News


Tuesday: County holds Atherton meeting on San Carlos Airport noise issues

 

As part of San Mateo County's study of noise issues connected to the San Carlos Airport, the county is hosting a town hall meeting in Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16.

Supervisor Don Horsley will host the meeting, which will be in the Jennings Pavilion in the park at 150 Watkins Ave.

In March, the Board of Supervisors agreed that the county would conduct a study of "aircraft disturbance" at the San Carlos Airport. The study was scheduled to be completed by June, but the county delayed taking public comments until after a new approach route to the airport -- which the Federal Aviation Administration approved to start July 5 -- could go into effect.

The study was prompted by a barrage of public complaints about noise related to the county owned and operated airport that began soon after Surf Air began using the airport in June 2013. The airline offers unlimited flights for a monthly fee and currently offers as many as 45 flights a day to or from the airport.

Because Surf Air uses planes that carry nine or fewer passengers, under FAA regulations the airline may operate out of the San Carlos Airport even though it is a general aviation -- not a commercial -- airport.

Details of scheduling for a second town hall meeting, to be held in mid-September at the Fair Oaks Community Center in Redwood City, are not yet available.

The county has hired an aviation consultant, an aviation noise consultant and a polling firm to help with the research.

--

Related stories:

• Taking county to court over aircraft noise.

• Airport noise: Mass filings of of small claims lawsuits have won concessions in the past.

• Surf Air planes still overhead despite OK to fly Bay route.

Comments

8 people like this
Posted by Ben Fuller
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 10, 2016 at 6:56 pm

This is becoming a very important issue. I live in Greater East San Carlos across from the airport between Industrial Road and El Camino and have noticed circling planes overhead flying over the neighborhood in a loop for as much as 30 minutes at a time. I can totally understand why the folks in Atherton are annoyed. This circling noise destroys the peaceful environment in which we live. Last night, for example, I went on a walk and had to listen to those guys for almost an hour flying a plane overhead. Please improve the situation for Atherton, and do NOT bring additional planes over the El Camino towards the 101.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Gee Ben, maybe you shouldn't have bought a house near an airport.


8 people like this
Posted by Ben Fuller
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Just for the record, I've lived here 15 years and this year is the first we've noticed planes circling us. In fact, it just started in last few months. I wonder if Surf Air re-routed themselves because of Atherton's complaints? And I do not blame anyone in Atherton where folks with beautiful homes in a beautiful neighborhood deserve much better.

And Menlo Voter, you're no better than someone from our neighborhood. This is a Bay Area problem so please don't advocate to displace it onto me, because you think you might have more money - which you probably don't because classy people would generally not bully others with anonymous posts.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:03 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Ben:

I'm not advocating moving the noise anywhere. In fact I've repeatedly advocated exactly the opposite.

I'm "bullying" you? Seriously? Wow, you've certainly got a low threshold for what bullying is.


2 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Menlo,
Communities were there before the airports. People have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. They have the right to sleep. There is no equivalent right to fly or to have something shipped by air (unless either involves emergency services).

Airports only exist to serve communities. The minute they become more of a nuisance than a service they lose their right to exist. The aviation industry does not have the right to pursue increased profits at any cost.


Like this comment
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

"Supervisor Don Horsley will host the meeting"

People attending should keep in mind Horsley’s tone and position as demonstrated in this article:

"Taking county to court over aircraft noise
Small claims court finds county responsible for airport noise"
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Hmm. Meetings, consultants, polling research. NextGen is hatched with zero public say. There IS "significant impact on the human environment" but unlike the way Americans woke up one day to this hell our elected officials must now talk and talk and consult and research this "complex" issue. And our tax dollars pay for this, and NextGen torture!

Where has basic humanity gone with our supposed representatives?


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

realist:

San Carlos airport has been there since the 40's. Long before most, if not just about all, of the people that are complaining lived there.

Yes, airports exist to serve communities, which is exactly what they are doing. Increased aircraft noise? Increased noise from increased flights from increased DEMAND from the community.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"torture"? Seriously? You know, people pay more attention and take people more seriously when they dispense with the hyperbole and histrionics.


Like this comment
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Menlo,
The airport was not there before the surrounding communities. If you want to compare like items you would have to say that the people flying were doing so before the people who are complaining bought their homes. But you can’t say that because it would not be true.

The increase in demand is primarily from a minority of the population. The majority of flights are made by a relatively small group of frequent fliers. Airports have to serve the greater community, not just a subset of it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

realist:

I didn't say, "The airport was not there before the surrounding communities." What I said was, "San Carlos airport has been there since the 40's. Long before most, if not just about all, of the PEOPLE that are complaining lived there."

See the difference?


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Menlo Voter,

Methods of torture include:

Sound (extremely high volumes, dynamic range, low frequency, high pitched noise that interferes with rest, cognition, and concentration)

Sleep deprivation

Physiological effects of both are extensive and deadly. Aircraft low overhead 24/7 constitutes such torture.


Like this comment
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Menlo,
You missed my point. You're not comparing like items. Were the people who are flying out of San Carlos Airport doing so before those who are complaining bought their homes? That's what you have to compare if that's the logic you're going to use.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

realist:

I disagree with your logic. For one to buy a home near an airport or in the approach or take off paths of the airport and assume the amount of traffic or noise would never change is naive, at best. I own a home 100 yards away from the CAltrain line. There are many more trains than when I bought my home. Do I complain? NO. I had no expectation that the situation when I bought my home would not change. I also don't demand Caltrain run fewer trains because I am being disturbed. The rail line was there when I bought my house.

That is the bottom line in this situation; people bought homes near airports or in approach patterns to airports and now want to complain about increased noise. Yes, I know, traffic patterns have changed. There are three International and multiple smaller airports in the Bay Area. Again, expecting no changes in this area is naive at best.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

tired:

when I worked the midnight shift and had to sleep during the day I used ear plugs and an eye mask. I had no expectation that the world change to satisfy my particular needs or wants. I dealt with what was. I suggest you do the same. Ear plugs really work.


2 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Menlo,
That is your logic, not mine.

If you choose to not complain about increased rail traffic near your home that is your right. It would also be your right to complain about elevated noise levels from additional traffic, and it would be the responsibility of the rail owners/operators to take any complaints into consideration and to ensure that no residential properties are subjected to unhealthy levels of noise. If they operate for a time without producing harmful noise levels but then experience an increase in traffic or make changes in the way they operate that creates unhealthy levels of noise then noise mitigation must take place. If the increase or new procedures cannot be accomplished while protecting the health of affected communities than those changes must be undone. No one has the right to unilaterally change the conditions that people are living in.

We have the right protect our health and the quality of our lives. It is as simple as that.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"If the increase or new procedures cannot be accomplished while protecting the health of affected communities than those changes must be undone."

Good luck with that. Good luck undoing all the growth in the Bay Area in the last 30 years too. That's what's driving this and is going to do nothing but get worse. Expecting it be "undone" because you don't like it or think it is affecting your health is typical of the entitled attitude that has become quite prevalent these days. I suggest you move to the country where there isn't so much noise.


2 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 8:44 am

Menlo,
This is not about what I "think" is affecting my health. There are numerous studies out there about the effects of noise on health and on the environment. You should take a look at those studies, because what they show is that even if someone is not bothered by the noise their health is still affected to the same degree. And then there are the environmental and health impacts of other types of pollution.

It's not the growth of the Bay Area that is driving these changes. All areas of the US are being subjected to more aircraft noise. This is simply the desire of one industry to expand at the expense of our health and the environment. If you think people who care about their health and the environment are going to go away just because you don't then, as you put it, "good luck with that."


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Realist:

do you think the airlines exist in a vacuum? They can't and won't expand if there isn't growth in demand. There is. The population of this country is growing and along with it so is noise, pollution and the demand for goods and services. It's not going to stop.


6 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Menlo,
No, the aviation industry does not exist in a vacuum, and the communities aviation serves have a right to regulate the industry to ensure that the demands of some don’t violate the rights of others.

So you are fine with human rights violations as long as they result in an economic benefit for a minority?


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

human rights violations? That's a little hyperbolic wouldn't you say?


2 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Menlo,
Humans have a right to have their health protected. Therefore knowingly harming the health of a person or people is a human rights violation. That is not hyperbolic at all.

If you don't like using the term human rights I'll rephrase it. Are you ok with the health of people being negatively impacted as long as there is an economic benefit for a minority?


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Realist:

I happen to be a realist and as such I understand that everything we do has risks and rewards, benefits and negatives. We have automobiles that impact humans lives daily, not only by killing humans directly, but by polluting the air. No one is talking about banning all cars are they? Because the majority of people are willing to put up with some of the down sides of automobiles in order to have the convenience and economic benefits of driving. Are there a minority of people that don't like that? Sure, but that's not the way we run our country. The majority is not beholden to the teerany of the minority. Frankly there will always be some people that don't like the negative effects of our modern society. The only way to make them happy would be to go back to horse and buggy days or maybe even the caves.

"Are you ok with the health of people being negatively impacted as long as there is an economic benefit for a minority?" I think this question is incorrect in its premise. It isn't only a minority that is benefiting. The majority of people benefit from air travel and air freight. It brings numerous economic benefits even to those that don't actually ride in those planes. So, I'm ok with the health of people being negatively impacted as long as there is an economic benefit for a majority of people. Which is what it is.


2 people like this
Posted by Tired of Cronyism
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Menlo Voter:

The tyranny in this case are laws, regulations, that cater to aviation expansionist aims at the expense of human health and the environment. And a realist does not spout extremes, all or nothing: “The only way to make them happy would be to go back to horse and buggy days or maybe even the caves.” Stopping these deadly low altitude flights over millions of Americans across our nation does not require, as you like to say, a “hyperbolic” return to horse and buggy and a ban on aircraft.

Economic impact and benefits do not simply appear in an Excel spreadsheet, an airline’s yearly profits and added number of jobs for example. The economy, which you and too many elected officials treat as an end that justifies the means, is weakened and will continue to be in ways not always readily quantifiable, boiled down to yearly profits and jobs added or lost for instance. There is a much more significant price to pay, in our time and generations to come, when human life and the environment are degraded as this industry is currently doing with its helpers in public office.

Progress in the greater societal sense rather than the reductionist business model sense is not made by people who say, I deal with this and that degradation of my quality of life and don’t complain so you shouldn’t; move to the country; wear earplugs; stop being entitled. Progress in human rights and the environment has always been made by a minority who don’t give up.

Aviation can be profitable and benefit society without doing the damage it’s unleashed particularly since NextGen rollout. NextGen’s technological advances don’t necessitate flying low over countless communities. And we can fly, have things shipped by air, but not to an insatiable degree, an on demand attitude, without harming ourselves and the environment.

Aircraft has been brought low to create the baseline required for building up flight capacity. Ever increasing capacity is not sustainable.


2 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Menlo,
Your argument that the overall economic benefits of aviation are worth sacrifices in the health of the people on the ground only works if there are no alternatives that would protect people's health. There are. It also only works if the economic benefits outweigh the costs to health, property values, and the environmental, which they don't.

I am advocating regulation of aviation, not banning all aircraft. Automobiles are the perfect example. We regulate how loud they are, their emissions, fuel consumption, design and features related to safety, all to protect lives. Those regulations cost money, both in the production of the automobiles and in their operation (fuel emissions lower gas mileage, for example).

You say you don't want tyranny of the minority, but the way the aviation industry is operating is exactly that. Regulate the industry so that it benefits the majority.


Like this comment
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm

"(fuel emissions lower gas mileage, for example)"

I meant to say emissions controls lower gas mileage.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm


Can we have some transparency,

Copies of all communications from elected and paid county employees including, airport management, to and from Surf air.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

" It also only works if the economic benefits outweigh the costs to health, property values, and the environmental, which they don't." Disagree. Do you have any documentation for that claim?

"We regulate how loud they are, their emissions, fuel consumption, design and features related to safety, all to protect lives." We already regulate those things and much, much more in aviation. The aviation industry is FAR more regulated than the automobile industry. Don't believe me? Buy this book and peruse it: Web Link It's about two or three inches thick.

Sorry, but you are mistaken about the benefits of the aviation industry to the general population. There are economic benefits that extend far beyond the airlines.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"And we can fly, have things shipped by air, but not to an insatiable degree, an on demand attitude, without harming ourselves and the environment. "

How? Exactly what does that look like? Never mind I disagree with your assertion. I'd just like to know how you think that can be accomplished.


Like this comment
Posted by Videofan
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 17, 2016 at 12:22 am

Menlo: Thank you for injecting some sense into whining argument about airplane noise. For the love of god, do people think their property lines actually project vertically into the sky's too? Your sentiments are spot on, and are appreciated by more folks than you think out there.


Like this comment
Posted by SA meeting
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Couldn't make the meeting last night,

Anyone there that could summarize how it went.


Like this comment
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm

@SA Meeting

Daily News event summary: Angry and crowded. Looks like you missed quite an event.

Web Link

You can catch a repeat performance next month.

Town Hall Meeting in the City of Redwood City
6:30 PM on Wednesday, September 14th at the Fair Oaks Community Center
2600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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