News & Announcements

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  • [August 10, 2017] Ad Hoc Committee Established from the Cities Association of Santa Clara County (link)

           On June 28th, 2017, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, and Congressman Ro Khanna sent a letter to the Cities Association of Santa Clara County requesting their assistance with establishing a long term forum for aircraft noise concerns in the South Bay. 

           In response on August 10th, 2017, the Cities Association of Santa Clara County's Board of Directors unanimously agreed to form an Ad Hoc Committee to create a framework for establishing a Roundtable.  The Ad Hoc Committee will consist of: 

    • Mayor Savita Vaidhyanathan, Cupertino
    • Mayor Gary Waldeck, Los Altos Hills
    • Council Member Larry Klein, Sunnyvale
    • Mayor Steve Tate, Morgan Hill
    • Council Member Pat Showalter, Mountain View
    • Mayor Greg Scharff, Palo Alto
    • Council Member Mary-Lynne Bernald, Saratoga

      The comment under the news page said it all:

      Surf Air resumed flying the North Sunnyvale flight path on June 12, 2017 WITHOUT final FAA approval. That move has effectively shifted airplane noise from the Peninsula cities over to Sunnyvale.

      The politicians say there will be NO shifting of airplane noise from one community to another. BUT THE AIRPLANE NOISE HAS BEEN MOVED TO SUNNYVALE FROM THE PENINSULA CITIES.

      This definitely establishes a flight path over Sunnyvale that will almost certainly be used by more and more airplanes, especially since these airplanes will no longer fly over the peninsula cities on their way to San Carlos Airport. Since we have no jurisdictional control over San Carlos Airport, that likely translates to uncontrolled growth as that airport maximizes profit. Since San Mateo County will have effectively shifted the airplane noise over to the alternate community of Sunnyvale, the county will have no reason to curtail growth at that airport - San Mateo County took care of their problem by shifting it to the city of Sunnyvale.

      It appears that San Mateo County and Surf Air have completely out maneuvered Sunnyvale in this matter. Sunnyvale is playing elementary school baseball, while San Mateo county is playing Professional baseball.

Worse yet, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors just approved $1million dollars to be spent to determine ways to mitigate airplane noise for their San Mateo County residents. But who is protecting Sunnyvale??? Seems like we are on our own here, with the city of Sunnyvale spending literally nothing to protect its residents from this noise shifting.

    Once again, the City of Sunnyvale strongly opposes the BVA procedure and we are deeply concerned with the negative effects of Surf Air flight operations over Northern and Southern Sunnyvale, regardless of the BVA.  We believe that Surf Air is  capable of studying and implementing alternate flight paths and/or other mitigations that will reduce the noise impact on our residents.

  • [May 08 2017] Residents attended SJC Commission Meeting
    • Letter to FAA from Congressman Ro Khanna <click> was discussed

    • Letters from Sunnyvale residents requesting round table and select committee was also discussed

  • [March 25] Residents attended Congressman Ro Khanna's Town Hall Meeting
    • Some update from from Sunnyvale City Airplane Noise website (

      Congressman Ro Khanna facilitated meeting with Federal Aviation Officials to discuss South Flow at SJC - Partially, in response to the City’s request for assistance from Congressman Ro Khanna to help address airplane noise, the Congressman’s district staff coordinated a regional meeting with the cities of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino and San Jose. The meeting was an opportunity for local officials to meet Dennis Roberts, the new Regional Administrator for the FAA Western-Pacific Region and begin discussions about concerns with noise levels when SJC is flying in south Flow. As the authority to control aircraft in flight and on the ground is vested exclusively in the FAA, the City requested Congressman Khanna’s Office to take the lead on this issue for the district. The meeting took place on March 22. The Congressman’s office has provided a summary of the meeting, including the proposed path forward for addressing this issue.

      The summary link:

      And the Video Record of Ro Khanna's Town Hall Meeting 03/25:

      One additional info:
      Aviation Consultant Services - The City has contracted with Freytag and Associates for aviation-related consultant services. The Firm will be evaluating impacts to Sunnyvale related, but not limited, to SQL, SJC and SFO.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (FOX 11 / AP) - Three people died and two were injured when a small plane carrying them home from a cheerleading competition nose-dived into two Southern California homes and sparked a major fire, authorities and witnesses said.

  • [February 15 ] SJC and FAA correspondences wrt. SJC noise Issue (pdf)
    • Hearing the concerns from residents, SJC Commission asks for help from FAA
    • FAA replied with multiple 'No's.
    • Particularly, Mr. Martin said
      • " (SJC) Aircraft cannot go higher because of FAA concerns about other air traffic, including final approaches to SFO."
    • And yet, they are lowering the SFO Class B Airspace over Sunnyvale by 2000ft!
On Jan. 21, 2016, we were invited to the Sunnyvale Democratic Party monthly meeting to present our findings about increasing airplane noise issues in Sunnyvale.  A couple members from our group attended the meeting and made a brief presentation to about 30 people there.  The presentation was very well received.  Some people living in north Sunnyvale shared their sufferings from the airplane noises as well and showed support to our movement.  Some people mentioned there are also private jets landing at Moffet airport, which adds to the airplane issue to our area.

During the presentations, questions were asked, especially on what we expect and how we want to solve the problem? 
We are very clear about our expectations:

We want to raise more community awareness and urge FAA to seek a regional solution for airplane noise issues instead of shifting the problem from one community to another. 

Congress District 17 representative and Sunnyvale representative need to be present in any ongoing and future FAA discussion and SFO roundtable discussion.  (Currently Congress district 17 and Sunnyvale were excluded from the above discussions.)

More than two years have passed since the Federal Aviation Administration changed the flight paths in and out of Sky Harbor.

Since then, the City of Phoenix and some of its historic neighborhoods have sued the FAA. It’s been a slow process, but things are moving forward.

When the FAA implemented its satellite based navigation system, called Next Gen, it was supposed to improve safety and efficiency by altering arrival and departure procedures. 

Instead, the changes led to increased noise levels for residents living in central Phoenix and other parts of the Valley. Residents and the city wanted the FAA to revert back to the original flight paths, so they each sued.

The U.S. Court of Appeals has now scheduled oral arguments for March 17. The court will hear both lawsuits.

  • [January 05] City of Cupertino Aircraft Noise Page Online    

The City is aware of the recent increased flight activity over parts of Cupertino from various area airports, including Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and smaller airports such as Palo Alto (PAO) and San Carlos (SQL). This has impacted some Cupertino neighborhoods near the Sunnyvale border.

The City has no direct authority over airspace and is limited in its ability to address resident aircraft noise concerns. However, the City is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of neighborhoods by maintaining or reducing the levels of noise generated by transportation facilities, including airports. Based on resident complaints, the City will closely monitor actions by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and their efforts to reroute specific incoming SQL flights over Sunnyvale and parts of Cupertino. With the assistance of Congressman Honda and Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian, the City of Sunnyvale has been actively engaging with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to express concern with this latest action and advocate a more workable, simple solution. Cupertino will join Sunnyvale’s efforts.

  • [January 2017] City of Sunnyvale Quarterly Report Page 2

If you have winter issue of "City of Sunnyvale Quarterly Report" on the table, you can find airplane noise issue in page 2:

"The City is working to address the increase in flights over Sunnyvale from area airports.  The City Council hosted a town hall meeting in October to hear from residents and discuss types of air traffic over Sunnyvale, recent changes to flight patterns for arrivals to the San Carlos airport, and the northern approach to Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).  Congressman Mike Honda, along with representatives from SJC and San Mateo County airports attended. 

Council directed City staff to prioritize efforts to reduce airplane noise and request Sunnyvale representation at FAA decision-making meetings.  The FAA has invited the City to a meeting scheduled for February where a decision will be made on the next steps related to the San Carlos airport Bayside Visual Approach, which diverts an additional leg of Surf Air flights above Sunnyvale. 

The City is also hiring an aviation consultant to help analyze flight data and draft potential alternatives to current flight paths overhead.  The immediate focus will be to address the Bayside Visual Approach and Surf Air flights out of San Carlos. Additional work may include impacts of other flights to and from San Francisco International Airport and SJC.

Visit for more information.  Email to join an email list and receive updates on this topic."

And for more info on noise issue, please also visit

The 12-member committee chaired by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian spent four months analyzing proposals that often divided communities from Santa Cruz to South San Francisco in a tug-of-war over flight paths and waypoints (fixed points that planes must fly over at particular altitudes). In the end, the committee's 44-page report explored a series of ideas ranging from changing nighttime flight hours to rerouting planes along different tracks.

Recommendations on two items, moving the flight path for southern arrivals to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and establishing a minimum altitude for the MENLO waypoint, were the most highly anticipated of the committee's final meeting on Nov. 17.

  • [November 10, 2016] Petition closed with 1041 supporters,  withing a short time of just one week. 
    • Since Congressman Michael Honda is closing his office due to the recent election, we closed this petition, knowing that submitting it to his office will not get any work done in this transitional time.
    • Yet, the petition itself succeeded in the sense that more people are now aware of the noise issue for Sunnyvale and Cupertino residents.

  • [October 28, 2016] Sunnyvale: Residents speak out on airplane noise at town hall meeting by Mercurynews

    • More than 150 residents came out to the Sunnyvale Community Center ballroom to have their say with Rep. Mike Honda, local elected officials and representatives from San Mateo County and San Carlos and San Jose airports.

      Residents say airplane noise has become more prevalent above the city over the past few months. While Sunnyvale’s skies have played host to general aviation traffic at Moffet Airfield for years, much of the night’s discussion was centered around flights into Mineta San Jose International Airport and San Carlos Airport, specifically Surf Air flights...

  • [October 27, 2016] Newport Beach is suing the FAA over new flight plans, and Culver City is expected to follow
    • Cting concerns about the potential for increased aircraft noise and pollution, Newport Beach officials sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday, alleging that the agency’s plan to reroute flights across the region was completed without adequate environmental review. Culver City officials said they expect to file an almost identical suit on Friday. ..


    • The Sunnyvale City Council hosted a town hall meeting on October 18 at the Sunnyvale Community Center. Topics included types of air traffic over Sunnyvale, recent changes to flight patterns for San Carlos Airport arrivals, and southern flow flights from Mineta San Jose Airport. Congressman Mike Honda, along with representatives from San Mateo County and Mineta San Jose International Airport were in attendance. View the full recording of the meeting, along with presentation materials from San Mateo County and Mineta San Jose International Airport.




  • [September 16, 2016] Almanac News: County Gets More Angry Feedback about Surf Air Noise
    • Surf Air said it is now using the new route a little more than 50 percent of the time.
    • Sunnyvale resident Kerri Webb said Sunnyvale is "the dumping ground" for the Surf Air noise. "We hate Surf Air, too," she said. "They sound like go-carts in the sky."
    • Another Sunnyvale resident, Rachel She, had a similar complaint. "You're basically just taking the waste from one back yard and dumping it in another," she said.
    • After the meeting, however, airport manager Gretchen Kelly said that while the San Carlos Airport has received 333 noise complaints from 61 households in Sunnyvale since Surf Air began flying the new approach, only two of the households making complaints are actually under the new flight path. "The other 59 homes were already impacted by Surf Air flights prior to the implementation" of the new approach, she said.
    • Question: What happens to the newly impacted residents? Why are they so silent? Because they did not know the story yet!!!

  • [August 31, 2016] Sunnyvale: New plane route bringing noise over city by Mercurynews

    • Sunnyvale residents and elected officials are pushing back against a recent increase in airplane traffic and subsequent noise in the skies above the city.

      City officials say the noise is partially due to a new plane route for airline Surf Air, which began service in 2013 and offers flights between San Carlos Airport and Burbank Airport in Southern California. Surf Air has grown and now 24 flights come in and out of San Carlos daily on weekdays and 22 on weekends, according to the company...