The Federal Aviation Administration is now completing its review of the more than 100 recommendations that a committee of South Bay legislators drafted last year with the goal of reducing airplane noise in their communities, according to a statement from U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier and Jimmy Panetta.
The recommendations were drafted by the Select Committee on South Bay Arrivals, a committee of local and county legislators that was created to address the growing volume of citizen complaints from residents throughout the region. The increase in airplane noise was prompted by NextGen, a program that was launched in 2015 and that seeks to free up airspace by routing flights along narrow corridors.
The committee’s 109 recommendations include abolishing the SERFR flight path (which goes from San Francisco International Airport and over the Santa Cruz Mountains before proceeding southwest) in favor of a different route; higher altitudes (about 8,000 feet); new noise-abatement procedures; and routing flights over the ocean or the San Francisco Bay, rather than the Peninsula.
According to the statement from the three U.S. representatives, the office of FAA’s Western-Pacific regional administrator has been reviewing these recommendations since early this year and has recently submitted a draft of its technical review to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The statement notes that Huerta has confirmed that his team in Washington, D.C. is now conducting a final review and plans to submit its report to the Department of Transportation for final review and authorization.
“Administrator Huerta told us that the FAA is committed to this Initiative process and continuing to work on the response to the recommendations,” according to the statement from the three congressional members.
The statement also notes that it is not known at this time how long the Department of Transportation will take to authorize the release of the FAA’s response.