Palo Alto

Peninsula Residents Sue FAA Over Noise From Low-Flying Planes

Some Peninsula residents are suing the Federal Aviation Administration over a flight plan that allows planes to fly at lower altitudes in the area.

The change, which went in effect two years ago, has made residents in Portola Valley and Palo Alto frustrated over loud noise from the low-flying jets.

"The noise is so loud," Portola Valley-resident Michael Tennefoss said. "With flaps down and the jets going it actually shakes the house."

Tennefoss has lived in Portola Valley for nearly 25 years and said the last two have been hellish after the FAA began using a next-gen system. The system packs more flights into airspace using satellites instead of old-fashioned radar.

The flights are so low, so loud they shake the house, interrupt business calls and jolt his family from sleep at all hours, Tennefoss said.

"I personally have filed over 3,000 noise complaints," Tennefoss said.

Redwood City- resident Chad Norman is also frustrated with the noise.

"It's like every six minutes there's a big jet that's flying literally right over our house," Norman said.

Peninsula residents suing the FAA said there were no public hearing on the change. In addition, the FAA did not conduct any environmental impact testing, residents said.

Residents in Portola Valley said they do not want to push air traffic over other neighborhoods. They are hoping the lawsuit will prompt the FAA to change the flight plans back over the ocean or the Bay.

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