During inclement weather conditions or when the wind direction in the Bay Area is from the southeast the Oakland International Airport may operate in the Southeast Plan, a reverse air traffic flow which may cause abnormal aircraft noise events.
Following are some general guidelines and techniques to minimize the noise impact produced by aircraft operating near the ground.
The OAK Noise Management Program encourages all corporate pilots to depart from Runway 30.
If practical, avoid noise-sensitive areas such as residential areas, open-air assemblies (e.g., sporting events and concerts), and national park areas.
Consider using a reduced power setting if flight must be low due to cloud cover or overlying controlled airspace or when approaching the airport of destination. Propellers generate more noise than engines; flying with the lowest practical rpm setting the aircraft’s noise level substantially.
Perform stalls, spins, and other practice maneuvers over uninhabited terrain.
Many airports have established specific noise abatement procedures. Familiarize yourself and comply with these procedures.
To contain aircraft noise within airport boundaries, avoid performing engine runups at the ends of runways near housing developments.
Gain altitude as quickly as possible upon takeoff without compromising safety. Begin takeoffs at the start of a runway, not at an intersection.
Retract the landing gear either as soon as a landing straight ahead on the runway can no longer be accomplished or as soon as the aircraft achieves a positive rate of climb. If practical, maintain best-angle-of-climb airspeed until reaching 50 feet or an altitude that provides clearance from terrain or obstacles, then accelerate to best-rate-of-climb airspeed. If consistent with safety, make the first power reduction at 500 feet.
Fly a tight landing pattern to keep noise as close to the airport as possible. Practice descent to the runway at low power settings and with as few power changes as possible.
If a PAPI or other visual approach guidance system is available, use it. These devices will indicate a safe glidepath and allow a smooth, quiet descent to the runway.
If possible, do not adjust the propeller control for flat pitch on the downwind leg; instead, wait until short final. This practice not only provides a quieter approach, but also reduces stress on the engine and propeller governor.
Avoid low-level, high-power approaches, which not only create high noise impacts, but also limit options in the event of engine failure.
Flying between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. should be avoided whenever possible. (Most aircraft noise complaints are registered by residents whose sleep has been disturbed by noisy, low-flying aircraft.)
Note: These recommendations are general in nature; some may not be advisable for every aircraft in every situation. No noise reduction procedure should be allowed to compromise safety.