San Jose Airport Growth on 45-Day Hold

The city council voted unanimously to place a moratorium on bids for airport construction while aviation officials weigh a plan that would drastically scale back the city's once-ambitious expansion.


The San Jose City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to place a 45-day moratorium on bids for airport construction projects while aviation officials weigh a plan that would drastically scale back the city's once-ambitious expansion of Mineta San Jose International Airport.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the dot-com bust, San Jose officials have been forced to rethink an ambitious 1997 airport expansion plan that would have created a double-deck roadway to the airport, a large central terminal for eating and checking in luggage, and a people-moving system to the airport's concourses.

``If changes have to be made, this is the ideal time to make those changes,'' said William Sherry, San Jose's aviation director since May.

Last month, a group of 41 people representing airlines, airport officials, consultants and San Jose city staffers spent three days crafting a unanimously supported plan for scaling back the airport expansion to one costing $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, instead of $4.5 billion. Among other changes, the new plan would forgo a double-deck roadway, shut down Terminal C and greatly revamp Terminal A.

Sherry requested the moratorium so city officials can explore the feasibility of the scaled-back plan. San Jose's seven-member airport commission supports the moratorium, as do San Jose's 14 airlines and the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sherry said.

The most immediate impact of the moratorium will be to suspend two construction projects for a wall and another structure at the North Concourse. Airport officials also want the city to halt plans to construct a USO/Revenue Control building because it would be located at a spot that airport officials may want to expand Terminal A. A decision on the USO building was deferred until the Oct. 18 council meeting.

Airport officials said they'd like to come back to the city council Nov. 15 with recommendations for ``changes to scope, schedule and costs'' of the airport's expansion plans.

San Jose Mercury News


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend