Thursday, June 2, 2016

New FAA flight paths bombard Pacifica with noise

Updated 4:00 am, Thursday, June 2, 2016
It's 1:15 in the morning. You are deep in REM sleep when the roar of turbine engines jolts you awake.

As you lie there trying to fall back to sleep, a rumble rises in the distance, snowballing into another crescendo of sound that overwhelms your earplugs and double-paned windows. A few minutes later, a third jet soars overhead. Then another and another, a total of six in less than 45 minutes.

Pacifica used to be known for two things: fog and quiet. It's still known for fog.

Fifteen years ago, plane fly-overs were common, but infrequent enough that they didn't bother most residents. Today, a virtual conga line of airplanes parades overhead — 200 to 250 per day.

Old flight paths

New flight paths

Nights of sleep deprivation have become the new normal for parts of Pacifica, according to about 30 residents attending a meeting on aircraft noise last month in the city's Council Chambers. Many complained about the racket, some reporting suffering physical and mental problems.

"We've all had problems with sleep," said Park Pacifica resident Janice Weeks, who serves on the city's airport noise advisory board.

Robert Farrow of the city's Fairmont West neighborhood says the planes — as low as 1,200 feet — practically buzz his house every morning at breakfast.

"I could serve coffee to the pilots," he said.


Posted by Steve Sinai

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