Public Works DepartmentLivermore Airport

2013 Airport Noise & Operations Fact Sheet

Federal Law / Phase-Out of Stage 2 Aircraft

  • Airport managers nationwide are extremely frustrated by the high number of complaints that result from Stage 2 jet operations and have lobbied to affect federal law to phase out those aircraft.  On February 6, 2012, Congress finally approved a multi-year FAA funding bill that included the long-awaited phase-out provision, which stipulates that Stage 2 jet aircraft can no longer operate after December 31, 2015.
  • On February 14, 2012, President Obama signed the "FAA Modernization Reform Act of 2012" which was passed by Congress. This final approved federal legislation prohibits the use of Stage 2 business jets in the contiguous U.S. after December 31, 2015. This ban affects the "noisy jets" that are of concern to the community.
  • Federal law prohibits the City from restricting or regulating airport access to any kind, type or class of aircraft that can safely use the Airport.  So despite that we reach out to pilots with good results, and have a “Voluntary Restraint from Night Flying Policy” in effect, all noise abatement efforts are voluntary in nature. 

    Aircraft Operations

  • 156,505 total 2013 calendar year aircraft operations, compared to 2012 with 136,196 operations.  Operations during 2013 are the sixth lowest in 30 years, and approximately 45% lower than the 282,621 flight operations during the peak year 1993.

Noise Complaints

  • 494 noise complaints were filed, compared to 2012 with 472 complaints.  This continues to compare favorably to our all time high of 1,961 complaints in 2006.
  • 76.3% of the 494 complaints were attributed to jet operations, which represent less than 0.5% of the total operations. 
  • Of the 494 complaints, 69% were filed by Pleasanton, 30% by Livermore, and 1% by Dublin, San Ramon, or Danville residents.
  • 63.8% of the 494 complaints were filed by 1 Pleasanton household
  • 11.5% of the 494 complaints were filed by 2 Livermore households
  • 77.1%, or 381 of the 494 complaints were filed by 4 households
  • 16% or 78 of the 494 complaints were received for operations during the Voluntary Restraint from Night Flying policy time period (10:00 PM to 6:00 AM).

Noise Monitoring Studies

  • During prior Livermore/Pleasanton Liaison meetings it was agreed that periodic noise monitoring studies should be done to benchmark aircraft noise levels and noise contours.
  • In the spring and fall of 2008, Brown-Buntin Associates, Inc. (BBA) performed a noise study and prepared a report.  The City of Pleasanton shared in the cost of the study.  The report concluded that the 60 dBA Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) contour has not reached residential areas in Livermore as anticipated in past projections.  Thus, neither Livermore nor Pleasanton community noise standards were violated.
  • During 2009 and ending in 2010, a comprehensive EIR was prepared for the Airport Rezoning Project.  BBA was engaged to provide a noise assessment and CNEL contours.  The contours included existing conditions and showed that the 60 CNEL contour has not reached any residential areas.  The study affirmed that actual aircraft CNEL levels are far below the 65 dBA CNEL of concern as presented in state and federal regulations (threshold for compatible land use) and Livermore and Pleasanton community noise standards.
  • On March 22, 2010, the Livermore City Council adopted a resolution to establish Airport operational and development policies. Policy 6. states that: “In cooperation with other Tri-Valley Cities, the City will conduct periodic noise monitoring activities, and report these activities to local elected Boards at least once every two years.”
  • On September 13, 2010, the Livermore City Council adopted a joint resolution with the City of Pleasanton that outlined cooperative policies regarding Livermore Airport operations. 
  • Based on the above policy, another noise study was not due until 2012.  However, as long as aircraft operations continue to decline, the Livermore-Pleasanton Liaison Committee may reconsider the study frequency.

Noise Reduction Efforts through Pilot Education/Cooperation

  • Airport staff disseminates Pilot Information Guides that contain noise abatement procedures and the Voluntary Restraint from Night Flying Policy.  All of our flight schools hand out these guides and train students accordingly. 
  • Airport staff is continuously monitoring night flying activities and if such occurs, the aircraft owner/operator will be issued a letter.  We have very few night operations and receive good pilot cooperation. Staff is continuing to educate pilots to avoid overflight of residential areas.
  • The Airport Commission is provided with monthly reports on activities, noise complaints and aircraft operations. The City Council also receives copies.
  • A monthly tenant newsletter is distributed with noise complaint data and reminders to comply with the Voluntary Restraint from Night Flying Policy.