• 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

Live View of San Carlos Airport (SQL)

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 July, 2017

from the Airport Manager

Airport Businesses, Associations & Users,

In June, the County Board of Supervisors approved the San Carlos Airport (SQL) to enter into an agreement with Hughes Aerospace to research, analyze and develop additional instrument approach/departure procedures for SQL that support the current noise abatement procedures. To begin their initial research, Hughes will be conducting obstruction survey analysis work on-site in August.

In order to complete necessary survey work, Runway 30/12 at the San Carlos Airport will be closed

Sunday, August 13th from 8:00 PM until midnight (local time).

Please check NOTAMs prior to flight.

Thank you,



Gretchen Kelly

San Mateo County Airports Manager

Half Moon Bay Airport & San Carlos Airport

posted by Jul 27, 2017  10:07 PM
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San Carlos Airport Association President Carol Ford is quoted in the following article about the Surf Air problem at San Carlos Airport that appeared in the July 24, 2017 edition of the San Mateo Daily Journal . She points out that SCAA is pleased that the county is focusing on the origin of the controversy, rather than punishing other pilots and commercial operators who have lived in harmony with the community for many years.

Surf Air tests interstate travel with federal agency
County officials contest airline expansion, requests review of airline’s economic status
By Anna Schuessler Daily Journal staff, Jul 24, 2017

As efforts to mitigate the noise coming in and out of the San Carlos Airport proceed, San Mateo County is contesting a newly-formed relationship between Surf Air and its operator, Encompass Aviation, that may make what officials call an unauthorized expansion of flights in and out of the small aircraft, general aviation airport possible.

On July 6, the county filed a letter opposing a June application Encompass Aviation — which the letter states became an operator for Surf Air flights in April — submitted with the Department of Transportation requesting authority to act as a commuter air carrier.

The letter details reasons why Surf Air, as the primary actor in providing flights to its customers after its April change in legal structure, must obtain its own economic authority to operate flights and is using Encompass’ application to fly planes across state lines as an inappropriate proxy for its own operations.

An excerpt from the letter asserts “Surf Air’s entire legal structure seems designed to circumvent direct regulation by [the Department of Transportation], and Encompass is seeking economic authority from [the Department of Transportation] only to facilitate Surf Air’s plan.”

The small-aircraft, members-only airline has drawn the ire of some residents in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The residents have attributed increased noise emanating from the general aviation airport where pilots of small aircraft have historically trained and stored their aircraft to Surf Air, which began routing flights in and out of the San Carlos Airport in 2013.

Measures to stem the effects of Surf Air flights have ramped up in recent years. Among the measures are a cross-jurisdictional working group, including the Federal Aviation Administration, elected officials, San Carlos airport staff and Surf Air representatives responsible for designing a six-month trial from July to January of a flight route directing Surf Air flights in and out of the San Carlos Airport over the Bay instead of Peninsula neighborhoods. The FAA, which is responsible for approving new flight patterns, is in the process of conducting an environmental review of what was called the Bayside Visual Approach.

More recent efforts to identify and mitigate sounds coming from the airport include a federal noise study launched earlier this year and funding San Mateo County supervisors dedicated in June toward an additional communications specialist to ensure pilots understand noise abatement procedures and improving the system used to track flights coming in and out of the airport.

At a May community meeting in Redwood City, county officials told residents some Surf Air pilots have received FAA approval to use the Bayside Visual Approach on days with good weather, but the county has yet to receive a federal update on whether the flight path can be made permanent. They also said recent measures to mitigate the noise had come out of renewed conversations between the county, the San Carlos Airport Association, which represents many pilots using the airport, and Surf Air.

Peter Kirsch, an attorney hired to represent the county in the matter, confirmed the noise mitigation efforts were independent of the letter the county filed against Encompass Aviation’s June request to operate as a commuter air carrier. Though the legal document he helped draft acknowledged Surf Air’s unconventional business model, it asserts the model does not exempt the airline from needing economic authority to provide interstate flight services.

“There’s a lot about Surf Air that is not common,” said Kirsch.

The legal document compares Surf Air’s business and operation model before it formed a relationship with Encompass as an operator of its flights, when it said Surf Air was a “wholly intrastate operator” and “not an ‘air carrier’ as defined by federal law,” meaning the airline was not required to obtain economic authority from the Department of Transportation to operate. The letter also mentions the airline’s June announcement to expand service to Texas through an acquisition of a similarly structured company called Rise and a recent addition of flight offerings to Las Vegas as evidence Surf Air’s operations have crossed state lines, which would require the membership airline to obtain economic authority or exemption from it.

It also states aspects of the company’s relationship with Encompass, such as evidence the company has control over the operator’s schedule as well as the fact the company collects fares from customers as Surf Air and distributes the operator’s share of the profits in a separate transaction, establish the company is a principal in its operations whose authority to operate cannot be granted through its operator.

Surf Air spokeswoman Angela Vargo said in an email the airline is not commenting on the county’s request at this time. Carol Ford, president of the San Carlos Airport Association, said in an email that the county’s request is properly placing the focus on Surf Air’s operations.

“We are pleased that the county is focusing on the origin of the controversy, rather than punishing other pilots and commercial operators who have lived in harmony with the community for many years,” she said.

Ford said the San Carlos Airport has a long history of commercial charter air service without complaints from the community, and though Surf Air was initially slow to respond to community concerns, recent conversations with the airline and its efforts to redirect planes from routes passing over neighborhoods seemed to indicate a more promising direction for the cross-agency efforts to mitigate noise and traffic at the airport.

An update on a federal study of the noise related to the San Carlos Airport will be given at a public information workshop Aug. 2 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road.

posted by Jul 25, 2017  09:07 AM
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From our friends at Alliance for Aviation Across America

Dear Carol,
After fifty years of flying, Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger knows aviation.

Privatization of air traffic control would turn over control of the skies to the corporate interests of the big airlines, giving them the keys to the kingdom.

That’s why Sully appears in this new ad that hits the airwaves today and urging you to tell Congress that air traffic control is not for sale.

Click here to watch the ad and tell Congress that ATC is not for sale.

We cannot trust the big airlines to run air traffic control. If we privatized ATC, we would have a corporate monopoly that put profits above safety and devastate rural communities.

Watch this new ad to take action right now.

Thank you.
Selena Shilad
Executive Director
Alliance for Aviation Across America
1025 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

posted by Jul 24, 2017  05:07 PM
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Encroaching development is an ongoing issue at San Carlos Airport. The following letter was submitted to the Redwood City Council in advance of their meeting July 24, 2017 about the Harbor View Project.

July 24, 2017

The Honorable John D. Seybert and the City Council
City of Redwood City
1017 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063
Via email: council@redwoodcity.org

Re: Agenda Item 8B: Request by Jay Paul Company to Initiate a General Plan
Amendment for the Harbor View Project

Dear Mayor Seybert and Council Members,
The San Carlos Airport Association (SCAA) promotes the safety and sustainability of the San Carlos Airport (“Airport” or “KSQL”), its flight operations, and provides advocacy and community engagement to advance this mission. SCAA is a material stakeholder regarding the above-referenced Agenda Item 8B.

The Harbor View Project (“Project”) is situated abeam (about 0.1 nm) from the centerline of the Airport’s highly utilized instrument final approaches, and within ~1.5 nm of the runway. Additionally, VFR (Visual Flight Rules) arrival and departures frequently overfly the Project site.

Project Area (red arrow) & Flight Path (Maroon Line)

The Project’s plan for seven-story structure(s) may create a new obstacle proximate to the approach corridor. And, given that this proposal is to initiate a General Plan Amendment, a review by the Airport Land Use Commission/Committee will be required.

Even more concerning, with the huge housing demand the Project will generate, it will be easier for Cargill to “sell” a major local housing project on the salt ponds to a community that is desperate for housing. Harbor View, therefore, represents a beach head that we must defend to stave-off continued high-density residential development on the Bay which will adversely impact both the community and Airport. And, Redwood City is fully appraised of the noise (and associated complaints) caused by Surf Air’s intensive use of the instrument approaches and has been on notice for years of the impacts on residents of residential developments on the Bay side of Highway 101.

Consequently, SCAA emphatically urges the City Council to carefully consider the need being created for residential development underlying the pathways to and from this busy municipal airport. These matters have been the subject of many policy disputes between our Association and the City, in which we have urged extreme caution in placing residents near the Airport. Finally, the City Council should require the developer to execute an avigation easement in favor of the County of San Mateo as proprietor of the San Carlos Airport.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol Ford
President, SCAA

posted by Jul 24, 2017  04:07 PM
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The San Carlos Airport Association commends San Mateo County’s recent filing of an opposition to the application of Encompass Aviation to obtain authority from the Department of Transportation to operate as a commuter air carrier at San Carlos Airport and elsewhere.

We applaud this first step in what we hope are many challenges to Surf Air’s and Encompass Aviation’s operations at San Carlos Airport. Further, we commend the County for attacking the true source of the recent public relations problems at San Carlos Airport – Surf Air. The County’s opposition to the application is a constructive step. In contrast, the expenditures on a new employee and cameras are boondoggles that will not provide relief from Surf Air’s nuisance.

We hope that the County’s effort is successful. We believe that counsel made very effective arguments in favor of the County’s position.

The following statement about the County’s opposition to Surf Air’s application was issued to the San Mateo Daily Journal on July 21, 2017:

This is the position of San Carlos Airport Association:

This [opposition to the application of Encompass Aviation] properly places the focus on Surf Air’s operations. The fact that flights originate from out of state does not matter. An increase in flights, however, could cause more congestion and cause the Control Tower to divert traffic over San Carlos and Belmont as they did recently for a time, contrary to our longstanding voluntary noise abatement procedures. We are pleased that the County is focusing on the origin of the controversy, rather than punishing other pilots and commercial operators who have lived in harmony with the community for many years.

San Carlos Airport has a long history of commercial charter air service, with no complaints. Surf Air started something new, and was, at best, slow to respond to community concerns. That said, Surf Air has come to the table during negotiations arranged by our Association, with significant changes in flight paths to remove them from overhead neighborhoods to a great extent. The County’s most recent action does not attack the business model. That would require change in FAA regulations, which allow scheduled airline service of 9 passengers or less into reliever airports.

posted by Jul 22, 2017  04:07 PM
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The San Carlos Airport Association is happy to pass along an announcement of the new fire truck at San Carlos Airport (in service starting April, 2017). The following message from Chris St. Peter, Assistant Airport Manager, summarizes background for our new truck, shown below in photos from the manufacturer’s web site.





Our old Airport One for San Carlos and Half Moon Bay came online in mid-2002. 15 years is a long time for a fire truck. In fact, the FAA only expects airports to maintain grant-funded equipment for 10 years. We were starting to run into issues with finding spare parts and more often than not, we were finding that we needed to take it out of service for non-scheduled repairs.

Prior to ordering a replacement, Operations staff sat down and discussed what they liked about the existing truck and what they would like to see in the new vehicle. New technology has been introduced since the original Airport One was built and we wanted to make sure it was added to the new truck.

It’s also important to remember that Airport One really is an all purpose vehicle. We use if for many things. Everything from responding to aircraft incidents, haz-mat response to towing trailers.

Some of the new features include:

*An Elkhart Sidewinder EXM Bumper Monitor – This allows staff to deploy water/AFFF (foam) while remaining inside the cab via a joystick-like control.

*A high capacity inverter for in-field use of power tools.

*An air compressor for inflating tires and other equipment

*LED scene lighting

*Larger cab for storage


We’ll be looking to replace Half Moon Bay’s truck this Fiscal Year. Additionally, we will likely take the two best parts of both old Airport Ones (the body of San Carlos truck and the bed/storage boxes of Half Moon Bay) and combine them into one truck so we have a backup truck for when one of the new trucks goes in for scheduled maintenance.

posted by Jul 10, 2017  05:07 PM
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CalPilots is going to launch its first ever CalPilots EXPO in Paso Robles (KPRB) on October 13-14, 2017.

They will have a Wine & Food Reception on Friday, October 13 from 5-8pm. Mark Baker, President of AOPA will be there and conduct a townhall-like meeting and meet with everyone. The CalPilots Board Members will also be there.

On Saturday, there will be a pancake breakfast, followed by a State of GA in California by CalPilots President Corl Leach. The CalPilots Annual meeting will follow.

Fresh Cheesesteak lunch put on by Sutter County (O52) at noon, followed by an FAA Wings seminar by Brian Schiff on General Aviation Safety.

After that there will be 4 seminars; 2 for pilots and 2 for passengers. The Pilot seminars will include 1) Basic Med, and 2) Support You Local Airport. The Passenger seminars will be 1) A Flying Companion/Pinch Hitter, and 2) Fun Places to fly in the west.

There will be an Exhibit area and an Aircraft Static display area as well. Want to camp by your airplane, you can do that also.


posted by Jul 09, 2017  08:07 PM
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From the Alliance for Aviation Across America:

I write with a critical update. The big commercial airlines and private interests are lobbying hard for a bill introduced in Congress, by Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), which takes away Congressional authority over our air traffic control system and turns it over to a board of private stakeholders.

The ”AIRR Act,” or H.R. 2997, would hand over this vital infrastructure to private stakeholders, resulting in more endless taxes and fees on consumers, and emboldening the airlines to further cut off access to rural communities. That is why business leaders, rural and agricultural groups, Mayors across the country and the majority of Americans all oppose air traffic control privatization. But this is a critical time, Congress will consider this legislation in the coming weeks.

Tweet at Congress and tell your leaders to oppose the AIRR Act’s hand out to private interests!

Write to Congress and tell your leaders to oppose the AIRR Act’s hand out to private interests!

We need your help now more than ever–please lend your voice by contacting Congress via email and Twitter, and tell your Representatives to oppose H.R. 2997, the AIRR Act.
With your help, we can ensure that Congressional oversight of our air traffic control system remains in place, and prevent this big, corporate giveaway to the airlines and other private interests.

Thank you.
Selena Shilad
Executive Director
Alliance for Aviation Across America
connect with us

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Alliance for Aviation Across America
Alliance for Aviation Across America
1025 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
United States

posted by Jul 02, 2017  10:07 PM
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