Lawsuits for Compensation for the Jet Noise

If you’d like to receive an informational pdf letter by Neil Schaefer about such suits, please write Neil at . The advantages and disadvantages of such suits are discussed. A sample completed claim form will be included. Completing and sending a claim form to the airport owner is the first step toward a suit for nuisance; it is short and free to file. The San Francisco and San Jose City Attorney offices say it must be postmarked no later than 9/5/15, if the “cause of action” accrued on 3/5/15.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only as a service to the public, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel, nor does it constitute advertising or a solicitation. For additional information, please contact Neil directly at

The information contained in this website may or may not reflect the most current legal developments; accordingly, information on this website is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be considered an indication of future results. Noisegen expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website. Nothing provided via this webpage should be used as a substitute for advice of competent counsel. The materials on this website do not constitute legal advice.

Find more related information here.

New: Jet-Noise Complaint App for Santa Cruz, CA


Santa Cruz, CA has it’s own jet-noise apps.

For Apple IOS devices:
Check out the “Airplane Noise Reporter” to help you file reports on jet-noise with SFO.
Find more information here.

An alternate application for most platforms is also available:
It is a web-based system which works very well. If affected, push that button!
Find more information here:

Keep the complaints going if you are affected!
Also, why not let Farr and our local politicians know how this has impacted our large community!

Save Our Skies, General Meeting

General meeting for Save Our Skies, Santa Cruz.

– A recap of the presentation given to the FAA will be presented. More information about the meeting can be found here.

– Leaders of Skyposse Palo Alto are also visiting

– A presentation by Dr. Tina Nguyen will introduce information on the Portola Valley lawsuit against the FAA. She is one of the petitioners of the suit and will explain how progress on this front may positively affect our community.

This event is advertised as a public meeting. As to our knowledge, the meeting is organized by the executive committee of Save Our Skies. For questions or comments, or to suggest items for a future agenda, you could try to contact Patrick Meyer at

The Portola Valley lawsuit

The Portola Valley lawsuit against the FAA’s 32 new flight paths in NorCal needs financial help

The Opening Brief of the Portola Valley suit finds many faults with the process by which the FAA conducted the Environmental Assessment and came to its decision; The FAA’s presentation of that process can be found here.

An introduction and summarized reasoning for the Portola Valley Lawsuit can be found here.

A summary of the faults from page 2 of the Opening Brief:

“In concluding that NorCal OAPM had no significant noise impact on Petitioners’ communities, the FAA flouted both of these criteria – it did not determine how many aircraft would use the new routes and it did not determine over which communities the additional aircraft would fly. The FAA’s FONSI was thus arbitrary and capricious and resulted from a flawed and unlawful process. This Court should set it aside for the following four reasons. First, the entire process by which the FAA purported to measure the anticipated noise impacts of NorCal OAPM was tainted from the outset because the FAA unlawfully predetermined that no significant noise impacts would occur before the FAA performed its analysis of the anticipated noise impacts, and then committed itself to an implementation timeline for NorCal OAPM that required it to later confirm this preordained conclusion. Second, the record indicates that at the time ATAC measured the anticipated noise effects on the ground of NorCal OAPM, ATAC did not actually know where aircraft were expected to fly after the implementation of NorCal OAPM. ATAC’s noise calculations were therefore based on unreliable data and guesswork as to where planes would actually fly under NorCal OAPM. Third, in measuring the anticipated noise impacts of NorCal OAPM, the FAA improperly inflated the amount of noise that would be anticipated if NorCal OAPM were not implemented, and then used this inflated noise baseline when measuring the relative amount of additional noise that would be created by implementation of NorCal OAPM. This use of an inflated noise baseline for comparison purposes artificially understated the impact of noise caused by NorCal OAPM, thus rendering the FAA’s conclusions regarding the amount of additional noise created by NorCal OAPM unreliable. Finally, the FAA failed to analyze and consider the cumulative noise impacts of NorCal OAPM when considered in conjunction with other activities outside of NorCal OAPM that are expected independently to increase aircraft noise around SFO over the next several years, despite express authority from this Circuit requiring the FAA to do so.”

If you want to learn much more about the suit, please refer to the Petition for Review here and the Opening Brief FAA-FONSI-Opening-Brief-signed1
 The Petition for Review includes the finding of no significant impact by the FAA for the 32 new flight paths in Northern California.

The suit was initially financed with $25K by an angel donor. The petitioners need $10K between now and July 30, $15K for Aug 1 through mid-Sep, and about $10K for the hearing in mid-Oct.

Mr. Christopher writes: Parties interested in supporting the Portola Valley suit can send a check to:

The Law Offices of Thomas V. Christopher
The Bank of America Center
555 California Street, suite 4925
San Francisco, CA 94104


The check should be made out to “The Law Offices of Thomas V. Christopher”, and in the memo section put ‘For Lyons et. al. v. FAA.’

100% of your donation goes to this lawsuit.


The Santa Cruz FAA Meeting at Loma Prieta

The LATEST update on this meeting:
On 7/31/2015, the Save Our Skies Santa Cruz executive committee released their summary of the meeting. Review the PDF here.

UPDATE 10p pacific:
What happened?

Most people who attended the Loma Prieta meeting, agreed the FAA listened.

It was flatly stated that the reason the meeting happened at all, was because of Congressman Sam Farr.
That pressure is unwanted and the FAA wants it to stop. They are willing to continue dialog via e-mail, as long as it is limited and viewed as productive.

The FAA committed to fast-tracking any changes (6 months, instead of 2 years) and will review why things aren’t working. Our neighbors were able to document several issues regarding the performance of the route: Violations of airspeed limits and issues related to adjacent SFO Class-B airspace were discussed.

The FAA also stated (and we know this) that the closer you get to the airport, the more routes become interdependent and in conflict with each other. Therefore, the harder things become to change. The FAA also stated that any “Federal Action” on the Northern California Metroplex is closed. Thus, significant changes will be new Federal Actions.

1. The SERFR1 arrival procedure is not working as it should and will be reviewed for possible modification. Fanning out planes on descent was stated to be a possible mitigation to the well documented intensity.

2. SERFR1 alignment on ANJEE may be possible but problematic. When first presented to the public by the FAA it was clearly stated the route should transition thru ANJEE and that the design was incomplete.

3. Altitudes for planes crossing BRIX could be raised if constraints were be added to SERFR1.

4. The FAA clearly resisted PORTE departure changes. Glen Martin clearly stated that he cannot design an efficient transportation system with lots of restrictions on departures. We believe this is touted as one of the ways that NextGen saves fuel by getting departures pointed at their destinations sooner. On a side-note, this is a big sticking point in Phoenix.

It was pointed out that if the PORTE fan out was moved slightly further out, the crossing altitudes could be increased. The cost of that should be considered against that of property owners on the ground.

During the meeting, it was made clear reduced fuel cost is being traded for larger noise impact areas and inescapably reduced property values and (your) quality of life.

We believe there was some acknowledgment that this balance/trade-off could be considered in route designs, but because there is no policy guidance on this issue – it is not a consideration for the FAA when noise levels are below the official noise impact thresholds that are only relevant in the immediate area of the airport (65DNL).

This is something for Congresswoman Eshoo and Congressman Farr to consider – how to codify such lack of balance.

Click below to review additional media coverage:



UPDATE 7:39p pacific
According to the Sentinel:

Meanwhile, at Loma Prieta Elementary School on Summit Road, representatives from the FAA met with leaders from the neighborhood group Save Our Skies Santa Cruz and local elected officials and their aides in a private meeting. Neither the public nor the press were allowed to attend the meeting. From the FAA, regional manager Glen Martin and his assistant Steve May, vice president of Mission Control Elizabeth Ray and FAA spokesman Ian Gregor attended the meeting.

“We found the FAA much more responsive than we thought they might be,” said Patrick Meyer, co-founder of Save Our Skies. “They listened to our concerns and talked about a timeline in terms of getting back to us on a number of things.”

Regarding the speed breaks, the FAA said that’s something it could start working on now. As for raising the altitude of descending planes, the FAA said it would get back to Save Our Skies in about six months.

The FAA also expressed interest in a future public meeting.

“The meeting was productive. It’s a good first step,” said Alec Arago, district director for Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel. “I think the congressman feels this is the dialogue that should have preceded the decision to move the route.”

Find the link to the article here:


Update 3:00p pacific
The meeting is underway and we anticipate today’s first meeting with the FAA to center on:

1. Explaining our perceived impact in Santa Cruz, and
2. Exploring process issues which have been identified
3. And, of course, the next steps.

One of our most competent neighbors is attending the discussion. We feel confident the most important issues will be brought forward clearly.

If the FAA has learned anything, they could leave us with something practical before they manage a better, sustainable implementation!

We are not an acoustical open sewer for the FAA and Administrator Huerta, as one of our neighbors put it.

More to come.

FAA coming to Santa Cruz on Friday to hear concerns of Save Our Skies

Samantha Clark over at the Santa Cruz Sentinel has posted an article discussing the FAA visit and meeting this Friday, also raising the excellent question as to why the meeting is not open to the press or the public. We will do our best to keep you posted on the results.

The article also includes information on the jet-noise survey by Sam Farr’s office.

You can read more here:


The Scoop: Santa Cruz City council board letter for unified action

Call to Action

June 24th, 2015

Supervisors Leopold and McPherson introduced a board letter to formally inform the council members on this serious issue. Both supervisors have been working on our behalf. They have attended our meetings, provided valuable advice, and are ready to inform the rest of the board. It is a political call to action to engage our city officials and representatives, representing our County in a unified position.

Lets support them the best we can.

The letter can be found here.

Thank you for your support!
Contact us via .img@.img. We also invite you to comment below.

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