News

Palo Alto may sue over airplane noise

Frustrated by federal agency's inaction, City Council to discuss potential litigation next week

Palo Alto officials learned a painful lesson during their trip to Washington, D.C. last month: it's nearly impossible for a city to make its voice heard over airplane noise.

That was the impression that three City Council members came away with after they met with Federal Aviation Administration officials during a trip to the Capitol for the National League of Cities conference. The meeting, they agreed, did not go well.

"It was, I've got to say, the most frustrating interaction with government that I can ever recall having," Councilman Cory Wolbach said as he was updating his colleagues at a March 26 council meeting.

Councilmen Adrian Fine and Greg Scharff, who were also part of the local delegation, concurred. Fine said the FAA was "pretty useless" at the March 13 meeting, which included Brian Langdon, the agency's manager of government and industry affairs, and Lois Yoshida from the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel, as well as several technical experts.

Fine said the agency's legal counsel effectively barred most people from the federal delegation from speaking. Halfway through the meeting, half of the local delegation left out of frustration, he said.

"I've rarely walked away from a meeting feeling so defeated and deflated," Fine recalled during the March 19 council meeting, which focused on ways to address the noise impacts on NextGen, a 2015 federal initiative that realigned flight paths and, in doing so, created noisy highways over various communities, including Palo Alto.

"Everyone in the room felt like the FAA wasn't going to work with Palo Alto," Scharff told the Weekly.

Now, the city is preparing to speak louder and more forcefully. Next week, the council will meet in a closed session to consider litigation against the federal agency -- a tactic that has been employed in other communities wrestling with the issue, including Phoenix and Newport Beach.

At the same time, Scharff is chairing a regional committee that is working to establish a permanent coalition of South Bay cities to focus on airplane noise. Once formed, the South Bay committee will mimic the San Francisco International Airport/Community Roundtable, which includes various San Mateo County cities and San Francisco.

Scharff said every city in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties will be invited to join the new South Bay committee and most -- including Capitola, Santa Cruz and Watsonville -- have already expressed an interest in doing so. His seven-member ad hoc committee consists of local and county representatives, including Mountain View City Councilwoman Pat Showalter, Sunnyvale Councilman Larry Klein and Santa Cruz Supervisor John Leopold. All are excited about moving the effort forward, he said.

The idea of forming the committee was prompted by a letter that U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna and Jimmy Panetta submitted last year to the Cities Association of Santa Clara County urging a permanent venue to represent "currently disenfranchised communities in addressing aircraft noise concerns including, but not limited, to SFO."

The creation of the new group is consistent with recommendations from the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, a group of 12 elected officials that was chaired by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and that met between May and November 2016 to discuss ways for addressing the airplane-noise problem.

To date, the FAA has rejected most of the Select Committee's substantive recommendations, including those that would direct more planes over the Bay and increase flight altitudes over the "MENLO" waypoint, a hub of air traffic. In its response to the Select Committee's recommendation, the FAA argued that the MENLO altitude "cannot be any higher without jeopardizing the safe operation of each aircraft."

"The higher an aircraft flies while in the vicinity of MENLO, the farther away from the SFO airport the aircraft must travel in order to descend to the appropriate altitude for approach," the FAA response stated.

Despite the setbacks, Scharff said he thinks the new committee could be an effective tool for finally getting some results. That, in fact, appears to be one of the few areas in which the FAA and the cities are in agreement.

"One of the things FAA did say is that they'd like us to form a roundtable because it will provide a forum and a voice, rather than having each individual city coming to the FAA and making opposite requests," Scharff said. "If we had a forum where everyone could agree and speak with one voice, we're actually likely to have more power. And the FAA agrees with that."

If the collaboration fails, there's always litigation -- an alternative that many in the community are now urging the council to employ. During a February meeting of the council's Policy and Services Committee, several residents urged the council to join forces with other cities that have been challenging the FAA and pursue the legal option.

Resident Karen Porter pointed to the FAA's rejection of the Select Committee's recommendation and asked the council to keep fighting for the preferred solutions, including higher altitudes at the MENLO waypoint.

"We need to really push back stronger against the FAA," Porter said during the Feb. 13 discussion.

In addition to forming a new regional committee and pondering litigation, Palo Alto officials are also considering other less risky measures to address airplane noise. On Monday, the council will consider a list of recommendations from its Policy and Services Committee, which include requesting temporary noise monitoring from San Francisco International Airport; including aircraft noise in the city's legislative priorities; developing a noise-monitoring plan with the jurisdictions; and lobbying in support of flight paths that would divert air traffic away from neighborhoods.

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Comments

24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 5, 2018 at 9:52 am

Which airports are these airplanes using? How about blockading the airports with protestors? Suing the Federal government is just going to cause Twitter bullying from Donald Trump. Look what he did to the Amazon stock price.


50 people like this
Posted by Daniel Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 10:23 am

Attempts to collaborate with the FAA have failed. The only thing that will get their attention is legal action. They have seriously affected the quality of life here since imposing NextGen, with its lower altitudes and more frequent air traffic in a narrowed corridor over Palo Alto. They need to fly higher, fly over the bay, and/or spread out the traffic inbound to SFO.
Sky Posse has done a great job of keeping attention on the issue, but it's time for local government to step up (even more).


10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

Is the problem the big jets at SFO or the small planes from San Carlos? Protesting at San Carlos has a good chance of being effective. Protesting at SFO not so much.


43 people like this
Posted by Jenna S.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:22 am

It is interesting to hear City Council members expressing frustration with their experience in meeting with FAA officials in Washington, D.C.. In the article, Council member Cory Wolback stated, "It was I've got to say, the most frustrating interaction with government that I can ever recall having...." That's how exactly many Palo Alto residents and business owners feel when they have to interact with Palo Alto's city managers and staff.


9 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:29 am

Did the officials, ahem, fly to DC? QED.


45 people like this
Posted by Shoe. Other Foot.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

While I am grateful for our lawmakers’ efforts, this situation is just dripping with irony.

Shoe is on the other foot now, isn’t it, Cory. Now you know what it feels like for residents faced with lawmakers with an agenda that seriously hurts residents’ quality of life and lawmakers/those with power are not dealing in a trustworthy manner or in good faith [portion removed.]

The traffic on the ground and hits to quality of life and even noise are worse because of your, Fine’s and Scharff’s policies [portion removed.] We need to reduce the office development and overpopulation of workers that come here during the day. When have you even been willing to discuss that?

A frustrating government meeting. Ha. What goes around, as they say...


9 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:40 am

What took so long to come to this decision?


26 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

I really hope there is no litigation. It's just a waste of our money with very little chance of any success. The FAA has complete authority here.

It will also get turned into rich entitled Palo Alto wants to have the planes fly over someone else's town.


17 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" It's just a waste of our money with very little chance of any success. The FAA has complete authority here. "

True. The only people who will profit from this are the lawyers and the politicians who can claim that they are doing something.


17 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:23 pm

"It will also get turned into rich entitled Palo Alto wants to have the planes fly over someone else's town. "

True. Maybe they would fly over rich entitled Atherton instead.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Maybe they would fly over rich entitled Atherton instead."

They already do!

Most SFO inbound planes that are routed over the MENLO intersection then fly within line of sight and sound of my Atherton home - and at a lower altitude than when those same planes were over palo Alto.


6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm

YES -- Do it before all the noise and vibration shakes us off into the middle of the Bay


4 people like this
Posted by RJN
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm

When I lived on the east coast, we had a similar problem with NYC flights over Fairfield County, CT, and work was done as is being proposed for Palo Alto. Although 10 years ago, maybe this article will provide some ideas, contacts, etc. Web Link


17 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Oh, the pity! Our CC members not being heard, feeling snubbed, and apparently our city's name, Palo Alto, was besmirched because it didn't register and cause the FAA to shiver and shake. Who do they think they are? Those ingrates!

Let's get real, local folks. Air travel is here to stay, and the FAA is in control. It's okay to raise your voices, but there are simply too many committees formed, or being formed, that will be vying for the top spot and biggest voice in this discussion. Who will the FAA listen to? [Portion removed.]

Talk about noise. We have a lot of it down here at ground level, not coming from above. Trains and cars, mostly cars. And to all you newcomers to PA, you didn't experience the time when Moffett Field was an active Naval Base (very noisy propeller driven sub chasers...P3-B's), or when NASA Ames had their 'wind tunnels' fired up. Our current CC members would have loved that situation so they could get us all riled up and sue the Navy and NASA about that.

@Jenna and Shoe, Other Foot

Good points. Our CC members being snubbed back in D.C. when they snub us PA residents many times...with bike boulevards, ADU's, and faux zoning changes in support of 'affordable' wink, wink, housing. Oh, the irony!


7 people like this
Posted by Shoe. Other foot.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

@Peter Carpenter,

There are many potential technical fixes to this problem, solving it does not require making it someone else’s problem.

There are people working quietly in the background. Who, ironically could do more if it wasn’t so hard to get around on the ground in this town. Just for half the extra time lost to poor traffic circulation could have made a difference...


17 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:10 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

@Bob

"It will also get turned into rich entitled Palo Alto wants to have the planes fly over someone else's town."

Yes, and that is what it mostly is.

For airplanes and cars: we all want/need to use them, but we don't want to suffer any of the expense or inconvenience.

-- Planes should fly over OTHER cities than the one I live in, but I need to be able to go to the airport and use them for my travel.
-- Cars should travel/park on OTHER streets than the one I live on, but I need to be able to drive on any street I choose for driving around.




18 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"There are many potential technical fixes to this problem, solving it does not require making it someone else’s problem.

There are people working quietly in the background."


Yes, and I am one of them:

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.

Report Objectionable Content


39 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm

I have lived in Palo Alto for over 40 years and rarely heard a plane until a few years ago. Now the constant noise is intolerable. The FAA created this problem by implementing their new system with a complete lack of regard for the residents on the ground.


40 people like this
Posted by SkyPosse
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Disappointing to say the least, but that's expected of a big government agency. Me and my neighbors have been liing through the constant and interfering airplane noise for a few years, and have contacted the city and SFO dozens if not hundreds of times! To those who are criticizing our council for trying to work with the FAA - what have you done? Me and my neighbors have personally met with councillors Fine and Wolbach and they listened to us and followed up with the city to see what we could do - they are trying in good faith to solve this. Our position is that we can solve this problem without negatively impacting other cities - we don't have to shift the noise over to Mountain View or Menlo Park.. but we can shift it over the bay!


10 people like this
Posted by Where's Scharff?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Councilmember Scharff often gets himself on regional committees and then fails to show up for some meetings. This has happened with this committee. Will Scharff actually show up for these meetings? Or is he simply padding his resume for when he runs for higher office?


22 people like this
Posted by Cat Mom Leonorilda
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm

The REAL noise problem is not airplane noise but the noise on the ground! It's the construction noise day in and day out... jackhammering, sawing, pounding, high decibels nonstop, ad nauseum. Palo Alto has the most lax construction noise rules around... even New York City has more humane noise restrictions (9 to 5 weekdays, no construction weekends and all holidays, as compared to Palo Alto's 8 to 6 weekdays, 8 to 5 Saturdays, no construction Sundays and select holidays). Where are the priorities in this city? More and more people have to work from home and their livelihoods are jeopardized by the free-wheeling permission given to any and all contractors who mount large office complexes, high-priced dwellings, and so on. And people here complain about a few planes flying overhead at intervals!


13 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Cat Mom - the construction issues that you identified are TOTALLY under the control of your elected City Council.

Nothing makes a City Council move more quickly than a packed chamber of citizens who all speak out on the same issue.

Try it !!


11 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm


"One of the things FAA did say is that they'd like us to form a roundtable because it will provide a forum and a voice, rather than having each individual city coming to the FAA and making opposite requests," Scharff said. "If we had a forum where everyone could agree and speak with one voice, we're actually likely to have more power. And the FAA agrees with that."

If the collaboration fails, there's always litigation -- an alternative that many in the community are now urging the council to employ."


The Select Committee was a "collaborative" effort. It got hijacked by a controversial recommendation which has divided Santa Cruz County; pits Los Altos against Los Altos Hills; double downs on the noise over Downtown North and EPA. AND the proponents started a campaign in Mountain View against Palo Alto, leaving mistrust among all.

Net net - Mountain View is practically leading the San Jose South Flow Ad Hoc committee which seems to be going down the same way as the Select Committee with nothing burgers that do not fix the problem. San Jose, the OWNER of the airport gave themselves double votes on the Ad Hoc Committee and have a resolution that they will not accept any new noise unless it benefits them. Hello - they benefit from the airport revenues. It is SJC Noise and they are blocking any new noise for the owners?

A LOT OF TALK but the Bay Area has so far demonstrated ridiculous political games that make the FAA meeting in D.C. look GOOD.

If the local politicians want to help, they need to meet ASAP and decide on the "one voice" issue. It's a simple question - will everyone take a fair share or not? It's a yes or no answer.

If they cannot and will not, then they are playing games and Palo Alto will be the most ridiculous of all because it is stuck with most of the problem.

Anything that FAA and politicians can "all" agree on should probably be SUSPECT and why the courts are needed.



8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

"Most SFO inbound planes that are routed over the MENLO intersection then fly within line of sight and sound of my Atherton home..."

So, _some_ planes fly where they can be seen from and heard from eastest Atherton.

Actually, to be out of line of sight from your home they'd have to be below the horizon. Slick spin there, sir.

But, really. Wouldn't you and your townmates rather have all of those flyovers that Palo Alto doesn't want? And you would knock all those lawyers and those politicians who can claim that they are doing something right out of the game. So get cracking.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Actually, to be out of line of sight from your home they'd have to be below the horizon"

Nope - they would have to be below the tree canopy which is my visual horizon.

That means I can see AND HEAR most planes that are inbound to SFO from the MENLO intersection because they pass my home at about 3700 ft. AGL and with a slant range of 4-6000 ft.


Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth Beheler
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 5, 2018 at 3:51 pm

I appreciate the unified effort to try to make improvements in the face of such a dismissive attitude by the FAA. I am likely in the minority but I rarely hear the airplanes and they don't actually bother me.


15 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 5, 2018 at 5:05 pm

I strongly reiterate this problem is several years new, clearly owing to the shifting of massive loud air traffic right over Palo Alto. Government bureaucracy at its worst and dirty tricks to shift over N. Santa Clara County from San Mateo County, which is associated with SFO. I understand periodic pattern shifts (with SJC, for example) and the current problem cannot be equated with that. Desperate apologists continue to attack longtime Palo Altans with ridiculous arguments : “Don’t yiu ever fly?” and etc.. Are irrelevant points. What happened is an abuse of Palo Alto and our politicians should devote their attention to solving this. I support lawsuits and demand explanations.


22 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Time for a history lesson -- Palo Alto was incorporated in 1894 (Mayfield well before then). Mountain View was incorporated in 1902. Airplanes or airports did not exist until 1903. Over the years SFO has encroached in the airspace of neighboring cities and counties and it has reached absurd proportions. The City and County of San Francisco makes millions of dollars by routing planes over Santa Clara County, meanwhile we receive nothing. They don't answer complaints, they are not accountable to us, they simply don't care.

ONE reasonable change is to require ALL planes that land and depart SFO to stay in San Francisco airspace until they reach 10,000 feet. Of course they won't do that. They will never send a plane 4,000 feet over San Francisco where their actual constituents are, instead they send a plane 4,000 feet over Monta Loma Elementary.

Enough is enough, time to take this to court. This is injustice.


7 people like this
Posted by Poster
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 5:48 pm

At this point, SFO airplane noise cannot be avoided, only moved to another city, as the FAA has done everything they can to avoid populated areas. Palo Alto Council members would be much more effective if they could articulate why another city deserves the noise more than Palo Alto. Why are Palo Alto people more worthy than residents of other cities? Therein lies the question the council could not answer, that's why there were ineffective in Washington. I don't blame them. Creating a coalition of cities will be a valuable educational exercise, because it'll make the council realize that someone will get the noise, it's just a matter of who. However, it won't achieve anything else. A lawsuit will also be a very useful tool because it'll drain resources away from the hands of the idiots who are suing. Ultimately, a lawsuit will not answer the question of why Palo Alto residents are better than others.


19 people like this
Posted by Poster
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2018 at 5:48 pm

At this point, SFO airplane noise cannot be avoided, only moved to another city, as the FAA has done everything they can to avoid populated areas. Palo Alto Council members would be much more effective if they could articulate why another city deserves the noise more than Palo Alto. Why are Palo Alto people more worthy than residents of other cities? Therein lies the question the council could not answer, that's why there were ineffective in Washington. I don't blame them. Creating a coalition of cities will be a valuable educational exercise, because it'll make the council realize that someone will get the noise, it's just a matter of who. However, it won't achieve anything else. A lawsuit will also be a very useful tool because it'll drain resources away from the hands of the idiots who are suing. Ultimately, a lawsuit will not answer the question of why Palo Alto residents are better than others.


9 people like this
Posted by Poster child
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm

The FAA has done nowhere near everything they can to avoid low flying, turning, decelerating planes over populated areas.

On what grounds is this statement made?


8 people like this
Posted by Downtown North
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Earplugs!

Also, please realize how lucky we are. For example, think of the poor Syrians in Eastern Ghouta who had bombers flying overhead.


3 people like this
Posted by screed
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm

While I commend their efforts, one must note that noise control is simply not a priority for the FAA.

Their number one goal is to keep airplanes from crashing and killing people (as it should be.)

Their second goal is to assure an efficient air travel system for everyone consistent with a growing economy.

These two goals make it difficult to achieve any meaningful noise control. (Although not impossible.)


20 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2018 at 7:39 pm

Sigb up and report at stop.jetnoise.net

Its not about safety it's about revenue.
It was safe before the change. Time to go to court. Been played for over 3 years


4 people like this
Posted by Lucky
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 7:52 pm

Airplane noise is definitely a major issue here on the Peninsula. We are lucky to have such dedicated councilmembers like Wolbach and Fine working on our behalf. They may not get anything done with the bureaucratic behemoth that is the FAA, but at least they are trying.


15 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 5, 2018 at 9:22 pm

[Portion removed.] How about we get the homeless off the streets and manage immigration and then we can focus on some airplanes ...


21 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 9:38 pm


"We are lucky to have such dedicated councilmembers like Wolbach and Fine working on our behalf. They may not get anything done with the bureaucratic behemoth that is the FAA, but at least they are trying."

When Karen Holman tried to give the public extra minutes at a recent Policy & Services committee meeting on airplane noise, Fine hissily said no way.

Council members bemoaning one bad meeting with the FAA and getting a whole article about it (to make it about themselves) is what's wrong with this picture, among other things.


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Council members can do nothing and will do nothing about this - except to garner publicity.


29 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Our local elected representatives have been pretending to care about SFO bound aircraft noise for four years now, while slow-walking concerned residents down the garden path into a dead-end to be consumed by vampiric FAA bureaucrats working on behalf of the aviation industry.

Naive mistake or cunning political strategy?

Rank within the Party is determined by the ability to raise campaign funds and dole out endorsements to the rank and file. On the Peninsula the politicians with the big money and influential endorsements are in San Francisco, and they like the low-loud SFO approach profiles right where they are... over northern Santa Clara County.

With the November elections approaching, we will see a continuous line of local politicians shadow boxing with the FAA, maybe even a lawsuit with both sides funded by the taxpayer, but don't expect the obedient Party lightweights on the Peninsula to ruffle any feathers by challenging the Party leadership in San Francisco.


12 people like this
Posted by Thomas Paine
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 6, 2018 at 8:29 am

No worries. Anna Eshoo promised she would take care of the problem as soon she finishes raising campaign money. She only has $4 million in the bank to fend off the Republicans.


10 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

ALTITUDE, ALTITUDE, ALTITUDE. Angle of ascent/descent. Curfews. Capacity limits.

Late 1960s and early 70s my dad, as a college student in an apt lived smack against the SJ Intl airport in the take-offs and landings and angle of ascent and descent were STEEP making the waking hours more bearable and there was a strict curfew 11pm to 7am. As a struggling working student dad got 8 hours of sleep every night!

Now? People nowhere near an airport, nationwide, can look out their windows, from their porch, their backyard, walking their neighborhood, and without even looking up see aircraft low in the sky. Wealthy or poor, doesn’t matter. People sitting in multi-million dollar homes or Section 8 apartments. Next to the airport, 5 miles, 20, 60 and further. Doesn’t matter anymore.

Quality of life in the US is in a seriously STEEP angle of descent.
Enough dragging citizens down the rabbit hole of endless talk, studies, committees, roundtables, noise monitoring. We need ACTION. We need RESULTS. And if council members who flew to DC and talked and ate and were put up in hotels and taxied around on the public dime are frustrated and felt their meetings with the FAA were pretty useless, well, citizens get what for their time and energy spent for years trying to get their elected officials to represent them and put a stop to the 24/7 attack on human health and the environment by NextGen’s low altitude procedures?

Citizens, our numbers are greater. If we stop squabbling about sharing the torture and band together for ZERO torture for all we might get somewhere. A human rights violation at the individual level is not made right by ensuring everyone’s human rights are being violated equitably. No one should have this over their heads. Talk with your money. Fly and ship by air at the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. And a class action lawsuit against the industry rather than their poodles is what’s needed.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

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.


25 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Carpenter,

Some flavor of Sky Posse's "Over the Bay" solution has been the obvious technical solution for several years now but there is no political will to implement the solution.

Politicians would rather shadow box with FAA devil they helped to create than expend the political capitol needed to bring about change. Nancy Pilosi could make FAA chief administrator Michael Huerta start the wheels turning on an "over the Bay" solution with a single phone call, but our spineless Party functionaries on the Peninsula don't have the intestinal fortitude to get together and tell her to do it.


20 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Cory Wolbach is pretty much the face of front that is hell bent on a complete urbanization of Palo Alto, resulting in the complete destruction of its quality of life and way of life. It is ironic that he is involved in this issue, which is very real and serious, while the damage to Palo Alto he has in mind is much larger and more massive than the damage from airplanes flying overhead.


5 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Those raising other issues in an attempt to minimize and shut down the fight against NextGen’s 24/7 low altitude barrage are operating knowingly or unknowingly from a false premise. Fighting this doesn’t bar other fights. If construction noise, road traffic congestion, etc. is what outrages you most as an attack on quality of life there’s nothing stopping you from forming a group and or advocating those issues. Stop the either or fallacy, and focus on the article’s subject.

And those who say it’s a first world problem, you bet it is. Anyone here eager, for e.g., to have Beijing or New Delhi’s air quality? But this is also false. People in countries defined as third world are fighting against aircraft noise. Doesn’t take much effort to discover this fact.
The commentator who says, Look at Syria, you want that, be grateful? Is that what we’ve come to in terms of quality of life standards? We must compare ourselves to a war ravaged country, which the Western powers have had no small hand in, to feel good about what’s happening here? Hey, the aircraft is crazy low and loud and polluting but they’re not dropping bombs on us. Wow. Pretty sad. And again, that’s a fight you can take up whether or not you’re for this fight against NextGen’s attack on human health and the environment.

And if I see one more person say MOVE, WHINERS, THE AIRPORT WAS THERE FIRST... I suspect these gung ho aviation proponents posting this know quite well the damage is nationwide and that even if people had the financial ability to just pick up and move (which takes into account no other attachment or meaning to home) they won’t escape the hellish NextGen skies. More diversion and misrepresentation of NextGen’s scope of impact.


4 people like this
Posted by Floggrgurl
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Protesting at SQL will do nothing. Protesting at PAO will do nothing. Protesting at HMB, same result. These airports have been there long before the majority of your homes were even built.

To those of you who are so uneducated in the matter, as to think that they are nothing but playgrounds for the wealthy, you could not be more wrong. Our countys GA airports (like those across the nation), are home to everything from flight schools, to brokers, to bases for our local Civil Air Patrol Squadrons. Which, I would like to point out is an official branch of the USAF and their search and rescue planes are housed there. Stanford hospital used the PA airport for it's life flights. And after the earthquake in 1989, our local airports were ALL used to transport supplies back and forth across the bay, when so many roads and bridges were closed.

Airports are a vital part of every thriving community. We should be looking for ways to protect ours, not eliminate them. My guess is that many of you have never spent any time at any of our 3 local fields. You should. You will see what is actually going on. People are running their businesses, making a living, operating restaurants and other retail establishments, and our cities benefit from their tax dollars.

Fact is that we live in a metropolitan area with a very busy flight pattern above us. I've been here since the 60's and with progress, comes noise. Traffic of all kinds. Freeway, and airplane. Short of creating your own individual protest, and buying a bus or rail pass, there's likely not much you can do at this point. And I highly doubt any of you will want to take the bus on your next vacation???

And just so you know, our general aviation airports are goverened by the same agency who governs the big guys, the FAA. So there is virtually nothing our CC can do at this juncture to change anything. Call it progress I suppose


9 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Floggrgurl says the airports were there first. Anybody think an airport springs up out of thin air with no community there first for it to serve? Without going down that rabbit hole, the fact is the area has been a busy metropolitan space for a long time and aviation has been around a long time and somehow before the NextGen program we didn't have 24/7 low altitude aircraft barraging our country shore to shore and in urban, suburban, and rural communities alike. Stop the false information. Flying higher, using steeper ascent/descent profiles, curfews and capacity limits DOES NOT equate to no airports. This is extremism. Either say goodbye to sleep and peaceful enjoyment of your home and the outdoors cause OR no airports? NextGen's low altitude procedures nationwide aren't progress, their utter regress of former noise abatement procedures, rules and regulations driven by deadly greed and selfishness.

And public ground transportation has been purposefully underfunded and overpriced compared to air transportation because it's all about ever increasing private profit while taking massive subsidies/corporate welfare. There no reason the US couldn't have rail like Europe including high speed trains that were publicly funded and affordable. Instead we're given the option of say going from San Jose to Seattle on a 2 hour short-haul flight for about $200 or a 24 hr. Amtrak ride for double the price. Playing dirty for private industry profit.


20 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Floggrgurl,

If you are going to preach history maybe you should know a little more about it

Palo Alto Airport wasn't always located at its current location east of Hwy 101. It used to be located on Leland Stanford Junior University land north of Stanford Avenue (currently Escondido Village).

The noise from the airport was so bad that in 1934 residents sued and forced the airport to move to its current location.

Palo Alto Airport is owned by the City of Palo Alto and the city (at least on paper) is run by the residents, so if residents decide the airport has become a problem again, it can be moved again (or shut it down).

It is a shame the aviation industry has done so little to address the problem of aircraft noise in the last 84 years. We have the technology.


"A short history of Palo Alto aviation"
Palo Alto Weekly" ~ July 04, 2001 Web Link

Lockheed YO-3 "Quiet Star" Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 6, 2018 at 7:39 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

First, the FAA is chartered to PROMOTE aviation.
Secondly to make aviation SAFE.

There is no part of the FAA that is in force to take care of ground based complaints about airplane noise.
When Moffett Field was active, we had to hear " the sound of freedom " several times a day. We also got a taste of experimental aircraft like the Osprey now in service with the Marines. We also saw the U-2 flights. Few people know the extent of the secrets in the SFBA. I happen to be a member of that ELINT body that we have.

Before, we had jets flying landing patterns over Alviso, over the Dumbarton Bridge and the outer marker was located at the peak of the San Mateo Bridge.
Now we do not have any military traffic placing restrictions, that OLDER setup is what we are used to.

The only way to get the FAA attention is to become a hazard to aircraft. That is all the FAA is concerned about.
What can be done is to inform the FAA that the city has been approached by several companies and clubs to use airspace over Palo Alto. Since there are training companies that train for rotary wing aircraft in Palo Alto ( PAO ) , these could use the 1500 foot ceiling in populated areas. The same would apply for drone flying inside the city limits. Now that we have " viewscreen " drones( FPV ), clubs could form and ask for permits to fly in the city limits.

THEN the FAA has to start worrying about drones getting ingested by turbofan engines during a critical time called landing. In theory, Palo Alto " owns " the airspace above it and can decide what serves the citizens best. Filling the sky with model rockets and drone competitions over Palo Alto may be the best thing Palo Alto has to get noticed by the FAA. FYI, my property is listed on a " no fly " list because of experiments with robot sensors using drones as " eyes ".

The use of over the Bay landing markers and landing patterns was long in use before NEXTGEN and should have been kept BECAUSE IT WORKED!!
Letting the FAA know of these permits will get a reaction. Getting a model rocket or a drone sucked into a turbofan, that is what the FAA must take care of.

NOTE: I am a seat of the pants flier, that has flown ultralights and a Piper Cub. I've toured the SFO tower and " flew " an original Link trainer at the United Shops. I've toured Oakland and Longmont Air Traffic Control Centers before 9/11 changed the rules. So I know a bit about aviation and what the FAA and the NTSB must do. Listening to citizen's complaints is NOT what they do. A possible problem concerning the safe navigation of commercial aircraft IS their concern. Make things THEIR problem, not yours!


4 people like this
Posted by rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 6, 2018 at 9:49 pm

I read this very article a year ago! What’s going on here?


25 people like this
Posted by :(
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 6, 2018 at 10:50 pm

It's 10:45 pm and we are hearing planes from BOTH directions, SFO and SJC. The ones U-turning and flying into SJC are flying at 1930 feet! I'm clocking them at 1 to 3 minutes apart! This is stressful and unhealthy. LAWSUIT, YES! WHEN?!


10 people like this
Posted by Too Early!
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2018 at 11:52 am

6:06am this morning. Thought it was going to hit my house it was so loud. YES to a lawsuit!


Like this comment
Posted by MT_Resudent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

This all sounds like yet another Palo Alton first world problem. I live in MT and occasionally hear a plane but nothing like I want to sell the house and move! In fact neighbor’s dog barking early in the morning is much more annoying.


11 people like this
Posted by :(
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 7, 2018 at 2:19 pm

@MT_Resudent: It's quite possible that you aren't as affected as we are—you cannot assume that we are overreacting. At 1900 feet, it's booming. If someone were to say they have a health issue, would you reply, "I have that issue too, it's no big deal" when you don't know really how that person feels? Certain parts of Palo Alto hear the planes less; because you don't hear it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Living life according to one's own anecdotes isn't intelligent behavior.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Just remember that once Palo Alto files suit against the FAA that the probable result will be that the FAA will no longer be willing to discuss the matter with Palo Alto since it will be "before the court".


6 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Three recent articles worth reading carefully and thinking critically about for some perspective on why noise complaints, letters and calls to elected officials, meetings, committees, rountables, studies, noise monitors, examination of noise measurement standards have yet to yield any significant change on NextGen's 24/7 low altitude flight procedures. Far from improving the experience on the ground in terms of noise and air pollution and air traffic congestion, elected officials are busily working for corporations to make things worse. The articles also demonstrate why there has long been a war on public transporation in the interests of private profit, which again, is set to get worse: air taxis, drone delivery, supersonic. No wonder FAA is so unresponsive, Congress and its battering ram the FAA are too busy working with corporations on tearing up regulatory red tape to push these other phases of airspace redesign. The claim is boldly made that the solution to on the ground traffic congestion and noise is airspace congestion and noise. In the articles it would seem that people on the ground fall under the classification of "obstacle/other hazards/obstacles of interest/other obstacles."

"Are Airports Ready for Flying Cars?" by Curt Castagna, Apr 6, 2018 (aviationpros.com), Link: Web Link
-Uber's UAM/Urbab Air Mobility market, UAS/Unmanned Aerial System services, NASA (feds,public money), California-based startup Joby Aviation with Jet Blue investment, Boeing, Airbus, Toyota, Intel, Airbus/Voom etc.
-testing in Sao Paulo, Dallas, Los Angeles, Dubai
-on-demand network of air taxis (helicopters, flying vehicles/VTOLs/delivery drones) using an app
*This is the for-profit solution that arises from the muck of the private interest war on a public transporation system.

"Project Wing: A cheat sheet on Alphabet's drone delivery project: Everything you need to know about Project Wing, the prototype drone-delivery system by Google's parent company Alphabet." by Nick Heath, April 4, 2018 (techrepublic.com), Link: Web Link
-Alphabet/Google Project Wing (formerly X, when Starbucks makes an appearance), Amazon Prime Air project, NASA
-testing well under way and moving on from rural to densely populated areas, as goal is massive commercial delivery network though testing kicked off with a more "humanitarian" emphasis like blood, medicine, medical devices
-June 2017 series of tests with NASA and FAA
-Get your essentials fast, like a Chipotle burrito with your on-demand delivery app
-All focus is eliminating the current technical and regulatory challenges

"Supersonic Jet With Less Noise? Lockheed Wins NASA Award to Try" by Thomas Black, April 3, 2018 (bloomberg.com), Link: Web Link
-Lockheed, world's largest defense contractor, wins NASA contract (Lockheed/NASA, maker of the F35, the over trillion dollar program)
-experimental aircraft is expected to take to the skies in 2021 to test softening of sonic boom (your "thump" or "double-thump" coming at you), this will be over selected areas and they'll sit back and see what the public response is (here comes more calls to 911 as had already happened: "What's that boom?")
-Aerion Corp., a business jet startup backed by Texas billionaire Robert Bass
-Gulfstream, a unit of General Dynamics Corp
-Boom Technology Inc., a Colorado startup
-Lockheed in December also agreed to help Aerion build its supersonic jet
*"The ultimate goal: opening the skies to faster jet travel and spurring manufacturers to build speedier aircraft."

It's little wonder why everything for the public good is in tatters. And little wonder why the suffering is far from stopping. Welcome to the United States of Corporations where our "representatives" are effectively rubberstampers for private profit. So what we're getting is the tip of the iceberg...




16 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"Just remember that once Palo Alto files suit against the FAA that the probable result will be that the FAA will no longer be willing to discuss the matter with Palo Alto since it will be "before the court"."

1-2 years before the court vs 1-2 years "slow-walking concerned residents down the garden path into a dead-end to be consumed by vampiric FAA bureaucrats working on behalf of the aviation industry." (Jetman)



4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 7, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And while Palo Alto is in the courts other peninsula communities will be cutting a deal with the FAA which ignores Palo Alto.


19 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2018 at 8:05 pm

FAA doesn’t care about any of the cities/residents under the flight paths. Maximum revenue for airports and airlines is the goal.
Today Saturday while at the soccer field at Cubberly, using stopjetnoise.net, we counted 19 passenger jets from 8:57 to 10:00.
Flying from 3990 to 5990ft from the LA area, trans ocean, Dallas, Seattle etc whiny, loud and constant.
The goal of the FAA is to get it down to below 2 minute intervals and it doesn’t really care about what “city” they are impacting or the effect on the residents under the flight path.
Stop being played and sue.


14 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2018 at 11:30 pm

Peter Carpenter,

"And while Palo Alto is in the courts other peninsula communities will be cutting a deal with the FAA which ignores Palo Alto."

Looks like that has already happened.

The two city/airport owners to the South and North owners have less noise complaints and San Jose Council has a sign on their door "NIMBY."

San Francisco? I wonder if they even know they own a polluting airport. They just seem to count the money. SFO's landlord San Mateo is however well aware of the airport,

The San Francisco (San Mateo) Noise Community Roundtable has excluded Palo Alto from membership and FAA cuts deals with them that benefit San Mateo.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 7, 2018 at 11:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

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


13 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2018 at 12:57 am

Peter Carpenter,

“The Airport/Community Roundtable members, as a group, when
considering and taking actions to mitigate noise, will not knowingly or deliberately support,encourage, or adopt actions, rules, regulations or policies, that result in the “shifting” of aircraft noise from one community to another, when related to aircraft operations at San Francisco International Airport.”

The members of the San Mateo Airport/Community Roundtable presided over the mother of all noise shifts, Nextgen.

FAA disclosed Nextgen plans, made presentations to Roundables around the country (while we were clueless). Roundtables are the method FAA uses to do things without much scrutiny. The San Mateo members did not raise any objections even after Nextgen was causing noise over Palo Alto, they tepidly may have said something after March 2015 when Santa Cruz got noise.

Upon alarm from residents, the City of Palo Alto applied for membership in 2014, and the Roundtable rejected Palo Alto's petition leaving citizens out to dry.

That's the difference between the law and "policy statements" that sound nice but are 100% meaningless.

Of course when FAA was brought to the Bay Area because of widespread complaints the San Mateo Roundtable jumped in on the action, front row.


9 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 8, 2018 at 3:57 am

February 2018 SFO Noise Complaints

MountainView 60 complainers filed 7,470 reports
Palo Alto 227 complainers filed 46,250 reports
Total from everywhere was 1,461 complainers 160,163 reports

Probably a lot more would report but have given up,

June of 2014, SFO received 449 complaints about noise by just over 70 residents.



5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 8, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Noisy planes this Sunday afternoon including a Chinese cargo 747 low flying over N Palo Alto (LAX to SFO).


Like this comment
Posted by Donster
a resident of University South
on Apr 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm

"It will also get turned into rich entitled Palo Alto wants to have the planes fly over someone else's town."

Which is pretty much true, at least for a few Palo Altans.

The PA Weekly is pretty good at ensuring this issue never gets any rest. Why doesn't the paper collect a bunch of sound measurements from citizen scientists and report the findings? At least it would be a start. Make sure that the measurements are spend out over various times and locations and see what we get. The means to do so have been posted multiple times here on Town Square. So how about it? Or are we just going to burn through a bunch of cash to placate a few squeaky wheels without any hard evidence?


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Why doesn't the paper collect a bunch of sound measurements from citizen scientists and report the findings?"

Here is the data and more is on the way:

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Ehem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Donster,

Seeing "hard evidence" won't do much if the issue for you is that it's a "few" squeaky wheels.

Probably better for the Weekly to do a survey to see how many squeaky wheels are out there.



4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 8, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A basic problem is the difference between sound and noise.

Sound is a matter of measurement of the amount of energy produced - the answer is an unambiguous fact.

Noise is an individual human's perception of a given type and level of sound - the answer is very observer dependent.


13 people like this
Posted by John L
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I applaud Palo Alto city council for standing up!!! The people at SFO Roundtable are just talking and talking for the last few years they are too weak to go take legal action and at the same time don't have much to show for so far. What real changes (not promises) has the FAA made with their work with the FAA? The FAA goes about with their business of stepping over neighborhoods up and down the peninsula with noise and air pollution.

The FAA says NextGen can't be rolled back which is nonsense as before 2015 it was pretty quiet around here and planes were flying in and out of SFO without any problems, flying higher and spreading out more. Computers can be programmed to make adjustments but the FAA won't budge. If they can't do then let some company from our area do it afterall this is Silicon Valley.


The FAA shifted noise even more over Palo Alto by consolidating arrivals over the city. Residents didn't ask for this. FAA's inaction is an insult and a show of ignorance. People at the FAA who pushed this should be held responsible but no one was fired or demoted.

NextGen is to help airplanes save fuel, well asking planes to fly higher or spread out isn't going to kill efficiency as engines today are much more fuel efficient then engines from 20 years ago.


2 people like this
Posted by not-anti-air-travel
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm

I am hoping that the high speed rail will help reduce the airplane noise by providing an alternative to the polluting noisy air travel.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

HSR trains traveling at 100 mph will produce a sound level of 80 DbA at 100 ft from the tracks.

Web Link

With 10-20 trains an hour I suspect that the noise impact of HSR will be far greater than is that of airplanes.




13 people like this
Posted by John L
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Another thing I want to add it will only get worse. Anyone following changes at SFO with new airlines, existing airlines adding new routes, terminal expansion means and you add in broken NextGen means this is bad news.

Maybe Palo Alto city council should ban with cities up and down the peninsula in the lawsuit that would give this area a bigger voice and then maybe FAA will start to take notice. The fact that other areas of the country has cities raising complaints means this is not just a local issue but a national issue.

The FAA (Federal Annoying Administration) is also staffed by former airline people
so of course it's in their interest to serve airlines before residents. If they were really concerned about airplane safety airplanes should be flying higher and not concentrated over residential areas the last thing we want is airplanes crashing into homes. At the same time flying lower is leading to airplane exhaust (which has many toxic materials) spreading over residences, the FAA has not addressed healthy safety with NextGen with the increased air pollution. I don't expect the EPA to help here much either as administrators there are also cozy with big business.


13 people like this
Posted by PeterBlockhead
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 8, 2018 at 8:27 pm

>> HSR trains traveling at 100 mph will produce a sound level of 80 DbA at 100 ft from the tracks.

[Portion removed.] High-speed trains do not travel at top speed in dense urban areas.


4 people like this
Posted by Donster
a resident of University South
on Apr 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

"Here is the data and more is on the way:"

Thank you!

"Seeing "hard evidence" won't do much if the issue for you is that it's a "few" squeaky wheels."

Incorrect. I only have a problem with squeaky wheels when they claim a problem exists and that taxpayer money should be spent without any supporting evidence.

[Portion removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 8, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Changing of the flight paths apparently didn't reduce airport delays. So frankly not sure what NextGen has accomplished aside for making our lives miserable.

Web Link

"The industrywide on-time performance — never great — declined a bit last year, when 80.2 percent of flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule, which is the government's definition of on time. That was down from 81.4 percent in 2016."


1 person likes this
Posted by PeterBlockhead
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

">> HSR trains traveling at 100 mph will produce a sound level of 80 DbA at 100 ft from the tracks.

[Portion removed.] High-speed trains do not travel at top speed in dense urban areas."

Wrong - "Under the current plan, high-speed rail plans to move ahead with rail separation in the Central Valley but not on the Peninsula. Rather, the Peninsula segment calls for high-speed rail to share tracks with Caltrain in what's known as the "blended system." Because the high-speed trains in the blended system would reach maximum speeds of 110 mph, the rail authority is not required by Federal Railroad Administration regulations to pursue grade separation."


4 people like this
Posted by Oh well...
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Another blue ribbon committe to ramble on with no solutions. Politicians come and go who have minds easily diverted. Passing the problem along to other communities in the Bay Area only leads to litigation and discontent. Seems like this issue has been over analyzed for the last 25 years with local politicians offering no solutions. Onward we go on with committees, sub-committees, and no solutions. Good luck!


13 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Cory Wolback's attempt to jump in front of the SFO noise parade and pretend he is its leader got some traction on KCBS Sunday morning with a sixty second "news report" which featured two audio clips from Cory. The whole "report" seemed like it was lifted from a press release and/or the Weekly article. Guess it is a lot more cost effective to rewrite press releases than to actually put a real investigative reporter in the field.

If Cory can lead residents down the garden path into another dead-end he can probably pick up some brownie points from the pro-aviation Party leadership and his old boss and friend of SFO Jerry Hill. Jerry's SB-1430 made it illegal to offer transportation services at SFO without paying SFO their vig.

From Jerry Hill's list of legislative accomplishments:

"SB 1430 – San Francisco International Airport Unlicensed Commercial Transportation Operators – Closes a procedural loophole and enables the San Mateo County District Attorney to prosecute unlicensed commercial transportation operators that illegally transport passengers to San Francisco International Airport." Web Link

Interesting that the bill allows San Mateo County law enforcement (district attorney's office) to be used to enforce payments by transportation providers (Uber) to a San Francisco owned and operated for-profit business.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2018 at 6:34 am

We have a bay that should be the path the planes are going over. Yes - they have to cross a land mass/residential area to get to the bay when coming in from the west. But where they cross to get to the bay can be modified so it is not over heavily built residential property. I can note that planes coming in from the west are in a downward loop to make the turn going north to SFO and increase altitude to get over the bridge at HWY 92. I can watch that every day and see them increase altitude as they make the turn and head up to SFO. They are very aware that they are too low over the residential area. So FAA deal with that. SFO - deal with that. Fix that - they already know what the deal is on altitude. As to the famous "roundtable" the planes have already moved into their approach in upper San Mateo County so are not over residential property.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 10, 2018 at 7:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We have a bay that should be the path the planes are going over"

Yes - the FAITH/ANETE/ARCHE at 7000 ft approach proposed above does just that.

"..increase altitude to get over the bridge at HWY 92."

That just does not happen. None of the approaches to SFO involves climbing at any stage of the approach. What you are probably hearing is the engine noise increase as the planes reconfigure for landing by extending flaps and undercarriage which causes more drag and this requires more power.


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Excuse me - I can visually see the planes as they cross my house and increase altitude after they have made the turn. That is happening every day.


10 people like this
Posted by DeafBird
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2018 at 3:52 pm

I live in Pacifica, in a valley once known for its lovely peace & quiet. That all ended in 2015 with the Next Gen implementation. This problem is everywhere and will continue to get worse! The FAA could use the Next Gen Technology and fly planes over the ocean instead of land mass for flights headed to LA, Mexico, etc. The FAA would still save time & $$$, BUT the FAA is greedy and does not care about quality of life for folks living under flight plans.
A major lawsuit would work, but that takes commitment. I say every community affected should become part of a Public Nuisance Lawsuit. At least the publicity would get the FAA's attention!


7 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 17, 2018 at 10:11 pm

The Airbus A320's are loud, especially HAL42 at 9:54 this evening and ASA1939 crossing 101 at University at 3,425' at 10:05 pm this evening, June 17, 2018.


7 people like this
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Speaking of airplane noise, it sounded like several fighter jets buzzed Palo Alto around noon today. I was inside, so I couldn't see what or how many, but it was incredibly loud. I haven't seen any comments anywhere.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 18, 2018 at 12:09 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Yesterday at exactly 4PM the plane was so loud and low I thought it was coming straight through the house.


9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 18, 2018 at 2:30 am

Yesterday June 17th this was just some of the flights, not all of them,
that flew over Palo Alto. It was pretty much non-stop all day long,
but there are the ones I could log. I would estimate this was about
one flight in 4 or 5 that were remarkable. This also does not include
private aircraft or the helicopters that fly low over Palo Alto in the
middle of the early morning.

Something needs to be done about this, it sounds like a war zone.

Jun 17, 21:07:27 BF 710 (ORY:SFO A359 214k, 3348ft)
Jun 17, 20:06:19 B6 915 (JFK:SFO A321 220k, 3992ft)
Jun 17, 20:00:31 UA1604 (HNL:SFO B739 196k, 4660ft)
Jun 17, 19:46:27 UA 726 (YYC:SFO B738 255k, 4765ft)
Jun 17, 18:43:29 WN4625 (PHX:SFO B737 255k, 5255ft)
Jun 17, 18:41:06 UA1700 (IAH:SFO B738 170k, 4865ft)
Jun 17, 18:39:03 AS1279 (SJD:SFO A320 219k, 4975ft)
Jun 17, 18:20:33 UA5286 (ONT:SFO E75L 206k, 4590ft)
Jun 17, 18:03:11 UA1240 (SJD:SFO A320 223k, 4179ft)
Jun 17, 14:01:43 B61936 (LGB:SFO A320 218k, 3967ft)


Like this comment
Posted by Madias
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 18, 2018 at 9:21 am

I miss the good old days in the 60’s. We had sky writers in the summer and military jets doing sonic booms so loud our house rattled. It was thrilling. The blue angels flew at Moffett every year. It was awesome and fun. Now it’s nothing but whineing everytime someone hears a transport fly by. No more sky writers, no more blue angels. It’s a sad isolating life this town is pursuing.


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