News


County will look into San Carlos Airport noise problems

Supervisors approve subcommittee

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley says that the county employees trying to run the San Carlos airport have been spending so much of their time dealing with complaints about noisy aircraft that they are finding it hard to get any other work done. "It's a very serious issue for them," he said.

In an attempt to find out if there is anything that can be done to ease the problems, the county's Board of Supervisors approved on Sept. 22 a subcommittee to "assess and develop solutions to address the impact of increased air traffic at the San Carlos Airport."

Supervisor Horsley and Supervisor Warren Slocum, whose districts are both under the airport's flight path, will be on the subcommittee.

Supervisor Horsley in his proposal also asked for the subcommittee to "contact and work with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop solutions to address air traffic impacts and to review capital planning at the airport."

Atherton Vice Mayor Elizabeth Lewis, who has been on a working group meeting with Surf Air for the past two years, thanked the supervisors for agreeing to work on the problems caused by the airport traffic.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation today" to the board for agreeing to form the subcommittee and working "to develop solutions to the ever growing impact of air traffic," Ms. Lewis said. She said she hopes the county will "work with the FAA and the San Carlos Airport to bring peace over our skies and help solve these issues."

Just how bad the problem has become was pointed out to the supervisors by North Fair Oaks resident Adam Ullman. He said that figures show that in 2013, there were 219 flights going over north Atherton and his neighborhood. Today there are 834 flights "from 6 in the morning until after 11 o'clock at night," he said. "The issue is getting worse and worse," he said.

After the meeting Mr. Ullman said the numbers are for total flights arriving at the San Carlos Airport flying over north Atherton for one month, May, of 2013 and of 2015.

Mr. Ullman said that while "the FAA has made it very clear that noise is up to the local counties and municipalities to deal with," the county currently only has a voluntary noise policy that clearly is not working.

"We need you to do more," he said. "We need you to protect us."

The subcommittee will try to figure out, Supervisor Horsley said, "what authority do we have – what can we do?"

The subcommittee will probably spend some time with attorneys and other experts who have experience dealing with the FAA and aviation law, Mr. Horsley said. "This is something that our county counsel doesn't deal with on a regular basis," he said.

The complaints have been increasing as Surf Air, a small commuter airline that began flying in and out of the San Carlos Airport in June 2013, has steadily increased its San Carlos flights.

Surf Air, which charges a monthly fee for "all-you-can-fly" use, now has 115 scheduled weekly round-trip flights that use the San Carlos Airport – 20 round-trips each weekday, five on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays. The airline recently announced it has doubled its membership in the past nine months and will be buying more planes.

Surf Air's flight path goes directly over Palo Alto, Atherton and North Fair Oaks as it approaches the San Carlos Airport, and residents in that flight path say the Surf Air's turboprop planes are even noisier than jets.

Atherton officials and county residents have been pushing the county to do more about the noise issue since soon after Surf Air began operating from the San Carlos Airport.

The latest request came in a Sept. 11 letter from the Atherton City Council demanding action on the airport noise issue. The letter, addressed to Tom Madalena, who is in charge of airport land use planning for the City/County Association of Governments, said there is "a devastating disconnect between San Carlos Airport Operations and the health, safety and welfare of the impacted communities."

The letter asked the airport and the Board of Supervisors to "take immediate and proactive steps to limit and mitigate the expansion impacts of the airport operations on the surrounding communities." The letter also asks that the supervisors hold a public meeting "to hear and take action on this issue."

"It is time that the County Board of Supervisors stand with its citizenry to address the issue," the letter says.

Comments

4 people like this
Posted by MPcentral
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 22, 2015 at 1:22 pm

So surf air added 115 flights to the 219 flights = 334. Yet the article states there are now 834 fights. Why are we picking on surf air when the bulk (500!) of the new flights are coming from private planes?


3 people like this
Posted by MPcentral
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

rereading this what time frame is Mr Ullman referring to?

"North Fair Oaks resident Adam Ullman. He said that figures show that in 2013, there were 219 flights going over north Atherton and his neighborhood. Today there are 834 flights "from 6 in the morning until after 11 o'clock at night," he said. "The issue is getting worse and worse," he said."

Is this 834 flights a day, week, month or year?? Are these flights going to only to San Carlos or is it a combination of San Carlos and SFO? The article is not clear.


2 people like this
Posted by Andy C
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The "834 Flights" figure is very likely for the area, not just the San Carlos airport. We are not "picking" on SurfAir but they are the ones that are flying low over our communities with very noisy planes. If there was another operator flying low, noisy planes, they would be getting complaints too. There are small jets that fly into the San Carlos Airport and they are so much quieter! Why do they have to fly so low? Why do they have to go right over our houses when there never used to be small planes flying directly over us? I applaud the Supervisors for finally acting on this. Let' just hope now that it is a sincere effort and not a way to push this issue aside.


6 people like this
Posted by MPCentral
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm

If Surf Air is the only one's flying over North Fair Oaks and making noise, why is Mr. Ullman citing data for all flights coming into SFO or San Carlos? Could he and Ms. Wood (the Author) present the data in a way that is actionable rather than sensational.

The noise that is being complained about amounts to 1 flight per hour on weekdays, one ever 4.5 hours on Saturday and one ever 2.5 hours on Sunday.

Why they need to fly so low? Ask the FAA.

As far a noise goes in the area, the train makes way more. There are several per hour everyday and freight trains at night. Both Atherton and MP have blocked efforts to electrify the system and ad grade separations. Both of which would reduce noise and increase safety.

So train noise is fine, airplane noise is not? Why?


6 people like this
Posted by matt
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Sep 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

We are all very lucky to live in an area with so few real problems that our public officials have nothing better to do with their time. Let's hope their pandering and meddling doesn't drive away fledgling startups such as Surf Air. That would be a real shame.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The subcommittee will try to figure out, Supervisor Horsley said, "what authority do we have – what can we do?"


Their first step should be to contact officials in other California counties who have already answered this question - often at considerable expense and with little to show for their efforts.

Hint - The answer is Close To Zero.

The only way to impact SurfAir's ground noise footprint is for the County to work with SurfAir to continue to spread out their arrival paths and to fly more "clean" (wheels and flaps up) approaches.

SurfAir's flights fully comply with FAA regulations and San Mateo County has no legal authority to regulate SurfAir.


2 people like this
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Sep 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

I had actually asked Mr. Ullman to let me know exactly what his numbers referred to and added his explanation as soon as I got back to my computer. The story has been updated to reflect that Mr. Ullman's numbers are for total flights arriving at the San Carlos Airport, flying over north Atherton, for one month, May, of 2013 and of 2015, increasing from 219 in May of 2013 to 834 in May of 2015.


4 people like this
Posted by MPCentral
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Barbara, thanks for the update.

So Surf Air is responsible for less than 20% of the increase in flights and 14% of the total. \

Despite having "noisier planes", not sure why they are being singled out as the majority of flights are from other planes, many of which are props as well.

- note, I am not customer of surf air, nor am I in any way affiliated with the company.


15 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm



I don't understand why some people want to dismiss other people's legitimate complaints. If they didn't complain before Surf Air got here and they now complain specifically about noise from Surf Air who are you to say it shouldn't bother them, or the train is worse or you don't like leaf blowers. Allow people to express their opinion on this forum without your dismissal.

Start a forum on leaf blowers or trains and butt out of Surf Air complaints.


5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

MP Central

Per Jim Wadliegh at SQL, When Surf Air first started flying in in May/June 2013 they were responsible for less than 1/3 of 1% of the total flights into the airport but over 30% of the noise complaints,

You do the numbers


Like this comment
Posted by Joe Bloggsoshere
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm

There was talk some time ago of the use of different props on the Surf Air Pilatus aircraft. Did anything ever come if this?


15 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Thanks to Mr. Horsely and Mr. Slocum for being proactive.

Now may be the only time to act with any leverage before the plan is updated.

Google Airport Land Use Committee,for San Mateo County for more info.

Suggest everyone go to Fair Oaks community between Marsh and Woodside Rd. all the way to Maple and spend a little time in their neighborhood before you dismiss their complaints.

Surf Air is using SQL as one of it's hubs and when new plane orders come in flights will go up exponentially.



3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

County Supervisors tried this years ago trying to appear to "do something" for the residents of Redwood Shores. Went nowhere, just as it will this time. The FAA isn't going to allow the county to do anything to restrict flights and the supervisors can pretend they tried to "do something."


4 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

I think everyone has a right to their opinions. I personally support SurfAir and their business model. I would be against stifling any of their business. SFO re-routed flights over Menlo Park and that increased the noise, There are lots of small planes coming out of Palo Alto making noise, it is part of living in an urban area. As long as SurfAir is obeying the law then good luck with the business.


4 people like this
Posted by hdeeken@msn.com
a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Sounds like a peninsula thing...airport there since the Wright brothers, people move close to an airport and OMG it sounds like airplanes are taking off.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

OK San Mateo County, Jesus loves you...but everyone else thinks you are an ass.


12 people like this
Posted by Wright Brother
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm

hdeeken@msn.com wrote, "people move close to an airport and OMG it sounds like airplanes are taking off."

You have it the wrong way around. I believe it would be more accurate to say, "Airline expands into community where people are already living."

Anyway, thanks for the snarky comment from some other community.


3 people like this
Posted by MPCentral
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

@neighbor - I think I am allowed to express my opinion on the the matter. thanks.

In my opinion this is also a discussion about noise in general. Some of us deal with train noise, some with leaf blowers, some with traffic or the neighbors kids playing.

I grew up in Lindenwood and there were always planes flying over, my Dad who still lives there doesn't notice any more noise that in the past 40 years.

Planes make plenty of noise over my house many more times per day than surf air has flights. The airports and train were here well before any of us, so it should be a huge surprise. All part of living in a dense metro area.

That does not discount that others might be annoyed at the rise in flights. If this is truly about plane noise and 85% of the flights are not surf air and 70% or the complaints are not surf air, why single them out? Shouldn't we be addressing all of the increased traffic to SFO and SQL?





Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 23, 2015 at 7:06 am

SteveC is a registered user.

Political game playing. Tried and failed, so lets play the game again. Are they going to shut down the county if they don't get their way?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Oswald
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 23, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Here we go again - Athertonians trying furiously to control every viable transportation option. For those that are whining about this have you thought about the rest of the county that can entirely benefit from the flexibility and convenience of using Surf Air? If you're living in Redwood City and can drive right down the street hop on an airplane and be in Southern California within an hour it's quite a nice luxury. The airport has been there for as long as most people have owned their homes in our area if you're naïve to think that expansion will never happen you might want to consider some property in a remote area of the county. Boulder Creek or Ben Lomond might be quiet enough if HMB is not your cup of tea, but I can assure you the mountain folks won't take kindly to whiners.

Great job Surf Air, you're saving auto fuel, time, parking expenses, added congestion near SFO/SJC and you're bringing a new level of convenience to air travel we haven't seen in a very long time. Keep doing what you're doing it's clear that you're onto something great.


Like this comment
Posted by Math?
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

The article says, "now has 115 scheduled weekly round-trip flights that use the San Carlos Airport – 20 flights each weekday, five on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays."

115 round trip flights means 230 actual flights/week.


Like this comment
Posted by Whats next
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:51 pm



I guess one question would be how many flights are acceptable?


9 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:18 am

The report "Preliminary Flight Data Analysis" posted on the Sky Posse website does a great job of putting total air traffic over Atherton into a regional perspective, and details the growth of SQL traffic over Atherton and Palo Alto on page 11-of-13.

"Preliminary Flight Data Analysis"
Lee Chrystal Ph.D ~ August 19, 2015 Web Link

Sky Posse Website: Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


"A Review of Noise Abatement Procedures for SF Bay Area Airports"
Topic: Noise Abatement
On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 12:00
Location:
San Carlos Flight Center
655 Skyway Road
Suite 215
San Carlos, CA 94070
Select Number:
WP1564979

Description:
Anytime you’re flying below your enroute altitude, you should be actively selecting a route that allows for a safe landing in the event of engine failure. Selecting the right safe approach into an airport area is generally left entirely to the pilot. However, the rise of communities clustered in close proximity to airports gives rise to a new concern - Noise Abatement Procedures.



Flying is freedom for many of us. For some, it is one of our most cherished freedoms. With freedom, comes responsibility, and we must acknowledge that our hobby/passion/lifestyle does have a larger footprint on our neighbors and our neighborhoods than something like stamp collecting. We make noise; we scare people; we distract people; and our ways are often misunderstood by the people on the ground.



In this FAA Safety Seminar for Pilots, we discuss the ways Bay Area pilots can minimize their impact on the local communities with a thorough review of the Noise Abatement Procedures established for Bay Area airports. What are the local routes? What are the local procedures? What days/times have we agreed as pilots to limit some types of activities? What role does the Airport Office play? What authority does the tower have? What happens when your flight plan requires an early morning or non-standard departure?



SCFC flight instructors will show that adhering to local noise abatement procedures may bring additional risk to a pilot guarding against engine failure. Together, let’s identify a way we can fly both safely and quietly.


9 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm


The common thread from most of the sincere posters is the FAA has the only say and they are primarily interested in safety first above all else.

My question is if safety is the primary FAA concern, then why do they allow a commercial carrier to fly w/out passenger screening at point of boarding, allow baggage aboard with scanning or searching, and not have a cockpit door.

Frankly, until they address those issues I don't want them flying over my house.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm



You have it the wrong way around. I believe it would be more accurate to say,

"Airline expands into community where people are already living."


You're right, Haven't seen it put that way

Thanks,


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Imagine that, population growth drives demand for more commercial air service. Who would have imagined?


3 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm


"Imagine that"

What a time to have a request for expansion, During the Airport Land Use Update.

As Mr. Potter says he'll fly as many planes as he wants to in to San Carlos,

Not if the Committee takes the same approach and doesn't allow expansion of facilities.

It's called leverage, Works well in business and in politics. It's time for our Supervisors to get involved and explain it to Mr. Potter and by extension to his investors.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 26, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"It's called leverage, Works well in business and in politics. It's time for our Supervisors to get involved and explain it to Mr. Potter and by extension to his investors."

Good luck with that. As noted, tried before and shot down by the FAA.


3 people like this
Posted by Linda
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

apparently San Carlos airport takes and receives funding from the federal government. So they have to abide by FAA regulations. I think the problem could be that funding should not come from the federal government for that Airport so that the communities around it can have better management regarding air traffic and issues.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

linda:

are you interested in paying higher taxes so the county doesn't have to take federal funds? That's what it will take to eliminate federal funding. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the requirements the FAA puts on the money they give has a very long tail, so even if the county stops taking federal funds they will continue to have to abide by FAA regulations for quite awhile.


Like this comment
Posted by Tax payer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2015 at 4:01 pm


How about not taking money from the FAA and being partially subsizdized by state, county, cities, and the rest by users.


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Posted by A thought
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm

That's an interesting question. How much money does SQL get from the FAA? The San Mateo County public works page simply says that the airport is self funded from operations fees at zero cost to the county general fund.

If Jack really wants to shut down the Sequoia Hospital District, he could probably get political support to do so on the back of re-purposing the excess tax funds that would go back to SMC to replace FAA funding if that's really the gating issue on the county being able to set noise limits.


1 person likes this
Posted by Tax Payer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

MV,

Do you know how many years are left under current contract w/ FAA funding. I was under the impression it was short that was why they were preparing to start negotiations for the new Airport Land Use Update. Perhaps a buyout could be discussed.


3 people like this
Posted by Tax Payer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm



Any self funded municipal airports out there?


18 people like this
Posted by Zolik Fichtenholz
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Folks,

Please do not let anyone sell you the idea that FAA has any authority in this issue at all. Apparently, there are many SurfAir paid and volunteer agents who diligently and persistently spread this idea. The reality is that FAA has no legal authority over this airport. All they have is a contract with the airport, called "Grant Assurances Act", which says that in exchange for annual grants (which, by the way, come from us, the taxpayers) the airport will maintain the facilities in adequate condition, and will not discriminate against any airport users. The same document says that the airport sponsor (i.e the county) can impose reasonable restrictions on airport operations, as long as these restrictions are non-discriminatory, and agreed upon with the FAA (paragraph 22h). This is all there is to it.

All the county supervisors need to do is come up with restrictions (which would apply to all airport operators equally), submit these restrictions to the FAA for approval, and thus give the FAA 30 days to agree or contest these restrictions.

If the FAA wants to contest these restrictions, they will have to explain and justify their position. They can not just say "NO", "just because".

If the FAA does not come up with good reasons for not approving the restrictions, then the county can implement them at will.

In this case the FAA will be able to file a law suit, for breach of contract - but they will lose in any reasonable court, because they did not come up with the good reasons against the restrictions.

In other words, folks, the matter is pretty simple. Anyone who tries to sell you any idea that FAA has unlimited powers, "other counties have tried this before", etc. is simply misleading you - either deliberately, or out of ignorance.


It will take statesmanship and courage from our Supervisors to put their foot down and stand up for the communities they represent.

All they have to say is that they will not allow 140-160 people/day to benefit from such operations as SurfAir while tens of thousands of residents suffer. This noise affects rest and comfort of residents, their workday productivity, and ultimately their income and taxes they pay. This noise is a very potent irritant, which affects people's behaviors, their families, creates social issues, etc. If a family can not have a quiet gathering in their backyard on a Sunday afternoon, this is a big deal. While ordinary people may not appreciate this, the Supervisors should - this is a significant part of their job: care of the community social issues.

Hence, the real issue is not whether SurfAir or others fly optimal paths, etc. The real issue is whether we have Supervisors who have the guts to stand up for their communities, despite the pressure certain private interests may exert on them ( financial, political, etc.).

This is the issue.

Please, call Supervisors Slocum and Horsley and tell them to be MEN for a change, and stand up for their communities.

I agree that appointing subcommittees, spending $$$ on lawyers, etc. is a monumental waste of time, resources, money. The lawyers will take the money and leave a "legal brief" which will offer no direction to anyone - but it will be 30,000 pages long, i.e. ~ a dollar per page.

The Supervisors should impose the following restrictions (example):

1. No flights in or out between 10 pm and 8 am.
2. FAA to identify 4 major safe directions for take off and landing.
3. No more than 1 flight in each direction PER HOUR.
4. Flight operators to sort out among themselves the hourly slots.

This arrangement gives the operators ~ 14 * 4 = 56 flights/day, which is more than enough to keep the pilots trained, and is what the FAA ultimately needs.

Those who do not care about the community will try to divert the efforts by trying to "work with the FAA to change the routes" etc. This is a red herring.

We do not want the FAA to compromise the safety of the flying paths - we just want them to identify 4 safe flying paths, and then we restrict the number of flights along these paths to 1 per hour.(take off or landing).

Any effort to force the FAA to change the flying paths from safe to less safe will definitely end up in failure - and this is what happened to the "other" communities who tried to do this. They were lead by paid misinformants, who made sure all resources were wasted on this.

Lets not fall for this.

Lets demand all SC airport aircraft to fly the safest routes possible, but - no more than 1 per hour, in any of the 4 specified directions.

If the FAA comes back and says that 56 flights/day is not enough to train the pilots, then we will point out that the "Grant Assurances Act" does not say a word about the minimum hours per day the pilots are expected to fly. All it says is that the airport should not impose restrictions which would discriminate one operator over another.

Is this clear enough?

Thanks.








2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Mr. Fichtenholz,

"Any effort to force the FAA to change the flying paths from safe to less safe will definitely end up in failure - and this is what happened to the "other" communities who tried to do this.

They were led by paid misinformants, who made sure all resources were wasted on this."

I agree with everything you say, As to the last line for those who think things like this don't happen you are naive and wrong. Hundreds of Millions of dollars are at stake. Many powerful coorporate interests are involved. Surf Air is not the cute little member only flying club they represent themselves to be. They have pledged to go national and eventually international. They have placed a preliminary order for 50 aircraft. Unfortunately they chose the noisiest plane available.

If you don't believe things like this happen ask the CEO of Volkswagon if corporate misrepresentations take place.

There are thousands of people affected by their noise and its only getting worse. From Palo Alto to San Carlos. The worst affected live in Fair Oaks, between Marsh and Maple Ave. in Redwood City. The closer the flights get to the Airport the less effective spreading the approach helps. and flying clean, gear and flaps up is not an option at that distance. I suggest anyone who doesn't believe how bad it is go spend some time in N. Fair Oaks near Woodside Rd.

Since the FAA is only concerned with safety, I suggest they evaluate how safe this plane is at 800' above ground full of fuel is over a denseley populated area.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:53 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Zolik:

first of all I am not "paid" by anyone to post on here.

Secondly, this has been tried before in THIS county and it failed. The county tried to first shut down the airport and when they found out they couldn't because of the contract with the FAA they tried to implement other restrictions which were also shot down.

This isn't "misinformation" it is fact.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:59 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

resident:

yet again you try to play the safety card. The Pilatus PC12 is the worlds safest single engine aircraft. As to their flying low over densely populated areas, that applies to pretty much every airport approach in this area. Shall we shut down SFO? SJC? OAK? All of those heavily laden, and fueled aircraft fly low approaches over heavily populated areas.

As to noise, I work in North Fair Oaks. Surfair overflies my office regularly. They aren't that loud. I also live in Menlo Park and Surfair regularly flies over my home. In fact they did so multiple times yesterday while I was outdoors. So I timed how long I could hear it. 30 seconds from first hearing to not hearing. About five seconds when it was the loudest. My, a whole 30 seconds. That's just intolerable. Talk about your first world problems.


3 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

Since I was quoted, I will happily respond and expand my comments:

1) The number of flights (which Barbara corrected) is arrivals in a month. Current example -- on August 25 2015 our neighborhood was impacted by 86 aircraft flying overhead. This started at 6:09 AM and continued through 9:16 PM. This averages to a flight every 10.65 minutes. On a monthly basis this would equate to 2580 flights per month.
2) Of the 86 flights, 54 were below 2000'. The average was 1328' and the lowest was 719'.
3) I live 3.5 miles from the airport -- there are plenty of schools between my house and the airport.
4) The PC12 plane is louder than many 757's and 737's and they are less than 1000' above our homes.
5) SFO is the 16th busiest airport in the world by operations (takeoffs and landings). This tiny little airport has approximately 1/3 of the number of operations.

There is a noise problem from these aircraft. The County has an obligation to do everything it can to reduce airport noise and it has failed to challenge the FAA on anything. If they (the County) cannot protect its residents from airport noise pollution, it should stop operating an airport.

Sincerely,
Adam Ullman


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"If they (the County) cannot protect its residents from airport noise pollution, it should stop operating an airport."

Why is it the county's responsibility for your poor choice of residence? You chose to live near an airport. Airports make noise. This area is growing. Growing areas increase the demand for air travel. Ergo, there will be increased noise from this airport you CHOSE to live near. If you didn't want to be affected by airplane noise you probably shouldn't have made the choice to live in an area with three international airports and numerous regional airports.

The county isn't going to stop operating its airport.


4 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm

@Menlo Voter
Actually, its the California Supreme Court that established that airport proprietors have a duty under state law to reduce airport noise (Baker v. Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authorit, 1985). So no matter where you live in California, this law applies. And since the county owns the San Carlos Airport, it's their duty to mitigate airport noise.

Ergo, if they fail in their duty to reduce airport noise, they are not doing what they are obligated to do and it should be shut down. However, if they step up and move from a "voluntary" noise abatement policy, which many planes do not adhere to, to one that imposes penalties for noise violations, etc. then they would be doing their part. A blatant disregard of their obligations and our RIGHT to quiet enjoyment of our homes should not be stepped on for the select few who fly out of the airport.

Cheers,
Adam


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

still begs the question. If you're that sensitive to aircraft noise why buy a house near an airport?


4 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm

@ Menlo Voter
Actually, it doesn't beg the question. I've lived in the neighborhood since 2006. This wasn't an issue until the past few years. A small commuter airport is fine, but when planes louder than 757's and 737's are buzzing our houses at 1000' or less -- there is an issue -- we don't live "that close" to an airport.

From your responses, you are likely a pilot. I take no issue with your hobby or profession, but it shouldn't impact my life. You'd be pretty mad if I stood outside your house and generated 70+Db every 10 minutes from 6 AM to 9:30 PM.


5 people like this
Posted by Come on, Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Felton Gables is 7 miles as the crow (or plane) flies to San Carlos Airport. I knew that I bought a house near an elementary school and the train tracks, but until recently, never consider my house as being near an airport. I spent a half hour outside earlier today and small planes flew noisily almost directly overhead at least a half dozen times. Meanwhile, I heard one train, and one bell from the school.

Menlo Voter, when did 7 miles from a small regional airport become "near an airport"?

Adam makes excellent, informed points about the county's obligations, and you keep picking on him. It would be far more helpful if you could deal with the main issue, which is increased flights in and out of San Carlos Airport.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

come on:

I live probably 1/2 mile west of you. Surfair flies over my house quite regularly. I've timed it when they do. I can hear it for a whole 30 seconds. Wow. I also hear the train at 5 am, how about you? I don't hear Surfair then.

The fact is we all live in a dense urban environment with major airports and regional airports nearby. Not to mention all of everything else that goes with living in a dense urban environment, to think one will not be disturbed by noise is simply unrealistic.


4 people like this
Posted by Come on, Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

I thought we lived in suburbia. If you consider Menlo Park to be a dense urban environment, then I guess I better understand why you consider 7 miles from a commuter airport to be "nearby". I don't agree with your definitions, but at least I better understand your perspective.

BTW, how would you characterize Manhattan? Hong Kong? Super densely urban?


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Anybody that thinks Atherton (or even Menlo Park) is a dense urban environment, needs to get out more. I think "overcrowded suburban" with portions on the cusp of morphing into Southern California style low to medium density sprawl, would be a better characterization.


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

The Census Bureau defines an urban area as one that has a population density of at least 1,000 per square mile. Web Link Park has a population density of 1,800 people per square mile. Atherton has a population density of ~1,400 per square mile.

From the perspective of airplanes, seven miles from an airport is indeed "near."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

come on:

from this link: Web Link

"In the United States, there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. "

"About 82 percent of the population of the United States lives within the boundaries of an urbanized area as of December, 2010."

I'd say the bay area qualifies as an urban area.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

come on:

"dense" is a relative term. By my judgement this is a dense urban environment. The real problem is that folks like you think you are living in suburbia. This area might have qualified 50 years ago,but not any more.

You would have loved it in the 60's and 70's when the P3's were still flying out of Moffett. Some people would have classed Sunnyvale as "suburban" where I lived, but we had constant overflights of P3's. And it was CONSTANT. Not just every hour or so. You would have gone nuts. We just lived with it.


3 people like this
Posted by Come on, Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Well, far be it from me to argue with a government definition. Seems illogical to have only two categories of population centers across the entire US, and that Atherton and Manhattan would fall into the same box, but no one ever said our government makes logical decisions. I still welcome your description of the density of Manhattan.

I didn't live here in the 60s and 70s, but I can assure you that I live in the present, and recognize that our local population is growing and needs to be supported by changes in infrastructure. However, that does not mean that growth should be unfettered and without proper consideration of the needs of our local "urban" dwellers (otherwise known as voters and taxpayers). In my opinion, the county is more beholden to its 3/4 million citizens than to a few thousand people flying in and out.


2 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 28, 2015 at 8:49 pm

The most unfortunate part of all this is most people who are now complaining never had a problem with San Carlos Airport

"Until Surf Air started flying there."

Suburban area with a municipal airport. All was well.

Menlo Voter I suggest you spend some time in Fair Oaks not at your office but out of respect for the people who live there. Perhaps at the park, spend a couple of hours in the morning at rush hour and in the evening when most people would expect a little peace and quiet in their backyard.

The noise from your house miles away, and yes we all know they also fly over your office have nothing to do with trying to live a peaceful life under Surf Air in Fair Oaks, This also has nothing to do with San Carlos Airport, Very few complaints before Surf Air showed up. I can quote the stats if you like.

Best to Mr. Slocum, and Mr. Horsley. Keep up the good fight.

BTW, Surf Air is growing and the number of flights is going to grow exponentially. I wonder at what point even Menlo Voter will think it's too much noise.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:54 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"I wonder at what point even Menlo Voter will think it's too much noise."

Likely never. And if for some strange reason I do, I'll move. See, I know I live near three international airports and multiple regional airports. I also live near a train that wakes me at 5 am every morning, not to mention 3 am when the freight train rolls through. Do I complain the train is ruining the "peaceful use of my property"? Demand that they stop operating at those hours? No. I knew it was there when I bought my house. Just like I knew all of these airports were here when I purchased. And I wasn't naive enough to think that the volume and type of air traffic would never change.


3 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:57 am

@ Menlo Voter

Indeed you do live near three international airports. All of these airports have mandatory noise monitoring equipment in place, noise abatement procedures and policies in place, and are deemed airports with a "noise problem." To sit back and say nothing should be done with the new noise issues from the San Carlos Airport is obtuse.

Your analogy of the trains is ridiculous. If new tracks were being put in, you'd likely have a problem with that. Flight paths changed and traffic has increased where it has become a pervasive nuisance -- this is akin to new tracks being laid down without any study on the impact.

To traffic increasing -- when more people are impacted, it becomes even more important to look at the overall environmental impact. Technology improves and air travel should be quieter. When businesses make financial decisions that impact people (buying a less expensive, but louder plane), they should be prepared for the consequences -- in this case, upset residents because they can't be in their homes without hearing an airplane. Also, just because you don't have an issue with the noise doesn't lessen the impact to anyone else.

-Adam


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"To sit back and say nothing should be done with the new noise issues from the San Carlos Airport is obtuse. "

No one is saying that - what Menlo Voter and I have repeatedly stated is that the County has no legal authority over these flights and as long as the flight comply with the FAA regulations there is nothing that the FAA can do. As was stated years ago the only solution is to work with SurfAir to create a mutiple entry point approach during VFR conditions which spreads the ground noise impact over a larger area.

Here is what a herringbone would look like:

Web Link

We need to solve the problem and quit expecting the County or the FAA to do something that they have no ability to do.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Just so everyone has the "numbers" The San Carlos airport currently has approximately 306 Aircraft Operations per day. Palo Alto Airport has over 525 Aircraft Operations per day. In each of these cases it is LOWER than 10 or 20 years ago.

So any discussion of limiting the number of operations to a lower number of operations per hour is NOT going to happen. Anyone living between these two airports gets the noise of the operations from BOTH airports.

@Adam Ulman: All of the noise sutdies show that a 757 creates WAY WAY more noise than a PC-12. look at the numbers from the Tahoe Airport Noise Study.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


4 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:01 am

@ Peter Carpenter

I 100% disagree that "the County has no legal authority." The FAA responded directly to our situation by stating "If the County wishes to impose a noise or access restriction, it would have to be done in accordance with the requirements of Part 161 and the Grant Assurances." The County has not done anything to impose noise or access restrictions in accordance with these terms.

An earlier letter from the FAA, in regards to noise from Oakland Airport, stated "Airport noise is a local issue which is addressed by local entities. The FAA supports airport proprietors' noise abatement programs, provided they do not conflict with federal authority, do not unduly burden foreign or interstate commerce, and are not
discriminatory or arbitrary." The County has not done anything beyond its "voluntary" noise abatement procedure which is NOT working.

Finally, California Courts have established the airport owner operator have a duty to mitigate airport noise. The County, as the owner of the San Carlos Airport, has failed in its duty to mitigate airport noise.

Between these statements from the FAA and the California Supreme Court, I think there's enough legal authority for the County to do something.

Always open to other suggestions on how to fix this.

-Adam


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:14 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

BTW there were 28 Airport Operations by PC-12's at San Carlos that were NOT from Surf Air in the last three days. In addition there were 8 operations from TBM Turbine Aircraft (same engine as a PC-12)

There were 9 PC-12 & 4 TMB operations at KPAO in the same period.

So there are a number of Turbine Aircraft used at both airports that air NOT part of Surf Air's fleet.

Roy


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

actually the airport implemented noise abatement procedures years ago.

Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:27 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And SurfAir complies with those noise abatement procedures:

"PREFERRED ARRIVALS:
(Use low noise setting inbound)

Straight-In Entry (Runway 30): Remain at or above 1000 feet MSL until passing Kaiser Hospital (Remain Below SFO Class B airspace)."


3 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:42 am

@ Menlo Voter

The noise policy implemented is voluntary and there are no penalties for non-compliance. The current recommendation is to keep wheels up for as long as safely possible to reduce drag noise. As I look up, wheels are almost always down. Without a "penalty" for failing to adhere to the policy, some (not all) won't care about not following the "recommended" policy.

Also, the County needs to monitor the noise generated to see if homes, schools, etc., need to be upgraded to better sound proofing. With it this bad by me, I can't imagine what the folks in Redwood City are dealing with. Burying heads in the sand saying there is not problem because there is a lack of data is ridiculous.

@Roy
The PC12 is a loud plane. Some pilots have said the Surf Air noise issue is due to bad technique. I am not singling out SurfAir -- just trying to address the overall airplane noise pollution that has rapidly increased and become a continuous nuisance.

-Adam



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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

I don't think it's realistic to expect a noise policy to be mandatory. That would mean telling pilots they have to override their own safety judgment, that's simply a non-starter.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

SQL Noise Abatement Policy states:

"Safety Always Supersedes Noise Abatement Procedures"


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Posted by matt
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Fascinating to see this drone on (sorry for the pun). And to have NIMBYs seriously suggesting that the county should "take over" SQL and raise everyone's taxes because... because a few hundred people matter than the rest of us.

Remove the hysteria and you have these facts: 1) there are actually fewer flights happening in our area today than there were years ago. 2) Of those flights, SurfAir is literally a drop in the bucket compared to all the other aircraft -- even ones of the exact same type -- to which no one is objecting. 3) SurfAir carefully follows all the safety procedures and flight patterns that are mandated by the government.

So what's really going on here? I suspect if those planes didn't have "SurfAir" written on them, and if they didn't carry passengers perceived (wrongly) as ultra rich newcomers, everyone would be out in their yards enjoying life -- instead of on these message boards.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

matt:

I think you're spot on.

First world problem.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

my experience has been the opposite of yours. Most of the overflights I've seen have their gear up. Ultimately, the decision when to drop the gear is up to the PIC and what he or she feels is safest. Waiting too long to drop your gear can result in a gear up landing. That can be pretty devastating.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm



Roy,
Would love to know the approach all those other PC-12's are taking because all I see and hear are the easily recognized Blue under wing of Surf Air.

Enlighten us with approaches.


2 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:31 pm



Fact, for those that care,

In June of 2013, Surf Air accounted for less than 1/3 of 1% of all operations into San Carlos,

They also accounted for 30% of all noise complaints,


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"They also accounted for 30% of all noise complaints,"

Easy target? Easily identified?


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:46 pm


To be fair,

Menlo Voter I suggest you spend some time in Fair Oaks not at your office but out of respect for the people who live there. Perhaps at the park, spend a couple of hours in the morning at rush hour and in the evening when most people would expect a little peace and quiet in their backyard.

I've been there,

I challenge you to do the same since you speak with such authority,


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

taxpayer:

when I'm in my office I'm not just "in my office". I'm outdoors quite a bit. I've experienced it. As I've said before the noise lasts 30 seconds and when at it's worst 10 seconds. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't register as intolerable in my book. Even if there are 20 flights a day that equates to a total of 10 minutes out of 24 hours. Sorry, not a pimple on an elephant's rear end.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm



Other people live there.

So I take that as a no.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I live almost beneath the IFR approach to SQL that SurfAir uses and I am not at all bothered by their operations.

Sound is a physical measurement while noise is an individual's perception/response to that sound.

It does no good to debate individual perceptions - such perceptions are both different and individual.

For me the SurfAir sounds are not perceived as an objectionable noise - others may have a different perception.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:45 pm


a 1,000' lateral spread from directly under Ameby makes all the difference in the world. The edge of Lindenwood is at least 1,000' laterally from Surf airplanes on Ameby path at 1500' 3 miles out. I could live with that to.

I realize Surf Air will occasionally spread laterally, but I'm specifically referring to your reference to on the path as required by IFR and as applies to the majority of their VFR flights.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please check flighttrak and you will see that SurfAir frequently flies over Lindenwood.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The edge of Lindenwood is at least 1,000' laterally from Surf airplanes on Ameby path "

Wrong. The IFR flight path is over Lindenwood at it approaches Marsh Road.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

An example of SurfAir's flight path over Lindenwood:

Web Link


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:26 pm




Actually I have looked it up, Ameby Is directly over Felton Gables, 1,000' west of Irving and Marsh. Check your charts.

I acknowledged some flights go over Lindenwood, The majority fly with in 50' either side of Ameby


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Ameby Is directly over Felton Gables, 1,000' west of Irving and Marsh. "

Wrong.

Post evidence to the contrary.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm



I've been to the airport and charted it out with help of other pilots, I can't post hard copies. I've given you an exact location, what exact ground location do you have.

What can you post online w/ ground reference?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

You made the claim - prove it.

Your assertion is wrong.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm


Do you know a ground location that Ameby flies over Lindenwood

please be exact as pilots need to be.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Do you know a ground location that Ameby flies over Lindenwood"

Web Link


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:54 pm


Thats a single flight not the Ameby IFR flight path,


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:04 am


Look closely,

That flight is west of Middlefield hence not in Lindenwood.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 30, 2015 at 6:39 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

taxpayer:

as I've said before, the duration of the noise totals 10 minutes in a 24 hour period. Even if they double flights then its's 20. Sorry, that is not a significant impact in my book.


10 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm

I think Menlo Voter is unwittingly making a good argument against Surf Air, by not watching the units on his math.

According to Menlo Voter the duration of noise impact from a Surf Air flight is 10-minutes/24 hours. The impact should be represented as 10-minutes/24 hours/person.

If we also accept his dubious claim that Atherton/Menlo Park are "dense urban environments" then the real impact of Surf Air adds up to hundreds (and probably even thousands) of lost man-hours of productivity, and/or quality-of-life every day.

This why there hasn't been an airport built in a real dense urban environment in over forty years... Tokyo-Narita, Paris-DeGaulle, London-Heathrow are all miles outside of the city.

Airports are actually less compatible with urban environments, than they are with rural environments.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"there hasn't been an airport built in a real dense urban environment in over forty years."


Wrong.

London City Airport was built right in London in 1982:

Web Link

Hong Kong's new airport was built in 1998:
"Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, which largely comprises land reclaimed for the construction of the airport itself. The airport is also colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.

The airport has been commercially operational since 1998, replacing the former Kai Tak Airport,"


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Peter,

Please note the trend. Chek Lap Kok Airport was built on an isolated ISLAND composed of mostly land specifically reclaimed for the airport, and the former Kai Tak Airport, in the DENSELY URBAN Kowloon City district, was demolished after the completion of Chek Lap Kok Airport.

From Wikipedia (scroll to history):

"A 1974 planning study by the Civil Aviation and Public Works departments identified the small island of Chek Lap Kok, off Lantau Island, as a possible airport replacement site. Away from the congested city centre, flight paths would be routed over the South China Sea rather than populous urban areas, enabling efficient round-the-clock operation of multiple runways"

Wikipedia: Hong Kong International Airport Web Link


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

jetman:

please go back to your "chemtrails". Tortured interpretations of statistics doesn't work for you.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

ooh! a Surfair flight just went over my house. A whole 20 seconds of noise! Who do I sue?


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter,

Please note the trend."

Yes, Heathrow is going to add a third runway - right at its existing location.

Trend noted.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Adam

N618JC filed and flew (today) a roundtrip to/from Santa Monica via KSQL via OSI V25 SNS FLW FERN5 (which is the stardard approach into KSQL)

It also flew to North Las Vegas on the 28th via RTTRN2 LAS SHEAD BTY

Hope that answers your question with regard to what approach/departure they flew.

BTW I owned a PC-12 and using the gear as a brake is QUITER than using the engine.....

Roy Thiele-Sardina


8 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 10:38 pm

"BTW I owned a PC-12 and using the gear as a brake is QUITER than using the engine....."

That's interesting, because for close to three years now, Atherton aviation expert Peter Carpenter has been claiming that the solution to the surf Air noise problem was for Surf Air to "fly clean" (gear up).


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 1, 2015 at 7:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There is no need when flying a 3 deg descent to use either the gear or the flaps or the engine as a brake.


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Respectfully, anyone who is a pilot should specify as such in their responses. Flying is what you do for fun or as a profession. Your hearing has become attuned to the sounds of an aircraft. For those of us who are not pilots, our hearing has not become used to the sound of aircraft and we do not want it to become so.

San Mateo County and other municipalities all have noise policies for a reason -- to protect its citizens right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes and for safety. The safety element, where San Mateo County has a not to exceed noise threshold of 75dB, is exceeded by aircraft over our homes.And while the single event noise level is not normally a cause for alarm, the frequency of these flights has become unbearable.

-Adam


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

unbearable? Seriously? 10 minutes out of a twenty four hour day of noise is unbearable?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

that should be 10 minutes of noise out of a twenty four hour day...

Wish the editors would set up this site so you could edit a post.


2 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm

@Menlo Voter
Again, if you are a pilot, please disclose it. :-)

Your calculations of 10 minutes is an interesting one. Coincidentally, it's spot on with how frequently I sometimes hear an airplane. On August 25, there were 86 aircraft that impacted my neighborhood. This was from 6:09am to 9:16pm. That's me hearing an airplane on an average of every 10.65 minutes.

And who are you to call into question my level of frustration or tolerance level with this? Yes, hearing a ^&*%(^% plane every 10-15 minutes driving me, and others in my neighborhood, crazy.

[Part removed.] Just because you don't think something is an issue does't mean it's not for someone else.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

yes, I'm a pilot. So what? There are all kinds of noise I am regularly exposed to throughout my day and night. Like it or not, I just don't bitch about it when I don't like it as I understand it's part of living where I do.


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Posted by nieghbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm


Menlo Voter

ooh! a Surfair flight just went over my house. A whole 20 seconds of noise! Who do I sue?

yes, I'm a pilot. So what?

With that attitude I'm not sure i would fly as a passenger with you. I hope your not a commercial pilot,

Fraid I'm with Adam on this one.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

neighbor:

not a commercial pilot, but the folks that fly with me think I'm good.

So, you didn't answer the question. What difference does it make if I'm a pilot?


3 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:39 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Adam

I have listed myself as a pilot in the other thread about this subject.

For the record: SEL, MEL, Instrument Rated.

However, I am with Menlo Voter, why does it make a difference?

I abhor (ABHOR ABHOR ABHOR) leaf blowers and yet, I coexist with them for MUCH longer than anybody "suffers" the sound of a PC-12 (or equivalent). I find that damn 3:30AM freight train hat chugs along the CalTrain tracks every night wakes me up for a moment.....

So you are NOT the only one annoyed by noise. When I lived on the east coast I owned a farm in Western PA just for the quiet time it gave me on weekends (and the grouse hunting) Perhaps a small property in Hollister would give you the peace and quiet you seek.

I can guarantee you one thing. You will NEVER get peace and quiet living in the peninsula, and your expectation that a single airline changing their flight path will do that is quite frankly naive.

As a former owner/operator of a PC-12 I can tell you that playing the "safety" card is also naive and unproductive. it is possibly the safest turbine aircraft flying.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In the interest of full disclosure and repeating what I have posted many times:

1 - I am a now retired pilot - SEL, IFR, Glider

2 - I served for 19 years on the Joint Community Relations Committee of the Palo Alto Airport (including ten years as Chair) as an appointee of the Palo Alto City Council and am intimately familiar with airplane operations in the Bay Area, the community's reactions both positive and negative to those operations and the range of tools which are available to impact/alter those operations.

3 - During my ten years as Chair of the JCRC I personally responded to every noise complaint so I am intimately familiar with the issues and perceptions involved in the varying individual response to airplane sounds.

4 - Sound is the physical objective measurement of the energy produced by any source within the frequencies being observed.

5 - Noise is an individual's subjective response to any particular level and type of sound

6 - There is a broad individual range of awareness and sensitivity to any specific sound level and source

7 - Once an individual is sensitized to a sound source which they deem to be obtrusive then their awareness of the occurrence of that type of sound increases

8 - An individual's awareness and sensitivity, or lack thereof, to any particular sound level or source is neither good or bad - it is simply a fact.

9 - Priorities in a democratic society policy are driven by what is important to a majority of the people including not causing irreparable or avoidable harm to others.

10- In my opinion the sounds from airplanes in our urban community have not risen to a level that requires disruptive changes in those airplane activities - others may disagree.


3 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm

@ Menlo Voter, Roy Thiele-Sardiña, & Peter Carpenter,

Thank you all for stating that you are pilots. I think Peter's comments:
"7 - Once an individual is sensitized to a sound source which they deem to be obtrusive then their awareness of the occurrence of that type of sound increases...8 - An individual's awareness and sensitivity, or lack thereof, to any particular sound level or source is neither good or bad - it is simply a fact." hits the nail on the head.

As pilots, you are desensitized to aircraft noise. It's not a big deal to you because you have learned to tune it out. My sensitivity has become heightened to a level where I now hear every single flight and the ones that didn't use to bother me do so now.

To Peter's point #9 -- I am not looking to shut down the airport and cause pilots irreparable harm. What I am looking for is some common sense solutions to prevent planes louder than 757's and 737's from flying over our homes at 750-1500'.

Noise abatement policies have successfully reduced noise levels at the Santa Monica Airport and Torrance Airport by ~9dB. 9db is a doubling of the sound level. Yes, safety always come first. After that, if procedures can be implemented to reduce aircraft noise, why would you be opposed to that? And while I recognize that certain procedures may be onerous, isn't that better than getting into screaming matches with your neighbors?

Again, many pilots have said that the issue with SurfAir and the PC-12 is technique. As pilots, you have more authority to rip into pilots not following the best technique than non-pilots do. As a non-pilot, my only recourse is to deal with my politicians and laws.

I think I speak for everyone bothered by the airplane noise, we'd love your support and help to lessen the noise over our homes. It's become a big issue for us and working together on a solution is better than fighting about what level of noise is too bothersome.

Kind regards,
Adam


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Adam

You have again MISSTATED the amount of noise that a PC-12 makes.

a 757 or 737 is NOT as quiet as a PC-12. and a PC-12 is NOT louder than a Boeing 757 or 737. That is just NOT true, and you need to stop saying it.

Roy


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I think I speak for everyone bothered by the airplane noise, we'd love your support and help to lessen the noise over our homes."

I have devised and posted a solution many times but here it is again:

" As was stated years ago the only solution is to work with SurfAir to create a mutiple entry point approach during VFR conditions which spreads the ground noise impact over a larger area.

Here is what such a herringbone would look like:

Web Link

We need to solve the problem and quit expecting the County or the FAA to do something that they have no ability to do."


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Because many readers do not look back at all of the comments which have been made on this topic let me attempt to structure some of the issues:

1 - The FAA has absolute authority over airplane operations to/from/near/over San Carlos Airport

2 - San Mateo County has a contractual obligation to continue to operate the San Carlos Airport on a non-discriminatory basis for at least the next 19 years as a consequence of accepting Airport Improvement Grants from the FAA

3 - The County has ZERO authority to control airplane noise.

4 - Santa Monica Airport's Noise Ordinance was enacted before the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) came law.

5 - Since the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) became law it requires an Act of Congress for an airport to impose more stringent noise regulations. That has happened only once in the case of John Wayne Airport.

6 - The operations that SurfAir performs and the flight paths it follows all comply with FAA regulations.

7 - In my opinion treating SurfAir as either the enemy or as the offending party is counterproductive.

8 - In my opinion the ONLY way to improve the current concentration of flights which follow the IFR AMBEY approach is to work WITH SurfAir to, in VFR conditions, distribute those flights over a larger area, i.e the above posted herringbone pattern.



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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. As a pilot I am NOT desensitized to airplane noise. In fact, if anything, I am sensitized to it. I frequently find myself looking up at aircraft when I hear them. The people I am with don't. I simply don't find it annoying, you do. Like Roy I'm not thrilled to we awakened by the 3 am freight that passes by my house, but I accept it. It's part of where I choose to live. Just as aircraft noise is a part of where you and I choose to live.

As Peter has suggested spreading approaches could help. It's not likely to help North Fair Oaks Much due to the "funnel effect." The closer the aircraft come to the airport the more narrow the approach paths become.

Also as Peter notes this is up to the FAA and they have shown in the past to be completely unwilling to restrict flights. Asking Surfair to help is your only recourse and attacking and suing them isn't going to garner their cooperation.


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Some comments on a couple of items on Peter's list:

4 - Santa Monica Airport's Noise Ordinance was enacted before the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) came law.

Note: Santa Monica has regained local control of their airport from the FAA by letting the terms of their FAA AIP grants expire. Santa Monica is currently considering several options for their airport, including shutting it down and turning it into a public park.

5 - Since the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) became law it requires an Act of Congress for an airport to impose more stringent noise regulations. That has happened only once in the case of John Wayne Airport.

Note: John Wayne had special noise abatement procedures imposed because aircraft noise from Johm Wayne Airport was driving the residents of the affluent community of Laguna Beach crazy. If Laguna Beach can get noise abatement procedures, why not Atherton?

"Why the Santa Monica Airport Should Become a Park"
Zocalo ~ September 28, 2015 Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 8:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Santa Monica Airport's obligations pursuant to the grants it has received from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program endure until 2023, and the conditions of the 1948 instrument of transfer, when ownership of the airport was transferred to Santa Monica, are effective in perpetuity.


And here are the John Wayne Congressionally established noise limits:

General Aviation Noise Limits
Daytime Hours Nighttime Hours
NMS 1S 101.8 dB SENEL NMS 1S 86.8 dB SENEL
NMS 2S 101.1 dB SENEL NMS 2S 86.9 dB SENEL
NMS 3S 100.7 dB SENEL All Others 86.0 dB SENEL

The PC-12s being flown by SurfAir flying into or out of SQL are probably incapable of exceeding these limits when they are more than 100 ft away.


So be careful what you wish for!!!

***************
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
Socrates


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And here are the John Wayne Noise Arrival procedures:

"ARRIVALS:
Pilots are encouraged to use minimum certificated landing flap setting in accordance with FAR 91.126c.
ATC/weather permitting, pilots are requested to make a visual straight-in approach."

This is exactly what SurfAir is now doing on the AMEBY approach to San Carlos an, if the John Wayne procedures were adopted by Congress for SQL, then SurfAir would NOT be allowed to spread its flights out laterally.


6 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I am not suggesting that San Carlos Airport adopt John Wayne Airport's standards and procedures. You are the only one suggesting that, and the only reason you are suggesting it, is to create a straw-man.

The real question remains... if an affluent community like Laguna Beach can get the FAA to implement special noise abatement standards and procedures for John Wayne Airport, why can't an affluent community like Atherton get the FAA to implement special noise abatement standards and procedures for San Carlos Airport?

This is really a political question, not a technical question... of course the two airports would have different noise abatement standards and procedures, that are suited to their locations, etc.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" why can't an affluent community like Atherton get the FAA to implement special noise abatement standards and procedures for San Carlos Airport?"

1 - Atherton does not have anywhere near the political clout that Orange County has to get Congressionally mandated noise standards,

2 - There is no example of more stringent Federally approved noise standards than John Wayne'e noise standards.

3 - If the noise standards permitted by Congressional action for John Wayne Airport were implemented for San Carlos Airport they would have zero impact on the ground noise footprint in Atherton.

So, both politically impossible and technically irrelevant.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Publisher has directed that I not engage in iterative discussions with other posters so Jetman has just been added to my Do Not Respond List.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Peter:

has the publisher asked the same from Jetman? If not, they need to start deleting his posts, lest their request of you become editorial in nature.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Publisher stated to me:

"We provide this forum, and we get to decide who and what we'll allow. The TOS makes clear that we will delete or edit anything we deem inappropriate."

I have no idea what the Publisher has told other posters.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 3, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Editor:

that was nice. If you don't delete Jetman's comments, yet tell Peter not to engage you create the optics that what you are doing is editorial. Go ahead, delete my post or have some guts and either confirm or deny it. If you agree with Jetman at least have the stones to admit it.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

When we are in someone's home we obey their rules. The Forum is Bill Johnson's house and he sets the rules. He told me that I post too often and that I upset other posters.

" If you are unable to tone down the frequency and tone of your comments, we'll begin restricting all of them."

Therefore in order to continue to participate in this " thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion" I have to post less and not upset other posters.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2015 at 8:08 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Bill:

how about starting by making everyone register to post?

Peter does post frequently and he does upset other posters, but it's usually because the people getting upset don't agree with what he's said. Usually what he posts is factual. Those that would rather make up their own facts are upset by that? Too bad.

Allowing people to push someone off the site because they don't like facts is hardly in keeping with maintaining a " thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion." People are entitled to their opinions they're NOT entitled to make up their own facts.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm


is it true Surf Air uses the airport at no cost?

if it is why am I subsidizing their business.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm


SFO, OAKLAND, SAN JOSE, All charge their commercial users.

I understand private planes using it for free, like the highways, private passenger cars use our highways for free but Commercial Companies like truck lines pay extra fees to use our highways.

This is a loophole we should close


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Airports have multiple sources of income from their users. Aviation fuel taxes, landing fees, parking fees and property taxes are just some of the examples.

"As of 2011, aviation gasoline (most often used to fuel small General Aviation aircraft) is taxed at 19.4¢/gal.[

As of 2007, jet fuel (called "kerosene for aviation" by the IRS) is taxed at 21.9¢/gal unless it is used for commercial aviation (airlines such as American Airlines and United Airlines and small chartered commercial jets). Because such commercial operations are subject to the federal transportation tax, they are subject to a reduced fuel tax of 4.4¢/gal.[11]"

San Carlos receives payments from its Fixed Base Operator based in part on that FBO's fuel sales.

San Carlos also charges parking fees for planes parked at the airport.

San Mateo County receives property taxes on planes located at San Carlos Airport.
"Boats and airplanes are taxable and are appraised annually at a value determined by reviewing the purchase price and the sales of comparable boats and airplanes. Information on their location and ownership is obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Federal Aviation Administration, and on-site inspections"

San Carlos does not have a landing fee, as do SFO,SJC and OAK, but if it did have such a fee it would have to be non-discriminatory and apply to all users. Landing fees can be related to aircraft weight so that smaller planes would pay less but they would still have to pay a landing fee.The biggest impact of a landing fee at San Carlos would be on the flying schools because they have by far the largest number of operations per day.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm



You can skip right through everything you said until the first line of the last paragraph.

Don't lump public use w/ for profit/ My guess is the schools and other businesses pay to be there.

We are subsidizing Surf Air, A for profit business




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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

neighbor:

No, you are not subsidizing Surfair. They pay rent just like every other operator on the airport.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The San Carlos Airport is home to approximately 500 aircraft and over 25 aviation related businesses. Last year, San Carlos Airport generated over 130,000 aircraft "operations". Approximately half of the operations are business related or revenue generating."

"The Airport is an important business and transportation asset to the community. Local businesses use their own aircraft or local air charter services to be more efficient, productive and competitive in their business markets.

San Carlos Airport provides a variety of emergency service and response functions including Air-Ambulance, Medivac flights, law enforcement patrols and it provides a base for other important emergency service activities and government agencies that add to the safety and security of the community.

The Airport is self-funded through airport user and business fees and receives no money from the County’s General Fund. Aviation is the top employer in San Mateo County and the Airport provides an important source of education and training for the pilots, mechanics and airport employees that fill the jobs in the industry."

Web Link


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm



How do you know?, As Peter likes to say,

Prove it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Web Link


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm



Sorry I don't open unknown web links.


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

@ Roy Thiele-Sardiña
"You have again MISSTATED the amount of noise that a PC-12 makes...a PC-12 is NOT louder than a Boeing 757 or 737. That is just NOT true, and you need to stop saying it."

Part 150 Noise Study for SEA-TAC Airport in Seattle. See Pages 49 & 50 of this link (Web Link) shows:

1) the Pilatus PC-12 has a higher MAX Lmax than the 737-500, 777-300ER, & 787-8 (and it is within 1% of the Max Lmax generated by the 777-200).

2) the E Avg SEL for the PC12 exceeds the noise generated by a 737-500, 777-200, 777-300ER and the 787-8 (and it is within 3% of the E Avg SEL for a 737-300, 737-800, 737-900, & the 757-300).

3) the Average Lmax for the PC12 is higher than the 737-500, 767-200, 777-200, 777-300ER, and the 787-8 (and that the Average Lmax is within 3% of every 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 tested).

Based on this report, the PC-12 is clearly louder than some 737's, 777's, and the 787.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

neighbor:

since you won't click a link, I suggest you google San Carlos airport. The proof is there if you care to look at it.

From the website: "The Airport is self-funded through airport user and business fees and receives no money from the County’s General Fund. Aviation is the top employer in San Mateo County and the Airport provides an important source of education and training for the pilots, mechanics and airport employees that fill the jobs in the industry."


2 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm

@Peter Carpenter,
"3 - The County has ZERO authority to control airplane noise.
5 - Since the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) became law it requires an Act of Congress for an airport to impose more stringent noise regulations. That has happened only once in the case of John Wayne Airport."

As stated before, the airport owner/operator, in this case the County of San Mateo, has a duty under state law to reduce airport noise. This authority was established by the California Supreme Court in Baker v. Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

If you carefully read ANCA (14 CFR Part 161), the Purpose and Applicability sections (161.1 & 161.3) apply ONLY to Stage 2 and Stage 3 aircraft. The PC12 is not a Stage 2 or Stage 3 aircraft and therefore ANCA does not apply. The only restriction the airport has in a stronger noise abatement policy is their Sponsor Grant Assurances.

Santa Monica and Torrance airports would be better models to follow based on the size of these airports. And at 130K operations annually, this tiny little airport has ~1/3 the number of operations as SFO!!!


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

So Adam, since noise abatement procedures are already in place and apply to all users of the airport and Surfair is already spreading their flights and the County can NOT restrict the use of the airport by Surfair, just what do you suggest?


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm


Just had our 3rd SA over flight in the last hour, had to close the doors to talk on the phone, It's the regularity that bothers me,

I understand the length of the FAA grant time, but I thought they were in the middle of negotiating expansion.

Counting on our Sups'


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Torrance airports would be better models to follow based on the size of these airports."

Torrance airport has 7 noise monitoring station and all are within 1 mile of the airport - because that is where the noise is.

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 4, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And here is the Torrance Airport Noise Limit:

"46.8.8 AIRCRAFT NOISE LIMIT.
Except as provided in Section 46.8.10., no aircraft taking off from or landing on the Torrance Municipal Airport may exceed a single event noise exposure level (SENEL) of 88 dBA or a maximum sound level of 82 dBA measured at ground level outside the extended Airport boundaries."

Note 82 dBA.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 5, 2015 at 7:27 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Because there are two threads currently running on this topic and In the interest of full disclosure and repeating what I have posted many times:

1 - I am a now retired pilot - SEL, IFR, Glider

2 - I served for 19 years on the Joint Community Relations Committee of the Palo Alto Airport (including ten years as Chair) as an appointee of the Palo Alto City Council and am intimately familiar with airplane operations in the Bay Area, the community's reactions both positive and negative to those operations and the range of tools which are available to impact/alter those operations.

3 - During my ten years as Chair of the JCRC I personally responded to every noise complaint so I am intimately familiar with the issues and perceptions involved in the varying individual response to airplane sounds.

4 - Sound is the physical objective measurement of the energy produced by any source within the frequencies being observed.

5 - Noise is an individual's subjective response to any particular level and type of sound

6 - There is a broad individual range of awareness and sensitivity to any specific sound level and source

7 - Once an individual is sensitized to a sound source which they deem to be obtrusive then their awareness of the occurrence of that type of sound increases

8 - An individual's awareness and sensitivity, or lack thereof, to any particular sound level or source is neither good or bad - it is simply a fact.

9 - Priorities in a democratic society policy are driven by what is important to a majority of the people including not causing irreparable or avoidable harm to others.

10- In my opinion the sounds from airplanes in our urban community have not risen to a level that requires disruptive changes in those airplane activities - others may disagree.

11 - Any solution must be one that does not simply move the problem to a less affluent and less politically powerful community.

Because many readers do not look back at all of the comments which have been made on these topics let me attempt to structure some of the issues:

A - The FAA has absolute authority over airplane operations to/from/near/over San Carlos Airport

B - San Mateo County has a contractual obligation to continue to operate the San Carlos Airport on a non-discriminatory basis for at least the next 19 years as a consequence of accepting Airport Improvement Grants from the FAA

C - The County has ZERO authority to control airplane noise.

D - Santa Monica Airport's Noise Ordinance was enacted before the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) came law.

E - Since the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) became law it requires an Act of Congress for an airport to impose more stringent noise regulations. That has happened only once in the case of John Wayne Airport.

F - The operations that SurfAir performs and the flight paths it follows all comply with FAA regulations.

7 - In my opinion treating SurfAir as either the enemy or as the offending party is counterproductive.

8 - In my opinion the ONLY way to improve the current concentration of flights which follow the IFR AMBEY approach is to work WITH SurfAir to, in VFR conditions, distribute those flights over a larger area, i.e the above posted herringbone pattern.


2 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm

@Peter Carpenter
Repeating the same statement does not make it true.
"C - The County has ZERO authority to control airplane noise.
E - Since the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (1990) became law it requires an Act of Congress for an airport to impose more stringent noise regulations. That has happened only once in the case of John Wayne Airport."

As stated before, the airport owner/operator, in this case the County of San Mateo, has a duty under state law to reduce airport noise. This authority was established by the California Supreme Court in Baker v. Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

Furthermore, the FAA has stated "Airport noise is a local issue which is addressed by local entities." (Web Link)

If you carefully read ANCA (14 CFR Part 161), the Purpose and Applicability sections (161.1 & 161.3) apply ONLY to Stage 2 and Stage 3 aircraft. The PC12 and many other planes at the San Carlos Airport are not Stage 2 or Stage 3 aircraft and therefore ANCA does not apply to these aircraft. The only restriction the airport has in a stronger noise abatement policy is their Sponsor Grant Assurances, which need to be non-discriminatory.


2 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm

@Menlo Voter
1) I think setting up noise monitoring equipment is a first start. The County needs to understand how significant the issue is and what areas are being adversely impacted.
2) From there, the County could enact a policy that “suggests” preferred flight paths to not impact residential neighborhoods. If a pilot chooses to fly an alternate path AND the noise monitors record too much noise, the pilot is fined (unless it was an emergency or under the direction of the FAA).

Alternatively, the County could set a maximum noise allotment per day. Once this amount of aircraft noise is reached, no more flights can go in or out, unless there is an emergency or required by the FAA.

The procedures I am suggesting above would be non-discriminatory in nature and could be applied only to non-stage aircraft to avoid ANCA restrictions.

I am of course open to other suggestions...just looking for something to be done.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

if you look at a map and satellite view of the approach to SQL along with the overlay of the SFO, OAK and SJC airspaces, not to mention the PAO airspace, there is virtually nowhere aircraft can fly approaching to land at SQL without passing over residential neighborhoods.

Not all aircraft flying into SQL are under FAA control. They often fly VFR. They aren't identifiable (unless someone is standing there collecting tail numbers), so even if they make too much noise over the wrong area it will be impossible to identify the offender. As Surfair flies IFR they are easily identified. Your policy would only be enforceable in a discriminatory manner and unenforceable otherwise.

Are we going to set a "noise allotment" for the train too? It wakes many people up at night and disturbs them throughout the day. How about a "noise allotment" for leaf blowers and other noise makers in our environment? What you're suggesting is basically shutting down the airport at night. Let's shut down the train tracks at night too. I live close to El Camino and I think that should be shut down at night too as the traffic noise disturbs my sleep.

Sorry, we live in a noise plagued area. Shutting things down so a small minority of people is not disturbed is not a viable option.


2 people like this
Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm

@Menlo Voter
"How about a "noise allotment" for leaf blowers and other noise makers in our environment?"

The policy is already in place. San Mateo County Noise Policy 4.88.330 (Web Link). There is a MAX noise policy not to exceed 75dB and to be at 70dB for no more than 1 minute between 7:00 AM and 10:00PM. I am fine holding aircraft to this same policy (which, FYI, happens to be different for each city/town in San Mateo County). Trains are different...they have a fixed track, a noise study was done before and their routes cannot change at the whim of a pilot or the FAA.

And, I see nothing discriminatory with the policy I previously outlined. You may not like it, but it's not discriminatory.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

it certainly is discriminatory in that it is impossible to enforce in a non-discriminatory fashion. Aircraft that are operating VFR and violate the noise abatement procedure are unidentifiable. Therefor they escape enforcement. That is completely discriminatory against those that are flying IFR or VFR with flight following. Aircraft that are flying under those conditions have a discrete beacon code that shows up on radar. The radar track from those aircraft can be matched up to the sound records to show a violation. Those flying straight VFR have no discrete code and so cannot be individually identified if they violate the noise abatement procedure. That's the definition of discriminatory. It can't be applied to all aircraft.


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

@Menlo Voter

It's a process that is used by other airports. 1) Permanent noise monitors are in place and record the noise levels. 2) If the threshold noise level is exceeded, the audio file is listened to by a person. 3) If the noise was due to an aircraft (not sirens or something else) it is cross referenced with the flight data to see what plane flew near the noise monitor. 4) The aircraft that flew near the noise monitor is then cross checked with the tower controls to see if the FAA directed the flight in a way that caused it to break the local noise policy. 5) If the flight was directed by the FAA and that caused it to break the noise policy nothing is done, however, if the pilot made this decision they are fined. Seems pretty straight forward and non-discriminatory.

Not sure why there is such opposition when common sense policies, like the ones at Torrance Airport, drastically reduce the single event noise levels (SENEL) created by airplanes. See this link (Web Link).


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" common sense policies, like the ones at Torrance Airport,"

"46.8.8 AIRCRAFT NOISE LIMIT.
Except as provided in Section 46.8.10., no aircraft taking off from or landing on the Torrance Municipal Airport may exceed a single event noise exposure level (SENEL) of 88 dBA or a maximum sound level of 82 dBA measured at ground level outside the extended Airport boundaries."

Note the limit - 82dBA. I doubt that any aircraft flying into San Carlos produce that much ground level noise anywhere south of Whipple Road.


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

@ Peter Carpenter
Not so sure about that. I have recorded noise levels above 75dB at my house 3 miles away from the airport.

The point you just made though, is that without noise monitors 1) nobody really knows how loud it gets and 2) if a better noise policy is implemented it should have a minimal impact on "most" aircraft. This would really only be an issue for the outliers who are coming in hot, making tons of noise.

Also, I am putting out suggestions here -- there are models to follow from other airports, a County noise code that is in place, etc. Things can be done to help this issue.

The County has a duty to do what it can to reduce airport/aircraft noise per the California Supreme Court; ANCA does not apply to non-stage aircraft; and there are ways a non-discriminatory policy could be implemented that reduces airplane noise pollution.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Atherton Noise Study conducted on Holbrook Lane did not record a single airplane event over 75 dB.

The highest level was for dogs at 81.13 dB

The highest level for propeller planes 71.48 dB

Based on flight track information reviewed from the SFO VOLANS, 16 of the recorded
events were related to Surf Air flights (nine arrivals and seven departures). The Lmax for
these events ranged between 60.28 dB and 71.48 dB.

Some people are sensitive to airplane noise but I doubt that the measured sound levels south of Whipple Road will ever rise to the levels prohibited either by the County or by Torrance airport.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Peter,

The Holbrook Lane "study" that you keep referring to, only took readings at one location, on one day. The Holbrook Lane "study" has already been debunked in another thread as being poorly designed, unrepresentative, and unscientific.

"Portola Valley: Independent analysis of aircraft noise is on"
The Almanac ~ June 25, 2015 Web Link


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Real data always outweighs anecdotal opinions.

And there is a lot more Atherton data soon to be published.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

the thing you are missing is that there are times of day when the tower at SQL is closed, but VFR aircraft can still land there. So can IFR aircraft for that matter if they terminate IFR and go VFR when they want to. The aircraft that fly into SQL when the tower is closed and are VFR are unidentifiable. If they violate the noise ordinance no one will know who they are. Therefor not all aircraft will be equally subject to the ordinance. It would be discriminatory.

Have you looked at the maps and airspace for the area? What routes do you think would keep aircraft from violating your noise ordinance that also doesn't violate adjacent airspaces and is safe?


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

@Peter Carpenter
"The Atherton Noise Study conducted on Holbrook Lane did not record a single airplane event over 75 dB...The highest level for propeller planes 71.48 dB."

You are 100% correct with this statement. What this doesn't take into account is that the loudest planes were between 0.25-0.30 miles away from a direct flyover of the house where these recordings took place.

The loudest plane's altitude was 1859’, making the hypotenuse distance 2297’ away from the house where the measurements were taken. It was recorded with an L Max of 71.5dB. The house directly under the flight path was only 1859’ away. How loud was it there? How loud is it at a house when the same plane is at an elevation of 1000' or 800'?


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm

@Menlo Voter
"If they violate the noise ordinance no one will know who they are. Therefor not all aircraft will be equally subject to the ordinance. It would be discriminatory."

Is it discriminatory if a police officer gives a speeding ticket to someone when the same road was not being policed the day before? I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

I think what you are describing may be "unfair" (as in "why did I get the ticket"), but it's not discriminatory.


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:21 am

PC,

As you have frequently pointed out, noise is the human perception of sound, so the human being is the only true measure of noise. Sound measurements, and noise metrics (like CNEL), are only attempts to approximate noise.

The purpose of sound measurements, and noise metrics, is (or should be) to predict noise based on the measurement of sound, not to invalidate the human perception of sound as noise.

The FAA's over-reliance on obsolete, unpredictive, approximations of noise (like CNEL), and its discounting of the human experience, has left the FAA without a flashlight, stumbling blindly into our current nation-wide aircraft noise crisis.

I think you will agree there is a big difference between a baby crying at 75 dB, and a Beethoven symphony at 75dB, and the human reaction to each is not easily predicted by measurements taken with a sound meter.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:55 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Jetman:

the problem with your premise is that only a minority of people are disturbed by this "noise."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:59 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

your comparison is actually not correct. To be correct it would be that the police go home every night and don't ever police that part of the road at night. Meaning anyone with a brain can flaunt the law if their schedule permits. We both know the cops don't go home every night. There has to be some chance that someone violating your noise ordinance can be caught at all times to not be discriminatory. We both know the only time Surfair is going to be flying is when the tower is open.


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Posted by Adam Ullman
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm

@Menlo Voter
Again, you are using the term "discriminatory" (which has legal definitions) incorrectly. For example, a discriminatory policy would occur if, as a matter of policy, only planes with blue bottoms were investigated for breaking the noise policy. My suggestion looks at all planes. In your example, adding a night shift would resolve your concern -- hence it's not discriminatory to a specific type of aircraft, company, etc.

You also comment that if the tower is closed, it would prevent the plane from being identified. Do you really mean to tell me that there are no beacons or other aircraft identifiers recorded by existing flight tracking systems (VOLANS, Webtrak, etc.) when the tower is closed? If so, you are pointing out a HUGE safety concern that would mean that these planes are not identifiable by the SFO tower and given our proximity to SFO that would be of great concern.



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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Adam:

the only beacon a VFR aircraft that is not under air traffic controller control is the transponder. That transponder is set to the same code as every other VFR aircraft not under air traffic controller control, 1200. So you see, they are unidentifiable other than if someone can visually obtain the tail number and tie it to the noise violation.

They are not a safety concern as they cannot enter SFO's airspace without contacting air traffic control and being given a discrete transponder code prior to entry into SFO's class B airspace. In that way controllers know who and what that aircraft is.

As to putting a second shift on at the tower, that's up to the FAA. There's a reason there isn't one there now. Cost. It is highly unlikely the FAA is going to keep the tower at SQL open at night just to identify potential noise violators. In fact, I'd go so far as to say there's none.

I would suggest if you are interested in finding out just what goes into flying around here you can take a ride in a private plane flown by an instructor. Most flight schools will do this. In fact, you could request a "bay tour" which will take you around the bay and through numerous air spaces. It would give you a clearer idea how the air traffic control system works here and you may come to understand why what you are suggesting really isn't workable. Or not.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 7, 2015 at 10:25 pm


Open letter to Surf Air,

Lot's of Surf Air flights on IFR flight path on these last few beautiful VFR days,


Open letter to residents under IFR flight path,
It will be real bad this winter when they actually need to fly IFR, A flight every few minutes,


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2015 at 10:50 pm

With the recent roll-out of "nextgen" in southern California and the Sacramento area, "nextgen" aircraft noise is now a state wide problem in California.

"Aircraft Noise Over Culver Is Increasing"
Culver City Observer ~ September 6, 2015 Web Link

"Commercial aircraft noise over Sacramento caused by FAA's NextGen"
Youtube ~ September 29, 2015 Web Link


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Posted by Brian
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Surf Air pays fees to operate out of San Carlos airport. The citizens of the complaining communities don't pay anything into the operation of San Carlos airport. Surf Air wants to add more business to the San Carlos airport, and this leads to them paying more in fees. The surrounding residents are complaining about the sound of a turboprop flying overhead, and continue to pay absolutely NOTHING toward to operation of the airport.

Whether it's county-owned or not, the business is self-sufficient and operates responsibly as a business should. Why give up revenues because your NON-stakeholders don't like it?

It's ridiculous. I live near an airport, and I love it. In fact, I WANT to live under the approach path to an airport, because I enjoy plane-spotting. If you don't want to live under the approach path to an airport, because the sound of a turboprop is too much for you (which is really odd, considering we're talking about 60dba from ground-level, at most), then DON'T! You people have money...spend it on a house away from the glide-slope, for crying out loud!

While you're all concerned about the noise levels, it seems you are remarkably unconcerned over the fact that (no matter how quiet they are), these aircraft are utilizing jet fuel, which contains lead. So does the 100LL fuel that the piston planes use. When it comes down to it, if you don't see a benefit from being there, then it's ridiculous that you put yourself at risk and then complain about the thing that doesn't put you at risk!

People are crazy.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Jet aircraft and turbine-powered, propeller aircraft do not use avgas, but instead use fuels very similar to kerosene, which does NOT contain a lead additive."

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Brian said:

"Why give up revenues because your NON-stakeholders don't like it?"

The idea that the residents of San Mateo County are not stakeholders in San Carlos Airport is absurd, and if San Carlos Airport is just a business... why is the County operating a business? Sounds like socialism to me.


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 2, 2015 at 12:55 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

@Adam

You are doing the math wrong. the number of ANNUAL operations at KSQL is 57,000 which is 1100 per week. So your 8500 number is calculated wrong....but you knew that didn't you? It's very misleading.....but you knew that didn't you?

Here is the latest numbers from Skyvector (which gets them from the FAA) Note the 486 Military Operations that the airport supported.

Web Link

Here is the link with al lthe pertient data. notice the noise abatement procedures.

Thanks
Roy Thiele-Sardina
SEL, MEL, Instrument Rating


4 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Roy,

Better check your own math. Your link lists the following annual operations at KSQL:

Annual Air Taxi Operations: 2828
Annual Military Operations: 486
Annual GA Local Operations: 57077
Annual GA Itinerant Operations: 51553


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