View Full Version : Aicraft noise/FAA - help!

3-24-11, 6:28pm
Hi - I am part of a community group that is working to reduce the noice from aircraft that fly over our town.

Does anyone have any experience with dealing with the FAA on these kind of issues? I've been doing a lot of research but coming up blank!


3-24-11, 6:58pm
I live very near an international airport, and in some parts of our area/town the noise is so bad/constant that we were granted a noise complaint hotline. The hotline is not managed by the FAA, but by the agency that owns/operates/manages the airport (Port of Oakland). Eventually the Port (of Oakland) had to stop the use of an entire runway (there are a few different ones) because of "quality of life" issues (which translate as public health), although occasionally they still justify its usage, but at least there is an official place to lodge complaints.

3-24-11, 7:10pm
LaBryon - I am on the other side of the SF Bay, but both of our airports are managed by the same TRACON station! We do have a noise complaint hotline, and we've been trying to get more people to report complaints. A noise study was done, and the FAA said they would make recommendations to some airlines to fly farther out over the Bay before turning around and heading south, but it is not enough.
I'm glad to hear that the Port of Oakland was responsive to your community. We aren't having much luck at SFO. I'll have to look into the details of this. Do you any idea which runway it was that was closed? Thanks!

3-24-11, 7:18pm
How cool we're neighbors! Here are a couple of links that may help:

3-24-11, 7:35pm
Another thought regarding your airport's noise...you probably know this already: during heavy storms (e.g. right now!), the landing air traffic at SFO gets diverted to specific runways. In my East Bay neighborhood that means, during storms, (every minute and a half!) planes landing in SFO do so by flying in low from the East Bay direction (right over my house), rather than the typical southern approach where the loud descent is over the length/middle of the Bay (rather than low-lying neighborhoods). In other words, is your increase in noise pollution tied to FAA's bad-weather runway requirements?

early morning
3-27-11, 8:42pm
Who was there first, you, or the airport?

3-30-11, 12:27am
Labryon - thank you so much for all the contact info! It is a great help! Sorry I did not post sooner - I have a horrible cold. :sick:

Early morning - the airport was here first, but the flights were not directed over the center of our town until recently. I think we all have the right to a peaceful night's sleep! The FAA has complete control over all airport functions in the U.S. - there is no other oversight, and the FAA's mandate is to grow the aviation industry.

San Onofre Guy
4-1-11, 10:25am
Typically one has a huge uphill battle when it comes to fighting aircraft noise with the FAA. Most airports preceeded housing. The fact that traffic patterns changed are supported by safety concerns and safety concerns trump noise issues. Having said that there have been successes in fighting noise. I know that when the City of San Jose decided to expand the terminal to accomodate more flights a number of years ago, during their CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) study they studied the impact of noise and for a number of residential units near the airport as part of the expansion the airport installed thicker glass in those properties. When the Orange County Airport expanded they changed flight plans such that jets have an initial steep take off to get high and then power down to minimize noise, also no flights arrive or take off after 11:00 pm. Santa Monica residents tried to limit the hours and number of jets to no avail. many TV and film moguls including our former govenor park their jets in Santa Monica.

Most airports on the west coast are former military airfields or were part of an aircraft manufacturing facility. Noise when they were operating at full capacity with turbo prop aircraft wasn't a problem. Back in the day most people knew that if you live near an airport or in a flight path you have to deal with noise and your property has a lower value accordingly. It is like living next to a freeway.

San Onofre Guy
4-1-11, 10:33am
One other thing to add. The FAA gives a tremendous amount of rights to aircraft. A friend of my brothers used to own a helicopter. He flew to spend the weekend with my brother and landed in a field nearby to park the aircraft for the night. The farmer called the police who rightly came out and the helicopter pilot produced the FAA rule book which stated something to the effect that rotor operated aircraft have the right to land and temporarily park their aircraft where it is safe to do so. Most pilots land at private or public airfields but there is nothing to prevent someone from landing in your front yard.

I also have experience of living on a lake and a neighbor commuted with the use of a float plane. How would you like to hear a float plane rev it's engine to full throttle to take off every morning at 6:00 am. It isn't fun, but you can't stop it.

4-2-11, 3:04pm
I think here in the San Diego area some houses rec'd money to retrofit them with some sort of sound reduction. Maybe it's similar to what San Ono mentioned. I noticed that certain homes I was interested in renting mentioned the sound reduction updates because of the flight paths of the airplanes.

My grandfather used to take me to airshows a lot as a kid so I think I'm one of the few who finds the noise comforting.
Hope you are able to find a reasonable solution for everyone.

4-3-11, 7:50pm
I think here in the San Diego area some houses rec'd money to retrofit them with some sort of sound reduction.

This has been done at BWI Airport in Maryland.



4-16-11, 11:00pm
I can't imagine living close to a LARGE airport.

I did grow up in the direct flight path of the main runway - regional airport. Sometimes when they flew over you thought they may be landing on the roof! We lived about 10 miles away - max. One day when I was riding my horse a plane flew over and I could see the passengers in the windows! Hmm I think he started his decent a bit early.

Now that I have moved - we get some east bound flights, but usually they have climbed quite a bit by the time they pass over head.

The strange thing - I miss the sound of the jets - maybe because I always liked flying (mostly going places).