Business Jet Traffic, and Related Noise At Livermore Airport

Noise, traffic on agenda for airport
By Bonita Brewer

Residents from western Livermore and eastern Pleasanton will meet Tuesday night to discuss possible increases in business jet traffic, and related noise and safety issues, at the Livermore airport.

The informal meeting centered on a proposed master plan for the Livermore airport will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Rancho Las Positas Elementary School, 401 East Jack London Blvd., Livermore.

“It’s to bring awareness to residents that this Livermore airport master plan has been released and is available for public review,” said Gary Takemura, who lives about a mile east of the airport. “There are concerns we have, and people need to be aware of what’s being planned here.”

The proposed airport master plan will be considered by the city Planning Commission in public hearings set for April 6 and May 4, and by the City Council in June.

It calls for lighting and lengthening the shorter of two runways from 2,700 to 4,000 feet, adding more hangars and leasing space to aviation support businesses catering to a growing number of corporate jet users.

Total annual takeoffs and landings are expected to increase to 370,000 in 2020, up from 257,000 in 2001 and 191,000 last year. Though flight training and recreational use would continue to account for most aircraft operations, the share of use by jets — including those for chartered service — is expected to jump from less than 1 percent to about 5 percent.

Because the extended runway would still be shorter and structurally weaker than the airport’s main 5,255-foot runway, the plan won’t allow for larger, heavier aircraft than it does now, officials said. And they noted that scheduled commercial passenger service would continue to be prohibited.

But many residents are concerned increased overall activity will increase noise and safety hazards.

“If it’s approved, skies above Pleasanton and Dublin and Livermore will be nothing but planes,” contended Tom Hagen, who lives a few miles southwest of the airport in downtown Pleasanton.

Environmental issues involving such things as noise already have been addressed in an environmental impact report adopted with approval of the city’s general plan. However, public comment on a separate environmental study dealing with more focused technical issues relating to actual construction may be submitted until April 8.