PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — People on the Peninsula have noticed planes flying overhead for years, but because of new Federal Aviation Administration satellite technology, say it’s gotten worse.
“Our neighborhood’s gone from a very quiet, peaceful neighborhood to a very noisy one,” said resident Scott Dougall.
The near constant buzz of airplanes overhead on their way to or from SFO is an issue that’s increasingly on the radar of this formerly quiet Palo Alto neighborhood.
“It’s been constant,” Dougall said. “There’s a plane every few minutes. It’s super noisy. Sometimes, we can’t even carry on a conversation in our backyard.”
Dougall has joined several of his neighbors in filing formal complaints with the FAA.
He says he believes the increased airplane noise is the fallout from the FAA’s NextGen program which has concentrated or funneled more commercial airplanes into a narrower flight path into the Bay Area’s three major airports.
The FAA says new satellite technology allows them to fly planes more precisely, largely eliminating the need to spread them out.
The downside, neighbor Carlos Abrahams says, is non-stop air traffic.
“That’s what really caught my attention because I’ve watched for many years the planes lining up to land,” he said.
But not everyone’s feathers are ruffled by the noise.
“Planes are going to fly overhead,” neighbor Curt Kinsky said. “It’s just that simple.”
Kinsky says Palo Alto is a mid-point between two major airports and he’s learned to tune out the noise.
“I think it’s just part of where we live,” he said. “I don’t like it. But it doesn’t affect my life and I’m not going to let it.”
Others hope to raise their concerns and voices loud enough to be heard over the din of airplane engines.
“If they changed it once, they can change it again,” Dougall said. “I don’t doubt their ability to change the flight path to something less disturbing.”