News

FAA reviewing proposals to reduce airplane noise

Federal agency plans to conclude its response to South Bay recommendations within a month, forward report to Department of Transportation

The Federal Aviation Administration is now completing its review of the more than 100 recommendations that a committee of South Bay legislators drafted last year with the goal of reducing airplane noise in their communities, according to a statement from U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier and Jimmy Panetta.

The recommendations were drafted by the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, a committee of local and county legislators that was created to address the growing volume of citizen complaints from residents throughout the region. The increase in airplane noise was prompted by NextGen, a program that was launched in 2015 and that seeks to free up airspace by routing flights along narrow corridors.

The committee's 109 recommendations include abolishing the SERFR flight path (which goes from San Francisco International Airport and over the Santa Cruz Mountains before proceeding southwest) in favor of a different route; higher altitudes (about 8,000 feet); new noise-abatement procedures; and routing flights over the ocean or the San Francisco Bay, rather than the Peninsula.

According to the statement from the three U.S. representatives, the office of FAA's Western-Pacific regional administrator has been reviewing these recommendations since early this year and has recently submitted a draft of its technical review to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The statement notes that Huerta has confirmed that his team in Washington, D.C. is now conducting a final review and plans to submit its report to the Department of Transportation for final review and authorization.

"Administrator Huerta told us that the FAA is committed to this Initiative process and continuing to work on the response to the recommendations," according to the statement from the three congressional members.

The statement also notes that it is not known at this time how long the Department of Transportation will take to authorize the release of the FAA's response.

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Comments

40 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on May 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Relief from the non-stop sleep-interrupting and life-disrupting jet noise cannot come soon enough. Many thanks to all of those who have been working hard on this problem.


21 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Special thanks and appreciation to Adam W, the author of the Stop Jet Noise website - Web Link - that aggregates complaints as they are issued by members (no cost to register). The map page - Web Link - tracks real-time flights and gives a "face" to an otherwise nondescript plane. I find using the site therapeutic and beats untargeted fuming.


27 people like this
Posted by Karen Edwards
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Indeed, many thanks to those who have worked on this problem. I have posted on stopjetnoise before but to be honest, I mostly just turn over and try to return to sleep. While I've come to expect the annoyance, Visitors to my home have found the noise quite terrifying. The planes sounds unusually close.


13 people like this
Posted by John Furrier
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

The noise is so bad it sounds like rockets and bombs flying overhead. It's really bad and nonstop. Palo Alto is not a pleasant place to live with the massive noise. I know people not buying homes because of it.


7 people like this
Posted by Jeff Rosner
a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2017 at 11:48 am

As we are right at the 'turning point' (just south of the red rooftops of Stanford) for approach to the MENLO insertion point, we certainly get more than our 'fair share' of air traffic. As a regular user <stop.jetnoise.net> reporting (I encourage everyone to sign up and report flights!), I have watched the median altitude of flights come down from greater than 5,000 feet to consistently 4000 feet or less, while the frequency continues to increase. We have seen 747 4-engine jumbo jets directly over our house at less than 3,000 feet on many occasions; one just has to stop and duck when this happens. I am optimistically looking forward to the FAA response and actions sometime in 2017 to bring some peace back to College Terrace.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There are two alternative solutions to the noise problem. The first distributes the noise more uniformly over all South Bay communities and the second moves the noise either over the Bay and, South of the Bay, to higher altitudes over populated areas.

The equal distribution proposal:

Using the concept of a herring bone pattern and Advanced (or curved) Controlled Descent Approaches (CDA’a)

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

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

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

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

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


The minimize impact on populated areas 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.


22 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm

@PC,

Your "equal distribution proposal" is not safe or practical with current "nextgen" technology.

While "nextgen" technology originally promised to be able handle the complexity of randomly assigned distributed approach paths the technology has fallen far short of that original promise.

In trials and simulations "nextgen" has struggled to manage the complexity of your "equal distribution proposal" and does not fail gracefully. In the event of system failure the complexity is beyond the cognitive processing capabilities of the human air traffic controllers who are responsible for safely managing air-traffic, when "nextgen" fails.

There is only one solution... fly high over populated areas and descend "Over the Bay".


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Your "equal distribution proposal" is not safe or practical with current "nextgen" technology.
"

Wrong. The herringbone proposal can even be implemented with current GPS technology by simply creating GPS waypoints for each of the described interception points.

And the second proposal uses existing GPS waypoints.

It is important to contribute to solution rather than being part of the problem.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Sounds good - so how do we get this going? Ms. Eshoo in the 18th district appears to have little clout compared to the SJX and SFO Congressional Districts. We have expensive homes but no say in what is going on. Is there a plan here to push this along?


15 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

It's very simple. Put 'em higher and overer the bay. No fishbones needed.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter F Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Higher and over the bay is exactly what the second proposal does.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 21, 2017 at 9:23 am

Okay - so how do we do this?


4 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2017 at 10:46 am

The Select Committee unanimously voted for the FAA to assess different waypoints to route SFO descents over water.

Section 2, Recommendation 2.5 r5

This includes the waypoint FAITH - as Jetman and Peter Carpenter agree to "fly high over populated areas and descend "Over the Bay"


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 21, 2017 at 10:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

FAITH waypoint entries work for runway 28L but ANETE or ARCHI are the appropriate waypoints for runway 28R.

Two parallel approach paths, 28L and 28R, are critical to maintaining SFO's landing capacity.

And the entry altitude for all three of these waypoints should be raised to 8000 ft.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

So we just wait until they decide?


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Peter - it's up to experts to decide if your ideas work. Have you coordinated SFO arriving traffic at FAITH with SJC departing traffic on the LOUPE4 departure?

Nothing's impossible, but nothing's particularly easy with so many airports.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 22, 2017 at 3:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The FAITH arrival and the SJC LOUPE departures already co-exist so the proposed consolidation of more planes in the FAITH arrival does not create any new problem in this respect.


4 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Lots of jet noise this afternoon and evening. Change can't come soon enough!


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