Airport Noise

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Wind speeds and patterns change throughout the year, resulting in pilots flying in and out of SFO to use alternate routes.  This is of course due to safety reasons, where most planes need to reach an altitude of at least 400 ft. and be safely airborne and before making any turns.  In times of low westerly winds, Runway 01, or a port departure, is used.  This runway faces Oakland, so if a plane is headed to Southern California, Las Vegas, or a destination in Arizona, the plane would need to make a 270-degree turn in order to face south).  In times of high westerly winds, Runway 28, or a Shoreline departure, is used.  This runway faces northwest towards Pacifica so planes heading south would fly towards the ocean along the Gap (a natural dip in the ridgeline between SFO and Pacifica) before turning left to fly south.  On west wind days, it's the planes that are headed to an eastern location that can cause noise problems in Brisbane.  A properly-flown Shoreline departure would have planes remaining on the east side of Highway 101 before turning right towards Oakland.  However, if this departure is poorly-flown, planes will fly too far northwest before turning right, and thus fly over Brisbane.  (If hearing runway numbers is confusing, just remember that SFO is 10 degrees to the right from all cardinal compass directions.  Therefore, Runway 01 is 10 degrees to the right of due North, Runway 10 is 10 degrees to the right of due East, or 100 degrees from due North, Runway 19 is 10 degrees to the right of due South, or 190 degrees from due North, and Runway 28 is 10 degrees to the right of due West, or 280 degrees from due North).  

Residents can know that work is being done by both the City Council and City Management to make sure Brisbane residents no longer need to put up with such loud overhead noise.  Community input is extremely important in affecting changes to flight patterns, as well.  Call tallies from community members calling in to the Aircraft Noise Abatement Office are reported to the Airport Community Roundtable during their public meetings.  So, it certainly makes a difference to report your complaints.  Don’t just sit idly by!  To report airport noise, note the specific date and time when you noticed the occurrence and call or e-mail the SFO Noise Abatement Office using the information below:

Airport Noise Complaint
Call: 650-821-4736

On Wednesday, October 20th, Councilmember Richardson and City Management met with SFO Airport Director John Martin and Dave Ong from the SFO Airport Aircraft Noise Abatement Office.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the increase in overhead noise in Brisbane due to airplane traffic.  Currently, Brisbane has one permanent noise monitor, located at the Margaret Tank (directly south of the 400 block of Kings).  In an effort to get more useful data for proper analysis, the Airport is looking to install two more noise monitors and will be working closely with the Public Works department at the City to determine their prime and secure locations.  After those are installed and more data is collected, a follow-up meeting will take place in late November/early December on suggestions for fixing the overhead noise issue.  A presentation to the City Council will follow, most likely early next year, and will cover the analysis gained from the installation of the additional two noise monitors and future steps to make sure this no longer is an issue in town.  In the meantime, please do continue to report airplane-related noise complaints by calling the SFO Aircraft Noise Abatement Office.


Is the Airport Noise a dead

Is the Airport Noise a dead issue? Is anything further being done? Can anything be done? Seems like the level of Noise has picked up dramatically over the last 3 months. It is to the point where you can hear an airplane engine almost anytime of the day. I was once considering buying property in this city but am having to reconsider that option at this point.

Anyway, I was hoping that the signboard postings could, at least, again list the Airport Noise Complaint information. Hopefully some action can be taken to resurrect this issue again - it is a major nuisance and is ruining the small town quality of life here.

Thanks for your comment. In

Thanks for your comment. In no way is airport noise a dead issue. We understand the irritation you're facing and are working with the FAA, SFO, and Jackie Speier's office to have this nuisance be reduced. So far, the nighttime overflights (10pm - midnight) have seen a small drop. Also, the midnight to 6:00am flights have largely been resolved, although a few remain when safety issues arise. Data for this can be found on the "FAA Data" webpage that the city created to house all the now-quarterly reports we receive from the FAA -

Furloughs and other challenges at the FAA may have caused the recent increase in overflights. The best we can say is that we are communicating with the FAA about the need for their air traffic controllers to use their tools to refrain from there being so many Brisbane overflights. Tackling the daytime airport noise will be the next step, and one where we need the assistance from concerned citizens such as yourself.

Therefore, the suggestion for a sign on the signboard is an excellent one, and you'll see this up on the signboard later this week:

Airplane Noise?
Complain Now:
Call: 650-821-4736

A slide with this information is also running throughout the day on the city's government-access Ch. 27 on Comcast.

Thanks for posting the

Thanks for posting the complaint info again. There was a resident who was active (think he moved out of the city - maybe do to the noise?) and created this website - to help with the issues. He also created a android app to help file complaints easily. It seems that all the noise abatement office does is give lip service and log complaints. They seems to rarely send notices to the offending airlines. In the short time it has taken to write this 3 loud planes have flown over. I, and my partner, are looking for a more peaceful place to reside. Since we first moved here things have gotten a lot worse. It now appears that almost every southbound flight flies directly over Brisbane. They are also flying them more often in the late night and early morning hours waking us up - really unacceptable and unnecessary (Plenty of open bay to fly over to gain altitude).

p.s. There goes loud plane #4

Great responses from the

Great responses from the Brisbane Community on this. Even though planes flying overhead are very much an annoyance and great disruptor during all hours of the day, the data that's been collected from the noise detectors will support the issue that we want to resolve. The Noise Abatement Office has since picked up these noise detectors and are conducting their analysis on the data they've provided. We look forward to hearing from SFO representatives either this week or next on next steps to having airplane noise being less of an issue in Brisbane. When we hear more, we'll report it here on the City's Blog and other media outlets like the City News or STAR. In the meantime, the Airport Roundtable is a great forum for your thoughts and ideas to be heard. They are having their next monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 1st at 7pm at Millbrae City Hall. See this link for more information and this Wednesday's meeting agenda:

I'm happy it's being looked

I'm happy it's being looked into. However we really don't need more 'noise detectors' the planes either fly over Brisbane = noise = complaint or they don't. A binary solution set. Noise being subjective and variable, time of day, atmosphere conditions, plane altitude, takeoff weight, age (older = noiser in general) throttle settings, and on and on.

Fly the planes further north before doing the 180 deg turn to head south. This will end the noise problems for _everyone_ . The problem and solution has been around for decades. Time to start flying the solution instead of continuing with the problem.

In the last couple of weeks,

In the last couple of weeks, I have logged at least 30 complaints with the noise abatement office, both by phone and online. I received a call back last week, and although the customer service rep on the other end was polite, he offered only generalized responses to a very specific issue, which is that when southbound planes take off from SFO, instead of flying over the bay and then turning left over Sunset Scavenger or Geneva Ave to head southbound, the planes are directed by tower control to fly over and turn left over Brisbane and then head southbound from there. He offered no explanation as to why tower control directs some flights to do this but not others, other than that these traffic patterns are approved by the FAA and have been in effect for years, which is a useless response. The problem is that when the planes turn left over Brisbane they have not reached a point of ascension that reduces the decibel level on the ground to a reasonable level, so for us on the ground the noise impact is atrocious. On some days the planes go over Brisbane in succession so much that the combined effect is like an experience out of a combat movie (Platoon, anyone?)

The effort of our community leaders is much appreciated, but more pressure must be applied on SFO air traffic control to justify why planes are given the go ahead with high frequency to fly over Brisbane instead of flying over the bay and turning left over Sunset Scavenger. The answer of the noise abatement office is that there is other conflicting air traffic that requires planes to fly over Brisbane and not Sunset Scavenger, however from my home on the Ridge I have observed numerous instance of low flying over Brisbane where there was no other traffic around at the time, which debunks their response.

I am happy to read the

I am happy to read the information listed above and sincerely hope that something will be done about the airplane noise. My family was awoken last week at 5:59am by airplane noise overhead. I have been calling the SFO Aircraft Noise Abatement line regularly for the last few weeks. To my surprise, someone from that office called me back last week but did not say anything helpful. He basically said the flight patterns have been establlished for decades and I could try complaining to the FAA but that they would probably ignore Brisbane complaints. He also said the main purpose of the noise abatement line is to collect data and answer questions. I told him I was interested in change and would continue to call the line. Please continue to voice your complaints so we can enjoy our community in peace. Thanks!

The planes should not be

The planes should not be allowed to go over the residential homes at low altitudes; The valley is mostly Business area they should choose and at 6 am they should choose a route that is respectful of our community.