San Francisco’s Concerned Residents Experiencing Annoying Aircraft Maneuvers

10/13 SFO Roundtable Meeting Review


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.

3 thoughts on “10/13 SFO Roundtable Meeting Review

  1. It is a great idea to pressure elected officials – but in speaking with Speier’s office, who is the only official I know of who is even taking this issue on as an issue, I was told by Kathleen there no one is ever going to do anything about this issue and the FAA is basically immune to outside pressure.

    I was thinking it might be an idea to actually organize a protest at SFO. Do you think that might get some attention?


    • There was a protest at SFO last October where it looked like there was a good turnout. You can see some pictures of it in this youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AwRI772n-s&feature=youtu.be&t=102
      I don’t know who organized this protest but if we can find out we can try to make another one happen with them.

      I was at the last RoundTable meeting and one of the members of the public attending said if the FAA is not doing anything we should do a class action lawsuit. The city of Phoenix sued the FAA and eventually the FAA suspended further NextGen flight path changes there. I think that 4 residents from either the Peninsula or Santa Cruz have also filed a lawsuit. I don’t know how difficult it is to get a lawsuit together. Maybe we could get the city of San Francisco to sue the FAA? Or since the city of San Francisco owns SFO maybe it has other ways to influence flight operations out of there.


  2. “Our Mission”
    “Our continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”
    This is the entirety of the FAA published “About” statement on their website.

    To my mind, Safety includes the well being and private quiet enjoyment of our homes. I think fully equating safety with noise is important especially due to the fact the NextGen configuration did not take noise into account when designing and implementing this new program. Personally, I find it shocking that any entity, government or otherwise, can see data inbound on a new system roll out that shows sudden hundred fold increase in noise complaint but is unwilling to migrate this real time data into the nationwide roll out. In fact, FAA representatives are using the roll out of this program as an excuse to not being able to address our serious noise complaints.

    Currently 29 national airports are noted as being NextGen enabled. How far will the FAA go in rolling out this program in the name of efficiency when the result is horrible blight upon the very populations they purport to serve in “safety” ?



    please view the video. This states that the roll out is complete and that the NextGen “partnered” with industry to make this effective. Effective for whom and at what cost to how many ?


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