News

Advocates sharply disagree on solutions to airplane noise

FAA Select Committee to discuss the many questions, ideas surrounding issue

Residents throughout the Midpeninsula and Santa Cruz area agree that airplanes going to San Francisco International Airport are creating deafening noise overhead, but multiple advocacy groups have very differing views on how to fix the problem.

More than 675 people turned out for the meeting Wednesday night of The Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, which is comprised of county and city officials from the San Francisco Peninsula and tasked with addressing the airplane noise issue and reviewing a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal to change flight routes, altitude and other local flight procedures.

The Select Committee does not have any power, but it could potentially support the FAA's Northern California Initiative Feasibility Study or provide other recommendations for cutting airplane noise. The problem of increased noise began in 2015 after the FAA rolled out its NextGen program to modernize the nation's air-traffic system.

The FAA proposal came out of recommendations from local airplane-noise groups and incorporates recommendations the agency deems feasible. The study analyzed six categories: airspace design and airspace; adjusting arrival procedures; nighttime departure operations; developing new departure transit points for some nighttime flights; evaluating Oakland and San Francisco departures and improving management of aircraft by flight control.

Packing the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, residents told the committee about hundreds of low-flying planes and the impact the noise has daily and at all hours on their health and mental well-being. While residents from as far away as Santa Cruz and from up and down the Midpeninsula agreed that increased airplane noise has made their lives miserable, they were not united in how the problem should be fixed.

Residents from Santa Cruz and the mountains want a flight path that was moved directly overhead to shift back to where it was prior to the rollout of NextGen. Midpeninsula groups, including Palo Alto, want the flights dispersed over a wider region and at higher elevations.

A Palo Alto noise group, Sky Posse, told the committee that the FAA plan offers "zero" tangible benefits for Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The group wants alternative flight paths, mainly using the entire length of San Francisco Bay so that planes would fly over water instead of homes.

Quiet Skies Mid-Peninsula, which is comprised largely of cities that include Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Ladera, Redwood City, parts of Woodside and Portola Valley, also favors the dispersal of flight paths. That group noted that half of the flights now are "vectored," meaning they fly in a holding pattern as they wait to land.

The Midpeninsula group also supported Palo Alto's assertion that the FAA plan offers solutions for only some communities and not for all.

"The Bay Area is not only where we live. The Bay Area is a way of life. Noise is a priority. There should be no sacrificial noise corridors," Quiet Skies Mid-Peninsula representative Tammy Mulcahey said.

Sky Posse and Quiet Skies Mid-Peninsula also proposed a permanent technical working group to measure noise on the ground.

But Quiet Skies NorCal, a group with a large Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz mountains contingent, does not favor dispersal at any elevation. They said that FAA must return to the previous flight path over Big Sur, which brings flights in over land farther to the south. They argued that the new path is essentially an easement in the sky over their neighborhoods -- which by law is in essence a taking of property that is impacting well-being, one Santa Cruz resident noted.

The rift between the various groups was apparent in a strongly worded statement by the NorCal group. It blasted Mid-Pen's letter, saying it is "either technically impossible or morally wrong." The Mid-Peninsula group opposes the NorCal group's plan to move the flight path back to Big Sur.

Quiet Skies Woodside said that the narrowing of flight paths and the oceanic arrivals between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. have disrupted their sleep. One-third of all vectored flights on the new flight path over the Santa Cruz mountains fly over Woodside, they said.

Select Committee members said they have several questions they want the FAA to answer before they can make any recommendations. Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, the Select Committee chairman, said he wants the FAA to identify some of the problems the agency deemed not feasible and to explore solutions. He and other members supported a Sky Posse and Mid-Peninsula proposal to bring in a group of technical experts who handle SFO flights to guide the committee while it studies the FAA plan and some of the noise groups' alternatives. He and others asked the FAA to consider a permanent committee to address the noise issues over time.

Town of Los Altos Hills Councilman Gary Waldeck asked if a 90-day trial period of any implemented plan might be possible. He and others also want the FAA to come up with ways to measure the noise on the ground.

"The (NextGen) model has never been tested against real data," he said, noting that noise specifications the FAA used for its NextGen model were developed in the 1970s and are now considered obsolete.

"I don't know how FAA has done that with a straight face," he said.

He also favored a long-range approach.

"We're not going to solve all of these problems in a six-question answer," he said. Rather, "it's a lot like build a little, and test a little," he said.

City of Foster City Councilman Sam Hindi said he wants the FAA to clarify what would happen if the Santa Cruz mountains route is moved back over Big Sur.

"Obviously, our community is divided," he said.

(The City of Palo Alto, which now has three flight paths over the city, does not have a representative as one of the 12 principal committee members. Vice Mayor Greg Scharff does sit as an alternate, however.)

So many people wanted to give their opinions at the meeting that the stack of speaker cards was more than two inches thick. Andres Diaz of Mountain View said the FAA report is written from a "big data" perspective that does not account for the individual's experience.

"Ask yourselves whether it seems appropriate that a plan would allow flights at 1,900 feet. That's just one example. Think of the individual as well as the entire community," he said.

Other residents said they no longer get eight hours of sleep a night.

"Now I'm lucky if I can get 2 1/2 hours, and that's every single friggin' day," a Santa Cruz area resident said.

Another complained that the flight changes had been made without residents' input.

"To not be heard ahead of time (before FAA implemented the plan), I feel like it's eminent domain without any compensation," the woman added.

The Select Committee will reconvene to take stock of all of Wednesday night's information. The first of two working meetings will take place July 15 and 22 in the afternoon at Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. The time has yet to be determined. The meetings will be open to the public, but because they are working meetings, the public will not be allowed to speak.

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Comments

67 people like this
Posted by Ellen Friedman
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Our waking and sleeping lives are being intruded upon by jet noise. I know if I try to fall asleep around 11:20, that a loud jet will disturb me at 11:30 (this is a regular event). I do not like to take a walk and have jets flying close overhead. I would like to see a No Fly policy between 10 PM and 7 AM instituted until a better solution is reached. Our neighborhood was quiet until the change in flight paths started. The airlines need to stop using abusive/political/economic power to keep their fuel and on-time-records by shortening flights over our neighborhoods.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm

[Post removed.]


48 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Ellen Friedman
> I do not like to take a walk and have jets flying close overhead.

I totally agree. I feel like some people seem to think it is our duty
or privilege to live under these toxic noise conditions. A lot of people
act like this noise pollution is less than nothing. Those are the people
who may not ever really get outside or who already have hearing that
is severely damaged.

Since the only really cool time of the day is well after sunset I frequently
go walking in Palo Alto at night, as late as 1am so I have a good random
sampling of airplane noise. I used to think it was bad when I was awakened
in my bed in that 12am to 2am time, but try being outside and having these
jetliners flying overhead. Wow, I could hardly believe it.

I listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks and one simply cannot even
hear the sound from their earphones because they airplane noise is too
loud. This is like polluters dumping poison in the bay or filling the sky with
smog. We seem to have mostly got water and air pollution down pretty
well. Routinely in the 70's Palo Altans could barely see the other side of
the bay or the foothills because of so much smog, now we have fairly
clear skies, however for some reason we have gone backwards on noise
pollution. In the 70's I could barely hear airplanes going by on their
way to SFO in the middle of the night, it was almost calming back then
to hear the soft white noise of a jet flying overhead high up in the sky.

Now they are rumbling so close you can practically see the stewardesses
getting everyone's tray tables up for landing. What is the deal here, why
is this so hard when it is clear we have done it before.

It seems to me this is a tradeoff of inflicting noise on thousands of people
to maybe save a little fuel or time for companies or flyers.

On any airplane flight this is a small delay to avoid flying low over densely
populated areas, for us down here it is everyday, day in and day out and
the worse is during sleeping hours. This has got to end and we should
not have to protest or go to war, a responsible well-regulated industry would
be doing this on its own.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

The Mid-Peninsula groups don't oppose the Santa Cruz group's desire to restore the Big Sur flight path; such a move wouldn't significantly Mid-Peninsula noise.


7 people like this
Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm

So basically, everyone wants air traffic routed over someone else's neighborhood instead of theirs. Make them fly over the east bay or San Jose, which already deals with the traffic from SJO.


Like this comment
Posted by dense
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2016 at 1:26 am

[Post removed.]


37 people like this
Posted by Professorville Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 1, 2016 at 8:35 am

Illuminato: That isn't what a number of people were saying at all. Most people agreed that we needed dispersion again-- that many communities should have a much, much smaller amount of jet noise instead of concentrating it all in one places. There were also deeply considered plans that would reduce the noise for everyone by moving it over the Bay.


I saw two groups agreeing that the flight paths should be dispersed and that the final should start at a higher altitude. I saw one group that didn't seem to care about fairness as much as the others (Woodside), and I saw another group (QS NorCal) that didn't seem to understand what the other two groups were actually getting after (and instead, this group focused on ground track only without consideration of how altitude and approach impacts noise).

All-in-all, it seemed like everybody agreed that the new state of the world is worse than it was before the FAA made the changes. Other than a single speaker who was very clearly strongly NIMBY, most people (not speakers) seemed to support moving things back the way they were before March 2015 as a start.

I was particularly intrigued by two things:
1) SkyPosse seemed to have done a much more in-depth job of looking at the problem, including proposing changes that would benefit all communities by moving noise over the bay
2) One man suggested moving a couple of waypoints which would allow for a straight shot up north for SERFR and would have the planes flying at significantly higher altitudes over the populated areas without affecting class-B airspace. This wasn't looked at in the FAA's feasibility studies at all.

Oh, and there was another interesting suggestion:
The FAA could mandate changes to the speedbrakes on the noisy Airbus-made model A320. That is certainly within their power to do ASAP and it would be cheap ($5000).

For my part-- the noise now is bad enough that I was there at the meeting.


19 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

Now that more people have more noise, everyone seems to forget that FAA's original motivation was to "green up" aviation by using modern methods to reduce the fuel consumption of old style descents and approaches. Public notices at the time did not seem to draw much attention. If you have also "greened up" your house by going double pane, interior noise should not be a big deal. Most of us don't actually own the airspace over our homes. I am curious though about one thing:

Where in Palo Alto is the aircraft noise burdensome where you can't also hear the Caltrain crossing bells and train horns??


11 people like this
Posted by Jim G.
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:18 am

Professorville, "moving noise over the bay" means moving routes from wherever they are over San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and mostly Sunnyvale. That does not "benefit all communities" - it penalizes these four communities for the benefit of others. The claim being made by some that "they already have airplane noise so it's OK if we give them even more" isn't acceptable to those communities, not at all. We're not the dumping ground for your unwanted airplane noise, and we're pretty angry that people in cities like Palo Alto want to use us as such.

Efforts to truly reduce airplane noise are good and worthwhile. Efforts to move noise from one community to another are acts of bad faith and bad neighbors, and they're not "solutions" - they're passing the buck.

In the end, airports are regional assets that provide regional benefits to the Bay Area. But they do have regional costs, including noise. For any community to say "we want the benefits of regional airports but make other cities pay our share of the costs", that's unacceptable. And cities like Sunnyvale have already borne more than their fair share of airport noise, for DECADES. That's fine - we signed up for Moffett noise when we bought our houses. But we never signed up to take on Palo Alto's share of SFO noise as well.


17 people like this
Posted by Professorville Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

Jim G.-

I think you might be missing some of the details.
1) A longer approach means more places for the aircraft to join the approach, and it means they're higher when they join.
2) A herringbone join pattern is suggested, which would attempt to disperse the aircraft over more area, and have much less noise concentration (so, we'd still get planes here in PA too...)

It would be difficult to get #2 without #1.

I don't mind a few planes flying overhead. I do mind having so many planes fly overhead that I can't hold a conversation, or sleep. A plane every minute or two (and they drone for at least a minute) is absolutely unacceptable.

3) Of those aircraft which fly over Sunnyvale (and because of #2, that'd only a portion of the traffic), etc. will be substantially higher (from 1500ft to ~3000ft higher if the recommendations are followed), and thus substantially more quiet (like more than twice as quiet).
4) Integrate SJC and SFO patterns more fully- SJC's traffic patterns, especially at night, make planes fly over all of our communities at night. This can be avoided, and we can get SLEEP!!!

Also, keep in mind that, a flight at 2000, is three times louder than a flight at 3500 ft. That increase in altitude makes a substantial difference.


28 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

- Old Steve
- a resident of St. Claire Gardens
- If you have also "greened up" your house by going double pane, interior noise should not be a big deal.

Not quite true. i installed all new windows in my house and while I notice a bit of a difference the airplane noise is unacceptable, not to mention the time of day/night of the noise.

You seem to be suggesting that airlines or other industries can require the population to upgrade their lives just for the privilege of existing nearby. Don't like the metal shop next door, buy earplugs. Don't like factory smoke coming in your windows ... wear a gas mask. Are you for real Steve?

In the 90's around the San Jose airport there was a lot of legal action over the airplane noise and some people had their houses purchased by the city or county, and others had noise-proofing put in at the airport's expense. If SFO wants to pay for whatever noise-proofing upgrades I need to sleep through the night without airplane noise that would be nice, but it still doesn't solve the problem that it is unpleasant now to be outside in Palo Alto and environs.

- Where in Palo Alto is the aircraft noise burdensome where you can't also hear the Caltrain crossing bells and train horns??

Uh, Crescent Park. I can very rarely hear the train, while I can hear and FEEL the planes every day without respite during night and early morning hours.

--

Why is it so hard for people who might not find a lot of noise a problem to refrain from condescending or insulting those who do.


3 people like this
Posted by Jim G.
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:08 am

Jim G. is a registered user.

Professorville, so it's ok to penalize Sunnyvale with Palo Alto's noise since we'd only have to accept some of it?

No thanks.

Dozens of people at Wednesday's meeting complained that they had planes flying overhead "as low as 4000'", which they called unbearable. To fix it, you want to move it to 3500' over Sunnyvale. Why is 4000' over Palo Alto or Menlo Park "unbearable", but 3500' over Sunnyvale is no big deal? No, I'm not missing any of the details.

If you're going to advocate with a straight face that 3500' air traffic over Sunnyvale is no big deal, then please also be prepared to tell these 4000' Palo Alto people to their faces that their concerns are also no big deal.

But nobody in Sunnyvale is going to buy your claim that they won't notice the noise from airplanes at 3500'. None. I already get complaints from residents about SJC traffic that's further away than that.


44 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:32 am

The 2015 implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) created airline superhighways over previously quiet neighborhoods.

Go on line, and you will find deep concerns expressed everywhere in the country, from New York to San Diego.

I am just amazed that the FAA was able to get away with it. Who was the gatekeeper?


19 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:32 am

Jim G makes a valid point if you accept his version of the facts and don't dig further. It would be unfair for Palo Alto to use its clout to move the air traffic currently tormenting its residents further south, over Sunnyvale.

Left out of his analysis is that this is EXACTLY what San Mateo County, and that it's what has lead to Palo Alto's status as the dumping ground for virtually all SFO bound traffic that crosses the Peninsula to the Bay approach to SFO. Previously, most of these planes crossed over San Mateo County cities - but in a much more dispersed pattern so that while no city got as much traffic as Palo Alto now puts up with, most San Mateo County cities got some. But San Mateo organized and used its political clout to complain. They even got SFO to be part of a group (the SFO Noise Roundtable) - which will not let Palo Alto in as a member - to deal with the noise. The result of all this: almost all the SFO bound traffic was routed further south, out of San Mateo County to (you guessed it) the northernmost city in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto. Now NextGen has further concentrated this traffic in narrow routes resulting in the outrage that Palo Alto residents now express with airport noise.

The solution is, as Jim G suggests, not to move the traffic further south - concentrated over Sunnyvale or anywhere else. The most equitable solution is to re-disperse the traffic over all Peninsula communities - including the now quiet, previously complaining cities of San Mateo County.

This is a hard political lift. But absent it, many parts of Palo Alto will continue to suffer from noise that makes a normal life difficult.


16 people like this
Posted by anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

"Airplane" superhighways, not "airline" superhighways, although the airlines made billions of dollars in profit.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jim G.
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:46 am

Jim G. is a registered user.

Mary, I never disputed any of that. But two wrongs don't make a right, and it defies logic to fix San Mateo County's misbehavior with further misbehavior by the mid-peninsula cities. Unless, of course, there's the hope that all of the communities around the bay continue to pass the buck in a counter-clockwise direction until the air traffic ends back at San Mateo County again...


54 people like this
Posted by Uh Unh
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:57 am

I have ALL dual pane Windows, insulation, and extra sound insulation in the bedrooms. It has dampened, but not eliminated the noise of trains, train horns and low-flying aircraft. It does nothing to lessen the shaking that they cause, either.

The real benefit has been with street noise: cars passing, people walking and talking on the sidewalk.


18 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Inequitable or unrealistic proposals do not advance the discussion. One simple step at a time. I have repeatedly recorded very large, very low-flying jumbo jets crossing directly over Palo Alto. These are mainly B777 jets arriving from the Pacific and flying over Palo Alto at or below 3500ft. That's really a lot of noise. It's window-rattling noise. It's scare the pets noise. The planes are usually making their SFO approach turn and that requires throttling up (you lose lift as you turn, so you have to speed up to maintain altitude). I have this slightly paranoid suspicion that the crews are flying low to get a better view of the Stanford Campus landmarks. Be that as it may - it should be a pretty simple matter to require jets to maintain at least 5000ft until they're over the Bay and headed north into SF0.


17 people like this
Posted by Single Engine Noise
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

The noise from automobiles and single engine planes must be included in this discussion. Noise pollution is a huge problem. I was out at the Baylands nature preserve. What preserve. The noise from the Palo Alto small plane airport scared us and the wildlife away!


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

It is obvious that there are two sets of problems and there should be two sets of solutions. Mid Peninsula, Palo Alto, Los Altos primarily wants dispersion and to return some flights from the north, west and south back over the bay. Santa Cruz primarily wants Serfer routes be returned to Bigsur


7 people like this
Posted by In Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

In Midtown is a registered user.

I live in a small house with no air conditioning which means that the windows and doors are open most of the time if it's a nice day. I often work from home and frankly until I got the door hanger flyer from Sky Posse I didn't pay much attention to airplane noise. I still don't. The noise is brief. It doesn't bother me. And I realized I am going to be mercilessly flamed for what I just said.

And Plane Speaker: I get outside and I'm not hearing impaired! :-)

What bothers me is gas powered leaf blowers that are still frequently in use by hired gardeners in this neighborhood. Now there's noise!


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

@Plane Speaker;

Mountain View had the old P-3's from Moffett 24/7 for about 30 years. Modern jets are measurably quieter. Most of San Mateo County has had SFO noise forever. Because NextGen modernizes navigation as compared to the old Woodside radio beacon the FAA implemented a more fuel efficient, and safer system. We could argue as to whether they did enough outreach, or studied enough noise, but they followed the law. So now we have to fine tune the new system, but that does not mean going back to the old, and it does not mean moving the current Palo Alto issues to other communities. SFO has operated since 1927, so unless you have lived in Crescent Park since then, it has always been there. Modern Metropolises come with regional facilities. We all want to improve the situation for everybody, but I don't see how hyperbole helps us all do that.


41 people like this
Posted by withheld
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2016 at 2:06 pm

I am lucky to be in Europe, finally enjoying consecutive nights sleeping. Isn't rest a human right?

No aircraft sound in Paris, Lyon, Geveva, Biarritz, Montpellier. The EU prioritizes populated areas and does not fly over them. The airspace is controlled ON BEHALF OF the public.

To the folks who want to claim that we should tolerate this incessant noise intrusion because we benefit from the economy, let's be clear: this is OUR economy and the airspace IS PUBLIC SPACE. It does not belong to the airline industry.

Considering the lack of response from the FAA, I am pretty sure that nothing will change without the public asserting its rights to control the airspace over our cities. This means shutting down the airports with non-violent action, if there is no movement to change the noise intrusion for ALL of us.

As I see in France, the much maligned unions --that everyone grumbles about and yet support-- are really very concerned with public solidarity: well in advance of a strike, all public messaging informs the public to seek alternative transporation on a specific date and time when a strike is scheduled. That way, most people are informed...and the inconvenience is less because there is forewarning of the strike. Why not organize an SFO closure? If the economy is so important, let's make it clear that the power of this economy comes with the permission and cooperation of the public. The message could be something like this: Alert! Don't buy a ticket to or from SFO ( on date...) because your access to and from the airport will be blocked by a nonviolent civil action. Join us! Bay area citizens ask you to support Stop the noise.


51 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Congress members are deflecting responsibility. Congress passed legislation in 2012, FAA Modernization and Reform Act, that permitted the FAA to implement NextGen procedures without any regard to their impact on humans and the environment. The Wake Recategorization or Wake Recat procedure is the key to our misery. Aircraft are brought low into denser air so they can be flown slower and closer together resulting in the skies above communities near and far from airports having been taken over as arrival and departure queues. And if there are new concentrated flight paths, don't confuse that with fewer concentrated flights paths. These concentrated flight paths are proliferating as the goals to date that Congress, the FAA, and aviation industry are primarily concerned about are more and more flights, increasing capacity endlessly, and quicker frequency of arrivals and departures, increasing efficiency. Human health and the environment are being sacrificed for the goals and for an abstract term, the economy. What economy really means with NextGen procedures is industry profits and elected officials who ensure those profits keeping their political office. What it means for citizens is committees, roundtables, task forces, noise studies, noise complaints, initiatives, reports, surveys, and so on until citizens are worn down into silence and acquiesce to the air, noise, and visual pollution of 24/7 low altitude aircraft all over our skies. Furthermore, the ultimate strategy of elected officials, FAA representatives, and this industry is to pit groups against each other, make them fight each other for non-solutions, crumbs, and discredit themselves in the process and then say, Well, sorry but we don't seem to be able to come up with a regional solution. And yet they rig it from the start by telling different groups to come up with solutions.

Groups must stand together and not get played liked this. The industry has the money and too many officials are bought. But we have numbers and when we use the power of those numbers we can't be stopped. This is not the last opportunity to be heard. It's just the last of the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals meetings which have been limited in scope and duration. It is not a solution for, in FAA speak, the NorCal Metroplex. Keep fighting, together!


7 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

You can monitor flights in real time with various apps that measure sound level and show flight patterns. One website is www.flightradar24.com


77 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

In an ideal world dispersion would be a great idea, but the collection of technologies known as "nextgen" has fallen far short of delivering the benefits originally promised. The "nextgen" that the FAA is implementing today cannot safely manage the complex flight patterns, and steep sinuous descent profiles envisioned at "nextgen's" inception 25+ years ago.

Several of "nextgen's" components do not integrate seamlessly, "nextgen" does not fail gracefully, and key components have never performed to specification. One of the biggest problems is the Lockheed-Martin developed ERAM system, which has already suffered two spectacular failures in the last two years.

The FAA is NEVER going to implement complex flight patterns which would challenge the technological capabilities of "nextgen", and risk an embarrassing public exposure of its failings that would bring attention to the $40+ billion the FAA has squandered on a system that does not deliver the promised benefits. At the next Congressional hearings to reauthorize FAA funding, the FAA needs to be able to pretend "nextgen" is a success.

Residents should focus their efforts on a simple over-the-bay solution that does not challenge "nextgen's" limited capabilities.


"Major Air Traffic Control Upgrade Broken, Again And Again, And..."
The Daily Caller ~ July 30, 2015 Web Link

"Scathing report: FAA isn't delivering on promises in $40 billion project"
Washington Post ~ May 1, 2015 Web Link

"Is This FAA Program The Worst Bureaucratic Boondoggle Ever?
The Daily Caller ~ July 28, 2015 Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Professorville Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Jim G-

The should not be concentrated in only one place, so clearly, yes, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, San Jose, Atherton, Woodside, Santa Cruz, Mountain View, and all of the other cities in the region should get their share of the noise. Sunnyvale is not so special that it should be exempt from its share, and as I understand the plan (w.r.t the herringbone approach pattern, etc.) the plan *is* to share the noise.

Sharing the noise (i.e. dispersal) will make it much less burdensome overall, because constant interruption, all other things being equal, is far, far worse for people's health than intermittent spaced out interruption. It isn't just a little difference. This is a *huge* difference in well-being and health.

About altitude: I said 3000 ft *higher*, not flying at 3000 ft.
As in, add that much to the altitude... And keep in mind the inverse square law, which says that noise decreases as the square of the distance.
I gave the 3500 ft figure as an example of the inverse square (physics) law which governs how loud a noise is based on how far away it is.
A better example might have been that moving the aircraft from 2000 ft (as they currently fly over PA sometimes) to 4000 ft would reduce the noise 4-fold.



28 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:19 pm

WHOA!

4000 feet is not good at all.

Attached is an analysis of traffic crossing the infamous Menlo way point. It's not *all* the traffic within earshot of the area, but it's what's crossing a vertical window used to count planes and altitudes crossing the window.

Web Link

The altitudes before Nextgen (for SFO flights) were mostly at 5000 feet.

They have migrated to 4000 feet = Bad. Also because SFO planes are clearly going below 4000 now. San Jose flights duck under SFO flights at 2000 or below.

Prof resident - to your point, the concentration (number of planes squished in the same area) is even more BAD.

NOBODY should get SFO traffic at 4000 feet.


3 people like this
Posted by Many Inaccuracies
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm

The description of the meeting has many inaccuracies. No mention of the fact that 12 different local groups spoke across the 3 meetings. They act as if the 4 speaking last Wednesday was the complete set.

I'm in Los Altos and like hundreds of other Los Altos residents disagree with the emphasis Palo Places on ignoring the years of positive experiences with the BIGSUR procedure for arrivals. We should restore the noise level found with BIGSUR, which happens to include the path it took, but also the altitudes and the practical example of low power low fuel glides from Santa Cruz to Menlo Waypoint. Menlo Waypoint made noise before all of this, but it got worse. Using the BIGSUR procedure instead of SERFR would quiet things at Menlo and everywhere before. These days
pilots are told OK to descend to 4600 feet right at the Los Altos/ Los Altos Hills Border, whereas in BIGSUR the lower limit was 6000.

But certain people choose to insist that the FAA would never resume the BIGSUR procedure, that it's all going to be a trick and the planes will be as noisy as they have been since March 2015.

Well, then, that's fine, because NO ONE will rest. THe Santa Cruz folks will be up in arms and everyone else. The only reason Sky Posse has to oppose this is because they think it might work in Los Altos and points South,
removing a set of allies they think they have in rattling the FAA cage.

There are two local advocacy groups in Los Altos--one is in the shadow of Palo Alto Sky Posse (hence the name Sky Posse Los Altos Team), and one originated with the Santa Cruz position. The Santa Cruz plan includes resuming the procedure for BIGSUR, not just the route.


78 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2016 at 1:45 am

The people that have been most adamant that there would no return to the pre-nexgen procedures, have been officials from the FAA.

There is also no easily identifiable, pre-nextgen procedure to return to. For at least 2-3 years prior to the roll-out of "nextgen", the FAA was continually tweaking the procedures to make them lower and noisier in an attempt to habituate the public to the noise, and to make it easier for the FAA to make a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) when comparing "nextgen" to the procedures that immediately preceded "nextgen".

Many people in Palo Alto first began to notice a significant increase in aircraft noise in late summer 2014, nearly six month prior to "nextgen's" official kick-off in the Norcal Metroplex, and close to a year before the first "nextgen" procedure was even implemented.

A return to the procedures that immediately proceeded the roll-out of "nextgen" would bring little to no relief to the residents of East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Los Altos.


64 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 2:01 am



Jetman I think it was you who called it out 3 years ago when the first complaints started about Surf Air,

You said and I'm paraphrasing: "Surf Air is nothing compared to what it will be like when Next Gen rolls out"

I remember reading it but I didn't follow up to understand it

I'm surprised PC didn't educate us at the time


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 2, 2016 at 7:09 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"For at least 2-3 years prior to the roll-out of "nextgen", the FAA was continually tweaking the procedures to make them lower and noisier in an attempt to habituate the public to the noise, and to make it easier for the FAA to make a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) when comparing "nextgen" to the procedures that immediately preceded "nextgen"."

Do you have any evidence to support this claim?


23 people like this
Posted by Humble observer
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

I hope most people commenting here realize that the underlying problem is, first, FAA's March-2015 nationwide "NextGen" policy shift (on descent paths and protocols for more fuel-efficient flying). Second, that FAA avowedly does not measure ground noise levels. FAA employs an abstract mathematical model ("DNL") to *predict* ground noise, a method now largely discredited: it predicted no "significant" ground noise changes from NextGen, whereas the reality is a nationwide outcry about new ground-level noise after NextGen started.

I'm also hearing from some serious players that this article regrettably garbled facts and may be "heightening the confusion" (granted, this subject is highly technical, some vocabulary having special meaning in aviation context). The numerous citizens in the local groups also represent diverse levels of technical understanding, apparent in some of the policy disputes now.

Notes on the article:

"Quiet Skies NorCal, a group with a large Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz mountains contingent [misleading phrasing: actually Santa Cruz *County* and rural areas; organizations around Santa Cruz proper are signatories to the "mid-peninsula" letter: Web Link ] does not favor dispersal at any elevation. [technically altitude, not elevation] They said that FAA must return to the previous flight path [actually, "procedure," = flight path + altitude + throttle] over Big Sur, which brings flights in over land farther to the south [error: the BIGSUR procedure is to the west, not to the south]. . .

"The rift between the various groups was apparent in a strongly worded statement by the NorCal group. It blasted Mid-Pen's letter, saying it is "either technically impossible or morally wrong" [but they don't know which?] The Mid-Peninsula group opposes the NorCal group's plan to move the flight path back to Big Sur.

[One very knowledgeable critic sums up the particular group using the name Quiet Skies NorCal, which represented a minority view among the various Northern-California local organizations at the meeting, as "NorCal doesn't want to share the noise; they want no noise for themselves and don't care how much noise other people suffer."]

Again you can read for yourself the actual position letter (it's fairly concise) signed by the majority consortium of 13 organizations in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and San Lorenzo Valley (link above).


55 people like this
Posted by Raise our skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

Humble,

The article, and confirmed by the posts here gets it right.

Now add the disagreement about when Nextgen started - not March 2015. A search in this journal with the term "Nextgen" would yield results earlier than that and Jetman is right, people here noticed the changes in 2014.

If there is no agreement about when the problem started, there can hardly be agreement about solutions.


68 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 11:26 am

Jetman:

You are absolutely correct on what was done before official implementation dates. Throughout the U.S. this has been the case with varying timelines based on rollout goals and FONSI filings.


25 people like this
Posted by NBBRO
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

I am very happy there are some people in this thread who have gathered data. I live on Skyline and am interested in the altitude question, because my home is at 2400 feet.

I have always had jets overhead but now the noise is unbelievable. Even worse is the noise from smaller aircraft. Absolutely deafening, and actually a bit terrifying at times. Does anyone know if helicopters and small planes are flying even lower than larger jets due to NextGen?

The PA Online article seemed to fixate on the differences among the activist groups. My reaction is...really?? The truth is that citizens are opposing the FAA's actions. It is unfortunate that media is looking for ways to divide us.


4 people like this
Posted by Klattu
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2016 at 4:22 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by pares
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm

@Klattu -- Maybe you are new to the area, so you cannot compare to it how it was just a couple of years ago. We have lived here for 25 years and yes, there were airplanes overhead back then. But the noise level was never like this since this new NextGen change. When we are outside now, it is particularly bad -- airplane after airplane and some so low and loud we cannot believe that the FAA would ever allow this. It is wrong and due to the NextGen change. It is also wrong that the FAA thought the changes would not impact the densely populated areas.

The FAA is trying to pretend they are surprised there is a problem. They should set up noise stations around the bay, and they can easily verify that there is a major impact of noise from these new flight patterns.

Thank you to the people who are working hard to make the FAA do its job.


17 people like this
Posted by Tired of Noise
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

NBBRO:

General aviation, GA, aircraft are also flying lower as part of the now low flying commercial and cargo pathways. GA is also dispersed more and flying over areas not previously flown.

The FAA has been pumping money into the expansion of GA airports, flight training, and air tourism. Much of the U.S. is now experiencing the related activity over their communities, whether urban, suburban or rural is irrelevant.

So as with commercial and cargo expansion, the noise, air, and visual assault is significant.

Statistics on GA are very wanting, but a couple give an idea. The U.S. already accounts for %50 of worldwide GA and from 2000 to 2012 GA fuel usage increased by 34%.

Hope this helps a little.


13 people like this
Posted by SEA_SEELAM REDDY
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2016 at 4:01 am

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

please consider no airplanes in our sky after 10:40pm and before 5:15am pacific time.

respectfully


8 people like this
Posted by Mikeb
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 3, 2016 at 7:09 am

I find the planes normal for 2016
and the sound easy to ignore. I am in downtow P.A


35 people like this
Posted by easong
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2016 at 8:31 am

I live in the Santa Cruz mountains directly under the Nextgen SERFR1 approach vector. With upwards of 100 flights on some days, planes only 5000 ft above ground, jets every 3 minutes every morning and evening when there used to be quiet home time, this has all but ruined mountain life. They built a superhighway in the sky without thought to the people who lived in the homes under it. Or the wildlife -- the birds have largely fled in the past year.

I work in Palo Alto on the bay shore near the golf course. The very same flights vector right overhead on a bee line from Soquel to SFO. So if I want to step out of work midday to enjoy the bayshore trail I can duplicate my home experience.

The utter callousness of FAA in implementing this flight path, and the foot dragging speed with which they are addressing community noise concerns (even with over 100,000 noise complaints every month) is astonishing.


4 people like this
Posted by Couch Revolution
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

Don't fly. Don't ship by air. If everyone impacted by low altitude aircraft did this long enough to impact the bottom line, boom, this madness will vanish as quickly as it began. Hit the money, people. We defeat them by sitting on our butts instead of increasing aviation profits.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

If you stop using anything that travels by air remember to stop all your US Mail, FedEx and UPS deliveries and don't buy most fresh flowers.


18 people like this
Posted by cvvhrn
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm

One prime example is occurring right as I post this. DHL flight DL488 From Frankfurt to San Jose was essentially routed down the Peninsula instead of over the Pacific adding to the din.

The same for Emirates flight UAE225 which took a polar route from Dubai and instead of being vectored over the bay is now being flown down the Peninsula as well. At 5000 feet aas it passes over Palo Alto, its really loud

1) If jets must be vectored over the Peninsula they should be at 10000 feet and make their turn over the bay. That would cut down on perceived and actual noise etc.

2) Noise Curfew: San Jose has a noise based curfew in effect. SFO should have the same. Web Link

3) greater use of Bay approaches versus populated areas esp. for wide body aircraft.

4) There is ALMOST no traffic over San Francisco. SF owns and operates SFO. Since the City/county has a financial interest in the airport, why are most of the flights disrupting other communities? As mentioned a distributive approach plan would mitigate this alot.


42 people like this
Posted by I must Say
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm

I have never been bothered by the noise of aircraft previously. My house is insulated and supposedly sound proofed.

However, starting with Memorial Day weekend, at least two very large low-flying planes have awakened me after midnight every night. Not just the roaring of the engines, but also the shaking of the house from the sound waves! It was worse than the three one-mile long freight trains that charge through at 75mph every night ( which is why we soundproofed the house in the first place).

After a month of sleep deprivation, which I thought to be no longer possible, I am ready to strangle someone bare-handed at the FAA! Sleep deprivation is not a minor issue!!!


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 3, 2016 at 7:40 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

It's very hard to control international flight patterns, but the fact that planes take off and land at ungodly hours at the completely unnecessary Palo Alto airport is scandalous.


18 people like this
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2016 at 9:24 am

I live in Redwood Shores near the bay and am seeing and hearing the exact same pattern of airplanes others describe flying very low over our home every 1-2 minutes. It's become so bad now that by the time one plane leaves our airspace, the next one is arriving so we never have a peaceful time without the loud rumbling. We cannot sit in our backyard any longer. Our kids don't sleep well. We never leave our windows open even on the hot days.. And still the noise is unbearable. I want to stress the point that this is a NEW pattern of planes on a landing path to SFO- it just started late last year... We have had our home for over three years and this was NOT the case when we moved in. For those that say that this is part of living in a big city... No, the FAA does not have the right to inflict noise pollution randomly without any say from those that live nearby. My question is: i see a lot of references to Palo Alto and other cities, but none to redwood city and foster city, which are on the landing path where we are. Have those been discussed? Thanks for any insight you can provide.


6 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2016 at 11:38 am

Frustrated,

You may be able to get more information about changes because SFO has a permanent noise monitoring system up to Redwood City. See "Aircraft Noise Monitoring System" at SFO Web Link

Noise Monitor #28 is in Redwood City.

per the link,

"SFO maintains a state-of-the-art permanent noise monitoring system to keep track of noise levels in communities around the Airport.

SFO has had a Noise Monitoring System in operation for many years. With 29 monitors located around the Bay Area and four portable units, the system keeps track of noise levels in communities surrounding the Airport. Information produced from the Noise Monitoring System is central to the operations of the Aircraft Noise Abatement Office.

It serves as the basis for:

Identifying overall trends in noise levels (Residential
Sound Insulation Program)
Evaluating airline compliance with noise abatement
flight tracks, including the Fly Quiet Program
Following up on unusual occurrences
Monitoring preferential runway use programs
Validating the accuracy of CNEL noise contour models

As part of its continuing effort to maintain a state-of-the-art noise abatement office, SFO has installed a new Aircraft Noise Monitoring System. This system includes new digital noise monitoring units, additional noise monitors in San Mateo County communities and an integrated system that collects flight, operational, complaint and weather data in one location. In addition, the system provides more technical information for enhanced data analysis and real-time collection of aircraft flight track data. This information serves as a basis for the Fly Quiet Program quarterly reports and the Monthly Director’s Report, both published by the Airport Noise Abatement Office. It also includes a Visitor Center for Public Display at the SFO Airport Noise Abatement Office.

Flight tracks can be analyzed to determine:

Origin and/or destination of a flight
Actual flight path over the ground
Altitude over any given location
Aircraft type
Airline
Time of operation
This information is very useful in monitoring compliance with noise abatement procedures and in devising new procedures that may be implemented by the FAA.

The upgraded noise monitoring system has an improved ability to account for low frequency noise, an issue of particular interest to communities close to the airport and will include a more sophisticated data analysis and reporting system than is currently available."


16 people like this
Posted by Kerry
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm

In response to Old Steve. We live near Louis and Colorado. There is no noise from Caltrain, no horns sounding at all, just skyway to SFO Day and night. Also lso in Barron Park, no Train sounds, just incessantly jet noise.


15 people like this
Posted by Pitted against one anothr
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:16 am

the article's emphasis on our disagreements lets the FAA off the hook. The planes need to fly higher over populated areas and descend over the bay. A fairer dispersion of arrival routes would avoid punishing one community to benefit others. I like the example of Europe where there isn't this problem. We need to send the FAA back to the drawing board to fix this problem.


16 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 10:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here are two alternative proposals - the first minimizes the total ground noise foot print over all populated areas and the second distributes the noise equally among many communities:

First proposal:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This proposal uses existing and established waypoints and procedures and does not impinge on the SJC airspace.

Second proposal:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the specific problems with these two proposal?

How can they be improved?

Are they compatible with NextGen technology?

Are they simple?

Are they equitable?

PS. If readers are interested I will post the links for the IAFs and a link to a description of the herringbone pattern.


10 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

I find myself agreeing with SEA_SEELAM REDDY to something on the order of:

- no airplanes in our sky after 10:40pm and before 5:15am pacific time.

Modified to something like NO airplanes in the skies below certain altitudes
within certain hours ... because this noise pollution problem is really not
just at night. What the airlines are doing is wrong, and to let this go without
kicking back until they fix it will just get worse and will be used as precedent
by other industries to inflict noise pollution on people.

Someone needs to plot a map with an approach to SFO and SJX that planes
need to stick to when they descend below some given safe quiet altitude, and
then people living in those areas who are affected by noise need to be compensated
or moved and stick with it into the future. If the planes need navigation aids put
lights down the bay that they can follow as they descend.

Airlines who violate these rules should be fined. If they get nicked a little bit
every time they are careless without a good reason they will get the message.


11 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Marie is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter

Thanks for your specific proposal. Please let us know if and when the FAA responds to it, and if skyposse and other groups named in the article will support it. I really appreciate your knowledge and sensible approach.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm

"2 Place intercept points on each of these 284 deg radials at half mile intervals starting 10 miles from SFO where the 3 degree glide path interception point would be at 3000 ft..."

That works out to a 3.25 degree glide path. Do you think the FAA bureaucrats would accept that deviation from their carved in stone enshrined on the altar 3 degrees?

If yes, why not sell them on a 5 degree mean descent? That would place the 10-mile intercept altitude at a quieter 4600 feet, and correspondingly even quieter higher altitudes at greater intercept ranges.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

3000 ft at 10 miles from SFO, with a TCH of 55 ft, yields a 3.00 percent glide slope:

Web Link

"If yes, why not sell them on a 5 degree mean descent?"

5 degree descents are difficult to fly safely and are very uncomfortable for passengers.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Due to its proximity to buildings and its short runway length London City Airport has a 5.5 degree glide slope.

Very few airplanes and only specially qualified pilots are allowed to use this airport.

"Aircraft types, operators, and individual pilots have to be certificated to operate into LCY. The steep slope is a problem for some types in that even with landing config and thrust at idle, the speed cannot be kept under control."


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm

"3000 ft at 10 miles from SFO, with a TCH of 55 ft, yields a 3.00 percent glide slope:"

Just move the hurdle, eh?

"5 degree descents are difficult to fly safely and are very uncomfortable for passengers."

No sweat. The airplane flies itself. Just tell it where you want it to go. Since the cabin floor pitches above the velocity vector during descent, the passengers are unaware of the glide angle. Try it with a bubble protractor on your next flight.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I have flown many 5 deg approaches as PIC in an airplane designed for mountain flying and I can assure you that the passengers are very aware of the steeper angle of descent and most find it to be very uncomfortable.

Of course feel free to provide documentation to the contrary.


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Peter,

Intriguing proposals. I think it would be helpful if you could present your proposal in a way that is more accessible to the general reader (and our elected representatives). Most people outside of the aviation community have no idea where way-points like FAITH or ANETE are located with respect to the local geography.

I think a lot of readers would really appreciate seeing your proposal outlined on a simple road-map of the bay area... or maybe even some screen-shots from google earth.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Most people outside of the aviation community have no idea where way-points like FAITH or ANETE are located with respect to the local geography."

ARCHI is on this approach plate and map:

Web Link

Web Link

FAITH is on this approach plate and map:

Web Link

Web Link

ANETE is shown here:

Web Link




6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is a general diagram of a Herringbone approach:

Web Link


Here is a description of curved CDAs:

"Curved approaches
In addition to the many airports that have implemented continuous descent approach (CDA), there have been several trials with curved CDAs. Careful assessment needs to be made of whether alternative procedures could deliver environmental benefits on approach, but the main benefit of a
curved CDA approach (known as Advanced CDA, or A‐CDA) is that it allows aircraft to turn later onto a runway path. Although no formal regulation or certification of A‐CDA currently exists, it has been successfully trialled.
A European Commission research project, OPTIMAL (Optimised Procedures and Techniques for Improvement of Approach and Landing) is looking at curved approaches, while in 2009 Novair became the first carrier in Europe to conduct a "curved green approach", with an Airbus
aircraft using GPS navigation technology. At Stockholm
Arlanda, a curve was flown around the provincial
town of Uplands Vasby to avoid noise ‐sensitive regions. By 2012 at the earliest, a majority of the aircraft that serve Stockholm‐
Arlanda are expected to be equipped for curved approaches."

Here is an excellent report on Heathrow's noise management:

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Whisper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2016 at 10:35 pm


"The passengers won't notice the new procedure at all"

quote in Video (time code 0:49) about steeper glide slope procedure tested in Hamburg

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by @GoodEars
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm

I hate to disagree with the readers who are providing impressive documentation about air-traffic noise. But I really don't find the occasional rumbling of the planes above a major factor in my quality of life here. I do use protective ear-plugs in noisy places and near motors. So my hearing is fine. The trick is not to lock to the occasional sound and eventually treat it as background noise.


Like this comment
Posted by Really.
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm

It's true. There are some places in Midtown that get fewer planes flying directly overhead and do not have such disruptive noise.

There are other places in Palo Alto where airplanes aren't a big deal. And there are cities on the peninsula that are hardly bothered by airplane noise at all. There are places throughout California that don't have excessive airplane noise.

Several posters have pointed that out here on Town Square.

It's true!


5 people like this
Posted by Whisper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2016 at 11:33 pm

@GoodEars,

The new traffic patterns cause both noise and air pollution.

Video I just posted speaks to how other countries take the responsibility of addressing aviation impacts seriously.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2016 at 12:01 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2016 at 11:23 am

We have lived in Palo Alto for ~36 years. We've been a our current location for over 10 years. I appreciate all the work put into the scientific and mathematical documentation by everyone, but all you have to do is listen, and it is obvious that the airplane noise is unacceptable lately. As a native Californian, I expect to open my windows and let the wonderful breeze blow through the house. I shouldn't have to seal myself into a/c all the time.

The documentation work being done is just keeping everyone busy, letting the FAA and their ilk continue doing what they want. I agree with the others calling for social non-violent action.

We were also in Europe recently and there was NO airplane noise like here. If landlocked places like Switzerland can avoid it, why can't we, with the Bay and Pacific Ocean to use for mitigating the flights over populated areas? I spent years watching the flights in a long line over the Bay on their approach to SFO. It worked and the airlines still made tons of money.

BTW, we get at least two flights into/out of SJC over our house each day. And they are LOUD. The one to Japan really rattles our windows.




12 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2016 at 12:50 pm

I am a resident of Midtown Palo Alto and, although it may be true that some parts of Midtown are not affected as much by air traffic, I can guarantee you that airplane noise is awful in my area of Midtown.

We get SERFR, Oceanic and Northern arrivals, all three of them at close to 4,000 feet. We sometimes also get incoming San Jose traffic during bad weather spells. The latter commercial passenger jets can fly as low as about 2,000 feet. It has become unlivable.

Now, there are periods of time when it is less, for a week or two, to only come back to full traffic for lengthy periods of time. So, temporary lulls are just that, temporary. Most of the time, it is just horrible and I am grateful to Sky Posse Palo Alto for all its work and advocacy.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter,

Intriguing proposals. I think it would be helpful if you could present your proposal in a way that is more accessible to the general reader (and our elected representatives). Most people outside of the aviation community have no idea where way-points like FAITH or ANETE are located with respect to the local geography.

I think a lot of readers would really appreciate seeing your proposal outlined on a simple road-map of the bay area... or maybe even some screen-shots from google earth."

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

After a bit of struggling with Google Earth, Grab and Dropbox I think I have created a viewable image of both the proposed FAITH to SFO 28 Left Approach path and the AMEBY to San Carlos approach path:

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This link works, I hope, without a password:

Web Link


55 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Can we talk about the politics?

The impact of the FAA's "nextgen" implementation have been very well documented by numerous individual testimonials, and systematic scientific analysis of nearly a decade of historical flight track records obtained from the FAA through a FOIA request. Noise complaints to SFO's Noise Abatement Office have soared, and only a handful of self-appointed aviation apologists continue to deny the problem.

How is the FAA able to stonewall and do nothing?

The players:

1. Barak Obama (POTUS)
2. Michael Huerta (first non-pilot to head the FAA, no prior av experience)
3. Bill Schuster R-PA (Trans Comm Chair, sleeping w/ aviation lobbyist)
4. Chuck Schumer D-NY (US Senator, also known as Mr. Airlines)
5. Ed Lee (Mayor of tourism dependent SF, owner/operator of SFO)
6. Anna Eshoo D-CA (negotiated the Eshoo Agreement, and hosted FAA meetings)
7. Jackie Spier D-CA (represents district which is home to SFO)
8. Joe Simitian (Co. Supervisor, ex Mayor of Palo Alto, Chair Select Comm.)
9. Palo Alto City Council ("sponsor" of Palo Alto Airport)


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"How is the FAA able to stonewall and do nothing?"

Because all of the various interested parties have been unable to come up with a concrete proposal on which there is mutual agreement. Absent that the FAA can just sit back and watch everyone squabble.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm

"Absent that the FAA can just sit back and watch everyone squabble."

The FAA is very good at sitting back and doing nothing. As for watching everyone squabble, probably not. The last thing a bureaucracy wants is outside busybodying. Overtly adopting solutions originating from the public is an absolute anathema. They have a very big wastebasket and they know how to use it.

But we can have our own fun on this forum anyway.


1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

"I have flown many 5 deg approaches as PIC in an airplane designed for mountain flying and I can assure you that the passengers are very aware of the steeper angle of descent and most find it to be very uncomfortable. Of course feel free to provide documentation to the contrary."

Bush flying in a single-engine Cessna or Helio is a long stretch from jetting passengers and freight into a jetport like SFO. The aircraft and their flight characteristics are vastly dissimilar. [Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by respectful and truthful
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2016 at 3:10 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by 747 Pilot
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Most non-STOL planes must maintain a very high nose up attitude to achieve steep glide angles.

Passengers are very uncomfortable with the high deck angle necessary in a 747 to maintain a 5 deg glide slope.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A fascinating and well informed discussion on stepper glide slopes:

Web Link

Clearly that are a lot of operational problems with steeper approaches and some surprising negative effects like, in some cases, MORE noise.


3 people like this
Posted by Some knowledge on this subject
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

It appears that no one wants any airplane noise over his/her home, office, parks, schools, or open space

It's important to note that the Big Sur traveled over the city of Santa Cruz and the mountain communities of Scott's a Valley, Ben Lomand, and Boulder Creek

The SERFR is slightly east of the Big Sur and travels over Capitola and assorted homes outside of and city.

The FAA is required to provide separation of either 3 miles or 1000 feet

The Bay is ringed by Oakland, Hayward, Reid-Hillview, San Jose, Moffet, Palo Alto, San Carlos, and San Francisco so putting all of the traffic over the Bay could reduce safety

For every action, there is a reaction... So every move will require more environmental reviews which equals $$$ and time.

Every move away from your house, puts the planes over someone else's house (Fremont, Milpitas, Alviso, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, etc.)

Noise monitoring was conducted on the ground at FIVE locations in the hills north of Capitola under the SERFR arrival and the ambient noise was louder than jet noise, supporting the EA's finding of no significant increase as was demonstrated in the noise model.

NEXTGEN is, in fact, an effort by many aviation components to modernize many aspects of aviation such as data link, satellite navigation, ADS-B, multi-alteration and many other technology driven concepts in an effort to increase safety, and yes, efficiency

The NorCal metroplex effort mimicked many current routes but published those routes as RNAV procedures rather than using 1950s style ground based NAVAIDs

CONGRESS (yes, those same folks you're begging to fix this) MANDATED and FUNDED the NAS modernization project resulting in the new satellite based routes.

Airplanes (regardless of type) require specific angles of descent to safely land on the runway. If the angle is too steep, the aircraft is too fast and must either apply drag devices (more noise) or try again (think two arrivals for the price of one). If the angle is too shallow, the pilots must apply more power to keep from stalling and crashing (think more noise than in a stable approach to the runway)

Airlines are required to ensure flight crews and aircraft conform to safety REGULATIONS and set safety standards to ensure passengers arrive and depart safely from all airports.

The FAA is juggling a lot of balls in attempting to meet safety rules, environmental rules, the laws of physics, congressional mandates, congressional funding, and the needs of ALL communities... Not just the loudest, richest, or most organized communities

Next time you order from Amazon, travel for business, go out to eat, receive a postcard, or go on vacation, think about the approximately 5000 aircraft operations per day that travel into and out of the SanFrancisco Bay Area and go ahead and figure out how you would safely sort them out without adversely impacting someone else, just to improve your own self. It's trickier than a one commenting here, attending the meetings, or involved in a posse actually understands




4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is expert opinion on the problems with steeper approaches:

"Further written evidence from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) (AS 58A)

1. The British Airline Pilots’ Association believes that the following supplementary evidence may be of interest and use to the Committee in its current Aviation Strategy inquiry. In particular, this supplementary evidence is in response to the oral evidence given to the Committee by Mr Richard Deakin of NATS on 10 December 2012.

2. The standard angle for glideslopes is universally set at 3 degrees with variations typically between 2.5 and 3.25 degrees to accommodate local circumstances such as airspace restrictions and close in ground obstructions. A 5.5 degree glideslope, as proposed by the NATS Chief Executive, Mr Richard Deakin, is exclusively used at airports where a normally inclined approach path is precluded because of terrain as in mountainous areas or obstacles such as the high rise buildings that surround London City airport. Because of the stringent requirements on aircraft performance and certification, and crew training in special procedures, 5.5 degree glideslopes are not generally considered appropriate as a means for alleviating local area noise disturbance. Where these steeper slope approaches have been adopted they have only been available for smaller aircraft types ranging up to Airbus A318 size and have never been used by bigger commercial air transport (CAT) types let alone the wide bodied long-haul aircraft types that predominantly operate in and out of London Heathrow.

3. For large aircraft the problems of approaching on a steep glidepath can be considered under the headings of operation and organisation:
Operational Issues

4. Speed stability. The inertia of heavy aircraft means that it is very difficult to accurately control approach speeds on a steep approach particularly when the airspeed has increased due to correcting to the glidepath from above. Use of airbrakes with landing flap is prohibited on most large types. Furthermore, the increased use of drag inducing configurations, possibly against thrust to allow higher engine power settings, would introduce issues of aircraft structural fatigue.

5. Engines at idle power. To achieve a steep glidepath heavy aircraft would need to have their engines set at or near approach idle power with the consequence that, in the event of having to go around (GA), with big, high bypass engines taking longer to spool up, the height lost between GA initiation and the aircraft beginning to climb away would be correspondingly greater. This is exacerbated by the fact that the aircraft is already descending faster therefore greater anticipation of having to GA would be needed. For the same reasons approach minimums would have to be set higher to ensure aircraft aborting their approach did not bust obstacle clearance limits with the knock on effect that, in poor weather, many more aircraft would require to GA.

6. “Sink Rate” EGPWS alerts. At a typical heavy aircraft approach speed of 160 IAS the rate of descent on a 5.5 degree glidepath would be around 1600 fpm which normally would be classified as an unstable approach and would be above the threshold for triggering an EGPWS “Sink Rate” aural alert.

7. All Weather Operations. A 5.5 degree glideslope is presently not compatible with an autoland profile and would require a significant certification effort to make it so if, indeed, it was possible to retrofit to current aircraft types. Such an operational restriction would be a major impediment to the all-weather capability of an airport.

8. Engine Out Approaches. All engine out approaches are predicated on a 3 degree or close to 3 degree glidepath. It would be impractical and add complication to introduce different contingency procedures for engine out approaches to accommodate the very few airports where steep approaches were in operation. Such airports could not be planned as alternates.

9. Flare/Roundout Manoeuvre. The transition from a 5.5 degree glidepath through to touchdown on the runway would be an abnormally challenging manoeuvre to fly which would require special training and would involve higher risk when compared to a landing off a normal 3 degree approach. The potential for “heavy” landings would necessitate the imposition of lower maximum landing weights and increased engineering maintenance of landing gears. Other risk mitigating measures might involve the setting of lower crosswind limits further limiting the availability of the airport to operators. Some aircraft types, particularly larger widebody types, would be more susceptible to tail scrapes. The complexity of the roundout manoeuvre combined with the normally acceptable variation in piloting skills would very likely result in a greater variation in touchdown positions and speeds with a contingent increased risk of “floating”, long landings and runway overruns as well as a potentially significant impact on runway occupancy rates and therefore runway capacity.

10. Tailwinds. Whereas on normal approach paths tailwinds of up to 10 to 15kts can be accommodated to allow a certain amount of operational flexibility in the choice of runway direction, with steep approaches no such flexibility could be tolerated.

Organisational Issues

11. Crew Training. Special crew steep approach training would be required for any approach steeper than that currently used.

12. Aircraft Modification/Certification. Significant aircraft modification (landing gear, flap/spoiler operation- fly by wire flight control law reprogramming , EGPWS reprogramming) would be required together with an extensive scheme of type certification for steep approaches.

13. Airport Availability. For several reasons (as stated above) an airport serviced by 5.5 degree glideslopes would be much more weather dependant in terms of cloud base, visibility, and wind and therefore would suffer a greater degree of weather closure events than would be the case with a normally inclined approach path.

14. In summary the introduction of 5.5 degree glideslopes would present substantial difficulties for both aircraft and airport operators. The former would be burdened with, initially, aircraft modification and certification costs and then recurring crew training and aircraft maintenance costs. The latter would not be able to boast a year round, 24 hour, all weather operational capability necessary to support scheduled CAT services. The likely upshot would be that aircraft operators would migrate to airports where the approaches were not so weather dependant and not so demanding of resources.

16 January 2013"


9 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

"Some knowledge on this subject" apparently hasn't taken the time to acquire a little knowledge of the subjects being discussed on this forum - something he could have done by just reading through this thread.

Those of us who have kept up with this issue are well aware that in the crowded Bay Area skies, every move away from one area adversely affects another area. In fact (which Some Knowledge could have learned by reading numerous posts on this thread), the complaint of Skyposse and others in Palo Alto is that San Mateo County cities successfully cajoled SFO and the FAA to move flights AWAY from their airspace to the great detriment of Palo Alto residents (and residents of some adjacent neighborhoods). (And that the detrimental effects of this were magnified by NextGen as it concentrated these over Palo Alto flights in narrower bands.

We KNOW that a reversal of this relatively new SFO flight approach pattern will have the effect of increasing flights over some of the cities to the north that succesfully dumped their noise onto us. We don't need lectures from people with Some Knowledge on that.

But simple fairness demands that one city not be forced to bear the burden of virtually all cross Peninsula flights into SFO. (A return to the status quo ante where flights were spread out over a lot of San Mateo County - with some remaining over PA would suit us fine.

This isn't a technical issue as Some Knowledge would have us believe: the FAA got by for years without dumping all this aircraft traffic over Palo Alto. It's a political issue and we need to get our politicians to be as tough as San Mateo County's were when they got these airplanes dumped on us.


11 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm

It's the politics folks. Follow the money. The endless discussion of the technology is a distraction, which in Silicon Valley is all too easily fueled by a constant stream of data intended to sidetrack activists from effective political action.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Effective political action requires that you have a solution which:

1 - The vast majority of the population supports,

2 - And which does not disproportionately impact a significant number of people.

Sadly those conditions are not yet met on a solution to this problem.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm

"Most non-STOL planes must maintain a very high nose up attitude to achieve steep glide angles. Passengers are very uncomfortable with the high deck angle necessary in a 747 to maintain a 5 deg glide slope."

Thank you. Glad to hear some real, applicable experience.


16 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2016 at 8:31 pm

Regarding passenger comfort (not commenting on safety).

I am occasionally a jet passenger myself. Honestly, as a passenger I can and am willing to put up with a few minutes of "discomfort" on my flight, so that the landing (as well as take off by the way) generates less noise for the hundreds of thousands of people on the ground who spend all day putting up with airplane traffic overhead. It is a no-brainer.

People will fly even if they have to bear with a somewhat higher angle at take off and landing. Very momentary passenger comfort cannot override the lives of the hundreds of thousands constantly impacted on the ground.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 7:35 am

What if you have been misled? It’s likely that Santa Cruz’ issue is related to NextGen.

It’s unlikely that Palo Alto’s noise is related to NextGen OR to backroom deals cut by San Mateo county. What if it’s just more traffic jammed into the same standard operating procedures? You are not going to get steeper approaches or “herringbone CDAs” in your lifetime.

What you can get is some night time rerouting.

Do you want the Bay Area airspace designed by a bunch of amateurs? Even if they happen to have physics PhDs?

If you want to reduce SFO traffic, the best thing you can do is fly out of Oakland and San Jose.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 8:59 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I just ran the numbers on FAITH and it is 25 miles from the threshold of SFO Runway 28 Left.

An entry at FAITH at 8000 ft (which is 1000 ft higher than the current crossing altitude) would give a 3 degree glide slope to SFO.

This additional 1000 ft at FAITH would reduce the ground level noise beneath FAITH by about 20% - perhaps someone can calculate the Db change.

FAITH is an established FAA way point and the FAITH to SFO flight path is an FAA approved approach - no NextGen needed.

Why don't all the interested parties advocate a FAITH at 8000 ft ONLY approach to SFO?


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For those who missed the first posting of the FAITH to SFO flight path here is the link again:

Web Link

Note that almost the entire flight path is over the Bay and the small portion that is over land would be above 7000 ft if entry to FAITH was required to be at 8000 ft.

There is no amateur design in this approach - it uses existing waypoints and an already FAA approved flight path.


5 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

- "Most non-STOL planes must maintain a very high nose up attitude to
- achieve steep glide angles. Passengers are very uncomfortable with
- the high deck angle necessary in a 747 to maintain a 5 deg glide slope."

Great, there are those who are pilots and claim to speak pilotese that have been
commenting day in and out for about 10 years now that have not brought up
such practical points as this. Sometimes it seems like there are a lot of attempts
to obfuscate and make this overly complex.

If everyone is in their seats with seat belts buckled during the landing phase,
what is the issue with that which would cause passengers to be uncomfortable?
Clearly a plane goes up and down so the deck angle cannot be 0 all of the time.
Is there something about the larger planes that exaggerates the angle in the
passenger's perceptions?

I really have to wonder, what did they do in the past, and what are the dangers
of that "high deck angle"?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"what are the dangers of that "high deck angle"?

Please read the BALPA Report posted above.


4 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm

SFO could use a curfew like SJC has:

"In October 2003, Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval, revised the curfew portion of its noise control program from a weight-based curfew to a noise-based curfew, including enforcement provisions where operators can be fined $2,500 for curfew intrusions."

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A SJC type "curfew" would only impact a small percentage of the planes flying into SFO. Here are the planes impacted and NOT impacted by the SJC curfew:

"Noise-Based Curfew

FAR 36 Stage II aircraft MAY NOT operate between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

FAR 36 Stage III aircraft at or below 89.0 EPNdB per FAR AC 36-1H average of takeoff/sideline/approach noise levels, or any other “grandfathered” Stage 3 Jet Aircraft CAN operate between the hours of 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m."

Here is the applicable FAA regulation:

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by MENLO hater
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

City's letter to FAA was just released:
Web Link

One thing the letter pointed out is that the altitude over MENLO will be
lowered further to 4,000ft as if it isn't low enough. Outrageous !!!

see "CHANGES" section on page 2 of this doc:
Web Link

enough is enough !!


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is exactly why entry into the SFO final approach path should always be at FAITH and entry from MENLO should be prohibited.

Note also that the altitude at ARCHIE has been raised in this document from 7000 ft to 8000 ft - just as has been proposed be done for FAITH.


40 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Peter,

How well do your proposed plans perform when simulated aircraft flying your proposed routes are modeled on the FAA mandated Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"How well do your proposed plans perform when simulated aircraft flying your proposed routes are modeled on the FAA mandated Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)?"

I have no idea but since all the planes will be further away from populated areas than they are no the ground noise foot print will be lower.

Why don't you do the AEDT analysis?

I provided the graphics that you requested so now it is your turn.

Thanks


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm

@Peter

An expert would need to analyze how FAITH would work in practice. Crossing FAITH at 8000 feet and starting down would put airliners below the San Francisco class B which is generally not authorized.

You'd also need someone to analyze if San Jose could concurrently use their LOUPE THREE jet departure which authorizes a lost comm climb to 10,000 feet if San Francisco arrivals are crossing FAITH at 8000.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Crossing FAITH at 8000 feet and starting down would put airliners below the San Francisco class B which is generally not authorized."

Wrong. The approach from FAITH to SFO is ALREADY an FAA APPROVED approach and the FAA ARE the experts. Aircraft on this approach are IN the Class B airspace.
FAITH is 25 miles from SFO and the Class B airspace between 20 and 25 miles from SFO is from 6000 to 10000 ft.

Web Link

"You'd also need someone to analyze if San Jose could concurrently use their LOUPE THREE jet departure which authorizes a lost comm climb to 10,000 feet if San Francisco arrivals are crossing FAITH at 8000."

Aircraft arriving at FAITH are currently required to cross FAITH AT OR ABOVE 7000 ft so this has already been analyzed by the experts.


42 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Three years after the Asiana crash at SFO highlighted Asian trained pilot's poor manual flying skills, the FAA is still failing to ensure that airline pilots maintain their flying skills, so they can safely take control of an aircraft from automated systems during unexpected events.


"FAA fails to ensure pilots' manual flying skills: government report"
Reuters ~ January 11, 2016 Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Jetman - Why don't you do the AEDT analysis?

I provided the graphics that you requested so now it is your turn.

Thanks


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2016 at 6:37 pm

@Peter

You're often right but you're wrong about FAITH. It's in the 8000 to 10000 foot ring of the SFO class B. It's outside and above San Jose airport's airspace, but the general airline departure from San Jose circles back toward FAITH and would take an expert to evaluate if the San Jose departure could be used concurrently with an SFO arrival crossing FAITH.

Don't want to sidetrack the conversation, but how the FAA uses charted fixes is complicated.

Point is that experts need to evaluate the options.

(Look at the divot in the San Jose airspace on the east side toward the MABRY intersection. FAITH is 1/2 mile east of that divot. Web Link)


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"You're often right but you're wrong about FAITH. It's in the 8000 to 10000 foot ring of the SFO class B."

Look at the 28L approach chart - FAITH is ON the 25 mile ring from SFO and any plane crossing FAITH towards SFO immediately enters the 20-25 mile ring of the Class B airspace which is 6000 to 10000 ft.

"the general airline departure from San Jose circles back toward FAITH and would take an expert to evaluate if the San Jose departure could be used concurrently with an SFO arrival crossing FAITH."

The 28 Left approach is a CURRENTLY APPROVED FAA APPROACH and the experts have already evaluated any possible conflicts. SFO arrivals use that approach every day and ATC coordinates any potential conflicts.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" FAITH. It's in the 8000 to 10000 foot ring of the SFO class B."

You ARE correct.

I have run the numbers again and FAITH is actually 27 miles from SFO so any aircraft in the vicinity of of FAITH between 8000 and 10000 IS in the SFO Class B.

Any aircraft in the vicinity of FAITH that is above the SJC Class C airspace.

There does not appear to be any conflict that is not already well managed by ATC.


15 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

With the corrected distance of FAITH, my mistake, aircraft could cross FAITH at 9000 ft and still be able to make a 3 degree glide path to SFO. This would further reduce the ground noise footprint beneath FAITH.

So "FAITH entry only and at 9000 ft" is a great solution for all concerned.

Does anyone have a better solution?


1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2016 at 7:20 am

@Peter

Thanks.

You still haven't deconflicted with the SJC LOUPE THREE departure Web Link

There are many charted procedures which shut down other procedures when in use. For example ATC for many years wouldn't authorize instrument approaches into San Carlos airport because the missed approach conflicted with SFO arrivals.

This is complicated stuff that needs to take into account procedures at SFO, SJC, OAK and the reliever airports.

Not to say it's unsolvable, but there are many moving parts. Shifting night time arrival patterns should be doable in many cases.


Like this comment
Posted by Hops
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

Don't pass the buck of airplane traffic to other communities. That doesn't work, and is just shoving over undesirable noise pollution to others.

Instead, we should be persuading airlines to put noise mitigation on jet aircraft. This can be done by cutting chevrons into the posterior of the jet so the sound produced is dampened. See this photo:(Web Link)

Another method of noise mitigation are air flow deflectors/FOPP cavities. See this photo:
(Web Link)


49 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2016 at 12:13 am

Hops,

The FOPP cavities are actually an aerodynamic flaw built into the A320 series of aircraft. The circular holes act like giant whistles, that create a high-pitched whine at approach speeds. The aerodynamic defect can be mitigated with a relatively inexpensive deflector, but the airlines refuse to spend a few hundred dollars per plane to install the fix, and the FAA refuses to do anything to compel them.

The aviation industry could transition to quieter blended-wing aircraft with engines on top of the wings, but how can you expect them to make the investment when they won't even invest a few hundred dollars per plane to fix an known defect?

Its all about the money. The way the airline executives see it, every dollar that goes into noise mitigation, comes out of their bonus package.


8 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2016 at 10:35 am

Bottom line is that the aviation industry’s number one goal is increasing capacity year after year until our skies nationwide are saturated from the lowest possible altitude aircraft can fly to the highest. Elected officials, the FAA, and aviation industry sit back and see how much resistance the public is willing to give. There is no lack of awareness in Congress, the FAA, or the industry with respect to what is being suffered by communities across our country. The outcome will be decided by the public. How much is the public willing to take? How much are communities willing to give up with respect to quality of life for this industry?

Public focus should be on resistance and results. Congress, the FAA, and the aviation industry are responsible for the solutions, and the latter two for their technical aspects.


13 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2016 at 10:58 am

Citizens: We believe our basic human rights are being violated by these incessant low altitude flight paths.

Elected officials and FAA: Well, we’re sorry to hear you feel that way. How about you come up with solutions that you feel will solve this?

Citizens: 1. Raise the altitude. 2. Have aviation obey standard noise ordinances like a curfew from 11pm to 7am. 3. Puts caps on capacity to limit pollution.

Elected officials and FAA: We’ll need time to analyze these solutions.

Citizens wait, and wait…

Congress and FAA: 1. Not feasible. 2. Not feasible. 3. Not feasible. Also, we’ve formed a committee while you were waiting and will hold meetings for the public where you can talk about how you feel about what we’re doing to you and have no intention of stopping.

Citizens wait, and wait, talk at the meetings about their suffering, some nods, stoic expressions, perhaps a furrowed brow from the members of the panel. Then everyone goes home to loss of sleep, loss of quiet enjoyment of their homes, loss of enjoyment of outdoor spaces, loss of time, loss of energy. Elected officials and the FAA got paid to sit and listen to citizens efforts dubbed an FAA initiative to address noise concerns.


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I guess Surf Air has now adjusted it's flight path. It went over my house west to east heading for the bay at a ridiculously low altitude. They were barely clearing the trees. Has anyone considered a legal Cease and Desist Order against Surf Air if it travels in a lower altitude than required? Also for the SFO and SJC planes that are moving over us lower and lower. There should be fines attached to those actions. There has to be a legal consequence to actions which are contrary to stated requirements.

Side Note: James Patterson's book 15th Affair - now out - is about
a Chinese plane that is shot out of the air as it is landing AT SFO - 400 people dead. Part of the plot is a Professor and his wife who teach at SU and are spies for the Chinese Government. These people live in "professorville" in PA.They get murdered by their enemies who are in China Town - SF. This one is close to home. This is part of his novel series for the Women's Murder Club which is based in the SF area.


8 people like this
Posted by Menlo Hater 2
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Latest info. about the FAA now designating flights using the Menlo Waypoint at 4,000 feet isa TRAVESTY!! Instead of writing memorandums, James Keane and City of Palo Alto should be getting their files in order for a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT. Oh, I'm not at all confident that the Select Committee will get a "win-win", Palo Alto seems like the big loser in all of this brouhaha.
Isn't it strange that 4 Select Committee Members on the Select Committee, not even 1 is in Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

No sweat. Altitude = distance = quiet. At 18 miles out, where Palo Alto is, a plane on a 3 degree descent is 5000 feet above ground. It's that simple, and it's within the maneuvering/comfort envelope we have agreed upon here.

So set a minimum of 5000 feet over populated areas. Fine the airlines $10000 pro rata for the first 1000 feet below that and $100000 pro rata for the next 1000 feet. Below that, impound the plane for 30 days.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"So set a minimum of 5000 feet over populated areas."

So every inbound SFO plane will be fined because it will pass over Foster City well below 5000 ft.?

Or do the people in Foster City not count?


6 people like this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 6:40 am

I'm not hard of hearing. I sit outside often. I sleep. Which are of Palo Alto exactly is bothered by plane noise? It can't be all over because I in downtown north and my immediate neighbors aren't at all bothered by it....There are a few people complaining and I'm sure their complains are legitimate but if they represent a small percentage of the population then grin and bear it or move to the countryside, away from airports (we have 3 big ones nearby plus PA airport and San Carlos) . I want safe landings. Landings at SFO are already a bit problematic because of the approach
and the 2 simultaneous landings. It's true that the number of landings has increased over my time (1982) but that's the result of economic vitality.


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Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

Of course I meant "Which areas of Palo Alto exactly is bothered by plane noise? "


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:32 am

SFO has two parallel runways that are used primarily for arrivals. Newer technology, system capabilities, and procedural changes have allowed for more frequent use simultaneous use of both runways in certain weather conditions. These changes had nothing to do with "metroplex" and we're put in place prior to any Metroplex arrival STARs or Departure SIDs.

More frequent use of simultaneous arrivals is good for most communities because it reduces the need for controllers to maneuver planes all over the sky to put them in line for one runway.

As the economy improved, SFO lobbied for more airlines to use SFO. Virgin America arrived, which brought Southwest Airlines back and JetBlue entered the market.

After air traffic had come to a virtual collapse after 9/11, these changes brought much competition to SFO and resulted in a greater decline at OAK and SJC.

Now, the economy is booming, travel is up for both business and vacations, fuel prices are down and everyone shops on line.

The increased use of simultaneous runway use has made SFO a more desirable airport and more marketable. Traffic is up! More aircraft are in the skies! OAK and SJC airports are getting busier and doing better financially.

Now, the options are:

1) use old technology, old procedures, handle the increased traffic like we used to dial phones and decrease safety, lose efficiency, and hope the pilots and controllers can continue to handle the traffic safely with no modernization

2) embrace technology and understand that we contributed to this problem. We live in a highly congested area that is close to 3 major airports; we like instant gratification that brings our packages in one or two days and allows us to board a plane at an airport just a few miles from home; we like cheap - we want to pay as little as possible and fly as often as possible for both business and pleasure.

Folks above are correct... SJC, OAK, and SFO have to be able to operate safely along with PAO, NUQ, SQL, RHV, LVK, and HWD. All aircraft make noise and the closer to the airport the planes are, the lower they have to operate. No one wants planes overhead their homes, parks, schools, open space, etc.

Dispersal was the name of the game for many, many years, but like roads, in order to better safely organize traffic and get semis and through traffic of our city streets, - freeways and interstates were needed. Freeways and interstates benefit the bulk of society and negatively impact those along either side, but we all use them, need them, and understand their benefits and
disbenefits.

While many great suggestions are have been made, not all communities have been represented and many suggestions are in conflict with each other, with physics, and/or with Federal Air Regulations. Air traffic procedures probably do not belong in the political arena, but now that they're here, I wouldn't expect things to change rapidly.


6 people like this
Posted by Kerry
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

To NDN:
I am really surprised that you have not noticed the 3 sacrificial noise corridors running through Palo Alto. Yesterday was particularly bad for my family. I decided to track my noise complaints throughout the day.


Sun, Jul 10, 09:11 PM Flight: UA1806 [IAH-SFO] (A320; speed: 256 knots, altitude: 5000 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 09:09 PM Flight: DL2778 [LAX-SFO] (B712; speed: 250 knots, altitude: 4602 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 09:07 PM Flight: VX 945 [LAX-SFO] (A320; speed: 220 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 09:05 PM Flight: AA 356 [LAX-SFO] (B738; speed: 191 knots, altitude: 4925 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 09:03 PM
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 09:03 PM Flight: SQ2 [HKG-SFO] (B77W; speed: 205 knots, altitude: 3825 ft, distance: 5 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:59 PM Flight: UA1197 [ANC-SFO] (B738; speed: 216 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:57 PM Flight: WN1914 [SAN-SFO] (B733; speed: 241 knots, altitude: 4479 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:55 PM Flight: WN2267 [BUR-SFO] (B737; speed: 256 knots, altitude: 4163 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:53 PM Flight: VX 969 [SAN-SFO] (A320; speed: 218 knots, altitude: 3750 ft, distance: 5 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:47 PM Flight: UA 380 [MCO-SFO] (B738; speed: 239 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:42 PM Flight: PR 104 [MNL-SFO] (B77W; speed: 199 knots, altitude: 5875 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:40 PM Flight: UA5837 [PHX-SFO] (CRJ7; speed: 227 knots, altitude: 4775 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:37 PM Flight: HA 12 [HNL-SFO] (A332; speed: 182 knots, altitude: 4950 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:35 PM Flight: UA 724 [HNL-SFO] (B772; speed: 241 knots, altitude: 5905 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:33 PM Flight: DL 483 [JFK-SFO] (B752; speed: 219 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:32 PM
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:32 PM Flight: AS 304 [SEA-SFO] (B739; speed: 288 knots, altitude: 4695 ft, distance: 6 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:28 PM Flight: UA5700 [ACV-SFO] (E170; speed: 219 knots, altitude: 4050 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:26 PM Flight: UA1190 [SAN-SFO] (B738; speed: 232 knots, altitude: 4125 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:16 PM Flight: UA1118 [CUN-SFO] (B739; speed: 182 knots, altitude: 4350 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 08:13 PM Flight: UA1213 [ORD-SFO] (B753; speed: 168 knots, altitude: 3950 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:19 PM
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:02 PM Flight: LH 458 [MUC-SFO] (A346; speed: 231 knots, altitude: 4000 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:01 PM Flight: UA6036 [BUR-SFO] (CRJ2; speed: 243 knots, altitude: 4337 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:58 PM Flight: UA 736 [SAN-SFO] (A320; speed: 250 knots, altitude: 4031 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 05:27 PM Flight: JL2 [HND-SFO] (B77W; speed: 179 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 05:25 PM Flight: B61436 [LGB-SFO] (A320; speed: 188 knots, altitude: 3925 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 05:22 PM Flight: UA 836 [PVG-SFO] (B744; speed: 185 knots, altitude: 3700 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 05:18 PM Flight: BA 287 [LHR-SFO] (A388; speed: 180 knots, altitude: 3975 ft, distance: 4 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 04:43 PM Flight: AA6047 [LAX-SFO] (E170; speed: 207 knots, altitude: 3875 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 10:57 AM Flight: AA6045 [LAX-SFO] (E170; speed: 170 knots, altitude: 4150 ft, distance: 3 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 10:55 AM
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:39 AM Flight: UA5358 [BOI-SFO] (E170; speed: 213 knots, altitude: 3900 ft, distance: 6 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:37 AM Flight: HA 45 [SJC-OGG] (B763; speed: 261 knots, altitude: 4850 ft, distance: 7 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:29 AM Flight: UA 644 [SAN-SFO] (A320; speed: 252 knots, altitude: 5825 ft, distance: 11 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:26 AM Flight: AS 867 [SJC-LIH] (B738; speed: 281 knots, altitude: 6871 ft, distance: 1 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:17 AM Flight: CI5107 [LAX-SFO] (B744; speed: 197 knots, altitude: 3375 ft, distance: 6 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 07:03 AM Flight: UA5314 [MFR-SFO] (E170; speed: 198 knots, altitude: 3150 ft, distance: 6 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:57 AM Flight: UA5116 [SBP-SFO] (CRJ2; speed: 242 knots, altitude: 3775 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:56 AM
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:56 AM Flight: UA 870 [SYD-SFO] (B789; speed: 175 knots, altitude: 1650 ft, distance: 12 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:51 AM Flight: UA1762 [LAX-SFO] (B739; speed: 223 knots, altitude: 3900 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Sun, Jul 10, 06:46 AM Flight: UA5766 [SMX-SFO] (CRJ2; speed: 210 knots, altitude: 5478 ft, distance: 2 KM)
Volume was "TOO LOUD".
Our home is very close to Louis and near Colorado. The morning flights were spaced a few minutes apart. At 8:30sh p.m., I decided to visit friends and take a walk in Old Palo Alto (Churchill to Rinconada). It was incessant noise from jets 2 minutes or less apart. I noticed some windows opened in homes, unsure if they can put up with the noise. Also, a majority of flights are descending rapidly, 4,000 feet range.
You are fortunate that you may not be bothered by the noise, but for many Palo Altans this burden is toooooo much to bear!


2 people like this
Posted by Kerry
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

BTW, did you notice the United flight from Sydney to SFO flying at 1,650? Fines should be given out daily.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The posting of incorrect information discredits those who claim there is a problem:

"Sun, Jul 10, 06:56 AM Flight: UA 870 [SYD-SFO] (B789; speed: 175 knots, altitude: 1650 ft, distance: 12 KM)"

"BTW, did you notice the United flight from Sydney to SFO flying at 1,650? Fines should be given out daily."
********************

That flight was NEVER below 5800 ft when it was over Palo Alto and it did not descend to 1700 ft until it was over the Bay and at the San Mateo Bridge!!


3 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:39 am

Anonymous seems to suggest that SFO can't operate safely and efficiently unless virtually all arrivals crossing the Peninsula do so over Palo Alto. This of course is rank nonsense. The onset of the current situation was a response to San Mateo County political pressure and there isn't a technological barrier to relieving Palo Alto's status as the dumping ground for SFO noise on the Peninsula.

No one is suggesting that we need airports and that airports create noise problems, but what we are saying is that it's unfair and unnecessary for one community to bear the brunt of the problems.

I do agree with Anonymous that a fix to the problem won't happen quickly if at all. Why would the FAA and SFO risk antagonizing 750,000 people in San Mateo County again when they can patronize 60,000 Palo Altans without doing anything to address their complaints?


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Another example of preposterously inaccurate postings:

"I guess Surf Air has now adjusted it's flight path. It went over my house west to east heading for the bay at a ridiculously low altitude. They were barely clearing the trees. "

SurfAir flights over Charleston Meadows are almost 2000 ft above the trees.


2 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

@ Peter,

Some of the statements are inaccurate, but they are not preposterous. For example, to someone who did not use to have Surf Air traffic overhead in the past, the new flight pattern may look like it is barely above the trees. The point made is that the aircraft fly so low that the noise is an utter nuisance.

Now, before being snide with the person making the comment, it would be worthwhile to remember that if that person now gets new overflights from Surf Air, it is because Atherton successfully lobbied to have said Surf Air flights recently rerouted away from their town for the most part.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

pre·pos·ter·ous (prĭ-pŏs′tər-əs)
adj.
Contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; absurd


Trees in the Charleston Meadows area of Palo Alto are less than 100 ft high.

In my opinion to say that planes at 2000 ft are "barely clearing the trees." is preposterous.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:15 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"it would be worthwhile to remember that if that person now gets new overflights from Surf Air, it is because Atherton successfully lobbied to have said Surf Air flights recently rerouted away from their town for the most part."

Wrong. The alternate routing starts at AMEBY and places SurfAir planes over the Bay and totally avoids Palo Alto.

Here is the map:

Web Link

Please verify your facts before posting inaccurate information.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:42 am

I think we should establish the reasonable altitude for crossing the peninsula to get into the flight path and pass a law that if planes go below that altitude then the plane company will be fined - or air traffic control - who ever is responsible for making the call. Not interested in any other state or country since they have different technical issues to deal with. Not our concern here.
I am assuming that SFO has control of the plane once it enters a specific air space in preparation for landing. I am assuming that they are in conversation with the pilots. I am assuming that the pilots are required to take the direction of the SFO / SJC air control.

If the plane goes below the stated altitude as a result of direction from air control then the appropriate airport will be fined.

Not sure if assumptions are correct as the Korean Airplane that goes through in the middle of the night is regular in its flight path so direction from air control would be required to correct the flight path and raise the altitude of the plane.

Asserting some control over the situation and exercising a penalty for no follow-through I think would get the ball rolling here. It is like a speeding ticket - if you exceed the speed then you are ticketed. If you
abuse the rules on altitude then you get a ticket. The state would be richer for this - what a boon.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Neither the State, the County or any local jurisdiction has the legal authority to issue fines for low altitude flights - that jurisdiction has long ago been preempted by the FAA.

It may feel good to make such proposals but realize that such proposals are pipe dreams and will do nothing to solve the perceived problem.


4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm

"So every inbound SFO plane will be fined because it will pass over Foster City well below 5000 ft.?"

If it flies too low over Foster City, yup.

Why do you think the citizens there should be sacrificed?


"Neither the State, the County or any local jurisdiction has the legal authority to issue fines for low altitude flights - that jurisdiction has long ago been preempted by the FAA."

Who cares *who* collects the money. Just make 'em hurt if they blow off the rules. Heck, the airlines could just add another ticket surcharge if they feel they gotta fly low.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If it flies too low over Foster City, yup.

Why do you think the citizens there should be sacrificed?"

Simply because the approved and REQUIRED flight path is well below 5000 ft adjacent to Foster City.

There is NO way to land ANY airplane except a helicopter at SFO that stays 5000 ft from populated areas.

It is a waste of time to post "solutions" which have no basis in fact or reality.


12 people like this
Posted by Now wait just a minute...
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm

@ Peter,

"Wrong. The alternate routing starts at AMEBY and places SurfAir planes over the Bay and totally avoids Palo Alto."

Totally avoids Palo Alto, but nails us squarely in Sunnyvale. That explains the loud SurfAir flight 3100 ft above my home last night at 9:55pm. Love it!


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm

"Simply because the approved and REQUIRED flight path is well below 5000 ft adjacent to Foster City."

Approved and required by the FAA, not by God. The FAA can and does change flight paths, right? That's how we got into this current mess in the first place.

Also, please explain why you think lowering the minimum altitude here would solve Foster City's noise problem.


"It is a waste of time to post "solutions" which have no basis in fact or reality."

It is a much bigger waste of time to perseverate over "solutions" which one believes have no basis in fact or reality.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Los Altos suffers too, reported 63 planes yesterday and I was gone several hours.


4 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

I believe all this argumentation over waypoints, FAA rules, altitudes, along with any post using jargon that the average poster can't fully understand are wastes of time and perhaps intentional misdirection on the part of some posters.

The fact is that inbound SFO flights passing over the Peninsula used to be dispersed over San Mateo County and only occasionally at least over northern Santa Clara County (especially Palo Alto and Los Altos). Then, reacting to organized political pressure from San Mateo County politicians, almost all of these flights were shifted south so now the three main flight routes over the Peninsula for arriving flights into SFO converge over Palo Alto.

One doesn't have to be an expert, or even knowledgeable about air traffic control technology to have noticed the resulting dramatic increase in noisy overflights, or to figure out that if politics is what lead to this change, politics is the way to ameliorate the discomfort we are experiencing here in Palo Alto and adjacent communities.

I am sure that Mr. Carpenter and others discoursing on AMBEY (or is it AMEBY?), MENLO Waypoints, FOPP cavities, AEDT analyses, FAR Stage III, and 3 degree glide paths know what they're talking about and might even offer something of value to the FAA and SFO - IF the FAA and SFO ever commit to doing something about our SFO noise problem.

But the FAA and SFO haven't and won't do anything until politics forces them to act - and we're not even close to being there as demonstrated by the current round of community roundtables in which Palo Alto, the singlemost recipient of SFO noise on the Peninsula isn't even represented.

You can argue about technical solutions all you want but it really doesn't move the problem toward resolution. We know technical solutions exist: SFO operated for decades without having all their inbound cross Peninsula traffic pass over Palo Alto. That's all the average affected resident needs to know. Once we get the politics right, the technical details can be resolved without difficulty.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Once we get the politics right, the technical details can be resolved without difficulty."

I wholeheartedly agree.

The problem is that each of the very local actors wants to solve their little piece of the problem by giving it to someone else. Approached from these micro perspectives there never will be political agreement.

In my opinion it would be much better to build political consensus around a workable solution - but doing so is hard work and nobody seems to want to do the hard work.


41 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Anonymous weaves a nice narrative which explains away the dramatic increase in noise on the increase in air travel, due to a booming economy.

The truth is it took 12-13 years for air travel to return to pre-911 levels. In most of the country air travel is stagnant. SFO only managed to exceed pre-911 traffic in the last couple of years, and then only by 5-10%.

The dramatic increase in noise in Palo Alto is due to the FAA's bungled "nextgen" implementation. In this case, new technology is the problem, not the solution.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Regardless of what caused Palo Alto's airplane noise problem the solution will not be to give that problem to somebody else. Palo Alto just doesn't have the votes to pull that off.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

That's right -- we have no vote. And had no votes when San Mateo did have the votes to move their air traffic down south. And someone(s) have worked really hard to ensure we continue to have no vote. Unbelievable. I am a huge fan of Sky Posse, which is trying as hard as they can to rectify the situation. I'd suggest that folks who live in Palo Alto and are bothered by airplane noise work with them [portion removed.] They get it, and are working hard to address it, however poor our chances may be.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm

I've been around Bay Area aviation since 1982 and the initial approach fix for the instrument approach to SFO ILS Runway 28left has always been MENLO intersection. I have it on good authority that it was MENLO intersection long before 1982. MENLO intersection hasn't moved. This would mean (for those new to these issues and this lingo) that aircraft (jets and props) landing SFO 28 Left, have been routed over MENLO (which I think is in the vicinity of 101 and Willow, but not sure) for over 30 years. Well I appreciate that airplane noise is annoying, aggravating, and especially so when concentrated, it isn't new. The Metroplex project only built new arrival and departure routes, it did NOT build new approaches. The arrivals still feed the same initial approach fix, MENLO.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] If you look at the data the RESIDENTS of Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Lindenwood get as much ground level airplane noise as does Palo Alto.

And until the Palo Alto centric posters build a broader geographical coalition they will continue to be whistling into the wind.

As the headline so clearly states" Advocates disagree on solutions to airplane noise"


1 person likes this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm

As I said ,the neighbors I speak to and my household aren't bothered by the emitted airplane noise which means probably that we are not too near the the flight path ( I lived in Midtown previously). Same thing with the train noise some people complain about. Most people are really not bothered by it to the extent that affects their daily routines. Rerouting to satisfy the few that experience the problem, specially affecting others by an order of magnitude seems to me an exercise in priorities that not justifiable-very costly, there is no way to please all and it's a way to inconvenience many more. If you can't stand the noise of a modern city you can move to quieter quarters probably. Taking into consideration SFOis a given for the successful enterprises of the Bay area it is those very successes that makes the fabulous increase in your houses' price, so you can afford to move somewhere else more free of airplane noise. It's not that I'm not sympathetic to the problem-we all have living problems of some nature because we live with others' competing interests, but is this a problem that a city of almost 60,000 doesn't need to solve. How many households are affected in their daily lives by the airplane noise?


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

"The problem is that each of the very local actors wants to solve their little piece of the problem by giving it to someone else. Approached from these micro perspectives there never will be political agreement."

I think we can agree that political harangues like this will not bring the various actors together.

The solution is simple: keep the planes above 5000 feet until they get over the bay. Who can disagree about that (excepting perhaps posters showing off their fanciful Rube Goldberg "solutions" which will never fly)?


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The solution is simple: keep the planes above 5000 feet until they get over the bay"

I am glad that you finally agree with my proposal which does even more than that - it keeps them above 6000 feet until they get over the Bay:

Web Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This proposal uses existing and established waypoints and procedures and does not impinge on the SJC airspace.


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Jetman:

Technology is not the problem. It is how it is being used. Radar v. GPS is irrelevant. Altitude, altitude, altitude. Raise it to stop this incessant noise over communities throughout the U.S. Restore curfews. Restore local control over airports that Congress abolished with legislation in the 1990s paving the way for the next legislation that got us here with the categorical exclusion of the human environment with procedures like Wake Recat. Limit capacity if we truly care about air pollution.

This is not complex. Everything becomes complex when there's a lack of will to do the right thing because a lot of money is at stake. When profits are valued more than people we are plunged into a morass of irrelevancies to bury the obvious.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

"I am glad that you finally agree with my proposal which does even more than that - it keeps them above 6000 feet until they get over the Bay:"

Just keep it simple so the FAA can understand it.

Let's compromise. Retain tne existing ground tracks which they already understand, but with 5000 - 6000 ft minimum altitude over land.

Add teeth: impound violating aircraft for 10 days, while renting them to flight and A&P schools.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Let's compromise. Retain tne existing ground tracks which they already understand, but with 5000 - 6000 ft minimum altitude over land."

That is EXACTLY what my proposal does. ANETE and FAITH are FAA ESTABLISHED Initial Approach Fixes (IAF) for the FAA ESTABLISHED 28 Right and 28 Left approaches to SFO.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

"That is EXACTLY what my proposal does. ANETE and FAITH are FAA ESTABLISHED Initial Approach Fixes (IAF) for the FAA ESTABLISHED 28 Right and 28 Left approaches to SFO."

FINALLY you say so.

Shake, bro.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Also, please explain why you think lowering the minimum altitude here would solve Foster City's noise problem."

I never said that. Please stop misstating my positions.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 11, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I am glad that we have established the minimum altitude over land. So who are we going to penalize if the airplanes are below that threshold? NOT THE FAA! We are going to penalize either: 1. The air controller which approved that direction; or the airplane company that just winged it.

So are we tired of the airline companies who pay lip service but do nothing to change the way they function? OR the air controleers who are asleep as the wheel and let them run wild?

Financial penalty is the way to go - that is the attention getter and it is not the FAA weare targeting.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Neither the State, the County or any local jurisdiction has the legal authority to issue fines for low altitude flights - that jurisdiction has long ago been preempted by the FAA.


36 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Tires said: "Technology is not the problem. It is how it is being used"

Technology IS how you use an object. A stick is just a stick until you learn how to use it as a a lever, a spear, or a club. The "how it is being used" is what makes it a technology.

That being said... "nextgen" is a flawed object for use as a noise reduction technology, because the FAA bungled its development. Using the FAA's current version of "nextgen" to reduce noise, is like trying to use a broken stick as a lever.


"Is This FAA Program The Worst Bureaucratic Boondoggle Ever?
The Daily Caller ~ July 28, 2015 Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 11, 2016 at 6:57 pm

My bet is that each city / county who is willing to take on what would be the "logical approach" to the problem will prevail in court. The legal case would involve: 1. loss of tax assessment for devaluation of property when there is an easy, logical method of off-setting that devaluation of property tax to the city or county. 2. If money is ruling this game then anything that distracts from increasing the tax assessment then is it will go down.

If we have established that there is a reasonable altitude we all agree on that would benefit the airports and city then that should be the golden rule.
We have had it with the loose and disorganized manner in which planes are allowed to power down over cities beyond a certain time of night.

The tax payer is not the "victim" here - we are the tax payer to the county and state and we want a reasonable solution to this problem. And is there are "wildcat" companies or pilots out there then they are going to pay.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"My bet is that each city / county who is willing to take on what would be the "logical approach" to the problem will prevail in court."

Almost all of the court cases on Federal preemption of the control of US airspace have been decided in the Federal governments favor.

It would be a waste of local government resources to litigate this issue again.

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Hey - just like the FBI "opinion" regarding HC you have provided an "opinion" to serve a specific purpose. You are only an Opinion. So let's put it to the test.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"you have provided an "opinion" to serve a specific purpose. "

No I provided you with the data on preemption court cases - please read it:

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Jetman:
NextGen is the name of the program. NextGen is not a technology. Radar is an example of technology. GPS an example of technology, the one the NextGen advocates can’t stop talking about. GPS provides greater precision, a technological advancement. This precision is being used to fly aircraft closer together. To fly aircraft closer together wake turbulence must be dealt with, so aircraft are brought low into denser air so they can fly slower and safely with these reductions in distance between aircraft (new FAA Wake Recat procedure that takes advantage of GPS technology). Does GPS technology have to be used this way? Absolutely not.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Recat does NOT use lower altitudes to achieve aircraft separation:

Web Link

Web Link

Recat is based solely on aircraft characteristics and has nothing to do with density altitude.


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Carpenter:
From the FAA Wake RECAT fact sheet dated April 21, 2015:
"Research showed that in addition to weight, other aircraft characteristics – such as speed and wingspan – also affect the strength of the wake and an aircraft’s reaction to the wake generated by aircraft in front of it."

Speed affects the wake and the density of the air affects how slowly aircraft can fly. Therefore the lower they fly the slower they can fly and the closer together they can fly when queuing landings/takeoffs over communities. This aids increasing number of operations.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Speed affects the wake and the density of the air affects how slowly aircraft can fly."

The difference in air density and true air speed between 1000 ft and 5000 ft is negligible.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Speed affects the wake "

Yes and the SLOWER a plane flies the GREATER is its wake turbulence and hence the MORE separation is required.

"Wake turbulence is especially hazardous in the region behind an aircraft in the takeoff or landing phases of flight. During take-off and landing, aircraft operate at high angle of attack. This flight attitude maximizes the formation of strong vortices. In the vicinity of an airport there can be multiple aircraft, all operating at low speed and low height, and this provides extra risk of wake turbulence with reduced height from which to recover from any upset."

Web Link


36 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Tired,

"nextgen" is a technology, comprised of sub-technologies like GPS, ADS-B, PBN, ERAM, etc, that are all supposed to work together seamlessly. Saying "nextgen is not a technology is like saying an integrated circuit is a technology, but a computer is not.

Certain sub-technologies, like ERAM have not met their original performance specifications, and this limits the ways in which the larger technology can be safely implemented.

"F.A.A. Computer Problem Delays Flights in the West"
New York Times ~ April 30, 2014 Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Now wait just a minute...
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm

9:30 pm - what do I hear loud and clear?
Surf Air flying over my Sunnyvale home at 3,000 ft. Thanks!


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Surf Air flying over my Sunnyvale home at 3,000 ft. Thanks!"

SurfAir has ALWAYS flown TO the AMBEY waypoint and that is what brings then over Sunnyvale. The change is that AFTER AMBEY they now proceed, weather permitting, to the Bay and then up the Bay to the San Carlos airport.

See the map posted above:

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Now wait just a minute...
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm

@Peter
#1 - Still loud enough to hear inside my house with the windows closed.
#2 - My family has lived here a long time. I don't remember it ever being this loud, this late, this frequently.


Like this comment
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Carpenter:
By your own quote, the reason turbulence is greater at takeoff and landing is because of the angle of ascent/descent, not the speed. That is another reason aircraft are being brought down low and then flown level and under power miles away from airports queuing over communities when arriving or departing. Having them ascend/descend gradually would create a greater wake and would require greater separation between aircraft. The "continuous ascent/descent" claim is another FAA lie.

Jetman:
How you want to define technology is beside the point.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 12, 2016 at 5:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"is because of the angle of ascent/descent, not the speed."

That is not a correct quote; the correct quotes is:

"During take-off and landing, aircraft operate at high angle of attack."

The mechanics of flight are simple - speed and angle of attack are directly linked.

The statement that planes are being brought lower so that they can fly slower has no basis in fact. They are brought lower so that they can land. They fly slower so that they can land. When they fly slower they have a higher angle of attack and more wake turbulence.

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Now wait just a minute...
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 7:04 am

Good morning Surf Air - 3,500 ft above my Sunnyvale home at 7am. No need for alarm clocks on this day!


10 people like this
Posted by Now wait just a minute...
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 7:20 am

Oh - another Surf Air flight at 7:15! Good morning to you! Loud and clear at 3,000 ft above my Sunnyvale home.


9 people like this
Posted by hiker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

Many have posted that San Mateo County, through political pressure, has successfully lobbied the FAA to shift SFO jet traffic south to Santa Clara County. While I don't doubt that this may be true, I want everyone reading these comments to know that some residents of Menlo Park have also been negatively impacted. I live in Menlo Park near Flood Park. The increase in jets flying over my home has increased exponentially in the last year. I can easily track 50 jets bound for SFO in a five or six hour period. They fly over with whining brakes at altitudes at or under 4000 feet and frequently arrive in groups separated by three minutes or less. I have lived here almost 40 years and this is new. I appreciate the work that many are doing to try and return to a more dispersed pattern of jet traffic where the negative effects are shared.


15 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 8:07 am

The current SurfAir situation is a good example of how an affluent community can bring political pressure upon airports and the FAA to adversely impact previously mildly affected communities. Take a look at your "select" committee and see where the members' interests lie. Who is representing those who do not have the time, money, or influence to spend on their elected officials? Anyone? When a few folks with million dollar homes want the SFO arrivals put back on the Big Sur route and smack over the middle of The City of Santa Cruz, it's workers, it's schools, it's churches, it's peoples' homes, it's not the numbers of affected people who are getting the attention, it's the numbers of dollars of the affected people.


8 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 8:57 am

Carpenter:
In the context of changes owing to NextGen procedures, specifically Wake Recat, aircraft are not flying lower to land when they are flying low many miles out from any airport. Do not mislead by conflating speed and angle as it pertains to takeoff and landing at an airport with the unprecedented NextGen-related change of low and level flying under power over communities throughout our entire country far from what constitutes, in pre-NextGen understanding, the vicinity of an airport. It is a great disservice to lead comments away from the core issue. The new low altitude flying that is destroying people’s ability to sleep, enjoy their property, or the outdoors. NextGen’s low altitude flight paths have upended people’s quality of life and the noise abatement programs that were in place. Why else are record numbers of citizens nationwide filing complaints and demanding public hearings on this issue? And what is THE issue? TOO LOW, TOO LOUD, TOO MANY. The altitudes you’ve advocated in the comments are unacceptable. People need to understand pre-NextGen noise abatement standards and agreements to see just how unacceptable such NextGen apologists’ proposals are.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" The altitudes you've advocated in the comments are unacceptable."

I am advocating 6000 ft until a plane is over the Bay.

Why is that unacceptable?

"aircraft are not flying lower to land when they are flying low many miles out from any airport."

They are not flying low many miles out from the airport - for every mile from the airport they are 330 ft higher so at 10 miles they are over 3000 ft.


3 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

Carpenter:

"They are not flying low many miles out from the airport - for every mile from the airport they are 330 ft higher so at 10 miles they are over 3000 ft."

According to your claim, aircraft over Santa Cruz would be at approximately 20,000 ft. They are half that at best.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:40 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

TC - I was giving the plane's altitude when on the glide. Obviously planes 200 miles away are not at 66,000 ft.


7 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 9:55 am

Carpenter:

That's the point. They are not on a glide slope for the entire approach. What we have is a very elongated stair-step that has aircraft flying at low altitudes for long distances from any airport which is the crux of communities' misery.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"aircraft flying at low altitudes for long distances"

Aircraft NOT on the glide slope are at 5000 ft or higher - do you consider that a low altitude?


11 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 12, 2016 at 7:33 pm

@ Tired of cronyism

Thanks for all the invaluable info you provided. It is very enlightening. Now, I finally understand why planes are made to fly so low, thereby increasing the amount of fuel burned when landing, money spent by airlines burning the fuel, and collateral pollution produced, as well as noise and other ill effects inflicted on the population residing on the ground under the flight paths.

Thank you.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 12, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Now, I finally understand why planes are made to fly so low, thereby increasing the amount of fuel burned when landing, money spent by airlines burning the fuel..."

They fly low because they are on a glide slope for landing and their fuel burn while on the glide slope is significantly less than at takeoff or in cruise flight.

"Seven key points should be considered when planning an approach and descent to minimize fuel consumption:

Plan the descent carefully.
Start the descent at the proper point.
Fly the most economical speed.
Use idle thrust for descents.
Avoid flying extended periods at low altitudes.
Configure flaps and gear for landing at the optimal time.
Use the most appropriate final flaps setting for landing."

Web Link


48 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:44 pm

The video linked below might help some readers understand the discussion of WAKE-RECAT. Of course, the FAA doesn't talk about how WAKE-RECAT will effect residents on the ground... only industry stakeholders.

FAA on "nextgen" WAKE-RECAT (video): Web Link






2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 13, 2016 at 7:55 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Thanks Jetman for this informative video which demonstrates that WAKE-RECAT reduces fuel use, flight times(hence less noise) and CO emissions.


50 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 9:14 am

PC,

Your reflexive promotion of the FAA, undermines your credibility as an aviation expert. You are making claims for WAKE-RECAT that even the PR flacks who put together the video are afraid to make.

Let's deconstruct the FAA's video. ANY mention of noise is conspicuously absent from the video. The video is intended to show the FAA in the best possible light. If WAKE-RECAT actually reduced noise, the video would be singing the praises of WAKE-RECAT noise reduction, and would have bolstered the claim by quantifying the noise reduction... but it does not.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 13, 2016 at 9:23 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Total amount of noise = noise per minute x number of minutes.

If you reduce the number of minutes then the total amount of noise is reduced.

If you reduce the flight time then the total amount of noise produced by a flight is reduced.

WAKE-RECAT clearly reduces flight times ergo reduces total amount of noise produced.

There is no need in this analysis to attack another poster - the facts speak for themselves.


43 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

"Total amount of noise = noise per minute x number of minutes"

I watched the video posted by Jetman, and this seems like a simplistic and incorrect conclusion to draw from the video. First, even on its own terms, the equation is correct for any individual aircraft takeoff or landing only if the "noise per minute" remains constant as the "number of minutes" decreases. There is no indication in the video (or evidence offered here) that this is the case. If the maneuvering of airplane flight patterns to reduce the time of flight causes the intensity of the noise to increase then the total noise might even increase for any given flight.

Even more fundamental, when you watch the video, it becomes clear that the purpose of the WAKE-RECAT system is to reduce the time each airplane spends in the airport traffic patterns so that more flights can be accommodated at the airports where its implemented. This clearly would have the effect of increasing noise on the ground as more overflights likely means more noise even if the time over ground for each flight is reduced. According to the video SFO is next in line for the WAKERECAT system.

As a large proportion of inbound air traffic to SFO already passes over Palo Alto, look for more noisy flights passing overhead soon.,


10 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Mary,

The video is from June 2015 so "the standard" may already be implemented in SF.

On top of the noise, what drives people bananas is the frequency of occurrences. The sheer quantity of airplanes and amount of disturbances.

In the "wake" of the WAKE-RECAT postings, could it be any clearer that the stuffing of more airplanes over Palo Alto came *with* the lowering of altitudes at MENLO?

Peter Carpenter,

"For at least 2-3 years prior to the roll-out of "nextgen", the FAA was continually tweaking the procedures to make them lower and noisier in an attempt to habituate the public to the noise, and to make it easier for the FAA to make a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) when comparing "nextgen" to the procedures that immediately preceded "nextgen"."

Do you have any evidence to support this claim?"

ANSWER: Hot off the press Web Link

"Statistics collected from SFO reveal a 65 percent increase in concentrated flight arrivals over the “Menlo Waypoint” – flights over Los Altos and Palo Alto – from 1,705 planes in September 2010 to 2,630 in September 2015. Average altitude has dropped 665 feet from 4,978 in September 2010 to 4,313 in April 2016."

And the plan is now 4000 feet? Which means not just more noise but even more planes. We KNOW that the planes are already flying LOWER than 4000, so this is true madness.


3 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Not to mention, with much fanfare and due to as much community uproar as today, in the year 2000, SFO and Anna Eshoo announced an agreement for altitudes to be raised to 5000 feet at MENLO.

Mayor Gary Fazzino presided over that agreement.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Do you have any evidence to support this claim?"

ANSWER: web link

This does not answer the question - Is there any EVIDENCE that "the FAA was continually tweaking the procedures to make them lower and noisier IN AN ATTEMPT TO HABITUATE THE PUBLIC to the noise..."?


8 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Peter Carpenter,

The evidence is that there has been a *gradual* lowering of altitudes and tweaking of procedures which are noisier.

Gradual implementation could have, and can be used as a method to habituate the public, and for that, there may not be evidence for. I actually wonder if anyone bothered to think let's be kind and not hit the folks all at once.

Concerning is that the lowering of altitudes was part of a plan which was to increase the number of airplanes stuffed over our skies. And that nobody told us about it. We were told "nothing has changed."

While SFO has had nearly no growth in the last years, significantly more airplanes are going over the area.

The breach of the Eshoo agreement was not - like we were led to believe, about the Asiana accident and safety issues. The changes due to Asiana were later reported to be a temporary measure.

Temporary? Apparently not. Not if the ink is about to dry with directing planes to fly at 4000 at Menlo (which we know means ***even lower*** for the areas closer to MENLO).

This was and is a BAD plan, it's not working environmentally.

I sincerely hope that the FAA is considering your suggestions and working on a new plan.


5 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm


The Weekly Sue Dremman's article October 24, 2014

"Prior to July 2013, arrivals were split between routes over land and over San Francisco Bay. But the FAA permanently directed international planes to fly over the Midpeninsula after the Asiana Airlines crash, when the pilot landed short of the runway, he noted"

Daily Post Breena Kerr's article today May 15, 2015

"SFO spokesman Doug Yagel told the Post that there were more flights passing over Palo Alto after the crash of Asiana Ailines Flight 214 in July 2013. For a period of time after the crash, the FAA temporarily required airliners to take another route that involved flying downward over the Peninsula on their way to SFO."


July 2016

The FAA in Palo Alto, Web Link. They must know that Menlo at 4000 is NOT working for the folks, no habituation to be had to the noise, OR to the incessant disruption from plane after plane after plane....., and what about air pollution?



13 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"They must know that Menlo at 4000 is NOT working"

The FAA has proposed a change to lower the crossing altitude at MENLO.

In true bureaucratic fashion the FAA will only abandon this proposal IF there is an alternative that is widely supported.

As the headline states "Advocates disagree on solutions to airplane noise" - that disagreement allows the FAA to simply ignore all the disparate input.

I urge everyone to get behind the "7000 ft at Faith or ANETE ONLY approaches" as the best way to move flight paths up and away from all populated areas.


10 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Absolutely

The replacement of SERFR should be FAITH or more logical points of entry to the Bay where the altitudes can be ***much higher***


Like this comment
Posted by Cessna
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Mr. Carpenter,

Do you have any plans to flesh out your over the bay approach concept into something you could submit to the FAA? It seems like a good concept, but the FAA probably doesn't read Town Square. They probably need some type of report. You probably know what paperwork they need to consider a new approach plan.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

My FAITH/ANETE proposal was submitted to Congresswoman Eshoo on Aug 3, 2015 and her office confirmed that they had passed it on to the FAA.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is part of a resolution being considered by the Menlo Park City Council:

"If the BDEGA/Point Reyes West route must be utilized, that airplanes be required to fly at a higher altitude over the mid-Peninsula before beginning their U-turn over Palo Alto."

Yep - Menlo Park wants to shift the problem to someplace else!!

PLEASE let's get everyone to advocate a "FAITH and ANETE at 7000 ft as the ONLY acceptable approach to SFO.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And just to be clear here is what else is in the proposed Menlo Park resoultion:

"9. The City is vehemently opposed to any modifications to routes that would have the effect of concentrating additional flights over Menlo Park."

Yep - Menlo Park wants to keep the problem someplace else!!

PLEASE let's get everyone to advocate a "FAITH and ANETE at 7000 ft as the ONLY acceptable approach to SFO.


5 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen and County Executive Isiah Leggett July 13, 2016 letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta is the strongest one yet. Here's the link to the letter: Web Link

We need more elected officials like this... And then hopefully we see more action to stop the suffering and less talk and studies and data collection ad nauseum. In short, no more stalling tactics. Do the right thing and put people before profits!


10 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

This is a terrific letter. Why doesn't Eshoo do the same thing for us? I forwarded a copy to her office...Who knows but if enough Congress members from various areas of the country get on board with this, something might actually happen


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Asking the FAA to go back to the way things were is a very bad idea. There is more traffic now and using the old patterns will create even more ground level noise.

PLEASE let's get everyone to advocate a "FAITH and ANETE at 7000 ft as the ONLY acceptable approach to SFO.


7 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Carpenter:

Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen and County Executive Isiah Leggett are not talking about returning to pre-NextGen flight paths while permitting NextGen procedures causing this incessant low altitude barrage. Rollback is just that, pre-NextGen period. Go back to the drawing board and address capacity and efficiency in takeoffs and landings without destroying U.S. communities’ quality of life wholesale. Do the right thing! We’ve got to be better than this. Airports serve communities not the other way around. If they aviation industry wants to operate like a tyrant without concern for quality of human life and the environment then communities need to fight back. HARD.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Be very careful what you ask for -" pre-NextGen period."

Pre-NextGen period will give you the old flight paths but with much more traffic in each of those flights paths - very few people will be happy about that.

FAITH and ANETE at 7000 does NOT use NextGen but uses long ago established waypoints and approaches and prohibit the low altitude use of MENLO - this is a much quieter solution for everyone.

Web Link


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


4 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Carpenter:

When did the saying TOO LOW, TOO LOUD, TOO MANY begin in the United States? With the implementation of NextGen 24/7 low altitude procedures over communities near and far from airports whether urban, suburban, or rural. Why is it so difficult to acknowledge this? As I've said before, NextGen upended previous noise abatement terms and procedures and in Maryland elected officials are stepping up and saying this is wrong and won't be tolerated. They are fighting back. Let's hope we see more...


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Why is it so difficult to acknowledge this?"

It is not difficult to acknowledge. But "TOO LOW, TOO LOUD, TOO MANY" describes the problem not the solution.

What I am saying is that going backwards will not solve the problem.

The only solution that will provide higher and quieter is with FAITH and ANETE at 7000 ft.


6 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Carpenter:

"What I am saying is that going backwards will not solve the problem."

Going backwards in this context is only negative if it would result in a lowering of standards, a worsening of our quality of life. That is not the case. Maryland is calling for a return to a 1990 noise abatement agreement because "going backwards" in this case is bad? No, the opposite.

As far as solutions. You have not provided a solution that addresses what NextGen has done nationwide, not even what it's done to NorCal as a whole. Your solutions fall within a limited scope that falls within the FAA NextGen framework.

Readers:

Beware of NextGen apologists' use of language and words like progress and backwards, safety and efficiency. George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" comes to mind.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Tired - Please read what I posted:

FAITH and ANETE at 7000 does NOT use NextGen but uses long ago established waypoints and approaches and prohibits the low altitude use of MENLO - this is a much quieter solution for everyone.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 15, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Peter, aren't you concerned that moving to a new plan will take much longer than rolling back to how things were, which will be much better understood? My preference, and I think the preference of anyone for whom the new routes are significantly worse, would be to rollback first, assuming that's quickest, then spend time evaluating various new options.


5 people like this
Posted by Raise Our Skies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2016 at 12:47 am

Resident,

The route that the FAA calls "back" is Big Sur - a problem route for decades. The Eshoo Agreement of 2000 (to raise altitudes to 5000 feet) was in large part to address the noise from that route. When the Eshoo agreement was breached, those altitudes dropped starting in 2013/2014, complaints shot up in Palo Alto. And they have been torpedoing in a ton of airplanes through Palo Alto from that direction (SERFR) since Nextgen. SERFR and Big Sur merge in Palo Alto so it makes no difference if you get the hit in your front yard or your back yard. Or maybe it does for a few people.

A new plan is in order because the FAA took away the plan which was to actually help resolve noise issues in Palo Alto (Eshoo agreement), then implemented a really BAD plan with TOO MANY airplanes on all three routes which is not working.

Peter Carpenter's suggestions are the most logical, for the traffic from that direction to use the water, and especially to cross over populations at ***much higher altitudes.***


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 4:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, aren't you concerned that moving to a new plan will take much longer than rolling back to how things were, which will be much better understood? "


No, FAITH and ANETE are entry points that have been in the FAA system for decades; they were just underutilized.

The approaches from FAITH to SFO 28 Left and from ANETE to SFO 28 Right have been approved and in place for decades.

The only thing to be "understood: is that FAITH and ANETE would be the only approved entry points into the approach to SFO.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 16, 2016 at 10:44 am

Two comments:
(1) I wouldn't portray the difference between 2014 and now as "backyard vs front yard". Rather, I'd portray it as "night vs day". The difference is large, and the data back that up. Rolling back would provide significant relief.

(2) I am doubtful that moving all of SFO traffic to two little-used waypoints would be a simple or even straight-forward thing to do. Until I hear from the FAA that it is more straight-forward than a rollback, I will advocate for a rollback.

A rollback will provide immediate relief, and provide time for evaluating other options, such as the bay approach.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"(2) I am doubtful that moving all of SFO traffic to two little-used waypoints would be a simple or even straight-forward thing to do."

Actually it is quite simple since both FAITH and ANETE are already FAA approved waypoints and the approaches to SFO runways 28 Left and 28 Right from those waypoints are also already FAA approved.

Those two way points FAITH and ANETE are at the far end of the ONLY two approach paths to SFO. Using only those entry points will NOT increase the number of planes on the final approach segment BUT will eliminate planes entering those approach paths at lower altitudes and hence flying over populated areas at lower altitude to reach those approaches.

Web Link

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by MJ One
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

PC,

"Using only those entry points will NOT increase the number of planes on the final approach segment BUT will eliminate planes entering those approach paths at lower altitudes and hence flying over populated areas at lower altitude to reach those approaches."

If this is so good, why hasn't the FAA figured it out?


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If this is so good, why hasn't the FAA figured it out?"

Because allowing entry at lower altitudes saves some planes time and fuel and the airlines are MUCH better organized than are our local residents or our local officials.

Because most posters just want to shove the problem back to or over to someone else and few posters are prepared to work for a better solution.


Like this comment
Posted by MJ One
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Ah,

So the FAA is being held hostage by the big airlines !!


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

No, it is simply that the airlines speak with a coordinated and strong voice whereas local citizens and local officials are pursuing a multiplicity of proposals that simply move one small part of the problem over to someone else's community.

Given a choice between a clear coherent message from the airlines and a Tower of Babel collection of messages from folks on the ground the FAA is listening to the only coherent message.

Hopefully the folks on the ground will wake up and realize that the only road to a good outcome is for everybody to get behind a simple proposal which keeps all the planes higher until they are over the Bay. FAITH and ANETE at 7000 ft does this.


Like this comment
Posted by MJ One
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm

PC,

Is it possible to route all planes on SERFR through FAITH without costing the airlines more time and fuel?


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In my opinion yes.

SERFR is almost as far South as King City and flying from SERFR to FAITH to SFO appears to be about the same distance as flying from SRFR to MENLO to SFO.

Web Link

In fact looking at the map of these way points it seems crazy to route flights over MENLO given all of the heavily populated areas that means the planes have to fly over.


1 person likes this
Posted by MJ One
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

So looks like we possibly have a solution to get rid of SERFR by moving it further inland (less populated area) by using the route between SRFR and FAITH. Now the remaining questions are whether this would interfere with SJC traffic and if existing route through FAITH has the capacity to absorb SERFR


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"whether this would interfere with SJC traffic"

No, Faith and ANETE at 7000 ft are above SJC traffic.

" if existing route through FAITH has the capacity to absorb SERFR"

As note above ALL SFO bound traffic already ends up on the FAITH-SFO and ANETE-SFO routes but much of that traffic joins those routes closer to SFO. So clearly these routes have the capacity to take all of the current inbound SFO traffic.


4 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Carpenter:

Routing certain flight paths over two waypoints doesn't address NorCal Metroplex as a whole. One example of your highly limited scope of a solution is that SJC traffic would still be too low.

We need curfews, when flight are allowed we need per event noise limits that protect the health of people and the natural environment, and we need limits on capacity if we truly care about air pollution.

This is not complex.


10 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Carpenter:
"No, it is simply that the airlines speak with a coordinated and strong voice whereas local citizens and local officials are pursuing a multiplicity of proposals that simply move one small part of the problem over to someone else's community.

Given a choice between a clear coherent message from the airlines and a Tower of Babel collection of messages from folks on the ground the FAA is listening to the only coherent message."

Yeah, well this "Tower of Babel" is the only reason public meetings have been held at all irrespective of the ultimate outcome, the only reason this article was written, and other articles, the only reason these comments are being posted. This industry and elected officials surely didn't want them. Otherwise there would have been public hearings, a public say, BEFORE implementation. Moreover, NextGen would be a humane design of the airspace not a degradation of it. Our Congress wouldn't have legislated a green light, the categorical exclusion of "the human environment," so this industry could implement procedures that are ultimately about this industry's profit goals at the expense of our health. Organized, oh yes, they are organized. The industry, the Congress, and the FAA are lockstep. And why are they organized? Wealth and therefore power. And this industry has armies of lobbyists and our Congress overall is acting as a clearing house for industry objectives, legislation friendly to industry profit goals, shareholder profit goals. Government is a great thing if it truly is by and for the people, for the public good, when the people are being represented. This is not representation. This is the slim illusion. These public meetings so far, the slim illusion. When they truly represent us, do their ostensible purpose, millions of Americans across the country will have the basic need of sleep restored, they will enjoy their homes again, enjoy the outdoors.


12 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm

There is a unified message:

Too many want to hop on a plane whenever they want, and for it to be cheap to do so. They want to have every insignificant purchase shipped overnight. The aviation industry wants increasing profits and doesn't care how much damage is done to humans and the environment.

The politicians want to remain in office, or if they decide to leave to have a well paid job in the private sector waiting for them. The politicians are not being forced to represent those who voted them into office so they represent those who can fund their reelection campaigns or can offer that cushy job.

People need to decide what they want. Do they want quality of life and good health? Do they want a healthy environment? If so, then the aviation industry needs to be reined in, and restrictions placed on flights in regards to when, where and how low.


5 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

House passes FAA bill with no airplane noise provision, FAA Reauthorization Act:

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Note the overwhelming vote - " The measure, which passed the House Monday in a 90-4 vote, featured many reforms but notably absent were any provisions to mitigate airplane noise."


Now why would the FAA feel compelled to place a high priority on noise issues given the "will of the people" as expressed by our elected representatives?


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

H.R. 636: Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016:

Govtrack.us
Web Link

Senator Barbara Boxer - Yea
Senator Dianne Feinstein - Yea

Rep. Jackie Speier - no vote cast, explanation not provided
Rep. Anna Eshoo - no vote cast, explanation: "official business"
Rep. Sam Farr (retiring) - No


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Senate passed H.R. 636 89-4

House passed 90-4


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

Carpenter:
"Now why would the FAA feel compelled to place a high priority on noise issues given the 'will of the people' as expressed by our elected representatives?"

If the vote for the FAA Reauthorization Act 2016 which does nothing to address NextGen-related noise concerns actually represents the majority will of the people throughout our country rather than the will of a captured Congress then these incessant 24/7 low flying aircraft are here to stay. I truly hope your assessment of the American people is wrong. I hope people will stand up for the quality of life lost owing to the NextGen program and aviation's overall expansionist objectives at the expense of the common good, our very health and the health of our environment. If air transport services matter more than all that then in this respect it's a very unfortunate era to be living in.

A commenter in an article criticized Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen and County Executive Isiah Leggett, saying they represent whiners and how he just gets the Scotch and turns the TV up like a real man, doesn't even mind helicopters shaking his windows let alone the new low flight paths. And if you don't want to drink and blast your TV, don't want your house shaking? "Waa, waa, waa!" says this tough guy.

Please let this not be the majority will!


Like this comment
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

"WHO recommends setting night noise levels at 40 decibels" (1 July 2010)

"This would protect the public, including the most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly."

Link:
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Actually that is NOT what the WHO report recommended.

What it recommended was "The World Health Organisation
(WHO) has set the European target limit of outdoor night
noise levels at ANNUAL AVERAGE OF 40 decibels (dB)"

In the WHO report road traffic and neighbors make more night time noise than do airplanes. I suspect that the same would be true in Palo Alto and nearby communities.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

I read that as a night AVERAGE of 40 decibels, not an event upper limit.


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm

"Transport noise mitigation must consider the medical impacts" (EC Jan 2015)
Link: Web Link

Also, here's the EC's Noise Archive with relevant articles for anyone interested:
Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Carpenter:
The quote was the title of the article. Yes, as you read the article it suggests an annual average of 40 decibels. Further down, it states threshold level for waking as 42 dB and heart attacks 50 dB. Then the issue of intensity and frequency: road traffic was characterized as lower intensity noise but higher frequency per event so overall greater impact on health while aircraft traffic was characterized as higher intensity but lower frequency per event so overall lesser impact on human health. However, this is a pre-NextGen article. Low altitude aircraft every 1 to 3 to 10 minutes as experienced by millions in the U.S. now resulting in frequent awakenings throughout the night is not conducive to human health, to say nothing of the stress it causes in the waking hours.

Other sources of noise that have a negative impact on human health should also be taken seriously and addressed rather than used to divert attention from the specific source under discussion here, aircraft noise.


23 people like this
Posted by Jan
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2016 at 4:24 pm

I went to the Select committee meeting in Palo Alto Council chambers on Friday.

The FAA's Westerner Regional Director, Glenn Martin, briefly touched on the concept of an over-the-bay approach. He said, and I am paraphrasing his statement, that the over-the-bay concept that many have suggested, is very complicated and difficult to implement.

He went to talk about aircraft at the same altitude needing a minimum three-mile spacing, but did not explain specifically how that impacted the over-the-bay concept, and went on to imply that "folks" outside the FAA that are supporting any over-the-bay plan, just don't understand how complex the FAA's job is.

Mr Martin's demeanor was combative, and impatient. On several occasions he seemed to imply the committee did not have the intellectual capacity to understand complex technical issues, which was strange considering that Mr. Martin is himself a political operative with no deep technical background.

Early in the meeting, committee chair Simitian established that the FAA's presentation would eventually (1 week?) be made available on the sponsoring congressional representative's websites.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"that the over-the-bay concept that many have suggested, is very complicated and difficult to implement."

All the FAA needs to do is bring someone in from the NYC area FAA who understands how to deal with the truly complicated NYC airspace. SF airspace is a piece of cake in comparison.

It is the FAA job to solve the problem and not to wring its hand and say it would be "difficult".


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 19, 2016 at 5:33 pm

In the Select Committee meeting, did anyone ask about the feasibility of rolling back?


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm

I believe Mr. Martin's background speaks for itself (long and deep in air traffic control in complex and highly metropolitan areas)

Glen A. Martin
Western-Pacific Regional Administrator
Print
Share
Glen MartinGlen Martin is the Regional Administrator for the Western-Pacific Region. He serves as the principal representative of the FAA Administrator and the senior FAA official in the region.
Mr. Martin provides corporate leadership in cross-organizational matters and represents the FAA with industry, the public and governmental organizations. He was selected for this top position on August 10, 2014.
Prior to his appointment as Regional Administrator, Mr. Martin served as the Terminal District Manager for the Lake Effect District in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. This includes the Chicago O'Hare Airport. Prior to assuming this job he has been the Air Traffic Manager at the New York, Cleveland and Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Centers since 2008. Glen has worked in Tactical Operations at the Great Lakes Region, and at headquarters he worked in the Airspace Management Program, the Air Traffic Operations Program, and at the Command Center.
Glen began his career in 1988 at the Kansas City Downtown Tower. Originally from Kansas City, he received a BSBA from the University of Missouri majoring in Finance and Banking. He later received an MBA from Strayer University graduating with honors. He has received numerous awards, including the Air Traffic Control Association’s 2012 General E.R. Quesada Memorial Award. This is a Medallion Award presented to an individual for an outstanding achievement as an Air Traffic Manager.


20 people like this
Posted by Jan
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I attended the Select committee meeting in Palo Alto Council chambers on Friday July 15. In a post on July 19, I characterized Mr. Martin demeanor as combative, and impatient.

You can now judge for yourself. A video of the Select Committee meeting is now available on the City of Palo Alto's Aicraft Noise webpage. Scroll down to the Background Documents and Timeline section Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

Anonymous:

What does FAA Glen Martin's CV have to do with the NextGen program's 24/7 low altitude barrage?


Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Science is the way to go. For starters, Nextgen is saving tremendous of amounts of fuel consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tons. In fact, assuming my math is correct, the savings are a full TWO PERCENT or more of our total national fuel consumption! This is truly amazing and must be a primary consideration in any discussion.

Yet take heart everyone, science of the future might be the perfect solution for everyone. The science of noise reduction technology in jet engines lies ahead just around the corner! We will have newer designed jet engines that whisper instead of roar. Please search some of this and see for yourself. I just googled "CSeries, 787 and A350" as examples, and found great info. And there's plenty more. All terrific and fantastically promising.

Distortions and simply passing the buck to others who do not complain as loud is NOT the solution for any situation. Instead be positive, think forward, think progress, think cleaner environment and think SCIENCE!


12 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Mark from another community,

Wrong year, your wares were sold in threads past here when Nextgen was first rolled out with the loud, low flying, POLLUTING airplanes. Your pitch may catch a few people and you have a cheer crowd from the pilots and industry people, you forgot to sell us on the jobs!

We have already heard the "scientific" and environmental explanations and about noise and emissions pyramid scheme with Nextgen.

The ine about quieter planes is the worse, we still have our ears.




13 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I am agreement with Truth. In addition, Mark from another community's math is clearly faulty: Jet fuel accounts for 11% of oil used for transportation which in turn accounts for 28% of total petroleum fuel use. (Sourch US Energy Dept. Web Link). Thus jet fuel is about 3% of total fuel use. To achieve a reduction of 2% of total fuel use, NEXTGEN would need to reduce jet fuel use by about 2/3. This is plainly ridiculous --- as is most of the rest of what Mark says in his post.

Time to get serious about reducing the number of overflights over Palo Alto and stop listening to gadflies telling us there really is no problem to be worried about.


13 people like this
Posted by NestGen is Great
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Mark from another community is self contradictory. If NextGen is so great, why is it a crime for Palo Alto to share the "benefits" with others? We need to spread the "wealth" !


6 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm

The "environment" argument put forth by the FAA is flawed. In the summer I used to open my windows in the morning & evening to cool my house, now I keep them closed and use more A/C. In the winter I used to open my windows in the afternoon to warm my house, now I keep them closed and burn more logs. Multipy that by hundreds/thousands and I think the environment impact is worse, not better.
So basically it all comes down to simple economics, nextgen is designed to save millions of dollars for the airlines and make the lives of the traffic controllers easier. The FAA don't care about poor schmucks like "the people", they are not listening. The only way is to push our congress representatives to actually represent us and to force the FAA (aren't the FAA a government agency funded by the people?) to implement a fair system that spreads impact across all communities, increases altitude and rates of decent...


Like this comment
Posted by GOPrevaricateYourself
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Robin a resident of another community ..... EXACTLY !
Just like Republicans these people will always find some dishonest way to spin wrong some fact and distort it in their favor.


1 person likes this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

A last-minute plan to shift SFO-inbound noise off of north Palo Alto and onto Mountain View, Los Altos and Sunnyvale was added to the Select Committee on Airplane Noise recommendations to FAA, after the comment period had ended and behind closed doors.

South Palo Alto residents are in for a shock:

The new pain corridor doesn’t just run the entire length of Mountain View and Los Altos. Being several miles wide, it also blankets all homes in South Palo Alto from East Meadow and Mitchell Park to San Antonio Road. In essence, 94301 and 94303 noise moves onto 94306.

A map of the planned route can be viewed at www.PaloAltoPlan.org.
Residents of all cities injured by this ill-conceived maneuver should complain to the Select Committee on Airplane Noise chaired by Supervisor Joe Simitian, as well as to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, FAA Administrator Glen Martin and city council members. Demand that proposal 2.5r2 be removed.

As stated in the Committee’s own core principles: “Changes in noise patterns should be avoided, unless the change has no adverse effects, or the change is unavoidable due to safety reasons.”

The right thing to do is pursue best-practices and technical fixes, for example fly much higher over cities and only descend over the Bay. Or retrofit the loud Airbus A320 to eliminate it intense whine, with a simple $5,000 part. See how far these kinds of fixes get us before ever talking about moving pain around.


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