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Moffett airfield up for grabs?

Original post made on Jul 19, 2010

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo is concerned about the potential for increased use of the runway at Moffett Federal Airfield as NASA considers getting rid of "underutilized assets."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 19, 2010, 10:03 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Dave Chapman
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

This is a scam. There is no way that converting Moffett into a cargo airport will fail to destroy the community East of El Camino with jet noise. 250,000 flights a year would be almost 1000 a day. Can you imagine what that would sound like?

People at NASA will tell you that it was a mistake to allow Google to use the field, and we can see that they were right.

Turn Moffett into SFO?

Just say No.

-Dave Chapman
Candidate for Congress

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Destroy the community? A bit of hyperbole don't you think? Moffett Field used to be NAS Moffett Field. At that time, P3-C Orions pretty much operated around the clock. Add in the regular ER-2 flights, the powered lift research vehicles, the rotorcraft flights and Lockheed Space Systems deliveries and things used to be alot louder and busier than they currently are. There are restrictions they could put in place that would limit hours of operation and vehicle types to mitigate noise concerns. US101, CA-237, CA-85, Central Expwy and CalTrain are much bigger noise concerns than Moffett will ever be. Also... which people at NASA are you referring to? most of the NASA types I know don't mind the google flights, and are happy ARC has found someone to help pay for the airfield... it is an invaluable asset for researchers that would likely have been lost without finding alternative funding. Maybe it makes sense to transition a bit further down that road and transfer operation of the airfield to the county with NASA paying as a user.

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Posted by tommygee
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I have lived in this neighborhood for nearly 46 years. I do remember in the 60's and 70's the constant jet noise during takeoffs and boy was it loud. I do not think going back to that would be a great thing... can't hear conversation, can't hear the TV.

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Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 12:31 am

AC is a registered user.

I remember Moffett being pretty busy right after 9/11. It didn't bother me too much. But it did scare me, because the sound from Moffett underscored that what was happening was real.

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Posted by SH
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

The noise from frequent airplane takeoff will destroy the community.

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Posted by Vijay Iyer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

Opening up Moffett to GA traffic would be a great way to lower the load at other airports. The noise issue is overblown, since the traffic departs out over the bay and the airfield is so large compared to, for example, Palo Alto airport.
The influx of money could then fund restoration of the blimp hangars, which would preserve their history and serve a useful function again.

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Posted by SF
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

The noise issue is overblown? WOW, you must live far enough from Moffet field and don't care about the people live closer to it.

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Posted by KCL
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I live in Sunnyvale near El Camino and Maria Ave. I am adjacent to the incoming flight path for Moffett. Occasionally a plane is off to my side of the path and the noise is deafening. Even when they are on the correct path it is very loud from my house. Especially bad when cargo planes, fighter jets and helicopters come in. I bought my house long after the P-3's stopped flying and I had no idea there was still so much traffic going to Moffett. It would be unbearable if they added any more flights. For those who think it is no bid deal, trust me, it is. The worst is when you are just nodding off at 10:45pm only to have some sort of aircraft slowly thunder over. I really feel for the people north of Evelyn and Central who have to deal with this.

Please, No More Traffic! I will live with the present volume but no additional.

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Posted by Sunnyvale resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I live in Sunnyvale and I can attest that the noise is quite deafening. Also, from what I can tell the landing path is directly over my neighborhood (not over the bay as stated by Mr. Lyer).

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Posted by Better Business.
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I vote for FedEx, UPS and Private aircraft to use this airfield. I grew up in the area and having the military aircraft was not a big deal and was great for the local economy. Especially, Sunnyvale and Mountain View businesses. Aircraft is much quiter than back in the days of the Orions. Hey....Mountain View might acutally have a reason to build on that piece of land on Moffett Blvd after all.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Yes, it would be noisy, but it would not "destroy the community"... there is housing in similar location (noise-wise) to SFO in foster city... except that is worse because SFO operates 24/7. There is NO WAY Moffett would be allowed to operate like SFO... WAY too many people now live in what would be the >65DNL contour for that level of operations. The reason aircraft landing at Moffett now are so deafening is that they come in level, slow and engines spooled up... and they are mostly noisy fighter aircraft rather than relatively quiet modern airliners. There is a way to make operations into and out of Moffett have little impact on the communities: only stage 4 aircraft, restricted hours of operation (e.g. 9AM to 9PM) and maybe even no 'heavy' aircraft (e.g. B747, A380, etc.). The question is if there is a business case for such operations. I would guess not. Such operations look an awful lot like SJC with a few more restrictions, and SJC and OAK are far short of capacity right now... no reason for airlines or cargo haulers to go to Moffett for that. While GA would make sense for the GA owners, the county is struggling to run their existing airports without significant loss... would taking on a MUCH larger facility really make sense? no. The problem is there is no business case for significantly expanded Moffett operations that is acceptable from a noise standpoint (by the FAAs own standards). I think people should stop worrying... no one is clamoring for increased operations except (occasionally) NASA, and that is only because they don't want to pay for the upkeep!

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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm

We need to get going and fight any increase in flights from Moffett Field or conversion to another use of the airport. If NASA doesn't need the airport than it's time convert it to housing and business use that will aid the area.

This land was given to the Navy and Federal Government for 1 dollar back in the 1930's, so let's take it back Let's start planning the build out of Moffett Field now. From what I remember the line between Sunnyvale and Mountain view runs between the two runways. Both cities should start planning now.

As an aside when the Navy P3s used the airfield they landed more or less one after another in the morning and afternoon sort of like rush hour. It was a training base, there were almost no night time flights of the turbo prop P3s, jets left the base in the 50s after one crashed into a House in Mountain View killing a women and the pilot. Of course visiting jets were here sometimes and are still here sometimes but not on a regular basis.

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Posted by Mr. Big
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Keep the airfield, we're going to need it for the Smithsonian West Coast Earth, Air and Space Museum.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:08 am

Other uses of the airfield may be prohibitively expensive... especially in the near-term with the glut of commercial realestate. Much of the airfield lies over the toxic plume from the early semiconductor companies (slowly flowing toward the bay). Add to that all the waste the navy dumped over decades of use (superfund site), combine those with the runways designed for million pound aircraft (think 8ft thick concrete) and alternative uses start to look VERY expensive.

There were always regular jet operations from Moffett.. what with Kuiper, the ER2, the STOL aircraft, etc... today's aircraft are MUCH quieter than those that operated in the past. Having said that, there is just no way around aircraft being disruptive during night-time hours. the approach would cross los gatos and head straight through the valley to moffett... WAY too developed for heavy operations... the only feasible approach would require a new class of aircraft that would use a MUCH shorter runway and navigate a curved approach over the bay/237, basically avoiding residential areas entirely. Just not gonna happen. NASA is just trying to get someone else to pay for it. The best they could hope for would be a thriving airship tourist industry to pay the rent... lots of big hangars, low noise

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Posted by Jasper
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 20, 2010 at 1:31 am

I wish Moffett Field would become militarized again under DOD control. Speaking as a local, it's nice to be around military. Better yet make it a joint forces base; Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coasties, PD/SD, Nat Guards. An AAFES would be nice to replace the now closed NEX. Now I have to drive 150 miles away just to buy my uniform.

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Posted by eliza
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I live in the neighborhood. The jet noise always scares me. Please no more airplanes. I really wish I can live in a quiet neighborhood. Please!!

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Posted by Earth Air Space & Educational Foundation
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Diligently pursing the Earth, Air, & Space Center, follow us and support us on Facebook by clicking on the WEB LINK and "LIKE" at
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Posted by Michael
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I live in Sunnyvale, and have 2 little kids.

For all those who are in favor of this try putting your kid to sleep at 8 and having her be scared to go to bed because of the noise of the airplanes.

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

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