SFO Airport/Community Roundtable

Meeting No. 285 Overview Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I.       Call to Order / Roll Call / Declaration of Quorum Present

Roundtable Chairperson Jeffrey Gee called the Regular Meeting of the SFO Airport/Community Roundtable to order, at approximately 7:04 PM, in the David Chetcuti Community Room at Millbrae City Hall. James A. Castañeda, AICP, Roundtable Coordinator called the roll. A quorum (at least 12 Regular Members) was present as follows:


John L. Martin, City and County of San Francisco Airport Commission

Julian Chang, City and County of San Francisco Mayor’s Office Dave Pine, County of San Mateo Board of Supervisors Elizabeth Lewis, Town of Atherton

Cliff Lentz, City of Brisbane

Michael Brownrigg, City of Burlingame

Ray Buenaventura, City of Daly City

Naomi Patridge, Vice-Chair, City of Half Moon Bay

Robert Gottschalk, City of Millbrae

Sue Digre, City of Pacifica

Ann Wengert, Town of Portola Valley

Ken Ibarra, City of San Bruno

Jeffrey Gee, Chairperson, City of Redwood City Pradeep Gupta, City of South San Francisco David Burow, Town of Woodside



City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors (Vacant) C/CAG Airport Land Use Committee (ALUC)

City of Belmont City of Foster City Town of Hillsborough City of Menlo Park City of San Carlos City of San Mateo


ADVISORY MEMBERS PRESENT Airline/Flight Operations

Michael Jones, United Airlines

Glen Morse, United Airlines


Federal Aviation Administration

Dave Floyle, Northern California TRACON

Don Kirby, Northern California TRACON



James A. Castañeda, AICP, Roundtable Coordinator Cindy Gibbs, Roundtable Support (Consultant) Harvey Hartmann, Roundtable Support (Consultant)



John Bergener, Planning and Environment Bert Ganoung, Noise Abatement Manager Ara Balian, Noise Abatement Specialist

David Ong, Noise Abatement Systems Manager

John Hampel, Noise Abatement Systems Specialist


II.      Public Comments of Items Not on the Agenda


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.


III.     Consent Agenda Items

A. Review of Airport Director’s Report for January 2013

B. Review of Airport Director’s Report for February 2013

C. Review of Roundtable Regular Meeting Overview for February 6, 2013


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.

Action:  Michael Brownrigg MOVED the approval of the Consent Agenda Items. The motion was


IV.A. Airport Director’s Report

Airport Director John Martin indicated that passenger traffic levels have continued to level off as previously indicated in February. This reflects Virgin America’s postponement of aircraft delivery and slowing of competition. It was also reported that sequestration has so far not impacted operations at SFO, but possible impacts to the FAA’s ability to manage the offset instrument approach using the Precision Runway Monitoring (PRM) system could occurring due to reduced staff. This could affect the arrival rate at certain times. Finally, Mr. Martin reported that Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) would start service next week, offering six day a week service between San Francisco to Copenhagen.

IV.B. 2011-2012 Jon C. Long Fly Quiet Awards

Chairperson Gee introduced the recipients of 2011-2012 Jon C. Long Fly Quiet Award, which included All Nippon Airways (ANA) receiving the “Quietest Overall Airline” award, Emirates receiving the “Most Improved Airline” award, and the Northern California TRACON receiving the Chairperson’s Award”. Emirates and Norcal TRACON were on hand to receive the awards.

Action:  Member Julian Chang MOVED the approval of the 2011-2012 Jon C. Long Fly Quite Awards to nominated recipients. The motion was SECONDED by Sue Digre and CARRIED, UNANIMOUSLY.

IV.C. Noise 101, PART 2

Paul Dunholter, founder and president of BridgeNet International (technical consultant firm to the Roundtable), provided a background and overview of the NextGEN program using visual simulations. Member David Burow asked if NextGEN might provide an opportunity for simultaneous runway operation at SFO during inclement weather in the future. Airport Director

John Martin indicated that the Closely Space Parallel Runway (CSPR) procedure is being implemented this fall and will be able to increase arrivals to an estimated 37 to 38 per hour during such conditions. It was believe that even under rainy, windy days, planes landing will require the offset and doesn’t foresee simultaneous parallel landings in the future. Mr. Burow indicated that he would still like to see an empirical study that shows Oceanic Tailored Arrivals (OTA) under

NextGEN is quieter than conventional procedures. Its felt that such information should be of value to the FAA during their environmental assessment.

Member Elizabeth Lewis indicated that it appears that a possible consequence to NextGEN’s precisions channeling of aircraft might be an increase in noise over communities directly below. David Burow asked if it was possible if it was possible to disperse or “fan out” traffic with the precisions discussed as part of NextGEN. Aircraft Noise Abatement Manager Bert Ganoung responded that in theory it was possible, and in parts of Europe it’s currently being tested.

Member Pradeep Gupta asked if airlines would be likely to take advantage of the potentially added capacity that NextGEN might offer, and if we could expect to see that at SFO as a result. Bert Ganoung responded that while airlines would like to increase capacity where and when possible, SFO has its own unique constraints that limit additional capacity, specifically the airport’s current footprint.

Chairperson Gee summarized some of the additional comments and points made by members indicating that the Roundtable wants to be actively involved in the discussion regarding concentration vs. dispersion of flights under NextGEN procedures, and that doing that during the Environmental Assessment public hearings is not the right time.

Don Kirby, Air Traffic Manager at the Northern California TRACON, provide an operational overview of the TRACON facility, as well as an overview of the airspace in which the facility currently monitors and controls. Member Sue Digre asked how the facility would be impacted by Sequestration. David Foyle, FAA Terminal Pacific District Manager, explained that starting April

21, 2013, furloughing of active controllers one day every two weeks would start. Its anticipated

there will be limited impacts at the Norcal TRACON facility.  Chairperson Gee suggested this to be a working item for the Legislative Subcommittee to discuss.

Bert Ganoung concluded with an overview of the Air Traffic Control tower’s operations at SFO,

and explanation of the different landing and take off procedures. Member Raymond Buenaventura asked for clarification regarding discipline for pilots that do not follow noise abatement

procedures. Mr. Ganoung explained that the Noise Abatement Office will contact the technical

pilot and/or station manager for the airline at SFO, discuss the issue, and normally the airline is very cooperative to investigate and correct the problem.


V.A. SFO Construction Update and Departure/Arrival affects


Bert Ganoung indicated the runway closures for the following weekend of April 5-8 was canceled, and future closures are expected to occur as published.


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.


V.B. Update on FAA’s PORTE Departure Analysis

V.C. Update on the Crossing Altitude of Oceanic Arrivals Over the Woodside VOR V.D. Follow-up on Optimization of Airspace & Procedures in Metroplex (OAMP)


Chairperson Gee provided a brief update and overview of the three items, indicating that responses to the letters sent in February on each of the issues were received from the FAA and Airport Director John Martin. The items will continue to be part of the Work Program and assigned to an appropriate standing subcommittee.


Comments/Concerns/Questions: Woodside resident Jim Lyons addressed the letter from the FAA regarding the Oceanic Arrivals Over the Woodside VOR in response to the Roundtable’s letter from February. Mr. Lyons pointed out that in the FAA’s letter stated that Oceanic Tailored Arrivals (OTA) are exempt from the 8,000 foot minimal limit, and also justifies the use of OTAs will reduced noise. Mr. Lyons express that the first statement is in conflict with Order NCT 7110.65T (handed out to members) that indicates “all oceanic jet arrivals inbound from the west shall cross the Woodside VOR at or above 8,000 feet mean sea level”. No mention was made of OTAs,

which are considered an oceanic arrival. Mr. Lyons continued to express that the second statement was nothing but a groundless dogmatism as no empirical evidence exist or has been presented. It was indicated that the only data presented was that of Mr. Lyons’ own investigation and presentation to the Roundtable in February 2012. Mr. Lyons recommended that the Roundtable request that the FAA provide some support regarding the exemptions OTAs are afforded from Order NCT 7110.65T, and to produce the studies referenced in the letter on this matter.


V.E. Recommendations from the Bylaws Ad-Hoc Committee


Chairperson Gee discussed the changes proposed by the Bylaws Ad-Hoc Subcommittee, which does not require the Chair or Vice-Chair to participate in the standing subcommittees.


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.


Action:  Member Elizabeth Lewis MOVED to adopt the recommended amendments to the Roundtable’s Bylaws as proposed by the ad-hoc subcommittee. The motion was SECONDED by Sue Digre and CARRIED, UNANIMOUSLY.


V.F. Noise Exceedance Level Threshold History at SFO


Roundtable Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided a brief overview of the report. Bert Ganoung provided additional explanation regarding the exceedances and how the data helps determined threshold adjustments over time.


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.


VI.    Airport Noise News Briefing


Roundtable Coordinator James Castañeda and Technical Consultant Cindy Gibbs provided a brief overview and summary of the UC Davis Noise Symposium held in March in Costa Mesa.


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None


VII.  Member Communications /Announcements


Comments/Concerns/Questions: None.


VIII. Adjourn


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:03 PM.


Minutes approved at the June 5, 2013 Regular Meeting.