San Francisco’s Concerned Residents Experiencing Annoying Aircraft Maneuvers



What is S.C.R.E.A.A.M.?

S.C.R.E.A.A.M. or “San Francisco’s Concerned Residents Experiencing Annoying Aircraft Maneuvers” is an organization that aims to eliminate or minimize unacceptable noise levels caused by aircraft from the San Francisco Airport (SFO) and the Oakland Airport (OAK) flying over San Francisco, particularly the following neighborhoods:

  • Bayview
  • Balboa Terrace
  • Bernal Heights
  • Excelsior
  • Glen Park
  • Miraloma Park
  • Ingleside
  • Sunnyside
  • The Mission
  • Outer Mission
  • Portola
  • Visitacion Valley
  • West Portal
  • Westwood Highlands
  • Westwood Park
  • Etc.

The members of S.C.R.E.A.A.M. believe that San Francisco is one the greatest cities in the World and that our city’s quality of life (and, in particular, the ability to sleep) needs to be protected from unacceptable levels of aircraft noise overhead during waking hours and sleeping hours. Lately, new technologies, revised procedures, and economic/political pressures have resulted in aircraft maneuvers that are too disruptive to normal life on the ground in San Francisco. Currently, many densely populated neighborhoods are experiencing an unfair over-concentration of low and noisy flights in “conga-line style.” Other areas are experiencing noisy, low-altitude U-turns. To make matters worse, air traffic from Bay Area airports is only expected to increase in the future.

Beyond the annoyance of the noise itself, major studies show that aircraft noise negatively affects people’s health and quality of life. For example, short term exposure to aircraft noise can result in sleep disturbance and impairment of learning in children, etc. More significantly, long-term exposure to aircraft noise is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, dementia, and may contribute to long-term mental health issues. In fact, former U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart said: “Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”

We believe that unacceptably loud aircraft maneuvers over residential zones need to be readjusted in order to return to “quieter skies” over our San Francisco neighborhoods. We realize that safety and security for the passengers and crew in the air is of utmost importance and that saving moderate amounts of money and natural resources is important. However, we do not feel that all this should be done at the expense of the San Francisco residents’ health on the ground. We feel that since our neighborhoods are not next to existing airport’s runways and are not an active military base, we should not be subjected to the constant, loud, and unhealthy “roaring” of those types of places. In short, the city’s 49 square miles of dense residential zones are simply not a great place for low-altitude, noisy aircraft maneuvers.

Our goal is to constructively work together with all stakeholders to proactively decrease noise conditions on the ground now and in the future. We realize that mitigating aircraft noise is complex and that many other organizations and individuals have already devoted significant time to aircraft monitoring and noise abatement. Though we have great admiration for those organizations and individuals, we have come to realize that the monitoring of loud aircraft is falling between the cracks of our well-intentioned federal, regional, and municipal organizations. By giving our San Francisco neighbors an organization through which to express their concerns and enable positive changes, S.C.R.E.A.A.M. hopes to minimize the unacceptable noise levels and stress that can worsen the health of our residents, decrease the value of our homes, or cause San Francisco residents to even consider moving away from the area.

S.C.R.E.A.A.M. will communicate any unacceptable noise levels in our area, along with any hardships that well-intentioned aircraft-related procedures produce for San Francisco residents. In addition, we intend to give a voice to all of the San Francisco residents in our area that otherwise do not have the economic freedom, technical knowledge, or even language skills to effectively complain directly using the current noise abatement resources. Lastly, we also aim to make specific, thoughtful, and actionable recommendations to the technical teams at the SFO Roundtable, the FAA, our local airports, and to the airlines regarding the aircraft maneuvers that negatively affect us the most in order to restore the quality of life in our San Francisco neighborhoods.