The following update is from SFO Abatement Program:

 

I wanted to give you an update of things that we have been doing in the last two weeks and where we are headed based on items from our TRACON visit from March 30th.

 

We met with Virgin America and tried to coordinate with Oakland Center regarding the possibility of offloading the PORTE THREE departure to other routes. Virgin America’s Chief Pilot Rob Bendall and Director of Operational Control Brad Lambert met at the SFO Noise Abatement Office last week to discuss the possibility of differing departure routes, but the Oakland Center staff ended up being called into a Federal Aviation Administration meeting that he was here for earlier than planned and was only able to inform me briefly before going in that my initial suggestion of the LINDEN route for Las Vegas traffic would not be possible due to traffic further out. I have requested another meeting for myself at Oakland Center with our data to see if there are any other options for flights headed further east rather than those headed south.

 

Per request from our meeting I did discuss the possibility of sequencing departures using the PORTE THREE departure out of SFO on Runway 01L with our Tower staff and have found that we could end up causing departure delays that would hinder operations at SFO and possibly the National Airspace System. We will have to look deeper into this on an individual hour-of-the-day basis to see if there are times of day that could support sequencing without causing delays and still provide the relief that Brisbane is seeking. I plan on looking at our data by hour and then going back to the Tower staff to see if there are any options for us in sequencing without causing delays.

 

The TRACON has begun briefing the staff on the issue of early turns over the peninsula and we are seeing a slight change on some days and no change on others. We will be observing this for further development as the information is disseminated at the TRACON.

 

As you all herd at the meeting Virgin America is willing to change their noise abatement departure procedure on the PORTE THREE departure from their standard climb to 1,500 feet on departure heading 350° and then accelerating, to climbing to 3,000 feet on departure heading 350° then accelerating and not turning left until after attaining 3,000 feet. We are in the process of trying to get the other airlines to buy in on this noise abatement departure procedure for the PORTE THREE departure. In discussing this with our other airlines they are asking for some time to run it through their Operations and Standards departments to be sure that there are no problems with this type of operation and their aircraft fleet. The difference here is that most of our other carriers operate a variety of aircraft while Virgin America is operating basically one aircraft type.  While the others are reviewing this change Virgin America is willing to quickly put this into place once we have noise monitors free to measure the success of this departure procedure. We currently have three monitors deployed measuring a project in southern San Mateo County and plan to retrieve them in two weeks. We will then redeploy two of them to the Solano and Mission Blue locations used previously where we will collect the data against this noise abatement departure procedure to see if the change is able to make a difference without adversely affecting traffic for the TRACON as we and Virgin America believe that it will.