San Lorenzo Citizens Fighting Airport Noise

Hayward Airport Annual Noise Evaluation
for Calendar Year 1997


The following information is digested from the "Annual Evaluation of the Performance-Based Noise Ordinance for Calendar Year 1997" prepared by the manager of the Hayward Airport.

During 1997 there were 185,281 aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings), of which 4,140 occurred at night (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.). This is a slight increase (0.43 percent) over 1996 (184,496 operations).

Also during the year 540 noise complaints were filed by 122 households. Of these the majority were from two San Lorenzo households: 330 from one household and 49 from a second household. The remaining complaints were filed by three nearby neighborhoods in Hayward (Longwood, Mobile Home Park, and Southgate). The number of complaints and complaining households increased tremendously over 1996, when 167 complaints were received from 77 households. (Editor's note: This was undoubtedly due to efforts in 1997 By San Lorenzo CAAN to educate San Lorenzo residents closest to the airport about noise complaints. Complaints increased dramatically in the four months -- August through November -- following CAAN's effort.)

San Lorenzo residents accounted for 85 percent of complaints while residents of the three neighboring Hayward neighborhoods accounted for five percent. The remaining 10 percent of complaints were from residents not near the airport; many of these complaints were for noise from aircraft not using the Hayward airport. (Editor's note: This more than likely represents the sudden increase in 1997 of east-west cross-overs of commercial jets approaching the Oakland airport. These cross-overs are the result of air traffic controllers at Oakland trying to accomodate increased air traffic by letting aircraft from the north and east "cut in" ahead of aircraft approaching the airport from the normal southerly approach.)

The majority of complaints (81 percent) were for noise between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., consistent with preceding years (79 percent in 1996 and 80 percent in 1995).

Almost 70 percent of complaints (375) were for "touch and go" operations, where aircraft take off and land repeatedly for training. Helicopter noise provoked 26 complaints.

During 1997 there were 103 exceedances of the noise limits established in the Hayward aircraft noise ordinance. However, 74 of the exceedances involved aircraft that are exempt in the ordinance, mostly medical emergency and stage-3 aircraft. ("Stage 3" describes jet aircraft with the latest level of noise-suppression technology.) The total number of exceedances has thus decreased 28 percent since 1996, when 143 exceedances occurred.

Discounting exemptions, only 29 exceedances violated the city ordinance, resulting in 25 violations by 15 separate aircraft. (A single takeoff or landing can produce exceedances at more than one noise monitor, but simultaneous exceedances produced by the same aircraft nevertheless result in a single violation.) Of the 25 violations, six were by aircraft based at Hayward, while the other 19 were caused by 10 transient aircraft.