(1) What is the most effective thing we can do?
Sunnyvale has registered many complaints in the past year as they realized that Surf was the cause of much airplane noise over their houses. As such, it may be more effective to email the Supervisors. We have their emails under Act Now > Contact your representatives. Any action will come from them, and they have been dragging their feet.
This website will direct you to the online complaint form. If you have autofill on your browser, you can file multiple reports at one sitting. You will have to complete the specific flight information for each one, but your other information will automatically complete. On the page requesting specific time and airport information, you only need to complete the fields with the red asterisk.
You may keep calling the San Carlos airport noise complaint line. They do keep track. Check the Surf Air schedule on our site at About > Surf Air Schedule to see if the planes you are hearing are likely to be Surf Air planes. The schedule is not 100% accurate but it is close. We have created a summary of the schedule to those planes using San Carlos airport.
(2) Why is this a noise problem now, when the San Carlos Airport has been in existence for many years?
KSQL traffic began to bother residents in late 2013 when Surf Air began operations. Noise complaints have increased as Surf has increased flights from 6 per day to over 40 per day on weekdays. No one is trying to shut down the San Carlos Airport.Lately there have been other operators using the Pilatus, and there have been instances of other charter operations flying late at night or early in the morning. Those actions produce more noise for neighborhoods. To see how complaints dramatically increased when Surf Air arrived, see (Noise & Complaints FAQs).
(3) What is the Bayside approach and what happened to it?
On July 5, 2016 Surf Air began flying an alternate approach as approved by the FAA. Often called the “Bayside” approach, Surf planes flew over Moffett Field and up the bay to the cement plant on Woodside Rd. From there the planes turned toward KSQL. This approach had several conditions before it could be used by the pilot. There was a six month trial. The trial is over and there are no plans currently to bring it back.
(4) What can the County do to close the airport and/or reduce or eliminate the Federal control over airport policies?
When the County accepts Federal funding, they agree to accept various terms and conditions for 20 years. As long as the airline complies with applicable laws, it has a right to use the airport. If KSQL did not accept the FAA money, then it could get rid of Surf Air in 20 years. Once the County stops accepting those federal funds, the 20 period starts to diminish. In 20 years, the County could exert controls over the airport as they deemed prudent and necessary. There are airports that have done this.
(5) We would like to write to our local politicians. Do you have a sample letter?
On this website, under Act Now, Talk to Others, there is a Flyer. Here are some of those comments which are still relevant as Surf Air remains inconsiderate of the noise. Surf Air has negative effects on our quality of life, our health and environment, our real estate values, and our productivity. Surf Air flies from early morning to late at night (10 pm), seven days a week.
Their planes create a “dive-bombing” sense that you feel because these planes fly especially low in their landing approach with landing gear down very early in the process, and because they use a particularly noisy Pilatus aircraft.
We understand that “Scheduled commuter airlines (have) far higher crash rates than major airlines.”(1)As such, aircraft flying the same route multiple times a day pose a higher safety risk for those of us living near the flight path or attending nearby schools.
Surf Air, a private, members-only travel service, has plans to substantially grow its number of flights and continues to received funding to lease additional aircraft.In spite of its adverse impact on residents, Surf Air has increased its flights. In 2013 when Surf began it was 6 flights per weekday, now it is 40. They are growing their business at our expense. We ask your help to stop this southern California commuter airline from abusing our neighborhoods.
(6) What is happening these days on our quest to quiet Surf Air? I haven’t heard anything lately.
The Calmtheskies Residents Working Group is working on all viable paths toward quieter skies. We are working on changing the flight paths, changing the descent angles, delaying gear extensions, installing quieter propellers, etc. There is not a simple quick fix, especially given the resistance from Surf Air.There is a committee – the San Carlos Airport Noise Abatement Group – which consists of representatives of Calmtheskies, County Supervisor Warren Slocum’s office, Atherton City Council, the Surf Air CEO, and others. This group meets irregularly to discuss remedies and actions. Surf Air delays implementing remedies.
(7) I saw the information on the proposed curfew. What is the status?
There will be a Town Hall meeting later this year. It will be important to attend as the airport may again forcefully object to the idea. They have responded negatively in the past to any suggested changes. Hopefully they will agree that the curfew will affect Surf Air with minimal if any affect on other operations. After the Town Hall meeting the Supervisors will either proceed or not.