FAA demands Bay Area’s largest homeless camp be dismantled

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Pressure is mounting for more action to be taken in connection with what may be the Bay Area’s largest homeless camp in San Jose.

The sprawling camp near the airport has ruffled the feathers of the federal aviation administration, which says airport funding might be in jeopardy if the camp is not cleared sooner rather than later.

The hundreds of people camping beneath the flight path in San Jose are being put at risk. so says the federal aviation administration, citing noise in in demanding the city step up action to clear the camp, which has grown to more than 200 people since the beginning of the pandemic.

The F.A.A. is dissatisfied with the progress so far in dismantling the 40-acre camp.

In a statement to KRON4 News, the F.A.A. said:

“…Airports that receive federal funds must ensure airport property is used for it’s intended purpose. The city of San Jose designated the area as incompatible for homes due to noise impacts. The F.F.A provided roughly $97 million for noise mitigation and approach projects in the vicinity of SJC.”

Further federal funding of airport projects may be withheld until the camp is cleared. The city has undertaken a gradual approach with a goal of clearing the camp by next spring. The F.A.A. wants it done sooner but that is easier said than done say advocates for the homeless like Shaunn Cartwright.

The vacant land bordered by west Hedding Street, Coleman Avenue and Taylor Street was set aside as a buffer zone should aircraft have trouble landing and taking off. Now, just below, people are camped here with tents, trucks and RV’s lining the streets. Aside from the noise and suspect air quality as the planes fly overhead, there are implications related to the the relaxing of guidelines about sweeping camps amid the easing of the pandemic.

Cartwright would like to see a sanctioned camp on the airport site but neither the city or the F.A.A. is likely to be on board with that. E-mails and phone calls to city hall and the airport were not immediately returned.

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