercial buildings are not populated with air conditioning and inside maintenance then the components start to break down and the buildings become unhealthy.

The biggest problem we have is the encroachment of commercial and residential properties on other nearby land which overshadows the type of aircraft that can use the airport. At some point there has to be a recognition of the limits and make the best of those limits.

Mountain View has done a great job with Shoreline Park - it retains it's flood control ability but makes the land useful and enjoyable. Commonsense prevails in some cities.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:33 am

"The Palo Alto airport is revenue neutral for the city..."

Sez you. Link us to the auditor's report.


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm

PC said:

"...FAA Airport Improvement Program Grant dollars come from aviation fuel taxes..."

Thanks for helping prove my point. The aviation fuel tax, is a FEDERAL tax.

The FAA is using Federal tax money to undermine local representative government, by using AIP "Grants" to buy governance of airports from city and county governments.


9 people like this
Posted by FAA taking over
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Thank you Jetman for shedding light on the ultimate aims of the FAA. Citizens have been completely outmaneuvered by the FAA, but as taxpayers we are the ones paying the bill. Also, no thanks to Liz Kniss and other pro-development forces that keep up their GROWTH at any cost mantra!


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Comment on growth in San Carlos - there is going to be a residential and commercial development with hotel next to the Caltrain easement. This would be similar to the growth planned in Menlo Park on the El Camino car lot section next to Caltrain. While that is a couple of blocks from 101 and the airport it is an indication that they are now able to go into a growth spurt. The buildings on the 101 side of the airport are old and I think those will be replaced.
If you look at RWC and San Mateo there is a lot of development in process east of 101. those buildings will be in excess of four stories. As you start stacking buildings up east of 101 then this is a conflict with low flying airplanes.


17 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:03 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

How horrible that fuel taxes paid by airplane operators be used for airports - why not use it for golf courses instead?

Oh yes and please note that our Federal tax dollars are being use to take over our highways and schools and even to fight our forest fires - this must be stopped!!


5 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2015 at 10:02 am

People have rights with highways on the ground.

A string of cars can't just start a road across your back yard.

It does not appear that people have rights with air matters, so that makes things different.

Having a subsidized gas station for a hobby or luxury when the fumes and exhaust and pollution are harmful is not comparable to other things we pay taxes for.


8 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

Now Stanford Lifeflight is called a hobby. Or luxury. Which?
That gas station pays its own taxes anyway.
Not subsidized any more than any station on the highway.


2 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

musical,

this suggestion posted by Amy above sounds good

"..Stanford could have it's own helicopter refueling site --perhaps up at SLAC, away from the bulk of residents. (BTW, I've heard that Stanford is eliminating one of its helipads, which will put even more helicopter traffic over homes en route to PAO.) Maybe SLAC can house an airstrip too, if that is necessary for the University hospital."

The rest at PAO would be hobby and luxury


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm

This from Life Flight manager: "We spent $40,000 to $60,000 per quarter on fuel alone. If we didn't have Palo Alto, we'd have to fly to San Jose airport. The fuel is more expensive, and we can't have fuel services on campus. There's too many regulations." -- Web Link (Sep 2014)

Agreed though, that hobbies and luxuries have no business in Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm

The comments on fuel are disturbing. That means that there is a possible danger in the amount of fuel sitting outside of a controlled area.

The fuel cost more at San Jose because it is a controlled airport with badged, cleared people who are on the property and there is supposedly high tech equipment that is screening the location in a continual manner for any problems.

I also have to assume that some type of government review is conducted to make sure that the fuel is not leaking anywhere and is being secured.

So what do we have at the PAO regarding the security of the storage of gas and the monitoring of who gets it? Sorry - you just hit the major problem with having an airport in close proximity to city utility functions and residential properties. You are looking at a major security problem since this airport is somewhere between the small, local airport and a growing hub for potential commercial traffic. Surf Air pretends to be something other than what it is to skirt the very problem you are looking at.

So the helicopter people and the Surf Air people do not want to go to the obvious choice - San Jose Airport because it will cost more. Of course it will. And that is the correct answer as to why it does because it is a controlled environment.

Time for the PAO to define what it is doing - how it is conducting business - and what the plans are for the future. FAA not withstanding we are not going to have an uncontrolled situation in our backyard. The legal system can be invoked to stop that.


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm

You guys are funny.

The full parking lot at Stanford Shopping Center. Gridlock on I-80 getting to Tahoe. Stanford, 49ers and Warriors games. Shoreline Amphitheater. Daily generating more trips and more smog than even the busiest week at PAO.

Hobby or luxury? We're fortunate to live in a world where we can indulge in hobbies and luxuries.

If your point is the city has an amenity you don't use - do you use Avenidas? Rinconada Pool? Children's Zoo? College Terrace Library? Arastradero Park? Bayshore Interpretation Center? Lawn Bowling? Art Center? Golf Course? Over 80% of the city's population doesn't use each of these things (although it's a different 80%). Would you prefer a place that only polices, paves roads and collects trash?

Why not be magnanimous about facilities you don't use?


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Anonymous and weigh in - do you people read newspapers? Do you watch the news? Are you oblivious to controlled environments?

An exposed fuel storage area does not equate to a shopping center, a library, or any other of the choices provided.

And putting a fuel storage area up by SLAC? If you know anything about SLAC that is the last place you want any uncontrolled fuel storage.

You all need to travel more and find out what is going on in the world.


5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Uh, I routinely see 50,000 pound loads of gasoline traveling up El Camino Real.
Fortunately that is a high-security corridor. Never heard of any crime there.


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2015 at 2:05 pm

So now the problem is fuel storage. The Shell Station at Embarcadero and 101 stores about the same amount of fuel as the airport. Shut that down, too?

The City runs a compressed natural gas fueling station for City vehicles on Bayshore. Shut that one down? The golf course is in a flood zone. Imagine where it would leak if they stored fuel for their equipment.

Point is, what response do you expect when you say "Because there's a fuel tank?"


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 26, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Anonymous - you draw the strangest conclusions. A gas station has underground storage with cement on top. And the station has a huge amount of insurance. there is no relevance to that comparison.

Side note: downtown Honolulu is removing many gas stations. Visit the Honolulu Airport - few gas stations in the proximity of the airport. If you want to see high security in effect they know what high security is.

But you report in from "another Palo Alto Neighborhood" and I have already drawn my conclusions on that choice.


10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 27, 2015 at 12:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Airport fuel storage is another non-issue.

The tanks each have containment bases.

The tanks are behind a very substantial locked fence in a highly visible location.

The fuel storage is fully covered by the FBOs' insurance policies.


13 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 27, 2015 at 12:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Changing the refueling point for the Life Flight helicopter is a perfect example of those who want to solve their perceived problem by simply giving it to someone else.

The number of people under a refueling flight path from the Stanford hospital to SJC is far greater than the number of people under a refueling flight path from the hospital to PAO.


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2015 at 2:13 am

[Portion removed.]

Reality is that the flight paths have been moved from point A to point B. that is a fact. People here did not do that - the airport did.

As to fuel storage and helicopters / commercial traffic that is a different problem. Having a build-up of fuel storage - and we are talking build up which is next to our power supply is not a good idea. Increasing risk is not a good idea. Every where else people and cities are looking at risk and working to reduce it.

If SU removed a heliport to remove a fuel storage area then they are working to reduce risk. Removing the heliport on their property is their choice which implies knowledge that they are taking on a longer ride. They must think it is important.

San Jose Airport recognizes they have a security problem and are working to resolve that. Those problems appear in the news and they get graded on their ability to keep their area secure. They have also added a large area for private planes. They have the staff and secure area to service the commercial traffic.

There is no obvious action at the PAO to manage commercial traffic that runs all night. It is not built to do that. And there is no security at the airport.

Note that the city of Spokane, WA has been without electrical power affecting over 10,000 people for a number of days. That is due to weather. But it is to say that we should not be assuming that we are untouchable relative to things going wrong. There is just not enough horsepower at the PAO to keep increasing the traffic with no fallout. Everyone is skirting the issues.


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 27, 2015 at 3:07 am

Regarding revenue neutral, audits can generate any number you want.

Latest Palo Alto Comprehensive Annual Report, fiscal year ending 6/30/2015, audited by Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP, indicates the Palo Alto Airport Enterprise Fund balance is $24,000 lower than 12 months previously.

Yes, this shows the airport lost money, but with Palo Alto's total budget of $470 million, this is about as close to revenue neutral as one can get. I'm sure the airport yielded at least that much in sales taxes for City Hall.

We didn't even assume operations until 8/11/2014, so clearly there will be further juggling of the books as we move forward.


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 27, 2015 at 9:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The City of Palo Alto budget shows that the airport is budgeted to have revenues of $745k and expenses of $579k.

It is noteworthy that the airport has fewer resident aircraft than it did in 2007 and also has fewer annual operations thatn it did it 2007.


7 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Life Flight Manager said: "...we can't have fuel services on campus. There's too many regulations."

It is funny how Stanford seems to be able to deal with the regulation of other far more dangerous hazards (laser light, high voltage, ionizing radiation, EMF, medical waste, nano-materials, biohazards, and toxic chemicals), but when it comes to aviation gasoline... regulations prevent them from having fuel service.

Stanford just doesn't want the cost, risk, and management overhead of providing fuel service, as long as they can fob these headaches off on Palo Alto.

Fobbing the headaches off on Palo Alto, allows the "land management" side of Stanford to concentrate on their "core competency" (real-estate development), and burdens CofPA, and PACC, with managing the undesirable side effects.


14 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is a myth that Stanford is shutting down one of its two heliports.

There is an old heliport at the existing hospital and a new heliport at the new hospital.

Stanford is simply replacing one heliport with a new heliport.

What would you prefer - no Life Flight or a new heliport to replace the old heliport?

There is an interesting fantasy on this Forum that if you repeat a myth enough times then the myth becomes reality.


2 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Call it fantasy, but unless you really know, you really don't know. And without a website for PAO, everything about it looks mysterious. If you Google PAO a Reid Hillview website shows up.


9 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

"There is an interesting fantasy on this Forum that if you repeat a myth enough times then the myth becomes reality"

Who really believes in this "interesting" fantasy?

The aviation industry, and the FAA, employ professional myth-makers (PR firms). Whenever FAA officials make a local appearance, their PR flack (Ian Gregor)is never far away. [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 27, 2015 at 5:39 pm

At least spell Lee's name correctly.


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm

"The City of Palo Alto budget shows that the airport is budgeted to have revenues of $745k and expenses of $579k."

So what? Show us the actuals for 2007-2014, fully audited.


"It is noteworthy that the airport has fewer resident aircraft than it did in 2007 and also has fewer annual operations thatn it did it 2007."

Again, numbers please, by year.


Like this comment
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2015 at 12:47 am

Musical said:

"At least spell Lee's name correctly"

Thank you for calling my attention to the misspelling, and I offer my humble apologies to Dr. Christel.

"Preliminary Flight Data Analysis"
Lee A. Christel, Ph.D, ~ August 19, 2015 Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 1:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Rather than let others misrepresent my position let me state it for about the 40th time:

There is no evidence that Palo Alto has more ground level noise from airplane operations than do other communities, particularly those closer to SFO.

Cristal's data is Palo Alto specific and therefore does not address the comparative issue.

I am confident that multi-city ground level noise data, some of which I have already seen, is made available it will prove that Palo Alto is not being disproportionately impacted by ground level airplane noise.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Christel's data is Palo Alto specific and therefore does not address the comparative issue.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 3:09 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" And without a website for PAO, everything about it looks mysterious."

Please do your homework:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


No mysteries here


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2015 at 8:32 am

Wow - so Atherton is counting the number of times they have stated that there is no evidence that Palo Alto is experiencing more ground level noise than other communities.

People can express that "opinion" 100 times and still get the same result - the posters here do not agree. Keep on saying that but do not expect different results.

People who live directly under the flight path do experience more noise than people who do not live under the flight path. And the flight path for any plane can be tracked. And planes over water - like in RWC going north have less noise impact.

So let's agree to disagree. It is not going to change.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 8:43 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Opinions on noise are not facts.

I have seen the comparative data and it does not support the claim that Palo Alto is disproportionately impacted by ground level airplane noise.

I look forward to the data being published and posted here and elsewhere.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2015 at 9:35 am

Since Atherton is not in Palo Alto then assertions concerning SFO and SJC noise in Palo Alto are opinions only.

A person cannot sit in Atherton and make claims about noise level in Palo Alto. Sorry - still in the "opinion" department.

However -I will concede that the pesky Surf Air is shared by all. I was in the parking lot outside the Kaiser Hospital on Veteran in RWC and low and behold a Surf Air went right overhead. Meanwhile the SFO arrivals are over the bay at that point and don't make any noise.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"A person cannot sit in Atherton and make claims about noise level in Palo Alto"

Actually the beauty of science is that it does not depend on where you might be sitting but rather simply on your ability to read and understand a good scientific report:

Web Link

Thomas C. Rindfleisch August 11, 2015
Report on Some Quantitative Measurements of Aircraft Overflight Noise in Palo Alto


Comparative data from Rindfleisch is forthcoming.


2 people like this
Posted by Say what?
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 28, 2015 at 10:06 am

It has been suggested that data does not support the claim that Palo Alto is disproportionately impacted by ground level airplane noise.

But this has been refuted by Peter Carpenter, who supplied data showing that ground noise from large planes landing at SFO in Atherton, which is considerably closer to SFO than midtown, is essentially the same as that in midtown. And midtown has more minutes of such planes flying over it.

Thus midtown is disproportionally impacted by ground level noise relative to Atherton.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The ground noise measurements done by Rindfleisch are aggregate measurements based on ALL the flights above each detection point.

A plane above Palo Alto at X thousand ft produces less ground noise than that does that same plane above a location nearer to SFO where that plane is closer to the ground.

More planes above Palo Alto produce the same total amount of ground noise as do fewer planes over another location that is closer to SFO and where the planes are lower.

It is politically very dangerous for some Palo Alto residents to claim that they are being more severly impacted by airplane caused ground noise than are other communities IF the data does not support such a claim.

I have long ago moved on from the debate on how much air traffic there is over Palo Alto to instead focussing on air traffic solutions which will reduce everybody's ground noise level.


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2015 at 10:29 am

How much are these people paid for these reports? Rule of thumb for consultants - they ask what it is you are trying to prove so they know how to present data that does that.

If there are fewer planes going over Atherton than Atherton does not have the same noise level as cities which have planes going overhead in a regular, non-stop manner. That is called common sense. But common sense does not apply to most of these discussions.

Back to the PAO. As you may have noticed in preparation for the Super Bowl they had a high security day in which multiple government agencies converged on the stadium to lay out the ground rules for the place. Even a military helicopter circling so check soft spots. And across the street at the golf course poor David's Restaurant is not allowed to open as "David's" since it may be a security risk.

The City of Santa Clara has sold out it's residents and businesses in support of the stadium.

So what is the PAO doing in preparation for the big week? I think a report is due from them. NO - Surf Air does not get to ferry people here. It can ferry them to the San Jose Airport. They have to pay to play.

And what level of security is being put in place for the airport in general?
If Santa Clara has sold out it's city for the stadium then we cannot be far behind.


4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2015 at 11:52 am

I think Peter Carpenter confuses disproportional traffic with disproportional noise on the ground.

The Christel report appears to show disproportional growth in traffic levels.

Noise studies will depend on how close the addresses are to the source of the noise. I would agree that to compare actual noise, you would have to look at places close and far from the noise source.

We never had this amount of noise, things have definitely changed, is Peter Carpenter saying that the disproportional growth in traffic is not the cause of the growth in noise? Talk about myths.





2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Growth in air traffic does not equal disproportionate impact.

Many places are impacted by any growth in air traffic.

Ground noise may or may not be impacted by growth in air traffic.

Only the kind of data produced by Rindfleisch can answer the question of ground noise.

And such ground noise data has to be collected for all of the impacted communities not just for Pal Alto before any comparisons can be made.


3 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"Growth in air traffic does not equal disproportionate impact."

Are you really saying that disproportional growth in traffic over one location (compared to other locations) does not equal disproportional impact to the location with the disproportional growth traffic?

Or are you saying that more planes flying around does not cause an impact?

Lesson here is that to avoid this conversation about what has changed about PAO, PAO should be installing noise monitors. And measure air quality as well.


8 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm

> PAO should be installing noise monitors. And measure air quality as well.

I surely second that motion.

BUT, the other thing that keeps bothering me about these discussions is
the people who always claim that since the rest of us bought our houses
in Palo Alto and knew it had an airport that we have nothing to say about
the airport now - regardless of whatever it does.

That is a very devious and dishonest argument. There were lots of
businesses and industries that used to be located among the houses
when people bought here that are not gone because they harmed their
neighbors or the environment. The airport should not be any different.

Dry cleaners for one thing used to give off solvents and now they
send their customers clothes offsite or have completely changed their
business model. Same with a lot of the electronics industry that gave
us our underground plume of TCE solvent in the groundwater, or
gas stations. I believe some measurable solvent is still in
our groundwater by the way. If someone cares to update us on that
I think there is a lot of interest.

The point is, things change over time. The population gets bigger,
and the number of airplanes gets bigger, and the noise and pollution
also gets bigger. Measurably the harm done by the airport goes up
every year but we turn a blind eye and don't measure it, hiding our
heads in the sand, or the marshes as the case may be.

It is already past time to admit this airport does not work for Palo
Alto, and is only going to get worse over time. We should be looking
ahead to how we can get the politicians and managers to admit a
mistake and do what should be done for the people who make up
the city not a small minority who want to avoid seeing the harm
they do so they can enjoy their sport or fly over heavy traffic below.

The issue is they bought in this area, when they knew there was a
lot of automobile traffic, so now they are the ones who are now
flying over us dropping noise and pollution on their neighbors.
Let's have some social responsibility here pilots!


4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm

"There is no evidence that Palo Alto has more ground level noise from airplane operations than do other communities, particularly those closer to SFO."

Because nobody has made the measurements, because you don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm

@res1, cashing in on the Super Bowl is a national sport. Like it or not, there will be tremendous local participation. Many will be inconvenienced, which is aggravating when not being a direct beneficiary. Local aviation will be inconvenienced by Temporary Flight Restrictions on Super Bowl Sunday, probably to a 30 mile radius, similar to when the President visits. Haven't seen details yet on exact hours of applicability, or rules regarding aircraft on filed flight plans, which include airliner traffic.

Right now (3:30 to 8:30pm actually) Palo Alto Airport is under FAA temporary restrictions due to proximity of the Stanford/Notre Dame game. Legally we are in "National Defense Airspace" for 5 hours, and violators (unaware pilots) are subject to, uh, "interception". For piddly events like this, restrictions cover only a 3 nautical mile radius and only up to 3000 feet altitude, and the airspace can be legally entered if so instructed by Air Traffic Control (Palo Alto Tower). The Super Bowl will be much more restrictive during the game, but air traffic before and after the game may be as interesting as traffic on the roads.


4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"There is no evidence that Palo Alto has more ground level noise from airplane operations than do other communities, particularly those closer to SFO."

Why would the biggest noise source, the airport, be a comparable area to compare to ANY city not near the airport?

Would you also like to compare Palo Alto noise to JFK?


7 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2015 at 2:31 pm


TYPO - That paragraph should have read:

> That is a very devious and dishonest argument. There were lots of
> businesses and industries that used to be located among the houses
> when people bought here that are "NOW" gone because they harmed their
> neighbors or the environment.

The point being that the airport is bigger but should have no innate
right to risk harm to City residents than a plating company, dry cleaners,
wafer fab, biolab or any other business that has toxic releases in the
environment, and I cound noise in this case as a toxic release in addtion
to lead from the aviation fuel.


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

So let's see how this works. The web page for the PAO says that it only has control over private planes up to 1600 ft. Above Musical is indicating that the PAO ATC can provide permissions for planes up to 3,000 ft in designated areas at designated periods of time.

That must be a lot of permissions because the air space last night had a number of planes below 3,000 ft. That includes planes going to SFO. Yes - those bad boys are crossing the DB Bridge at less than 4,000 ft.

So what is comes down to is a hodge-podge of FAA / ATC people who make up rules but break the rules. It is like a giant game board.

That is where the problem lies - the PAO is growing and the rules as to who is in charge are fuzzy and ever changing.

Add into the mix as an example Air France plane CDG to SFO who was all over the place - wandering around the bay area like a lost dog. Is anyone talking to that plane? Why is it lost? A person has to wonder at it all - was the PAO ATC trying to hand this off to SFO?

It is one thing to put up with the US Carrier planes because we "assume" that the pilots know what they are doing and are experienced with the SFO / SJC layout.

It is another thing to put up with the foreign carriers who have huge planes
and appear confused and lost - they fly very low and slow while they are trying to figure out what "the plan" is here. And we are sitting under all of this confused bunch of people. If you track any of the large foreign carriers they typically fly over SFO at higher altitude then come down the bay and circle around before they go back up and try again. They can't get it right the first time.

That is what we are dealing with and this morning is no better.


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

So let's see how this works. The web page for the PAO says that it only has control over private planes up to 1600 ft. Above Musical is indicating that the PAO ATC can provide permissions for planes up to 3,000 ft in designated areas at designated periods of time.

That must be a lot of permissions because the air space last night had a number of planes below 3,000 ft. That includes planes going to SFO. Yes - those bad boys are crossing the DB Bridge at less than 4,000 ft.

So what is comes down to is a hodge-podge of FAA / ATC people who make up rules but break the rules. It is like a giant game board.

That is where the problem lies - the PAO is growing and the rules as to who is in charge are fuzzy and ever changing.

Add into the mix as an example Air France plane CDG to SFO who was all over the place - wandering around the bay area like a lost dog. Is anyone talking to that plane? Why is it lost? A person has to wonder at it all - was the PAO ATC trying to hand this off to SFO?

It is one thing to put up with the US Carrier planes because we "assume" that the pilots know what they are doing and are experienced with the SFO / SJC layout.

It is another thing to put up with the foreign carriers who have huge planes
and appear confused and lost - they fly very low and slow while they are trying to figure out what "the plan" is here. And we are sitting under all of this confused bunch of people. If you track any of the large foreign carriers they typically fly over SFO at higher altitude then come down the bay and circle around before they go back up and try again. They can't get it right the first time.

That is what we are dealing with and this morning is no better.


5 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Was just at the PAO and baylands to take a walk and RELAX. So let's talk about helicopters - the red ones. Are they the ones that have been blessed and sanctified for carrying bodies and injured people? Hard to relax when the red helicopters are there.

What I saw was a red helicopter levitating about four feet off the ground in the helicopter compound. This was going on and making a giant racket for a very long time. Does rotating four feet off the ground constitute saving people?

My take on use of the airport for that purpose is that people who are trained to fly helicopters are the people who are there to perform a function of some use to the community. It is not a helicopter school.
If people do not already know how to fly helicopters they have no business transporting sick and injured people. I know people who fly helicopters and it is not an easy task.

That is just another confounding irritant of how the "small and local airport" grows into something quite different. It is very clear as to why SU is shutting down their heliport and you can't put a spin on that.

Back to the golf course - check out the Bay Café - excellent looking food starting with breakfast. Looks like they are set up for a festivity in the back room. Worth your time to have a meal at that location.


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Resident 1,

The small red helicopters, with two blades, are used by the helicopter flight school at PAO. The life-flight helicopters are bigger, have more than two blades, and are usually red and white.

Sirius Helicopter Flight Training at PAO: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Aviation architect Rian Burger sees lots of opportunities for real-estate development around airports:

Hotel developments (an airport can be surrounded by 10 or 20 hotels)
Conference/convention centers
High-end outlet malls
Destination shopping centers
Corporate head offices
Mixed-use developments (shop, work, play, stay)
Post-secondary education facilities, specifically aerospace-related
Office buildings
High-tech business parks
Industrial developments (manufacturing, warehousing, etc.)
Cargo facilities
Casinos
Entertainment destinations
Recreational facilities
Botanical gardens
Butterfly gardens
Residential developments
Libraries
International sports facilities
Local amenities

"Open for Business: Airports as Real Estate Developer and Strategic Partner"
Area Development Magazine ~ 2015(?) Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2015 at 8:02 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

@res1, actually I don't know where Palo Alto Tower's authority ends and other air traffic controllers take over. We have complicated airspace, planes get handed off from one frequency to another, and much coordination happens behind the scenes. If Palo Alto Tower directs a pilot into Moffett Tower's bailiwick, the pilot won't get yelled at. Like PAPD waving you through an otherwise prohibited maneuver on El Camino, the CHP won't pull you over.

Technically Palo Alto "Class D" airspace has a 2000-ft ceiling west of the runway and 1500-ft ceiling east of the runway. I couldn't find where you saw 1600 feet. Above are pieces of SJC and SFO airspace, and some unclaimed gaps that appear to be up for grabs (good question for a flight instructor). Over the Dumbarton Bridge SFO airspace comes down to 2500 feet. Nobody there is confused or lost. They are all on radar and talking to a controller.

But none of this has anything to do with the original article above. Gotta say my eyes kind of glazed over while reading through the adopted minimum standards document. The primary goal looked okay -- "To preserve the Airport as a community facility that serves the City and neighboring communities by accommodating small general aviation aircraft while also minimizing impacts on the surrounding residents." Then stuff about fees, parking spaces, ADA compliant bathrooms, insurance minimums and safety procedures.

I'm just wondering whether it's okay to spend the night sleeping in your plane like it is to sleep in your car.


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 30, 2015 at 10:35 am

We have a lot of contributors but I think it is time for an "official" Palo Alto Representative to provide the business plan for the upcoming year and some guidance on who or what the ATC is responding to.

It is disconcerting to find out that the helicopter is a school and provides no life saving services most people assumed. It is also disconcerting relative to evaluating how much actual helicopter traffic there is which is for the health services.

If the city is planning any changes in use of the airport then that should be disclosed.

Hopefully the Weekly will sit down with the airport personnel and flesh out what the plan is here and what the investment is composed of. Time for real numbers and real plans.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 30, 2015 at 11:25 am

Thankfully the Life Flight pilots were born with their skills and never needed a helicopter school.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2015 at 11:47 am

"Thankfully the Life Flight pilots were born with their skills and never needed a helicopter school."

Savvy pilots get their flight training in the military. Lots of hours, too.


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 30, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Any discussion we have had concerning the helicopter noise was attributed to a "life saving event". So that is not true -in fact I was standing their when the helicopter was levitated about 5 feet off the ground for about 20 minutes. That is a lot of noise. And now we can assume that the training classes are not a one time event but are repeated through out the week.

While one helicopter was on the ground another was coming in so there is more than one.

All the helicopter people I know have military experience with helicopters - that is a lot of people out there that can put that experience to good use.

So Musical - are you taking helicopter lessons? I note some protectiveness here.

The bottom line is that we all talk about these items and then something we have discussed pops up in a different context. It is like some people know what is going on and don't talk about it until it becomes so obvious it has to be talked about.

We need the airport personnel to lay out the total business plan and where all of the funds and income are derived. And what is planned for this next year. Since we have legislative action with the FAA than that is a reasonable request.


9 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Does anybody know if PAO is in compliance with the Consent Decree requiring Airport FBOs to warn the public about environmental lead?

In 2011, CEH.org took legal action against the leaded AvGas problem at California airports. After three years of legal wrangling, a settlement was struck requiring FBO’s (fixed base operators) selling AvGas at 24 California airports to pay a fine, and notify the public about the lead hazard.

Public notification requires FBOs to mail printed notices to all residences within one kilometer of the airport, and also requires airports to post 24″ by 24″ signs, warning the public of the lead hazard.

Has anyone living within a kilometer of PAO received notification?


"Is Santa Monica Failing to Warn People about Lead Impacts?"
AIReform ~ November 16, 2015 Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 1, 2015 at 5:53 am

Good points above. Palo Alto has a problem - you read the other streams here and people are debating the 50 ft. limitation on buildings so they can retain the small town appeal. Meanwhile the surrounding cities are exceeding the 50 foot level and are not concerned with the small town appeal. They want business to come and are building to accommodate that.

On the flip side of the small town appeal is what appears to be a growth movement at the airport which is inconveniently sitting in the middle of a designated flood control area and designated baylands.

And people want to push growth in the very area where some want the perfect trash department that will create energy. And the trucks with the dirt going to the dirt hill, and the golf course with the dirt hill.

And the city has the goal of being GREEN. At some point the city has to wrap the logistics of where it sits on the bay, impacts of where it sits on the bay for flood control and bay encroachment, and what type of growth it needs to support the whole city picture.

Meanwhile the San Jose Airport it under utilized. So why at the county level are we not trying to move more income producing elements to San Jose Airport who needs more business to support their airport? The city of San Jose is a major city in the US so the airport should be the central support for airline functions. Other airports have a section for small aircraft business including helicopter tours and activity that is all located at one airport.

There is a disconnect in the whole city plan within itself and how it interacts with the county as a whole. We should be moving any commercial airport activity to the San Jose Airport.



8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is an interesting and sad commentary that virtual none of the posters have apparently even read the "Minimum Standards and Leasing Policies for the Palo Alto Airport" that was agendized and then acted upon by the City Council in open session after the opportunity for public comment and which IS the subject matter of this topic.

[Portion removed.]

For example, no one has noted that these Standards require:
"All Commercial Aeronautical Operators shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the City, before and throughout the term of the relevant Lease, License or Agreement with the City, the capability of consistently providing the required products, services and facilities and engaging in the required Commercial Aeronautical Activities in a safe, secure manner in service to and to the benefit of the general public."


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2015 at 9:55 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm

I think the big problem with the minimum standards, is they are just "minimum" standards, and are only designed to protect the City against the most obvious types of gross negligence. Another problem is who enforces the "minimum" standards... PAPD?, PACC?, Public Works?, the Airport Manager?, the City Attorney?

I think Palo Alto residents want to see standards that are going to protect their long term health and welfare, and their quality of life.

There is nothing in the "minimum" standards to prevent PAO from metastasizing into another San Carlos, Santa Monica, Burbank, or Longmont Colorado.


"Do Your Job FAA: Mitigate Skydiving Noise near Longmont"
AIReform ~ October 24, 2015 Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:55 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What exactly is wrong with this adopted standard?

"All Commercial Aeronautical Operators shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the City, before and throughout the term of the relevant Lease, License or Agreement with the City, the capability of consistently providing the required products, services and facilities and engaging in the required Commercial Aeronautical Activities in a safe, secure manner in service to and to the benefit of the general public."

Everyone has been complaining that the City had no control of airport activities yet this newly adopted standard gives the City a great deal of control - ".. in a safe, secure manner in service to and to the benefit of the general public."


Like this comment
Posted by Pedro Carpentiro
a resident of another community
on Dec 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

"Add into the mix as an example Air France plane CDG to SFO who was all over the place - wandering around the bay area like a lost dog. Is anyone talking to that plane? Why is it lost?"

They were probably just sightseeing.


Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow

on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm


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6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm

A great article on why Aerotropolis is a bad idea. Is a mini-Aerotropolis what the real-estate developers, and their fellow-travelers in City government, have planned for PAO?

"Subsidizing Environmental Destruction: Why ‘Aerotropolis’ is a Bad Idea"
AIReform ~ December 3, 2015 Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Jetman,

I don't get the Aerotropolis concept in Palo Alto. Palo Alto already has several corporate headquarters, major shopping, and the pressure to grow is not exactly driven by a GA airport.


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2015 at 11:45 pm

LWI,

PAO will not be a GA airport (as we know it) in the future. GA pilots are a graying, and dying breed, and have been for several decades. Millennials have no interest in flying... they don't even like to drive (but they are infatuated with drones).

The airport will have to find a new reason to exist, and entertain new business models (like SurfAir, jump schools, same day transport, microjets, etc) to justify its existence. FAA grant money is there to help with the transformation, and protects the airport from closure by enticing city governments to cede governance of the airport to the FAA for a 20 year term (real-estate developers love to increase the value of their property, by using government money to develop the location).

Real-estate developers, and City Goverment really don't have any new ideas. A mini-aerotropolis may not be a great idea, but it's all they got, and the FAA is eager to spend your tax dollar to help.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

KPAO is officially a Reliever Airport and has been for decades:

"A relief airport is an airport that is built or designated to provide relief or additional capacity to an area when the primary commercial airport(s) reach capacity. In some cases a relief airport is an existing one that is designated to handle a specific class of aircraft such as general aviation.

The advantages of an additional airport are clear. Less obvious are the capacity gains from moving general aviation from a commercial airport to a different facility. By removing aircraft with lower capacities and slower speeds, an airport is able to operate more flights with larger aircraft and handle more passengers increasing efficiency with minimal additional cost in facilities at the older and generally larger facility.

This also spreads out the aircraft over a wider area generally improving air traffic in the entire community."

Wikipedia


6 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

Peter Carpenter,

What you just said sounds even scarier than Aerotroplois.

Turning a GA airport into a commercial airport? That is the definition of a reliever airport?


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a system for categorizing public-use airports (along with heliports and other aviation bases) that is primarily based on the level of commercial passenger traffic through each facility. It is used to determine if an airport is eligible for funding through the federal government's Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Fewer than 20% of airports in the U.S. qualify for the program, though most that don't qualify are private-use-only airports.[1]

At the bottom end are general aviation airports. To qualify for the AIP, they must have at least 10 aircraft based there, but handle fewer than 2,500 scheduled passengers each year. This means that most aircraft are small and are operated by individuals or other private entities, and little or no commercial airline traffic occurs. Nearly three-quarters of AIP-funded airports are of this type.

Most of the remaining airfields that qualify for funding are commercial service airports, and are more dependent on regularly scheduled commercial airline traffic. This is subcategorized into primary airports, which handle more than 10,000 passengers each year, and nonprimary airports, which handle between 2,500 and 10,000 passengers annually.[2] These categories account for over 15% of AIP-funded airports in the U.S.

Primary airports are further subcategorized into:[2]

Nonhub primary – airports handling over 10,000 but less than 0.05% of the country's annual passenger boardings
Small hub primary – airports with 0.05 to 0.25% of the country's annual passenger boardings
Medium hub primary – airports handling 0.25 to 1% of the country's annual passenger boardings
Large hub primary – airports handling over 1% of the country's annual passenger boardings

A third major category contains reliever airports, which are essentially large general-aviation airports located in metropolitan areas that serve to offload small aircraft traffic from hub airports in the region. These account for the remaining 10% of AIP-funded airports." Wikipedia

KPAO is an FAA designated reliever airport and has been for at least 30 years.


Posted by Resident 1 Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow

on Dec 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm


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2 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm

For readers with an interest in connecting the dots... what do the airports listed below have in common?

SFO San Francisco International Airport
SJC San Jose International Airport
OAK Oakland International Airport
SMF Sacramento International Airport
HWD Hayward Executive Airport
PAO Palo Alto (GA) Airport

Answer: they are the six airports that make up the FAA's "nextgen" Norcal Metroplex.


FAA Nextgen Metroplex - Northern California (webpage) Web Link

Map of FAA's NorCal Metroplex Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm

@Jetman, nice to see Palo Alto get some respect.

But don't understand your (GA) annotation for PAO and not HWD.


2 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Musical,

I don't think airports are put on the NorCal Metroplex list out of respect... but good guess!


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:53 pm

For a single 2400-foot runway, we do a respectable amount of business.
Palo Alto is definitely on the map.

We also do the most Caltrain business outside of San Francisco, by a long shot.


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Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm


"For a single 2400-foot runway, we do a respectable amount of business"

yah and where else can one get leaded fuel


Like this comment
Posted by PlaneSense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:22 am

How much is Palo Alto Airport taking from the City of Palo Alto general fund? Look here: Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 11, 2015 at 7:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

To be precise "the total LOAN amount from the General Fund to the Airport Fund to $1,841,804."

The reason it is a LOAN is because it must be paid back in full from airport revenues. The loan was simply a temporary transfer to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the airport from the County to the City.


Why post a link and not also provide this information?


5 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

An article in AIReform sheds new light on the helicopter school scam.

"Aviation officials never lose a chance to spread the illusion that airports are incredible generators of money. To be sure, money does tend to be spent around airports, but most often, that money is not being created but is instead in the form of a subsidy. A massive annual subsidy, to the tune of billions per year, mostly collected from airline passengers and then carefully allocated by FAA, with a maximized strategic political effect"

CofPA Ordinance N0. 5270 (posted by PlaneSense) highlights the role FAA AIP Grants played in the transfer of the airport from the County of Santa Clara to Palo Alto:

"D. On August 11, 2014, the City completed the transfer of sponsorship, operation and management of the Palo Alto Airport, allowing for the City to qualify for federal funding for an urgently needed runway improvement project..."

It is important to note here that the County of Santa Clara was not able to qualify for AIP Grants because the County refused to allow a noisy sky diving school to operate out of PAO. The county's refusal to allow the noisy sky diving school to operate out of PAO, put the County in violation of the FAA's AIP Grant terms.

Palo Alto Airport... legitimate business or welfare queen?


"Efforts to Limit Federal Subsidies Paid to Helicopter Schools"
AIReform ~ December 10, 2015 Web Link

Cof PA Ordinance No. 5270: Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"because the County refused to allow a noisy sky diving school to operate out of PAO. "

Wrong. The County refused to allow such operations at the South County airport, not PAO.

Web Link


No jumper in their right mind would want to jump in the airspace above PAO.


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2015 at 10:55 pm

PC,

Yes, you are correct. I should have said South County Airport.

PAO, Reid-Hillview, and South County were all "sponsored" by the County of Santa Clara at the time. The FAA denied FAA AIP funds to all of the airports "sponsored" by the County as retribution for the County refusing to allow sky diving operations at South County Airport.

This whole affair just goes to show how little control the CofPA will have over PAO. For all practical purposes the City ceded governance of the Airport to the FAA by accepting the FAA's AIP Grant terms.

Ceding governance PAO to the FAA in exchange for AIP funds, makes Palo Alto's "PC zoning for sale" scandal look quaint.

Palo Alto residents expect their elected representative to govern the airport on their behalf, not sell their responsibility to govern the airport to the FAA for the benefit of the aviation industry, a few recreational pilots living in Palo Alto, and the real-estate industry's perverted dream that FAA funded gentrification of the airport will spur real-estate development (and values) east of the freeway.

"Garlic City Skydiving v. County of Santa Clara" Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 14, 2015 at 12:14 am

Palo Alto has less control over El Camino Real, Oregon Expy, Page Mill, and 101.
I'm more worried about the railroad. Common theme is transportation infrastructure.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 14, 2015 at 8:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Palo Alto also has less control over its gas, electric and water supplies than it does over PAO.


Like this comment
Posted by PC Zoning is for sale here
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Thank you Jetman for explaining what is actually happening here with the FAA "minimum standards" ploy. I am NOT SO surprised that Liz Kniss, Larry Klein and others were probably unaware of all these reasons that San Jose wanted out of the PAO. I'm sure the FAA, and its supporters knew exactly what they wanted and since the City Council and City Manager don't do their vetting, they were completely outsmarted and outmaneuvered in this power grab. It is also interesting that minimum standards to supposedly promote safety are going to cause the City of Palo Alto to be sued by the future drone/helicopter collisions just waiting to take place here.
As a homeowner with no interest in general aviation planes, helicopter, sky-diving, or sky-taxi services, where are my minimum standards of livability in this whole process. Just as PC zoning has been a Developer Grab for $$$$, so is this FAA/private air company collusion a ploy to make $$$ off of our once lovely quiet skies and pollution free/healthy air.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 14, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

PC zoning - And what exactly did you say in your comments to the City Council during the public comment period that preceded thier decision to take over the Palo Alto airport from the County?


3 people like this
Posted by Gimme a Break
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2016 at 8:07 pm

PA and the area is crowded with multimillion dollar houses that wouldn't fetch $300,000 anywhere else, Teslas are the Honda Accords of neighborhoods, Range Rovers and tight fitting athletic wear are as common as a leaf falling to the ground. Most of the U.S. has less than 1/10 of the affluence of this area...and what? I read about whining and complaining about a little local airport? Sounds like a bunch of people telling others how to live and enjoy their part of their community. Noise free without PAO? Ridiculous. SFO and SJC planes are over Palo Alto everyday. Cars all day long on the 101. Here's some advice; walk the Talk- start walking, no more cars - even electric ones with their toxic chemicals and made-made materials. No more traveling on ANY airplane...anywhere - no more 747s, 380s, 737s. And no more trains blowing their whistles all night long, no more ambulances screeching their sirens, fire trucks, or police.


2 people like this
Posted by Cynic or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

"And what exactly did you say in your comments to the City Council during the public comment period that preceded thier decision to take over the Palo Alto airport from the County?"

Smart residents save their breath. City Council decisions are made well before the meetings that announce them. The real fight is at the ballot box.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" City Council decisions are made well before the meetings that announce them."

Wrong. The Brown Acr requires that such decisions be made in public and only after receiving public comment.

That process was followed in this matter.

If you slept through the Council public discussion and decision then the failure is your not the Council's.


2 people like this
Posted by Cedric Thornberry
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 4, 2016 at 7:04 pm

"The Brown Acr requires that such decisions be made in public and only after receiving public comment."

Oh, sir. If I was a collector of naivetalia, I would frame that comment and hang it in gilt over my mantel. I concede the formalities were followed in this and other cases, but only fools were fooled.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Cynic and Cedric - Do you have any evidence to support your alllegations of illegal decision making by the Council?


2 people like this
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Cedric Thornberry
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jan 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

@COV: [Portion removed.] I read your comment in the sense of the individual members having set their positions in concrete in advance of the meeting, but you may know something I do not.

Cheers.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I understand he was once on the PA planning commission,"

Correct and I also spent 18 years (10 years as Chair) as a City Council appointee on the Palo Alto Airport Joint Community Relations Committee and I have been elected by my fellow citizens to three terms as a Director of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

I welcome knowing more about Cynic and Cedric's background.


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Very telling - first you accuse elected officials of breaking the law and then, when challenged to provide evidence to support your claims, you refuse to respond.

These facts speak for themselves.


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2016 at 10:22 pm

Very well, I'll show you some of the evidence. Meet me at Jasons at 9:30 AM Thursday. Wear a red carnation in your left buttonhole. Be alone. No wire.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Jason's on ECR near the Menlo Caltrain station?


24 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2016 at 11:22 pm

The PACC has just gone through some recent unpleasantness in their less than transparent attempt to "sell" Arrillaga some land that was donated to the City by a generous Palo Alto resident:

"Palo Alto slammed for lack of transparency on Arrillaga proposals"
Palo Alto Online ~ June 20, 2014 Web Link

This is the same city council that negotiated the transfer of "sponsorship" (not ownership) of PAO from Santa Clara County, and has been hiding in the shadows while residents and Anna Eshoo have carried the fight against the FAA's noisy "nextgen" air-routes.

The whole time the FAA was planning the roll-out of the noisy "nextgen" air-routes, certain members of the PACC were quietly negotiating the transfer, and the sale of governance of PAO, to the FAA... effectively partnering in the FAA's plans to nextgen-trify Palo Alto Airport.

At any time during the negotiations with the FAA did anyone even think to ask the FAA how nextgen-trification would effect the residents of Palo Alto?

At the PACC meeting that approved the "new rules" Liz Kniss said: "the airport WILL be developed". What does she know that we don't? If the airport is going to be developed... where is the plan?


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 5, 2016 at 6:54 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Time is of the essense when claims of serious crimes are involved so I will meet Cynic and Cedric TODAY at the Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto at 9 AM.


Like this comment
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

Peter Carpenter,

Are you at the Creamery? Looks like Cedric may have passed in 2014 after an illustrious career.

I recently saw the movie "The Big Short," funny line in there about stupid or illegal.

Some things happening in the sophisticated world of government and business go undetected by the innocent public. May not even be illegal, but some government and business dealings and decisions are so obviously nonsensical, damaging to the public, you have to wonder. People are probably just wondering and asking.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

I am at Peninsula Creamery. First booth facing the door.


2 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2016 at 9:07 am

Peter Carpenter,

Well, I respect you for it.




4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 5, 2016 at 9:23 am

Well it is 9:21 and no one else has shown up.

Perhaps they will now post a retraction of their apparently unfounded allegations.


Like this comment
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

Peter Carpenter,

I actually can't tell what specific allegations you are rejecting.

Nobody went to jail, banks got bailed out and everything was ok for the people who were behind the mortgage back scam - things can be legal but that doesn't make them less questionable.

In "The big short" movie, the story goes that in the end immigrants, the poor and teachers were blamed for the catastrophe.

That kind of sounds familiar, when you can't explain something as damaging as some things are to the public at large (while others profit), blame it on the duped themselves.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 5, 2016 at 10:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The movie Big Short has nothing to do with the groundless allegations by Cedric and Cynic that the City Council made decisions in private regarding the transfer of the Palo Alto Airport from the County to the City in violation of the Brown Act.

It is sad that this Forum can so easily be abused by posters to hurl such false allegations against those who have been elected to serve the public interest and that those allegations can be made without any fear of accountability.


Like this comment
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

Peter Carpenter,

Noticed you asked the question to Ellie on another thread

"Ellie - please explain how this series of votes in public session violated the Brown Act."

Whoever suggested that elections can protect. Do they? Aligning around positions is ultimately about power, so we are always fighting against ourselves in a way. After a few rounds of procedural stuff, a coin toss would be as effective or more.


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

"Well it is 9:21 and no one else has shown up."

Jasons, Peter. Thursday, Peter. Don't forget the flower.


37 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Why engage in the tedious process of presenting evidence to someone who is not a judge, and doesn't even live in Palo Alto?

Palo Alto voters can hold their elected officials to a higher standard than is required by the Brown Act, and pass judgement on them at the ballot box.

The Quislings on the Palo Alto City Council that have betrayed the residents of Palo Alto by aiding the FAA's noisy "nextgen" plans by first negotiating the transfer of Santa Clara County's troubled "sponsorship" (not ownership) of PAO to Palo Alto, and then selling their right and responsibility to govern the Airport to the FAA, should be removed from office this November.

The PACC needs to send a clear message to the FAA... "no more next-gentrification of PAO, until the FAA stops using Palo Alto as a toxic waste dump".


12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 6, 2016 at 7:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Palo Alto voters can hold their elected officials to a higher standard than is required by the Brown Act, and pass judgement on them at the ballot box."

Yes they could but to do so requires first democratically setting a higher standrad and having that standard established by law and THEN providing evidence when and if the standard is not meet.

This Forum thrives on the casual flinging of unsubstantiated charges against properly elected officials who are working hard to serve the community - a gossip pool where no one is willing to be accountable.


16 people like this
Posted by let's weigh in
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm

OK, this is a thread about aviation,

democracy and standards are way out of whack here

measuring noise over a 24 hour noise average

rules to protect commerce (at night)

free pass to dump noise anywhere, legally ....maybe just maybe influenced by airlines?

Nothing more annoying than hearing preachings about democracy and standards from the noise makers

It's all about power. Those who have it are so stone cold unaware, and insatiable, it makes not a difference what is done according to the democratically set "standards."


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:12 pm

"This Forum thrives on the casual flinging of unsubstantiated charges against properly elected officials who are working hard to serve the community - a gossip pool where no one is willing to be accountable."

Jasons, Peter. 9:30, Peter. Don't forget your carnation. Be alone, and please leave the whining at home.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Two ggod rules:
1 - Don't offer "no shows" a second chance - Tuesday at 9 AM at Peninsula Creamery they were no shows.
2 - Don't meet an anonymous person at a place and time of their choosing.


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm

"Two ggod rules:"

Add a third: don't bluff in public.

You ostentatiously demanded evidence. It cannot be delivered in this venue. Make up your mind.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 6, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"You ostentatiously demanded evidence. It cannot be delivered in this venue"

Secret evidence? Sounds like Russia.

Why can you accuse elected officials of wrongdoing in this venue but you cannot provide evidence of such wrongdoing in this same venue?


2 people like this
Posted by Cynic Or Veteran?
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Missed you. Here's a start: Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Interesting link - the record will show that I was the person who discovers this violation and brought it to the attention of the MP City Attorney.

In the Ferguson case there was clear evidence and the result was the quick nullification of her election as Mayor.


6 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm

"Why engage in the tedious process of presenting evidence to someone who is not a judge, and doesn't even live in Palo Alto?"

Because people will otherwise conclude that the "evidence" doesn't really exist. That statement sounds like smoke and mirrors to me, a cover for a lack of evidence. Of course, the evidence could always be presented proving all doubters wrong.

"You ostentatiously demanded evidence. It cannot be delivered in this venue. Make up your mind."

The printed word cannot be used to deliver evidence? Why not? I think that the typeface used here is perfectly legible. If there is evidence, it should be clearly stated. Otherwise, it didn't happen.


Like this comment
Posted by Cynic or Veteran?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2016 at 7:40 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 8, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2016 at 10:13 pm

This is what it looks like when the mayor of your city takes a stand in support of the city's residents against the FAA:

"We hope FAA senior management will rectify the agency’s initial error. Regardless, the city will keep fighting for local control over the airport land. The voters have spoken, and we will never give up!"
— Tony Vazquez is mayor of Santa Monica.

The Palo Alto city council needs to stop feigning powerlessness, while quietly selling governance of PAO to the FAA, in exchange for grants that will be used in furtherance of the FAA's plans to nextgen-trify PAO.

The PACC needs to stand with the residents by sending a strong message to the FAA... no more AIP grants, no more nextgen-trification of PAO, until the FAA stops using Palo Alto as a toxic waste dump for "nextgen" noise.


"All They Want is LOCAL CONTROL"
AIReform ~ January 6, 2016 Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 11, 2016 at 7:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"he PACC needs to stand with the residents by sending a strong message to the FAA... no more AIP grants, no more nextgen-trification of PAO, until the FAA stops using Palo Alto as a toxic waste dump for "nextgen" noise"

Brilliant - just divert all the airplane fuel tax that is paid at PAO to other airports. And who exactly is going to be hurt by this? Certainly not the FAA.

It is called shooting yourself in the foot.


18 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

PACC refusing to accept any MORE AIP grants for the nextgen-trification of PAO would have no effect on Palo Alto's current aviation fuel sales tax revenues.

The current operation of PAO, sales of fuel, and the tax on fuel sales would continue as usual, and Palo Alto would continue to receive its "cut" from the sales of toxic leaded avgas, and jet fuel.

However, according to the FAA's recent reinterpretation of a 1982 law, state and local aviation fuel tax revenues can only be used to upgrade airport runways and facilities:


"Under Federal law, airport operators that have accepted Federal assistance generally may use airport revenues only for airport-related purposes. Local taxes on aviation fuel are subject to airport revenue use requirements. State taxes on aviation fuel (imposed by either an airport sponsor or a (non-sponsor) are subject to use either for a State aviation program or for airport-related purposes. The statutory revenue use requirements apply to certain State and local government taxes on aviation fuel, AS WELL AS TO REVENUES RECEIVED DIRECTLY BY AN AIRPORT OPERATOR (emphasis added)."


"FAA Limits Use of States (and local) Aviation Fuel Taxes"
Pew Charitable Trust ~ February 23, 2015 Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 11, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If Palo Alto refuses to request and accept future Airport Improvement Grants then the Federal portion of the aviation fuel tax paid on aviation fuel sales at Palo Alto airport would no longer be available to the City of Palo Alto. Those Federal funds can only be returned to Palo Alto via Airport Improvement Grants.

So if there are no new AIP grants then for the next 19 years Palo Alto would still be bound by its acceptance of previous AIP grants but Palo Alto would have to be the sole source of funds for the maintenance of the airport.

It is called shooting yourself in the foot - or perhaps more aptly, in the wallet.


10 people like this
Posted by Biz
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Looks like a scam to me.


2 people like this
Posted by Close the @#$% Thing
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm

"Palo Alto would have to be the sole source of funds for the maintenance of the airport."

All funds spent on the airport must be from user charges, including market-rate rent for the land. No general funds. Let them take away the airport if they don't like it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Under the terms of the Grant Assurances which the City of Palo Alto has signed, a binding contract willingly entered into, the City cannot close the airport until 19 years after the date of the last such Grant Assurance.


There is no pique clause in the Grant Assurance agreement.


2 people like this
Posted by Close the @#$% Thing
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm

Just defund it.


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm

@Peter, re Pique clause, I think the upshot of the Meigs Field closure was simply paying back all the unamortised AIP grants (plus a small fine for not giving 30-day notice).

If anything should be closed, it's this thread.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

How much would it cost to:
1 -Pay back all of the unamortized AIP grants
2 -Buy out all of the existing leases
3 -Physically removing the airport facilities (note that asphalt is considered hazardous waste)

My guess that it would be $25-50 million.

And then what would the City do with this below floodplain property?


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

The BCDC (a State agency) would probably have some say in the matter. In their Bay Plan they recognize "The shoreline of the Bay is a favored location for airports because the Bay provides an open space for takeoffs and landings away from populated areas."


4 people like this
Posted by Pilot
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm

"And then what would the City do with this below floodplain property?"

The city would rid itself of a costly, noisy, polluting nuisance, and gain a quiet, cost-free salt marsh.

What are those expensive toys parked at the airport going to do on this below floodplain property? Salt water ain't good for that duralumin, gang.

A curiosity: In my experience private pilots tend toward a strong libertarian political persuasion. But they instantly turn into fire breathing socialists when government subsidies for their expensive hobby are threatened. Their pastime which could not in fact exist without its dedicated government welfare program.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 12, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Their pastime which could not in fact exist without its dedicated government welfare program."

In fact general aviation entirely pays its own way via aviation fuel taxes and unsecured property taxes.

The really subsidized form of transportation is private cars which pay only a fraction of the cost for the infrastructure that they use.


4 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 13, 2016 at 7:40 am

[Post removed.]


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

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