Citizens Against Airport Pollution, P.O. Box 26142, San Jose, CA 95159 (408)297-9753 - November 1996
Airport Noise Complaint Line - 998-0707 (To bypass message, push #)
What is the Master Plan for the airport all about? You may want to go to the library and read the document¾all five volumes of it (don't try to lift it all at once!)¾or the following summary may be easier.
The Airport Master Plan is the blueprint for how San Jose will build the airport over the next 10 years. If the full-growth Project Case is adopted by the San Jose City Council, then the Director of Aviation Ralph Tonseth will have a green light to radically expand the airport. As you read the airport staff's plan, keep in mind that this is not just a plan for airport growth, but a plan for what it will be like to live in San Jose in the future. Will San Jose be a place where no one wants to live?
The airport staff has proposed three airport development alternatives (plus a ``no-project'' alternative):
Under Project Case, the two runways would be 11,000 feet long, the number of gates would increase from 31 to 49, and the air cargo area would grow from 300,000 square feet to 1,897,900 square feet.
This alternative proposes over 13,000,000 passengers, slightly fewer total operations than Project Case, and 283,200 tons of air cargo. Gates would increase to 37 and a new Terminal B would be added. Two runways would be built, one of shorter length.
This alternative proposes 12,400,000 passengers by 2010, 353,800 total operations, total air cargo of 167,200, 35 gates, one runway lengthened to 11,000 feet, and Terminal C replaced by Terminal B.
Many CAAP members have expressed concern about jet fuel storage. The 1993 jet fuel bulk storage at SJIA was 208,000 gallons. Maximum buildup Project Case would have jet fuel storage at 4,000,000 gallons by 2010. The other two alternatives go from 3,000,000 to 2,500,000 gallons.
How much will it cost?
The cost of this airport expansion is $800,000,000 for construction alone. The airport says this cost would be covered by passenger facility charges (PFC's) or federal grants and bonds.
Your attendance is vital!
The Airport Commission is sponsoring a series of four public meetings regarding the proposed expansion. CAAP urges all citizens concerned about the impact of airport noise and pollution to attend the final of these meetings.
Date: Monday, December 9
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Bellarmine High School
Address: 850 Elm Street
(one block east and south of the
intersection at Hedding and The Alameda) (map not to scale)
Need a ride? Call the CAAP hotline (297-9753), and we'll arrange one.
PFC's are taxes each of us pay on every ticket, money which was intended to help mitigate our noise problems in San Jose. The new master plan uses PFC's for massive expansion, rather than for airport maintenance and noise mitigation.
The airport staff believes ``If we build it, they will come.'' In reality, this expansion will result in more noise, more pollution, and the elimination of our curfew to service all this new cargo.
Even worse for the rest of San Jose is if they don't come, then we as taxpayers will be saddled with multiple millions of dollars of airport construction debt, just like the poor folks in Denver.
* * *
The proposed master plan for San Jose International has finally been released to the public. Not surprisingly, Director of Aviation Ralph Tonseth is again recommending a complete build out. The would be a disaster for the neighborhoods, with the number of impacted homes increasing by 40%! If the airport was not a problem for you in the past, it may be soon if this master plan is approved.
Most troubling is Ralph's proposal to build a massive cargo handling facility. If this gets approved, the nighttime curfew is sure to fall. Cargo travels in the middle of the night, and San Jose will be no exception. While there is not significant demand for the extra capacity at San Jose today, Ralph's philosophy is ``build it and they will come.''
This is a dangerous gamble with our tax dollars. If they don't come, we all get stuck with an $850-million-dollar tax bill. Money for schools and roads will be diverted to pay for Ralph's boondoggle. If they do come, it will be worse. Flights around the clock and a lot more of them¾more than double the number of loud interruptions in our daily lives!
Ralph trotted out this old lame horse a few years ago, and the neighborhoods won by making our concerns known to the City Council. They sent him back to develop a more moderate plan. He obviously wasn't listening.
You are needed to help convince a new
generation of city
You must come to the Dec. 9 meeting, sponsored by the Airport Commission. Become informed; express your opinion. If you do nothing, the future of your home will be decided by someone else¾someone who may not have your interests at heart!
(See details and map above)
* * *
The monthly SJIA noise report regularly lists and summarizes the infractions of curfew hours (11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.). Most of these ``intrusions'' are considered unavoidable and therefore excusable. These come under three categories:
Recently we asked why there were so many mechanical problems, how serious they were, and how many mechanical problems occurred during the daytime hours that were not classified as reportable.
To our surprise, Director of Aviation Ralph Tonseth had no idea as to the answers. We were advised that ``mechanical problems'' are reported by the airline directly to the FAA, and therefore, Director Tonseth could give us no information on such problems.
We have long suspected, but cannot prove, that many of the ``mechanical problem'' curfew intrusions are a refuge for slothfulness on an airline's part. In June 1996, ``mechanical problem'' instrusions rose once again¾to 19 in the 30-day period!
Another violation of the curfew is run-ups by airplanes, which is specifically forbidden by the 1984 San Jose City Council resolution. These run-ups occur regularly. In June, Reno Airlines had the bulk of curfew violation run-ups¾23 in all.
Kenneth Hayes, M.D., CAAP director
* * *
There were 60 curfew intrusions, an increase of 10 from July. Only five of these are considered to be in non-compliance by the airport staff!
There was also an increase in engine runups from 42 in July to 63 in August, and one was conducted within curfew hours.
Not surprisingly, the August report also shows an increase in number of people filing noise complaints as well as the number of complaints per day.
Chronic curfew violations continue with American Airlines flight 399 penetrating our curfew 7 times and Alaska Airlines flight 446 a whopping 9 times in August! Two of Alaska's penetrations were considered to be in violation of San Jose's curfew and occurred within 2 days of each other, even AFTER being contacted and reminded of our NCP requirements.
American and Alaska Airlines were responsible for exactly 50% of our total curfew penetrations this month.
SJIA is not the only airport seeking to expand: Oakland Airport, which currently serves over 9 million passengers yearly along with air cargo flights throughout the day and night, has ambitious plans for even more!
Barbara Tuleja has monitored the Oakland Airport for years. She reports that Oakland has a $500 million expansion plan that includes 12 additional gates, a parking garage, enhancement of runways, and other amenities. Runway alternatives would include outflights over industrial San Leandro or residential Alameda. (The night flights exit over water.)
Barbara and her airport watch group have serious misgivings about the increased noise and air pollution that would result from the airport expansion.
Currently there is a ``quiet hours'' program from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for small planes, and Congressman Pete Stark has been helpful in assisting the neighbor's efforts to control airport noise.
Doing a mass postcard mailing
Participating in a phone tree
Distributing neighborhood flyers
Give us a call if you can help with any one of these items.
Give us a call if you can help with any one of these items