SFO Airport/Community Roundtable

Meeting No. 297 Overview

Wednesday, October 7, 2015




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 7:05 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 NOT present as follows:



John Martin – City and County of San Francisco Airport Commission

Cliff Lentz – City of Brisbane

Ricardo Ortiz – City of Burlingame

Peter Ohtaki  – City of Menlo Park

Robert Gottschalk – City of Millbrae

Sue Digre – City of Pacifica

Ann Wengert – Town of Portola Valley

Rosanne Foust – City of Redwood City

Ken Ibarra – City of San Bruno

Bob Grassilli – City of San Carlos

David Burrow – Town of Woodside



City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors (Vacant)

City and County of San Francisco Mayor’s Office

County of San Mateo Board of Supervisors

C/CAG Airport Land Use Committee (ALUC)

Town of Atherton

City of Belmont

City of Daly City

City of Foster City

City of Half Moon Bay

Town of Hillsborough

City of San Mateo

City of South San Francisco







James A. Castañeda, AICP – Roundtable Coordinator

Cindy Gibbs – Roundtable Technical Support (Consultant)



Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager

Ara Balian, Noise Abatement Specialist

David Ong, Noise Abatement Specialist

John Hampel, Noise Abatement Specialist



2.    Public Comments on Items Not on the Agenda


A total of 17 members of the public spoke to express concern over aircraft noise over their communities. The communities represented were Santa Cruz, Socal, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Brisbane and Los Altos. Concerns raised by those who spoke focused on increased noise from additional aircraft traffic, aircraft overflight noise that didn’t previously exist in communities, and impacts to health and the environment.





3.         Review of Airport Director’s Reports for May, June, and July 2015




ACTION:  Due to a lack of quorum, action could not be taken on this item. Item is continued to the next regular meeting.





4.    Review of SFO FlyQuiet Report for Q2 2015


Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager, provided an overview of the second quarter Fly Quiet report for 2015.



5.    Airport Director’s Comments


Airport Director John Martin, provided a brief update on the airport’s current operations. Mr. Martin acknowledged the record number of complaints received and indicated that the airport is using more resources as a result, which is to address concerns of all communities and not just those in the SFO environs. It was reported that the airport is also seeing record number passengers but with less aircraft. Still, the Metroplex procedures has presented challenges to the airport regarding noise and is committed to do what’s possible to address concerns to the extent the airport is able.


DISCUSSION:  Socal resident Eric Rupp noted 12,000 complaints were made through May 2015, and 3,000 complaints a day in last month. He reported that Save Our Skies and Sky Posse will be having a technical meeting with the FAA on Friday, and that October 24, 2015 is “No Fly Day” to picket at SFO and other airports nationwide. Mr. Rupp expressed that those impacted by noise should look forward to working with the Roundtable to work towards addressing the concerns.


Airport Noise Abatement manager Bert Ganoung provided some additional information on the number of noise complaints received, and indicated that the noise complaints are up 1,000% and the Noise Abatement Office is in new, unprecedented territory. The Noise Abatement Office is trying to adapt with the volume by automating complaint logging, accepting bulk spreadsheet data, and continuing to find other methods to adapt. Mr. Ganoung provided some historical data of the last 15 years, and detailed data on the last year. In response to comments from the public, Mr. Ganoung explained that current measurements taken by recently deployed noise monitors have no historical data to be compared to other than the FAA modeling. Airport Director John Martin stressed that regardless of what the measurement, the airport is still taking the issue seriously as the airport does not want 100,000 complaints immaterial of decibel measurements.


Socal resident Eric Rupp asked what the Roundtable can do to add additional pressure to the FAA to act. Redwood City representative Rosanne Foust added that the pressure should also come from elected representatives, and questioned what came out of the recent meetings with elected representatives and the FAA. Roundtable Technical Noise Consultant Cindy Gibbs indicated that they were high level discussions with regional FAA representatives. Town of Woodside representatives David Burrow indicated there needs to be political pressure, and recommended for member of the public to reach out to them to help add pressure to the FAA.




6.    Strategic Plan for 2016-2018 & Work Program for FY 2015-2016


7.    Budget for FY 2015-2016




ACTION:  Due to a lack of quorum, action could not be taken on these item. Item is continued to the next regular meeting.



8.    Report, Departures Technical Working Group


9.    Report, Arrivals Technical Working Group


Roundtable Technical Noise Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided an overview of the two Technical Working Group meetings that occurred on August 19, 2015, as well as the outcomes outlined in the attached meeting summaries. Noise Abatement Manager Bert Ganoung provided an overview of the night time RWY10 procedures that was discussed in detail at the Departures Technical Working Group’s meeting and the goal of encouraging increase use of that procedure. Ms. Gibbs and Mr. Ganoung also provided details of the vortex generators equipment installation that was discussed during the Arrivals Technical Working Group’s meeting.


DISCUSSION: Menlo Park representative Peter Ohtaki inquired about different ways to capture data of overflights within the MENLO intersection. Mr. Ganoung and Ms. Gibbs provided some context as to the types of data captured and displayed (such as “gates”), but also some of the variable to consider with the data.


Palo Alto resident Rachel Killerman suggested that SFO partner with other Bay Area airports to take out full-page ads to encourage airlines with Airbus fleets to retrofit them, similar to what’s being done with European carriers. Palo Alto resident Amy Cristal echoed Ms. Killerman’s suggestion, and felt it should be the airline’s own initiative to retrofit aircraft and the airport should use whatever leverage to get airlines to retrofit. She further suggested encouraging boycotting airlines with Airbus aircraft who will not retrofit their fleet. Palo Alto resident Jennifer Landesmann requested that future investigations of traffic over the MENLO intersection consider different dates.



10.  Update, Metroplex


Roundtable Aviation Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs indicated this was discussed as part of items 8 and 9.






11.  Airport Noise Briefing


Roundtable Aviation Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided a brief update that included the latest effort to do a periodic Roundtable eNews blast, efforts with Arizona congressional representatives to halt NEPA CatEx until litigation with the Phoenix Metroplex is settled, indicated Palo Alto conducted a pre-bid for their RFP for a noise study, and discussed an effort in the Los Angeles area for a regional noise complaint database/reporting. An update regarding the Quiet Skies Caucus was also provided, and indicated staff will be monitoring their efforts.



12.  Member Communications / Announcements





14.  Adjourn


The meeting ended at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Roundtable meeting overviews are considered draft until approved by the Roundtable at a regular meeting.


Meeting Audio (2hrs 13mins – 125MB MP3)