SFO Airport/Community Roundtable
Meeting No. 292 Overview
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


1. Call to Order / Roll Call / Declaration of a Quorum Present

Roundtable Chairperson, Cliff Lentz, called the Regular Meeting of the SFO Airport / Community Roundtable to order, at approximately 7:08 p.m., in the David Chetcuti Community Room at the Millbrae City Hall. James A. Castañeda, AICP, Roundtable Coordinator, called the roll. A quorum (at least 12 Regular Members) was present as follows:







2. Public Comments on Items Not on the Agenda

Four members of the public wished to speak on items that were not on the agenda. First, Woodside resident Jim Lyons addressed the Roundtable urging to support the following three initiatives to bring relief from aircraft noise in the south county, 1) support the request from 26 congressional representatives asking the FAA to adopt a 55 dB noise threshold, 2) support a petition signed by 1,100 individuals asking the FAA to take immediate steps to reduce vectored traffic over their communities, required all arrival traffic to adhere to 8,000 feet over the Woodside VOR and 5,000 feet over the Menlo intersection, and not to implement the Norcal OAPM (Metroplex) until additional ground noise studies are conducted, and 3) publically supporting a filed petition with the United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit challenging the FAA’s Finding of No Significant Impact for Metroplex.

Daly City resident Michael Leonhardt expressed noise disturbances he expressed during the runway construction period as well as in the middle of the night. San Burno resident Bobbie Shay shared her concerns with experienced noise impacts. And finally, William Faber encouraged the Roundtable and the public to be more active and do something about the aircraft noise from SFO.




3. Review of Airport Director’s Reports for August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, November 2013, and December 2013

4. Review of Roundtable Regular Meeting Overview for June 6, 2014 (continued)


ACTION: Elizabeth Lewis MOVED the approval of the Consent Agenda (minus the minutes to the June 6, 2014 Regular Meeting). The motion was seconded by Richard Newman and CARRIED, unanimously.




5. Request from the City of Palo Alto for Roundtable Membership

Rosanne Foust, City of Redwood City Representative, and Rich Newman, C/CAG Representative, noted they agreed with the memo in the agenda packet regarding the Palo Alto membership request subcommittee’s recommendations. Both representatives were on that subcommittee. Rich Newman then MOVED adoption of the four bullet point recommendations by the subcommittee. Dave Burrow, Town of Portola Valley Representative, noted he did not see a reason why the Roundtable would stay just within San Mateo County. Chairperson Lentz mentioned that it is financial and logistical concerns. Dave Burrow noted that the City of Palo Alto would be willing to pay membership dues. Chairperson Lentz further explained the financial implications of bringing in another city into the Roundtable’s membership. Rosanne Foust noted that changing the Roundtable’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would be an issue, requiring adoption of resolutions from each existing member city to change it. Dave Burrow indicated that the Roundtable has changed the MOU before, and having more representatives on the Roundtable would give it greater influence and voice. He also noted that County boundaries are historic and arbitrary, and would be limiting influence by not allowing Palo Alto to join.

Richard Newman recollects that the original Roundtable MOU has grown within the County of San Mateo and is not intended to be a regional body that addresses noise concerns. The Regional Airport Planning Committee (RAPC) is the regional/Bay Area group for noise concerns outside of San Mateo County, and the Roundtable should express to RAPC to get active again in such concerns.

Sue Dirge, City of Pacifica Representative and Palo Alto Membership Request Subcommittee Member, noted that the memo is a summary of what was discussed by the subcommittee for the group to consider. Expanding the Roundtable’s boundaries could bring strength but can bring dilution by expanding further south. She indicated that the Roundtable should take care of outstanding issues before allowing additional members to join, and encourage RAPC to be active regarding noise, as it will benefit everyone, not just one area.

Dave Burrow surmised that noise is biggest closer to the airport, and therefore adding people farther away would dilute the Roundtable because it should focus on closer areas, and inclusion of areas further away is not consistent with that logic. Mr. Burrow asked if that was a better way of stating what the subcommittee intended to say.

Elizabeth Lewis, Town of Atherton Representative, stated that Palo Alto experiences a lot of air traffic noise from SFO operations, is very close to Menlo Park, and does not have impacts from San Jose International Airport. She expressed that their membership would not dilute the Roundtable.

Andrew Swanson, Palo Alto Airport Manager, stated that he discussed this issue with the Palo Alto mayor, who underscored that Palo Alto’s aircraft noise impacts are from SFO. He noted that the Menlo intersection is actually over Palo Alto, and not Menlo Park.

Palo Alto resident Jim Harriet indicated that Palo Alto is the convergent point for three different paths into SFO. Over 200 flights went over Palo Alto last week with readings of over 80 dB on his noise meter. Tina Nguyen, Portola Valley resident, noted she spoke with Palo Alto residents. She questioned why Palo Alto cannot be a member of the Roundtable considering Congresswoman Eshoo’s office is in Palo Alto, the existence of the agreement that aircrafts should fly at 5,000 feet above the Menlo intersection (but actually fly at 3,800 feet), and that SFO Noise Abatement Office staff attends council meetings in Palo Alto.

Bert Ganoung, SFO Airport Noise Abatement Office Manager, clarified that an altitude adjustment at the Menlo intersection is for two visual approaches only during clear weather (such as the “Tip-Toe” visual approach and the “Quiet Bridge” visual approach). The altitude for instrument approaches during non-visual conditions is 4,000 feet. Woodside resident Jim Lyons interrupted out of order in disagreement, and Chairperson Lentz called a five minute recess.

After Chairman Lentz called the meeting back to order, San Mateo County Board of Supervisor Dave Pine questioned what could be an established standard if Palo Alto was allowed to join. Richard Newman responded by noting that there was not any way to define a boundary that “didn’t strike us at the subcommittee level as being arbitrary.” Bordering on county boundary was one way, but it became impossible to allow in just the next city without subsequent cities. He noted the city of Bolinas and Tiburon wanted to join in the past, and that it was “brought back to us through historical record” that the Roundtable was intended to be a San Mateo County body, hence the recommendation.

Rosanne Foust noted the subcommittee went back to why the Roundtable was created to look at why it was formed the way it was. She noted that the Roundtable should be a partner with Palo Alto and help it form a Roundtable that can be effective in that area. She also indicated that the subcommittee wanted to find something that was amenable, and that having 20 cities amend the charter would be a minimum of 2 years. Dave Burrows responded that the MOU has been amended in the past in a short amount of time.

Sue Dirge noted that the dilution issue was having the RAPC part “as strengthening all of our positions; that it is better to have a strong voice here and a strong voice there that are in concert with each other for the same goal. That it would bring more power to Palo Alto and to who we are here.” The intent was to be proactive and to suggest that people can still participate with the Roundtable. The focus was on the Roundtable’s strength for Work Program goals, to discuss the 65 dB noise level, and have ongoing dialogs with aircraft companies and how aircrafts operate.

Elizabeth Lewis noted she understands the Roundtable being a San Mateo County body and it has grown to include more cities, but expressed that the name of the group is the “San Francisco Airport Community/Roundtable,” not say “San Mateo County Community Roundtable.” She believes that people impacted by aircraft operations from SFO should have a voice on the Roundtable, and does not see any dilution with Palo Alto joining or as an issue different from other cities in the south county.

Richard Newman discussed when the City of Atherton joined, it did not happen on the first request. He noted at the subcommittee there was some concern that cities in the north part of the county would be likely to not support a move that would dilute their position. Southern cities would want to support inclusion.

Naomi Patridge, City of Half Moon Bay Representative, indicated that Rosanne Foust’s history was correct in that the Roundtable was originally a small group that started as a regional commission that developed into the Roundtable. She further discussed the history of when the Roundtable was organized and issues with bringing stakeholders together. She also indicated that this is her last meeting and will not run for reelection for the City of Half Moon Bay city council. She expressed that taking on more issues will not help take care of existing issues that the Roundtable is attempting to address.

Richard Newman MOVED adoption of the subcommittee recommendations. Ken Ibarra, City of San Bruno Representative, encouraged Palo Alto to stay in contact with the Roundtable and voice issues at the Roundtable. Dave Burrow commented that the Roundtable does two things: In the short-term, we try to get the airlines to minimize noise and adjust routes, and in the long-term, to have larger impacts in influencing programs like OAPM, NextGen, and randomized or focused aircraft flight paths. He expressed there is strength in numbers, and with our congressional representatives and having more people will be more valuable. It was questioned if RAPC would be more comfortable having one Roundtable body instead of two to work with. The objective of reducing noise involves working with the FAA and continuing with what the Roundtable does, and this should be an objective reason to allow an additional city in to the Roundtable.

Ricardo Ortiz, City of Burlingame Representative, noted he did not understand the “dilution issue” and is not convinced that Palo Alto should be excluded. Chairperson Lentz mentioned resources as an issue and there is a finite amount of resources. Sue Dirge noted that the dilution issue point was to not take away from what the Roundtable already has, and believes having two separate groups would be more effective.

ACTION: Richard Newman MOVED to adopt the subcommittee’s recommendations. The motion was seconded by Rosanne Foust and CARRIED with nine in favor, five opposed.


6. Review of SFO FlyQuiet Report for Q2 2014

Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, provided an overview of the SFO FlyQuiet report for the fourth quarter of 2013 included in the meeting packet.

DISCUSSION: Town of Woodside Representative David Burrow requested that the presentation used by the Noise Abatement Office be posted online.


7. Airport Director’s Comments

Airport Public Information Officer Doug Yakel reported that the Runway Safety Area improvement project is now concluded, and that the construction during the summer months was completed a month early. He also reported the continuing trend of airlines retiring older aircrafts out of SFO, specifically the Boeing 747. It was indicated that as airlines retired old aircrafts for economic reasons, there is noise reduction benefits with the adoption of newer and efficient aircrafts. It was noted that Air New Zealand recently retired the Boeing 747 from their SFO route and, that next summer, British Airways will start operating an Airbus A380 in substitution of their Boeing 747. Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, presented some slides showing an overview of the trend of the phase out of the Boeing 747.




8. SFO Construction Follow-up

Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, briefly reiterated Mr. Yakel’s remarks on the construction, and indicated that Shoreline departure was successful during the construction closure of runways 1L and 1R.


9. Update on FAA’s PORTE Departure Analysis

Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, explained that the Noise Abatement Office is currently in the process of analyzing the data but, at current, it appears that the PORTE departures are progressing better, with some indications from residents that departures have been quieter, however still receiving some complaints.


10. Update, Oceanic Arrivals over the Woodside VOR

Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, briefly reported that oceanic arrivals have been doing exceptionally well, including during the nighttime hours, and continue to monitor the improved trend.


11. Update, Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (Metroplex) Environmental Review

Roundtable Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided a brief update regarding the Environmental Review of the Norcal Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (now officially referred to as “Metroplex”). It was indicated that the FAA filed a Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision for the Environmental Review. Monitoring of the new procedures, expected to occur in mid-November, will commence once the procedures go online.

DISCUSSION: Portola Valley Alternate Representative Maryann Moise Derwin brought to the Roundtable’s attention a letter submitted from the Town of Portola Valley to the FAA regarding the Environmental Review and urging to pursue an Environmental Impact Report. Portola Valley resident Tina Nguyen mentioned that after reading all 300 pages, none of the requests were answered and were not consistent.


12. Work Program FY 2014-2015

Roundtable Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided a brief overview of the draft Work Program for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

DISCUSSION: Ricardo Ortiz, City of Burlingame representative, asked if there will be a new member orientation. Ms. Gibbs indicated that an electronic version of the former new member packet was now available online, as are the Noise 101 presentations. Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, explained the history of the Noise 101 overviews over the years. Ms. Gibbs also indicated the opportunities for visits to the Norcal TRACON facilities, and trying to create convenient ways for Roundtable members to participate. Half Moon Bay Representative Naomi Patridge provided an endorsement for visits to TRACON, and encouraged all members, who have not been to TRACON, to visit.

ACTION: Elizabeth Lewis MOVED the adoption of the FY 2014-2015 Work Program. The motion was seconded by Ken Ibarra and CARRIED, unanimously.


13. Budget for FY 2014-2015

Roundtable Coordinator James Castañeda provided an overview of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.

DISCUSSION: Town of Atherton Representative Elizabeth Lewis asked for more information regarding the N.O.I.S.E. (National Organization to Insure a Sound Controlled Environment), and the fee associated with joining. Ms. Gibbs provided an overview of the group and explained their fee structure as advertised on their website. ALUC Representative Richard Newman suggested looking into requesting a reduction in cost. Ms. Lewis expressed concern in buying into something that would not be utilized, and indicated that the Roundtable will need to be engaged with the group to benefit from being a member.

ACTION: Richard Newman MOVED the adoption of the budget for FY 2014-2015 asking staff to look into reduced cost options with joining N.O.I.S.E. and to report back to allow the Roundtable to act on that expenditure. The motion was seconded by Robert Gottschalk and CARRIED, unanimously.


14. Airport Noise Briefing

Roundtable Aviation Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs gave a brief industry update.


15. Member Communications / Announcements

ALUC Representative Rich Newman acknowledged Half Moon Bay Representative Naomi Patridge for her years of service and dedication to the Roundtable.


16. Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:27 p.m.


Minutes approved at the December 3, 2014 Regular Meeting