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SFO Noise Complaints Skyrocket After Flight Paths Changed

SAN FRANCISCO INT'L AIRPORT (KPIX 5) – Across the Bay Area, many residents feel their peace and quiet has been ruined after flight paths were altered at San Francisco International Airport.

Complaints have skyrocketed as the FAA tries to implement new technology to improve flight times and reduce emissions.

In June of 2014, SFO received 449 complaints about noise by just over 70 residents. This year, that number has soared up to 320,000 by more than 2,100 residents.

Residents are forming community groups like "Save Our Skies East Bay", encouraging each other to speak up about noise complaints.

"I am very near the breaking point," Palo Alto homeowner Amy Christel said.

Christel and fellow neighbor Mary Jo Fremont started a coalition called Sky Posse Palo Alto in an effort to curb the noise.

"I've actually thought about leaving Palo Alto. We've thought about retiring somewhere else which breaks my heart," Fremont said.

The concerns started earlier this year when the FAA started using satellites instead of radar, routing planes more efficiently which also brings some of the aircraft lower. FAA officials said this saves fuel, helps keep flights on time, and curbs emissions.

A group of local officials have been meeting with these community groups upset about the noise. They will be holding a round table discussion to try and come up with solutions in October.

A spokesperson for the FAA says they are well aware of the noise complaints, and in a prepared statement said they were, "reviewing community recommendations for measures that could address area residents' longstanding noise concerns."

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