San Francisco’s Concerned Residents Experiencing Annoying Aircraft Maneuvers

October 3, 2016 Meeting Notes

  • SCREAAM’s second meeting was held as planned on October 3 from 6:30 – 8:30pm (in a really beautiful venue – Thank you I.G.). We doubled last meeting’s attendees and invited two important guests which were kind enough to educate us on what is going on… We also have a website / blog / presentation / lots of volunteers / etc.   Another bunch of SCREAAM folks were not able to come to the meeting , but are following the situation closely and are ready to help. Our guests were (1) David Takashima from the City of SF Mayor’s Office and our SFO Roundtable Representative, and (2) Bert Ganoung from the SFO Noise Abatement Team. We were lucky and thankful that they both were able to come.   So, this also means we are officially on the map!
  • Everyone (including our guests) unanimously concluded that SCREAAM should exist and that the efforts of creating, promoting, etc. this new organization of ours is good idea. We also concluded there is no need to change the name – SCREAAM it is! We are planning on creating more materials ASAP, attending more public events, and dramatically increasing the membership in the group until the noise pollution is reduced. We also concluded that the next SCREAAM meeting(s) should be sometime soon in order to continue our momentum (and because we ran out of time in this meeting to get our priorities and assigned tasks properly outlined.)
  • SCREEAM aims to find a solution to the unacceptable noise pollution problems caused by the new “virtual conga lines” of unacceptably loud and frequent aircraft flying over San Francisco homes these days (at about 2500 feet – 7500 feet over our homes). The jets are “too low, too loud, too often.” What we would like to see is a change to either (1) go back to the way things were before – which is probably going to be difficult given the economic and regulatory pressures, and technological deployments, or (2) to either fly around our area or fly much higher over the area. In short, we need the organization to protect the airspace above us from unacceptable levels noise pollution.
  • The most urgent SCREAAM task right now is that our wishes/requests be properly represented in a very important letter that is going out from the SFO Roundtable to the FAA shortly – as in THIS MONTH!!! For that matter, several SCREAAM members plan to attend the October 13 SFO Roundtable meeting and the next SFO Roundtable meeting to make sure that our requests to modify annoying aircraft maneuvers over our homes (such as SSTIK maneuver, CNDEL maneuver, other offenders, etc.) are showcased in that letter. To put it bluntly, if our requests are not it that letter, it will be a much more difficult process to achieve change. Note: we have not been given a copy of that letter yet, but even if we get it – the letter is difficult to decipher since it is technical and “heavily jargonated.” – So we will need to move quickly once we see it to make sure our concerns are reflected in that letter.


What is SCREAAM?

  • The acronym says it all -“SF’s Concerned Residents Experiencing Annoying Aircraft Maneuvers.” We are a new group and a forum for trying to proactively resolve the jet noise issue over San Francisco. We are open to public of San Francisco. This is the second meeting – and at the first meeting we simply “started the group and website.” We can aim to have lots of members for strength (ideal) – but a fewer set of concerned individuals can also work to achieve significant change.

Why was SCREAAM necessary?

  • Going from zero loud and annoying flights per day to over 250 loud and annoying flights per day – often along a newly formed “highways in the sky” crossing above us unfortunately translates into a “quality of life stabbing” every day — and more importantly, some residents have had serious difficulty sleeping properly with all the jet noise. That lack of sleep has a significant health downside. (However, jet noise disturbances do vary by location, topography of neighborhood, type of home & windows, noise levels inside the home, resident’s attitudes, etc.    Not every SF resident agrees that there is a problem.)

What actions has SCREAAM taken so far (before Oct.3, 2016) ?

  • Six months of attendance at SFO Roundtable Meetings and other jet noise meetings to get informed. A core Group of SCREAAM members / volunteers – New Website and Blog – including an informative ‘about us’ section – screaam.org. SCREAAM PowerPoint Presentation – to cover the basics. SCREAAM Letter to Roundtable – Our most important document to date. Explains our group’s goals to the SFO Roundtable, SFO, the FAA, and the City of SF – detailing what our concerns are, what we understand are current stumbling blocks, and what we’ like to see ameliorated as soon as possible.

What materials are currently available to spread the SCREAAM Message?

How did San Francisco end up with this jet noise problem anyway?

  • A combination of factors created our problem: SFO traffic growth due to Bay Area / airline growth (SSTIK) – Oakland traffic growth – Surprise! – it’s not just SFO (CNDEL) – New air traffic computer systems – NextGen Satellite navigation – Congress mandate to save gas and resources (without considering noise effects) – Concentration vs dispersion issue – “highways in the sky” vs. spreading the flights all over the place – FAA Redesign of Bay Area air traffic – redesigned path mean ‘ducking out’ of Bay Area at low altitudes – with little concern for noise. FAA doesn’t really look at noise –environmental impact study not particularly extensive – Methods of capturing industrial levels of jet noise – do not properly measure quality of life hit – SFO Roundtable Representation for SF – spotty in recent memory, empty seat at Roundtable – Other Bay Area municipalities organize to fight jet noise pollution – but not SF – No citizen complaints from SF – hard to complain about events that have not happened yet – Individual loud flights allowed to vector early (Hawaiian Airlines, etc.)– extra-loud offenders – Inability to have a SF Curfew at night due to ANCA Legislation of 1990 aka “special deal made with airlines” –Inability to get the attention of the FAA to fix the issue without legal action –congresspersons Speier Eschoo Farr to the rescue…

Note the following two sections of the meeting will not be posted in this blog, but are available upon request.   Please sign up for the SCREAAM mailing list for access.