The San Carlos Airport Association commends San Mateo Countyâ€™s recent filing of an opposition to the application of Encompass Aviation to obtain authority from the Department of Transportation to operate as a commuter air carrier at San Carlos Airport and elsewhere.
We applaud this first step in what we hope are many challenges to Surf Airâ€™s and Encompass Aviationâ€™s operations at San Carlos Airport. Further, we commend the County for attacking the true source of the recent public relations problems at San Carlos Airport â€“ Surf Air. The Countyâ€™s opposition to the application is a constructive step. In contrast, the expenditures on a new employee and cameras are boondoggles that will not provide relief from Surf Airâ€™s nuisance.
We hope that the Countyâ€™s effort is successful. We believe that counsel made very effective arguments in favor of the Countyâ€™s position.
The following statement about the Countyâ€™s opposition to Surf Airâ€™s application was issued to the San Mateo Daily Journal on July 21, 2017:
This is the position of San Carlos Airport Association:
This [opposition to the application of Encompass Aviation] properly places the focus on Surf Airâ€™s operations. The fact that flights originate from out of state does not matter. An increase in flights, however, could cause more congestion and cause the Control Tower to divert traffic over San Carlos and Belmont as they did recently for a time, contrary to our longstanding voluntary noise abatement procedures. 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.
San Carlos Airport has a long history of commercial charter air service, with no complaints. Surf Air started something new, and was, at best, slow to respond to community concerns. That said, Surf Air has come to the table during negotiations arranged by our Association, with significant changes in flight paths to remove them from overhead neighborhoods to a great extent. The Countyâ€™s most recent action does not attack the business model. That would require change in FAA regulations, which allow scheduled airline service of 9 passengers or less into reliever airports.