San Jose Airport Plans $1.5B Upgrade Over Next 10 Years

Mon October 29, 2007 - West Edition

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Mineta San Jose International Airport is planning to spend $1.5 billion over the next decade to build new concourses and add thousands of parking spaces as it tries to lure back travelers who left following the dot-com bust and the 2001 terror attacks.

Traffic at the Silicon Valley airfield dropped sharply after reaching a peak of 14 million passengers in 2001. Last year, the airport handled 10.9 million travelers, up slightly from a low of 10.4 million in 2003, and airport officials think more business is likely to return.

San Jose’s airport is now the third-busiest in the San Francisco Bay area, behind San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport.

Officials at Mineta San Jose, named after former San Jose mayor and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, said that the first phase of construction is scheduled to start in July.

The $1 billion project consists of building a new north concourse for the airport’s terminal B and also constructing a 3,400-space parking garage. It is expected to be finished by 2010.

A second phase of the project, costing another $500 million, would kick in if the airport serves 12.2 million passengers during a given year. It would include building a new south concourse for terminal B and expanding the terminal’s capacity from 30 gates to 40 gates, according to airport spokesman Rich Dressler.

The airport is owned and operated by the city of San Jose. The expansion will be funded with bonds and a passenger fee that is already included in each ticket, Dressler said.