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May 24, 2019


Ted Yun

Great summary Joe.

- "... they only need to mitigate noise where ... CNEL is above 65 dB." This is the issue that we are trying to draw their attention to. The CNEL is mostly a measurement of the overhead flight noise, and is loudest when the planes are close to the ground during their descent or ascent. The back blasts are not fully taken into account in this measurement. I think this ordinance needs to be looked at again or at least something new needs to be put in place to specifically address the back blast. Because they legally don't have to do anything about it, the back blast will only get more and more frequent.

- "The runway safety area project...has no noise effect." In the defense document, he actually presented it as the only modification that has occurred was the RSA. First, before they started the RSA, their assessment was that houses outside the 65 CNEL contour would not be affected. Just because they thought something wouldn't happen doesn't mean that it did not happen. The other point is that through Peggy and Lynn's efforts at the Roundtable, there have been other documented changes since 2015 that could have impacted noise. We should get a copy of that document.

- " ...anyone who bought their home after Feb 18, 1980 has no ability to file a claim." There is clear evidence from SFO's own data reported monthly on their website that there has been an increase in night time departures. Even comparing 2017 and 2018, there is a statistically significant increase in the monthly average of departures between 1 am to 6 am (ttest, p<0.05)

Their other defense points pretty much amount to, we're not obligated to do anything, and if we were, there is nothing we can do beyond what we are doing. I don't think those are very strong arguments.....

Peter Garrison

Thanks, Ted, for your diligent research.


If you would like to participate in the survey mentioned above, you may find it here:


It takes less than a minute to complete.

Peter Garrison

SFO blasting away from 1-2am


Loud again last night right on schedule at 1am. Let's face it they just don't care.


Here's another entry in the "It's Not Our Fault, Blame the FAA" file from Sunday's Comicle and Phil Matier:

Take San Francisco, for example, a city that has long prided itself on reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions. The city brags it reduced those emissions by 36% from 1990 to 2017. That’s a reduction of 2.8 million metric tons of carbon in 2017 compared with 1990.

With one notable exception: flights in and out of San Francisco International Airport.

The airport terminals and other operations have significantly reduced their carbon footprint, by 2,761 metric tons compared to 1990, but the carbon spewed out by the planes that land, take off or sit on the runways at the airport has grown by 513,000 metric tons to 1.7 million metric tons last year.

Greenhouse gases emitted above 3,000 feet aren’t counted.

“It’s not part of the global protocols,” San Francisco Department of the Environment spokesman Charles Sheehan said. “When cities go about putting together their emission inventory, they are reporting on things that they can control, things that are within their geographic boundaries.”

Sheehan said that while air travel has a significant impact on greenhouse gases, “the Federal Aviation Administration regulates airlines and needs to set standards for their fuels and emissions.”

In other words, because the cities don’t control aircraft emissions, they don’t count them.
Several plaintiffs in the mass action noise suit against SFO have also complained about the smell, but that isn't the main cause of action.

Peter Garrison

1:30 to 2 am. WHOA!
One local measured the noise at 80db when the high limit is supposed to be violated at 65db.
Like an aviation “Sideshow.”

Barking Dog

Lived in Lyon Hoag for 50 yrs and the SFO noise has never bothered my family or has it ever been a topic of discussion. Are these plaintiffs new residents to the area and maybe thought that buying a 2 million dollar 1100 sq foot home with a 94010 zip bought them absolute silence so they can get their beauty sleep


Since the SF is claiming that anyone who bought after Feb 1980 doesn't have the right to damages (a claim we dispute), they have assembled the home purchase dates for everyone. The list shows:

'60s - 2
'70s - 3
'80s - 7
'90s - 10
'00s - 4
'10s - 8

So we can toss that little theory out. You should consider yourself lucky instead of trying to dismiss others' discomfort. And if you didn't hear the giant roars at 3:20 am, 3:28 am and 3:43 am last night you must be a very heavy sleeper.


You would have to be deaf not to have heard it over the last two or three hours.

Barking Dog

Joe, I agree with alot of your views and your political colors, but this I can't.

34 plaintiffs out of a what a population of 160k(Burl,SM,Millbrae)? Peanuts. If you guys had the backing of those 3 cities,then maybe a different story. I have to admit that I am not well versed at all in the exact fight your group is fighting, but am curious as to exactly what your groups goal is for these small claim suits and why small claims court? What "damages" have occured? Personal discomfort?

More people and businesses in SF and Peninsula = more travel, cargo, etc. The world we live in on the Peninsula now. Let's just stop airport activity during certain hours because the noise irritates people? That seems really petty to me.

35%(from your above numbers) of the claims are from people who bought or rent starting after 00. Seems like a "new" Burlingame resident issue, not a lifelong resident issue. To me this claim sounds the same as you bought a house near a park or school but don't want anyone around because it's to loud or to much activity. You bought or rent a house within earshot of one of the busiest airports day to day in the nation, what did you expect it to be quiet as a mouse peeing on cotton in church? Or go with AOC green plan and just eliminate air travel and build trains to everywhere. That's worked so well in California already...


Thanks, BD. Nobody agrees with somebody all the time. For the sake of conversation:

This suit has 49 plaintiffs--I just didn't double count spouses and some dates are missing.

The latest on-line survey has passed 300 responses and the huge majority have at least some disruption from SFO back blast. The "back blast" aspect of it is important since that is what we are claiming has changed in the last three years or so.

The goal is to ensure SFO is operating in the proper way; that they have implemented all of the mitigating tech and/or pilot directives they are supposed to do. Take-off patterns have apparently changed from the longer runway to the shorter (1L 1R) for more flights especially at night. If they are just doing that to save a little taxi time and fuel, that would be bad.

I could go on, but you can also go back and read the posts and comments--lots of background there.

The research on disrupted sleep is very compelling (in a bad way, just look at the accident rates the day after we change the clock for a tiny example). So this doesn't feel petty to us.

Barking Dog

Thanks Joe.
Good for you and your group if you have the fight in you to get results you are hoping for.

I don't feel a survey of about 300 people out of approx 160k population(Burl, SM, Millbrae) is all that telling. Especially if it says only says that a majority of the 300 have experienced blast sound....of course anyone who lives in the affected neighborhoods of the 300 surveyed is going to hear blast noise. I hear it every day, but not to affect that is disrupts my or my family's daily lives. I've lived in Lyon Hoag(before anyone called it Lyon Hoag) for 50yrs. My daughter and her family bought in Lyon Hoag about 16yrs ago, my son and his family bought on the eastern side of Millbae about 20yrs ago, and not once have we ever talked about the blast noise disrupting our families lives, sleep, etc.

Wish you guys all the best in your fight, but cant agree with it.

Peter Garrison

3:15 am Saturday: Engine run up.
Jeez. Aim out to the Bay.


If you're looking for correlations between runway activity and noise, check out https://www.flysfo.com/community/noise-abatement/live-flight-tracking. The airplane button in the upper-right lets you switch between real time (about a 20-minute delay) and playback from prior times. So, if you're looking to see what was responsible for the 3:15a rumble you can see a KAL 747 taking off around 3:25a. It used R/W 28R, so it was aiming the engine noise over the Bay. Checking a few historicals, it appears that much of the late night stuff is taking off on the 28s...which have the least impact on Burlingame of any of the options that work with the prevailing winds.

Peter Garrison


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