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Sam Liccardo's Airport Development Response

posted Apr 9, 2013, 10:13 AM by Monika Morrow   [ updated Apr 9, 2013, 10:25 AM ]
Sam Liccardo's response to Patti's letter regarding the Award of a Ground Lease and Operating Agreement to Signature Flight Support topic at today's City Council meeting.

From: "Liccardo, Sam" <sam.liccardo@sanjoseca.gov>
Date: April 9, 2013, 6:24:37 AM PDT
To: "Patti Bossert" <redacted>, "Buzo, Fred" <fred.buzo@sanjoseca.gov>
Cc: <contact@rgna.org>, redacted
Subject: RE: Airport Development - NO!


Thanks for your note.   I doubt that this message will be able to make it on to the rgna email list, so please feel free to resend it to your neighbors. 

The contract you see before the Council is exactly what we contemplated a year ago with the RFP-- a fixed-base operator (FBO) of corporate jets who would both address the demand for this form of air travel and substantially boost revenues ($3.3 million per year) and hundreds of jobs at the airport.

The FBO will be subject to the same contractual language prohibiting flights during curfew hours as the airlines.  They will be subjected to fines, etc. for flights that violate curfew.  The large charter commercial jets e.g., for pro hockey teams) that currently fly into the airport are substantially more frequent violators of the curfew than these corporate users, I'm told by Bill Sherry, the Airport Director.   Unlike the airlines, corporate jets operators have been much slower to move to lower-decible, later-stage jets than the airlines, so if anything, they are more likely (I'm told) to be subjected to fines if they do violate curfew.   So, the incentive should be there to be good neighbors.

As you'll recall from our discussions last year, the Airport Master Plan has gone through several interations, and each time, we've had to environmentally clear (with an EIR) the amount of traffic and noise generated by those uses.  This contemplated contract will support uses at a noise and traffic level substantially lower than the "envelope" that was cleared by the original EIR.  In other words, this is not going to impose noise or traffic at a level anywhere near the level that was studied and approved a decade and a half ago. 

In fact, as Bill Sherry commonly states publicly, a substantial number of takeoffs and landings will be eliminated with this new approach, because in enables us to supplant the pattern of having corporate jets coming in from Hayward or elsewhere to pick up clients and take them elsewhere, and then drop them off at SJC and take off again to return home.  In contrast, this FBO (Signature) will store their jets here.  It cuts the frequency of takeoffs and landings exactly in half if you can serve clients with existing jets, than to bring them in from another airport.  From a revenue side, it also means that San Jose captures the fuel fees and property taxes of those planes, rather than Hayward. 

Sadly, CAAP seems to be continuing an approach that is becoming too familiar.   The last time that they filed suit, I didn't see a single CAAP member appear or speak at a single public meeting, and I never received a phone call or email of concern from the organization.  Similarly now, I haven't seen CAAP members present, or speaking, at a single one of the several public meetings we've had at Council, or at our public Airport Competitiveness Committee, or anywhere else.  I haven't received any correspondence from anyone at CAAP.  The "shoot first, get people riled up, and ask questions later" approach isn't constructive.  We have public meetings for a reason.   We've had at least a half-dozen--and undoubtedly more-- hearings about this issue.   I have no idea where CAAP is getting their information, but I encourage you to examine the public documents for yourself, and for anyone to come to Council today to discuss this issue.  

In meantime, I'll ask Fred to send a copy of our memo, and a link to the staff memo, so folks can understand what this is about.

All the best,

-----Original Message-----
From: Patti Bossert [mailto:redacted]
Sent: Mon 4/8/2013 10:44 PM
To: Liccardo, Sam
Cc: contact@rgna.org; redacted
Subject: Airport Development - NO!

Hi Sam,

About a year ago, there was discussion re: Airport West Side Development and you tried to reassure me that the Council would not take actions to weaken the curfew or increase air traffic noise and that you would keep an eye on it.  I have not been following up on my concerns because of other pressing issues.  Now I just received an email from different neighborhood leaders and CAAP.  Is the following statement true?  "We
 just learned that the City Council will vote on a deal that would
significantly increase air traffic between the sleeping hours of 11:30
PM and 6:30 AM. The vote will happen this Tuesday (tomorrow)." 

Along with the increased crime in our neighborhood, such a decision will further decrease the desirability of our neighborhood and increase the possibilities of Rosemary Gardens becoming a blighted community.  Our families deal with many negative impacts of the Airport and at least we deserve uninterrupted sleep.  Please don't support decisions which escalate the downhill slide of Rosemary Gardens neighborhood. 


Patti Bossert