CLASS is pleased to report that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed a noise survey involving 20 airports. It now seeks public opinion before moving forward. The good news is that the FAA now appears to be more responsive to consumer complaints than in the past, so this is a great opportunity for Alameda to be heard, and perhaps bring about change.
The FAA will accept comments through March 15, and you are encouraged to share your thoughts. You may comment about whatever you wish, but the FAA is particularly interested in complaints about noise impact on health, sleep, the economy, children’s learning, and interference with speech communication.
Although the FAA surveyed consumers about how annoying airport noise is, a key issue concerns how the FAA measures acceptable noise. It uses an invalid method for determining annoyance, in which an average noise level below 65 decibels per 24 hours is acceptable. Thus, even piercing noises that are periodic or of short duration have little impact on what the FAA considers acceptable levels of noise. It is like saying that Babe Ruth was not a great baseball hitter because most of his at-bats resulted in outs. It ignores the intense significance of the occasional big blast.
CLASS asks that you also consider criticizing this average noise level measurement method used by the FAA. Alameda needs relief from the highly annoying noise of jet takeoffs over our environment, not from any daily average.
Another issue that deserves attention is that noise levels in Alameda increased dramatically four years ago when the FAA imposed the HUSHH takeoff procedure from Oakland International. Previously, departing jets turned quickly to fly over the bay, but now they hug to our populated communities. This change was made without community input, and despite many challenges, the FAA has not given any satisfactory reason why it can’t return to the previous takeoff procedure. It was safe and much less disturbing.
The primary means of complaining is through the FAA website: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/13/2021-00564/overview-of-faa-aircraft-noise-policy-and-research-efforts-request-for-input-on-research-activities#open-comment
For other ways to complain, or if you are interested in a more technical assessment of the FAA survey, please click HERE to see the attached memo.
Thank you for your service to your community.