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Palo Alto opts not to sue FAA

Original post made on Apr 10, 2018

Palo Alto officials decided after a closed session Monday not to launch a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration over airplane noise, which has become a growing nuisance for residents.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 9:11 AM

Comments (65)

6 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

Ear plugs. There, all fixed.


66 people like this
Posted by Wrong choice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2018 at 9:32 am

"We have not identified any legal flaws that are anywhere as significant as anything that happened in Phoenix," Kniss said.

Kniss either has no idea about the term "significant" or doesn't care.

Unless this was a choice guided by Palo City Attorney who is also former General Counsel for San Francisco Airport


31 people like this
Posted by yKa
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2018 at 11:34 am

Liz Kniss seems to be the messenger of bad news. I think she was instrumental in getting our Superhighway since she was instrumental in saving PAO, which the FAA now runs to guide all the 300+ planes a day over Palo Alto into SFO. So I dont see any hope for Palo Alto, all they care about is building more housing and getting more people in here to live , while quite a few of us are now working on exiting Palo Alto. This can be termed a Success/Disaster!


14 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 10, 2018 at 11:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"PAO, which the FAA now runs to guide all the 300+ planes a day over Palo Alto into SFO."

Wrong - virtually none of the planes landing at SFO enter PAO airspace and hence they are not controlled by the PAO tower.


70 people like this
Posted by Bob Gleason
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

Well, well... the wealthiest set of zip codes in the country has decided to fold and let all of it's residents look forward to a long, ineffective, waste of time "regional committee". I just don't understand what the thought process is here. File a freakin lawsuit.. Wake someone up at the FAA just like we are at 1:30, 3:40, 5:15 every morning..


8 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:04 pm

MONEY is their god. If there continues to be "a finding of no significant impact" on their profits this will not stop and it will continue to get worse. Too many elected officials are industry captives.

Cut flying and shipping by air to the absolute minimum. It wouldn't take much to achieve a significant impact if enough people did this.


9 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Good news. I think it would have been a waste of our tax dollars to sue the FAA. We would almost certainly loose.


24 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

I guess the city can't afford to sue the FAA; they've spent it all tearing up and ruining Ross Road.


5 people like this
Posted by Roshongo
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Apr 10, 2018 at 2:55 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkMike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm

We have seen this kind of problem resolution process before-San Franciscito Creek and its potential for another flood. Our city, county and Federal bureaucrats are happy to move at glacial speed at best.

It seems to me they have no meaningful stake in these issues themselves and therefor have little motivation. I don’t like lawsuits as a solution for most problems but maybe that’s the only way to get people in power to solve this sufficiently motivated.

The noise from flyovers seems to have gotten worse again in the last 7-10 days.


44 people like this
Posted by Nancy Martin
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm

What happens to people when they are elected to a public office like a city council? Do they become deaf to the needs of the people who elected them? Do they slowly begin to feel part of some elite class that can’t tell us the truth? I just don’t get it.
All of the effected cities have a city attorney (Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Portola Valley and more)
Get them all together and file a class action or group lawsuit. The attorneys are already on the payroll, what’s the problem? I’ll be happy to set that meeting up tomorrow!
By doing nothing, the FAA can proclaim their plan is working and Congress can do nothing to help us. We have to litagate. They have left us with no other option. The expansion of SFO Terminal One opens in 2019 and believe it or not, it will get even worse.
I was at that meeting and spoke about the horrendous impact NextGen has had on Los Altos as well.
It’s heartbreaking to see this happen because the FAA made an irresponsible decision. Any good class action attorneys out there willing to help? You will make history and give thousand of people their lives back!



28 people like this
Posted by John L
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Palo Alto residents although living in the heart of Silicon Valley must be stupid so ......The case in Phoenix, she said, was an anomaly because the FAA had made "many errors" in failing to conduct an adequate environmental review

So the planes flying low over Palo Alto approaching SFO having us and kids breathe their plane exhaust (VOCs, particulate matter, etc) is not an environmental danger???? When was airplane exhaust considered healthy did I miss thing here?


If I can read the tail logos (Southwest, British Airways, Laufthansa,etc ) and see their engines they are really flying too low.


36 people like this
Posted by Nancy Martin
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Well.... the title sums it up “Officials conclude legal challenge is unlikely to succeed”
To the city councils everywhere.... You do know that you are what you believe, right? You can’t win unless you try and you’re already defeated if you don’t believe you can.

Why are our officials so afraid of failure? Take a stand, defend your people. That’s what they elected you!
You might benefit by reading the biography of Teddy Rosevelt. Leaders don’t back down from doing the right thing. Your people need you to fight for them!


17 people like this
Posted by John L
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 10, 2018 at 3:53 pm

If the city's legal team can't hack it (can't believe Palo Alto of all places is throwing in the towel) maybe the city can work with one of the many powerful Silicon Valley law firms on PageMill or by 101 freeway to get the job done.

What happened to the "can do" spirit of the city? Isn't this the city where Hewlett Packard was founded??


46 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Liz Kniss has been on a mission to turn Palo Alto into a very dense metropolis for many years now. No other local politician is more responsible for the destruction off this town and it quality of life. She has been pushing development and urbanization for decades. There was zero chance that P.A. would sue the FAA with her as mayor. I suspect she would have pushed for an international major airport in Palo Alto if she could get away with it, and if the planes didn't fly over her house.


25 people like this
Posted by Steve Dabrowski
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Three rubes went to Washington, got rolled by the FAA and come back full of fire. Really stuck with it didn't they.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 10, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Suing the Trump administration will just cause him to respond with a barrage of Twitter bullying, which will be terrible for local businesses.


7 people like this
Posted by Ensey
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2018 at 9:27 pm

What about the class b problem? They rolled out a program that added major noise and pollution because they did it wrong on so many levels.


22 people like this
Posted by Local Guy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 11, 2018 at 7:40 am

Thank you not wasting money on litigation that was likely to fail and that frankly does not represent the slightest of concerns for the overwhelming majority of citizens of this city. How on earth can people think that jets that cruise a mile over our city (typically with engines running on relatively low idle which emits less pollution and with winds that usually run out towards the Bay) are a source of air problems relative to the tens of thousands of cars idling on our jammed local streets/highways is beyond me. Thanks again and lets now press on with the real issues that influence the quality of life in this town, like zero affordable housing, terrible traffic, etc.


15 people like this
Posted by Welcome to PalAereotroplis
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 11, 2018 at 7:57 am

"Liz Kniss has been on a mission to turn Palo Alto into a very dense metropolis for many years now. No other local politician is more responsible for the destruction off this town and it quality of life. She has been pushing development and urbanization for decades. There was zero chance that P.A. would sue the FAA with her as mayor. I suspect she would have pushed for an international major airport in Palo Alto if she could get away with it, and if the planes didn't fly over her house."

Welcome to PalAerotropolis where developers and airports come together

Aerotropolis.com
Web Link

"Dr. Kasarda defined the term "aerotropolis" and works with airports, cities, and countries worldwide to leverage airports and aviation for commercial development and economic growth."

PalAerotropolis is where you can drop $$$$millions on a City Hall "tech" upgrade so that more developer and airport deals can be made

Assuring housing and traffic management to leverage all the ASSETS the City has


9 people like this
Posted by Welcome to PaleRotropolis
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 11, 2018 at 8:32 am

Planning for the future

Web Link

"Aerotropolis planning principles are provided to improve (1) people and logistics mobility, (2) airport area land use and community development, and (3) firm and regional competitiveness. Focus is on creating new "economies of speed" in goods and services trade through better local and global aerotropolis connectivity with coordinated business siting."

"Economies of Speed"! wohooo!


6 people like this
Posted by Oh well...
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Palo Alto is a terrible place to live. Why do folks put up with airport noise, traffic concerns, parking, freeway noise, incredibly stupid housing costs, uncontrolled development, an ineffective city council and city manager (and senior staff ), no plan to fix infrastructure, etc, etc, etc., and basically a very poorly run city? Sitting back and complaining is always fun and somewhat absurd but I guess that is the Palo Alto way! Good luck! Revolution Now!


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Palo Alto has indeed become a terrible place to live. Polluted, overcrowded, incredibly noisy and tacky, out of control traffic, too many rude and inconsiderate . Living in P.A now is truly an act of masochism. I'm so glad I left two years ago. I'm sorry I didn't leave much earlier.


10 people like this
Posted by NO MORE ROOM!
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm


Really~ the majority of rude people and people trying to enter into the business and social norms of our beloved old Palo Alto ways are the ones who come her with a desire to make money ~at any cost~ to our once laid back town.


8 people like this
Posted by Fed up
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

SFO had been there since the 1930s and jet aircraft began serving SFO in 1959. The early jets were much more noisy than modern ones. Since the airport was there before most of us moved in, people should stop complaining.


35 people like this
Posted by To stop complaining
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2018 at 10:55 am

In my case, I specifically looked for a quiet house. I’m about as far away from a major airport as I can be on the peninsula.

The low, frequent planes overhead have eliminated enjoyable time in my yard; another criteria for my choice of house.

The planes prevent me from quality sleep. It’s a major impact on quality of life.

Stop complaining about people who want to reduce this problem.

What can your goal possibly be?


17 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

We should sue. Just today I read an article in "The Guardian" online: Web Link

Living near heavy traffic increases risk of dementia, say scientists

Study tracking 6.6 million people estimates one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s among those living by busy roads could be linked to air and noise pollution.

--

Maybe the folks who say they don't care or do not hear the airplane noise pollution are telling the truth or they could be demented.


40 people like this
Posted by hopeless
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 13, 2018 at 7:32 am

KAL8213 and ASA1893 rumbled over Palo Alto last night around 1:30am. The ASA1893 airbus 320's signature whistling and air brake screeching was absolutely horrific !!


11 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2018 at 10:10 am

Perhaps it’s time for the FAA NextGen program’s NorCal and SoCal Metroplexes to meet NorCal and SoCal class action lawsuits.
Some encouragement in this direction from our neighbor to the north.

"Class action lawsuit over noise pollution at Trudeau airport gets green light" by Anne Leclair (Global News Canada, April 11, 2018), link to article:

Web Link

"We want to be able to sleep at night."

Sounds like a basic human right to me for our elected officials to protect. Further on that, check out Russell G. Foster at the University of Oxford (England), Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute and Fellow at Brasenose College, who tells people to make time for sleep. I do! But the 24/7 low flying aircraft won’t let me sleep! Anyway, no cause for alarm, right? We just whiners who need to move or wear earplugs all the time, which BTW don’t suffice. Foster states that "disruption of the sleep/wake axis results in a broad range of interconnected pathologies such as poor vigilance and memory; reduced mental and physical reaction times; reduced motivation; metabolic abnormalities; immune impairment and even a greater risk of cancer." See? Nothing serious stop your complaining and just MOVE, THE AIRPORT WAS THERE FIRST, blah, blah, blah.

"The World Health Organization considers anything above 55 to be a health hazard."

65 DNL annual average must be abolished and maximum per event limits determined by real, not computer simulated, on the ground measurements made the standard. A healthy sound environment should not be a billionaire right but a human right.

"We are looking for a complete curfew from 11 in the evening to 7 in the morning"

Ah, I haven't had one of those since the NextGen program started. Can't even remember what that's like...

Best wishes to our neighbors up north!


19 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2018 at 9:01 pm

April 13, 2018 9:00PM:

Very loud jet noise every 5-10 minutes for the last three hours.


10 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2018 at 9:19 pm

Can people get off their high horses with this "basic human right" nonsense? There are three international airports in the area. Airplanes are going to be flying over people's houses.


13 people like this
Posted by May
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 13, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Good read from reputable sources below it's not just the noise it's the exhaust

Web Link

Web Link


24 people like this
Posted by Lawson
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 13, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Mary

Thanks for sharing the articles, air pollution is definitely a concern, have to why people get lung cancer but they never smoked. Wonder if the great minds at Stanford have any research on Nextgen and air pollution/health effects it would be a good research project. We have a lot of schools around here and kids are getting exposed unknowingly.

Yes airports won't go away but the increased frequency
, consolidated paths, and lower attitudes didn't exist a few years ago our city was a quieter city then and now a dumping ground to SFO. When your quality of life suddenly changes to bad you have to speak out. I didn't move to Palo Alto to be close to SFO.




19 people like this
Posted by Trust in government
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm

"supporting regional roundtables relating to aircraft impacts"

Roundtables are the government style (like Palo Alto's) to pretend they are listening to us, but allow us to talk only to a few people around a table.
This keeps the group from recognizing a consensus and the city can continue doing what it wants.
Divide and conquer.

No wonder trust in Palo Alto's government is so low,


1 person likes this
Posted by @Bob Gleason
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm

"Well, well... the wealthiest set of zip codes in the country has decided to fold and let all of it's residents look forward to a long, ineffective, waste of time "regional committee"."

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving set of zip codes.


11 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Lawsuit will work, don't know why local elected officials are supporting NextGen routes?

news for Phoenix residents impacted by NextGen route shifting!
Effective March 29, 2018 the FAA has essentially reverted back to two former routes for aircraft that depart Sky Harbor to the west and either continue west or turn north. The routes are the first step in implementing an agreement between the FAA, City of Phoenix and historic neighborhoods northwest of downtown Phoenix, after the City and the neighborhoods SUED the FAA over flight path changes. The new routes approximate the paths that were flown prior to September 2014.
Residents return to the peaceful pre 2015 environment while awaiting the FAA's execution on the feasible items.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A law suit might work if all of the underlying jurisdictions are parties to the lawsuit. In the case of Phoenix the city basically constitutes all of the underlying areas so it was easy to have a unified position. In the case of the peninsula communities they each one of them have a different objective - move the noise over someone else's community.


21 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Carpenter said:

"In the case of the peninsula communities they each one of them have a different objective - move the noise over someone else's community"

This sounds like projection on your part. Atherton worked quietly to have the air traffic shifted from southern Sam Mateo County to Northern Santa Clara County. Dr. Crystal's analysis of the FAA's radar flight data proved the shift.

Residents of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Portola Valley been working together and pushing for an "Over the Bay" solution, but their is no political will to force the FAA to act. The Party "leadership" in SF and San Mateo County like the noise right where it is... in northern Santa Clara County.




11 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Atherton has it all. Political might to move the jet traffic, no worry about "affordable housing", density, traffic calming, office buildings and all the other aggravations that are given to us by our elected officials.

Return the jet highway to pre nextgen and the problem is solved.


21 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 18, 2018 at 10:05 pm

And the problem is not just noise. As I was walking about by the Baylands today one of those extremely loud mutli-engine prop planes came in over Byxbee park for a landing as I was headed back to the parking lot choking on what smelled like diesel fuel or kerosene for half a mile. Someone also mentioned that these aviation fuels for propellors planes still contain lead in them. Palo Altans go out there to walk and run and we do not expect to be gassed.

This needs to stop. Get rid of the Palo Alto airport and put some reasonable limits on planes going to SFO and SJC.

Stop this backsliding on the environmental cleanup and pollution.


7 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Thank Congress for giving the FAA the following power with NextGen's implementation:

The categorical exclusion (CATEX) effectively means that the FAA is "not required to follow its own rules" and that the administration can implement the change without filing otherwise required permission requests under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). (Phoenix's historic neighborhood "win" better pay attention to this, because the modest changes they've recently gotten can be undone overnight with this.)

This all out attack on human health and the environment is by no means news to members of Congress; it's their own handiwork as enthusiastic industry captives.

Don't let them fool you.


3 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Here’s a link to the bill by Congress for anyone interested, H.R. 658 (112th): FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
Web Link

The bill was introduced Feb 2011, it passed both chambers in identical form, House and Senate, in Feb 2012, and was enacted into law by the President (rather than vetoed) in Feb 2012 as well. It’s amazing how fast the wheels of government turn for industry. Here’s a link to the bill’s brief timeline from introduction to passage where you can see how your reps in the House and Senate voted (Feinstein and Boxer – both yea):
Web Link

Of note in the bill is the granting by Congress to the FAA Administrator the power declaring a "categorical exclusion" or CATEX of the human environment when implementing NextGen procedures. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the bill:

213.
Acceleration of NextGen technologies
(c)
Coordinated and expedited review
(1)
In general
Navigation performance and area navigation procedures developed, certified, published, or implemented under this section shall be presumed to be covered by a categorical exclusion (as defined in section 1508.4 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations) under chapter 3 of FAA Order 1050.1E unless the Administrator determines that extraordinary circumstances exist with respect to the procedure.
(2)
Nextgen procedures
Any navigation performance or other performance based navigation procedure developed, certified, published, or implemented that, in the determination of the Administrator, would result in measurable reductions in fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and noise, on a per flight basis, as compared to aircraft operations that follow existing instrument flight rules procedures in the same airspace, shall be presumed to have no significant affect on the quality of the human environment and the Administrator shall issue and file a categorical exclusion for the new procedure.


5 people like this
Posted by Lawsuti by lawsuit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2018 at 12:56 am

Hitthemoney,


Lawsuit by lawsuit FAA will still do more if they are not allowed to abuse NEPA laws. If you turn a blind eye and you let them break the law sure they can do it again.

Phoenix won the case challenging a CATEX and they could win again. Looks like FAA is being more careful now.

See the new CATEX that they are doing in Phoenix Web Link. It has more information and the community is not objecting this time, but this would never ave happened unless FAA got caught.

What really stinks is that Congress makes communities go by way of Roundtables which are official "turn a blind eye" organizations.


3 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Lawsuit by lawsuit,

Thanks for the link re CATEX as relates to Phoenix case. I agree, no fight is not the answer. How fights are framed in terms of goals and precedents however is what’s key to gaining and sustaining momentum for a real nationwide rectification of NextGen's significant impact on human health and the environment. In the case of Phoenix, for instance, regardless of whether people live in a historic neighborhood they should not suffer the noise and air pollution of low altitude flight paths, nor should they suffer this because they don't live in a particular Santa Cruz Mountains community with unique topographical features and remarkably low ambient noise levels. People are fighting in NYC against this incessant low-altitude barrage.

The problem with CATEX, including as pertains to Phoenix, is the situation of the fox guarding the hen house. "The FAA determines..." "The FAA must consider the potential for extraordinary circumstances..." and "FAA determines if an EA or EIS is merited." And beyond the utter lack of checks and balances to the process as a whole, and the far from officially acknowledged, horrendous suffering that's gone on for years now I can't fathom what the FAA's definition of extraordinary circumstances would be.

And those suffering nationwide are supposed to consider it a win that Congress members included a stipulation in the latest FAA budget approval that the FAA analyze its standards and metrics as relates to the program's impact on human health and the environment. Congress is the fox guarding the hen house too.

The FAA's annual budget is about 16 billion. And it fights the public with the public's money and the branches of government's ultimate backing. We're coming up against government at every level effectively representing industry over the citizenry as a whole. Someone from a group fighting in Boston asked, What do you do when your government is against you? Well put.

Definitely fight. But if we keep electing people who sell us down the river and we keep helping this industry's year on year profits go up I'm not confident about the direction this is going.

Here's a link to the FAA’s FY 2018 budget:
Web Link

Over 700 pages, but here are some callouts:

p. 607, 723 "NextGen Wake Turbulence Program" – to avoid runway construction cost and public resistance, and increase takeoff and landing frequency and decrease time at airport surface and terminal; wake RECAT; this is why they’re not budging on altitude – the low altitude flight paths are the airports’ invisible tarmac (Atlanta is the brag e.g. – world’s busiest airport in 2017, 104 million passengers)

p. 636, 639-640 "Grants-In-Aid for Airports" / Airport Improvement Program (AIP) – FY18 request 3.35 billion, funding to airports as a means for expediting environmental review and associated permitting, continued funding to enhance capacity and efficiency at all airports, funding helps remove delays for modernity projects

p. 617 – 620 "The Environment and Energy (E&E) Program" – it’s noted that community acceptance is an obstacle to aviation capacity expansion and airspace design objectives and that it's anticipated that resistance will grow with "new entrants such as unmanned aircraft systems and supersonic aircraft"; it's stated that "community concerns . . . are having an impact on the realization of NextGen"

So given that last quote the fight is having an impact, but the FY18 budget doc as a whole is full steam ahead regardless with "stakeholder collaboration" and commitment to plan. Meetings with the public, the citizenry, basically amount to, This is what we're doing to you, or, This is what we're going to do to you next. (And dishonestly presented at that.) Attrition game. UAS and supersonic are next . . .

The only environmental "protection" that the "stakeholders" intend to tolerate is that which allows for "sustained aviation growth." And we all know what that feels like and it's set to get worse. So if we don't first challenge the assumption that aviation should be allowed to keep increasing capacity I fail to see where the fight is ultimately going.


1 person likes this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

One other callout from FAA’s FY 2018 budget:
p. 641 - vast majority of public-use airports in the US are owned and operated by municipal, city, and state gov. agencies or independent public authorities

There's A LOT more that officials at these levels of governing could be doing for the communities in which they live and claim to represent rather than lending their weight to those at the federal level operating as the blunt instrument for industry.


8 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2018 at 9:47 am

From "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC 24/7 Saving Lives, Protecting People" (US Dept of Health and Human Services)

Really? Where are you on the NextGen 24/7 low altitude aircraft assault shore to shore then?

What should I do if I can’t sleep? (Warning: there's no advice if the robber of sleep and peace is the government's NextGen program)
Web Link

How much sleep do I need? (Adults 7 to 10, and for those younger the need only increases, and it's not just the total hours but the quality, i.e. uninterrupted, restful sleep.)
Web Link

And for those who drive. Drowsy Driving:
Web Link

How to prevent drowsy driving?
#1 "Get enough sleep! Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a day, while adolescents need at least 8 hours." (We want to CDC 24/7 Saving Lives, Protecting People but another branch and agency of government has obliterated that basic human right and need! Again, where are you with your saving lives and prevention motto?)

And AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research: “missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”


6 people like this
Posted by Oldtimer
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2018 at 3:41 am

I am a longtime activist (decades) in the effort to unshackle airport and aviation planning from an exclusive focus on private profits, and have the following observations on what has been said here.

First, cooperation between communities affected by the noise and health impacts of airports is essential to achieving a sane and balanced aviation policy, and yet cooperation has been completely lacking. Again and again we see individual communities insist that the adverse impacts they experience are unique, thus isolating themselves and guaranteeing that they will be ineffective.

Second, airports in the U.S. are overwhelmingly owned and operated by local political entities (city, counties, joint powers authorities, etc.). These people are accountable to the public in a way that administrative agencies like the FAA are not. Unfortunately, politicians by instinct seek the path of least resistance -- schmooze with other politicians and placate the public with earnest assurances that "we sympathize and we're working hard to fix the problem.

Third, as one commentator has pointed out, the FAA spends millions and millions each year on fending off criticism, usually engaging the public in useless exercises in "community engagement". The only public actions guaranteed to get results are strategic legal actions (which require cooperation across jurisdictions). The FAA is the most hidebound federal agency we have, but right now it is panicked at the growing threat of lawsuits that, together, have the potential of seriously disrupting its exclusive control over an ever-expanding national system of airports (which now entails "little" local airports like Palo Alto) that is a serious assault on national health.

When politicians say the facts in California are different from those in Phoenix, make sure they are not reelected.



3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 3:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Oldtimer - Your first point trumps and negates you last plea. Phoenix was able to prevail because all of the aircraft noise impact was within the city limits of Phoenix. Here the aircraft noise impact is spread unevenly over many local jurisdictions and there is no incentive for them to cooperate as they all have the same conflicting objective - move or keep the noise elsewhere.


9 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2018 at 7:39 am

What Peter Carpenter says makes some sense. Individual jurisdictions can be pitted against one another to move jet noise over neighboring cities. As he well knows, Atherton has been particularly active and effective in these kinds of efforts. Some here suspect his prolific commentary here on Town Square is mostly an effort to demoralize efforts in Palo Alto to address its noise problems because a not unlikely result would be to move some Palo Alto jet traffic back over Atherton where it originally came from.

We currently have congressional representatives like Rep Eshoo who are at least giving lip service to addressing the noise issue. She gives pan Peninsula patina to the anti noise issue and if there are conflicts, there are a lot more voters in Palo Alto than in Atherton. Furthermore, a lawsuit - if it ever comes - need not have the imprimatur of Atherton or any other town to succeed. In fact, a single plaintiff city like Palo Alto would likely give more focus and drive to any complaint than one made by a coalition which Mr. Carpenter points out have competing interests as well as similar ones.

I believe Mr. Carpenter's greatest fear is that Palo Alto will succeed in its efforts and Atherton will lose its privileged position with respect to jet noise. In any event, he is hardly a disinterested observer on this issue and one should take his admonitions with the grain of salt they merit.

As is well documented, Palo Alto (along with Los Altos and East Palo Alto) currently bear a hugely disproportionate burden of SFO jet noise on the Peninsula. While there are some measures - like altered glide paths that could in theory help every place, any truly effective solution will involve some burden sharing among Peninsula cities. That means more noise for relatively quiet Atherton.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 7:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Actually if you look at the published professional collected noise data I get more aircraft noise at my home than does most of Palo Alto:

Web Link

see figure 2

I have no idea why Mary wishes to personalize her attacks on me rather than just dealing with the facts.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 9:50 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is the approach that I have been advocating for years - FAITH to SFO:

Web Link

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.


8 people like this
Posted by Lawsuit by lawsuit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2018 at 10:15 am


Peter Carpenter,

"Phoenix was able to prevail because all of the aircraft noise impact was within the city limits of Phoenix."

Phoenix prevailed in court because they caught the FAA lying.

What you may be referring to is the agreement Phoenix has come to with FAA that FAA will reverse the 2014 flight paths until they fix the problems.

Web Link

Phoenix now is going through more elaborate environmental reviews and work continues. The fact that the noise is in the same City is irrelevant as different neighborhoods are affected now.

The concept of making affected people all act as "one" in what FAA treats as a zero sum game is a distraction.



1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 10:21 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Phoenix was able to prevail because all of the aircraft noise impact was within the city limits of Phoenix."

Just exactly what are the chances that all the impacted peninsula cities join together to act, as the single city of Phoenix did, to sue the FAA?

ZERO


10 people like this
Posted by Lawsuit by lawsuit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2018 at 10:53 am

Peter Carpenter,

"what are the chances that all the impacted peninsula cities join together to act, as the single city of Phoenix did, to sue the FAA?"

Again - Phoenix did not prevail in court because the noise was in the city limits.

Any City can go to court as Phoenix did.

But I get your point, the City of Palo Alto is not "together" acting on behalf of Palo Alto as one voice but is divided by and with other cities' interests.

Interesting strategy, after pitting communities against each other for "solutions" now the idea is to only sue if you are joined with other cities?

Both are nonsensical given that the law does not say you have to be joined with others to appeal on broken laws or broken rules.

If your neighbor trashes your home, will the court rule in your favor only if you are joined by your neighbors?



1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

To sue you must seek a remedy - what remedy would Palo Alto seek?

To move its noise to another community? How well do you think that will go?


12 people like this
Posted by Lawsuit by lawsuit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2018 at 11:11 am


Peter Carpenter,

"To sue you must seek a remedy - what remedy would Palo Alto seek? "

In Phoenix, the decision to vacate NextGen routes was for failure to follow environmental laws and involve stakeholders.

Following the laws, that's a win for me.


10 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2018 at 11:16 am

The equitable remedy is to have all cities on the Peninsula share in the burden of cross Peninsula air traffic into SFO. This is more or less what we had before NextGen and before Atherton and other San Mateo County cities connived to have SFO air traffic South from San Mateo County to Santa Clara County and its northernmost city: Palo Alto.

It's easy to predict that this will not go over well in Atherton: the mere mention of it has some Atherton residents in a dither commenting hysterically about it on this forum.

But that doesn't mean a return to the pre-NextGen status quo isn't the just and equitable solution or that it's not the way a court would rule. There were competing neighborhoods in Phoenix after all and some were made worse off by the change ordered by the court there. But that doesn't mean that is wasn't the legally just solution.


13 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

I posted long ago that there’s a poster whose postings first deny that there's noise, then claim there's not very much noise, claim that laws of physics prevent such noise, claim that even if there is a lot of noise other places also have it, claim that the noise was here before the residents, claim that the residents want to shut down the airport, claim that life 20 miles from an airport naturally includes disruptive airplane noise from that airport, claim that the residents are selfish, claim that even if there is more noise in certain areas there is no one to complain to about it, claim that no one will respond to ways to save money and time and fuel on flights, claim that even if the right complaints are made to the right people, responding to noise involves so much nebulous and secret bureaucracy that response can not happen, claim that airport-provided info on flights in the Bay Area is unreliable and mock such info, claim that they themselves are the only experts who can understand what's involved in excessive airplane noise, and deny facts about actual flights of large commercial airlines flying low over certain parts of Palo Alto.

Now, this poster claims lawsuits don’t have merit or standing, and even if they did, those who are looking for peaceful skies will interfere with each other’s lawsuits so we should shy away from lawsuits.

And test this poster claims to be helping!


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The equitable remedy is to have all cities on the Peninsula share in the burden of cross Peninsula air traffic into 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.


2 people like this
Posted by Oldtimer
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Some of my comments posted earlier today were misunderstood. I emphasized the need for a cooperative strategy to fight the FAA's autocratic control of aviation policy. Some people thought I was saying that cities (or other political entities) should all join as co-plaintiffs in one giant lawsuit against the FAA. Not at all. What I advocate is *strategic cooperation*, something much broader in concept, and subtler.

In addition, several remarks posted here on why the City of Phoenix prevailed in its challenge to the FAA's final decision on the new NextGen flight paths into and out of the city's Sky Harbor Airport appear to be mere speculation without the benefit of a knowledgeable reading of the court's decision. (Incidentally, the same court that decided the City of Phoenix case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is the same court, although a different panel of judges, that recently came to the opposite conclusion in an almost identical case brought by various D.C.-based organizations challenging the NextGen flight paths to/from the National Airport.)


2 people like this
Posted by lawsuit by lawsuit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm

Oldtimer

"strategic cooperation" takes a lot longer than 60 days to achieve so that's not for litigation.

Why speculate on the Phoenix' Court decision, it's available on the Sky Harbor Airport website.

Web Link

Georgetown and Phoenix were not "almost identical" cases.

The court found "reasonable grounds" to excuse the late filing for Phoenix, Georgetown actually had it worse, FAA excluded them from knowing of their flight path changes but I guess the court did not find it as compelling as FAA misleading Phoenix that they would fix the problem without the need to go to court

page 11 of the ruling

"The FAA repeatedly communicated in an October public meeting, in a
November letter, in a December public meeting, in a January
letter, in a February decision to reconvene the Working Group,
in an April letter, and in a May meeting with city officials
that the agency was looking into the noise problem, was open
to fixing the issue, and wanted to work with the City and others
to find a solution. This pattern would certainly have led
reasonable observers to think the FAA might fix the noise
problem without being forced to do so by a court. And given
the FAA’s serial promises, petitioning for review soon after the
September order might have shut down dialogue between the
petitioners and the agency. See Oral Arg. Tr. 58:8 13. We do
not punish the petitioners for treating litigation as a
last rather than a first resort when an agency behaves as the FAA did here.
See Paralyzed Veterans, 752 F.2d at 705 n.82"



12 people like this
Posted by Worse coming our way
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

To all of you concerned about airplane noise above Palo Alto, worse, additional, noise is soon coming to our town if the FAA has its way.

During bad weather, we have already had San Jose (SJC) bound planes flying above us at about 2,000 feet. A number of them never reach Palo Alto however, as they cross over to the Bay in Mountain View or Sunnyvale. A new FAA flight path on its way to approval would have ALL such planes fly north over Los Altos at 3,000 feet, and then cross Palo Alto west to east in the vicinity of Oregon Expressway, descending to 1,800 feet over us before exiting to the Bay and turning south to SJC.

To give you an idea, 1,800 feet is half as high as SFO bound planes are above us, with noise being a square factor of altitude (roughly).

Also, 1,800 feet is roughly the altitude that SFO bound planes reach when they arrive over Foster City before landing. The noise monitor at Foster City then has reading of about 68-70 decibels for planes such as B737s.

Note that this proposed path will impact neighborhoods not affected by SJC's reverse flow until now, such as possibly College Terrace.

Also note that SJC is growing rapidly, including with transoceanic flights, i.e. large planes that will be very loud at such altitudes regardless of being new generation jet planes.

(Finally, there is an Ad Hoc committee currently doing work on just the issue of SJC reverse flow flights, and this new path has never been presented to the committee, and much less discussed there. The FAA is obviously purposely keeping this as quiet as possible.)

This is what is coming to us if nothing is done, and if our city council keeps enabling the FAA and Bay Area airports to do whatever they want in Palo Alto, thus all kinds of flights being sent to us right before reaching the Bay.

Please, make your displeasure known about this situation. Contact City Hall, write to city council members. Attend the upcoming City Council meeting on airplane noise this Monday, May 7. Demand that the FAA plan for SJC reverse flow flights be abandoned or significantly altered.


4 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Aviation knows no bounds. The expansion built into the NextGen program insane, anything that flies - commercial, cargo, GA, VTOLs, drones, supersonic..., and don't forget military aviation. Military expansion in our skies has gone utterly rogue. This is not the sound of freedom, but the sound of ever increasing oppression of American citizens, it is the sound of war over our heads minus bombs. And we wonder why our elected officials aren't fighting the airlines, flight schools, Google-Uber et al VTOLs and drones objectives and so on, well check out the latest, though communities are already getting a taste of military pushing further and further into civilian space, public lands, etc. but here's another case in the works:

"Air Force's proposed urban warfare training raises questions for some Idaho residents" (Idaho Statesman 5/2/2018) link
Web Link

"Creating a training space over urban areas is crucial, according to Mountain Home Air Force Base. Practicing over urban areas gives a more realistic feel than over deserted ground or fake cities, the Air Force said. The base flew similar training from 2010 to 2014.'We don’t have the ability to train to the challenges of an urban (area),' Maj. Adam Mattheis said. 'The stuff on the ground is real...chaos is real. That's the benefit to doing the training over one of these nine urban areas.'

"There would be ground troops involved in addition to the fighter planes, consisting of a maximum of five vehicles designated as either friendly or belonging to enemy forces. Rather than using actual bombs or guns, the planes will simulate neutralizing a target on the ground by using invisible lasers."

The argument is always preparedness and protecting freedom, our way of life - right, while they set about destroying that quality of life, making life sound like a war zone.

People better wake up because budging flight paths is so missing the menace of aviation's expansion. All for profit, civilian or military aircraft, make no mistake.

(For an earlier e.g., check out Providence RI in 2017, how the military whipped out some urban warfare training scaring the hell out of people in the night)

Seriously, what is happening to our country? And where the hell are our supposed representatives at every level of our government system. What do we have reps for?


6 people like this
Posted by HitTheMoney
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Another example of aviation expansion in the military sector of the market, the Growler program in the Pacific Northwest. It's a take of public lands like you can't believe, even of the pristine Olympic National Park, once the quietest place on earth but no more, and basically the entire Puget Sound, and as usual it's already taking place before it's supposed going to take place with environmental review etc.

"'Plane Truths' and Growler noise on Lopez Island"
Island Weekly 4/24/2018 (title doesn't represent the broader regional impact, but check it out - it's a significant e.g. of insane expansion with elected officials bowing out of the fight with the argument of preparedness and protecting our freedoms) link:
Web Link

"'There are times where I need to cover my ears, and I fear for my dog’s hearing. Many visitors at the state parks are asking questions about the noise. They come for the solitude and can’t experience it. Many show annoyance, especially when it stops conversation,' she stated. 'They fly so low I can see into the cockpit.' Others also commented about planes flying lower than 1,000 feet."

Going to check out that documentary Plane Truths - some people are trying to sound the much needed alarm about the insanity happening in our nation's skies.

I keep hoping people look at all the pieces of this corrupt aviation puzzle, not just the piece over their own rooftop. This isn't going to stop by a long shot without that understanding and a fight to match it.

If you care about this, don't vote for anyone who isn't genuinely fighting this.


1 person likes this
Posted by Donster
a resident of University South
on May 12, 2018 at 3:33 pm

"Liz Kniss has been on a mission to turn Palo Alto into a very dense metropolis for many years now."

Mauricio, that horse left the barn a decades ago.
How many places in the Bay Area are the same as they were pre-Silicon Valley?
What do you think are the chances of most of Palo Alto being razed and the town returned to its distant, largely agrarian past?

I will give you a hint for the the latter question: It is somewhere near zero.

That being the case, what good does it do to constantly yowl and rail against development in Palo Alto? You do realize that is also somewhere near zero, right?


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

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