Happy New Year!
THANK YOU to all who signed the
petition, posted on
Open City Hall
, and to everyone for supporting the efforts to press on our highest priorities - to have FAA assess alternative waypoints to reduce disproportionate amounts of low altitude air traffic over Palo Alto and neighbors, and to eliminate night jet noise with
quiet approaches Over the Bay!
We begin the year with a call to action to comment on the SJC draft environmental impact report, as the City of San Jose is making decisions about
SJC's proposed expansion
. Also below are comments/update about the direction of the SCSC roundtable; and outreach to PACC's new leadership.
CALL TO ACTION!
By MONDAY January 13
please send a comment on the San Jose Draft Environmental Impact Report.
, San Jose Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement.
- City of Palo Alto's comment to SJC EIR sent last January. We concur with the City’s recommendation for SJC to measure noise contours to 45 CNEL but the City’s letter does not reflect the need to employ additional metrics beyond CNEL or DNL and the 2018 FAA Reauthorization law Section 188 “The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall evaluate alternative metrics to the current average day-night level standard, such as the use of actual noise sampling and other methods, to address community airplane noise concerns.” Also - San Jose is part of the Northern California Metroplex, one of the largest in the country. Metroplexes are “metropolitan areas with multiple airports and complex air traffic flows” thus SJC is not a stand-alone airport and impacts on communities must be looked at together with impacts and projections for other Bay Area airports.
- Share our letter with your Councils if they have not already sent a comment.
The SCSC roundtable has not discussed the SJC EIR in detail. We appealed to Representative Eshoo, Palo Alto City Council and the SCSC to request an extension for comment to the SJC EIR but Palo Alto has already commented and the SCSC replied that they had scheduling issues so unlikely, but hopefully members send a comment.
We remain optimistic that the SCSC roundtable can be helpful and not do harm. However, - from the discussion at the December 29 meeting, the SCSC appeared like another SFO roundtable, that is, still lacking objective criteria to make decisions about what to prioritize with FAA, and heavy on what can or cannot be discussed, such as the Select Committee report. The
Select Committee recommendations
(which had a fuller public process than what the SCSC is practicing) contain key items that still need attention and should not be silenced, the need for noise monitoring R4.2, additional metrics R3.3
that FAA should be making recommendations 4.1
, and that
Southern Arrivals traffic without fixing the noise problems along the entire route (as was committed to by Congress) is not what the Committee voted for.
We are also concerned that there is still a lack of principles or commitment from the SCSC to address disproportionate levels of air traffic on people, and to appeal for equitable solutions as other parts of the country are doing. And no noise data to look at yet.
It is imperative for decisions to be informed by comprehensive analysis of the noise problems,
and that is what we will be looking for with the SCSC’s Technical Committee.
Outreach to New Mayor and Vice Mayor
PACC’s annual reorganization was this week, the new Mayor is Councilmember Adrian Fine, and Vice Mayor is Tom Dubois.
As many of you know, Vice Mayor Councilmember Tom Dubois has been following our effort since we began and it was thanks to his leadership on the Policy & Services Committee that we got steps that led to putting the “fast track” process in place (Attachment A in
CIty Council Staff Report
). Fast track worked to get a timely vote on appealing the PIRAT Catex, but PACC rejected taking legal action.
The City decided to have PIRAT be adjudicated by the SCSC roundtable. Greater outreach and communication from PACC is needed about what’s happening on the SCSC. Palo Alto, not citizens or Sky Posse are the representatives on the SCSC - and
the City needs to be providing regular, comprehensive updates to Palo Altans with clarity about the City’s goals with the SCSC, and how the City is measuring progress.