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Tue, Feb 12, 2013

'Google Airport' Planned For San Jose, CA

Private Facility Would Adjoin Mineta San Jose International

British FBO operator Signature Aviation has proposed to build an executive airport and terminal that would accommodate "the largest business jets" almost exclusively for the use of Google at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, and a city official says that the plan should be considered. According to a news release from Signature Aviation, Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) staff will recommend Signature Flight Support be awarded a 50-year lease on the Airport’s West Side to develop and operate a 29-acre, $82 million facility, which the Los Angeles Times reports would be largely used by Google's fleet of executive jets, which range up to a Boeing 767.

With SJC airport staff’s report to the Airport Competitiveness Committee on February 22, 2013, the evaluation of proposals for West Side development will be complete. The airport intends to return to the San José City Council in early spring to recommend that Council award a ground lease and operating permit to Signature Flight Support.

Signature proposes to construct a full service fixed base operation (FBO) committing to invest $82 million in developing facilities with over 270,000 square feet of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified on approximately 29 acres with facility and service facilities consisting of 240,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, 24,000 sq. ft. office and shops, 10,000 sq. ft. executive terminal, 3,600 sq. ft. GSE shop, 7,500 sq. ft. Technology garden and 18.5 acres of ramp space.
 
“We are pleased that the evaluation process for the development of Mineta San José International Airport’s West Side is now complete, and the recommended outcome will prove to be incredibly prosperous for SJC, the City of San José, and Silicon Valley,” said Director of Aviation Bill Sherry. “The Airport completed a $1.4 billion upgrade to the terminal area in 2010, and now our focus must be the proposed private development and $82 million investment of the West Side by Signature Flight Support, to support the private aviation needs of local high-tech companies, most notably the personal aircraft of the principals at Google.”
 
Proposals for development of Silicon Valley Airport’s West Side were reviewed by an evaluation panel, including: staff of SJC and the City of San José; a representative with real estate expertise from a comparable-sized commercial service airport, with significant corporate and general aviation activity, in California; and a former FBO executive. Signature’s proposal scored a total of 991 out of a possible 1,000 points, and the panel found the proposal to be both thorough and of very high quality, offering excellent opportunities for corporate aviation services to SJC’s general aviation customers. Signature was found to be a financially stable company with strong financial indicators and will likely be a significant economic asset for the City of San José.

"Signature Flight Support is proud to be chosen as the successful bidder for the West Side development project at the Mineta San Jose International Airport to build a state of the art, world-class FBO that will serve as a key location in Signature Flight Support's global network. We are also proud to bring all of the resources that Signature Flight Support can offer to further business and general aviation and our long-standing track record of good corporate citizenship to the San Jose and Silicon Valley Communities," said Maria Sastre, President and Chief Operating Officer for Signature Flight Support.
 
The adopted Airport Master Plan identifies the West Side of the Airport for development of facilities to accommodate a projected growth in general aviation service demand. Development areas include 44 acres located directly north of the FAA Airport Traffic Control Tower (holding 12 acres in reserve as potential mitigation area) and 15 acres in the southwest area, which is the current tie-down area for general aviation aircraft and the former San Jose State University Aviation facility. A Request for Proposals (RFP) process included a draft RFP released in June 2012 and a final RFP issued in August 2012, including an extensive effort to ensure all potential respondents had the opportunity to comment and submit proposals.

FMI: www.signatureflight.com, www.sanjoseca.gov

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