A little over a month ago, Surf Air, the small commuter airline that began flying in and out of the San Carlos Airport in June 2013, announced via a company press release that it planned to expand its local flights, to the consternation of residents and officials who had been pressuring the company to do just the opposite.
Members of the Surf Air working group, made up of local residents and officials, said they had received no advance warning of the announcement. Since the announcement, the group had been trying to meeting with Surf Air CEO Jeff Potter.
The group's members finally got that meeting on May 13, and the news was not good. Mr. Potter confirmed after the meeting that Surf Air is increasing the number of planes flying in and out of San Carlos from eight to 11, with flights increasing to 106 per week from 79 per week.
The working group was formed not long after the airline began using the San Carlos Airport. Those who live under the airline's flight path, especially those in Atherton's Lindenwood neighborhood and in North Fair Oaks, said the noise is unbearable.
"Sunday afternoon it sounds like I live under SFO pathways," said Gwen Books of North Fair Oaks and a member of the working group.
A Change.org petition asking the airline to stop using the San Carlos Airport or change its route has 672 signatures.
Several of those at the May 13 meeting said Mr. Potter had told them there were going to be cuts in the number of flights from San Carlos. "He indicated that they are reducing some flights in San Carlos," said Elizabeth Lewis, one of two Atherton City Council members on the committee.
It turns out, however, that those cuts were only a small reduction in the increase that had been planned. On April 13 the company had announced plans for 31 new flights per week. The current plan, which Mr. Potter said could change at any time, is to add 27 flights a week.
Once the changes are implemented, with the first additional flights starting on June 29, according to Mr. Potter, the San Carlos Airport will have 18 Surf Air flights arriving each day from Mondays through Thursdays, 19 on Fridays, five on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays. According to the schedule provided by Mr. Potter, flights arrive between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Sundays.
The working group members include neighbors, San Carlos Airport officials, county supervisors, a regional liaison for airport noise, and a Surf Air representative.
The working group continues to look for ammunition to fight Surf Air. In order to better know just how much noise the Surf Air planes are making, San Mateo County recently placed a sophisticated noise monitor in an Atherton backyard for 24 hours, Ms. Lewis said. A meeting with Federal Aviation Administration officials is also planned, and one topic is whether the county has any ability to restrict noise from the Surf Air planes.