Three major routes into SFO intersect over Palo Alto. The FAA implemented NextGen, changed flight procedures, and moved vastly quantities of jet traffic over Palo Alto. Traffic has been increasing at alarming and concentrated levels. Community outcry and congressional efforts resulted in FAA engagement via the Select Committee of South Bay Arrivals.
To ensure these efforts result in relief, join us. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The number of flights over Palo Alto has more than doubled. The path has shifted slightly to the northeast. The proportion of flights near the bottom of the 4000-5000 foot altitude window has increased. The altitudes have a bimodal distribution. Sky Posse advocates for “Equitable Distribution” This is not equitable distribution.
Substantial traffic increases via MENLO Waypoint
Flights from the north, south and west converge over a waypoint near the intersection of Willow Road and 101. They aim for an altitude of 4000 feet at MENLO and from there, take the final approach into SFO. James Sun analyzed traffic growth between 3K and 5K feet based on flight tracks received from the FAA. His analysis shows the number of flights from the south and southeast has grown substantially. Why? Traffic that used to fly other routes was moved over us.
The charts below are based on flight tracks received in their entirety via a FAA Freedom of Information Act request.
Airbus 320 whine/howl/keening petition
Certain jets flying over us emit a high-pitched whining noise that is particularly offensive to the human ear. They account for 17%-20% of the noisiest SF Peninsula over flights. Luckily, there is an inexpensive solution to this huge noise issue. Sign the petition to ask the airlines to spend less than $5000 per jet to retrofit their fleets with simple air flow deflectors that STOP the horrible loud “whistling” sound affecting millions on the peninsula.
Select Committee On South Bay Arrivals
On December 2, Representatives Eshoo, Farr and Speier sent to a letter to the FAA Administrator along with reports from the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals and the SFO Airport/Community Roundtable. The three representatives: accepted the Select Committee’s and Roundtable’s recommendations; requested the FAA move towards implementation “as soon as possible; requested the FAA provide a progress update within 60 days.
The letter also cites the Committee’s recommendation that a successor organization be formed to be made up of local elected officials from the members’ three Congressional Districts. The Representatives state that they “will work with [their] incoming colleagues in the next Congress to determine how best to move forward with that recommendation.” Palo Alto – which experiences the highest number of overflights and is most impacted by SFO arrivals – should have a seat at the table. Send us email if you’re able to help with this.
The Committee and Roundtable reports contain a multitude of proposed solutions to mitigate aircraft noise over the three affected districts. We recommend the FAA prioritize these two recommendations: assess one or more alternate waypoints for southern arrivals into SFO; address the problem of low-altitude night flights.
- Select Committee Report
- Joe Simitian’s transmittal letter
- Congressional letter to FAA
- SFO community roundtable
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