News

City finds allies in battle against airplane noise

After several failed attempts, Palo Alto may be allowed to join SFO Community Roundtable

Palo Alto is on track to become the first Santa Clara County to join the SFO Community Roundtable, a coalition that currently offer membership to elected leaders from San Francisco, San Mateo County cities and transportation officials affiliated with the airport. Photo by Bill Larkins; obtained via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Palo Alto is poised to join an exclusive club that for more than 20 years has been declining to have the city as a member but that local officials believe may help them address the irksome issue of airplane noise.

The city is on its way to becoming the first Santa Clara County city to join the SFO Community Roundtable, a coalition that since its establishment in 1981 only offered membership to elected leaders from San Francisco and San Mateo County cities and key transportation officials affiliated with the San Francisco International Airport. Palo Alto's expected entry into the club would follow at least six prior requests by the city to join the Roundtable — overtures that go back to 1997 but that have become louder since the Federal Aviation Administration began instituting its NextGen Initiative in 2014. The federal program established three arrival routes over Palo Alto, leading to a sharp spike in air traffic and noise complaints.

To date, every attempt from Palo Alto to join the Roundtable had faltered in the face of political headwinds. Sitting members had argued that the group was created primarily for jurisdictions closest to the airport and that expanding membership would dilute their voices. That changed on Wednesday night, when the majority of the group agreed that Palo Alto should be allowed to join. To that end, the Roundtable voted to establish a subcommittee that will come up with criteria for admitting new members. The committee will also consider funding mechanisms for supporting the expanded Roundtable going forward.

While the motion didn't specifically name Palo Alto, members made it clear during the discussion that it was the city's repeated requests and persistent engagement in Roundtable operations that are driving the conversation. The majority of the members agreed that with NextGen in effect, Palo Alto deserves to have a voice in the discussion of airplane noise impacts.

Palo Alto received a particularly strong boost from Roundtable members representing cities in southern San Mateo County, including Portola Valley, Atherton and Woodside. SFO Airport Director Ivar Satero also supported allowing Palo Alto to become a member. The huge impact that NextGen has had on the city is "clear as day," he said.

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"I never thought of communities as having boundaries," Satero said. "I thought of them as those communities that are impacted by SFO operations."

Roundtable Chair Ricardo Ortiz, who serves as vice mayor in Burlingame, had voted several times against allowing Palo Alto to join. On Wednesday, he changed his position and said he was "cautiously in favor" of admitting the city into the group. Ortiz said he was impressed by the city's participation in Roundtable meetings over the past four years and suggested that because the group's existing members share many of Palo Alto's concerns, its entry into the club will not significantly impact the group's operations or raise costs.

Jeff Aalfs, a Portola Valley town council member who represents the town on the Roundtable, said he favors admitting Palo Alto immediately, though he went along with the more cautious and methodical approach favored by Ortiz and most of his other colleagues: establish admission criteria, revise the memorandum of understanding that governs the organization and then let Palo Alto into the group.

"If you ignore political boundaries, there's no question in my mind that Palo Alto is a stakeholder in the operation of the San Francisco Airport," Aalfs said.

Atherton City Council member Bill Widmer also said he is in favor of admitting Palo Alto. He cited the city's participation in discussions pertaining to airport operations and lauded the efforts of residents who have been regularly attending Roundtable meetings to weigh in on the issue of airplane noise.

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"I find them to be extremely well-educated and thoughtful in their comments. I feel they come prepared," Widmer said. "I think they would be extremely additive to what we're doing."

The response from representatives closest to the airport was far more mixed, with some welcoming Palo Alto and others vociferously opposing the city's admission. The most vocal opponent was Millbrae Mayor Ann Schneider, who suggested that the Roundtable already spends too much time listening to Palo Alto's problems at the expense of cities like her own, which wants to see more attention paid to ground-based noise. She said she has "just watched years of (her) life being eaten up by the people of Palo Alto."

"In the last six months of the year, they have taken the bulk of our time," Schneider said of Palo Alto residents. "What is to say that once they are a member, that isn't all we deal with?"

Terry O'Connell, a Brisbane City Council member, also said that with Palo Alto aboard, the Roundtable may spend too much time on airplane arrivals and not enough on departures, an issue of concern to her community.

"I appreciate all the help and the technical information that people from Palo Alto bring to our Roundtable," O'Connell said. "I also see that they have a lot of political clout and they have a lot of really impressive, well-versed people. But I do think that we get bogged down in arrivals to a tremendous amount, even if it's not on our agenda."

The Roundtable's change in direction spells a victory for the Palo Alto City Council, which has struggled to address the issue of airplane noise, and the citizens group Sky Posse, which has been at the forefront of the city's effort to combat NextGen's impacts. Several Palo Alto residents attended the Wednesday meeting to urge the Roundtable to grant Palo Alto membership. Marie-Jo Fremont, a longtime proponent of addressing airplane noise, suggested that the Roundtable's criteria are "outdated."

"They were established pre-NextGen and do not reflect the reality of impacts," Fremont said.

Resident Subodh Iyengar said letting Palo Alto into the group would be a "fair thing to do."

"I believe Palo Alto residents share a lot of the same issues as other cities in the Roundtable. … I think Palo Alto can be a great addition to the Roundtable," Iyengar said.

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City finds allies in battle against airplane noise

After several failed attempts, Palo Alto may be allowed to join SFO Community Roundtable

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 3, 2021, 8:58 am

Palo Alto is poised to join an exclusive club that for more than 20 years has been declining to have the city as a member but that local officials believe may help them address the irksome issue of airplane noise.

The city is on its way to becoming the first Santa Clara County city to join the SFO Community Roundtable, a coalition that since its establishment in 1981 only offered membership to elected leaders from San Francisco and San Mateo County cities and key transportation officials affiliated with the San Francisco International Airport. Palo Alto's expected entry into the club would follow at least six prior requests by the city to join the Roundtable — overtures that go back to 1997 but that have become louder since the Federal Aviation Administration began instituting its NextGen Initiative in 2014. The federal program established three arrival routes over Palo Alto, leading to a sharp spike in air traffic and noise complaints.

To date, every attempt from Palo Alto to join the Roundtable had faltered in the face of political headwinds. Sitting members had argued that the group was created primarily for jurisdictions closest to the airport and that expanding membership would dilute their voices. That changed on Wednesday night, when the majority of the group agreed that Palo Alto should be allowed to join. To that end, the Roundtable voted to establish a subcommittee that will come up with criteria for admitting new members. The committee will also consider funding mechanisms for supporting the expanded Roundtable going forward.

While the motion didn't specifically name Palo Alto, members made it clear during the discussion that it was the city's repeated requests and persistent engagement in Roundtable operations that are driving the conversation. The majority of the members agreed that with NextGen in effect, Palo Alto deserves to have a voice in the discussion of airplane noise impacts.

Palo Alto received a particularly strong boost from Roundtable members representing cities in southern San Mateo County, including Portola Valley, Atherton and Woodside. SFO Airport Director Ivar Satero also supported allowing Palo Alto to become a member. The huge impact that NextGen has had on the city is "clear as day," he said.

"I never thought of communities as having boundaries," Satero said. "I thought of them as those communities that are impacted by SFO operations."

Roundtable Chair Ricardo Ortiz, who serves as vice mayor in Burlingame, had voted several times against allowing Palo Alto to join. On Wednesday, he changed his position and said he was "cautiously in favor" of admitting the city into the group. Ortiz said he was impressed by the city's participation in Roundtable meetings over the past four years and suggested that because the group's existing members share many of Palo Alto's concerns, its entry into the club will not significantly impact the group's operations or raise costs.

Jeff Aalfs, a Portola Valley town council member who represents the town on the Roundtable, said he favors admitting Palo Alto immediately, though he went along with the more cautious and methodical approach favored by Ortiz and most of his other colleagues: establish admission criteria, revise the memorandum of understanding that governs the organization and then let Palo Alto into the group.

"If you ignore political boundaries, there's no question in my mind that Palo Alto is a stakeholder in the operation of the San Francisco Airport," Aalfs said.

Atherton City Council member Bill Widmer also said he is in favor of admitting Palo Alto. He cited the city's participation in discussions pertaining to airport operations and lauded the efforts of residents who have been regularly attending Roundtable meetings to weigh in on the issue of airplane noise.

"I find them to be extremely well-educated and thoughtful in their comments. I feel they come prepared," Widmer said. "I think they would be extremely additive to what we're doing."

The response from representatives closest to the airport was far more mixed, with some welcoming Palo Alto and others vociferously opposing the city's admission. The most vocal opponent was Millbrae Mayor Ann Schneider, who suggested that the Roundtable already spends too much time listening to Palo Alto's problems at the expense of cities like her own, which wants to see more attention paid to ground-based noise. She said she has "just watched years of (her) life being eaten up by the people of Palo Alto."

"In the last six months of the year, they have taken the bulk of our time," Schneider said of Palo Alto residents. "What is to say that once they are a member, that isn't all we deal with?"

Terry O'Connell, a Brisbane City Council member, also said that with Palo Alto aboard, the Roundtable may spend too much time on airplane arrivals and not enough on departures, an issue of concern to her community.

"I appreciate all the help and the technical information that people from Palo Alto bring to our Roundtable," O'Connell said. "I also see that they have a lot of political clout and they have a lot of really impressive, well-versed people. But I do think that we get bogged down in arrivals to a tremendous amount, even if it's not on our agenda."

The Roundtable's change in direction spells a victory for the Palo Alto City Council, which has struggled to address the issue of airplane noise, and the citizens group Sky Posse, which has been at the forefront of the city's effort to combat NextGen's impacts. Several Palo Alto residents attended the Wednesday meeting to urge the Roundtable to grant Palo Alto membership. Marie-Jo Fremont, a longtime proponent of addressing airplane noise, suggested that the Roundtable's criteria are "outdated."

"They were established pre-NextGen and do not reflect the reality of impacts," Fremont said.

Resident Subodh Iyengar said letting Palo Alto into the group would be a "fair thing to do."

"I believe Palo Alto residents share a lot of the same issues as other cities in the Roundtable. … I think Palo Alto can be a great addition to the Roundtable," Iyengar said.

Comments

Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 3, 2021 at 11:38 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley. Is that where the money is? The insanity of airplane noise complaints...


MP_Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 3, 2021 at 11:56 am
MP_Resident, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 11:56 am

Congratulations to Palo Alto and Sky Posse for getting their foot in the door! Metropolitan areas that have successfully gotten the FAA's attention have done so because they are united in concerns about NextGen noise. With the easing of the pandemic, arrivals at SFO are approaching 2019 levels (at my house, an overflight at 4,000 feet every few minutes during peak hours), which is an unbearable impact if you live beneath the flight path. As a Menlo Park resident, I hope that our City Council will join Palo Alto in promoting concerns of everyone impacted by SFO arrivals.


MBH
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 3, 2021 at 12:09 pm
MBH, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 12:09 pm

When the FAA set up the three new arrival routes over Palo Alto, the airline noise increased dramatically. Before the changes, the turns into the approach routes/landing patterns that go up the Bay were considerably farther south, and went up the Bay, not over the cities. Those turns were also done at a higher altitude. The turns farther North are done at lower altitudes over the city and increased the noise, especially as the planes throttled down. In addition, the number of planes went up to about 1 every 60 to 90 seconds during the day. And the over-flights start much earlier in the morning and go on into the night - it is LOUD!! Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly sympathize with the cities to the north which are impacted by the take off patterns. Personally I think the airport should not be allowed to expand, if it has that in mind. There is such a thing as quality of life.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 3, 2021 at 1:14 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 1:14 pm

Yes, congratulations to Sky Posse for all this hard work over the last 20 years.


Stepheny
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 3, 2021 at 2:26 pm
Stepheny , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Thanks to Sky Posse's dedicated and innovative organizers for not giving up. I hope having a seat at the table results in positive change in the air routes. We shouldn't have to keep our windows closed and the air conditioner on to get peace and quiet.


Eli P
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm
Eli P, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm

The pictures in this article are misleading. The airplane noise is caused by big jets landing at SFO but many of them make the turn over Palo Alto. The tiny propeller airplanes make noise only close to the Palo Alto airport. There are noise abatement procedures while flying over Palo Alto.


Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Jun 3, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Thanks to Sky Posse, city staff, and Lydia Kou for their persistence in getting to this point.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 3, 2021 at 6:38 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2021 at 6:38 pm

@Eli P

ahh... since you don't live near 101 and Embarcadero you don't realize in our neighborhood that small planes from PAO are much louder than those going to SFO. And those flights aren't critical for our economy. Essentially a bunch of wealthy pilots practicing takeoff/landings and doing circles over our neighborhood.


Lucille Manning
Registered user
Southgate
on Jun 5, 2021 at 10:33 am
Lucille Manning, Southgate
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2021 at 10:33 am

My late husband flew combat helicopters in Viet Nam and once mentioned that these aircraft-related noise complaints border on the trivial.


LeAnne Menendez
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2021 at 1:28 pm
LeAnne Menendez, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2021 at 1:28 pm

My husband also served in Viet Nam as a forward observer for the artillery.

Artillery rounds + overhead Huey gunships firing Gatling Guns and cannons along with their jet motors roaring make these Palo Alto Airport noise complaints petty.

Just ask any former infantryman or Vietnamese refuge.


Neal
Registered user
Community Center
on Jun 6, 2021 at 6:37 am
Neal, Community Center
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 6:37 am

I'm happy for those who think constant airplane noise is trivial and petty. But it's not trivial and petty to thousands of others. Please don't casually dismiss our concerns. Noise pollution is a health hazard and affects each individual differently.


Raul Morales
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2021 at 7:11 am
Raul Morales, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 7:11 am

The constant sound of a gas-powered leafblower or a roadside jackhammer is far more annoying and irritating than a passing overhead plane.

At least the plane is moving quickly and the sound will soon be gone.

You do not have the same latitude with gardeners who seem to enjoy operating their leaf blowers or road crews working nearby.


Cassandra Edwards
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jun 6, 2021 at 8:37 am
Cassandra Edwards, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 8:37 am

For many of the complainers, how many
of you were here FIRST...in other words PRIOR to the Palo Alto Airport or SFO being built?

If not, perhaps you knew what you were getting into when you purchased your home and while air traffic has increased, this is to be expected as times change. We are not living in Hooterville.

The only ones with a legitimate gripe (if any) are the dwindling old-timers who have personally witnessed and experienced the modernization of Santa Clara Valley.

Late arrivals need not apply.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2021 at 8:55 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 8:55 am

What odd "logic" those supporting airport noise are displaying. Perhaps they have some helpful hints on how to quiet crying babies woken up and help their sleep-deprived young parents.

Or perhaps they sleep all day and aren't awakened by the flights that start at 11PM and roar across our homes every 30 minutes until dawn as they did pre-Covid.


Cassandra Edwards
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jun 6, 2021 at 9:06 am
Cassandra Edwards, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 9:06 am

It has nothing to do with supporting airport noise...it is about adapting.

When you alter an environment in accordance with modern times, it will be very difficult to go back to a more quiet and rustic habitat.

Add population growth into the equation and there is no going back....at best, perhaps an incentive to relocate to a time and place where none of these perceived irritants currently exist.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2021 at 10:15 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 10:15 am

We don't have to have ridiculous population growth -- offices and residents -- in the middle of an unprecedented drought and when people are trying to ESCAPE congestion here WHILE being told to cutback on water use when we ALREADY conserve more than required. Recall that when we DO conserve, Palo Alto Utilities still raises water rates, telling us we conserved TOO MUCH as they've done whenever they raise rates.

Re airplane noise, there's a nice big bay east of Palo Alto which is where the planes flew before clueless bureaucrats CHANGED the flight path within the last few decades when most of us were already alive (to respond to your "logic").

Why should we have to adapt to stupidity / lack of attention to details and why should it take 20 years to even get representation on a panel?


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:40 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:40 am

The people complaining about airplane noise are the same people who move next to a school and complain about traffic and children. If any noise bothers you, close your windows. It leads to peace of mind, and it's a good reminder that we don't live in a perfect world, nor does the world revolve around you. If you want a noise free environment move out to the middle of nowhere.

Don't sweat the small stuff. It's something we all struggle with, but learning to focus on things that are really important is a healthier way to live. It's also less draining for those around you.

Learning to adapt is a mindset that anyone can accomplish. Go with the flow and roll with the punches. Some people are happier than others...


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:47 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:47 am

@Jennifer from Another Community, I hope you're not experiencing what we in Palo Alto are. When I bought the house, it wasn't under an airline path where low-flying planes started shaking the house in the middle of the night; that's only a relatively RECENT problem from bureacrats incapable solving problems.

Why are you defending incompetence? Can't you find the Bay on a map? That's where the planes USED TO FLY.

Where do YOU live and how long have YOU lived there that you feel qualified to preach to the rest of us on OUR local issues.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Online Name -- I've spent most of my childhood and adult life in PALO ALTO. My husband and I still own our home in PALO ALTO. We're Palo Alto taxpayers. I've heard the planes in Palo Alto, and I closed my window. It was no big deal.

My hometown is San Diego. We moved to Palo Alto when I was seven. The planes fly so low in San Diego I got used to it as a kid. It was no big deal to me, my three siblings or my parents.

I'm not defending incompetence. I'm defending LOGIC. Planes fly. Get over it. None of my friends and family in Palo Alto (A LOT OF PEOPLE) are bothered by the noise. They're happy people. If you don't want to deal with planes, don't move to a city with an airport or anywhere near a major airport.

You sound very unhappy (on every thread), and I wish you well.

To answer your question (not that I owe you any explanation) we live in Contra Costa County.

Have a nice day...


JR McDugan
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jun 6, 2021 at 12:19 pm
JR McDugan, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 12:19 pm

I'm glad that certain people aren't bothered by the airplane noise, good for you. Meanwhile your neighbors can't sleep because of backhanded deals by SFO to export noise from their airport two counties over.

SFO is in the city and county of San Francisco. It's completely reasonable to insist that all planes taking off or leaving from SFO stay in San Francisco airspace (or over the Pacific Ocean) until they reach 10,000 feet. There is no reason for a plane landing in the city and county of San Francisco to fly low over Palo Alto.


Bobby Becerra
Registered user
another community
on Jun 6, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Bobby Becerra, another community
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 1:56 pm

Except for its local junior college and St. Mary's in Moraga, Contra Costa County is not exactly a college oriented county which might explain its conservative leanings.

Danville was a farming town back in the day and a former stage coach stop.

And the county seat Martinez is a hick town along the Carquinez Strait that never evolved past the 1920s.

It gets hot during the summer in CCC too...best to just stay on 880 and keep going as there is nothing worth checking out over there and Mt. Diablo can be easily seen by the road.


Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2021 at 11:17 pm

"For many of the complainers, how many of you were here FIRST...in other words PRIOR to the Palo Alto Airport or SFO being built?"

I'm glad you brought that angle up. Most of us were here before the FAA rerouted noisy airplanes over our homes, so I'm pleased you support our efforts to put them back where they were when we bought our homes. Thank you muchly.


Neal
Registered user
Community Center
on Jun 7, 2021 at 6:37 am
Neal, Community Center
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 6:37 am

I was born in the old Palo Alto hospital and I haven't left. I was here way before the use of commercial jets.


Bill Chambers
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jun 7, 2021 at 10:20 am
Bill Chambers, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 10:20 am

Times change...learn to adjust.

75-80 years ago, some PA residents used to complain about the old Southern Pacific locomotives that traveled along Alma.

The engines may have switched to quieter diesels but the trains never went away.

The only way the skies will return to a quieter state is if people fly by blimp and that is not going to happen.

At bat...the seasonal complaints about Shoreline Amphitheater once it reopens.


Richard Geharty
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 7, 2021 at 11:44 am
Richard Geharty, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 11:44 am

Many Palo Alto residents have become over-sensititized to just about everything.

They would have made lousy pioneers.


need to fly less
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm
need to fly less, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm

@Bill and Richard,

The science is that people do not "adapt" or become less "sensitized" to noise. At continuous and elevated levels, noise causes real health harm.

Jets at lower altitudes drop partially burnt jet fuel.

Social justice communities are especially vulnerable to the harms of both noise and air pollution. So are kids, asthma levels and noise interferes with learning and interferes with concentration.

Airports don't have to bother with any of the costs of noise. They are heavily subsidized, so are the airlines. The cities that "own" these airports take in all the profits and don't bother with climate issues either.

They can afford to put the planes higher and over the bay.


Stepheny
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 7, 2021 at 5:14 pm
Stepheny , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 5:14 pm

This isn't about who can tough out bad things or taking deep breaths to meditate. This is a problem which can be fixed by simply tweaking the landing pattern into SFO. The noise is a problem for those of us who live in the flight corridor, usually between Middlefield and #101.

Let's fix it and stop the grousing.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 7, 2021 at 5:31 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 5:31 pm

The problem being experienced is the result of low flying planes. That complaint is universal over the whole country. Baltimore - same issues. It is the result of the FAA changing the rules on the altitude of the planes. What is even weirder is that the planes are lower here because they are in the incoming downslope coming over the mountains, make their turn up to SFO - then gain some altitude to go over the bridges and stage for their incoming run into the SFO. Creating the turn back here is the result of the increase in air traffic in which the planes have to jockey for the right to land - a sequence of planes in a planned order.

There is an obvious correction to this problem - increase the altitude of the planes over the lower bay area.

Lucinda's entry has nothing to do with the topic of this blog. Neither does Bobbies entry. What is the point of making entries in blogs that have nothing to to do with the topic.


Rob Johnson/Captain
Registered user
another community
on Jun 7, 2021 at 6:25 pm
Rob Johnson/Captain, another community
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 6:25 pm

> increase the altitude of the planes over the lower bay area.

Obviously you haven't flown much.

What goes up must come down and even if approach altitudes were increased, upon descent the plane still needs to hover at lower altitudes in order to eventually land.

Unless you believe in the kamikaze approach to aircraft landings.

FYI...the airlines have not yet adopted verticle landing craft as only the military has those flight options.


need to fly less
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2021 at 7:17 pm
need to fly less, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 7:17 pm

@Captain,

"What goes up must come down and even if approach altitudes were increased, upon descent the plane still needs to hover at lower altitudes in order to eventually land."

Planes would be better hovering over water instead of over people. But I suppose you know that Nextgen is not working and the stories that planes will glide efficiently and quietly with new "technology" are false.

Why would it matter to you Captain, if there were better routes and actual air traffic management, instead of last minute decisions or vectoring that burn more fuel over people and noisier descents.

And increasingly it seems pilots are not being trusted to fly planes and why they need even more technology, but no sign that this is better or safer.


Clem McDaniels
Registered user
another community
on Jun 7, 2021 at 7:47 pm
Clem McDaniels, another community
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2021 at 7:47 pm

Upon descent and while in a holding pattern, planes are often required to circle in a broad loop.

And it is not just jetliners and private aircraft...if you have ever watched The Blue Angels perform, they will often re-form 25-30 miles away from the demonstration site.

Lastly, the folks in the East Bay might resent having even more aircraft circling overhead due to complaints emanating out of Palo Alto.

Just share the noise and the inconveniences as nothing lasts forever.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 8, 2021 at 10:36 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 8, 2021 at 10:36 am

Clem - have you noticed that there is both a local airport - Hayward Executive Airport and Oakland international airport in the east bay? Oakland airport is set to expand their facilities and number of planes landing there. The flights from Hawaii to Oakland cross over PA. There are also planes working the San Jose Airport that take off and cross over going to the northwest and east coast.

"Over the Bay" is not over the Oakland Airport incoming and outgoing planes. The East Bay has it's own problems. Check out a flight tracker tool to see where the planes are going.

Captain - the first round of planes is generally very high. Then there is a second round of planes that is very low. That is the wait and stage area that is now over residential houses vs the bay. We all know that. Possibly there needs to be more control tower activity so the planes are staging over the ocean waiting to get their clearance. But you all need to meet a time for landing to meet your goals.


Merilee Steinman
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 8, 2021 at 11:43 am
Merilee Steinman, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 8, 2021 at 11:43 am

As a former and original flight attendant on an old Ford Tri-Motor passenger plane during the late 1930's all I can say is that many people today are weenies when it comes to dealing with sound Dbs.

No wonder the U.S. is falling by the wayside to other countries....American citizens are getting too soft and lazy.


need to fly less
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm
need to fly less, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm

@Merilee

"As a former and original flight attendant on an old Ford Tri-Motor passenger plane during the late 1930's.."

The noise and air quality inside an airplane is very different than jets descending, grinding, or howling to land at an airport.

But your POV is understandable because the noise policies of the 30's are still in place today! Current policy is pretty much a subjective concept that people are weenies and the flying polluting machines are precious.

Times have changed and getting sprayed with jet fuel residue has a cost, not just to weenies.


Dusty Pierce
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 8, 2021 at 6:44 pm
Dusty Pierce, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 8, 2021 at 6:44 pm

Back in the day, flight attendants also had to be RNs in the event of an emergency.

Having grown up near Pensacola, FL (as a Navy brat) all I can say is you ain't heard nothing yet until you hear fighter planes on practice manuevers and occasionally breaking the sound barrier.

What's with these Palo Alto residents who complain about Shoreline and overhead planes?

This isn't exactly Apocalypse Now.


Scotty
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jun 9, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Scotty, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2021 at 12:32 pm

@Lucinda-- this article is about airplane noise dear.... Not sure why PA Online editors are allowing your race baiting comments. Best to stay on point.


Luwanda Jeffries
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Luwanda Jeffries, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm

We hear airplanes all day and PA residents are complaining about sporadic flyovers?

It must be nice to have no other worries or concerns in life.


Shawonda Jefferson
Registered user
another community
on Jun 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm
Shawonda Jefferson, another community
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Life can often become even more trivial with growing affluence and disposable income.

Unlike many African Americans who continue to struggle for equality, most white people can simply get by on their skin color regardless of any inherent character, education, intelligence, or personal willpower.



need to fly less
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2021 at 12:28 pm
need to fly less, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 12:28 pm

@Luwanda and Shawonda,

You may be interested in knowing that the Federal Aviation Administration used the same zip code that is shared by EPA and PA - zip code 94303 to obfuscate environmental assessment in 2014 that would give more rights to address and potentially mitigate the intense air traffic in East Palo Alto.

While you may not be affected, people who suffer and there are many in EPA are being left out of potential mitigations.

You can learn more about the 1994 Executive Order “Federal Actions to Address
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.”


Web Link.

"Executive Order (E.O.) 12898 - Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations - was issued by President William J. Clinton in 1994. Its purpose is to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health effects of federal actions on minority and low-income populations with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities.


Efren Delgado
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:35 pm
Efren Delgado, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2021 at 5:35 pm

> Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations - was issued by President William J. Clinton in 1994.

So how far have we actually come since 1994... that's roughly 27 years ago.

Does Palo Alto get first priority in this complaint because it's residents are mostly white and well-to-do?

We have fireworks and street racing noise going on all of the time so a airplane noise is considered a trivial matter.

Time for some Palo Altans to learn how to toughen up.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 11, 2021 at 8:56 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2021 at 8:56 am

Efren - fireworks and street racing are illegal now. Time for the city of EPA to get a grip on their city. As to street racing in EPA - do not see where that could happen. The streets are very narrow and under construction - so pavement is chewed up. All of the main streets are getting dividers to control the flow. EPA is in a big redevelopment phase now and is looking good. Efron - get on board with your city to make it beautiful.


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