News

City awaits final noise complaint data as it considers Kaiserair expansion

Livermore airport terminal building. (Courtesy image)

The data for what's called "single event noise" events, sound that is generated in a short time period likely by a single aircraft, is useful because such events are the source of most complaints reported by residents, many of whom are concerned about a pending expansion request from KaiserAir.

KaiserAir, which operates out of Oakland and Santa Rosa, wants to add a 45-acre maintenance facility that would bring three Boeing 737s and other charter aircraft to Livermore. The company estimates about 100 737 flights would occur annually.

When completed, the facility would include a 6.5-acre concrete apron, offices, a terminal, hangar space, maintenance service facilities, a self-fueling station, and fuel storage facilities. KaiserAir states that it plans to store and service aircraft used for charter flights out of Oakland and Sonoma County airports. The expansion would provide the city of Livermore with $300,000 in tax revenue and $150,000 each to Livermore and Pleasanton school districts.

The number of flights at Livermore Municipal Airport was down in 2020, but jumped up in the first part of 2021, with the six-month tally increasing by 16 percent over 2019 operations. The city of Pleasanton said more flights appear to violate the voluntary guidelines Livermore adopted to restrict night flying and recommended flight paths. The city of Pleasanton has received more than 85 emails and a petition with more than 6,000 signatures concerning such violations.

Residents increasingly report disturbances from jet traffic, which also accounts for more than 60 percent of complaints received by airport staff. While some may attribute these concerns to more residents working from home during the pandemic, many of the concerns appear to be from flights during nights and weekends.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

KaiserAir has committed to adhering to the airport's voluntary night flight restrictions, and it promises to help mitigate noise impacts.

The proposal requires review by three different Livermore government bodies. The Livermore Airport Commission reviewed the project on Feb. 8, 2021 and voted to recommend approval to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will review the project for compliance with city standards and land use policies. The project must also go to the Livermore City Council for review and consideration of the lease to KaiserAir.

The airport has long been a source of tension between the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore. A report about the issue posted on Pleasanton's website discussed the noise issues, the expansion and what the city says has been a lack of follow-through when it comes to honoring airport partnership commitments made by both City Councils in 2010.

That report also critiqued the airport's "lack of adherence to voluntary nighttime-noise abatement and flight-path programs adopted with good intent by Livermore, including more robust follow-up with city of Pleasanton residents regarding registered noise complaints."

Because KaiserAir's proposal would provide 162,000 square feet of additional hanger complex space, Pleasanton is concerned more than three 737s will use the facility, so Pleasanton is asking Livermore to provide an environmental impact analysis of the project and to offer potential mitigations under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Pleasanton also is asking that the two cities resume quarterly meetings of the Livermore/Pleasanton Liaison Committee to improve communications and to promote mutual understanding of airport operations.

The next meeting of the Livermore Airport Commission is scheduled for noon Jan. 10.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Looking for more Livermore stories? The Livermore Vine will be your new source of vital news and information. Sign up to be among the first to get our daily local news headlines sent to your inbox for free.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important city government news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

City awaits final noise complaint data as it considers Kaiserair expansion

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Dec 31, 2021, 10:59 am
Updated: Sun, Jan 2, 2022, 6:17 pm

The data for what's called "single event noise" events, sound that is generated in a short time period likely by a single aircraft, is useful because such events are the source of most complaints reported by residents, many of whom are concerned about a pending expansion request from KaiserAir.

KaiserAir, which operates out of Oakland and Santa Rosa, wants to add a 45-acre maintenance facility that would bring three Boeing 737s and other charter aircraft to Livermore. The company estimates about 100 737 flights would occur annually.

When completed, the facility would include a 6.5-acre concrete apron, offices, a terminal, hangar space, maintenance service facilities, a self-fueling station, and fuel storage facilities. KaiserAir states that it plans to store and service aircraft used for charter flights out of Oakland and Sonoma County airports. The expansion would provide the city of Livermore with $300,000 in tax revenue and $150,000 each to Livermore and Pleasanton school districts.

The number of flights at Livermore Municipal Airport was down in 2020, but jumped up in the first part of 2021, with the six-month tally increasing by 16 percent over 2019 operations. The city of Pleasanton said more flights appear to violate the voluntary guidelines Livermore adopted to restrict night flying and recommended flight paths. The city of Pleasanton has received more than 85 emails and a petition with more than 6,000 signatures concerning such violations.

Residents increasingly report disturbances from jet traffic, which also accounts for more than 60 percent of complaints received by airport staff. While some may attribute these concerns to more residents working from home during the pandemic, many of the concerns appear to be from flights during nights and weekends.

KaiserAir has committed to adhering to the airport's voluntary night flight restrictions, and it promises to help mitigate noise impacts.

The proposal requires review by three different Livermore government bodies. The Livermore Airport Commission reviewed the project on Feb. 8, 2021 and voted to recommend approval to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will review the project for compliance with city standards and land use policies. The project must also go to the Livermore City Council for review and consideration of the lease to KaiserAir.

The airport has long been a source of tension between the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore. A report about the issue posted on Pleasanton's website discussed the noise issues, the expansion and what the city says has been a lack of follow-through when it comes to honoring airport partnership commitments made by both City Councils in 2010.

That report also critiqued the airport's "lack of adherence to voluntary nighttime-noise abatement and flight-path programs adopted with good intent by Livermore, including more robust follow-up with city of Pleasanton residents regarding registered noise complaints."

Because KaiserAir's proposal would provide 162,000 square feet of additional hanger complex space, Pleasanton is concerned more than three 737s will use the facility, so Pleasanton is asking Livermore to provide an environmental impact analysis of the project and to offer potential mitigations under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Pleasanton also is asking that the two cities resume quarterly meetings of the Livermore/Pleasanton Liaison Committee to improve communications and to promote mutual understanding of airport operations.

The next meeting of the Livermore Airport Commission is scheduled for noon Jan. 10.

Comments

Longtime Resident
Registered user
Harvest Park Middle School
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:54 am
Longtime Resident, Harvest Park Middle School
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:54 am

The article doesn't make clear that the runway isn't long enough to support loaded 737s under current safety guidelines and there's no way anyone is going to go through the hoops and millions of dollars it takes to extend the runway, destroy one part of the gold course, and reroute both flood drainage and Jack London Blvd. to do so. It only can support unloaded craft which makes it extremely doubtful that "more than three" 737s are going to be using the airport. Please educate your readers better.


Franco
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:56 am
Franco, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:56 am

I would like to point out the erroneous use of the words "restrict" and "restrictions" in this article which is misleading. For example, "voluntary guidelines Livermore adopted to RESTRICT night flying and recommended flight paths". Also "airport's voluntary night flight RESTRICTIONS". This language leads to a statement like " airport's "lack of adherence to voluntary nighttime-noise abatement and flight-path programs". These are POLICIES, not restrictions. The airport has NO AUTHORITY to RESTRICT the pilots who use the facility to follow particular flight paths or fly only during daylight hours. Only the FAA has authority to regulate something like this, which they will never do. In fact the statement "voluntary guidelines...adopted to restrict" is a non sequitur in itself. The airport actually acts in good faith by contacting offending pilots and badgering them to comply with the POLICY. This, admittedly, only works to reduce the problem of noise and/or night flying, not eliminate it. There are over 5200 public airports in the U. S. and noise complaints are perhaps the single most item of concern regarding them. For FAA's view of the issue go see: Web Link


Franco
Registered user
Vineyard Hills
on Jan 3, 2022 at 10:24 am
Franco, Vineyard Hills
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 10:24 am

I would like to reinforce Longtime Resident's point regarding runway length. The 737-300 is never going to be operated in and out of LVK loaded with passengers and full fuel. The 5000 foot long runway is too short. It is sufficient for relatively empty 737-300s to come and go. Something like at least 8000 feet is needed. One can arrive at such a conclusion by analyzing the graphs in Boeing's "737 Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning" document. Longtime Resident also points out the hurdles if the runway were to be extended. A 3000 foot extension would put the end of the runway just hundreds of feet short of the shopping center, leaving no room for a runway overrun area.


Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Jan 3, 2022 at 11:06 am
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 11:06 am

Kaiser professes to want to move it's repair shop from Oakland to Livermore which by default means a new engine run-up "hush-house" where repairs can be tested. The environmental impact report for Oakland, CA "hush-house" Web Link indicated a 2 mile radius area of consideration for their 2014 report. This radius would seem somewhat inadequate for Livermore because of our hilly surroundings... the higher your home, the more noise that will reach you from the hush-house.

NEVER THE LESS

Drawing a similar radius on any location at the proposed development site for Kaiser Air at Livermore Air Port, forms a 2 mile radius arch that starts at (1) The Isabelle overpass across US580, continuing clockwise down through (2) May Nissen Park (3) on to about Concannon Blvd intersection with Isabelle Ave (4) clockwise, on around south of the gravel pits to included Vineyard Ave in Pleasanton, then (5) arcing rather intrusively into the expensive multi-story retirement development east end of Pleasanton, (6) continues clockwise jumping over US580 then (7) Covering portions of the east Dublin housing and (8) all of the Shea Housing Development, ending back at the Isabelle overpass at US 580.

City Voting Districts 1 and 4 will be impact the most if the 2 mile impact radius is used. A number of noise complaints continue to be filed at the Oakland Airport.


Jan Batcheller
Registered user
Downtown
on Jan 3, 2022 at 12:13 pm
Jan Batcheller, Downtown
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 12:13 pm

The frequency and amount of noise generated by the Livermore Airport pales in comparison to the noise generated by the trains crossing through Pleasanton's residential area. Trains pass through at all hours and must blow their horns because the City of Pleasanton hasn't installed special gates that allow trains to pass without blowing their horns. I hope the City Council prioritizes which noise is worst and takes care of train noise before causing friction with our neighbor, Livermore.


Franco
Registered user
Vineyard Hills
on Jan 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm
Franco, Vineyard Hills
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Jet engine noise is very anisotropic, that is, does not radiate uniformly in all directions. It is loudest in the direction directly rearwards of the engine and dramatically less so in all other quadrants. So the analysis by the poster is more scare than reality. We live above the valley floor exactly 2 miles south of the airport (for 29 years) and never hear the jets departing the airport. And how often will Kaiser be doing run-ups? Likely not often. (BTW, we do hear the trains on a regular basis and when the inversion layer in winter is present we can hear the traffic on I-580 a full 2 miles away. And that noise is continuous until the layer dissipates.)


Cathy Malone
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 3, 2022 at 2:18 pm
Cathy Malone, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 2:18 pm

Regular Passenger 737s would not be allowed to land or take off BUT other charter aircraft is also a problem. The noise and pollution generated by 10-12 daily charter jet flights using the airport (Embraer Phenom 300, Gulfstream G280, Gulfstream G200 Galaxy, Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel, Lear Jet 40)is excessive. Takeoff and landing paths are typically over Meadows Park, often as low as 800 feet. Google these jets and see if you would want them flying over your neighborhoods every day.


Franco
Registered user
Vineyard Hills
on Jan 3, 2022 at 5:20 pm
Franco, Vineyard Hills
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 5:20 pm

I am very familiar with the jets that have been cited, and mostly during business days perhaps up to dozen come and go as stated. They are particularly less noisy that the 737-300 would be since they are much smaller and total engine power is much less (therefore less noise). A G280 is 1/3rd the weight of a 737-300. I see these types of traffic at LVK with my ADS-B monitor - for example, Costco's G280 comes on most days, stays for awhile, then departs back to Issaquah. There is a G550 (N333DS) that comes often and is double the weight of the Costo jet. All of these corporate jets mentioned since 2013 meet FAA Stage 3 noise requirements and therefore are much quieter than previous aircraft. I think it is somewhat arguable whether they are "often at 800 feet" over Meadows Park is accurate, or really, that it some times happens. The jets being spoken about will on departure typically accelerate to about 150 knots and climb at a rate of least 2000 ft/minute, usually more. Meadows Park is 1.4 nautical miles from the airport lift off point. This angle of climb will put the aircraft at an altitude at LEAST at 900 feet, usually higher since for noise abatement purposes most pilots will actuate a higher rate of climb than 2000 ft/minute. Now Meadows Park is at the eastern edge of Pleasanton Meadows and as the aircraft approaches overhead this eastern edge it is usually turning away toward the north, away from overflying the full residential area since it is following the Livermore Three ODP, which is a standard instrument departure.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 3, 2022 at 8:29 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 8:29 pm

The airport is out of control - I’ve been calling daily to report jets flying too low and too loud - over an elementary school no less . If we’ve learned anything these past two years it’s been you can’t be too safe. Even the risk of an occurrence is too much to approve any expansion.


Longtime Resident
Registered user
Harvest Park Middle School
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:11 pm
Longtime Resident, Harvest Park Middle School
Registered user
on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:11 pm

Such melodrama. Why should anyone take your opinion seriously?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.