San Jose International Airport
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 intersection of two major freeways, Highway 101 and Interstate 880. Its IATA Airport Code is SJC.
The airport 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.
As of 2003, Mineta San Jose Airport was served by all six large hub-and-spoke domestic carriers, one West Coast carrier and four discount carriers. The airport has transcontinental service to five East Coast cities as well as limited international service to Mexico and Japan.
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, although it continues to use San Jose for flights to Honolulu, Kahului, and Tokyo. It operated nonstop flights to Taipei and Paris for a brief period in mid-2001.
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.
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. Any expansion of the runways to the north or south will requiring putting one of those freeways underground.