On February 1, 1949, pioneering aviation leaders officially dedicated San Jose Municipal Airport, ushering in modern-day passenger service for the local community after 10 years of development efforts. The first commercial airline flight to land at SJC was a Southwest Airways DC-3 (an ancestor of today’s Delta Air Lines) with two pilots, seven human passengers and 2,550 baby chickens. Only the chickens got off at San Jose; the human passengers continued on to their final destination.
Today, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) celebrates seven decades of connecting San Jose and the South Bay to the world. The Airport has transformed with the Valley it serves, and in 2018, marked a record by serving 14.3 million passengers with nonstop service to more than 50 domestic and international destinations on three continents.
“It’s been a remarkable 70-year journey from SJC’s beginning as a commercial service municipal airport to its transformation as an international airport serving Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world,” said Judy Ross, Assistant Director of Aviation for Mineta San Jose International Airport. “SJC’s seven decades of success is due to innovative leaders, starting with the first Airport Manager, Jim Nissen, hired in 1946 to oversee building the new airport when San Jose was an agricultural community, to current Director of Aviation John Aitken, who is leading the Airport team and partners in serving our tech and tourism community who need seamless transportation to the world.”
To commemorate this anniversary, SJC has released a video featuring images of aviation pioneers and SJC’s milestones from over the seven decades that SJC has served the South Bay community’s changing travel needs and contributed to its economic development–from its early heyday as an agricultural center through its transformation into the world’s technology capital. The video is now live on the Airport’s YouTube Channel and on its blog, SJC Buzz.
While much has changed at SJC and the Bay Area over the past seven decades, at least one thing remains the same: the Airport and its many partners continue to work together to bring safe, secure and efficient service to the Silicon Valley community and its changing business and leisure travel needs. Looking to the future, the Airport’s remains committed to providing and maintaining modern facilities along with more flights to more destinations, giving Silicon Valley travelers more reasons to choose SJC.
To learn more about SJC’s 70 years of service and support to the community, view a historical timeline at flysanjose.com/sjc_timeline.