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Original post made
on May 10, 2012
The headline of this story is misleading. The GSA hasn't made a decision to dispose of Hangar 1 yet.
I sure hope they do. Tear it down already.
There is still a lot of military left on Moffett. Is the plan to have all that move out as well? I don't know what we'd do with half of that place. It's got to be polluted after all those years of military use.
Another couple decades yelling at the Feds for more money to clean it up. Awesome.
Did anyone ever give Google an answer to their generous offer to reskin the hangar?
I HATE THIS IDEAS, BUT --
Someone who doesn't have to live with the mess it will cause will look at a map and say something like "Let's turn Moffett Field into a commercial airport. It's near freeways. It has a light-rail connection. There can be a shuttle to the planned High Speed Railroad. It has a railroad spur. It's close to major business headquarters. There are no tall buildings in the flight path. It looks like it can handle bigger planes than San Jose. In its current situation, Moffett Field is a severely underused community resource. With proper development, it could become a major Bay Area multimodal transportation hub and raise property values in and taxes for the cities that surround it."
OMG, NO! has resurrected one of the first ideas for what to do with Moffett Field when the Navy left (turn it into an airport) and pointed out a number of advantages.
Here are a number of disadvantages:
Noise. Regular, frequent airline landings and takeoffs will subject Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and even Santa Clara to more noise, more frequent noise, and noise at more times of the day than were common during the Navy's heyday. Such a move, taken to its logical conclusion, could mean closing SJC and moving noise and air pollution from a large part of San Jose to the cities surrounding Moffett Field. There are a number of advantages of that to San Jose, but I doubt they would consider them worth the cost of losing their downtown airport.
Cost. The cost to develop this idea would far exceed the cost of re-skinning Hanger One and probably involve tearing down the hanger anyway. The developers would say they would bear the cost but I'd be very surprised if the cities didn't wind up contributing big bucks some way or other--most likely in reduced tax income.
Global Warming. To avoid drowning a significant part of the runways, both would have to be lifted a meter or two--at least--at immense cost. Japan actually did this for an airport in a bay near Tokyo. Now they have discovered that the great weight of all that land fill is sinking the airport, while the sea level is rising. Or, the other end of the runways would have to be extended across 101 into the neighboring Sunnyvale golf course and industrial park. Reconstruction of 101 to put it under the runways (and the light rail and railroad spur), as well as the Mathilda, 237, and Ellis interchanges would also be very expensive. And, the buried 101 would be below sea level with additional operational costs to keep it dry.
Airport design. But just lifting or extending the runways is not enough. Current airport design best practices would put much greater distance between the two runways to allow maximum traffic in bad weather, requiring much more land than is available. San Francisco wanted to solve that problem with more Bay land fill and was rightly shot down.
"Derailing restoration plans for Hangar One and causing anxiety over Moffett Field's future, the head of NASA wants to assign the General Services Administration to determine the fate of Moffett Federal Airfield and Hangar One."
This is a classic case of "passing the buck"...
One wonders if the Navy and then Nasa painted itself into a proverbial corner after 15 years of negotiation and discovery, and decided this was the most cost effective, and risk/responsibility avoiding way to get out of the situation.
Still, if Mountain View were to retain ownership of this land, it would be a good opportunity for redevelopment and open space.
"Someone who doesn't have to live with the mess it will cause will look at a map and say something like "Let's turn Moffett Field into a commercial airport. It's near freeways. It has a light-rail connection. There can be a shuttle to the planned High Speed Railroad. It has a railroad spur. It's close to major business headquarters. There are no tall buildings in the flight path. It looks like it can handle bigger planes than San Jose. In its current situation, Moffett Field is a severely underused community resource. With proper development, it could become a major Bay Area multimodal transportation hub and raise property values in and taxes for the cities that surround it."
All very valid points, IF one were starting from scratch and didn't have a newly built airport just minutes away that is less than 70% of capacity.
There's simply not a good economic reason to sink so much money into something we don't need now, and may never need in the future...sort of like High Speed Rail.
We don't need a second airport, San Jose Airport is working well with a new terminal, we do need housing close to jobs which should reduce the impact on the highways which are overloaded.
@Doug Pearson: They wouldn't have to raise the runways. They could just build a dike. Or build two dikes to mitigate the problem if one fails. Two dikes would still be cheaper than lifting hundreds of acres of land.
It's a disgrace how the Obama administration ignores the Bay Area community and the Congressional delegation of his own party. He could order NASA to accept the proposal to re-skin the hangar, which should have been done by now. It's a national disgrace that NASA and the NAVY have been blowing off fixing Hangar one
A hanger for a blimp that crashed 75 years ago? Tear it down already.
Do whatever - just NO AIR TRAFFIC!!!
Get Google planes and National Guard out of there! They have no regards for the communities and the people. They fly in and out and do touch and go's really late at night. ENOUGH!
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