One of the defining characteristics of life in Sunnyvale is that a certain number of airplanes fly overhead — from jets during Fleet Week to cargo planes flying in and out of Moffett Field to the occasional helicopter police patrol. Sunnyvale is now experiencing an increase in air traffic and airplane noise because of new services offered by companies serving the Silicon Valley’s elite and because of automated flight paths developing through use of the FAA’s NextGen performance based navigation systems.
Two aspects of these changes concern me as a representative of the residents of Sunnyvale.
- The automated systems bringing planes low over Sunnyvale as part of their increasing reliance on NextGen-enabled airports requires Sunnyvale leaders to work with the FAA to ensure no one city bears the brunt of increased automated traffic. Automated systems can be developed in way that doesn’t burden one area more than others.
- The convenience of elite travelers should not rob area residents of peaceful airspace. The FAA has defined measurement procedures and policies for acceptable noise levels. Sunnyvale leaders need to ensure the FAA does its job to make sure noise from low-flying private jets is kept within limits.
When elected, I would work with my Council colleagues, our elected Congressional representatives, FAA personnel, and airport administrators to ensure the airplane owners and operators mitigate noise and impact.