San Mateo County has hired two aviation consultants to help it study how to "provide meaningful relief" for local residents affected by the noisy aircraft that have begun using the airport in greater and greater numbers.
An update on what the county is calling the "San Carlos Airport Aircraft Disturbance Study" from county Public Works Director Jim Porter will be presented to the Board of Supervisors when it meets on Tuesday, April 26, starting at 9 a.m. in the supervisors' meeting room at 400 County Center in Redwood City. The item is scheduled for 9:15 a.m.
Surf Air, the commuter airline that began using the San Carlos Airport in June 2013, is not named directly in the update, probably because Federal Aviation Administration rules prohibit discriminating against any airport user. But complaints about the noisy turboprop planes used by the airline have poured in to the airport since Surf Air began its scheduled flights there.
Supervisor Don Horsley said in March that he asked for the study only after attempting to work collaboratively with Surf Air for nearly three years.
A March meeting to discuss the issue drew an overflow crowd, including both those who say they are plagued by the noisy aircraft and airport users who said they were afraid regulations could affect their use of the airport.
"It is clear, based on community input, that noise reduction efforts to date have not resolved the considerable community concern over aircraft disturbance," Mr. Porter's report says.
Mr. Porter said the consultants will look at the regulations at other general aviation airports, study the flight data at the San Carlos Airport and "develop more refined noise reduction options" specific to the local situation.
Cost of hiring the consultants is estimated to be $165,000.
The county will also hire a consultant to survey resident and airport businesses about the impacts of current use of the airport. In May another public meeting will be held to discuss the county's options for dealing with the problem.
The county is also work with the FAA and the airport's business and pilots' associations, Mr. Porter's report says.
The supervisors are scheduled to receive recommendations for further action at a June meeting.