• Our mission is to promote and protect San Carlos Airport and its flight operations, and to enhance the safety and spirit of general aviation through participation in local community activities.


  • The San Carlos Airport Association (SCAA) has represented pilots and friends of the Airport since our founding in 1986.

Noise Abatement Procedures

  • San Carlos Airport is surrounded by noise sensitive neighborhoods. All pilots are encouraged to follow the noise abatement procedures

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San Carlos METAR

  • KSQL 140615Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 08/02 A3008 RMK AO2

    A METAR describes the current weather at an airport. Click here to learn how to read a METAR.

SQL Notams

  • Click here and enter KSQL in the Locations box to read the Notices to Airmen (Notams) about San Carlos Airport.

ASOS from Half Moon Bay Airport (HAF)



  • Email: webmaster at sancarlosairport.org
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    San Carlos Airport Association
    P.O. Box 1183
    San Carlos, CA 94070

Archive for March, 2017

The following email was sent to all our members on 3/24/17.

As I’m sure you all know, the Airport is surrounded by noise sensitive communities. The Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures (VNAP), established more than 20 years ago, have been responsible for a peaceful and friendly relationship with our neighbors. To ensure that this continues, I wanted to send you this reminder and encourage you to send a copy of this email to anyone who might not be familiar with the VNAP.

Thank you for your continued support of SCAPA. If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2017, please do so at our membership signup form. We need you now more than ever.

Carol Ford, President
San Carlos Airport Association

Noise Abatement Procedures

San Carlos Airport is surrounded by noise sensitive areas. By using your aircraft’s quietest departure techniques and following the guidelines and procedures below, we can reduce the noise impact on our neighbors. The San Carlos Airport Pilots Association has adopted a Good-Neighbor-Policy and requests that resident and visitor aircraft comply with the voluntary noise abatement procedures described below.

Please Use Common Sense and Be Considerate to Airport Neighbors

  • Reduce power/RPM as soon as safe and practical.**
  • Avoid flying over homes in extremely noise sensitive areas.
  • Departing traffic use Runway 12, wind permitting.
  • Please consider the noise impact of your pattern flying activities. If able, fly after 10 a.m. on weekend and holiday mornings.
  • No touch-and-goes when the Tower is not in operation.
  • IFR departures: Give consideration to your noise impact.
  • Helicopter operations: Contact airport office for procedures.

Most aircraft noise is generated by propeller tip noise. This is especially true when propeller tip speeds approach supersonic speeds. Even a small deduction of 100 or 200 RPM can produce a significant decrease in noise levels.

In addition, we ask your cooperation in restricting operations to:

On Weekdays: No touch-and go, low-approach or full stop-taxi back operations on Weekdays during the period from two (2) hours after sunset of one day and 8:00 a.m. of the following day, Monday through Friday; and until 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Sunset times are averaged on monthly basis for the purposes of these restrictions.

No touch-and-go, low approach, or taxi back operations Monday – Friday after:

January:   19:00
February:  19:30
March:     20:00
April:     21:30
May:       22:00
June:     22:30
July:     22:00
August:   22:00
September: 21:00
October:   20:30
November:  19:00
December:  19:00

On Weekends and Holidays: No touch-and go, low-approach or full stop-taxi back operations before 9:30 a.m. nor after 6:00 p.m. on any Saturday, Sunday or Holiday.

The San Carlos Airport Pilots Association has adopted a Good-Neighbor-Policy. That policy includes the following voluntary restriction: Pattern Work (repetitive circuits) is discouraged from 2300 hours until 0700 hours, daily. The Pilots Association requests that resident aircraft and visitors comply with this voluntary restriction.

For more information, comments or suggestions, please contact:
San Carlos Airport
620 Airport Drive, San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 573-3700, FAX (650) 593-3762

Safety Always Supersedes Noise Abatement Procedures

PATTERN WORK (Runway 30)

Climb straight-out, parallel Highway 101. Fly your crosswind turn so that your ground track remains just northwest of the diamond-shaped waterway as depicted on the noise abatement map. (Do not overfly the diamond shaped waterway.) Delay your downwind turn until reaching 800 feet MSL and reducing power/RPM


Crosswind Departures: “Belmont Slough ” Departure. Climb straight-out, parallel to Highway 101. Fly your crosswind turn so that your ground track remains just northwest of the diamond-shaped waterway as depicted on the noise abatement map. (Do not overfly the diamond shaped waterway.) Fly out the Belmont Slough. Avoid overflying homes on either side of the Slough. Caution: Remain northwest of KNBR radio towers to avoid inbound traffic (Stay clear of SFO Class B airspace).

Downwind Departures Delay your downwind turn until reaching 800 feet MSL. Continue climbing at reduced power/RPM setting until past housing. Make a 45 degree left turn off the downwind at pilot’s discretion or continue downwind. (Contact Palo Alto Tower prior to entering PAO Class D airspace.)

Woodside Departures: Delay your downwind turn until reaching 800 feet MSL. Continue climbing at reduced power/RPM setting until past housing. Proceed downwind until the Salt Pile prior to initiating a right turn.

Upwind Departures: “Bay Meadows” Departure. Climb straight-out, parallel Highway 101, until abeam the race track (6 DME from SFO VOR) then turn to a southwesterly heading, remaining south of Highway 92. (Stay Clear of SFO Class B airspace).


Aircraft departing Runway 12: turn left 20 degrees to a heading of 100 degrees as soon as is safe and after passing the end of the runway.

Southbound and Westbound: “Woodside” departure. Continue outbound on a heading of 100 degrees until past the Salt Pile prior to initiating a right turn. (Contact Palo Alto Tower prior to entering PAO Class D airspace.)Departures and Pattern Traffic: Begin your left crosswind turn as soon as traffic permits.

(Use low noise setting inbound)

From North/Northwest (Runway 30): Make entry via the Steinberger Slough (southeast of KNBR radio towers). Caution: Traffic departing via Belmont Slough (3/4 mile northwest of radio towers).

From Southwest Through Northwest (Runway 30): Remain at least 1000 feet AGL. Make entry overhead the airport northeast bound. Cross overhead mid-field at or above 1200 feet MSL (Remain Below SFO Class B airspace). Caution: Traffic Pattern at 800 feet.

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

Avoid aerobatic-style short approaches over the homes and buildings north of the airport.

Safety Always Supersedes Noise Abatement Procedures

posted by Mar 24, 2017  01:03 PM
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In an effort to support outstanding student pilots, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation and the You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative will award scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, in 2017.

High School Flight Training Scholarships Program

Twenty teens will get closer to their dream of earning their wings thanks to AOPA’s You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship program. AOPA will award $100,000 in flight training scholarships to 20 current high school students who are truly passionate about pursuing a pilot’s certificate. The winners will each receive $5,000 toward flight training.

AOPA Foundation Flight Training Scholarships

The AOPA Foundation supports passionate aviators and will award various scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, in 2017. The minimum age to apply for the AOPA Foundation scholarships is 16 and there is no maximum age. Applicants must hold a student pilot certificate to apply for these scholarships.

Applications open March 1, 2017!

Click here to learn more.

posted by Mar 14, 2017  09:03 PM
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The flight training activities at San Carlos Airport are an important part of solving the severe nationwide pilot shortage. Read more about the problem in this article by Alan Karp in the March 8, 2017 edition of Air Transport World.

SkyWest CEO warns pilot shortage could lead to big service cuts
Aaron Karp
Mar 08, 2017


SkyWest Inc. CEO Chip Childs testifies during US House of Representatives hearing

SkyWest Inc. president and CEO Chip Childs warned the US Congress of a “growing pilot shortage” that could become significantly more pronounced over the next three years, leading to the grounding of large numbers of aircraft in US regional airlines’ fleets.

Testifying March 8 at a House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, Childs said Utah-based SkyWest—the parent of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines and the US’s largest regional airline operator—has been able to maintain adequate pilot hiring levels so far. But he said smaller regional airlines are having increasing difficulty finding qualified pilots and the shortage will likely soon begin to seriously affect SkyWest.

“All of us [in the US regional airline industry] see a very significant pilot shortage,” he said. “We’re deeply concerned about the statistics as we move forward over the next three years. There are a lot of retirements at the majors and we simply don’t have the backfill.”

Childs said US major airlines, which primarily hire flight deck crew from US regionals, are expected to hire 18,000 pilots in the next three years, nearly the size of the current regional airline pilot workforce. He warned that the shortfall in pilots could ultimately lead to the parking of as much as two-thirds of the US regional airline fleet in operation today.

That would create a big loss in service to smaller US markets, Childs warned, noting, “We are the only source of [air] travel at 60% of the airports that we serve.”

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has cast the problem as largely one of compensation levels for pilots, but Childs said there has been a “tremendous move and shift [to higher] compensation in the last few years” for pilots at US regional airlines.

FAA’s Congressionally mandated rule requiring pilots to accumulate 1,500 flight hr. before becoming a first officer at a Part 121 US airline has been blamed for escalating the cost of becoming an airline pilot, but Childs did not press Congress to change the law that led to the rule as US regional airlines have in the past. In what may signal a change in lobbying strategy for US regional airlines, Childs instead pushed for Congress to provide guidance to FAA to allow for more “alternate pathways” to meeting the 1,500-hr. requirement within existing law.

Childs said prospective pilots need financial assistance. “We need some loan programs for pilots,” he told lawmakers.

Also testifying at the same hearing, Alaska Airlines president and CEO Brad Tilden said, “I just want to support Chip Childs on the pilot training … Student loans [for pilots] guaranteed by the federal government … would be beneficial.”

Asked by a House member about expanding service to rural areas in the US, Childs said, “The reality is if there are not enough pilots … [and] you’re trying to get new service—that is not going to happen unless we resolve this.”

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com

posted by Mar 11, 2017  11:03 AM
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Click here to read the story by Barbara Wood of the Almanac: “Carol Ford, the president of the San Carlos Airport Association, made up of pilots and businesses that use the airport, said association members have several reasons to oppose a draft airport curfew ordinance recently proposed by San Mateo County.

She said the proposed ordinance, which would restrict the hours and numbers of flights into and out of the airport, may not be legal and punishes those who have “peacefully co-existed” with the airport’s neighbors for decades.

On March 3, the county released a draft of the ordinance saying it is an effort “to address community concerns regarding San Carlos Airport noise.”

Those concerns began after Surf Air, a startup airline whose passengers pay a monthly fee for unlimited flights, started using the San Carlos Airport in June 2013. Noise complaints about the airline’s turboprop planes have increased as the number of flights increased.

The county’s proposal would limit the hours and numbers of “noisy aircraft” rated at 74.5 decibels or louder that could land or take off from the airport.

The list of noisy aircraft includes the Pilatus PC-12s flown by Surf Air, but also 65 other planes.

The noisy aircraft would be banned from using the airport from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. During the hours from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., each operator of a noisy aircraft (such as Surf Air, a charter company, a flight school or a private individual) would be allowed only one takeoff and one landing in each time period.

As written, the restrictions would eliminate 81 flights a week from Surf Air’s current schedule.

Certain exceptions would apply, including for those working on certifications.

Ms. Ford said her group is “shocked by the proposed ordinance” and questions its legality. The airport association and others opposed to the curfew have pointed to a recent federal appeals court ruling against a curfew imposed at an airport in East Hampton, New York.

San Mateo County’s proposal, however, seems to be designed to avoid the problems the East Hampton curfew has faced by exempting certain classes of aircraft, such as jets and helicopters, which are strictly regulated by federal law.

The ordinance exempts what are labeled “Stage 2, 3 and 4” aircraft. Federal regulations govern those classes of aircraft and prohibit more stringent local regulations.

Mike Callagy, San Mateo County’s assistant county manager, said the proposed curfew “is much more narrowly tailored to aircraft causing disturbances” than the South Hampton regulations.

Ms. Ford said that many at the airport hope an alternative route Surf Air used during a six-month trial period will be approved for permanent use by the Federal Aviation Administration. The route sent Surf Air over the Bay instead of the Peninsula for more than 60 percent of its flights during the trial.

But county officials say it could take 18 months, or longer, for the FAA to decide about the route. The route had drawn complaints from residents of Sunnyvale who said it increased the number of planes flying over their homes, but San Mateo County officials say most of those complaints were from people who did not live under the new flight path.

The Bay route also did not address noise complaints from those who live under Surf Air’s departure routes, including residents of San Carlos, Redwood Shores and North Fair Oaks.

The Bay route removed Surf Air’s planes from flying over “the handful of residents who have been complaining” much of the time, Ms. Ford said.

“If the Supervisors really believe that this very substantial improvement (of the Bay route) is still not enough to satisfy the individuals who are driving this issue, then the supervisors should be drafting an ordinance that does what they already admit they intend to do: target Surf Air,” she said in an email, acknowledging that such an ordinance would not be valid.

Ms. Ford said Surf Air is “the target of this ordinance” but the proposed regulations punish “airport users who have peacefully coexisted with the community for many years.”

She also suggested that a prerequisite to any changes is the completion of a recently started county noise study.

“The San Carlos Airport Association has always strived to be a good neighbor to our friends in the surrounding communities,” Ms. Ford said. “For almost 20 years we’ve peacefully coexisted, and as we heard at recent meetings of the Board of Supervisors, our neighbors have been friendly toward us.”

Ms. Ford suggested that the supervisors devote their energy and taxpayer funds to “engage the flying community to work together for alternate solutions.”

The county said the proposed ordinance and other possible ways to lessen noise complaints will probably be considered by the Board of Supervisors in July.

In the meantime, the county will meet with local residents and airport users as well as public officials from the affected communities to discuss the proposed curfew.

The pdf for the article is here.

posted by Mar 09, 2017  10:03 PM
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Avweb points out that San Mateo County’s proposed curfew is “thinly veiled attempt to target Surf Air’s Pc-12.” (click here for avweb coverage)

posted by Mar 03, 2017  09:03 PM
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To all friends of San Carlos Airport:

We have just been informed that in response to noise complaints directed at Surf Air from Atherton and other communities, the County is proposing to implement a curfew that will effectively close San Carlos Airport to all but a small number of aircraft types from 9PM to 6AM every day of the week. Only one landing and one takeoff will be allowed per aircraft from 6AM to 9AM and 6PM to 9PM.

The proposed regulation (click here) applies to many aircraft based at San Carlos (click here to see list), from a Piper Arrow to the Pilatus PC-12 flown by Surf Air.

The SCAPA Board of Directors has been following the Surf Air problem closely and trying to work with County officials on your behalf since we first alerted you last year. The curfew was a surprise to us and is completely unacceptable.

We are currently pursuing various responses to the proposed curfew and will be in touch soon about follow-up measures. We think it will come before the Board of Supervisors in April. We’ll let you know about that meeting as soon as it’s scheduled.

Thank you for your continued support of SCAPA. In the meantime, if you haven’t renewed your membership for 2017, please do so at our membership signup form. We need you now more than ever.

Carol Ford
SCAPA President

posted by Mar 02, 2017  11:03 PM
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