Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mineta San Jose International Airport - Past & Present

We are grateful for our new airport in Silicon Valley!

This is my first story about our new Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) which opened in 2010, Terminals A and B.  I support this much needed project in the center of Silicon Valley, there is a part of me that is disillusioned to see the old terminal C torn down with all of the history. When I mention this to my friends and family, they laugh and tell me that these buildings were old, dilapidated, and not at their best.

San Jose Airport Terminal C with parking structure behind from Wikipedia
I am intrigued with the history of our area and the local people and their stories, of the Santa Clara Valley region. So to overcome this, I did something not many people think about.

My solo day trip to see our new airport.

Out with the old, friendly walk up two-story airport we once knew – now there is a new, sleek, modern building with all the newest amenities travelers seem to want.   

San Jose is in the heart of technology and computers and the third largest population city in California, with more people than San Francisco.

With airports as a part of any community, I appreciate that San Jose finished this project in the downturn. We now have a new airport to go with our grown up face – as millions of business people arrive daily to this airport which ultimately takes them to their corporate meetings in the tech center of Silicon Valley.  (The other new local community airport I wrote about (2009) is in Branson, Missouri.) 

Our new $1.3 billion airport looks like a shiny new airplane – long, bluish, cylinder tube from one end to the other. 

There is also a nice cell phone waiting place available for those people picking up friends and a really great on-the-airport rental car designation.

Parking Structure Artwork

Once you become familiar (again) with the new approaches, roadways, and parking structures (nice artwork of local Silicon Valley peoples’ hands waving); passengers find the airline check-ins on the lower level.

There seems to be plenty of room for them to access self service machines and regular ticket counters now.

Has anyone noticed the interesting technology display exhibits near the check-ins on the lower level?     

Of course, there are many new technical things we have which airport workers, airline employees, and all travel related companies really appreciate.

I am describing some of the travel user features - amenities –  you might see. Most are behind security for passengers to enjoy on the second level. Examples are: Santa Cruz Wine Bar, Le Boulangerie, and great artwork like the e-cloud.   

Check ins - Terminal B

I enjoyed walking on the tarmac where I see the motions of everyday airport life in action – and with our San Jose 300 days of sunshine it was great to have the fresh air.

Our travelers will find the new convenience of covered walkways to the planes now. We will still get our exercise as we walk from one terminal to the other (A to B). The people-movers project was taken out of the budget. Exercise is good, and we do enjoy the convenience of this smaller airport in this region.

For our technology geeks, our airport has “free” wi-fi available and plug-ins for power every fourth seat. Now why is it that I noticed people not using computers seem to always sit near the plug-ins?
Upper lever before entering security

I am grateful for our  shiny, new, clean, and up-to-date resource now available in Silicon Valley for our millions of travelers to use. I certainly will adapt to this new place. 

A quote from the movie, Field of Dreams, "Build it. He will come."  A million people come to Silicon Valley. 

Why do I find the one piece of equipment out of order?   When I walked out to the parking structure to pay for my parking ticket at the automated machines, the first box I went to did not work.

I did really appreciate the one (person) parking attendant of three exits who was extremely helpful and cheerful as I was departing! (Note: this is no longer the case in 2016)
Looking towards Terminal A
Yes, I am fascinated with our newest bay area airport now, which is a place many people take for granted. We spend quite of bit of time at airports during our travels. What are your personal airport stories to share?

Please note my disclosure of a reference for use of this old San Jose "C" terminal picture from Wikipedia - San Jose Airport.  The only one I was able to find now on the web.  Does anyone have pictures (not videos) of the C terminal?  

Every week I venture out & always find something new on the street corners of Silicon Valley. ~ The Fun Tour Guru


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Thank you with your interest!