San Lorenzo Citizens Fighting Airport Noise

Hayward Airport Annual Noise Evaluation
for Calendar Year 1999


The following information is digested from the "Annual Evaluation of the Performance-Based Noise Ordinance for Calendar Year 1999" prepared by the manager of the Hayward Executive Airport.

During 1999 there were 190,963 operations (takeoffs and landings), of which 3,378 occurred at night (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.). This represents a 21 percent increase in total operations and a decline of almost 13 percent in nighttime operations since 1998. (Note that total operations in 1998 were much lower than in 1997, so that 1999 total operations are only three percent higher than 1997 operations. At the same time, nighttime operations in 1999 were almost 18.5 percent lower than in 1997, representing a real decline over time.)

Also during the year 695 noise complaints were filed. Of these, 489 were from one household (San Lorenzo), 88 from a second household (San Lorenzo), and 118 from 73 additional households in San Lorenzo and three neighborhoods in Hayward (Longwood, Mobile Home Park, and Southgate). In contrast, in 1998 a total of 444 complaints were received from 65 households. Thus the number of households filing complaints is larger than in 1998.

San Lorenzo residents accounted for 91% of complaints, but this is in part due to the fact that two households in San Lorenzo registered 83 percent (577) of complaints. Each year a few households typically produce the most complaints, and these complainants are usually San Lorenzo residents.

Most complaints (83 percent) were for noise between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., consistent with the years before 1998. (In 1998 the percentage of daytime complaints fell to 68 percent while nighttime complaints increased.) Departing aircraft (not engaged in "touch-and-go" flying) accounted for most complaints (433 or 62 percent), as they did in 1998. (In contrast, in 1997 "touch-and-go" flying accounted for most complaints.) Complaints about helicopter noise increased significantly over the previous year (79 complaints in 1999 versus 26 complaints in 1998).

During 1999 there were 160 exceedances of the noise limits established in the Hayward aircraft noise ordinance. This represents a steady increase of 55 percent over two years (128 exceedances in 1998 and 103 in 1997). However, as in preceding years, the majority of exceedances (121 or 75 percent) were by aircraft that are exempt in the ordinance, largely medical emergency aircraft or "stage-3" aircraft. ("Stage 3" describes jet aircraft with the latest level of noise-suppression technology.)

Discounting the exemptions, 39 exceedances resulted in 31 violations of the city ordinance. (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.) The 31 violations were caused by 24 different aircraft. The overwhelming majority of violations (24) were by aircraft not based at the Hayward airport.