|San Lorenzo Citizens Fighting Airport Noise|
The following information is digested from the "Annual Evaluation of the Performance-Based Noise Ordinance for Calendar Year 1998" prepared by the manager of the Hayward Airport.
During 1998 there were 157,496 aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings), of which 3,878 occurred at night (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.). This represents a decrease in total operations of about 15 percent from 1997 (185,281 operations).
Also during the year there were 444 complaints from 65 households. Of these, 189 were from one household and 116 from a second household, both in San Lorenzo. The remaining complaints were from three Hayward neighborhoods near the airport (Longwood, Mobile Home Park, and Southgate). If the large numbers of complaints from two households in San Lorenzo in 1997 and 1998 are discounted, the total number of complaints from other San Lorenzo residents decreased from 131 in 1997 to 97 in 1998. In addition, there was a significant drop in the number of households complaining -- from 122 households in 1997 to 65 in 1998. (Editor's note: See remarks concerning the number of 1997 complainants in the summary statistics for 1997.)
Although the most complaints were for noise between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., the percentage of daytime complaints was less in 1998 (68 percent) than in 1997 (81 percent) and 1996 (79 percent). That is, in 1998 the number of complaints of nighttime noise increased significantly.
The types of operations that produced the largest number of complaints were departures (220 complaints or almost half the total) and touch-and-go flying (116 complaints or 26 percent). In contrast, last year touch-and-go flying provoked the largest number of complaints (375 or almost 70 percent of all complaints). Helicopter noise accounted for 26 complaints, the same number as in the previous year.
During 1998 there were 128 exceedances of the maximum noise levels permitted in the Hayward aircraft noise ordinance. This number is greater than in 1997 (103 exceedances). However, as in preceding years, most exceedances (89 or almost 70 percent) were caused by 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.)
Discounting exemptions, 39 exceedances resulted in 19 violations. (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 19 violations, only four were by aircraft based at Hayward, while the remaining 15 were by transient aircraft.