Woodside Air Traffic

Woodside received aircraft traffic from and to SFO, SJC, and OAK airports, and general aviation from  local airports. Figure 1 shows 24-hour  of aircraft traffic in the MetroPlex area (source:  FAA Initiative - Update 03/04/16.)   Dark blue is SFO traffic, red is SJC traffic,  dark green is OAK, and light green is general aviation.  Woodside is indicated by white boundaries (approximate.) Figure 2 shows aircraft traffic that passed within an 8-km square area ("box") centered over Woodside. The flight paths of the airplanes are shown.

Fig 1: 24-hr Traffic NorCal Metroplex

Fig 2: 24-hr Traffic on March 15 Over Woodside.

The main sources of aircraft traffic over Woodside are shown in Figure 3 and further explained below.

OCEANIC route:  Arrivals from the west to SFO  originating from  Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific countries (e.g., China, Korea, Japan, Philippines.)  They often fly at very low altitudes, routinely violating the Eshoo agreement to fly at or above 8000 feet over the Skyline area (FAA Facility Order NCT 7110.65U).  These are mainly large loud Boeing or Airbus planes, the latter produce a particularly disturbing "whine." Figure 3 shows a 4/13/16  Qanta73 flight at 4,900'-5100' above sea level (MSL) which is about 2630'-2830 above ground level (AGL).

Fig 3: QF73 Low Altitude Over Woodside

Vectoring of REYES/BODGA routes:  Arrivals from the north to SFO originating from  Northern US, Canada, Europe and arrivals from the north from Asia-Pacific countries.

  • Vectoring is the process whereby air traffic controllers (ATCs) decide on the particular flight path of a plane, by giving a series of headings. In Figure 4, the green line shows the  vectored flight path over Woodside.

Fig 4: REYES Vectoring Over Woodside

Delay-vectoring of SERFR  route:  Arrivals from the south to SFO originating from Southern California, US Southwest, Mexico, El Salvador

  • Delay-vectoring is vectoring caused by congestion at the arrival airport, where the plane must make a detour in the flight path until landing is possible.  See Figure 5.

Fig 5: SERFR Vectoring Over Woodside

BRIXX route:  Arrivals from the north to SJC  originating from Northern US.  It is a new post-NextGen route, officially since May 2015, but  may have been fully rolled out later.

SFO and OAK departures to Southern California (e.g., Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas) and the Southwest.  Departures fly at a higher altitudes than arrivals, but they can be as loud as arrivals being on full thrust to rapidly gain altitude. Their sound signature can be several times as long since they are higher, and they echo over multiple ridges in the Woodside-Portolan Valley corridor.