Updated June 16, 2019
My Opinion of Noise Complaints' Effectiveness
using one of SFO's provided methods, such as the online complaint form, calling in, emailing, sending a letter. This comprises less than 3% of complaints received by the SFO Noise Abatement Office. More than 97% of the data received by the NAO comes from the stop.jetnoise app that was created by a citizen for Santa Clara county residents. To read more about the difficulty in SFO's reporting methods, click here. Frankly, the best use for these methods is to put it in your records what you tried to do to stop the noise. Complaints alone will not reduce the noise.
using the stop.jetnoise app for overhead flights, but there's no way to complain about runway noise unless you choose the "speed brakes" option. (The app is not mentioned on the SFO website; people learn about it word-of-mouth.) Keep in mind that the airport does NOT record the number of complaints it receives. It records the number of complainers. And these figures do not reduce the runway noise.
Uniting the community for a "mass action" small claims filing. It's easy, it's been done before, it's inexpensive and, executed in large groups, it can be highly effective.
Click here to begin the first non-committal step.
Click here for the specifics of a 1983 precedent-setting Burlingame vs. SFO small claims case.
Click here for VERY detailed specifics of the 1983 victory.