News

Surf Air returns to San Carlos Airport

 

Surf Air is back at the San Carlos Airport.

The commuter airline that has been the subject of noise complaints from Peninsula residents resumed operations at the San Mateo County-owned airport last week, airport manager Gretchen Kelly wrote in an email Oct. 26. Surf Air confirmed via email that it resumed operations in San Carlos on Monday, Oct. 22.

Surf Air confirmed Oct. 5 that it would return to the airport after ceasing operations there in June.

Surf Air had six arrivals last week and used Advanced Aviation LLC to operate the flights, Kelly said. The airline is back at the airport with a limited schedule, operating out of the shared transient ramp, she said.

Surf Air customers can also use the company's new Express service at the San Carlos Airport. Express offer a limited number of flights to members who pay a smaller subscription for individual bookings on the company’s planes. Express subscribers pay $2,000 for access to seats on the Surf Air planes or small jets for about $400 to $500 per seat. Other Surf Air customers pay $5,000 for unlimited flights.

"This will not affect the number of flights at the airport," a Surf Air spokesperson wrote in an Oct. 30 email. "Express members actually have limited access to the schedule and peak flying hours are not available on this membership."

Surf Air has been dealing with issues beyond residents' noise complaints in recent months.

Earlier this month the county disclosed Surf Air owed it $328,371.69 in taxes. The airline has been in contact with local tax authorities and is working through a resolution, a company spokesperson wrote in an Oct. 16 email.

In mid-June, Surf Air replaced Encompass Aviation LLC with Advanced Aviation as its flight operator. Days later, Encompass sued Surf Air, claiming $3.1 million in unpaid bills. Surf Air countersued Encompass, asking that Encompass return the PC-12 turboprop planes it subleased from Surf Air and claiming at least $10 million in damages.

A Surf Air spokesperson recently said the airline was "nearly at an end" of settlement negotiations with Encompass, adding that the company expects to have all of its turboprop planes back soon.

A startup airline that began using the San Carlos Airport in June 2013, Surf Air offers unlimited flights for a monthly fee and in the past has scheduled as many as 45 flights a day in and out of the airport.

A Surf Air spokesperson said earlier this month that once the airline returned to the airport, "flight operations will start slowly to make sure we are operating in ways that reduce our noise footprint. If all goes well, we'll gradually increase the number of flights while continuing to operate out of Oakland Airport."

---

Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

23 people like this
Posted by Idiotic
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

It just amazes me that this company can owe over $300k in taxes to the county, and yet they are allowed to resume operations before this amount is paid off. What exactly is "working through a resolution?" They owe the taxes, they have owed them for a while, they need to be paid in full. Immediately.

Since they are such a problem for residents in the area re: the noise and overflights, I fail to see why they are being overly accommodated. Does the county do this with all private businesses?


12 people like this
Posted by Just the Facts
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 31, 2018 at 10:44 am

Just the Facts is a registered user.

Let's review: If you do not pay your vehicle registration fee DMV will not send your annual sticker. Without a sticker you will be ticketed for driving an unregistered car. If you do not pay the fine and continue driving an unregistered car you will be stopped be a police officer again. Your unregistered car will be impounded and you will go to jail for ignoring your obligations. Your car will not be released from impound and you will stay in jail until all fees, fines, and penalties are paid in full.

Sounds like we should turn airport operations over to the DMV.


5 people like this
Posted by Jim P
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 31, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Jim P is a registered user.

Unfortunately the only way to really get any control over the airport is for the County to stop taking money from the FAA. Every time they take the money, there is little control available for 20 years. Last year the airport did a study which was useless. Very minor changes from the last study yet the 20 year clock started (again).
It's like voting for a school bond. The bond will not help you or your family because you will not be using the schools by the time the bond money is available. The future generation will benefit. Our Supervisors would have to make the decision.


23 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Party functionaries on the Peninsula look at the $45-50 million San Francisco owned and operated SFO contributes to the city's general fund and think it is a good idea to go into the aviation business.

When San Mateo County Supervisors decide to tax instead of regulate Surfair, they decided to become business partners with Surfair. Now San Mateo County Supervisors have a deadbeat business partner and must do everything they can to salvage that partnership.

Local officials gladly sell control of airports to the FAA in exchange for small Airport Improvement Grants, because that allows them to blame the FAA for problems at the airport, instead of their own feckless leadership.

Your county supervisors, SQL Management, Surfair, and the FAA are business partners in the heavily subsidized aviation industry.


10 people like this
Posted by Lisa
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2018 at 4:27 pm

After a blissful couple of months where our quiet neighborhood returned to its normal (I've lived here over 30 years) state, I once again hear small planes flying overhead. Surf Air will no doubt go right back to flying over our communities many times per day, with no regard for the quality of life of all of us-for the convenience of about 5,000 people, per the last reports I read. I wonder, is the $$ amount generated and the small number of customers serviced really more important than all of us, long time, hard working residents? I resent the fact we are clearly not considered in this situation. In fact, we are ignored.
For years San Carlos Airport was a part of our community-no longer. Thanks to Surf Air, they are a blight on our community. Shame.


8 people like this
Posted by BVA
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Meanwhile, Sunnyvale residents manage to convince FAA to shut down the proposed Bayside Visual Approach (BVA) flight path, claiming there is no need for it anymore since Surf Air has stopped flying out of San Carlos. And now Surf Air is back and BVA is gone. The idea behind BVA was to make Surf Air planes fly over the Bay instead of our neighborhoods.


12 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Let’s do something that is really gonna to shut down the airport for good.

Is there any groip working on it? The easiest way for the group to do is sending letters/emails and letting everyone understand this problem and where to file complaints. Fighting individually is a waste of time.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

anything you do in the next 20 years is a waste of time. The FAA controls the airport due to the county taking FAA funding. They will not close the airport. Don't waste your time.


18 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2018 at 1:06 am

If the San Mateo County Supervisors were to decide to stop selling control of the airport to the FAA, it would not take 20 years to have an effect. The FAA would immediately go into a state of panic. The FAA's greatest fear is local government reasserting its right and responsibility to manage these municipal assets on behalf of the local community. The FAA is very worried the Santa Monica contagion could spread to other airports like SQL and expose this subversion of democracy by an agency of the Federal government on behalf of the aviation industry.


13 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 8:19 am

To Menlo Voter:

It is none of your business. Everything you do here to discourage people to take actions is a waste of your time. Don’t waste your time.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:04 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

I'm just giving you information/facts. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In my opinion, you're wasting your time. But, you go right ahead.


11 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 10:03 am

I am also giving you facts that it is a waste of your time to try discouraging people and cover the airport or surf air in all different places. In my opinion, you are wasting your time.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 10:50 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is clear that Menlo Voter's informed attempt to assist Justin is a waste of time.

However Menlo Voter is correct on the facts.


15 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 11:20 am

To Peter Carpenter:

It is also clear that Peter Carpenter’s attempt to help Menlo Voter here to discourage all other affected readers (like what you two or the same guy did in all other articles) is a waste of time as well.

However, Jetman above is stating the fact.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 4, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"However, Jetman above is stating the fact."

Reread what he said and dig a little deeper. What he said doesn't dispute the fact that NOTHING can be done for 20 years due to the last taking of money from the FAA by the county. Don't believe me. Do some homework.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It is also clear that Peter Carpenter’s attempt to help Menlo Voter here to discourage all other affected readers "

I am not trying to discourage you but rather I am encouraging you to present facts.


21 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

The FAA doesn't just want to control SQL for twenty years. The FAA wants to control SQL FOREVER. The FAA wants to control SQL forever so they can transform it from a sleepy airport catering to private aviation into an airport that will serve the commercial aviation technologies of the future (commuter airlines, drones, STOL overnight delivery jets, helicopters, etc).

If the San Mateo County Supervisors were to start the clock ticking by refusing to accept any additional FAA funding, it would deprive the FAA of three things they desperately want to retain:

1. Control of SQL in perpetuity.
2. A mechanism for funding the commercial development of SQL.
3. Industry confidence that SQL is a good long term investment.

It would not take 20 years for an FAA funding ban at SQL to have an impact. An FAA funding ban would give the County Supervisors and the community instant visibility and leverage at the highest levels of the FAA bureaucracy.


14 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 5, 2018 at 10:06 pm

To Peter Carpenter:

I said pretty clear in my comment. "However, Jetman above is stating the fact."


16 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2018 at 7:54 pm

On Tuesday (12/2/18) Santa Clara County Supervisors voted to stop taking AIP grants from the FAA in a move that could eventually return control of the airport to local government.

"Reid-Hillview Airport’s days may be numbered after supervisors’ action"
San Jose Mercury News ~ December 4, 2018 Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

""Reid-Hillview Airport’s days may be numbered after supervisors’ action""

About 20 years from now if the Supervisors don't change their minds between now and then. Don't hold your breath.


2 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Thanks Jetman! This is very encouraging. Bravo, Santa Clara County. close these small nasty airports (esp SQL) that are destroy the communities.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 23, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

you mean those terrible airports that were in existence looooong before the "communities" that are now complaining about them? You mean those? Perhaps the people that bought homes near airports should take responsibility for their decisions. I know that's a stretch in today's society where no one accepts responsibility for their decisions, but.......


5 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 25, 2018 at 2:40 pm

To Menlo Voter:

I mean those nasty airports that increased their traffic tremendously as they like (especially in the recent few years), flew whatever path as they want and allowing those rat commercial airlines to use.

Whatever home decision you made, you would be considered under their "flight path" as long as you are in peninsula.

I know that's a stretch in today's society where no small and nasty airport accepts responsibility for the community, but.......


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 26, 2018 at 10:42 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

I take it from your comment that you expected nothing would ever change with the local airports. Population wouldn't grow. The demand for flights wouldn't increase and the airlines and other operators wouldn't move to serve that demand. Not sure what world you're living in, but it isn't same as the rest of us.


1 person likes this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 12:00 am

I am living in a world the same as the rest of normal people. You are living in a world with explosive growth of population, demand having to squeeze into the tiny local airport, sfo doesn’t seem to exist.

Read those angry comments from here and other related articles, not sure what world you are living in, but it is not the same as the rest of us.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 4, 2019 at 7:31 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"You are living in a world with explosive growth of population"

If we're all living in the same world, that's the world we live in. It's called change. It happens.


1 person likes this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 8:16 am

I don’t think you are living in the same world as the rest of us. If we wereliving in the same world, the local population wouldn’t be increased by over ten times since 2013 and sfo still has enough capacity to accommodate those traffic increase. This is called facts. It exists.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 4, 2019 at 9:36 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

the fact is that San Carlos is a "reliever airport". That means it is there to reduce the traffic load on SFO, especially smaller aircraft like the Pilatus. That's a fact.


9 people like this
Posted by Jetman
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm

The purpose of a "reliever" airport is to relieve major international airports like SFO of unprofitable aviation traffic and deadbeat airlines like Surfair.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Jetman:

No, the purpose of reliever airports is to relieve larger airports from smaller aircraft traffic. They take up space in the traffic pattern that could be occupied by larger aircraft that allows the major airport to handle more people from large aircraft.

12 seat aircraft don't land or take off anywhere near the same number of people as a 737 or larger jet. The smaller aircraft occupies the same gate space and the same space in the traffic pattern. They reduce the capacity of the large airport.

That is the entire point of reliever airports. To get that smaller traffic out of the large airport. It has noting to do with "dead beat" operators. But, you know that, don't you?

You just have an issue with ALL air traffic don't you? Your numerous posts on this site show what you really dislike. ALL air traffic, especially efficiently and safely moving air traffic that doesn't conform to YOUR world view of how it should be done. You also believe in "chem trails", a ridiculous conspiracy theory debunked by numerous experts, don't you?


4 people like this
Posted by Justin
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 5, 2019 at 5:31 am

Menlo Voter:

Let me tell you what is the fact. SQL has been abused as a loophole airport, not a “reliever” airport. Mainly to bypass the security line for surf air.

I could not speak for Jetman. But your attacks on him and on everyone else who spoke for stopping the nasty operation of the airport is out of your own unreasonable speculation, my personal opinion.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 5, 2019 at 9:19 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Justin:

in your opinion it is a "loophole" airport. In the FAA's regulations it is defined as a reliever airport. That's fact, not opinion.

My statements regarding Jetman are based on years of reading his posts. Not speculation.


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

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Natural wine bar Salvaje opens in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,950 views

Cap On? Cap Off? Recycling Bottles is Confusing
By Laura Stec | 41 comments | 1,905 views

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,653 views

Everything you've always wanted to know ...
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 1,185 views

The summer bucket list
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 230 views