The SFO roundtable held a technical working group meeting on Thursday. Four SCREAAM members were there as well as many residents from Brisbane, Pacifica and Daly City. Several members of the FAA attended and our Roundtable representative David Takashima was present. A little background on what the Roundtable is working on: the FAA has agreed to consider changes that would help with the noise and the Roundtable is finalizing a letter to the FAA outlining what the requested changes are. Some of the proposed changes that could benefit us are:
Flights out of Oakland to southern destinations often fly a route known as CNDEL. They are often being turned off this route early which brings them further south over San Francisco. The Roundtable is asking the FAA to keep these flights on the published routes and not turn them early.
Flights out of SFO to southern destinations mainly use a route known as SSTIK in which they take off heading north over the bay then they make a U turn, over either Brisbane or the southern part of San Francisco and fly south over Pacifica. The Roundtable is asking the FAA to move these flights further east into the bay and have them fly further north before making the U-turn. This would allow them to get higher up before they fly over land.
Two other requests being made that can help are: 1) have flights fly across the Golden Gate rather than San Francisco. 2) have them take take off on the runway that faces the south. However these would only be able to used for a very small percentage of flights, mainly late at night, because typically other air traffic uses the airspace necessary for these flight paths.
When the FAA members were asked to comment about these requests they repeatedly said that this will take 18 – 24 months before anything could be changed and it would actually probably be longer since they have their hands full making NextGen changes in other areas. And they did not mention that after two years they could just come back to us and say none of these changes will work for some reason or other.
Do you want to wait for over two years while the FAA messes up peoples lives in other cities with new flight paths before there is even a possibility of some improvement? We need to take action if we want to get relief anytime soon. At the last SCREAAM meeting David Takashima suggested it would be helpful to contact our elected officials about this issue. Do you agree it will be effective to lobby our representatives to pressure the FAA to act faster? Do you have other ideas about what will be effective? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.