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Consensus Letter of November 8, 2016

(Download the PDF.)  Dear Members and Alternates of the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals,

Attached in PDF is a letter signed by members of citizen groups representing Mid-Peninsula and Santa Cruz communities.  Contact information for each of the signatories is provided below.

We are grateful for the time and resources you have devoted to addressing the issue of aircraft noise pollution. We know that negotiations with the FAA have not been simple and we thank you for your continued commitment. This letter captures the consensus of citizen groups representing the Mid-Peninsula and Santa Cruz Communities following the Select Committee (SC) meeting in Palo Alto on November 3, 2016.

In the interest of transparency and in anticipation of the SC’s final report, we request that the SC share the criteria it will use to make decisions on each FAA recommendation under review by the SC. If such decision criteria have not yet been finalized by the SC, our groups propose the following criteria to guide decision-making:

1.        Will this recommendation help bring us back to an acceptable noise baseline?  New technology (e.g. navigation, aircraft) should be reducing noise for everyone not increasing it.

2.        Will this recommendation lead to a fairer distribution of noise?  We believe that no community should be asked to bear an unfair noise burden of increased aircraft traffic.

3.        Will this recommendation eliminate adverse noise and emissions impacts on health and environment for all communities?  Recognizing the extreme negative health impact of nighttime flights, will this recommendation significantly reduce or completely eliminate nighttime flights over any populated area?

4.        Will this recommendation mitigate the impact of air traffic concentration (# aircraft per day) above affected communities?  We believe that planned dispersion is a potential tool to address this.

5.        How will this recommendation be enforced / maintained in the future?  We believe that objective, quantitative estimates of potential impact, and quantitative measurements of resultant impact, are needed from the FAA, even for "known" beneficial fixes, so we can compare and validate whether the benefits, when achieved, are as large as expected, or if further adjustments are required. Furthermore, we believe that capacity limits for each flightpath could help ensure the durability of any recommendations.

We recognize that other communities in our nation are experiencing similar distress due to increased aircraft noise pollution. We hope we can help create a model process and solution that can be implemented across the country. We are committed to working positively and collaboratively with the FAA to this end.

With much gratitude for your support,


George Wylie
San Lorenzo Valley Advocacy Group

Kara Carter
Quiet Skies Santa Cruz

Andy Van Valer
Scotts Valley

Jacqui Rice
Felton Neighbors

Michael Fassett
Quiet Skies Belmont

Marie McKenzie
Sky Posse East Palo Alto

Don Gardner
Sky Posse Los Altos

Jeanne Gadol
Californians for Quiet Skies Ladera

Charlene Mercadante
Quiet Skies Los Altos Hills

Bill Evans
Quiet Skies Menlo Park

Jennifer Landesmann
Sky Posse Palo Alto

Tina Nguyen
Californians for Quiet Skies Portola Valley

Trudy Theiss
Quiet Skies Redwood City

Raymonde Guindon
Quiet Skies Woodside
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