SAN JOSE (KCBS/BCN)- San Jose’s unusually long airport name may be getting even more wordy. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International officials are considering re-branding the airport to better reflect its location in Silicon Valley.

The name is already a mouthful, but city officials are talking about making it even longer, adding the words “Silicon Valley” after San Jose. Airport Spokesperson David Vossbrink said it’s the airlines that are asking for a name change.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The Committee on Airport Competitiveness, formed by Mayor Chuck Reed in November, met to discuss the issue in San Jose Thursday. The group is comprised of Reed and City Council members Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo and Nancy Pyle.

“As we go around talking to airlines about bringing more flights here to serve Silicon Valley businesses and residents, one of the things that we hear is that people like our airport and our value, but they aren’t sure about our brand,” said Vossbrink.

The airport competitiveness committee is now looking at rebranding the airport, but City Councilman Sam Liccardo said dropping Norman Mineta isn’t an option.

“I suspect that dropping some parts of the name could start riots,” said Liccardo.

Herrera said the name change is just one idea that the committee will discuss, but that the focus is finding ways to showcase the many advantages the airport offers.

“We have one of the best on-time records, much more so than San Francisco. Great weather, a brand-new facility, Silicon Valley with all the great companies nearby,” Herrera said. “We simply need to get the message out to them that San Jose has a competitive advantage.”

Vossbrink said the airport has been struggling because of the recession. It has lost 25 percent of its passengers since 2007 and has had to reduce staffing levels from 400 to 200 since 2008 to help balance its budget, he said.

The airport underwent a major renovation, including adding a new terminal, but the modernization effort has added to the airport’s cost of operations, Vossbrink said.

He said the committee is also considering a proposal to contract law enforcement at the airport, which could reduce costs by $10 million.

“These are tough decisions but we are a business,” he said. “A private-sector business would be doing the same thing that we’re doing.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Joe Mcnulty says:

    It is really crazy that some people believe that more people are not using San Jose air port because of its name. I hate to say that these people are narrow minded. I my self live in san Jose and more often use SFO for two reasons: first there is more flight available there because a lot of people who reside in north Fremont all the way to San Fracisco and people who reside in Walnet Creek all the city all the way to San Fracisco go to SFO. Second reason is the flight time is less from SFO with less transit time. But has nothing to do with the name.

  2. D says:

    As great as Mineta might be, I highly doubt it will cause riots if we drop his name.

  3. Reb says:

    They need Bart to have better access to airport,not so much a different name.

  4. Chloe T says:

    Rename the airport and drop the Norm Mineta part. Most people around the country have no idea who Mineta is, but they’ve heard of “Silicon Valley”

  5. curious says:

    Another GREAT WAY to waste money. Give me a break!!!! In the Bay Area its: Oakland, San Francisco OR San Jose airports! !!!

  6. Eugene Gonzales says:

    Stupid idea, stupid move, who’s the stupid one here, WE put them where they are…..who’s stupid????……. Think about that the next tim you vote.

  7. JBlevins says:

    The name Silicon Valley never represented San Jose. There was a time when “Silicon Valley” meant Chip firms in Sunnyvale, Mt View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and the lower Peninsula. (very few chip makers in SJ). Fast forward to today, majority of chip makers are in Phoenix, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, Cina, Japan, etc.
    What does Silicon Valley have to do with SJ?

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