April 4 Update – Looking Ahead
March 23 letter to Representative Eshoo request for airline attention
San Francisco bay area major jet arrival and departure routes
Three major routes into SFO intersect over Palo Alto. The FAA implemented NextGen, changed flight procedures, and moved vast 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: email@example.com
Nextgen Concentration of traffic over MidPeninsula
The number of flights over Palo Alto and neighboring cities has more than doubled because of a Nextgen design decision (without considering resident input) to funnel the majority of SFO arrivals through a single merge point . The proportion of flights near the bottom of the 4000-5000 foot altitude window has increased breaching a community agreement made in the year 2000 to maintain traffic above 5000 feet.
For more information about Nextgen see www.quietskiesmidpeninsula.org
Flights from the north, south and west converge over the MidPeninsula. They aim for an altitude of 4000 feet over Palo Alto and East Palo Alto 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.
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.
Quiet Nights petition
NextGen precision-landing can be used with a more positive impact for the public health issue of airplane noise, without compromising safety. Specifically, airplane noise at night can be reduced with over-the-Bay SFO arrival paths.
The cities of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county and their congressional representatives established the SCSC Roundtable, a permanent aircraft noise mitigation entity. The charter is to represent citizens on this issue.
Sign the petition to call on the SCSC Roundtable to vote in favor of a resolution demanding the FAA to propose 2 or more alternatives for nighttime SFO Arrivals, weather conditions permitting, that reduce measurable ground noise by routing over the San Francisco Bay. To give us our quiet nights back.
Select Committee On South Bay Arrivals
- Final Report of the Select Committee
- Select Committee Chair Supervisor Joe Simitian’s transmittal letter
- Congressional letter to FAA
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.
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.
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.
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