Town Square

FAA committee: Scrap existing flight path

Original post made on Nov 22, 2016

A committee tasked with recommending ways to reduce airplane noise over the Midpeninsula voted last week in favor of a new flight path similar to one in place before March 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration changed it.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 10:24 AM


Posted by Connie
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm

We live in the crossings of Mt.View. Recently we noticed a lot of plane noise during the day and night. Is this the result of the vote? Is the new flight path already started? Where can we complain if we dislike it? Thank you.

Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Nov 22, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.


The increased airplane noise you've heard lately is not the result of last week's vote. It's mostly due to the rainy weather we've had in the Bay Area, which results in an altered flight path, that has planes bound for San Jose coming in from the north side of the airport instead of from the south side like they do when the weather is good.

If you ever want to see which plane just flew over your house, you can use the Flight Radar 24 website to do that:

And if you find that a noisy plane was bound for San Jose Airport, you can report your complaint to SJC here: Web Link


Posted by SteveO
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Maybe now we can get the Airforce/Government to stop polluting our clear skies with their incessant ConTrails, and God only knows what's in them.

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Contrails are made of water SteveO. You can relax.

As far as the noise, I've noticed. I'd be fine with moving it over someone else's head.

I think Palo Alto gets the worst of it. Most of the SFO planes buzz right over Palo Alto and Menlo Park before hooking left for the airport.

Posted by Interested
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 23, 2016 at 2:52 am

Interested is a registered user.

I went to the meetings and sent letters and emails protesting the change that brought such sudden and deafening noise to Mountain View. It seems a large number of us did this - and it brought results. I thought the panel - and the FAA people attending as well - were very aware of the problems and willing to help. It seems they responded to the public in a very positive manner, and I'm grateful.
Maybe this is a good lesson for more people to get involved and actually write letters and emails to your City Council and attend meeting and speak up. Personal involvement, en masse, works a great deal of the time, as evidenced here.

This was not an intent to "dump" noise on someone else. The noise had been over an area much north of here for decades. People bought houses and lived according to the noise they could tolerate. With the sudden switch of routing, there was a massive increase of commercial traffic over Mountain View, resulting in the noise where we specifically bought to avoid.

Many of us pointed out that it was similar to realizing your home was near a railroad track, but you decided to buy there anyway - and also the opposite: you chose to perhaps pay more and buy in a quieter area away from the tracks. Then suddenly, the railroad decides to switch the tracks to the quieter neighborhood. You have the rules changed on you, through no fault of your own. That's the scenario we see in the flight track being moved after so many years.

I am glad that, in moving the flight track back near the original route, they are also taking steps to quiet the noise. Thus those who bought, knowing the consequences of the flight track, will get some relief as well.

Joe Simitian handled this very well. I'm grateful for the future reduction of noise here in Mountain View - and a return to our quieter skies that we had for decades - before this last awful revision.

Posted by Mt. View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 23, 2016 at 9:27 am

Ok, deafening noise, known to have unhealthy affects. All this seems like clouds to confuse the fact that there is plenty of useable airspace that would not negatively impact homeowners so greatly, namely, the giant spaces over water. Cloud things as much as you want. It doesn't change the fact that we don't want the noise, the planes or the con trails.

Posted by Depo
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2016 at 7:02 am

Quit your crying people! Today's aircraft are quieter than ever! The Air Force should fly an F 104 Starfighter over your heads all day long and then you will appreciate the QUIET you have now! I miss the days of a Boeing 707 on climb out when a jet sounded like a jet!

Posted by David
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Homeowners of Mountain View should breathe a small sigh of relief. Not just because it looks like we may get this SFO arrival path back to its historic route, but because there was a strong group of people trying to move it even further east over our city. If you haven't already, take a look at There you will find a scary proposal to move this same flight path even further over Mountain View and Los Altos. This is a very political issue. Of course it is. Who wants all those planes flying over their home? That is why the only fair thing to do is leave the flight path the way it has been for 30 years prior to the FAA move in 2015. Where it was when millions of us bought and built our homes in this area. So obvious, and yet this Select Committee couldn't even reach this recommendation unanimously. Very political. Thank the efforts of groups like, who have been pushing for the return of the flight path to its historic location. And watch out for the next time Palo Alto tries to move this path over the politically weak.

Posted by Impacted
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2016 at 11:54 am

Joe Simitian did not do a good job on this. He voted to have the flight path, SERFR, stay instead of returning it back to the historical path. This flight path was shifted over people in Santa Clara county without notice or reason.

If he really was representing the people of Santa Clara county, he would have voted to have the flight path returned to BIG SUR, the only fair thing to do. Please remember this when he is up for vote again. In my eyes, he is not a fair politician.

Posted by Mad at FAA
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 28, 2016 at 7:30 am

I agree with @Impacted. Mr Simitian represented Palo Alto alone, not Santa Clara County as he was elected to represent. As a former Palo Alto councilman, Palo Alto mayor, Palo Alto school board member, he clearly showed his political side and fought the common sense wisdom of returning this flight path to its historic location. We can't vote out the FAA officials responsible for this remarkable mess, but we can vote out Joe Simitian for prolonging it.