Half Moon Bay Airport

Fees are rising at the two airports managed by San Mateo County, including the Half Moon Bay Airport. Adam Pardee / Tribune

The Half Moon Bay Airport is raising its rates after waiving annual increases last year due to COVID-19.

The airport, which is owned and operated by San Mateo County, which also operates the San Carlos Airport, is financed entirely by revenues from users and tenants. Airport Manager Gretchen Kelly wrote in an email to the Review that after the airport waived its annual 3 percent increase last year, the increase will be added to aircraft hangar, aircraft storage and aircraft tie-down accounts this year.

Also changing is the landing fee for charter flights, increasing from $75 to $100 to offset the cost of pavement maintenance, and a late fee for expired aircraft insurance has been added.

“Half Moon Bay Airport does not have a large amount of charter flight activity,” Kelly wrote.

Over the past year, use of the airport has declined, Kelly said. In 2020, aircraft arrivals decreased by around 30 percent due to the pandemic. And in June 2021, local airport traffic was 25 percent lower than during the same period in 2019.

But Kelly said demand for aircraft storage at the local airport remains strong with more than 10 pilots on the waiting list for the county’s 28 hangars. To use the airport, each tenant is required to have current insurance and will now face a late fee 60 days after its expiration.

There are some additional updates coming to the small airport. She said it received $60,000 in COVID-related grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. That money will go to expanding storage for disaster teams and to a new restroom trailer for tenants and pilots. Also coming to the area is the Pilot Light Cafe, a new breakfast and lunch cafe to be run by San Mateo restaurateurs. The cafe is currently under construction. 

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