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County officials say Surf Air is no longer using San Carlos Airport

Original post made on Aug 21, 2018

Surf Air, the controversial commuter airline behind thousands of residents' noise complaints to the San Carlos Airport, hasn't landed at the airport since June 29, county officials say.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 3:59 PM

Comments (43)

6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm

People are still complaining about airplane noise, so was the problem really Surf Air to begin with?


8 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2018 at 7:37 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"People are still complaining about airplane noise, so was the problem really Surf Air to begin with?"

No


2 people like this
Posted by Depends
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

It depends on the volume of complaints. If they've gone down in correlation with the reduction in Surf Air flights, then it's likely Surf Air was a large source of the problem, though they may not have been the only problem.


18 people like this
Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 22, 2018 at 9:52 am

Just the facts is a registered user.

Surfair: good-bye and good riddance.


6 people like this
Posted by MEMBERONE
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Noticeably fewer aircraft (read much less noise) during July.
Thank you.

But recently a few more flights over the ECR - Middlefield corridor.
White bellied monsters.

Maybe different carrier with same type of aircraft (Pilatus) and Surf Air's pilots.


4 people like this
Posted by MaryAnnMP
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm

MaryAnnMP is a registered user.

I saw a plane identical to the type Surf Air flies go over North Fair Oaks (very low altitude, maybe 1800') only three days ago.

So - what's up with the "not flying anymore". Is it another carrier?


7 people like this
Posted by susannahID
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:55 pm

susannahID is a registered user.

Far less noise lately. Can once again sleep with window open.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

MaryAnnMP:

as has been previously noted, there are multiple operators of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft at SQL. Unfortunately, the folks complaining don't know the difference and/or can't be bothered to find out, so they blame the convenient target.


4 people like this
Posted by Clive
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Well I’m still seeing and hearing the same blue Pilatus pc-12s flying the same flight pattern as Surf Air albeit fewer flights than before. So some operator is still flying so even it’s not Surf Air. If so, am I the only concerned that the county airport officials don’t seem to know who is flying these flights?


5 people like this
Posted by gwen
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

RE Menlo Voter & resident- if you live directly under the landing path, you might reconsider your response. We had five years of nonstop jet like noise, its been a relief.

Hard to understand WHY the County supes would allow Surf Air 'partner' new operator to land again IF they owe the county money. San Mateo County says Surf Air owes it $131,371 for 2017 taxes and may owe more for 2015 and 2016. The supes are looking out for their citizens? Not so much if they allow ROAM to return back to San Carlos..


5 people like this
Posted by johngslater
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Its been a wonderful few months to be able to again go outside without being dive bombed by a Pilatus.


3 people like this
Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 22, 2018 at 5:40 pm

I’ve noticed much less noise. If surf air is really gone then good riddance. A few noisy flights are fine but it’s no longer every 20 minutes. Good news


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

gwen:

I both live and work under the approach to SQL. I happen to understand and care to look to see what aircraft are passing over. [Portion removed; please be respectful of other posters]. Clearly, Surfair are not the only operators of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. [Portion removed; see above.]

If you actually read the article you would understand that no one is "partnering" with Surfair. THERE ARE OTHER OPERATORS OF PILATUS AIRCRAFT. [Portion removed; screaming in all caps rarely advances civil discourse.] SURFAIR HASN'T LANDED ANY AIRCRAFT SINCE THE END OF JUNE.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I was never bothered by Surfair planes & didn't hear them, although I see a few. An incoming flight which I thought was Surfair is visible from my home most nights around 11 pm as recently as last week. I do have windows open & don't hear plane noise, just cars & trains.

Does anyone know if there's another regularly scheduled airline? Otherwise, I guess it's a corporate or private plane - always on the same flight path, diagonally over El Camino @ what might be the Atherton -Redwood City border.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 24, 2018 at 7:34 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

downtowner:

there are several operators of PC-12's at SQL. Since Surfair hasn't been operating there since the end of June you most likely saw one of those operators.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm

I have posted on previous articles regarding Surf Air with a hypothesis that Surf Air often takes the blame for noise. Data was gathered and presented to show that many low flying planes were operated by other charter carriers, companies, and private individuals. Complaints about late night and early morning noise were usually air ambulance, medivac, or other emergency service aircraft. Some planes identified as Pilatus PC-12s were actually similar looking Socata TBMs.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2018 at 7:37 pm

I can confirm menlo voter is correct. No Surf Air or Surf Air affiliated planes have operated in weeks.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 24, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

WKC:

Thank you. Those complaining about Surfair don't even know or bother to find out if Surfair aircraft are the aircraft flying over them. Surfair is just an easy target. They can't or won't understand that not ALL PC-12's flying over them are Surfair aircraft.


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Posted by Steve_J
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 6:49 am

Steve_J is a registered user.

And, people LOVE to complain about Surfair. Get ready folks, the county is allowing flights in and out for the Burning Man event coming shortly.


1 person likes this
Posted by Just the fact
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 9:27 am

I can tell that the noise has been cut a lot for the past month and haven’t filed a single complaint. From time to time, I could still see a few flights. But that is largely fine. Much better than before.


1 person likes this
Posted by Surf air
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 9:37 am

This is great news! Get out, Surf air!

Totally understand that the number of complaints won’t drop to zero because there are still some other flights in and out of SQL. Where can we see the stat data on the trend of complaints? Simply match that with surf air’s operations and check the correlation.


4 people like this
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 11:32 am

MaryAnnMP,
Sunday, August 19th has several PC-12s fly into SQL. None were owned or operated by Surf Air. A quick query of information I gathered indicates they were operated by air charter operators, privates businesses (specifically a venture capital firm and a vineyard), and private individuals. I have not done a deep dive but I suspect planes with similar P&W Canada PT6 engines also flew into the airport. The sound and visual appearance are similar to PC-12s.


Like this comment
Posted by Surf air
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm

To WKC,

Can you access the complaint database and share the number of complaints for the past few months before and after surf air stopped operati N in SQL.

No one could derive the no guilty conclusion without seeing the correlation between number of complaints and Surf air’s operation. The number of complaints will never drop to zero as long as SQL is there. But the current air traffic seems to be fine to me. At least, in our neighborhood, we could finally enjoy the outdoor recently.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Hi Surf air,
Just realized I posted in the past using a different name (Winston C.). Afraid I do not have access to the FAA complaint database. The data I have is gathered independently as part of a personal project and correlated with public information. I have no opinion of Surf Air either way and simply want to present objective information for those to draw their own conclusions.

My curiosity came from several neighbors complaining about early morning and late evening flights alleged to be flown by Surf Air. A check of my data showed it was actually a PC-12 operated by a local construction company. This included several flights between 5AM and 6AM in the morning and late evening flights past 9PM.

Public flight tracking information is not always complete and may not show VFR (visual flight rule) operations without a flight plan. IFR flight plans can also be incomplete. For example, a flight may be filed for Hayward Executive to Hawthorne (Los Angeles Area). What it does not show is an intermediate stop at San Carlos. I believe I showed this in a previous comment for an article on the same topic.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm

For those that are curious, the PC-12 that flew over us a few minutes ago is owned by Harris Ranch. Hope they are bringing steaks for everyone. :-)


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2018 at 10:01 pm

As an FYI,
A PC-12 is scheduled to land at SQL around 6:40AM on Sunday, August 26th. The flight plan has been filed but that is always subject to change. The operator is a Northern California air charter operation. This company is not affiliated with Surf Air.


Like this comment
Posted by Little old san carlos airport
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 1, 2018 at 2:38 am

All goes to show ya, San Carlos airport was just a sleepy little airport that din't bother anybody

Surf Air shows up to much ado ,lots of complaints, multiple meetings, lots of bad press, taking precious time away from controllers, airport staff having to institute new regulations, people calling to shut down the airport, private pilots who had a great thing going stressing out, etc.

What a mess, Surf Air arrogance about their rights, Sounds like bad karma whats happening now,

Go back to the way it was and the calls to close the airport will go away and all will be well.


Like this comment
Posted by Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Sep 2, 2018 at 8:59 am

One solution is to enable a no fly zone. I believe Portola Valley has instituted this on routes over town and I haven’t noticed much noice recently


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Res,
Cities and towns do not have the legal authority to declare no fly zones. There are still plenty of planes that fly over Portola Valley, I just tracked two Cessna 172s, Diamond DA40, and a Skywest (United Express) CRJ-200 fly over the area in the last 5 minutes.


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm

A WOW Air flight is over Portola Valley at this exact moment.


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Those in Portola Valley can look up right now and see a Southwest 737.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

WKC:

Thanks for the info. Don't think that any of the whiners bitching about Surfair will acknowledge this. None of them can be bothered to actually determine what aircraft passing overhead are actually Surfair aircraft. And since the end of June, NONE should be Surfair planes. Would love to see how many people continue to complain about "Surfair" overflights that NEVER happened.


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:05 pm

I actually just tracked a plane may be Surf Air affiliated operating near San Carlos. Nothing confirmed because I do need to check my data.

Menlo Voter,
Yes I do agree that Surf Air does take the blame when a flight is operated by someone not affiliated with the company.


Like this comment
Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:26 pm

The plane I tracked was operated by Encompass Aviation. They are the ones that operated on behalf of Surf Air using subleased PC-12s. Both companies have filed lawsuits against each other for a number of claims. Whether the flight into San Carlos was for Surf Air or not I cannot say.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2018 at 10:31 pm

And the plane just flew out of San Carlos departing from runway 12.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 9:35 am

After combing through some data, it appears the flight operated by Encompass was NOT on behalf of Surf Air. While Surf Air and Encompass are suing and counter suing each other, Encompass appears to have retained Surf Air's planes. Surf Air alleges that Encompass has made unauthorized flights on the subleased PC-12s. This appears to have have been one of those flights Encompass has been accused of operating.


1 person likes this
Posted by Golden Hills
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm

I know a few years back a group of Portola Valley residents sued the FAA because new flight paths were created over our town. Has there been any update on this? I have certainly noticed a change for the better but maybe the reporter should look into it.

Web Link

Potentially communities affected by The San Carlos Airport could take matters to court.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Golden Hills,
I think you might be confusing two issues. My understanding is the main complaint Portola Valley residents has was not with Surf Air flying into San Carlos but the SERFR ONE arrival procedure. This is the standard route planes approaching from the south fly into SFO. Earlier in the year, a new SERFR THREE route was implemented with more flights being vectored over East Palo Alto. Altitudes were also raised for planes flew when crossing certain waypoints. As always, air traffic control can deviate from the routes for reasons including traffic management, safety, and emergencies.


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Posted by WKC
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Apologies to Golden Hills, my previous comment was meant for res.


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Posted by Surf Air critic
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2018 at 10:51 am

check here: Web Link


"Howard reported the airport received 493 noise complaints in August of 2017, a figure that rose to 1,220 complaints received in May. As of Aug. 24, 460 noise complaints were logged for the month."

Of course, surf air shouldn't take the blame for the 460 complaints. But they should take the 1220 - 460 = 760 blames.


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Posted by Surf Air critic
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2018 at 10:57 am

But it is likely that this pig airline will be back in mid Oct to screw the bay area again, and they lie to themselves and public "work extensively with the airport and community" and "all is well": Web Link

"Surf Air, the California-based members-only airline, said it hopes to resume service in and out of San Carlos Airport sometime in October after shifting its flights across the bay to Oakland International Airport."

"We've worked extensively with the airport and community on this front and will continue to do so if necessary," said Hudson Andrews, Surf Air's Marketing Director. "But all is well!"

[Editor's note: The poster's name was expanded from "Surf Air". Please don't use a name that suggests you are affiliated with a company or organization.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Surf air critic:

Surfair shouldn't take blame for ANY flights in August. They HAVEN'T flown into SQL since the end of June. What part of "they haven't flown into SQL since the end of June" don't you understand? The morons complaining about Surfair since the end of June are to lazy to or too ignorant to figure out that the aircraft they are complaining about AREN'T Surfair aircraft. What we have is a bunch of entitled, ignorant people that are too lazy to pay attention to the news (where the stoppage of Surfair flights was announced) and are too lazy to take the few seconds to look at the available online data to inform themselves as to what actual aircraft have "disturbed" them. Instead, they choose to attack the easy target, Surfair, which since June, hasn't even been "disturbing" them. We're supposed to take their complaints seriously because???


1 person likes this
Posted by Surf Air critic
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2018 at 11:08 am

To Menlo Voter:

I suggest you to read my comment again and more carefully. It is an elementary school math problem.

Surf air SHOULD NOT take the blame for Aug, which was 460 complains. But in May, when Surf air was operating at SQL, SQL received 1220 complains.

It means that with Surf air operating, # of complains will go up by two times at least, and Surf air SHOULD BE responsible for the 1220 - 460 = 760 blames each month WHEN IT OPERATES (NOT IN AUG). IT IS AN APPROXIMATION! You could see the strong correlation between Surf Air operation and the surge of complains.

For the san mateo county noise reporting website, I have no idea why San Mateo County couldn't just release the data (monthly number of complains) somewhere online. Every time when you file a complain, it simply says "we are working on it and will get back to you soon". But in reality, they never reach back to you or do anything. It is pretty discouraging for people reporting noise.


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