Noise is related to speed

We all know that aircraft noise is a function of speed, and that a measure of noise must account for speed and the associated thrust. It sounds simple, but this kind of calculation can be complex. The function has to take into account many variables, such as engine thrust, number of engines, drag on elements of the aircraft, gravity, descent angle, and among them: speed. There are over 100 equations used by the FAA models to calculate noise impacts. These equations are documented in a manual that’s nearly 200 pages long. Many of them used speed. And you know what? Their measure of speed is not accurate. 160knotsAccording to the FAA’s own documentation in the Integrated Noise Model – Technical Manual, speed is not measured or modeled accurately. The speed of the airplanes is modeled at 160 knots even though the planes routinely fly over Santa Cruz at below 10,000 feet and faster than 250 knots. In some cases, the planes fly nearly double the modeled speed. But, according to the FAA: “Reference Speed. The noise-exposure reference speed in INM is 160 knots. Thus, LAE and LEPN
values in the NPD database are referenced to 160 knots.” (INM-TM, p.11). How do you find no impact? How do you model plane noise in such a way that it doesn’t have an impact? Well, one way is to just say the planes are flying slower than they actually are, because speed and noise are related. And in the INM, speed is 160 knots, independent of how fast and loud the planes may be in the real world.

You can read more at: FAA INM TM. inmAnd we’ll keep reading this document and explicating it, to help us all understand how the FAA defined a model, paid a contractor to implement that model in software, and then uses that model to justify an impact without oversight and no checks on their power.

Roundtable SFO Meeting

This is your chance to show your support and be heard at the SFO Community Roundtable meeting.

According to their web site, the Airport/Community Roundtable was established in 1981 as a voluntary committee to address community noise impacts from aircraft operations at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The Roundtable monitors a performance-based noise mitigation program implemented by airport staff, interprets community concerns and attempts to achieve noise mitigation through a cooperative sharing of authority among the aviation industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), SFO management and local government.

The authority to control aircraft in flight and on the ground is vested exclusively in the FAA. The FAA, however, cannot control the number of flights nor the time of day of aircraft operations. Federal law preempts any local government agency from implementing any action that is intended to control the routes of aircraft in flight. Neither the Roundtable, local elected officials nor airport management can control the routes of aircraft in flight or on the ground.


The Sam Farr Survey

Please register and complete the survey presented by the office of Congressman Sam Farr, U.S. Representative for California’s 20th congressional district.

We have abbreviated the link for you. Scroll down for comments.

Find it here:

His Letter:

Sam Farr

I have become increasingly aware a large number of residents have been affected by increased aircraft noise caused by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new flight paths over Santa Cruz County. Right now, I am working to convince the FAA to hold a public meeting on this issue so they can hear your concerns. To help the FAA understand how important holding that meeting is, I need to hear from you!
Would you please complete a brief survey that tells me the issues you face as a result of these new flight paths. If we can bring the testimony of the people of Santa Cruz County affected by this problem to the FAA it will help demonstrate the extreme urgency by which this issue needs to be addressed. Feel free to respond to the survey and have others in your community do the same. Let the FAA hear your concerns!

If you would like to invite others to take this survey, please send them this link:
Send this link


farr signature

Member of Congress

Please sign the online petition!

Please consider signing the online petition at

The following text was pasted from the petition:

Objective: Have the FAA roll back the newly implemented Star arrival route SERFR One to the old route Star BIG SUR Two until an Environmental Impact Report has been done and the residents of Santa Cruz County have had a chance to review and comment on the Report.

Reason: The Environmental Assessment (EA) stating the change in jet arrival paths to SFO would have “No Impact” on our community was created within the FAA with the help of Atac Corporation and implemented without public outreach or comment by the residents of Santa Cruz County. It is believed the EA was flawed in its assessment of “No Impact” based on the increased noise level that is being experienced since its implementation day of March 5, 2015 when the route change took place.

Facts: Santa Cruz County is geographically complex. From sea level to 3,786 feet at the highest point, our mountains are filled with valleys and ridges. Noise created by jet engines as they arrive over Capitola wharf and traverse the SERFR One route flows into and around this complex area like water. Sound is amplified on one side of a valley or ridge and completely muffled on the other based on the terrain.

Summary: No actual data was collected and analyzed by the staff responsible for creating the Environmental Assessment. The FAA has no understanding of the impact that this route change has had on the residents of Santa Cruz County. The hasty implementation of SERFR One has been a travesty for our residents, wildlife, businesses and visitors that come to Santa Cruz for peace and relaxation.

Please join us in requesting the FAA return to BIG SUR Two until further data and discussion can be exchanged!


Save Our Skies Meeting

This follow up meeting is scheduled for concerned citizens at the Branciforte Fire Department , 2711 B-40 Drive, S.C. 95065 at 7pm Thursday, May 14.

John Leopold and his staff member Tony Sloss attended the last one. Primary goal of meeting will be to inform community of recent discussion with Congressman Sam Farr.

We are extending invitations to Supervisor McPherson or staff to join us for this meeting.

Please come, bring neighbors, your input will be welcome!

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