Published Friday, September 28, 2001, in Silicon Valley Business Ink
Officials to review airport expansion plans
A broad plan for ambitious construction has been tabled until
November, while the FAA reviews San Jose's concepts
By Christina Bellantoni
Conceptual plans for the new passenger facilities at San Jose
International Airport, set to be completed by 2010, could go back to
the drawing board in light of the recent terrorist attacks.
Airport officials were set to go before the San Jose City Council on
Sept. 11 with the master plan for a new centralized terminal. But the
tragic events of that day pushed that meeting until late November,
which now gives the airport the opportunity to review the plans to
ensure the airport is the safest possible.
The plans are to create one central terminal for check-in and
baggage, as well as a 14,000-space parking lot for rental cars and
But given recent events, the concept could potentially change.
"We don't know how solid the plan is going to be now," says Steve
Luckenbach, community and media relations manager for the airport.
In the meantime, the Federal Aviation Administration will review San
Jose's plan and will likely suggest changes for more security.
If the FAA finds flaws in the concept, the City Council would take
its suggestions very seriously, says councilwoman Pat Dando.
Once the concept is approved by council members, the plan goes into
the design phase. At that point, the FAA gets formally involved and
must approve the plan before the first pile of dirt is dug up to
"Clearly San Jose wants to make sure we comply with all FAA security
measures, but we want to go above and beyond in creating the safest
airport we possibly can," Dando says, adding that the timing couldn't
be better for re-evaluation, since the concepts were so preliminary.
Though the long-term plans could change, current construction at the
airport is moving forward. The 70,000-square-foot facility for
international arrivals, which will house immigration, customs and the
department of agriculture, will be completed by next summer.
But the number of international flights is far fewer today because of
the terrorist attacks.
The flights to Paris and Taipei, which were hyped when they began in
the spring, have been discontinued indefinitely, Luckenbach says.
Flights to Tokyo, Canada and Mexico are still in operation.
Christina Bellantoni is a Biz Ink reporter.
You can reach her at cbellantoni@...