FAA Statements about DAVYJ

Below is a list of moments that mattered from the FAA meeting of 9/1.

1. On the topic of DAVYJ vs. “Fix in Place” (FIP)   [1:18]

Committee member Gary Waldeck is asking whether FIP (“Fix in Place”) will be equivalent to DAVYJ in terms of noise impact.

The FAA’s response is: “DAVYJ has a lower noise impact than FIP”, referring to the modeled noise contours for both cases.

This is beyond the fact that DAVYJ follows the historical route, and the fact that DAVYJ avoids high elevation communities (which is different than just flying over lower elevation terrain) – both of which were acknowledged in earlier meetings.

Based on this, unequivocally, FIP should be off the table. Compared with DAVYJ, it offers nothing.

2. On the topic of moving MENLO   [2:19]

Committee member Larry Moody is asking about alternate routings of SERFR near waypoint MENLO

The FAA’s response is: If you move MENLO, you’re simply moving the flight route over other people. If you do that, you’re just creating a new problem for us to solve and setting us up for another round of Select Committee a year from now…

That’s pretty clear. There is no way to move MENLO without shifting the traffic onto other people.

3. On the topic of OPD’s noise levels   [0:24]

Committee alternate George Purnell is asking whether OPD is quieter than conventional approaches due to it being tailored to each plane type.

The FAA’s response: “Yes” – quick and simple.

To emphasize again – there’s a huge difference between a plane that’s thrusting and a plane that’s gliding at idle power. OPD maximizes gliding.

4. On the topic of DAVYJ vs. BIG SUR   [1:16]

FAA Regional Administrator Glen Martin explaining how DAVYJ would be similar to the old BIG SUR track, and why it would be a little noisier over waypoint MENLO.

Elsewhere, Glen explains that DAVYJ, like SERFR, and like all other solutions on the table, behave identically over MENLO. In a follow up inquiry, however, we were told that the noise increase was “a worst-case estimate”, using some pretty extreme conditions. (This last information was relayed through SFO Noise Abatement.) A simple altitude loss from 5000′ to 4000′ would only cause an increase of 2 dB, which is barely noticeable.

5. On the topic of DAVYJ vs. BIG SUR   [0:40]

Committee alternate Donna Lind is asking: “Will DAVYJ have similar noise levels to BIG SUR as it was flown a year and a half ago?”

The FAA’s response: “As we show in Slide #5, this is what we project.”

Therefore, fears that DAVYJ will be “moving SERFR noise” are based on misinformation.

6. On the topic of BIG SUR vs. SERFR vectoring   [1:24]

This is a quick comparison of the vectored portion of BIG SUR and SERFR, and it shows a pretty similar picture, with perhaps a small difference in altitude over the Santa Cruz mountains, consistent with the reduction in altitude we’ve seen with SERFR.

According to that slide, vectored traffic was already aiming for 4000′ at MENLO, even before NextGen.

This slide agrees with our observations, that SERFR vectoring patterns haven’t changed, with the exception that they originate from a flight track (SERFR) that is 2-4 miles to the south.

7. On the topic of “Why can’t the FAA pick the Route”   [3:02]

Committee member Dave Pine is asking: “Why can’t the FAA just pick the route the results in the least noise impact?”

The FAA’s response: “Because even you can’t tell us what “least impact” means….”

Interestingly, towards the end there, Chairman Simitian seems to briefly get it too, and back-paddles away from TPA. (Which did not prevent him from pursuing item 2.5r2, but that’s a separate matter)

8. On the topic of “What constitutes a consensus”   [3:13]

Chairman Simitian and Councilmember Don Lane discuss the definition, and then a vote is taken: “8 votes out of 12, provided at least 1 vote is from each county.”

This is a pretty clear definition and vote, taken at the first work meeting, in anticipation of the less-then-ideal eventuality where there isn’t a unanimous vote on a decision.

9. The Actual Vote   [0:59]

The Select Committee votes on an explicit return to the BSR route, plus additional criteria.

8:4, with one vote from each county.

The aggregate sum of these statements make it absolutely clear that DAVYJ is the closest thing we can have to a full return to BIG SUR.

Therefore, the logical thing to do is to put DAVYJ on the short to-do list, and turn our attention to things that are not yet addressed by it, including making improvements to MENLO.

Regrettably, instead, we’re running into a “No to DAVYJ” campaign by SLV and Sky Posse.

There are three weeks remaining till the next SC meeting – enough time for the Sky Posse to change course, support DAVYJ, and focus on MENLO and other open items.

If the Sky Posse continues to spend all their energy on non-starters and on attacking DAVYJ, and we spend all of ours on defending DAVYJ, MENLO issues will not be addressed, and the outcome will be regrettable.