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Our Letter to the Select Committee

Update November 17, 2016 the Select Committee voted 8-4 for solve the problem of jet noise for communities under SERFR by moving the flight path to a legacy ground track called BIGSUR / BSR over communities in Monterey Peninsula, Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon, UCSC, Pasatiempo, Scotts Valley, San Lorenzo Valley, Summit Skyline, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. 


Regional Solution for Communities Impacted by the FAA NextGen Northern California Metroplex

Regarding the FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns of Santa Cruz/Santa Clara/San Mateo/San Francisco Counties Compiled at the Requests of Representatives Farr, Eshoo and Speier


Adjustments Marked Feasible

We are united in our opposition to item 1.f.i on page 11 of the Initiative (moving SERFR to the BSR ground track with the new name DAVYJ) as it moves new, unmitigated jet noise to other unsuspecting communities with no FAA guarantee or even suggestion of immediate or future mitigation or relief. We are also opposed to the SERFR-BIGSUR/BSR move because it would directly contravene Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s direction upon the creation of the Select Committee that “…shifting noise from one community to another is not an option.”


Our concern is driven by the awareness of potential damage to additional communities including the City of Santa Cruz, UCSC, Bonny Doon, Pasatiempo, Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley communities of Felton, Mount Hermon, Zayante, Lompico, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, and Boulder Creek.  Furthermore, this change will provide no relief to citizens in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. In fact, FAA testimony indicates that DAVYJ will be more damaging to those communities than SERFR. 


It is a fallacy that moving the ground track alone, as described in the initiative, will return the noise levels to those experienced prior to NextGen.  The FAA proposal specifically states that the altitudes previously used on BIGSUR/BSR prior to March 2015 will *not* be adopted if their proposal is implemented.  The consequence of voting to accept this proposal is that the noise experienced today by those below SERFR will be relocated onto the unsuspecting communities below the BIGSUR/BSR route.  Only the small but vocal community under SERFR will enjoy noise relief…at the expense of their western and northern neighbors.


If the option becomes available to raise aircraft altitudes on the BIGSUR, or DAVYJ, arrival above what would otherwise be required in order to comply with Optimum Profile Descent (OPD) parameters, then the option of raising altitudes should be examined for implementation upon the current SERFR arrival, so as to avoid the inevitable outcome of ‘…simply shifting noise from one community to another…’


We support items marked ‘Feasible’ which do not shift entire ground tracks from one community to another, including:


·       altitude adjustments and moving departures over water (items 1.a.ii, 1.b.i, 1.b.ii)

·       maximizing offshore routing (item 1.c.ii)

·       speed adjustments (items 1.d.i. 1.d.ii)

·       Class B airspace change and reduce speed brakes (items 2.b.i, 2.c.iii, 2.d.ii)

·       Time Based Flow Management (items 3.c.i, 3.c.ii)

·       review nighttime cargo flights (items 3.d.i, 3.d.ii)


Adjustments Marked Not Feasible

We urge the FAA to revisit items marked ‘Not Feasible’ in order to provide additional noise mitigations.


Going Forward

We recommend the creation of a working technical task force to carry on the work of the Select Committee and expansion of seats at the SFO Roundtable to include representatives from Santa Cruz County. These bodies will continue the good work of the Select Committee by receiving input from residents and community groups.


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