June 2, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
An airport master plan update at Norman Y. Mineta International Airport in San Jose, Calif., could be the opening general aviation pilots have been waiting for to gain access to the facility.
GA has slowly been squeezed out of the airport over the past couple of decades. The airport stopped accepting new tenants for city-owned hangars in 1995. Airport officials also switched their focus to high-end corporate aircraft, to the exclusion of lighter GA aircraft.
“It is important to remember that business use of general aviation aircraft extends to all categories and types of aircraft, not just jets and not just the ‘wealthy,’” wrote AOPA Vice President of Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn in a May 27 letter to the San Jose director of aviation.
In the letter, Dunn said the airport master plan update “provides an excellent opportunity to revisit general aviation demand for facilities and services” at the airport. AOPA requested a report of the demand for GA facilities at the airport, a report that the airport is required to provide to the city council.
“We urge you to change the direction of this exclusionary policy that has discouraged light general aviation piston and turbine aircraft from basing at [ Norman Y. Mineta International Airport] and accommodate those aircraft owners who wish to base at the airport,” Dunn reiterated.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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