San Jose to add “Silicon Valley” to airport name, maybe

San Jose to add Silicon Valley to airport nameThat would make it “Norman Y Mineta San Jose/Silicon Valley International Airport” a runway length name but just what city leaders think it needs.

“People want to go to Silicon Valley,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. “But they don’t really know where it is.”

Actually, the problem is that people want to go to San Francisco which has overshadowed San Jose for decades.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, San Jose’s airport has struggled, trailing behind San Francisco then Oakland, losing lucrative routes to Paris and Taiwan. The economic slump that started in 2008 pretty much drove a stake through the beleaguered airport’s heart causing a loss of a third of its scheduled flights and a quarter of it’s passengers.

%Gallery-7858%A $1.3 billion upgrade last summer didn’t help either and now the city is struggling to make payments on the project.

“We need to think about how we can do things differently to market our airport and our region,” said City Councilman Sam Liccardo, who sits on the naming committee that came up with the idea to add on to the name. “The term ‘Silicon Valley’ has global cachet.”

It looks like there are plenty of people living in the area too. “As 2011 begins, about 850,000, the number of jobs in the valley today is about the same as in 1995, the year Yahoo was founded and three years before Google was born. Over the same period, the population has grown by 20 percent” says SiliconValley.com.

Reaching out to the world with a new airport name? Maybe that is just what San Jose needs to kickstart traffic. Still, when we book flights, the airport will be SJC up against SFO.

Flickr photo by J-fish

Stench in newly renovated San Jose terminal building compared to outhouse

The newly renovated terminal A complex at Norman Mineta airport in San Jose has a bit of a smelly problem. For months, staff have been complaining about an unbearable stench in office areas and the crew break room.

The smell is so bad, that odor neutralizing machines and large fans have not helped. So bad in fact, that the airport purchased picnic tables so the staff could escape the stench and sit outside during their lunch break.

Nothing the airport tried in the past five months has helped, so now airline officials are threatening to withhold thousands of dollars in rent payments until the airport operator fixes the situation.

Continental Airlines general manager Urban Grass (awesome name) said “it’s got to be resolved somehow.” The smell has stunk up his accounting area and employee break room, and that the sewage smell in the United and US Airways offices down the hall is “horrible.”

Like everything in the airline industry, everyone is very concerned about the issue, but continues to point fingers at someone else when searching for a guilty party.

The only upside is that passengers are not affected by the stench, and no baggage is flying home infused with the smell of San Jose sewage.

[Photo credit: Flickr/Andrew Feinberg]

San Jose to Spend $1.1 Million on Mural at Airport

The San Jose city council recently approved an art project with an $1.1 million dollar price tag. A huge mural will be installed at Mineta San Jose International Airport on the side of a newly constructed parking garage. Impressive? It will be San Jose’s largest piece of public art (62 feet high, 76,000 square feet). The mural is inspired by a high resolution photograph of different hands making different gestures. (No, I assume the gesture you are thinking of right now is not a part of the picture. But I can’t say for certain).

San Jose is not a new city, but its growth over the past couple of decades has been explosive. While it might be a nice place to live, many visitors find it sterile and lacking in atmosphere. This is especially the case if you compare it to nearby San Francisco. Perhaps a mural, even a million dollar one, is a good idea. At the very least, you’ll be able to chuckle as you try to find double meanings for those hand gestures.

[Related Story]