Reid Hillview Airport – The Sequel

The May June CALPILOTS Newsletter Editorial

Those who remember the fight to keep Reid Hillview Airport (in San Jose, CA.) open in the 90’s, as well as every other pilot in the state, should know that it is in jeopardy again.

Due to the never ending California fiscal crisis, a Santa Clara County Board Supervisor has suggested that the county review the current land use of the airport, versus the possibility of selling it off. Translation: Like their predecessors, the Santa Clara County Board Supervisors (SCBS) have continued to over spend and are looking for an easy, but obvious to anyone with a big picture mentality, temporary, way out. Taking the easier path of least resistance, instead of addressing the actual long term problems, is not the answer.

It is probable that the Supervisor was informed by a known anti-airport colleague that the airport is unimportant, unsafe, and the home to only 600 aircraft. It is also likely that he did not understand that it is a reliever to San Jose International Airport, and has been the recipient of millions of dollars in grants over the past few years. Nor did he understand its importance to the Bay Area as a Financial Hub and as a Disaster Recovery Portal.

A little History: In the early 90’s a County Supervisor, who is still a sitting Supervisor, made it her personal goal (some might call it a vendetta) to close the airport. She was narrowly defeated after spending (wasting?) well over a million dollars, (that’s $1,000,000 which could certainly be of use now) on the required multiple land usage reports, which all concluded that the airport was the best and safest use of the land. Note: There was no accountability for wasting this huge amount of money.

This brings us to the next iteration to close Reid Hillview Airport. While it’s doubtful that the name of the anti-airport Supervisor is anywhere on the documentation leading to the latest idea, it doesn?t take much imagination to recognize that her fingerprints are all over this latest effort.

Anyone in Santa Clara County who can read knows the facts behind the financial problems, but it appears that like their predecessors, SCBS doesn’t want to address them. It is hard work. Government isn?t compelled to downsize, and address out of control long term costs like the private sector. Raising taxes has always been the government solution. Times are changing though, and raising taxes isn’t so easy anymore. It is time to face up to the real issues.

There is no question that our elected officials are intelligent hard working people. The question is, after working so hard to get elected to serve their community, why don’t they do the job they were elected to do? Difficult or not, that is why they are there. Short term solutions like selling off important assets are not the answer. The answer is deal with the tough problems, not avoid them.

This is important to everyone because we need to be prepared to fight against other ill advised ‘easy way out asset sell off’ attempts by elected officials. Fiscal issues are not confined to Santa Clara Valley. We all need to be diligent and stay in front of bad ideas.

Ed Rosiak
President – California Pilots Association

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