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CLASS Continues Fight to Reduce Aircraft Noise on Multiple Fronts – 2018 Q3 Update

It’s been a busy few months for your CLASS representatives. We have been working on multiple fronts to monitor Oakland Airport operations and developments and trying to make headway in reducing aircraft noise for the community. Below is a summary update of CLASS’s efforts in the past few months.

Oakland Airport Initiates Update of Their Master Plan For Expansion

The airport has indicated that they are beginning the process of updating their master plan, which will include the expansion of some airport facilities. While the airport has not released any documents describing specific plans, they have indicated that the expansion may include additional gates and expanded parking for corporate jets on the north field. These sorts of expansions can lead to more flights and consequently more noise. CLASS will continue to work diligently in monitoring the Port’s activities on your behalf and sharing proposed expansion plans as they are made public.

Northern California Metroplex

The FAA responded to the Oakland Airport Community Noise Management Forum’s (Noise Forum) with a disappointing response to the Noise Forum’s requests for changes to the new NextGen operations.  The Noise Forum’s proposal included requests addressing three aircraft operations that have increased noise in Alameda communities. The changes, which had to do with daytime and nighttime departures on the south field runway, requested that aircraft be directed away from the Bay Farm Island and the Alameda shoreline sooner during takeoff, which would reduce noise to residents. The FAA responded that the changes requested are not feasible due to creating conflicts with flights departing from the San Francisco Airport.

As reported previously, the FAA did make two concessions:

  • FAA renewed efforts to ensure that all planes fly to REBAS (a navigational way point in the Bay) before vectoring eastward over residential areas
  • FAA refused SFO Roundtable’s request to change TRUKN departures from SFO in a way that would have negatively impacted the East Bay.

CLASS will continue to work on these issues through the Noise Forum Subcommittee on the Metroplex project and will continue to coordinate with Oakland Airport staff to follow up with the FAA.

Noncompliant North Field Jet Departures

CLASS continues to work closely with the Port’s aviation staff to improve jet compliance with noise abatement procedures. While the number of noncompliant departures varies from quarter to quarter, we have seen a worsening trend in noncompliance in the past five years. The airport noise office follows up with noncompliant pilots by sending them a letter highlighting how their departure was noncompliant and requesting that they follow the voluntary procedures to protect residents from noise.  This past year CLASS has been working to find new ways to reduce noncompliance.  We are working with Oakland Airport to improve methods of communicating with noncompliant pilots to convey the impacts to people experiencing the noise they produce. 

CLASS has also been working with the new Oakland Airport Air Traffic Control tower manager to ensure that controllers are aware of noise abatement procedures and are doing their best to encourage pilots to follow them. Several Executive Committee members took a tour of the tower and met with the tower manager and staff and relay the community’s concerns. The visit was informative for both CLASS and the controllers and we hope that our continued engagement will help improve compliance.

City of Alameda’s Airport Operations Committee

Two of CLASS’s Executive Committee members also serve on the City of Alameda’s Airport Operations Committee, which is tasked with advising the City Council and City staff on operations and development issues at Oakland Airport that impacts Alameda communities. The AOC will be updating the City Council on airport noise issues in October.


CLASS Annual Meeting

The CLASS annual meeting is coming up!

When:  Monday, November 12 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where: Harbor Bay Island Community Center at 3195 McCartney Rd. Alameda.

We hope you will join us for an update on CLASS’s work.  Refreshments will be served!


Finally, as always, CLASS needs your continued help in calling in noise complaints. While the number of people registering their complaints has increased (208 callers filing 2063 complaints between April and June this year compared to 131 callers filing 860 complaints for the same period last year), we encourage everyone who is disturbed by aircraft noise to voice your complaints! You can file a complaint by calling 510-563-6463 or online at the airport noise website at or at

Thanks for your continued support of CLASS.

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