SAN JOSE – Richard Doyle, city attorney for the City of San Jose, said Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport has seen a dramatic increase in international flights, which is exactly why a recent ruling makes the facility’s future expansion less cloudy.
Doyle told the Northern California Record that when the matter was up in the air, the project was hold while a California appeals court’s decision partially reversed a trial court decision while upholding approvals for the city's master plan.
The original dispute that held up the project came after the San Jose City Council awarded Signature Flight Support Corporation a contract. SJJC Aviation Services LLC contested the approval, arguing it was not consistent with the city’s airport master plan.
“The project is built and operating," Doyle said. "Signature has its operation and I think Google and other planes use the facility.”
Two 2013 city resolutions allowed the city manager to negotiate and execute a lease for the airport expansion without considering an airport environmental impact report.
Defending the city’s master plan is always a priority, no matter the circumstance, according to the attorney.
“It’s important because it outlines the future growth of the airport," Doyle said. "So, every time we have a major project out there, we rely on the master plan.”
The city attorney said many requirements must be met in order to receive federal funds for development.
“In order to properly run and operate an airport, the master plan is the basis for any construction projects," Doyle said. “I don’t think I have ever been in airport where there isn’t a construction project going on.”
A new runway, a $1 billion terminal and other needed improvements have prepared Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport for more flights.
“San Jose is not a tourist Mecca, but we have seen a dramatic increase in international flights, specifically to China, Japan, Germany and Finland in the last four or five years,” Doyle said. “Most of the traffic that comes into San Jose is Silicon Valley business travel.”
The city will continue to look to the airport master plan when considering additional expansion.
“The goal of the City of San Jose at the airport is too add more gates in the future to accommodate airline growth and flights,” Doyle said, adding the master plan will continue to “provide the basis for any and all future development.”