San Jose International Airport

From Academic Kids

The Norman Y. Mineta San Josť International Airport is a medium-sized airport in San Josť, California. It is located at the north end of the city, near the intersections of three major freeways, Highway 101, Interstate 880, and California State Highway 87. Its IATA Airport Code is SJC.

The airport, despite San Josť's position as the most populous Bay Area city, is the smallest of the three Bay Area airports offering scheduled service, with approximately one third the passengers of the region's major international airport San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and slightly smaller than Oakland International Airport (OAK). Like Oakland airport, it attracts suburban residents too distant from SFO, as well as serving as a "reliever" airport and providing access to the Bay Area market for discount carriers (such as Southwest) unwilling to pay high landing fees at SFO.

The airport's location and layout have caused some problems. Both runways are directly lined up with downtown San Jose, which means that aircraft making their landing approaches from the south descend right over downtown. As a result, all new construction in downtown San Jose is heavily soundproofed and subject to a permanent height limit. The airport is also constrained by the fact that it is surrounded by freeways on three sides.



American Airlines opened a hub at San Jose in 1988, using slots it obtained in the buyout of Air California in 1986. Reno Air, a startup based in Reno, Nevada, took over many of American's gates until it was bought out by American in 1998. American never re-established its hub, however it is still the airport's second busiest scheduled airline after Southwest Airlines.

In November 2001, the then "San Josť International Airport" was renamed for Norman Yoshio Mineta, a native of San Josť, former mayor and congressman who was then serving as United States Secretary of Transportation.

Mineta San Jose International not only flies to cities across the nation but also cities in different countries. American Airlines has a daily interational flight to Tokyo, Japan and Mexicana has one daily flight and a twice weekly flight to Guadalajara, Mexico as well as a flight to Morelia, Mexico four times a week.

After the dot-com bubble burst, the city lost several flights in response to a decrease in demand. Air Canada discontinued its flights to Toronto and Ottawa, Canada and American Airlines stopped its nonstop flights to Taipei, Taiwan and Paris, France. American also dropped its service to Miami, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, and Phoenix; the airline's flights to Southern California were downgraded to American Eagle regional flights.

Dramatic reduction at SJC continued throughout 2004. Alaska Airlines halted its San Jose - Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas seasonal routes and American Airlines discontinued its San Jose - San Luis Obispo and San Jose - Boston Logan links.

In April 2004, the city government, in its plan to revive the local economy, called for a restored international flight to Taipei, Taiwan and new international routes from San Jose to London, England, Hong Kong, Shanghai, China, Vietnam via Taipei, and India.

Improvement Plan

In August 2004, the city broke ground on the North Concourse, the first phase in a three phase, nine year expansion plan. The master plan, designed by Gensler and The Steinberg Group, calls for an addition of 8 gates, an international concourse, and expanded security areas. The sail-shaped facade will greet up to 17.6 million passengers every year. A people mover system and eventually light rail route will link the expanded airport and the valley's transportation network. Cargo facilites will be moved to the east side of the airport. A long term parking garage will rise at the current location of the rental car operations. Phase I is expected to be completed in late 2007 while the entire plan is expected to finish execution by 2013. You can take a virtual tour of the North Concourse at SJC's homepage below.


There are two terminals at the airport. Shuttle buses provide links from both terminals to the Santa Clara County light rail and regional CalTrain services. Both terminals are relatively small in comparison to the number of people that flows through them, which can result in crowds and long lines during peak traveling times. The City is considering the idea of replacing both of them with a much larger terminal.

Terminal A

  • American Airlines Gates A7-A16B (Austin, Chicago/O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, New York/Kennedy, Orange County (Santa Ana), and Tokyo/Narita)
  • American Eagle Gates A7-A16B (Los Angeles, Orange County (Santa Ana), and San Diego)
  • Southwest Airlines Gates A2-A8 (Burbank, Chicago/Midway, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County (Santa Ana), Phoenix, Portland (OR), Reno, San Diego, and Seattle/Tacoma)

Terminal C

Instead of using jetways (The elevated tunnels that connect planes to the terminal,) Terminal C mostly uses air stairs.

Cargo airlines

External link


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