Mission

  • Our mission is to promote and protect San Carlos Airport and its flight operations, and to enhance the safety and spirit of general aviation through participation in local community activities.

Background

  • The San Carlos Airport Association (SCAA) has represented pilots and friends of the Airport since our founding in 1986.

Noise Abatement Procedures

  • San Carlos Airport is surrounded by noise sensitive neighborhoods. All pilots are encouraged to follow the noise abatement procedures

Live View of San Carlos Airport (SQL)

San Carlos METAR

  • KSQL 220510Z AUTO 17005KT 10SM CLR 19/14 A3002 RMK AO2

    A METAR describes the current weather at an airport. Click here to learn how to read a METAR.


SQL Notams

  • Click here and enter KSQL in the Locations box to read the Notices to Airmen (Notams) about San Carlos Airport.

ASOS from Half Moon Bay Airport (HAF)

Chapter

Contact

  • Email: webmaster at sancarlosairport.org
  • twitter
  • Our mailing address:
    San Carlos Airport Association
    P.O. Box 1183
    San Carlos, CA 94070
 

SCAA President Quoted in Article about Surf Air


San Carlos Airport Association President Carol Ford is quoted in the following article about the Surf Air problem at San Carlos Airport that appeared in the July 24, 2017 edition of the San Mateo Daily Journal . She points out that SCAA is pleased that the county is focusing on the origin of the controversy, rather than punishing other pilots and commercial operators who have lived in harmony with the community for many years.


Surf Air tests interstate travel with federal agency
County officials contest airline expansion, requests review of airline’s economic status
By Anna Schuessler Daily Journal staff, Jul 24, 2017

As efforts to mitigate the noise coming in and out of the San Carlos Airport proceed, San Mateo County is contesting a newly-formed relationship between Surf Air and its operator, Encompass Aviation, that may make what officials call an unauthorized expansion of flights in and out of the small aircraft, general aviation airport possible.

On July 6, the county filed a letter opposing a June application Encompass Aviation — which the letter states became an operator for Surf Air flights in April — submitted with the Department of Transportation requesting authority to act as a commuter air carrier.

The letter details reasons why Surf Air, as the primary actor in providing flights to its customers after its April change in legal structure, must obtain its own economic authority to operate flights and is using Encompass’ application to fly planes across state lines as an inappropriate proxy for its own operations.

An excerpt from the letter asserts “Surf Air’s entire legal structure seems designed to circumvent direct regulation by [the Department of Transportation], and Encompass is seeking economic authority from [the Department of Transportation] only to facilitate Surf Air’s plan.”

The small-aircraft, members-only airline has drawn the ire of some residents in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The residents have attributed increased noise emanating from the general aviation airport where pilots of small aircraft have historically trained and stored their aircraft to Surf Air, which began routing flights in and out of the San Carlos Airport in 2013.

Measures to stem the effects of Surf Air flights have ramped up in recent years. Among the measures are a cross-jurisdictional working group, including the Federal Aviation Administration, elected officials, San Carlos airport staff and Surf Air representatives responsible for designing a six-month trial from July to January of a flight route directing Surf Air flights in and out of the San Carlos Airport over the Bay instead of Peninsula neighborhoods. The FAA, which is responsible for approving new flight patterns, is in the process of conducting an environmental review of what was called the Bayside Visual Approach.

More recent efforts to identify and mitigate sounds coming from the airport include a federal noise study launched earlier this year and funding San Mateo County supervisors dedicated in June toward an additional communications specialist to ensure pilots understand noise abatement procedures and improving the system used to track flights coming in and out of the airport.

At a May community meeting in Redwood City, county officials told residents some Surf Air pilots have received FAA approval to use the Bayside Visual Approach on days with good weather, but the county has yet to receive a federal update on whether the flight path can be made permanent. They also said recent measures to mitigate the noise had come out of renewed conversations between the county, the San Carlos Airport Association, which represents many pilots using the airport, and Surf Air.

Peter Kirsch, an attorney hired to represent the county in the matter, confirmed the noise mitigation efforts were independent of the letter the county filed against Encompass Aviation’s June request to operate as a commuter air carrier. Though the legal document he helped draft acknowledged Surf Air’s unconventional business model, it asserts the model does not exempt the airline from needing economic authority to provide interstate flight services.

“There’s a lot about Surf Air that is not common,” said Kirsch.

The legal document compares Surf Air’s business and operation model before it formed a relationship with Encompass as an operator of its flights, when it said Surf Air was a “wholly intrastate operator” and “not an ‘air carrier’ as defined by federal law,” meaning the airline was not required to obtain economic authority from the Department of Transportation to operate. The letter also mentions the airline’s June announcement to expand service to Texas through an acquisition of a similarly structured company called Rise and a recent addition of flight offerings to Las Vegas as evidence Surf Air’s operations have crossed state lines, which would require the membership airline to obtain economic authority or exemption from it.

It also states aspects of the company’s relationship with Encompass, such as evidence the company has control over the operator’s schedule as well as the fact the company collects fares from customers as Surf Air and distributes the operator’s share of the profits in a separate transaction, establish the company is a principal in its operations whose authority to operate cannot be granted through its operator.

Surf Air spokeswoman Angela Vargo said in an email the airline is not commenting on the county’s request at this time. Carol Ford, president of the San Carlos Airport Association, said in an email that the county’s request is properly placing the focus on Surf Air’s operations.

“We are pleased that the county is focusing on the origin of the controversy, rather than punishing other pilots and commercial operators who have lived in harmony with the community for many years,” she said.

Ford said the San Carlos Airport has a long history of commercial charter air service without complaints from the community, and though Surf Air was initially slow to respond to community concerns, recent conversations with the airline and its efforts to redirect planes from routes passing over neighborhoods seemed to indicate a more promising direction for the cross-agency efforts to mitigate noise and traffic at the airport.

An update on a federal study of the noise related to the San Carlos Airport will be given at a public information workshop Aug. 2 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road.