Atherton tonight: Community meeting on aircraft noise

Atherton town officials and representatives of the San Carlos Airport and a new private firm whose flights out of that airport have boosted the noise level over Midpeninsula communities will be among those present at a community meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, in Atherton.

The meeting, held in the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park, will begin at 6 p.m.

Area residents, particularly from Atherton and the unincorporated North Fair Oaks community, have complained about a significant increase in aircraft noise resulting from the summer launch of the new Surf Air service, which flies aircraft that are larger and noisier than the typical plane that flies out of San Carlos.

Two other firms fly the same aircraft out of San Carlos -- the Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop, and an airport official says the airport accommodates 15 to 20 PC-12 flights daily. But residents say that Surf Air's daily flights have led to a level of noise that greatly diminishes the quality of life in their community, and the planes' altitude on approach to the airport raises safety concerns.

Atherton Mayor Elizabeth Lewis and Councilman Rick DeGolia have been involved in working with residents and meeting with other officials to address the noise issue; a working group is crafting, at the suggestion of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official, a proposal to create a second flight path into the small, public-use airport that would avoid neighborhoods.

Related story: Surf Air pilots try different strategy to mitigate noise.

Representatives from other jurisdictions, including Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller, are also expected to attend the Dec. 9 meeting.

Holbrook-Palmer Park is at 150 Watkins Ave. in Atherton.

For more information, contact City Manager George Rodericks at 752-0504 or


Like this comment
Posted by Jon
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

"a level of noise that greatly diminishes the quality of life and safety of their communities."

Noise can undeniably diminish the quality of life but I'm not sure how it diminishes safety.

Like this comment
Posted by Renee Batti
associate editor of The Almanac
on Dec 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Renee Batti is a registered user.

Thanks, Jon. Too many balls in the air when I wrote it. But it's fixed now.

Like this comment
Posted by gwen
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Dec 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Disruptive Airplane Noise Over Our Neighborhoods
Sign The Petition

• Your home is under (or near) a flight path that allows noisy aircraft to land at San Carlos Airport (KSQL) at any time of day or night.
• Surf Airlines, a charter members only airline startup, flies over (or near) your home and cur- rently lands 7 times per day. They will have 10 flights each day starting on December 9th.
• Surf Airlines is planning to expand service to more cities that will result in even more flights over our neighborhoods each and every day, including weekends.

A large and growing group of your neighbors are working to solve the noise problem related to Surf Air, and we want you to stay informed, and get involved. Atherton City Council has formed a sub committe to work with residents of Menlo Park, NFO, Atherton, Redwood City, Palo Alto and any other communities interested in helping. The mayors of Atherton and Menlo Park are personally involved and we have additional support from San Mateo County.
Why You Should Care
Excessive noise is not healthy, regardless of whether it occurs from vehicle traffic, leaf blowers or aircraft. In addition, aircraft noise decreases your property value and creates a harsher environment for those that work at home or want to enjoy their back yards. Aircraft flying the exact same route ten times a day poses a higher safety risk for anyone living near the flight path, or attending one of the many nearby schools.
See the map on the for how you may be affected. What You Can Do To Help
It’s easy. Voice your concerns, let your opinions be heard. You can do that by the following:
Sign the petition: Web Link
Call the San Carlos Airport Noise Hotline: 650-573-2666
Join the conversation on Web Link
Attend the upcoming community meeting where representatives from Surf Air, San Carlos Airport, the Mayors from Atherton and Mentlo Park, and residents will discuss the problem.
When: December 9th, 6 to 8 PM
Where: The Pavillion at Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave, Atherton
Get involved. Stay Informed. 11-30-2013

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