Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport is a city-owned public-use airport serving the city of San José in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is located two nautical miles (4 km) northwest of Downtown San Jose, near the intersections of three major freeways, U.S. Route 101, Interstate 880, and State Route 87.
SJC is situated as a "downtown airport". Its relatively convenient location for residents and visitors near downtown San Jose has also led to some drawbacks. It became surrounded by the city and had little room for expansion. The proximity to downtown has also led to restrictions on heights of buildings in downtown San Jose by safety margins set in FAA regulations.
In the early 1980s San Jose International Airport was one of the first U.S airports to participate in the noise regulation program enacted by the U.S. Congress for delineation of airport noise contours and developing a pilot study of residential sound insulation. This program succeeded in its objective of demonstrating that residences in the airport vicinity could be retrofitted in a cost-effective manner to reduce interior sound levels from aircraft noise substantially.
American Airlines opened a hub at San Jose in 1988, using slots it obtained in the buyout of Air California in 1986. Reno Air, a startup based in Reno, Nevada, took over many of American's gates until it was bought out by American in 1998. American never re-established its hub; however, it is still the airport's second busiest scheduled airline after Southwest Airlines.
In 1990, San Jose International Airport greatly expanded with the opening of Terminal A. Plans at the time called for a Terminal B to be eventually built between Terminals A and C.
In November 2001, the airport was renamed after Norman Yoshio Mineta, who is a native of San Jose, its former mayor and congressman, former United States Secretary of Commerce and former United States Secretary of Transportation. In December 2003, the airfield was named after former mayor Ernie Renzel.
Dramatic reduction at SJC continued throughout 2004. Alaska Airlines halted its San Jose - Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas seasonal routes and American Airlines discontinued its San Jose - San Luis Obispo and San Jose - Boston Logan links. In October, 2006, American Airlines discontinued the San Jose-Tokyo-Narita route, which was San Jose's last remaining link with an international overseas destination.
In April 2004, the city government, in its plan to revive the local economy, called for a restored international flight to Taipei and new international routes from San Jose to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam via Taiwan, and India.
SJC suffered with many mid-tier airports during the 2008 rise in oil prices as airlines reduced marginal services to improve profitability. SJC lost much of its transcontinental U.S. service in the fall with Continental ending Newark flights, Jetblue ceasing Boston service, and United ending longtime service to its Chicago-O'Hare hub and Washington-Dulles.
In August 2004, the city broke ground on North Concourse, the first phase in a three-phase, nine-year expansion plan. The master plan, designed by Gensler and The Steinberg Group, called for a single consolidated terminal that contains 40 gates (eight more than present), an international concourse, and expanded security areas. The terminal would be named after James Nissen. The sail-shaped facade would greet up to 17.6 million passengers a year. A people mover system would link the new terminal with VTA light rail and the planned BART station adjacent to the current Santa Clara Caltrain station. Cargo facilities would be moved to the east side of the airport. A long term parking garage would be constructed at the current location of the rental car operations. A new short term parking structure would also be constructed at the site of current Terminal C short term parking lot.
On November 16, 2005, a scaled-back airport improvement plan was approved and announced. The new two-phase plan called for a North Concourse, which is expected to be completed in 2010, and a simplified Terminal B, rather than the initially proposed James Nissen Central Terminal, to replace the aging Terminal C. In addition, Terminal A will be expanded for additional check-in counters, security checkpoints, and drop-off/pick-up curbside space. The new plan is projected to cost $1.3 billion, less than half of the original plan's cost of $3 billion.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 213,107 aircraft operations, an average of 583 per day: 59% scheduled commercial, 14% air taxi, 27% general aviation and <1% military. At that time there were 176 aircraft based at this airport: 50% single-engine, 6% multi-engine, 38% jet, and 6% helicopter.
There are two terminals at the airport. Terminal C, the original terminal, was built in 1965 and Terminal A was built in 1990. Both terminals are relatively small in comparison to the number of people that flow through them, which can result in crowds and long lines during peak traveling times. Under the current airport expansion plan, Terminal A will be expanded, and Terminal C will be torn down and replaced by a new Terminal B. Currently, the north end of Terminal C has already been demolished by crews.
Terminal C has 14 gates: C1-C14
Massive Precast Parking Structure by Clark Pacific Begins to Take Shape at Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Feb 15, 2009; West Sacramento-based Clark Pacific is completing its third month of the construction on an eight-level, 3,350-space, parking...
Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda Announces over $7 Million Funding for Construction Improvements at Mineta San Jose International Airport
Jul 17, 2012; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the office of California Rep. Zoe Lofgren: Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose)...