Congresswoman takes survey on SFO airplane noise following recent complaints

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Congresswoman Anna Eshoo wants to hear your thoughts on airplane noise. She's taking a survey, following a series of complaints.

Residents in the flight path of SFO say things have gotten dramatically worse. She plans on presenting the findings to the FAA.

A total of 218 airplanes fly over Amy Christel's Palo Alto house each day, interrupting her sleep and disrupting the peace.

"Every minute to two minutes you hear another one," says Christel.

This didn't used to be the case. But a new flight system at SFO called NextGen has changed how planes approach the airport. The planes are apparently flying in narrow corridors now and at much lower altitudes to allow for a continuous descent.

"I think NextGen is a big part of it. They're concentrating the flights, narrowing the paths, flying lower," says Lee Christel.

"So what used to be fanned out over the entire Peninsula has now been narrowed into these three flight paths that converge over Palo Alto," says Amy Christel.

U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo has taken notice and says the problem really spans the length of her district.

She's asking her constituents to weigh in, by taking a survey. In the first 24 hours it's been online, she's received 1,200 responses.

"I'm proud of my constituents and I'm grateful to them because this is going to help advance the case to make the changes," says Rep. Eshoo.

She plans to present the information to the FAA at a series of community meetings.

The Christels hope this is a turning point. They're part of a community group called Sky Posse Palo Alto that's been trying to draw attention to the problem.

"We're very happy Congresswoman Eshoo has taken this up and we're hopeful some progress can be made," says Lee Christel.

They say it's a noise problem the Peninsula should share equally.

"I feel that if they can take it back to where it was two or three years ago, that's some relief. And then they really need to talk about how to better implement the next generation of air travel," says Amy Christel.

The first of several meetings to discuss the issue is set for July 24th with someone from the FAA and community representatives invited to attend.