Thanks to all who responded to our call for support and attended the Board of Supervisors meeting this past Tuesday March 8, 2016 on the topic of noise generated by Surf Air flights approaching San Carlos Airport. Many supporters of the Airport spoke, including members of SCAPA, BASCA (Business Association of San Carlos Airport), and the San Carlos Flight Center. We extend our deepest appreciation to all of you, as well as to those who sent emails and called the Supervisors. They finally heard from our side. More than 40 friends spoke at the meeting and many more sent emails. I especially want to single out Hans Plesman of BASCA, Dan Dyer of San Carlos Flight Center, and Marian Harris of the Half Moon Bay Pilots Association who did an exceptional job of rallying support and turning out speakers. Thanks very much for your help.

Our side was well represented as was that of the opposition. Supporters of the Airport talked about educational opportunities, jobs, economic impact, SQL’s place in the nation’s Air Transportation System, and the freedom of flight that San Carlos Airport provides. Opponents discussed the impact that noise from Surf Air overflights has had on their health. Some people complained of constant noise from Surf Air. Their grievances have been aired at community meetings attended by many people in Atherton.

It’s obvious that their main issue is with Surf Air flying the GPS approach more than 20 times per day in Pilatus PC-12s with gear and flaps extended. The GPS approach ensures that the same households in Atherton, Menlo Park and North Fair Oaks hear that noise every day.

On Monday evening March 7th, after BASCA met with Surf Air representatives, SCAPA Director Rich Newman, former Chair of the San Mateo County Airport Land Use Committee and former Chair of the San Francisco International Airport Community Roundtable, together with SCAPA President Carol Ford, who is also AOPA’s Airport Support Network representative at SQL, and SCAPA Vice President Michael Baum, met with Surf Air. That meeting concluded with Surf Air saying they would consult with their CEO regarding a route change that would facilitate flying VFR up 101 in a quieter configuration. The implementation of this or a similar procedure still needs cooperation from the FAA, which we are facilitating.

The Board of Supervisors, at the conclusion of the meeting on Tuesday, directed staff to proceed with a study of Airport operations and options for draconian procedures to penalize Surf Air, and at the same time, threaten the future of the Airport. The Supervisors commented on their duty to protect the health of the County’s residents and how that is being affected by Surf Air. Several of them said they are not in favor of increased fees, but they did say curfews and other time of flight restrictions would be considered. As we understand it, curfews would mean no takeoffs or landings between certain times such as 8PM to 6AM. Those restrictions would apply to all aircraft other than jets.

The timeline for the study includes a report back to the Board in April with a more refined list of penalties and restrictions. They are also planning community outreach meetings in May which we will all need to attend. They will be conducting a survey of affected residents and will develop an airport noise reduction webpage and are already encouraging the spiking of noise complaints. Staff will report findings to the Board in June, including recommendations for further action.

So, we are not out of the woods by any means. We are ever vigilant about this situation and will let you know the next time we need to show up en masse. We strongly believe that without an agreement between Surf Air and the FAA the long term existence of the Airport is in doubt.

Hang on. We will keep you informed over the next few months.

We look forward to working together with all sides to find an amicable solution

Thanks again for all your help.
Carol Ford, President

[email protected]