Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



May 12, 2011


May 24, 2011







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


Agreement with the Hiller Aviation Museum for the HeliFest Event at the San Carlos Airport



Adopt a Resolution authorizing the President of the Board of Supervisors to execute an agreement with the Hiller Aviation Museum which allows Hiller to conduct a special revenue generating dinner event on Friday, June 17, 2011, and a public display of military and civilian aircraft on Saturday, June 18, 2011, and Sunday, June 19, 2011, at the San Carlos Airport.



The Board has authorized similar agreements with the Hiller Aviation Museum (Hiller) to conduct special events at the San Carlos Airport (Airport) that are outside the scope of its regular lease and operating agreement with the County. Hiller is proposing the three-day Helifest Event (Event) as a scaled-down version of its Vertical Challenge Event they have held annually for the past ten years. This year’s Event will again showcase the contributions of helicopters in our daily lives, from traffic and news reporting to military and lifesaving operations. However, unlike Hiller’s Vertical Challenge Events held in the past, this year’s Event will not include any air show performances or demonstrations. The list of activities for the Event is included as Attachment “A”.



Section 25536 of the Government Code provides that a board of supervisors, by 4/5ths vote, may enter into concession agreements to allow activities on County airport property. We are recommending that your Board approve the Event.


The proposed agreement requires Hiller to:


provide sufficient staffing to coordinate parking, security and the general policing of the Airport area to be used. They are also coordinating traffic control with the California Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Office and the cities of San Carlos and Redwood City. They will also be coordinating with the local providers of emergency services, many of whom are participating in the event; and


provide insurance coverage for the Event that meets the requirements of the County Risk Manager; and


comply with County policies for the sale of alcohol, waste diversion and recycling and the use of disposable food service ware during the Event.


The Airport will be open for normal aircraft arrivals and departures during the Event except as minimally required to safely accommodate the arrival and departure of the Event helicopters. The agreement requires Hiller to comply with all requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) related to their Event activities and to provide sweepers and water trucks as necessary to control the dust and debris from helicopter rotor wash in order to minimize the disruption and hazard other aircraft.


Hiller has agreed to ensure that the community is aware of the Event through announcements in local papers and the Redwood Shores Homeowners’ Association newsletter, and staff has notified all hangar and tiedown tenants affected by the proposed Event as well as the Airport’s Fixed Based Operators and the FAA.


We are proposing to grant a waiver of the 12,500-pound weight restriction at the Airport for the specified display aircraft if your Board approves the proposed resolution. This waiver is conditioned on Hiller placing steel plates under the wheels/skids of the helicopters while they are parked. The steel plates are intended to distribute the weight of the helicopter and protect the airport pavement surfaces from damage.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Resolution and Agreement as to form.


Authorizing the execution of the proposed agreement contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of a Prosperous Community by providing an educational opportunity for the general public and a funding opportunity for Hiller.



Hiller will reimburse the Airport Fund for Airport staffing and overtime costs associated with the coordination and administration of the Event, and the Airport will receive $1.02 per ticket and two percent (2%) of the Hiller’s gross proceeds for the Air Show based on the standard requirements of Hiller’s operating agreement with the County.


There is no impact to the General Fund.



Attachment “A”, List of Event Activities