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.
- 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