History of San Martin Airport

1960 "Airport Study - General Aviation Requirements" by Friedland report recommended acquisition of property for a South County Airport near San Martin.


County Bond Measure C rejected by County voters.  Funding would have provided land acquisition and development for the South County Airport, and improvements at Reid-Hillview and Palo Alto Airports.


"General Aviation Plan" reviewed and updated county aviation needs.

Resolution No. 1045 urged the Board of Supervisors to budget money for land acquisition for the South County Airport.​

Letter from the Gilron Chamber of Commerce urged the Board of Supervisors to give "strong consideration to the construction of a South County Airport in the Gilroy area".

Morgan Hill resolution no. 548 "urging the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara to establish a South County Airport."


Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appropriated funds for South County Airport development.  Funding sources 

included the Capital Improvement Budget, the State Airport Assistance Fund, the Airport enterprise fund, and excess construction funds from the Palo Alto Airport.

County and FAA preliminary site investigations for a South County Airports.

Resolution from the City of Gilroy urging the County to continue with land acquisitions and development of the South County Airport, resolution #1085


Site formally adopted by County Board of Supervisors

Airports Branch, FAA, grants airspace approval.  Eastside traffic pattern required to avoid overflights of schools in the vicinity.

Proposal for location county road maintenance operations facilities at the airport.


County requests for a time extension on airspace determination.  Three year extension approved subject to same traffic pattern conditions.  Request stems from the fact no construction took place in the 2-year duration of the original airspace grant in 1968.

Application filed for a private airport (Hill County Airport) 2 miles north of San Martin, 9,000 feet north of South County Airport.  FAA denied airspace approval for Hill County Airport.

 Property acquisition for South County Airport began.  Murphy Road was relocated around the site.  The acquisition was with the assistance of the State Airport Assistance Funds Program.

 - Pete and Stella Alonzo (10 acres)

- Christina Hassur (10 acres)

- Izick and Mary Camarena (5.85 acres)

- Suzzane Coscarelli (11.75 acres)

- Gerald Fiore (5.85 acres)

- Victor Angel and Celia Rosa Marquez (2.60 acres)

- State of California (19.98 acres)


FAA and County agree on denial of permits for Hill County Airport

California Department of Aeronautics grants site approval for South County Airports

Land Acquisition

 - Peter B Dias (12.50 acres)

- Louis DiSalvo (6.39 acres)

- Geroge and Alice Garbini (5.00 acres)

- Hideo Kawamoto (10.00 acres)

- Frank and Helen Lepera (10.00 acres)

- Mary Lepera Mendonca (6.25 acres)

- Michael T O'Kane (9.60 acres)


Airport Land Use Commission formed

Land Acquisition

- Emilio Gagliardi, Edward & Dorothy Mosby, Irving & Janice Perlitch, Paula Reimer, Title Insurance and Trust Co. (12.50 acres)

- Joe Carbini (15,00 acres)

- Angelo and Adriana Robba (19.01 acres)


Construction of County animal shelter on 1.4 acres of airport property was completed.

Construction of wind cone, segmented circle, and perimeter fencing

The original construction of runway and taxiway (2 layers chip seal on compacted native soil) by volunteer workers.

California Aeronautics Board granted Airport Permit

Dedication ceremonies, airport opened 9/8/1972

Resolution by Board of Supervisors declaring South County Airport of Santa Clara County as legal name.

Land Acquisition

- Ernestine Cassese (easement grant for air space)

- State of California (19.50 acres)


ALUC adopted land use plan for Santa Clara County airports.

County advertised for fixed base operation (FBO), and received two proposals

Board of Supervisors advised to accept FBO proposal from South Valley Aviation

Completion of Highway 101 in the vicinity of San Martin.


Additional chip seal applied to paved surfaces

Archaeological Impact Evaluation - negative results

Environmental Impact Assessment Report Completed.  Required for reimbursement for land acquisition.  The report covered development to date.

Land Acquisition

- Ewin J Diessner (7.56 acres)


Additional land acquisition to insure future land use compatibility.


Runway and taxiway reflectors installed (later removed to discourage night operations)

Chip sealed apron north end of airport for 30 tie-downs


FAA advised county of approval of airport layout plan

30 additional tie-downs added

Land Acquisition

- John Knudsen (24.84 acres)

- Henry Knudsen, Lays Marie Mellow, Kide and Verna M Rose (6.82 acres)


Slurry sealing of runway and taxiway surfaces.

Environmenta. impact assessment report addressed the parallel runway and other development shown on the airport layout plan.

Land Acquisition (16.50 ft strip)

-  Arnold and Henriette Palhaupsessy

- Darrel and Patricia Rogers

- Joseph Sanchez

- Wallace and Marilyn Santos


Unicom changed from 122.8 to 122.7

Trees located in approach path trimmed

Morgan Hill Rural Fire District proposed fire station be located at San Martin Airport

Land Acquisition

- Anargyros and Patricia Antonopoulos

- Angelo and Yvonne Lqgizos (3.05 acres)

- H.N. and Marge Mackinnon

- H.N. and Irma Teenlink

1980 - Additional aviation easement obtained.

1984 - Ramp lighting Installed, AIP Project 3-06-0229-01

1995 - The County and 2-Genes Aviation entered into a 25-year ground lease for FBO property.

1997 - Taxiway lighting installed, AIP Project 3-06-0229-02

1997 - REILS installed - AIP Project 3-06-0229-02

2002 - The County constructed 100 additional hangars on the south ramp of the airport.   The project included a 500,000 gallon water tank and fire pump system and a connection of the water tank to San Martin Water.

2003 - AWOS installed - AIP Project 3-06-0229-05​

2018 - The runway and taxiways were resurfaced using approximately $500,000 in funding provided through a loan to the Airport Enterprise Fund from the County General Fund.

2020 - The County issued an RFP for the FBO property.  The RFP did not include the property that contained 57 hangars previously governed by a ground-lease agreement between the hangar occupant and the FBO.  

2020 - The County took over ownership and management of the 57 hangars previously located on FBO ground lease property. This was the first time these hangar occupants were required to pay hangar rent. Much of the communication between the County and stakeholders at E16 can be found here.   

2021 - The County received a reimbursement grant from the FAA for the paving project allowing the AEF was able to repay the GF.

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