Airplane Noise Update

It has been my pleasure to represent Palo Alto at the Santa Clara/Santa Cruz Counties Airport/Community Roundtable (SCSC RT) and as liaison to the SFO Airport/Community Roundtable (SFO RT) for the last four years to address airplane/craft noise, which has not only has been excessive, but disruptive and has health and environmental impacts. Council Member Greer Stone is the new appointee to the SCSC Roundtable.

I would like to bring you up to date on the discussions:

Public comments can be submitted here https://beta.regulations.gov/document/FAA-2021-0037-0001. March 15, 2021 is the last day to submit comments.

  • SFO Airport purchased what is called the Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS), this system receives information from global positioning system (GPS) and wide area augmentation system (WAAS) to create approach paths for aircraft to follow. SFO Airport’s project goals are:
  1. Reduce noise impact to the community (fingers crossed),
  2. Create redundant ILS capabilities (instrument landing system which is a radio navigation system that provides short-range guidance to aircraft to allow them to approach a runway at night or in bad weather),
  • Enhance efficiency
  1. Reduce delays

SFO Airport has committed to:

  • Evaluate and communicate any proposed GBAS procedure thoroughly, with active and ongoing input from the Roundtables and the community. My comment is that the communication has mostly been with the Roundtables and so far, the community has been residents who are regulars at the roundtable meetings.
  • If a proposed GBAS procedure appears to have a negative community impact, that procedure will not be pursued.
  • Time is of the essence and Palo Alto’s engagement and participation at both the SCSC and SFO Roundtable in person or through Palo Alto’s representative to the roundtables.
  • SFO Airport’s GBAS Landing system procedure development and community evaluation:
  • January/February: SFO reviews feedback with Roundtable or the Technical Working Groups (TWG)
  • March: SFO Airport submits concept to FAA
  • After March: FAA Procedure Development which consists of Procedure Design, Enviro Screening, FAA reviews with SFO Airport, SFO Airport review with Roundtable to find out whether it is a Go or No-Go Decision. If yes Go, Design/NAV/Chart, Flight Inspection
  • 2023: GBAS Procedures Go