FAA Investigating Santa Clara County for Airport Maintenance Issues

In an April 8 letter, the agency detailed a long list of areas it would be looking at on the field including signage and runway markings.

Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, California, was one of the first airports to suffer a ban on the sale of 100LL. [Photo courtesy of AOPA/Mike Fizer]

The FAA has notified California's Santa Clara County it is investigating noncompliance issues at Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV) and San Martin Airport with an eye to getting their safety issues fixed.

In an April 8 letter, the agency detailed a long list of areas it would be looking at on the fields, including signage and runway markings, areas of pavement undermined by ground squirrels, and weed issues on the edge of various paved areas.

The agency said it has been discussing the issues for years with the county but hasn’t seen much action. Reid-Hillview especially has been under neighbor pressure for years, and the county has said it wants to close the facility and build affordable housing on the site. The county has also banned the sale of leaded fuel at the airport to prevent exposure to neighboring residents.

Reid-Hillview is a relatively busy regional airport with about 350 based aircraft and more than 500 movements a day on average, so the FAA said it needs to be properly maintained. It’s aksi a federally obligated airport in that it has received a total of $11.6 million from the government for various projects over the years, the most recent being a $46,692 grant for taxiway work in 2011. San Martin, which is much less busy, got $600,000 in 2021.

Taking the money requires the county "to maintain and operate its airport facilities safely and efficiently and in accordance with specified conditions,” the agency said. 

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on AVweb.

Russ Niles
Russ NilesContributor
Russ Niles has been a journalist for 40 years, a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb in 2003. When he’s not writing about airplanes he and his wife Marni run a small winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

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