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Committee outlines potential plane-noise recommendations

Original post made on Oct 23, 2016

A multi-city and county committee tasked with finding ways to reduce overhead noise from airplanes going to and from San Francisco International Airport has released preliminary proposed recommendations.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, October 22, 2016, 1:11 PM

Comments (53)

Posted by Jason Parekh
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2016 at 1:48 am

Thank you MV Voice for your coverage of this issue! There is so much misinformation out there, it's great to see accurate reporting of this complex topic--especially the harm that the DAVYJ solution is expected to inflict on the Mid-Peninsula (including Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale).

The Santa Cruz County proponents of DAVYJ have launched a large misinformation campaign aimed at obscuring the details of the FAA's noise analysis, and convincing people that DAVYJ is going to restore noise to pre-NextGen levels. Nothing could be further from the truth--the FAA's own data shows that DAVYJ would leave the above-named Mid-Peninsula cities with more noise (2x more noise in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale, and 4x more noise in Los Altos HIlls!) than we had in 2014.

Note to residents of these cities: Relying on the "NorCal" group to inform you about airplane noise issues is like getting your news from Fox News--you only see distortions, half truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with them!

Posted by Beg to Differ
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2016 at 2:36 am

What an obviously incorrect statement was made in the first posting. DAVYJ has no impact on Mountain View or Sunnyvale. It's the Palo Alto consultants idea of diverting SERFR to veer into Central Los Altos and Mountain View that might also impact Sunnyvale and DOES impact Los Altos and Mountain View much more than even the disaster of the original SERFR route.

There are 500 people from the midpeninsula who have signed the petition to support DAVYJ. The misinformation or disinformation is coming out of Palo Alto. The FAA has not even made a noise assessment for DAVYJ. All they have done is to provide data on what they saw as the worst case for any single plane flying on the DAVYJ proposal. They contrasted that to average data for BIGSUR and SERFR. So the previous comment relies on taking AVERAGE data and comparing that to the very worst single plane out of 150 or so flying any given day. Each day another 350+ planes fly other routes to get to SFO. Palo Alto is ignoring all the other planes and focusing on the share that impacts them.

Note that DAVYJ will improve things for Palo Alto too, but not as much as if they deflected half of the planes that always flew on BIGSUR. So Palo Alto is trying to solve other problems. That's no deception on my part. They're the ones pretending otherwise.

Posted by Beg to Differ
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2016 at 2:53 am

Also, Palo Alto has provided no equivalent noise assessment for their suggested route to divert 80+ more planes to add to the current 250 coming in over Fremont and Milpitas from the East. They route these planes up North over Shoreline Amphitheater to intersect with the approach procedures used by the other 250 planes. Some of these planes will be vectored in wide loops which may reach Sunnyvale. Their idea is a mess. It's way too many planes to come in on the same approach procedures for runway 28R. Way Way too many. And then the idea that some of these planes would head on to MENLO before using a runway 28L approach to SFO betrays Menlo Park. Palo Alto's consultant really left out a lot of details in his recommendation. They've got to consider noise, population density, inefficiency and wasted fuel, conflicts with other planes coming from the East headed to SFO, AS WELL as what they admit about conflicts with Moffett Federal Airfield and San Jose Airport.

I wonder just how much the Palo Alto folks who support moving noise are ignorant, and how much is intentional. Do they really not know that the FAA map on the noise of DAVYJ was for the VERY WORST PLANE out of 150 flying each day? Do they truly not know that the data the FAA gave for comparison about SERFR and BIGSUR was an average representing a lot of different paths, altitudes, and descent profiles????? Or are they just saying anything they can to try to get their way? Living in Los Altos, I was always mystified by the few people in Los Altos who supported Sky Posse. Now that they have come out with support for the Palo Alto consultant report, I can't believe that Sky Posse finds much favor AT ALL in Los Altos.

Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

This is so very confusing, I'm having a hard time understanding facts and best actions. The information I've seen supporting DAVYJ seems to imply it will lessen the noise increase that occurred since the change in March 2015:
Web Link

It's my understanding that DAVYJ would restore noise levels to pre-2015. This sounds good to me, I didn't notice air traffic much prior to that, it's really only been since this change in 2015 that it's become horrendous.

@jason I don't understand what you mean that DAVYJ will lead to more noise? You say the FAA's own information says this, can you support this? Where are you getting your info?

Posted by Can City Council help?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Can the Mountain View city council or city staff stay on top of this for us? It is very confusing and hard for us to folllow, but I do get the feeling that any city who stays quiet about it is likely to end up with all the planes overhead. Would be great if someone could represent Mountain View residents on these issues.

Posted by The Deception
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2016 at 12:42 pm

The deception is that the noise varies from plane to plane. If you have 150 flights a day over SERFR, 80 of them are looped around to take more time so they can arrive at SFO at precisely the right slot to land. They land 2 planes once per 2 minutes, often one on SERFR and one from the East coast, in parallel on 2 different runways, 28L and 28R. Timing is important

A lot of the noise results from the looping off the route, called vectoring for delay.

So looking at the noise right ON the route is only part of the problem. But when you do that, you can look at one plane at a time, because the noise fades and another starts up. THe noises will be different. What the Sky Posse graphs do is to take FAA data that represents the AVERAGE sound disturbance for many planes for the first 2 graphs. Then on the 3rd graph, they show FAA data for the WORST CASE for a single plane out of 100 or more in a day. It's not equal. You could look at the WORST CASE for SERFR or BIGSUR and it would be much worse too.

Posted by Chad Hoke
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

I've been following this since April and have attended 3 Select a Committee meetings. I think this article's summary is fair with the EXCEPTION of their explanation of DAVYJ. Those who commented that the comparison of SERFR and DAVYJ is (to put it mildly) is misleading ate 100 percent correct. They compare a worst case to an average. For those of us in Mountain View and Los Altos, DAVYJ is by far the best alternative. Not perfect by any means but far better than we have right now with a decent chance of being as quiet as it was pre NextGen. What DAVYJ does is move the flight path back to where it was before and fixed some design flaws that will enable planes to descend at an even slope with minimal power. It won't fix vectoring and the closer you get to Menlo, the less improvement you will see. Palo Alto has hired arm is of consultants, hosted all the meetings and recruited a very vocal and motivated like citizenry to do everything possible to get that freeway of planes moved somewhere else. I kind of admire that, and I certainly don't blame them, but our communities need to watch out four own interests or we will get stuck with that freeway over our heads instead.

Posted by Jason Parekh
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2016 at 12:24 am

Chad, you are misinformed and/or have been misled by proponents of DAVYJ.

The FAA DID in fact model the noise impact of the proposed DAVYJ route and provide comparisons of that noise with the pre-NextGen BSR route and with the current SERFR route.

The FAA noise modeling randomly chose 60 days over a 1 year period (Sep'15-Aug'16 for SERFR, and Jan'14-Dec'14 for BSR) and modeled all the flights on the SERFR and BSR routes for noise, and computed the DNL (Day-Night Level) noise values. This is the FAA's standard way of modeling noise. Then, the FAA took the SERFR flight tracks and modified them to simulate the flight procedure, flight track, and altitude changes proposed for DAVYJ. In fact, at the last Select Committee meeting, the FAA re-affirmed that they believe this noise simulation of DAVYJ is accurate and accounts for all the benefits including the (supposedly quieter) Optimized Profile Descent.

And, guess what, the FAA data shows that for us in the Mid-Peninsula (including Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale), DAVYJ WILL NOT REDUCE OUR NOISE BACK TO PRE-NEXTGEN LEVELS!

You won't hear much about this from Quiet Skies NorCal.. because they're trying to deceive people into thinking that DAVYJ will solve everyone's noise problems. They are the "Fox News" of airplane noise: they distort and omit, they attack and they deny, and if they're your only source of information you won't ever hear the truth. And this is why they can claim so many people are supporting them: they tell everyone that their plan will solve everyone's noise problems and, unless you follow along and can evaluate the technical details yourself, you will be tricked into signing their petitions and maybe even giving them monetary donations.

Take a look at the FAA noise map and decide for yourself:

Sep 1 2016 FAA Presentation to the Select Committee, Slide 5
FAA Compares the proposed DAVYJ route against Pre-NextGen (2014) route BIG SUR
Web Link

Pay attention to the large blue area (+2-4 dBA DNL) that covers Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale. In fact it's even worse for Los Altos Hills (+5-7 dBA DNL).

In fact, there's even an interactive Google Maps version of that noise map at so you can see all the Mid-Pen cities where the FAA says noise won't go back to 2014 levels if DAVYJ is implemented. The people who proposed DAVYJ live in places that would benefit from the change in the flight path, but they need it to appear to be a "regional solution" to get implemented. They don't really care that it doesn't solve the noise problem around here, where the distance between the old and the new flight path is less than 1 mile.

Posted by Deception in the Maps
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2016 at 2:09 pm

The thing is, we are talking about a purposeful noise increase caused by the FAA
for the sole purpose of simplification. The MENLO waypoint had always been
at 4000 feet, but many planes reached it at 5000 for various reasons. They want
to reduce the angle planes fly down onto the runway, and it's simpler to make more
planes hit MENLO at 4000 in that case.

But they don't have to. In fact, their own noise modeling of SERFR shows
less noise in the past than DAVYJ will have, and they attribute that to MENLO being at
4000 (and achieved) now. The planes have to turn to get onto the runway
approach over the bay. They could drop down 500 or 1000 feet from Menlo as they
do that turn, and still make the runway angle.

It's a separate item on the Select Committee's report. All the noise from Sky Posse
assumed the would do this descend on turn on their plan for SERFR-EDDYY. But they
never tried to make the case to raise MENLO 1000 feet and do it on the turn on descend for DAVYJ.

That's why these maps as presented by Sky Posse aren't apples to apples. They show the historical average for SERFR and BIGSUR, but they assume complete success at achieving 4000 at MENLO for DAVYJ. They should raise MENLO, and they can!

Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 24, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Someone asked: "Can City Council help?"

The answer is yes. Mountain View will be submitting a comment letter, focused, I believe, on Palo Alto's recent proposal to shift the flight path eastward over Mountain View.

Meanwhile, Mayor Showalter, City Manager Rich, and I raised the same issue with Congresswoman Eshoo last Wednesday.

Finally, I'm planning to attend Thursday's meeting at testify.

Lenny Siegel, Member, Mountain View City Council

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 24, 2016 at 8:10 pm

SRB is a registered user.

The City of Mountain View also set up (today?) a micro-site to collect feedback on these issues:

Web Link

Also for context, here's the (Nomby ?) letter from the City of Palo Alto that is referenced in some posts:

Web Link

Posted by PH
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

It is like I stated before and this article and the comments point out: NIMBY. No one wants the noise so it is okay for someone else to suffer through it as long as those few complainers get their way. The article isn't bad, but it shows how little people know about air traffic control, aircraft operations and the business of flying in general. I lived in one of the worst crossings of traffic for years and though it is somewhat noisier, it isn't any where near as bad as years ago. If everyone complained there would be more of a believable argument to do something. Instead we have small groups of really vocal people who fairly recently became exposed to the noise many of us have had for years and want to make sure we keep it and never get relief from it and they never have to share any of it. After this settles people should go after the really annoying things such as leaf blowers, garbage trucks, trains, racing cars, loud music, unnecessary sirens and other things that pile on each day to make our world truly noisy. The aircraft are a very small part of the noise pollution that many people are subjected to and the fact is that living near airports is a choice that doesn't have to be made. It should be obvious that it will be noisy around airports until technology creates very quiet aircraft and anyone who moves near these airports shouldn't complain because the noise factor is obvious. Most people just deal with it and have greater issues to deal with anyway.

Posted by Jason Parekh
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Deception in the Maps, The Deception, or whatever name you pick next: You are clearly trying to mislead people.

Crossing altitude at MENLO was not "ALWAYS" at 4000'. Here are the facts:

1) The FAA reached an agreement with Anna Eshoo to implement a crossing altitude at MENLO at 5000' in 2001! This is well-documented. This was implemented via an explicit prioritization in the NorCal TRACON (NCT) Order 7110.65.

2) Glen Martin testified before the Select Committee that the decision to lower the altitude to 4000' was an element of the NextGen design, it was a deliberate decision and done at the request of the airlines, and it was specified as part of the SERFR procedure.

3) DAVYJ, as currently proposed, maintains that 4000' crossing altitude at MENLO, just like SERFR. You can't pretend that this is some unrelated issue: it's a fundamental part of the route! When the FAA lowered the altitude at MENLO, they lowered the altitude all along the path--all the way back to the Santa Cruz County coast.

4) The FAA affirmed the accuracy of their noise simulation of DAVYJ at the last Select Committee meeting. And the map I linked to is quite straightforward to interpret.

Sep 1 2016 FAA Presentation to the Select Committee, see Slide 5 (Web Link

Pay attention to the large blue area (+2-4 dBA DNL) that covers Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale. In fact it's even worse for Los Altos Hills (+5-7 dBA DNL).

It's funny how any criticism of DAVYJ by anyone is suddenly painted as part of some Palo Alto conspiracy! And anyone providing actual data (from the FAA, no less!) is accused of being deceptive.. and instead of providing data and citations (i.e. actual "facts") to support their ideas, NorCal resorts to conspiracy theories and innuendo to try to discredit the data of others.

I'm not from Palo Alto, and my criticisms of DAVYJ have nothing to do with "SERFR-EDDYY". But I, like a lot of Mid Peninsula residents, will be further harmed if DAVYJ is adopted.

It's shocking that "NorCal" has managed to deceive so many people--but the truth is finally starting to come out, and DAVYJ is unraveling.

Posted by Can City Council Help?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Thank you so much, Lenny and other city council members. I really appreciate you looking into this matter. I have tried to follow, but it so terribly confusing and with meetings taking place in the middle of a work day I don't understand how people are expected to be able to attend the meetings to learn more. Thank you again.

Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 24, 2016 at 11:06 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I'm sorry but what world are you living in @PH? The amount of air traffic and noise the last year and a half has INCREASED dramatically and is incredibly intrusive. Here it is, almost 11pm, and the flights gong over every freaking 10 seconds has been horrendous. It wasn't anything like this prior to the NextGen or whatever the f-they're calling the change back in March 2015.

And it starts at 5/6am....I can't even keep my windows/doors open for the ridiculous noise......we live over 10 miles south/north of SFO/SJC yet it sounds as if we're on the direct landing path. ITS INSANE. ITS NOT RIGHT. People who buy property close to airports understand and know they're going to get noise. When we buy here we do not. We did not expect it, do not expect it and will not accept it.

Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:20 am

Tonight (October 24th) is the worst yet - literally constant aircraft roaring overhead, to the point where I finally lost count. It is 1am and it is impossible to sleep. There was little commercial air traffic when I moved here our years ago - purposely and carefully selecting a quiet area - and that has been turned on it's head. I accept the two or three flights a day into Moffat - and I was aware of them when I bought this house - but to have this overwhelming increase in commercial traffic is insane.
Now - because Palo Alto is dealing with heavy aircraft noise - they have the arrogance to push it over onto us. (What a presumptuous and self-entitled act by one city upon another.) Because they see this traffic and noise having the predicted negative effect on their property values, they have organized to push this problem onto Mountain View. I do hope enough of us won't allow our city to be considered Palo Alto's dumping ground.

Posted by Jason Parekh
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm

MVWoman: I understand your concerns. I used to live in MV (Gemello neighborhood) and, pre-NextGen, we didn't have any noticeable airplane noise. It's bad now.

But: it's actually bad all over the MidPeninsula now. Palo Alto's current noise problem was created by the same NextGen rollout.

This is a complicated topic with lots of subtlety. And there are some important discussions we should be having: about growth, about airline industry profits, and about how to reduce the (health, learning, property value) impact on communities.

But, instead of being able to talk about these issues, we have one group ("Quiet Skies Norcal") who have taken pages right out of Donald Trump's playbook and are trying to get people stirred up by feeding them self-serving propaganda and lies like "Palo Alto wants to dump their noise on MV" (lie).

I, like a lot of people, were taken in by "NorCal"'s lies in the beginning. They paint a pretty picture and tell you that they have a magical fix that solves all known problems.. and that theirs is the only way. But once you start to dig in and question, their attitude suddenly changes and you're painted as an 'enemy agent' doing Palo Alto's bidding.

The best thing you can do is become more educated on these issues and ask questions. The truth is the best defense.

Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Jason Parekh doesn't realize that the added noise lately has come from San Jose airport reverse flow conditions. These planes fly around 3000 feet so they are even noisier. They affect Mountain View and Sunnyvale most of all but also Los Altos and Palo Alto. Palo Alto people think they are the only ones to hear them. 15% of the day (usually with bad weather) SJC runs in reverse flow.

As for Quiet Skies Norcal and Los Altos, I have found their information to be more detailed and more informative than what is provided by Sky Posse. For example, the select committee is voting on numerous items as shown in this article. Sky Posse acts like the only issue is the SERFR route, which is not so. One good idea is to raise MENLO to 5000 feet. Sky Posse hasn't championed this at all. Instead they have indeed pushed to divert a lot of traffic over central Los Altos and Mountain View, and through increased presence of vectored planes over Sunnyvale and south Los Altos. But the FAA says that due to San Jose traffic, this idea is just a non starter. Still, they are pushing it and it's true to say that this detracts from a good solution with misleading information threatening added noise to Mountain View. This idea came from Palo Alto and was not caused by Quiet Skies. Also it came very late in the process of the Select Committee on which Mountain View has no representative. A lot of people in Mountain View have already heard added noise from Nextgen and so they should have been represented all along.

Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Ooops, I meant to say that 15% of the TIME, SJC runs in reverse flow. Generally they do it all day long that day, but of course planes are schedule in the more popular hours.

Posted by Can City Council Help?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 25, 2016 at 8:26 pm

I feel like the plane noise as gotten worse in the past 3 days. I also thought it was reverse flow from San Jose with the bad weather, but now that I've started watching the sky, I see planes flying in one after the other from Santa Cruz. Have they made the switch already? I thought it was just being discussed. Why do I have planes flying over my house about 1 minute apart this entire night?

Posted by Jason Parekh
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Los Altan: you're so quick to say that I don't know what I'm talking about or that I'm mistaken? Again, part of the tactics used by QSNC and their ilk to criticize or try to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with their (data-less) POV!

I know what reverse flow days look like and, believe me, I'm aware of when they're in effect. Why did you even bring it up? It's not like MV doesn't have airplane noise on non-reverse flow days! For your information, the Gemello neighborhood is directly north of Almond Elementary: they get the same noise as North Los Altos!

And you use your comment to me as an opportunity to throw shade at Palo Alto. You and your QSNC friends like to say "Palo Alto hasn't tried to raise MENLO to 5k'": not true! Not only was the original MENLO at 5k' negotiated by the then-Mayor of Palo Alto Gary Fazzini with help from Anna Eshoo, but it's regularly been an item in SkyPosse's list of complaints. You're just making stuff up at this point!

But, again, you're trying to distract from criticisms of DAVYJ by talking about SERFR-EDDYY instead of actually addressing the data which shows that DAVYJ is a flawed proposal with serious consequence for the entire Mid Peninsula!

Posted by Bill Murphy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 27, 2016 at 10:03 am

Seems to me there is a conflict of interest in the authorship of the article... a Palo Alto Weekly writer (who I am not casting shade on and I have seen write solid, professional stuff over the years) publishing an article in the MV Voice. I point this out simply to make people in this conversation aware, not to resolve it.

When rights are in conflict (the essence of law, and often journalism), a journalist will have trouble serving two masters... Embarcadero Publishing owns both the MV and PA papers.

I'm sure this was a tough story to write fairly, as will be the story covering the 10/27 meeting. But future articles in the MV Voice should lede from the point of view of simply answering: How will this affect Mountain View? Then go on to the underlying nuance.

In other words: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, and (particularly) SO WHAT, from the Mountain View point of view.

Meanwhile from my north Mountain View Monta Loma neighborhood house, this morning with the patio screen door open to enjoy the impending rain and my coffee, I'm hearing a CONTINUOUS STREAM of airplanes precisely overhead, most heading toward SFO and at the 2000 to 3000 foot level, very low. It's fine when they glide quitely, but boy, those air brakes are some noisy s**t!

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

A Los Altos resident handed out a flyer at the October 17 City Council candidates' forum at the MV Library sponsored by the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association. The man told me he had submitted a written question about the proposal to divert noisy air traffic to over Mountain View and Los Altos. He also said their group had contacted the Mountain View Voice. The question was not asked of candidates.

I attended the beginning of the October 18 MV City Council meeting to raise the issue (if no one else did) and to comment on VTA tax Measure B. Three Los Altos residents lined up in front of me. They told the City Council about the proposal. Councilmember Lenny Siegel then stated that he had planned to raise the issue himself at the end of the meeting. I then spoke, said "get on it" and noted that if Measure B were to pass and become law, residents should GET READY FOR BUS-ONLY LANES ON THE LEFT ON EL CAMINO REAL. It is a warning I have been repeating for more than a year - as the VTA went silent about the "rapid transit" bus-lane plan in light of the planned sales tax measure.

At the October 18 City Council meeting, a woman from Mountain View also spoke - noting that she lives near Palo Alto and has been awakened at night by overflights for months.

The next day, I think, I saw online this article in the Palo Alto Weekly (the Voice's sister newspaper)suggesting that the Palo Alto politicians are just trying to make things better for us all! Mountain View and Los Altos officials were evidently not invited to even participate in the committee formed by Congresswoman Eshoo. The Palo Alto article was next run in this newspaper (the MV Voice). I have not personally gotten into the details but we certainly need City Councilmembers who will STAND UP FOR MOUNTAIN VIEW and not just GO ALONG WITH THE PROGRAM.

Posted by Log the noise
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2016 at 12:39 pm

It's hard to guess accurately where the planes are going from what direction they are headed in the sky. Sounds odd, but it's true. Check this out. Go to and you can log and complain about a loud plane. Most of the time it will tell you which one made the noise over your house and you can see where it was headed and where it came from.

You'll be surprised some days about how many turn out to be SJC.

Posted by Shari
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 28, 2016 at 12:06 am

I attended the Select Committee meeting this afternoon at 1:00. It was to be over at 4 but almost went to 6, and I appreciated the Committee allowing this extra time. Anyone who wanted to speak, did so. Besides the entire Select Committee, there were three members of the FAA present, and an overflow crowd of citizens.

Jason Parekh can comment rudely about others' opinions (throwing shade, lies, discredit, their ilk) but his extreme defensiveness weakens his argument. I think the best we can do is listen with civility to all arguments, and learn from each other while asking questions of not only the Select Committee, but also the FAA. That's what happened, tonight, by the majority of people.

DAVYJ was the previous route system that worked for over 30 years. People made choices of where to live, knowing the airplane noise in the areas affected by DAVYJ flights. In March of 2015, without any public input, the FAA replaced DAVYJ with SERFR, resulting in a disaster for Palo Alto, EPA, Los Altos, LAH and Mountain View.

Palo Alto became very organized and sent a letter from their City to the Select Committee (and the FAA?) objecting to the huge increase in aircraft noise. They requested that if the FAA continues with SERFR, that flights should be moved south of Palo Alto to Los Altos and Mountain View. Lenny Siegel (City Council - Mountain View) spoke today and pointed out that in the letter (to the Committee) from Palo Alto, they clearly requested that air traffic be shifted south to make it better for Palo Alto. He said if this happens, Mountain View will organize a strong protest to prevent that action. Good for Lennie for his protest!

The Committee and the FAA said "there will be no shifting of traffic" from one city to another, but that's exactly what the FAA did with SERFR, by moving the majority of air traffic down the peninsula to our cities. Amazingly - the FAA now admits this was a mistake. I, and the VAST MAJORITY of speakers at the meeting today, requested that the FAA RESTORE THE ORIGINAL routes - and the FAA agrees that this is the best solution. The FAA also says there can be improvements (more flights over the Bay, adjustments to landing procedures and aircraft modifications) when aircraft are moved back to their original routes, which will make them less noisy.

Again, the original route was in place for over 30 years, and it worked. People bought homes or rented according to their noise tolerance, and to turn that on it's head was ridiculous - as well as unfair. Hopefully, with a restoration of the original route (DAVYJ) with additional improvements, this noise nightmare will be resolved.

Posted by Begen Ave., MV
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 28, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Thank you Lenny Siegel for representing Mtn. View, supporting MV's letter to the Select Committee and showing up at the meeting yesterday to represent MV. While Palo Alto thinks MV should "share" the noise, what many of their citizens don't know is that we already have more than our fair share of the jet noise, often planes to and from SJC when in reverse mode. Add the NextGen jetnoise and we constantly have jet noise where we had minimal noise before. Palo Alto advocating moving ALL of their jet noise south onto MV/LA is inconceivable NIMBY-ism.

I log plane noise on and 7 of the 10 planes I heard around midnight last night were flying into SFO (3 to SJC). Instead of hearing the lovely sound of rain, I finally fell asleep to jet noise. What was the first thing I heard upon waking? Jet noise.

One last comment, I note that Sue Dremman is a Palo Alto Staff Writer. Clearly Jason Parkeh, who has commented vociferously on this forum is not a MV resident.

Posted by Bill Tanner
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm

The problem as I see it is that the FAA is not offering to restore the original route. In fact, the Select Committee comments on this in their draft report, there is no going back. A few of the speakers yesterday pointed out that undoing Nextgen would solve all the disagreements, but that option is off the table

Instead of putting things back the way they were, there is a new plan DAVYJ. DAVYJ has the same "ground track" but it is not the same procedure.

The FAA has said the altitudes will be lower than the old route. This is not in dispute.

The FAA noise map shows noise will not be the same as it used to be if DAVYJ is adopted. This is in dispute. The FAA has been asked to explain this and it sounds like they will next week.

Of course the ground track should move back. But, even if the ground track moves back to where it was, many communities may still have an airplane noise problem because the shift in the ground track is less than 1 mile (probably half a mile as far as MV is concerned) and the noise goes farther than that. They have to solve the new noise problem and right now its not clear that DAVYJ will.

Posted by Annie
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2016 at 3:08 pm

Shari, you have your routes mixed up. I've been following this airplane thing for over a year now.

The route that was quiet for most of us in Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills was BIGSUR. The new idea of DAVYJ only shares the same GROUND TRACK as BIGSUR but the FAA has stated clearly that the previous higher altitude and flight procedures would NOT, COULD NOT be used. DAVYJ would have lower altitudes, and even more planes than the current noisy SERFR. IF SERFR is loud now for you, DAVYJ will be louder. The FAA has said under no uncertain terms would they go back to the way it was.

The Norcal folks leave that last part about altitude and flight procedure out of their sound bites to trick you all into thinking DAVJ is the holy grail. IT IS NOT. They want to confuse you. They are good at what they do.

I live in Los Altos Hills. When I purchased my home my neighborhood was quiet under BIGSUR. Under SERFER and with the new louder DAVYJ, it is noisy here now and will only get worse.

The founders of Norcal are the only ones that actually personally benefit from SERFR moving to DAVYJ. They live in the summit. Their homes are out of the cross hairs if DAVYJ is put in place. It's despicable the false narrative they continue for their own personal gain.

We should all be working together to deal with the FAA to find real answers to these problems. We should not be pitting one neighborhood against another.

Inform yourself with facts, PLEASE.

SkyPosse Los Altos, Quiet Skies Los Altos Hills, Quiet Skies Mid Peninsula are grass root community groups of good people who just want peace and quiet. No one community on the peninsula should have to bear the brunt of airplane noise and at the same time, if we all put our voices together the FAA will have to listen to our demands to find solutions that all communities can live with.

Posted by Annie
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Began Av. Mountain view...

I've met many of the folks at Sky Posse Palo Alto. They honestly are not proposing moving their noise to Mountain View. They are taking a bigger hit than the rest of us however, as a resident of Los Altos Hills, I recognize that that isn't fair.

We all are experiencing more noise on SERFR and more noise from vectored flights.

There must be an equitable way to make this all work. In my view, the FAA screwed this up, they need to fix it. Anna Eshoo made that same comment at the start of all these proceedings.

Posted by Shari
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

If you were at the meeting, it was clear the FAA agreed that the jet path has to be moved back to the original track it was on for 30 years. If you are only reading the info from the Select Committee, or only attended the past meetings - things changed at this meeting. Yes - there are many route names, but the FAA said returning to the original (for 30+ years) route is the fair way to go. Other routes have been discussed, and one of them would impact Palo Alto more than most - and yes - in their letter from their City Council - they urged the FAA to move the route farther from them over Los Altos and Mountain View. Lenny and I both spoke out against that very firmly.
A lot of new considerations came up at the meeting. They can make approaches higher, alter the speed brakes on wings of noisy aircraft, and do a gradual instead of a step-down descent. Also - it was encouraging to hear they can also try to send more planes over the Bay.
If you have an opinion, I think they will listen! It was a good meeting. YES - people were there urging their own agendas, but everyone was listened to, and I think things will get better for us.

Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2016 at 11:54 pm

I'm in Los Altos, and I have followed this closely. The good news is that the select committee is considering
many recommendations and most of them have little controversy. Sky Posse has indeed attempted to foist
the lie that FAA proposes DAVYJ while warning that it will be noisier than now. Why would they do that? It's true, they hesitate to make promises. It's true that there is a chance DAVYJ in some places (e.g. PALO ALTO DOWNTOWN) will be lower than BIGSUR was for all those years. But FAA has been clear that they will RAISE DAVYJ starting back in Santa Cruz and do the best they can to make it as high as possible clear through to Menlo Park. Additionally, a separate item on the list concerns RAISING the altitude at MENLO. If this happens, then DAVYJ will be at a higher
altitude than SERFR is now. FAA has said that the expectation is that DAVYJ will be quieter than either BIGSUR or SERFR. Palo Alto has no new idea for make it any better other than shifting 50% of the traffic over Mountain View. This is how Sky Posse has been misleading. They also claimed to represent 1/2 of the Los Altos residents but this clearly was never the case. They had a few supporters in Los Altos but 90%+ of people following this in Los Altos support DAVYJ.

Other ideas that will help our noise level include addressing the BDEGA arrivals where they have shifted more planes to the Western Loop which ups traffic over us (more than it ups it over Palo Alto) because the planes are also coming further toward San Jose than they ever did before in addition to switching some from the Eastern Loop to the Western. This is a better way to reduce our noise than shifting SERFR planes over Mountain View. There is only so much capacity on runway 28R and moving BDEGA planes to the Eastern loop is limited by runway 28R capacity. There won't be any left to take SERFR/DAVYJ planes anyway! Retrofit of Airbus planes with Vortex Generators to squelch the whine will really help too. Flying OPD will help. Airspace mods are needed to make OPD work. DAVYJ is just one piece of the best solution, but it's an important one.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 29, 2016 at 11:27 am

To be honest, the sound of planes overhead doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the premise that you or I should be insulated from such a thing....usually at the expense of someone else.

So if the planes don't fly over your house in MV, LA, PA or whatever.....who's house are you ok with them flying over?

Posted by Untrue
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 29, 2016 at 2:01 pm

@true, the issue is the incredibly HUGE increase in noise that's occurred since this "change" back in 2015. I've been here 15 years and never did I have such consistent, repetitive, loud noise as now.

This morning around 5:15 I heard planes off in the distant, that quiet kind of rumbling overhead plane sound. Didn't mind that at all. Around 6am I had a constant barrage of extremely loud planes, like being directly under the approach to SFO, not something you'd expect to hear over 10 miles away from any major airport.

Just take it back the way it was before and I think most everyone will be happy!

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Who's house would you prefer they fly over?
Someone in East Palo Alto?
....anyone but you?

Posted by Untrue
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 29, 2016 at 4:19 pm


Posted by the FAA did not say
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2016 at 2:57 am

I was at the meeting and **for sure** the FAA did not say what Shari misrepresents

*See for yourself* - FAA did not say a word or "agree" with one side or the other

video replay of meeting, it was 4 hours + of public input and last minutes the ***committee asks the FAA for more information***

Web Link

Annie is correct- people need to inform themselves and true that the noise maps shown at the meetings **so far** (by the FAA) show an increase in noise for a boat load of people

David has it backwards - who is trying to foist what on what

At the last several meetings (all available on replay) the FAA has given few details about Davyj, other than the noise maps (one committee member referred to one map as the four fingers of death because they do look scary)

The FAA is due back to the committee with more information

Buyer beware - until more details come in, nobody really knows

Posted by Shari
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 30, 2016 at 4:12 am

I suppose people can interpret what is said differently - but the poster above is undoubtedly from Palo Alto and hopes we in Mountain View will fall for their ploy of moving their noise down onto Mountain View. (Now he'll protest, but he and I see this differently - so be informed with facts and make your own decision.)
The report suggested they "will not shift noise", but that's exactly what they did in March of 2015 when the routes moved down over Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View and even South, and the FAA admitted that. In my opinion, the most fair thing is to restore the original route that was held for 30+ years, with improvements that the FAA says they can perform: flying higher, mechanical alterations on planes, more planes up the Bay.
Read Palo Alto's letter if you want to clearly see how they urge shifting the paths farther away from them onto Los Altos and Palo Alto. Enough of these manipulations - just restore the original route with improvements. That is not perfect for everyone, but it is the most fair to all around.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 30, 2016 at 11:12 am


"The way it was" fails to address the FAA "NexGen" program which increases airport safety and efficiency. The program has additional benefits in reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

"The way it was" means those planes fly over someone else's house and not yours. So I'm glad that we've firmly established that your concern is not with flight safety, the efficiency of our aviation infrastructure, aircraft fuel consumption and emissions or really with noise as a whole but instead your concern

At least you're honest about it...if grudgingly so.

Posted by the FAA did not say
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Shari again misrepresents, "interpreting" what was not even said, the FAA simply did not speak on Thursday.

The FAA has however previously said that there is no "the way it was"

This may be why they have a new name for the old route. If it was Big Sur (the old route) why not call the new one Big Sur or even Big Sur2. It's instead called "notional DAVYJ"

The present route, SERFR, is

#1 more concentrated than Big Sur
#2 lower altitudes than Big Sur
#3 has low altitude vectoring in addition to the route

It appeared to me that the plan is to have the new SERFR noisy route moved to the old ground track.

Makes sense why people are fighting so hard to keep it off their back yard, but the highway does not go away for other people.

Posted by FAA Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2016 at 3:45 am

It's clear that the FAA regrets moving the noise in the first place. Even with the other issues cited by the last poster, it remains true that the #1 issue with the changes made in March 2015 was the NOISE MOVE. Meanwhile, in addition to returning the route to the ground track from 30+ years, there are changes designed to address the other 3 observations. He misses another big one, namely the class B airspace problems which kept the planes
from flying OPD according tho the intent when designing SERFR.

What people forget is that SERFR is a moving target. It's implementation as a procedure need not change in order
for their to be changes in the way the planes fly. Vectoring is specifically intended to be reduced. OPD will be achieved more regularly. Altitude will be raised. It's a half empty half full situation when the Sky Posse people declare with certainty that altitude will be lower. In a conference call with Select Committee Members, the FAA did declare their intention for the altitude to raise compared to SERFR and even in some cases compared to BIGSUR.

So go ahead Sky Posse, be as pessimistic as you please, we don't buy your lies any more.

Posted by FAA Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2016 at 3:55 am

As for disinformation from Sky Posse, consider:

- Many planes are coming from BODEGA's West Loop. Moving BODEGA traffic back more equally onto the East Loop over the bay is a committee recommendation to be voted on. But it uses capacity on runway 28R, which is then absolutely not available for the Palo Alto SERFR-EDDYY non-starter. We already have 250 planes per day "using the length of the day" as they arrive on DYAMD. That only leaves 40 or so slots to be used for BODEGA traffic currently on 28L SERFR-EDDYY is really nothing and infeasible on a practical basis, unless BODEGA is left flying over the peninsula cities even more than now.

- SERFR-EDDYY interferes with traffic headed to Moffett Field and to San Jose. It also adds to the noise ALREADY over Mountain View which is much more San Jose traffic than seen by Palo Alto.

Posted by Bad info
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2016 at 4:06 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Shari to Bad Info
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 31, 2016 at 4:38 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by the FAA did not say
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2016 at 2:09 pm

FAA Observer

If you are an FAA Observer you heard the FAA Western Regional Director declare at the first community meeting (in Santa Cruz) that "OPD is not quiet."

The FAA spoke the truth, OPD is not quiet.

OPD (Optimized profile descent) is however misused by DAVYJ proponents to sell a lie that OPD will quiet the noise people are experiencing from new Nextgen procedures. It is known that planes are not "gliding" to SFO. They may get quieter at the top of the ride, but they will remain as crazy loud at the bottom (which includes Mt. View).

Hats off to to Air Traffic Control that they need to orchestrate traffic and avoid crashes.

What is the difference between vectoring (ATC asking planes to turn right and left) from planes powering in-line, NOT gliding to SFO. In my view, noise wise, nothing. Both are extremely noisy events.

The FAA calls vectoring - dispersion. OPD would reduce dispersion. So what you are really saying is to put all the noise on the people under the path.

Posted by FAA Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2016 at 3:27 pm

More obfuscation. The fact is both SERFR and DAVYJ are quieter for Mountain View than SERFR - EDDYY. OPD is quietER than SERFR because SERFR is not OPD.

The best statement on all the issues being considered is the city of Los Altos Letter.
See it here: Web Link

Palo Alto isn't the only city that can write letters, as MV and LA both have done so.

Posted by the FAA did not say
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Letters motivated by the DAVYJ promo tour

Letters that do not make OPD quiet.

When the planes are too low, too loud and too many, there is no magic "glide" or slide down the banister to save the day. Surely Air Traffic Control would welcome that too, everyone would.

No, there is no happy slide to SFO which makes no noise, inform yourself.

Posted by Bill Tanner
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:38 am

Just want to point out something from last week's Select Committee meeting.

Committee Chairman Joe Simitian asked the FAA to clarify whose idea DAVYJ was.

Q (Simitian): We heard from 3 dozen speakers last week that DAVYJ was "proposed by the FAA". Is that correct?
A (FAA): No. The recommendation to use the Big Sur track was a recommendation from the community. We named it "notional DAVYJ" for clarity during discussions with the Select Committee. It's not our recommendation.
Q (Simitian): You reviewed suggestions from a number of folks You determined this was "feasible". Was it recommended?
A (FAA): We're not making any recommendations at this point.

I'm not sure where people got the idea that the FAA has endorsed DAVYJ, or that it was their idea. The statement from Glen Martin (FAA Regional Administrator) was unambiguous. The FAA doesn't care whether the ground track changes or stays right where it is.

Posted by @Bill
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2016 at 2:58 pm

I think the issue is that at this point you can't say the FAA does or does not
favor redirecting the ground track whole or in part to run over Mountain View. Where it is, the planes have an adverse effect on Mountain View already, in the Blossom Valley area and nearby. Vectored planes range over an even wider portion of the city. But another important effect is that the current procedure which lowered the path of planes
however they fly also forced the lowering of the standard procedure for planes headed
into San Jose. This time of year when the planes run in reverse flow that effects
a huge part of Mountain View.

DAVYJ may have been suggested by others, but it's hardly rocket science to suggest going back to the ground track for 30 years until March 2014. Anyone suggesting that is plagiarizing BIGSUR, you could say. Only the FAA has "notionally" refined and done visioning on a re-do of BIGSUR to create a notion of DAVYJ. The notion came from the FAA in terms of every specific aspect beyond the ground track.

So, it's pretty fair to say the FAA has formulated DAVYJ. Certainly they absolutely came up with the name.

Posted by Simitian Issues
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

There's a real issue if Simitian has been paying attention to the public input. Members of the public stood up at 3 different public input sessions which kicked off the Select Committee work and suggested returning to the BIGSUR ground track. They didn't call it DAVYJ.

This is pretty much as irrelevant as Hillary's email. Where did the FAA get the idea to go back to BIGSUR ground track? What a waste of time! In truth the idea came up in select committee discussions.

It's been up to the FAA to formulate aspects of a new procedure which would work for NEXTGEN yet use BIGSUR's former ground track. No one but the FAA could possibly have done so. It's also not anything more than a vision at present.

After weeks of time and meetings Simitian and Waldeck proposed splitting the traffic 50-50 between the notional DAVYJ and the current SERFR. Why did they do that if they have a problem with DAVYJ? Why did they take so long to push for this idea of using 2 different routes at the same time? It came up earlier in the former of a "herringbone" which would split the traffic over more than 2 different routes. Yet, they didn't support that. So where did the ideas come from?

Then along comes Palo Alto very near the end of the series of SC meetings, and they say, split the traffic 50-50 between SERFR and a new route that runs over central Los Altos and Mountain View. Why is an idea like that even accepted for consideration so late in the process? Why don't Los Altos and Mountain View have reps on the committee that get to vote???

Posted by Bill Tanner
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Au contraire, the FAA says there is no going back, and that DAVYJ and Big Sur are not the same thing.

Even if they did somehow reactivate the old procedure, the FAA has admitted there are more planes on the route now than there were before nextgen. At the last meeting the FAA confirmed that it was "common" to vector planes directly to Woodside from BSR at the coast and now those planes stay on the SERFR route.

The point is, you can't keep claiming that DAVYJ puts things back to how they were "for the past 30 years". The FAA changed everything in our airspace with nextgen. Pretending that somehow DAVYJ undoes all these changes is simply misleading and keeps us from talking about the real issues.

And the only reason the FAA spent any time on DAVYJ is because they were told back in January that the entire region (all 3 counties) was behind this idea. That is clearly untrue, I think at best our region is divided between people who want DAVYJ (because it moves noise onto someone else) and people who will take historical levels of air traffic but not all of the current load.

Where you fall on the question of DAVYJ vs. 50-50 seems to depend largely on where you live. And it's anybody's guess what the Committee ends up choosing.

But either way I think the other recommendations that ARE in the SC report will make the noise a lot better for everyone. So I think it's silly to pretend that it's DAVYJ or nothing.. there is a lot of good stuff being put forward.

Posted by Bill
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 16, 2016 at 1:44 pm

A last-minute plan to shift SFO-inbound noise off of north Palo Alto and onto Mountain View, Los Altos and Sunnyvale was added to the Select Committee on Airplane Noise recommendations to FAA, after the comment period had ended and behind closed doors. The "final vote" is Thursday... in the Palo Alto City Council chambers.

The new pain corridor runs the entire length of Mountain View and Los Altos.

The Committee process was dominated by Palo Alto NIMBYs, who were unwilling to recognize that Mountain View already suffers more noise daily, which gets dramatically worse during bad weather when San Jose (SJC) traffic from the Santa Cruz Mountains detours all the way to the San Antonio Road area before making a noisy powered turn south for final approach.

I suppose in some people’s reality, if it doesn’t happen in Palo Alto, it doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, I assure you all morning my Monta Loma neighborhood house has had a continuous stream of SFO-inbound traffic overhead...

Though our City leaders are complaining, the process was designed to avoid giving Mountain View and Los Altos representation.

A map of the planned route can be viewed at

Residents injured by this ill-conceived maneuver should complain to the Select Committee on Airplane Noise chaired by Supervisor Joe Simitian, as well as to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, FAA Administrator Glen Martin and city council members. Demand that proposal 2.5r2 be removed.

As stated in the Committee’s own core principles: “Changes in noise patterns should be avoided, unless the change has no adverse effects, or the change is unavoidable due to safety reasons.”

The right thing to do is pursue best-practices and technical fixes, for example fly much higher over cities and only descend over the Bay. Or retrofit the loud Airbus A320 to eliminate it intense whine, with a simple $5,000 part. See how far these kinds of fixes get us before ever talking about moving pain around.

Posted by @Bill
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I cannot find the planned route in your link from your post - just about parks, California Avenue, etc.

When is the meeting time on Thursday? The standard 7pm? Yes your quote should be mentioned at that meeting as often as we can make it:

As stated in the Committee’s own CORE PRINCIPLES: “Changes in noise patterns should be avoided, unless the change has no adverse effects, or the change is unavoidable due to safety reasons.”

I urge every Mountain View resident to be there. Please send your post to the individual Mountain View Council Members so we are represented by them as well. The general contact email is:
[email protected]

but each member can be contacted separately as well, by going to this page:
Web Link

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Gemello

on Feb 25, 2017 at 4:51 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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