Please Send an Email for 10/5/21 Reid-Hillview Airport Decision!

Reid-Hillview airport, aerial view
Reid-Hillview Airport in east San Jose. Photo credit: Jeremy Zawodny, flickr.

Thank you for supporting the closure of Reid-Hillview Airport. Your support is urgently needed – please take a moment to send an email using the form below!

On Tuesday, October 5, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider a request by Board President Wasserman to allow for long-term leases for businesses at the airport.

Please ask the Supervisors to deny this request that will cause new potential delays to closing the airport. Instead, County staff should continue their work of setting the stage for a reuse of the area that can include long needed parks and natural habitat.

What’s Happening

On August 17th, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to act to prevent further lead contamination of disadvantaged communities in East San Jose by Reid-Hillview Airport.

Unfortunately, this bold and unanimous decision is now facing a setback with Board President Wasserman’s memo suggesting that staff consider long term leases up to three years for businesses serving aviation at Reid-Hillview. This would effectively force the airport to stay in operation for at least that long, if not longer, and hinder the effort to stop the use of lead-based fuel.

Why It’s Important

Reid-Hillview Airport is an inappropriate use in the dense urban environment. Other uses of the land could better serve the community, including providing parks and natural open space.

Noise, safety risks from plane crashes, and air quality are long-term concerns. A recent study showed emissions from leaded aviation gasoline (unfortunately still legal, although lead has long been banned in gas for cars) has caused an increase in blood lead levels in children living near the airport that is worse, in some cases, than during the Flint Michigan scandal. The Supervisors recognized this and voted unanimously in August to direct staff “to take such actions as may be necessary to expeditiously eliminate lead exposure from operations at Reid-Hillview Airport….[which] may include, but are not limited to, both prohibiting the sale or use of leaded fuel, and pursuing any and all available paths to early closure prior to 2031.”

Green Foothills, its supporters, and a diverse coalition of environmental and social justice advocates successfully lobbied the County to move forward with potential closure of the airport and to not shift the problem to the San Martin Airport. The proposal by President Wasserman would turn this momentum back, especially because the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to fight both the closure and restriction on leaded fuel. The County needs the ability to control the contracted businesses at the airport on a much shorter time frame.

What You Can Do

Help create open space and serve environmental justice: ask the Supervisors to deny the request directing staff to consider long-term lease renewals at Reid-Hillview Airport!

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