SJC Commission Meeting - Residents Want to Be Heard!

Residents Want to Be Heard!

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On a short notice, about 30 Sunnyvale and Cupertino residents showed up in the Nov SJC Commission meeting at San Jose Airport. 

Local residents expressed their concerns about the disruptive noise brought by the low flying air crafts over their once quiet neighborhoods.

Even though SJC Commission Chair made a sudden change of shortening speakers time from 3 minutes to 90 seconds, residents lined up and rushed themselves to speak for the issue.

 Video Recording of Public Comment Section: [Watch All on YouTube]

SJC Airport Commission Meetings

The City of San José Airport Commission is an advisory body to the San José City Council. The Airport Commission is guided by the following rules and regulations.

The Airport Commission meets quarterly. Meetings are held at 1701 Airport Boulevard, Suite B-1130 at 6:00 p.m.



The Texts From Some of the Speakers

Speaker #1:

1.Thank you for the opportunity for letting the Sunnyvale folks providing our feedback to you. Appreciate it. May I please ask today's comments to be reflected on the meeting minutes? The current airplane noise of South Flow is devastating to Sunnyvale community.

2.Most of us have been in Sunnyvale for a long time, myself 12 years. It had been always sunny, peaceful and enjoyable until recently. All Changed due to plane noises. They come in hundreds per day on a south flow day, our health, daily lives are completed ruined.

3. I ask SJC and others to please realize that the highly concentrated fly-pass is not over desert or ponds but a big portion of the 150,000 Sunnyvale population -- household after household with family members able to hear every minute. Imagine it were actually your kids and love ones living underneath this highly concentrated flight-pass. What would you like to do to help them Mr. commissioners.

4. Is there a SJC community feedback forum to collect feedbacks from SJC surrounding residence? If so we would like to join it on a regular basis, preferably bi-weekly or weekly.

5. We heard much "GROWTH" push tonight at the meeting, but realize that SJC is in the middle of several cities, it is not surrounded by no-man land. Maximize SJC facility utilization to maximize profit margin is not a suitable model for SJC, it ruins tens of thousands of peoples' health and lives.

Please serious consider these feedback.


Speaker #2:

Dear All,

Thanks for the opportunity to speak here, I am a Sunnyvale resident and I moved to Sunnyvale 5 years ago. I used to be very happy, positive and optimistic, but now more. Now I am easily depressed, hearing the airplane roaring above my head all day long.

The SJC South Flow has been more frequently triggered, and the airplanes are flying very low, very concentrated, very frequent, and thus very loud over our once quiet neighborhood.

I literally want to throw out anything that I can grab hearing that kind of crazy loud noise. Once I was typing to my friend saying "There is a very annoyingly loud aircraft passing by right now", before I finished typing this, there were two more within the same sentence!

When consulting to city, or FAA, or airport, all I get back is to "file your complaint". The complaint process is very tedious and requires us normal residents to know about the flight info, the color of the craft, the height, the everything, before you can file a complaint. And this deters most of people actually reaching out.  Now I am freaking sick of this complaints, but it seems that the only way to make some 'change' on residents' side, is still, to file the complaints.

But where is the change?

In the commission meeting today, I heard that since SJC is operating more flights everyday, and the ticketing itself earns so much money. So everybody in this room should be proud. Well, congratulation to everyone on the table feeling proud. I am on the contrary feeling very frustrated, and even frightened.

I beg all of you, for a moment, pause your pride, think not of the profit your business can make, but the life impacted by your business, and the life quality sacrificed by your business. If you know that people under the flights are suffering so much every day, and how many people are depressed, and have developed some chronic sickness, and there is nothing could be called quality under the influence of the overhead sky noise, you will never be proud of yourself. You may be very profitable, but in the end, we are the people who is paying the cost for you!

Now let's come back to the profit part. In the extremely bad situation, anybody who is suffering too much from the noise can start a law suit, and the cost can be easily over millions. If you are to multiply the cost with population of Sunnyvale and Cupertino, you will see the potential financial loss. And put that in your balance sheet, before you are proud of the profit you make. We are a large group of people who have been forced to come together to protect our lives and our neighborhoods. We want to work out a way with you to change it.

Everyday passing this way, is going to enlarge the distrust between the community and the airport and FAA. I urge you to really seek a way to mitigate it, to solve this problem.


Speaker # 3:

Dear All,

I live in Sunnyvale.  First I want to thank the San Jose Airport Commission to add the South flow operations topic into today’s agenda and I really appreciate being given the chance to speak to you about my views.

I moved to the current address in Aug, 2014.  From Sep this year I started to notice the significant increase of airplane noise over my house.  I didn’t attend Oct 18  town hall meeting but I was able to read the information provided by San Jose Airport.  Again  thank you for being transparent in sharing your data with us.  Looking at data, the change in the % of south flow operations and the average operations per south flow day are not sufficiently to explain the significant difference our ears have experienced.

But when I looked at the two charts showing SJC Flight Distribution over Sunnyvale in 2013 vs. 2016.  I found the # of tracks within the 800ft to the right of ZORSA waypoint have increased by almost 1000%.  ZORSA waypoint is very close to intersection of Mary and Knickerbocker. In 2013, about 1/10 of the tracks, around 300 are plotted within this range, while in 2016 about 2/3 of the tracks, around 3000 are in this range. No wonder residents living in our neighborhood can tell the difference.

This afternoon I briefly looked up the biography of the commission members and saw some of you have rich aviation background and others are excellent community leaders.  Mr. Blake, the Chairman of the commission, your biography says “ your priorities as an airport commissioner are to....

The following is the last part of my comments I planned to make but due to the abrupt change of individual comment time form 2 minutes to 90 seconds, I was not able to finish: "support that SJC continues improving to better serve the needs of all users while being sensitive to community impacts”.  SJC is an airport embedded in a high-density residential area, I urge the commission to use your knowledge and leadership to help us find a regional solution with FAA.  

Thank you!

Speaker # 4:


I have lived in Sunnyvale for 20 years, and I will tell you personally that the plane noise has changed.  And it’s not just the weather; And we know that!  And I thank Jim [from the SJC airport noise department] for the information.

Having said that, the pain is so bad that Sunnyvale is starting to organize.  I know of four noise groups that have already formed.  One which has 460 members; another that has 150 members, and there are more than that.

In addition, there was a Sunnyvale petition that was started about the Southflow operations, and it had over 1000 signatures in one week.

So we’ve got a big problem here.

And now, I sit in this meeting, and I’d like to work with you guys.  But I sit in this meeting, and I hear growth, growth, growth [Regarding the proposed growth of flight operations at SJC].

Well, that’s a big problem for us underneath this flight path, isn’t it?

Because on October 30, at ZORSA [waypoint] we had approximately 200 flights fly over or near that waypoint.    What are we talking about in the near future?  500 or 600 SJC flights flying over on Southflow [ops]?

So what I’m going to propose is that we have some sort of a roundtable that is formed with citizens and SJC officials.  So we can talk together, and solve this problem together.

I’m sure a bunch of smart people together can solve this.

But we have a problem, and you can see what is happening here.  With all of these groups starting to form, there’s a big problem occurring.  So I think we need to kind of mitigate or do something here – TOGETHER.

Thank you.   

Speaker # 5:

I have been living in Sunnyvale for eight years. Recently I have been suffering the airplane noise, like all of the speakers have. First of all, I know you guys are counting number of complaints received to see how many families are impacted. You have to understand, there are a lot more people out there, they don't know where to complain, how to complain. They even don't know why all of sudden, there are so tremendous noise dumping onto their home. I am telling you, each complaint I have filed, it is not about one single airplane. It is about many many airplanes flying over my home. It is not about one single day either, because it is continuously coming, day and night. Secondly, I heard a lot talking from SJC airport about growth, growth, growth. You can't grow your business in the price of people's life quality. You have to listen. Otherwise, it won't work out.