Officials in Santa Clara County, California, approved a motion on December 4 to move ahead with a business plan that could close Reid-Hillview Airport (RHV) in east San Jose and consolidate its operations with the smaller San Martin Airport (E16), 23 miles southeast. It’s a plan opposed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), which in advance of the board’s meeting wrote to officials urging them to “remove any process to study closing the airport.”
AOPA said the county-owned airport is a reliever airport to San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC). “The loss of RHV would move a significant number of the 160,000 operations to SJC, likely causing additional congestion and delays in airline operations at SJC,” Bill Dunn of AOPA government affairs wrote in the November 30 letter to the county’s five supervisors. AOPA also said closing RHV would affect San Jose State University’s aviation program that “depends on its location at RHV to provide training opportunities for students.”
In a summary of proceedings from its December meeting, Santa Clara supervisors approved a policy statement that the county wouldn’t apply for FAA Airport Improvement Grants for RHV; make funding available from its general fund “to safely operate Reid-Hillview”; direct county administrators to accept $1 million in FAA entitlement funding for repaving at E16; and invite the City of San Jose, in a joint planning process over the next two years, to study alternative uses for RVH’s land, which according to AOPA could include development of affordable housing.
The board also approved developing a capital plan for improvements to E16 as well as engaging San Jose State “for possible accommodation at the San Martin Airport.”
According to AirNav.com, RHV has two runways that are each at or near 3,100 feet long. E16 has one 3,095-foot-long runway.