Aviation Expert Complains to NFL about San Jose Airport Curfew

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, an aviation expert calls San Jose’s airport curfew insulting, and wonders why city leaders can’t get residents to put up with the noise, like they do in Oakland and San Francisco.

Aviation consultant Jon Rodgers said San Jose should take a page from airports in Indianapolis, which allowed NFL patrons traveling to the 2012 Super Bowl in corporate and private jets “with the utmost appreciation and respect,” he writes in a letter submitted to the Rules and Open Government Committee. “And they would not have to cut short their time and limit their economic contribution to the local economy since they would not be insulted with an airport curfew as they were in San Diego during the Super Bowls of 1998 and 2003.”

Unfortunately, he continues, during Super Bowl 50, which will take place at Santa Clara’s new Levi’s Stadium, private and corporate jets “will be slapped with a curfew at the San Jose International Airport.”

Rodger tells the NFL chief to expect fines and “untold public ridicule from the media, especially the San Jose Mercury News,” which he called staunchly pro-curfew.

San Jose fines airlines $2,500 per noise violation. The city enacted the curfew in 1984 to keep it quiet at night for nearby residential neighbors. Originally, it was based on weight, until a lawsuit from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison forced the city in 2003 to change the rules to instead consider the noise a plane produces.

While the city defends the policy as an important protection for neighbors, in a city where the airport was built so close to urban neighborhoods. But it’s been criticized for its economic impact. And, to Rodgers’ point, has been ridiculed in the media. A Deadspin article a few years back called the rule “bizarre,” wondering why an airline carrying the Eagles rock band was on the hook for thousands of dollars just because it landed after midnight.

The Sharks, of course, are exempt from the rule up to 15 times a year, which saves them tens of thousands of dollars a seasons since they frequently touch down late.

In his letter, Rodgers says it’s easy to get around San Jose’s curfew by landing in Oakland or San Francisco, but that risks violating federal rules about “noise transfer.”

“It continually amazes me how San Jose wants to grow their economy and attract major league sports, but refuses to allow San Jose International Airport to accommodate the aviation demand that their economic policies require,” Rodgers writes.

Also on the San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee agenda for October 29, 2014:

  • As the city gears up for an investigation into whether the police union president acted unethically in convincing academy recruits to drop out while they can, the city attorney draft a memo informing everyone of police rights to free speech. For one thing, the City Council may investigate an officer, but cannot discipline him or her, city attorney Rick Doyle says. Also, the city does designate an hour during academy orientation for a Police Officers Association rep to tell new recruits about pension, salaries, the wellness program and other personnel matters. The city should also consider that there are First Amendment protections, and cases that allow police officers can speak to their peers in their capacity as a private citizen.

WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

16 Comments

  1. Since when has this city council been concerned about the rights of citizens or employees. I’m afraid Doyle’s memo will fall on deaf ears.

    • I’m assuming you’re talking about Measure B, because that’s what’s dominated the public discourse over the past several years and is often cited by public sector unions and their supporters as a violation of the rights of employees. I can understand how from a pro-union perspective it can appear as if the city doesn’t care about its employees ever since the city council put 90% pensions up for a public vote, but don’t act as if the city doesn’t care about its citizens because it allowed those citizens the opportunity to vote on how their money is spent. Let’s be real, Measure B was passed by an overwhelming public vote — the people who were interested in violating the rights of San Jose citizens were the special interest groups who tried their hardest to keep those citizens from having a voice in the direction of the city.

      • You can assume what you wish and you know by assuming you eventually make an a$$ of yourself. I must move on and tell you no, I was not referencing Measure B but I did and still do believe it was not necessary. I would suggest you attend a city council meeting and look what happens to citizens who step forward to voice their opinion that is not in line with Chuck Reed and the rest of his goons on the city council. They are routinely cut off before their allotted time is used by Reed. This is the stifling of free speech I am referring too.

  2. INFORMATION ONLY

    Jack Slade Speaks

    The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has statutory responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases in the United States. Under its delegated authority, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine works to fulfill this responsibility through a variety of activities, including:

    •the operation of Quarantine Stations at ports of entry.

    •establishment of standards for medical examination of persons destined for the United States, and

    •administration of interstate and foreign quarantine regulations, which govern the international and interstate movement of persons, animals, and cargo.

    The legal foundation for these activities is found in Titles 8 and 42 of the U.S. Code and relevant supporting regulations. Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine. The federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    You can be stopped, detained, examined and held in Custody if you have been exposed to a communicable disease before entering the United States or traveling between States. It is not a crime to contract a disease but it is criminal to obstruct or interfere with a State or Federal Government Quarantine.

    The nurse in Maine is looking for a book deal. She spent one month in an Ebola Zone. Two weeks of offsite classroom training, one week in team pairing dress up practice and one five day period observing the real Ebola Doctors and Nurses via video monitors to earn her CDC EBOLA CERTIFICATE.

    • By the time infected people hit US shores, it may already be too late for all their fellow passengers. We need international cooperation to stop suspected people before they board, not after they land here. We need to act, not react. Lying on a form by claiming that you have not been to an affected country should be a felony. Look at that nimrod physician who wandered around NY for days despite having one of the main Ebola symptoms–fatigue. If anyone at the bowling alley or buses he used or otherwise came in contact with is injured or dies, he should be prosecuted criminally, and sued civilly. NY physician licensing authorities should launch an inquiry. He seems too clueless to practice medicine on an unsuspecting public. It is not “panic” to take appropriate action. If a physician didn’t understand, what understanding can we expect from the general public?

  3. Jack Slade Speaks

    The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has statutory responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases in the United States. Under its delegated authority, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine works to fulfill this responsibility through a variety of activities, including
    •the operation of Quarantine Stations at ports of entry
    •establishment of standards for medical examination of persons destined for the United States, and
    •administration of interstate and foreign quarantine regulations, which govern the international and interstate movement of persons, animals, and cargo.
    The legal foundation for these activities is found in Titles 8 and 42 of the U.S. Code and relevant supporting regulations. Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine. The federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
    You can be stopped, detained, examined and held in Custody if you have been exposed to a communicable disease before entering the United States or traveling between States. It is not a crime to contract a disease but it is criminal to obstruct or interfere with a State or Federal Government Quarantine.
    The nurse in Maine is looking for a book deal. She spent one month in an Ebola Zone. Two weeks of offsite classroom training, one week in team pairing dress up practice and one five day period observing the real Ebola Doctors and Nurses via video monitors to earn her CDC EBOLA CERTIFICATE.

  4. San Jose airport was built in the right place – 60 years ago. Since then the city has grown, but not grown up due to FAA height restrictions. Now with bigger planes in greater numbers the city has put forth the curfew. Until we get “beam me up Scotty technology” the problem is not going away. So how about this.
    Move the airport.
    It could have gone to Moffett or maybe South County. It will be expensive ~ however.
    there will be a big chunk of land for sale on Skyport Drive worth a ton of $$.
    Then think regional.
    Put the High Speed Rail station on some of the vacant runways. The HSR really should then go up to the East Bay and on to Sacto where it can eventually be looped back down to where it comes out of the Central Valley.
    Electrified CalTrain can continue to serve the peninsula up to SF and it will do as good a job as HSR would since it takes so long to start/stop the HSR will not be any quicker or more efficient than CalTrain would.

  5. > The city should also consider that there are First Amendment protections, and cases that allow police officers can speak to their peers in their capacity as a private citizen.

    You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre.
    You can’t stand up in an airline and yell “We’re going to crash. We’re all going to die”.

    And, if police officers are going to be relied upon to produce factual police reports that will be used in court proceedings to establish “facts”, lying, exaggeration, distortion, or half-truths should not be tolerated or accepted under any circumstances, even though they may have a First Amendment right to lie, exaggerate, distort, or tell half-truths..

    If ALWAYS TELLING THE TRUTH is expected of West Point cadets, it should be expected of San Jose Police officers:

    “I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

    • It should be expected of all Public servants , starting with this Mayor and Council

      • > It should be expected of all Public servants , starting with this Mayor and Council

        What!?

        You’re not going to disagree with me?!

        We can agree that truth is a good thing?

        We’re making progress here.

        • It is therefore incumbent upon the elected representatives of the SJPOA – public servants, all – to tell to police recruits the unvarnished truth about the compensation package being offered to police officers. The truth: It’s the worst compensation package in the county, it offers the fewest protections to injured officers, it offers the worst pension package in the state.

  6. – “As the city gears up for an investigation into whether the police union president acted unethicallyin convincing academy recruits to drop out while they can, the city attorney draft a memo informing everyone of police rights to free speech. For one thing, the City Council may investigate an officer, but cannot discipline him or her, city attorney Rick Doyle says. ”

    Was this bizarre example of writing intentionally misleading and, if so, has it been entered into a contest for Least Factual Reporting — Local Government category?

    “Whether” a person’s actions were unethical is a question that cannot be asked until after that person’s actions have been determined. Is SJI claiming that issue settled? If so, please share the evidence (i.e. something not produced by Victor Ajlouny).

    “Convincing” academy recruits to drop out is an action that has not even been alleged, as not a single recruit dropped out because of something Jim Unland allegedly said.

    The “police union” has nothing to do with the incident: Unland is president of an association, not a union (were it a union there would have been job actions the moment Measure B was proposed, and other “unions” would’ve honored pickets).

    • > Unland is president of an association, not a union

      Does the “association” enjoy the protections of federal labor laws which give unions protections from racketeering statutes?

      If the answer is YES, it’s a union.

      Remember, the public relies on police officers to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

      I don’t know if I’ve ever seen “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” from the SJPOA.

  7. Bubbleboy,

    I understand your desire to obscure the issue (what with you being on the wrong side, again), but if you have a legitimate legal question you should consult a labor lawyer. However, if you have some evidence* of SJPOA engaging in racketeering please share it.

    *by evidence I mean the kind that doesn’t require suffering multiple concussions to recognize.