When it comes to noise, there's not much Pleasanton, Dublin or even the residents of Livermore can do about it. Noise mitigation measures that were put into place at some local and regional Bay Area airports in the 1980s can no longer be imposed. In the 1990s, in a series of moves to strengthen and solidify regulations at theses airports, the federal government ruled that any plane meeting Federal Aviation Administration requirements can land and take off at any airport under FAA supervision, including Livermore. That being the case, the two city councils voted last week to have the Tri-Valley cities jointly lobby their federal representatives to support legislation to phase-out older, noisy jets, which are causing the major problem. Speaking in a coordinated manner, the mayors of the Tri-Valley cities can raise the issue in their annual meetings to federal representatives in Washington, D.C., as well as at national and regional associations they attend.
Both Livermore and Pleasanton could also establish a community forum of airport stakeholders to meet and discuss noise and flyover issues. Hayward's Community Airport Noise Forum meets quarterly and includes residents from San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward and Southgate, a pilots group, helicopter pilots and jet operators. The Aviation Advisory Committee for Buchanan Field in Concord includes residents from Concord, Pleasant Hill, Diablo Valley College, members at large, representatives from the airport and residents from each of the county supervisors' districts. A similar community group for the Livermore Airport could include the Tri-Valley cities, Las Positas College and those from the new developments planned on Staples Ranch, which borders the airport.
Cooperation between Livermore and Pleasanton has come a long way since the days when an outdated 1975 General Plan for the airport contained the possibility of longer runways and other accommodations that could attract more jets. The Livermore council scuttled that plan and its new General Plan amendment tightly controls growth at and around the airport without stifling the benefits for the region it serves.
Airport holding open house
The Livermore Municipal Airport is holding an open house from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow with exhibits, food, entertainment, a display of Livermore-based aircraft, and an aerial performance. The local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association will sign up youngsters 8-17 for rides at a later date.