San Jose Weighs Economic Benefits, Safety Risks in Push to Elevate Downtown Skyline

Far from being a mere horizon, a city’s skyline transforms the local geopolitical order into sprawl busting urban center and social critical mass. The towering landscapes of New York City, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco signal economic ambition and render each of their city cores iconic.

San Jose—the 10th largest city in the U.S. and the third-largest in California—has struggled to convey its standing in part because of practical constraints that impair its ability to speak the architectural language of a global metropolis.

Proximity to Mineta San Jose International Airport’s runways means the sky is not the limit for the city of a million that markets itself to transnational investors as the Capital of Silicon Valley. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), that limit is precisely 24 stories on the south end of the city’s core and 18 by the bustling airport.

But there’s wiggle room, and, with Google’s plans for the broad swath of land around Diridon Station making the air above it a veritable goldmine, more incentive than ever to capitalize on that untapped potential.

“We’re talking differences in millions of square feet,” says Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a lobbying outfit comprising hundreds of major tech companies. “Raising heights will provide developments with both jobs and homes, jobs of all types and incomes.”

After more than a decade of mulling its potential to grow up architecturally speaking, the city has refined that abstraction into four actionable proposals, which on Monday got whittled down to one. But there’s an economic and safety tradeoff to veering upward, turning the proposition into a contentious debate between business boosters and airport advocates. The hope is to find the right balance in time for a City Council vote before the end of next month.

“We’re looking to have our cake and eat it, too,” says Kim Walesh, deputy city manager and head of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development.

On the one hand are business leaders and city officials hoping to raise heights up another 35 feet from the current cap in the heart of the city and another 150 feet around Diridon Station, where the highest current structure, the SAP Center, extends just 110 feet into the sky. All this, of course, with the FAA’s blessing. According to Walesh’s department, that would potentially add 8.6 million square feet of new development, up the city’s gross domestic product by $747 million and add 4,900 jobs by 2038.

But members of a 10-member city Airport Commission warn that San Jose could lose some of its international flights if it carves out too much space to accommodate a more prominent skyline. Opting for the scenario outlined by the city would cost airlines $800,000 in the first year alone, according to the city’s estimates. The loss could grow to more than $1.5 million by 2038 and would primarily impact Asian markets.

Aviation champions expressed doubt about the city’s analysis. Dan Connolly, who chairs the Airport Commission, said the city should have done more outreach with the airline industry, with the people who fly planes and determine where to invest in new routes.

“Not one commercial pilot or contingency of airlines was invited to be a part of the committee,” he said Monday. “Meetings were held in private; members of the public and the airport commission were denied requests to attend meetings.”

Ken Pyle, another airport commissioner, dramatically invoked the 1986 Challenger explosion, which killed seven crew members 73 seconds post-takeoff. He suggested that the city failed to adequately account for scenarios in which pilots would have to fly lower for any number of reasons—high temperatures, heavy cargo, engine failure, bird strike—and face obstruction by downtown towers.

“It reminds me of the … communications breakdown that occurred at the Challenger tragedy because there was miscommunication between engineers and the people who had to interpret the information,” he told the committee. “So the process seems rushed.”

Proponents of the city’s plan, which comes up for a council vote in late February, dispelled those concerns by noting that it would hew to the FAA’s own safety standards.

Teresa Alvarado, head of urban planning nonprofit SPUR, applauded the city’s recommendation Monday at a San Jose Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. Raising building heights would complement $10 billion of investment into public transportation around Diridon, she noted, which will become a hub for BART, Caltrain, light rail and bus lines while international flights continue to jet overhead. It would boost tax revenue and help the city rake in money for desperately needed below-market-rate housing and public parks.

“We continue to have a hope for a well-operated and growing regional airport as well as a healthy and vibrant downtown,” she told the council subcommittee.

Jeffrey Buchanan, a policy director for the labor-aligned Working Partnerships USA, urged the city to consider the height limits as bargaining chip. Buchanan, who sits on the Station Area Advisory Group, a citizen commission convened to provide public input on the future of the area around Google’s planned mega-campus, suggested a fee or incentive to capture some of the value of increased development capacity.

That way, he said,  the city could have more resources to curb displacement, house the unsheltered and subsidize new housing.

“We could look at a kind of win-win scenario,” Buchanan said Monday, cautioning city officials “not to jump ahead and start approving higher heights before we figure out what that value capture tool is.”

Walesh says the public would gain significant economic benefits by way of tax revenue and by shedding San Jose’s stubborn reputation as a bedroom community through adding thousands of new jobs. “San Jose is one of the few big cities that has more people at night than in the day,” she says, referring to how many tech workers are actually employed outside city limits. “Development has not kept up.”

23 Comments

  1. Another bigger point, often forgotten in the building heights vs. airport kerfuffle is: The airport is not in a good location. It’s constrained by a river, by noise impacts on residential neighbors, and now by higher-rise development needs in its flightpath. Alviso or someplace nearer the bay would’ve been a better location as it’s more wide open and has room to expand. If we knew then….

    • > Alviso or someplace nearer the bay would’ve been a better location as it’s more wide open and has room to expand.

      Airports attract growth.

      Ask the AIr Force.

      They build an airbase in the middle of nowhere and in ten years, the “community” surrounding the air base demands noise restrictions, pollution controls, curfews, safe zones for unicorns and people with nervous tics, yadda, yadda, yadda.

      Oh, and did I say, the airbase needs to be a nuclear free zone. Put your bombers somewhere else.

  2. Thank you for publishing this article on this important topic. It may be the most significant land-use topic that councilmembers will face in their tenure. The decisions made on this topic will have an impact lasting generations. The author of this article caught the essence of my comments (although I was using the Challenger analogy as a lesson in the importance of clearly communicating information) at Monday’s CED meeting and I am still asking, “Why the rush?”

    Here is a refined version of what I meant to say at the meeting.

    https://winchesterurbanvillage.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/why-the-rush-to-adopt-scenario-4/

    and the memo approved by the Airport Commission at our 1/24/19 meeting.

    http://flysjc.com/sites/default/files/commission/Recommendation%20FINAL%2010B%20Approved%20by%20Airport%20Commission%2001-24-19_.pdf

    D1 Airport Commissioner – Views are my own

  3. I remember the McEnery family’s signs: San Jose Is Growing Up!

    Back then there was hardly a building over 3 storeys downtown. San Jose was a hick town in the ’70’s and early ’80’s.

    Thanks to McEnery San Jose grew, but it didn’t grow up enough.

    SJI can always find people who object to anything. But as usual, many of the complainers have no skin in the game – no money of their own is at risk. They’re only “stakeholders,” who lose nothing if they obstruct more housing construction.

    From the article: “Not one commercial pilot or contingency of airlines was invited to be a part of the committee,”

    That sounds like the committees of bicycle riders that planned the bicycle lanes. Most commuters discovered what was happening only when city crews were out blocking off traffic lanes for the exclusive use of bicycles. If the end users aren’t involved, the problems aren’t fixed.

    San Jose desperately needs more housing, but the valley is about 99.5% infilled. There’s nowhere to build now, but up. When there’s only one way to provide sufficient housing, that’s what must be done.

    More than a hundred units of housing can be built on the same acre that only provides for a dozen units now. But various ‘stakeholders’ keep squabbling over what to do and how to do it.

    The City Council and County should provide the basic parameters, and let property owners build what’s necessary. The market is far more efficient without government bureaucrats, and so-called “leadership” groups, and various other nitpickers getting involved. If they don’t have their own money at risk, all they have is their opinion. They should be told, “Thank you. Note and file.”

    Finally, the excuse that high rise buildings can’t be built here for whatever reason is nonsense. San Francisco has dozens of high rise buildings. San Jose can – and should – build them too. It’s because of the interference by electeds, who are heavily influenced by self-serving eco-groups and self-appointed ‘leadership’ groups, that keeps the necessary housing from being constructed.

  4. > Jeffrey Buchanan, a policy director for the labor-aligned Working Partnerships USA, urged the city to consider the height limits as bargaining chip.

    Urban planning by “hostage taking”.

    All you need to know to understand why big cities are crumbling and captive peoples are fleeing the wretched and oppressive urban vote plantations.

  5. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t San Diego’s international airport closer to its downtown core than San Jose? There doesn’t seem to be any issues about going higher in its downtown. The planes landing there come a lot closer to the buildings downtown than here.

    • Yes, you’re correct in that SD International is much closer to downtown than Mineta is to our downtown. However, the FAA has capped building heights in San Diego at 500 feet (albeit higher than the 300 feet in SJ). There have been plenty of issues with the airport’s location, including the mountains, tailwinds to the west, Mexican airspace to the south and the surrounding downtown buildings. Add to that it has only one runway, which — as you might imagine — gets very busy. There are less international flights to SD than comparable cities of its size. As for the downtown buildings themselves, the FAA started cracking down on skyscrapers in SD in the 1970s. By then, the Union Bank of California building had already been approved at 388 feet. So the FAA settled on 500 feet. Plans for moving the airport to the military base further from downtown so they could build higher downtown were struck down by voters. So it’s a bit of an impasse among the residents who (at least according to the vote) tolerate the way the airport is situated, businesses who want to build taller buildings, and the FAA’s height restriction. So short answer: There are tons of issues, but no one seems to agree on the solution.

  6. The answer is easy if you care about the people who live here, you think Sanctuary Cities are moral and borders are immioral.

    You have to build, build, build.

  7. Hmmm, what do you think would happen if someone had to put down a 737 short in down town or it hit a tall building?
    Bad, Bad ,Bad!

    This is easy just move down town into the Coyote Valley or shut down the air port, The airport makes to much noise and lowers the value of real-estate all over the valley, besides light rail doesn’t go to the airport and I can’t think of any other non-polluting public transportation way to get there.

    PS there is no bike lanes to the airport and no place to park once you get there.

    • The free VTA 10 shuttle connects to both Light Rail and Caltrain.
      There’s easy access from the Guadalupe river bike path into the airport. There is also very convenient, covered bike parking, directly across from terminal B.

      The rest of your post was equally wrong.

      • Your right Auggie no one has landed a 737 in down town YET!
        I haven’t figured out how to attach two suit cases a carry on, and my man purse on my $7000 mountain bike.

        Do you think it will still be there after my two week cruise through the Panama canal?
        The ride in from Evergreen shouldn’t take more than 2 hours if I leave the wife and kids behind.
        The noise over my house started at 0637 this morning and won’t stop till about a 11 PM, for the last 44years!

        If you don’t think the noise lowers the value of houses here check out the listing on Zillow of houses in a Quiet Area like Cupertino or Los Altos.

  8. I serve on the San Jose Airport Commission, the opinions offered are my own, based upon my own research.

    I supported Option #10B as a reasonable compromise, allowing additional building heights in Diridon Station between 115′ AGL and 224′ AGL(Above Ground Level), and keeping the downtown heights where they are today. This would have preserved some OEI airspace.

    Many questions surround San Jose’s push to raise building heights, Eliminate airline “One Engine Inoperative” airspace, and potentially relegate San Jose back to a regional airport. Doing so may give residents no choice but to fly from San Francisco or Oakland. Why have we invested $1.5 billion dollars in our airport? Why will the City invest an anticipated additional $1 Billion dollars to finish the terminals and cargo facilities starting in 2020, if planes will be further restricted on South Flow departures? What business would invest in flying out of San Jose if they had to leave 50 seats empty, or have no cargo capacity on their flights? Should a “Community Fund” be established to subsidize airlines for their lost revenue, as is recommended by Scenario #4?

    Will you be the passenger bumped? –
    What about the flying public who will be victimized by being removed from flights, because their plane is too heavy to make it safely over the downtown buildings. Beware, Asia is not the only problem for travelers at SJC. If you are flying to the Europe or the East Coast, be prepared as it may affect flights to those cities as well.

    With Asia being the fastest growing group of travelers (projected to be 25% of the worlds travel population by 2030) would we not want to capitalize on that market? Our airport had two non-stop flights to China. One carrier has already pulled out due to existing OEI restrictions based on our current building heights. Who knows if the other will stay with added restrictions on their flights.

    Noise complaints will rise, as we put people closer to those departing and arriving aircraft.

    Safety –
    As for safety, perhaps you should ask the families that lived in the apartment complex outside of Amsterdam’s airport on October 4th 1992. A fully loaded Boeing 747 lost two of it’s four engines on takeoff, and in an emergency landing attempt crashed into an apartment building killing 39 people on the ground and all on-board.

    Some have said that the chance of a “One Engine Inoperative” is like being struck by lightning, it rarely happens, and that is true. However, there are any number of different types of airplane emergency situations that can occur. Should we not preserve a little OEI airspace? Scenario #10B did raise building heights, just not as high as the City wanted.

    FAA Standards –
    San Jose will tell you that we meet the minimum FAA height requirements under Part 77. That is true. The FAA also requires airlines to adhere to Part 25 with OEI planning. However, let’s look at FAA Standards. They are MINIMUM STANDARDS. An example is that San Jose International Airport had a 6′ fence around it for many years. Numerous security breaches occurred on our airfield. The City and the Airport told everyone that we meet the fencing height requirements as outlined by the FAA. Again, that was true, but it did not prevent people from climbing the fence, breaching security, and in one famous case flying to Hawaii in the wheel-well of an airplane.

    Was Data Manipulated? –
    If you want to create favorable output data, you change the input data, and in my opinion that is exactly what was done in creating the City’s recent reports. In 2007, the airport used 88 degrees as your summer temperature, yet in 2019 their report shows 81.3 degrees. If you believe in global warming or climate change, then we are 6.7 degrees cooler in the summer than we were in 2007.

    With an airplane, every degree of increased temperature requires you to lighten the weight of your aircraft. So ask yourself, is 81.3 degrees a reasonable summer temperature for San Jose? That is exactly the summer temperature they used in the study. Here are their data assumptions: Summer 81.3 degrees and 7 months long. Winter was 5 months, at 63 degrees.

    Projected Revenue-
    Are revenues being over-estimated and airport losses being under-estimated?
    The Mayor says we want to create a beautiful skyline! Personally, I would like to see some creativity and beauty downtown. However their revenue projections just don’t add up. It appears to assume that all space will be built to the maximum building heights. By design, to create a skyline, buildings will be of various heights and shapes and not built to maximum building heights, reducing revenue projections.

    There are many questions created by the City’s report, but little willingness to provide real answers.

    Finally, why were all the meeting held in private, without the ability of public scrutiny? Why were no commercial pilots or airlines given a seat at the table? With so many unanswered questions, why the rush to push this through city council so fast?

    My prediction: Money and Politics

  9. How many flights would be impacted by higher height limits? If it is just a few flights a year, or if a few fights need to leave a handful of empty seats, reparations for that seems a small price to pay to create potentially millions of extra square feet of housing and job space. This is a no brainer.

    • Approximately 15% of the time we are in South Flow (taking off towards downtown). (2007 Study shows 15% and 2019 Study shows 13%). This average is between 47 and 55 days per year in South Flow. The highest year in the study for for South Flow showed 18% or 66 days.

      One of our China flights that flew out of San Jose had to bump some 50 passengers and they only had a flight three-days per week. As the airline could not easily re-book passengers they had to make a business decision to keep 50 seats empty on their flights. This is under our current building heights and OEI, not the newly proposed increased heights. Eventually it became unprofitable to operate and they recently discontinued service to San Jose.

      As for how many other flights will be affected, it will depend upon temperatures, winds aloft and the total weight of the aircraft. Four domestic and two North America International Carriers showed weight and/or passenger penalties above 92 degrees in the summer. Another domestic carrier showed penalties on their 737-900ER. The 2007 Study showed impacts to East Coast Cities, so potentially Boston, Newark, New York, Washington, Atlanta and Miami may have to remove weight or passengers. The current study did not model all major East Coast Cities, as the 2007 study did.
      The current study shows penalties with Boston and Miami, at 81.3 degrees on an A320 there is a 17 passenger penalty for Miami and a 23 passenger penalty for Boston. Each degree of increase in temperature will require more passengers (weight) to be removed from the flight. In the summer, at only 81.3 degrees, New York loses 3 passengers and all 2384 lbs of cargo, Hawaii flights lose 25 passengers, Beijing loses 56 passengers and all 9542 lbs of cargo, Frankfurt loses 2 passengers and 22,911 lbs of their 23,514 lbs of cargo (however if cargo is more valuable than passengers, then passenger weight will likely be removed).

      Again, the Airport Commission voted to support Scenario #10B, which did raise building heights between 115′ AGL and 224′ AGL in the Diridon Station Area. (I believe the current Diridon Station plan allows building heights between 85’AGL and 166’AGL). Scenario #10B preserved OEI Straight Out, and would require a modification of OEI procedures by the airlines for the West Corridor (Diridon Station Area), but required far less passenger and payload penalties than Scenario #4.

      Scenario #10B provided an additional 3,100,000 square feet of building space. The original Diridon Plan, under current height restrictions is for approximately 5,000,000 square feet.

      Minimum 20-Year Cumulative losses to the under Scenario #4 is $203,000,000 and those of us that poured over the data believe this loss figure of $200 Million dollars is underestimated. Under Scenario #10B there were no losses in the data provided and revenue creation of $438,000,000.

      Scenario #4 –
      Revenue $747,000,000
      Losses $203,596,000
      Net Gain $543,404,000
      **Again, our analysis leads us to believe losses may be understated and revenues may be overstated in Scenario #4.

      Scenario #10B
      Revenue $438,000,000
      Losses $0
      Net Gain $438,000,000

      Scenario #10B is a Win-Win situation. It has minimal effect on the airport, passengers and airlines allowing us to continue to grow our airport, and it allows developers to build the Diridon Station Area with building heights between 115′ and 224′ above ground level.

      I hope the information helped and answered your questions.

  10. Safety First, It’s just common sense you don’t put tall objects in the path of air planes, but remembering this is after all California where planners may compromise and put the airport under ground.

    12 years from now I hear Democrats are going to rid the country of fossil fuel, we will all fly on electric airplanes built by Tesla, they will travel at the speed of light in an underground tube and it will all be free.

    • Please, I used to fly into Hong Kong, that was unsafe. Incidents were mostly runway overruns in typhoon conditions. Tall buildings near SJC is nonsense. You think global warming is going to bring hurricanes to the Bay Area?

      Stop complaining about high rents and the inequality of it all while simluataneously voting to open space everything outside the UGB and make it impossible to develop inside the UGB. CEQA has run out of favor with the in-crowd, since 2/3 of the cases are inside the UGB, so lets make it about scary airplace accidents. Fear is a great motivator.

      The self-delusion is amazing.

  11. @Dan L. Connolly – I don’t believe for a minute that Air China left SJ or had to cut seat capacity by 50 seats (presumably weight?) because of the Skyline height. That is preposterous. If anything, they stopped service because they couldn’t fill enough seats. There were too many empty seats and thus it wasn’t a profitable route for them.

    According to Air China (as stated in the Mercury News), “The reduced number of aircraft available arising from the maintenance of its Dreamliner fleet” was the primary reason Air China offered for its abrupt cancellation of the service. I know they were using Airbus A330s to SJ, so if their excuse was actually the reason, then that would possibly corroborate my contention. There were routes or markets, where they could use those A330s (such as in Asia), where the flights would be full (and if 787 fleet maintenance was reducing their available planes).

    And I have no idea Ken, why you compared this issue to the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. The two issues have nothing in common. That is a totally irrelevant comparison.

    I’m all for safety, but I’m totally against the leftist irrational mindset as it pertains to safety. Such is the case on many issues, – gun control for example). Gun control is a farce and a failure, and has caused more deaths and injuries that before it ever existed. It’s never been about limiting the number of guns available to criminals. It’s about disarming law abiding citizens and gradually eviscerating the Second
    Amendment. If you trade Liberty for the false presumption of “security”, you will have neither, and deserve neither (because of stupidity and ignorance).

    The same is true for Airport/Airliner safety. You don’t restrict reasonable building construction and height increases (and the benefits of the expanded economy it will bring), for the one in a Billion chance that an airplane may someday have a problem, -and the even rarer occurrence that a downtown building would pose a threat or risk, and be endangered.

    On the southerly takeoff, there is roughly two miles between the end of the runway, and the Adobe Systems Headquarters towers. Also there are freeways in the area where a plane could land if it had to. It seems to me that the standard northerly takeoff route is potentially even more dangerous with a much smaller buffer zone, and buildings all around. Highway 101 obviously exists as a possible potential emergency landing site, as does Moffett Field.

    I was never a big proponent of Tom McEnery’s push for a bigger skyline in the 80s, as it was largely a bid to increase his own wealth (being a downtown property owner). And I’m totally against subsidizing high rises, sports arenas, or anything else that will not pay for itself in a couple decades and make a return on investment to the taxpayers/city. The same is true of Airports (given the small percentage of the cities taxpaying residents who will ever use/utilize it).

    • @John Heckler – Thank you for taking the time to comment. I always welcome discussion on important matters, and believe we should not moving too quickly to make decisions without full disclosure and understanding the consequences of said decisions.

      The comments being made are my own and not authorized by the San Jose Airport Commission.

      If you will kindly take the time to read the compromise proposal approved (Scenario 10B) by the Airport Commission, you will find that the commission recommended raising the building heights in the Diridon Station Area to between 115′ AGL and 224′ AGL. As some of our existing airlines today do not utilize straight out OEI (on South Flow) and need to use the West Corridor OEI due to the current structure height in the downtown area. I have included the link below for your reference (copy and paste if it doesn’t allow you to go their directly).

      http://sjc.org/sites/default/files/commission/Recommendation%20FINAL%2010B%20Approved%20by%20Airport%20Commission%2001-24-19_.pdf

      While you may be correct on part of the issue with equipment based on the Mercury News article, Judy Ross, Assistant Director of Aviation at SJC told the Airport Commission that during South Flow (Under our current OEI Height Restrictions) that Air China did indeed have to remove 50 passengers from one of their flights, due to weight restrictions. As they only flew to Shanghai a few days per week, and re-booking passengers would be difficult, they made a business decision to not to offer those seats for sale, as they didn’t want the same type of problem to occur again in South Flow.

      Shanghai is much further than Beijing, now our last destination out of SJC in China. Below is taken directly from the 09-13-18 and 12-13-18 meetings of the Downtown San Jose Airspace & Development Capacity Study Committee. You can access all the data given to the Airport Commission (meeting 1-14-19) at this link.

      http://sjc.org/commission-agendas-and-minutes

      Hainan Airways flies to Beijing in a B787-900. (PAX stands for Passenger)
      Page 24 (09-13-18)
      Scenario #4 PEK (Beijing) at 63 degrees in winter.
      Passenger Penalty 51 PAX and 10,853 reduction in cargo weight (they lose ALL cargo weight)

      Page 24 (09-13-18)
      Scenario #4 PEK (Beijing) at 81.3 degrees in Summer. (We know our temperatures can be higher than that in summer)
      Passenger Penalty 56 PAX and 9,542 reduction in cargo weight (they lose ALL cargo weight)

      Page 13 (12-13-18 Report)
      • Hainan Airways
      • For B787-8/9, Scenario 4 obstacles results in significant reduction in cargo and PAX payload (50+ PAX for B787-9) due to loss of the West Corridor.

      This is not the Airport Commission’s generated data, this comes from the reports supplied by the Downtown San Jose Airspace & Development Capacity Study Committee and submitted to the Airport Commission.

      We all agree that OEI situations in the United States do not occur very often, however Under FAA Part 25, EVERY AIRLINE MUST PLAN AND BE ABLE TO CLEAR OBSTACLES IN ORDER TO TAKE OFF. The only way a commercial airplane can do that is to reduce its weight. That is accomplished by removing fuel, cargo or passengers. On a Transoceanic flight removing fuel is not an option, therefore you must remove passengers and cargo. In the case of China between 51 and 56 passengers need to be removed and between 9,542 and 10,853 in cargo weight has to be removed in order for one of Boeing’s newest airplanes, the B787-900, to clear the new building heights, should one engine fail. FAA Part 25 is NOT OPTIONAL, airlines must plan for an engine failure on EVERY FLIGHT.

      Our own research shows impacts to East Coast destinations as well during South Flow, so it is more than just China and international flights.

      As for Commissioner Pyle’s Challenger Comments, they were NOT made about having a crash. They were made to remind everyone rushing to push this height increase through that the Challenger disaster was due to a lack of communication and the ability to educate upper management of the risk associated with the “O” rings on the shuttle. There was a push to launch the Challenger and not look further into a potential problem. The rest is history. Commissioner Pyle has stated that we should not “Rush” to make a decision in this matter and have open dialog and input. However, there is a rush to push this topic through and it will be decided by our politicians at the San Jose City Council Meeting on February 26th.

      There is much more at stake than an airplane losing an engine and crashing on take off. We have invested $1.5 Billion dollars to build SJC and make it an international airport. Another $1 Billion dollars (plus) will probably be embarked upon in 2020 or 2021 to finish the terminal and the new cargo facilities. If due to weight restrictions airlines cannot be profitable, they will choose to leave San Jose for an airport like San Francisco or Oakland that do not suffer these restrictions.

      Personally, I like flying out of San Jose. It is easy, very convenient, and saves me a lot of time over flying out of San Francisco and Oakland. All we are saying is let’s strike a real balance between development and the economic engine generated by our airport.

      ————-
      On another note, as to your comment about Gun Control, I could not agree with you more. I am and always will be a supporter of our 2nd Amendment and am a life member of the NRA.
      _______

      Please take the time to read the two proposals (Scenario #4 and #10B) for yourself. Look at the data they provided along with the questions we raised, and come to your own conclusion. If more people took the time to read, understand and ask questions about the material, it would be easier for everyone to make an informed decision about the future of Mineta San Jose International Airport.

    • Thank you @John Heckler for commenting and thank you Commissioner Connolly for the clarification of the intent of my comments at last week’s CED meeting. Like his comments, these are my own and not as an Airport Commissioner.

      The data we have been presented is largely summarized with assumptions and is fragmented (not in one report, like the 2007 OEI report that recommended the current limits). As we spent hours and hours studying it, we have multiple questions, which have not been answered to our satisfaction. This post describes some of my concerns

      https://winchesterurbanvillage.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/why-the-rush-to-adopt-scenario-4/

      I am not certain all of our questions can be answered right now, given the other related activities (i.e. the Airport Master Plan, Airline Lease Negotiations and Diridon Station Area Planning – Google Village) that are occurring or are about to occur. All these things and more are related and what is missing is a comprehensive vision – a 50-year or 100-year vision of the airport’s role with the larger region, as outlined in this San Jose Inside op-ed piece.

      http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2019/02/01/op-ed-we-need-a-cohesive-vision-for-silicon-valleys-airport/

  12. @ John Heckler – Follow up Information – Comments are my own, but the facts are below.

    ——————–
    This information below is taken directly from the City of San Jose, Mayor’s OEI Briefing Memo on December 17, 2018

    Significant Findings
    • Scenario 4 (increasing heights to TERPS) is achievable according to the 13 airlines that responded with the exception of Hainan Airlines who could incur a loss of up to 50 passengers on South Flow operations.
    • Flights to Asia will be a challenge.
    • Additional long range domestic markets (BOS, MIA, ANC) are achievable under Scenario 4.
    • Scenario 4 will limit international mai·kets:
    o 787 -9 can NOT serve the additional markets without significant penalties
    o Delhi and Dubai will not be a feasible non-stop market
    o Hong Kong, Taipei and Rio de Janeiro are possible non-stop markets with larger (higher seat
    capacity) aircraft.
    • Economic Findings -Scenario 4
    o Net new development capacity in the Diridon Station Area would be approximately 8.6M sqft.
    o No net new increase in aggregate development capacity in the Downtown Core, but small gains to be achieved on discrete parcels.
    o As development occurs, the airlines would be impacted by $802,000 in 2024.

    Proposed OEI Strategy
    • OEI Strategy recommendation will increase allowable building heights to TERPS with the following considerations:
    o It will be challenging to serve the Bejing market and challenges will exist if there is a desire to serve select international markets in the future.
    o Recommend that a community-funded suppmt program be developed for sustainable long-haul international flights to offset any airline/aircraft OE! mitigation measures required.
    o Recommend construction crane policy to deter crane penetrations into the TERPS during
    construction.

    Regular coordination with Google and their OEI consultant
    Coordinated with Google and their OEI Consultant, agree to accelerate Diridon Area analysis
    ———————

    The above are copy and pasted form the actual briefing memo and clearly show:

    Under Scenario #4 —
    *Scenario 4 appears to provide the greatest opportunity for height to the downtown and Diridon area. However, Asian markets have the most significant impacts.

    * Asia Flights will be a challenge.
    *Scenario #4 will limit International Markets
    *The Boeing 787-900 can NOT serve additional (Int’l) markets without significant penalties.

    Notable outtakes from Mayor’s Memo dated 12-17-18
    ****Regular coordination with GOOGLE and THEIR OEI Consultant*****
    ****Coordinated with GOOGLE and their OEI Consultant, agree to accelerate Diridon Area Analysis*****

    As I said before, the real rush to get this approved, regardless of the damage to our airport, has to do with:

    Money and Politics

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