January 2, 2007
In a time when we read about the constant pressure to close airports (one airport closes every two weeks in the US), it may surprise you to hear that some airports are
growing. South County airport is a one-runway airport nestled in the Santa Clara Valley south of San Jose, and just north of the garlic fields in Gilroy. The colorful history of the airport goes back to the days when it was known as Q99, and when pilots flew-in from all parts of California to visit the Flying Lady Restaurant and watch model airplanes glide across a custom made track on the ceiling.
Unfortunately, the Flying Lady Restaurant is now a memory, however, over the last few years little South County Airport has been undergoing some significant changes. First was a name change when the airport identifier was changed from Q99 to E16 to avoid conflict with the Q airway system proposed, and then later abandoned by the FAA. In 2005, a new FBO, Magnum Aviation, setup shop and replaced long time airport FBO 2Genes. Recently, after some painfully long delays, shiny new hangers were completed by the county, offering much coveted hanger space for pilots in the south bay area.
Upcoming projects anticipated for 2007 include a new AWOS system to improve safety and plans for improved security through the installation of automated electric gates to replace the rusty, squeaky manual gates that someone always seems to forget to close. But the largest anticipated project has been in an airport expansion plan in the works for a number of years.