Last year, in late September, I noted in a letter to the editor, that people residing in Peninsula communities had filed 98,749 aircraft safety and noise complaints with the San Mateo County Airports department. While the complaints involved various types of aircraft, including the turboprop planes generally flown by multi-passenger airline companies, and smaller aircraft generally flown by private aviation enthusiasts and others, the increasing number of complaints seemed to coincide with the growing number of multi-passenger planes flying from San Carlos Airport over neighborhoods along the Peninsula.
That’s what I noted, at the time, last year.
And now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that for several months significantly reduced air traffic at major commercial airports like SFO, you would think far fewer complaints involving air traffic at a small, general aviation airport, like San Carlos Airport, would be filed. But, surprisingly, the number of complaints filed, daily, since California instituted shelter-in-place policies around mid-March, has totaled, on average, 20 complaints per day — 613 complaints per month — for a total of 1,840 complaints in approximately three months. As of June 12, 2020, 104, 613 complaints had been filed.
Even as sheltering-in-place and other pandemic-related policies have been in place, surprisingly, there’s enough going on over Peninsula communities to cause ongoing concerns about aircraft safety and noise.