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Woodside council calls for 'strong' resolution on aircraft noise problem

Original post made on Jun 2, 2016

The Woodside Town Council directed staff on May 24 to draft a "strong" resolution in favor of quiet skies. The council wants the resolution ready before June 15, when a committee of elected officials meets to address aircraft noise in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 2, 2016, 8:09 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Matt
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Jun 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

Everyone is upset about the jets, but we've noticed that there seems to be a large uptick in private props, circling and doing other maneuvers over us. Almost as if this is now a holding or teaching zone. Far more disruptive than jets.


Posted by Jack
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2016 at 10:49 am

It isn't just the commercial aircraft. Small private planes regularly fly way too low over Woodside, apparently checking out the properties. It is not uncommon that they often appear to be below the 500' FAA threshold. They go slow with the engine revving to maintain a slow airspeed with flaps down. It is by far the loudest of the air traffic in the area, and they often keep circling. It is worse on weekends but is regular throughout the week during good weather. It seems as if something could definitely be done about this.


Posted by fe'real
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

Wow. A STRONG resolution! With no teeth (nor should a local council have 'teeth' regarding safety issues in the air, where the FAA rightfully rules.)

Well, I guess it will make some folk happy, at least. So STRONG!


Posted by Woodside Private pilots
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

Blame your neighbors and their private planes: "Hey, lets fly over the neighborhood...there's out house!" Enjoy trying to limit that!


Posted by Woodsideresident
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Woodside residents enjoy the convenience of being in close proximity to SFO, yet when it comes to aircraft noise they don't like it. Did any of the complainers make any attempt to look out to the sky and see the type of the airplane causing the noise? Private airplane traffic over Woodside causes much more noise than commercial flights.


Posted by pvrez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jun 3, 2016 at 10:07 am


@Jack, Matt

I've been tracking it and there's really just a hand full or these planes that circle our neighborhoods - likely beginner flight instruction. N784SP is a regular guest. see them on Flight Radar - great tool to see who's overhead - Web Link


Posted by Claudette Bergman
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jun 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

At the top of skyline...they come in low and loud.between 10:30-11:30pm can be as many as 4-6 in a row!
Interrupts conversations,rattles windows...and DISRUPTSSLEEP! Starts up again just before 6 am. Last two years have been horrible . Thinking of moving, its that bad.


Posted by Diane Putterman
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jun 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm

The jet noise over Skyline is terrible and I feel some of it is due to the topography of the hills and valleys which amplifies the horrendous noise. The huge increase has ruined the quality of our peaceful community-it interrupts sleep and if you want to be outside you are constantly annoyed by the roar of jets. In addition there has been a recent up tick in the private planes which are noisy and fly very low. Whatever happened to living in this peaceful community-now it is a nightmare. Wait until you try to sell your house-this will affect real estate prices. Disgusted at how the FAA doesn't have to answer to anyone except the airlines.


Posted by Jay
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Jun 3, 2016 at 10:12 pm

I own multiple planes and love flying them over my home in Woodside. Most of my neighbors are avid pilots with planes that fly along the 280 corridor. I suggest that people purchase an additional home up in hills for greater serenity. I don't know anyone in Woodside who doesn't have a vacation home as well. It's a great idea to get away from the noise.


Posted by Wendy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 4, 2016 at 4:25 pm

I saw an article in SF chronicle describing similar problem in Pacifica. The article says that this is due to the implementation of the NextGen system, which automatically finds the shortest routes. FAA has expanded the program and it has causes drastic noise pollution in densely populated areas. Phoenix, according to the article, has sued.

NextGen has been implements without careful study of noise pollution impact on the population. Everyone, poor, middle-class or rich, deserves a quiet and peaceful place to live.


Posted by TRACEY
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 5, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Aircraft noise has greatly increased over several Woodside districts, both commercial and private aircraft.
Other towns have created strong community' and elected officials' response to the FAA to protect the
quality of life, health, sleep, etc. of the residents. Woodside residents deserve no less.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

I guess Woodside residents shouldn't have bought property in such close proximity to so many airports.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Given that the Woodside (OSI) VOR has been in place for more than half a century why is anybody surprised that airplanes actually fly over it?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

VOR? What's a VOR? It's this: Web Link

Been on sectional charts for the last 50 years.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

A little more info on the OSI VOR: Web Link


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

This info about Skylonda even includes information about OSI: Web Link

From the link: "The 7.5-minute quadrangle, Woodside, California, (1994), shows Woodside VOR north of the settlement. The aircraft navigation facility is shown as being outfitted with distance measuring equipment. It lies one mile (1.6 km) at 285 degrees off true north from the intersection of SR35 and SR84. Its identifier is "OSI" and publicly available FAA documents show the VOR signal is on 113.9 MHz."

Yes, 1994. It's been a "secret."


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Woodside VOR had a Magnetic Variation of 17E in 1965 so it was established prior to 1965.

Web Link


Posted by Nancy
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:41 am

Commercial jet aircraft noise has increased significantly, and is particularly disturbing during the evening and early morning hours. The sound of this type of aircraft is quite different from private planes and the occasional helicopter, which generally fly during daylight hours. Residents can easily report noise at this website (takes less than 15 seconds and will help quantify the problem): http://complaints.serfr1.org
The urgency of the issue relates not to long-standing routes (the Woodside VOR), but to the implementation of the new NEXTGEN system. This new system has created a significant quality-of-life issue for residents who love Woodside's rural character. Residents would not have purchased homes next to an airport and under a runway, but this traffic re-routing has moved the runway above our town.


Posted by Tired of Noise
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2016 at 10:10 am

People need to understand the scope of the problem – these low altitude approach and departure paths are being pushed internationally by the aviation industry out of a desire for expansion at the cost of our health and that of the environment. If you want quiet you have to be willing to tackle the core issue: the unsustainable expansion of air travel and transport.

The low altitudes have to do with a particular aspect of NEXTGEN: Wake RECAT (or Wake Turbulence Recategorization). Basically, there is a limit on how close aircraft can get to each other because of the turbulence they create. By slowing the aircraft down the planes can be brought closer together, allowing landings and takeoffs to happen in quicker succession, but to slow them down they need to be brought lower into thicker air. This is why so many report seeing aircraft flying over them at low altitude under power.

The expansion of general aviation just adds to the injury. While it is difficult to find numbers that tell how much GA has expanded, the rise in GA fuel use (34% increase from 2000 to 2012) is telling.

The FAA can ignore you; they have been empowered to do so. The only way you’re going to get any real change is to challenge the aviation industry itself: don’t fly unless you absolutely have to and don’t have anything shipped by air.


Posted by annoyed woodsider
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

The discussion of light aircraft is a distraction from the constant commercial flights with speed brakes engaged. If you don't live under or near the new flight paths, then you don't get a sense of the degree of noise this new approach technique generates. You might notice on your next flight, landing with engagement of speed brakes makes for a violent approach, even inside the cabin. Then try and imagine that experience over and over and over, day after day, directly over your home.


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