By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The San Jose City Council has approved the first step of a new master plan for Mineta San Jose International that’s designed to help the airport keep up with growing demand.

“With the expansion, it seems like there’s more people in and out of here now,”  said Terry Ybarra, who arrived in San Jose from Austin, Texas.

And with a surging Silicon Valley economy, city officials say there are no signs of it slowing down.

“More and more companies are expanding here and growing here,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.

On Tuesday afternoon, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved designing a new airport master plan designed to take SJC from its current 15 million passengers a year to a projected 22 million per year by 2037.

“It means the demands on this airport are just going to continue to grow,” Liccardo said.

The airport is beginning work on an environmental impact report to look at how expansion will affect San
Jose’s carbon footprint.

The airport’s physical footprint will expand on the south side of the airport with a new Terminal C proposed to be
built where a parking lot currently stands.

Plans also call for a first of its kind on site hotel.

“We all know how difficult it is to get a hotel and with the rising costs, it will be nice to have one here at our airport for overnight stays and conferences for business travelers, it will really help accommodate our travelers needs,” said airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes.

Plans also include upgrades to runways and taxiways to handle bigger jets like 747’s.

In an effort to cut emissions, the airport is also looking into options for taking passengers into downtown San Jose, including automated, driverless electric shuttles.