Divisive Airport May Be Forced To Close After Vote To Reject Federal Funds

Matt Bigler
December 05, 2018 - 3:42 pm

The clock is slowly ticking for a small airport in San Jose that's beloved by pilots, but reviled by neighbors. 

Reil-Hillview Airport may be forced to close after Santa Clara County's board of supervisors voted 3 to 2 to reject additional federal grants. It would remain open until 2031 due to the terms of current grants. 

The area around the 80-year-old airfield was once largely farmland, but residential development has encroached upon it, leading to complaints about air traffic noise from neighbors. 

"When the planes go up, they make noise," said Luna To, who added that shutting his windows doesn't quell the racket. 

Shuttering the airport would be a disappointment for Richard Russell, who's been training to get his pilot's license at Reid-Hillview. 

"I live close by in San Jose so this is very convenient for me," said Russell. "It's a great airport for general aviation so I'd like to see it stay open for the long term."

Supervisors plan to move the airport's services to San Martin Airport, which is farther south, between Morgan Hill and Gilroy.