Citizen’s Noise Monitoring (website)

There’s a new website of great value to Nextgen victims and others suffering from aviation noise impacts: Citizen’s Noise Monitoring. It appears to be based in the San Francisco Bay Area, created by a tech-savvy impacted citizen trying to find relief from noise impacts such as the SERFR arrivals to KSFO over the Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, and Portola Valley areas. (NOTE: for a graphic image showing the absurdly low SERFR arrivals, click this link; this is not just a noise issue, but also a SAFETY ISSUE!)

Here is a screen-capture showing the homepage, packed with information. Be sure to click through and spend some time studying what has been posted in just the past two months. Some truly amazing work!

(click on image to view original at
(click on image to view original at


The gist of this website appears to be to facilitate a workaround to a serious aviation noise problem. Specifically, FAA, Airports and the Airlines are effectively conspiring to shut out citizen-involvement in aviation impact decisions, such as the implementation of new NextGen routes that are consistently lower over our communities.

It can be said that truth comes from data, and he who controls the data thus defines the truth. Well, we simply can no longer allow the intensifying spin of this evolving troika, aka the Av-Gov Complex (an unfortunate consequence of FAA’s regulatory capture, wherein the regulator caters to the regulated industry), to define and frame aviation noise issues. Thus, we go beyond their spin and create our own REAL data.

More information about Citizen’s Noise Monitoring will be added soon…

No Fly Day on October 24th

In less than two weeks, No Fly Day happens. People across the nation are pledging to not fly, in protest of FAA NextGen implementations, which are causing severe aviation noise impacts at many of the major commercial passenger airports. FAA and the airlines and airport authorities are literally destroying neighborhoods and quality of life, inflicting a noise-cost upon hundreds of thousands of people so that the four largest airlines can add to their quarterly profits.

Here is an image of a flyer by one of the Boston-area airport noise groups, Boston West Fair Skies (BWFS). This group is well-organized; they created their own QR code (scannable square) to help people get to their website, and they are encouraging other groups to act fast on a Groupon for a 6′ by 2.5′ protest banner (ends on 10/14 at the end of 10/13). Also, please see two additional images with text summarizing the goals, as well as the FAA’s failures that necessitated this protest.

20151024.. No Fly Day flyer, KBOS version (A.Poole, 10-12-2015)

20151024.. 'Reasons for the Protest' (NoFlyDay flyer content)

(click on image to read a timeline about FAA’s ongoing NextGen failures)

20151024.. '3 demands of FAA to Protect' (NoFlyDay flyer content)Learn more and sign the pledge:

NOTE: individuals or groups interested in joining the protest, producing local materials, etc. are encouraged to contact at:


How to Restore Local Control for Skydiving Noise Impacts

Here is a 2-page PDF that outlines the rules needed, to ensure local officials are fully empowered to balance the profit-seeking needs of skydiving operators against the ‘peace-and-quiet’ quality of life needs of airport neighbors. You can download a copy, print it, and take it with you when you go to the local airport commission, city council, or other public meetings. You can also push your leaders to demand that FAA and Congress create new rules that ensure local authorities are allowed to manage noise impacts without being blocked by distant and ineffective FAA authority.

This pop-out view is scrollable, and the PDF copy may be downloaded.

We Need Congress to Fix FAA’s Problems…

…and here is one recent success connecting with a Congressman.

In this example, the citizen started by contacting  his member of the House of Representatives (use this link to locate yours, using only your zip code). An email address was then located, and a pair of emails was sent with the following points:

  1. Millions of American citizens live in residential areas where they’ve purposefully bought homes away from noise so they can relax in peace and quiet after a day of work; especially on weekends when it’s time to enjoy family and friends outdoors and rest up for the week ahead.  When we buy a home in a peaceful neighborhood, we have the right to expect that the peace and quiet we bought with our property will remain with us unless we give our consent or participate in a formal decision-making process to allow a noisy activity to impact us at a later date.  The way the FAA rules stand today, there is effectively nothing to stop any new aviation activity from starting-up, or an existing aviation activity from expanding as much as it wants without restraint based out of a GA airport located in a residential area.  These noisy activities take something very valuable away from a large number of surrounding residents without their consent, to benefit the commercial interests of a few who often don’t even live in the surrounding area.  These aviation activities like sight-seeing flights, aerobatics, banner tows, intensive flight training, skydiving operations, etc. add significant noise to the residential environment to the detriment of the quality of life, health and property values of surrounding residents.  The FAA has a history of blocking actions taken by residents and local authorities to control such noise-making activities at GA airports which start-up, or begin to grow after residents buy their homes in otherwise peaceful areas.  The situation today is effectively out of control, damages the quality of life for millions of residents without any realistic recourse, and risks the future quality of life of millions more, unless something is done by Congress to put effective controls in place.
  2. The block the FAA maintains on the ability of citizens and local authorities to control the growth of noise-making aviation activities based out of GA airports has been so effective that local courts and law enforcement have given up, and so have large numbers of residents.  Understanding and navigating the FAA’s fuzzy rules has to date been a waste of time, and local authorities now routinely defer outright to the noise-makers, making it essentially pointless for residents to waste their time complaining.  This damages the quality of life of millions of citizens, and risks the quality of life for millions more in the future by fostering a state of virtual lawlessness with respect to the noise-making activities of such aviation business, unless something is done by Congress to put effective controls in place.
  3. The regulatory and enforcement framework for addressing community noise impacts from aviation activities based out of GA airports is completely out of step with other quality of life standards.  For example, the EPA has stated that outdoor noise levels of more than 55 dbA interfere with activity and cause annoyance.  But the FAA noise standard for aircraft from GA airports allows the 55 dbA noise level to be exceeded repeatedly over long periods of time above our homes in residential areas.  As a further example, many residential areas have ordinances that require the explicit consent of neighbors before building or re-painting a structure (or even erecting solar panels that benefit the whole community) on the owner’s property, lest the neighbors find it an eyesore.  These structures and paint colors make no noise at all and their impact can be avoided by simply averting one’s eyes.  Yet the FAA allows recreational aircraft from GA airports to routinely overfly distant neighborhoods and produce repeated noise impacts without the consent of residents and which cannot be avoided by residents as the noise comes from above and can’t be escaped – and all this for the benefit of non-essential, profit-making recreational aviation activities.  The FAA’s disregard for this important quality of life parameter will remain unchecked unless something is done by Congress to put effective controls in place.
  4. Although NextGen implementation is creating many high-profile noise impacts, the Quiet Skies Caucus also needs to address impacts created at General Aviation airports. For example, residents in Longmont, CO, Molalla, OR, Cloverdale, CA, Chatham, MA, Tecumseh, MI, Lancaster, OH, Oak Harbor, WA, and probably many others, are repeatedly faced with quality of life impacts from aviation operations associated with skydiving and other recreational businesses. Under current practice, these businesses are allowed to operate with little or no effective federal oversight or local control of their noise impacts on surrounding residents, many of whom live several miles distant from the GA airport.
  5. Records show that at one airport impacted by just one aggressive skydiving operator, 60% of all weekend flights during the year 2014 were for skydiving.  This massive amount of slow-moving, low-altitude, excessively noisy air traffic consisted of 55 or more skydiving flights a day on all spring, summer and fall weekends. Each flight would climb slowly, passing multiple times over residential neighborhood six or more miles away from the airport, and producing 70 or more noise incidents in those neighborhoods on each weekend day (and many of the events peaked at over 70 dbA). Many residents would hear the same skydive aircraft for ten or more minutes during each climb. Entire weekends were destroyed.
  6. Furthermore, noise-making businesses like Skydiving have undertaken deliberate strategies to befuddle and spread misinformation in order to dodge accountability.  They export their noise to locations beyond the hearing-range of local airport neighbors, by consistently doing their noisy climbs at 3-10 miles away from the actual airport. The impacted residents are often unaware that the noise is related to skydiving. Thus, the local authorities receive fewer complaints. And, the near-airport residents, being less impacted, are less inclined to vote out the elected officials who are failing to manage the airport noise problem.
  7. And then there is the problem of FAA’s flawed noise metrics. Current FAA regulations measure noise exposure using a summation called the Day-Night Level metric (DNL).  Mitigation or abatement procedures are only implemented if the DNL is above 65 dbA DNL. This metric is currently applied on a one-size-fits-all basis to national air transportation hubs, as well as to GA airports in residential areas which support primarily recreational activities where we believe a different noise standard more reflective of the real noise impact should be used.

He also signed on to the Petition seeking congressional action to reduce airplane noise. Here’s the writer’s closing comment, in the letter he sent to his congressional rep. He got a positive response, as the Congressman assured that these noise issues were among his top priorities for FAA Reauthorization…

“It’s my hope moving forward that as the FAA bill is reauthorized, we can show through a collaborative and balanced approach, that the impact of these operations on our communities should be taken into account and their mitigation promoted as a part of a shift at the FAA and nationally to be better neighbors and move toward effective noise mitigation strategies applicable to GA airports.”

Updated Remarks, by Petition Signers Nationwide

(click on image to read the petition at

(click on image to read the petition at

This is an extraordinary collection of comments, well worth studying. Here are some conclusions that are readily apparent:

  • The noise impacts of aviation are EVERYWHERE, and exacerbated by a federal agency (FAA) that is totally indifferent to the impacts … too busy serving their industry with fewer restrictions and regulations. A classic example of fully formed Regulatory Capture.
  • The melting pot that is our nation is beautifully reflected in the comments, especially in the impact areas around Flushing, Queens, and Roslyn, New York. The many comments suggest that even people who have recently come to live in our nation are shocked at what they see is happening to local quality of life.
  • Many people may have become conditioned to not speak up. For example, the largest skydiving noise impact in the nation right now is being caused by Frank Casares’ Mile Hi Skydiving, operating out of the airport in Longmont, Colorado. For a few years now, impacted people have seen the hostile, uncivil, and in some cases frighteningly aggressive comments by skydiving advocates in various online forums. They have become conditioned to stay quiet. Yet, with this petition, dozens have chosen to speak up by adding their valuable comments.
  • Probably the community most intensively impacted by NextGen is Phoenix, due especially to FAA’s giving the airlines early turns in west flows (impacting the Grand Ave and Laveen areas). Thousands of residents are impacted, but their property values are plummeting, and it appears that many have become afraid to attach a name and a concern that might undermine their negotiating position while selling the homes they once loved. This is terrible: that elected officials and federal authorities (like you, Michael Huerta and Glen Martin!) do nothing to mitigate an undisputed impact, letting it persist long enough to force people to move on for their health … and that people in our nation are afraid to speak up! We all owe a lot to those who have posted their comments.

Click on page two to view the roughly 280 comments, sorted by location, and be sure to look at your own community. Also, if you or someone you know is concerned about unmitigated aviation noise, please sign the petition and add your comments! Even better, tell your elected representatives you signed and they need to ‘get to work’. We all need to speak up if this problem is to be remedied.

Frank LoBiondo’s Chance to Lead on Climate Change

After a year with record high temperatures, extreme drought, and horrific wildfires, our elected leaders may finally be moving past their longstanding political impasse. Ten of the more moderate Republican representatives have signed on to a call for action on climate change. Doing so, they are bucking the entrenched position of their party, which has been to deny that climate change is connected to excessive consumption, particularly of fossil fuels.

The Environmental Stewardship Resolution was released last week, sponsored by Rep. Chris Gibson, of New York: “This is a call for action to study how humans are impacting our environment and to look for consensus on areas where we can take action to mitigate the risks and balance our impacts.”

20150917cpy.. F.LoBiondo bio picOne of the newest cosponsors is Frank LoBiondo, a Republican from New Jersey. Congressman LoBiondo is in a very powerful position, because he is a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Aviation. As such, he is one of a tiny few U.S. leaders who can steer FAA’s future. A future that needs to include aviation fee and tax reform, so that aviation operators are strongly incentivized to minimize fuel consumption.

Congressman LoBiondo’s online biography notes his roots and includes this:

“Drawing from his childhood love of the outdoors, Frank has always maintained a strong commitment to protecting the environment. Throughout his time in public office, he has worked to protect fragile wildlife and wetlands areas and stood up for projects that will preserve and restore the New Jersey coastline. His work in Congress has won recognition from many environmental groups including the Audubon Society, the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.”

With that, it seems entirely conceivable that Congressman LoBiondo could merge his background with his power, and perform the biggest accomplishment of his political career: take a REAL stand for the environment. In one fell swoop, he could significantly reduce both noise and carbon pollution, while also ensuring more people get direct airline flights, cutting out many of those out-of-the-way stops at today’s mega-hub airports.

His subcommittee is currently being worked over by lobbyists, all agitating for taking ATC out of FAA (sometimes called ‘ATC privatization, or ‘ANSP autonomy’). The lobbyists dress the proposal up as if it will make things better, failing to clarify the main beneficiaries will be themselves, not the Public. Ignoring what the Public wants/needs, FAA and the industry WANT a federally chartered, non-profit organization because it will further insulate them from accountability. In reality, the players in today’s Av-Gov Complex want to be accountable only to themselves (a.k.a., the ‘stakeholders’).

So, forget about ‘privatizing’ ATC, at least for now. Our Congress, starting with the Subcommittee on Aviation, should tell Mr. Huerta and the boys, and under no uncertain terms…

…there will be no reduction of Congressional FAA oversight until FAA shows reliable and accountable performance and transparency. Until FAA cleans house, this Congress will never — and no Congress should ever — reward the incompetence and arrogance being demonstrated by the employees and their tone-deaf agency.

In other words, FAA needs to clean up their growing NextGen mess; give local authority back to local officials, so communities can manage aviation noise; become transparent.

Quit serving only the industry … start serving the taxpayers.

So, What Might LoBiondo’s Next Move Be?

Here’s an idea. LoBiondo should move to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax for all aviation fuels.

We could very effectively use aviation as an example, to demonstrate how well the revenue-neutral carbon tax concept can work, and to set a high standard for the other energy consumption sectors to follow. Nobody denies that we need to vigorously manage our entire fossil fuels diet (gas, oil, and coal, for transportation, heating, industry and power generation). So, why not start with a focused program, aimed solely at aviation carbon consumption?

We need a steep carbon fee and dividend (CFD), and we need to rationalize the revenue base that funds ATC and other FAA programs. The smartest way would be to charge user fees based on the factors that matter today: a user fee for runway access, an ATC charge proportionate to distance flown, and carbon fees in proportion to total fuel consumed. In combination, these changes would fully replace the current tax/fee system, and would yield enormous efficiencies and dividends. For example, a steep aviation carbon fee and dividend…

  • …would strongly encourage the major airlines away from routing passengers via out-of-the-way mega-hubs, to instead set schedules that route more passengers nonstop or via smaller, more manageable hubs aligned close to the direct route of flight.
  • …would impose natural limiting forces, to discourage overdeveloping hubs into mega-hubs. We have seen enough; at some point any hub airport grows to become too big; there is a diseconomy of hyper scale.
  • …would make it much more expensive for a single banker, CEO, politician, or other privileged jetsetter to consume thousands of pounds of fuel per hour in a bizjet, on unnecessary business flights or when zipping off for ski trips and golf junkets; and,
  • …would quickly bring relief to impacted neighbors suffering from nonstop aviation noise, particularly at the busiest mega-hub airport cities: Chicago and Atlanta.

See also:
  • 9/17/2015 – Bernie Sanders Slams GOP for Ignoring ‘Planetary Crisis’ of Climate Change at the second second GOP debate.

GANews: ‘Polls show voters overwhelmingly oppose privatizing ATC’

General Aviation News, one of the oldest periodicals serving GA and based in the Seattle area, posted the above headline. The article went on to discuss a telephone survey of 801 registered voters conducted in mid-August by Global Strategy Group. Officials with the polling company concluded that voters are very clearly expressing an “if-it-ain’t-broke don’t fix it” attitude about FAA and so-called ATC privatization.

A more focused discussion ensued between two GANews readers. One person argued for ‘privatization’ on the premise that FAA is so broken, gosh, we’ve got do something. The other person argued that ‘privatization’ of ATC will only make things worse, by further insulating FAA and ATC from accountability, for example:

“Privatization of the ATC and/or FAA is a very bad idea. It is not efficient and a waste of time and money.

Mr. Schuster, Congress will lose control over the agency just like AMTRAK. There will be no one to hold their feet to the fire when things go wrong. More monies will be wasted just thru the added bureaucracy. Also don’t forget about the additional time factor of everything.

There really are some people within the FAA and ATC system who really try to do the right thing but as with all organizations there are politics. If your idea of privatization happens then a completely new set of politics will rule and nothing will ever get done or done correctly.

I know – I have worked for a very large organization for over 32 years and many of the higher ups play the game so they can maintain their position because they enjoy manipulating things. They are not looking for solutions. It’s called “Job Security”, and WHY? Because they can. Plain and simple.

ATC Privatization is wrong and a very bad idea in this instance.

The full interchange is an interesting read, accurately presenting the two sides of the argument. Click on page two for a scrollable PDF created to cleanly present the back-and-forth between these two readers:

A UK Tax-Idea for Discouraging Excessive Flying

Nowadays, if the U.S. Secretary of Transportation or the FAA Administrator are in the same room as a camera, they will auto launch into their standard sales pitch: say good things about FAA, claim they are all for safety, and make more false environmental claims like, “yay, look how ‘green’ aviation is becoming!” Of course, talk is cheap.

If we really cared to reduce the environmental impact of today’s commercial passenger aviation, we would take a tip from a group in the United Kingdom, Below is a JPEG of one of their webpages, showing the brilliant idea they have: a progressive airfare tax, wherein there would be no taxes on your first annual trip, but the tax amount would get larger with each subsequent airline trip. Thus, a shift that informs participants in the airline travel market: if you are a frequent air traveler, you will pay a much larger share of the costs to maintain the ATC system.20150918scp.. Progressive airline ticket tax concept (

The beauty of this idea extends much further. By creating a disincentive against excessive airline travel, this proposal stands to reduce aviation fuel consumption (thus, CO2 emissions) and soot emissions, as well as reduce noise pollution and congestion at crowded hub airports. Many could benefit. Here is another one of their webpages:20150918cpy.. Why is the Frequent Flyer Levy a good idea (
What do YOU think? Should FAA push a new air passenger tax structure such as this? Would it help to mitigate excessive airport noise near your closest airport?

Remarks by Petitioners Nationwide

People are impacted by aviation noise Everywhere!

Click on page two to view some great remarks from Chicago, Milton, Longmont, Santa Monica, Phoenix, Zephyrhills, and even Tetonia, Idaho! Scroll or text-search the name of your town, to see what others are seeing where you live.

Let’s get more petition signatures (and more great remarks!) to help FAA clean up this mess….