San Carlos Airport Noise Update

Members of GESC have been working with San Mateo County staff and the San Carlos Airport staff to address some of the noise issues that have been impacting our neighborhood. We would like to let everyone know that progress has been made and that we will continue to work with all involved parties for the foreseeable future. We had a very productive meeting last Friday and as of now the Airport is working to:

  • Have planes fly at higher altitudes – 1300 feet for arrivals and 1400 feet for planes transitioning from east to west.
  • They have declared our neighborhood a noise sensitive area and have adjusted most maps to reflect this. They are still in the process of the Part 150 Noise Study and new maps will be distributed later this summer based on the results.
  • Working with the Flight Tower, airplanes are now encouraged to fly east to west in the industrial area south of the neighborhood rather than over the neighborhood. This will be reflected in the revised maps and we will put these on the GESC website.
  • The Airport staff is reaching out to pilots to educate them on the impact of noise to the neighborhood and encouraging them to fly in a way that respects our neighborhood.
  • The airport staff is generating a GoPro video to teach pilots from out of the area how to approach and depart from the San Carlos Airport in a way that reduces the noise impact on the neighborhood. This will be available on their website and we will link to it trough the GESC website.
  • Airport staff are currently investigating and working with the FAA on moving the warm up area for planes further south and behind hangers, so we will be less impacted in the neighborhood by the planes warming up.
  • Several helicopters flying low over our neighborhood recently impacted many of you and we want to let you know that the Airport Staff is working with organizations to reduce these impacts and to verify that they have obtained permission from the FAA to fly these non standard patterns. They will also work with the GESC to give us forewarning if possible of organizations that may need to conduct flights over the neighborhood (such as PG&E, yearly bird counting, Coast Guard etc.)
  • The GESC is also beginning to investigate the idea of sound walls (out near the freeway) at the end of the Montgomery, Cherry and Hall streets as a way to further reduce noise from the freeway into the neighborhood (lowering our overall noise level).

Our focus has been to reduce noise without impacting any other residential neighborhoods or the airport. Also, there are changes occurring in the San Francisco airport air space that we need to be aware of so that we can make sure these do not impact the progress we have made and would like to make in the future to reduce noise. 

We are glad the Airport is working with us to be a good neighbor and we would like to thank Gretchen Kelly (Airport Manager), Chris St. Peter (Assistant Airport Manager), Stacey Maye (Air Traffic Manager), Davi Howard (Airport Communications Specialist) and Rochelle Kiner (San Mateo County Deputy Director Administrative Services & Airports) for working with us to address our concerns.

It may take a little bit of time for these changes to take effect.  Please feel free to email us if you would like to discuss these or any other noise issues (Airport or otherwise).


Scot Marsters
Paul Magginetti