Major Threat To CCR Lifted
Developers eyeing Buchanan Field in Concord, CA, appear to have
thrown in the towel in efforts to shut down the airport in favor of
new construction. AOPA, local pilots, members of Congress and
congressional aviation leaders, and the FAA all have been fighting
a county plan to close the airport and redevelop the land. Those
efforts appear to have paid off.
Now, even the developers have thrown in the towel. Shapell
Industries has withdrawn its proposal — which Contra Costa
County solicited — to build 6,000 homes on Buchanan Field and
construct a new airport "somewhere else." But Shapell discovered
that other possible airport sites were either not for sale or "have
been deemed undesirable by the local pilots."
"Finally, common sense has prevailed, and an important airport
will be preserved," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"Congratulations to the local pilots, legislative leaders, and FAA
officials who fought for two years to defeat this bad idea."
Even the county official who championed the redevelopment idea
has reportedly seen the light.
"I think [redeveloping the airport] was worth looking into if we
didn't spend taxpayer money," Contra Costa Supervisor Mark
DeSaulnier told the Contra Costa Times newspaper. "I think now the
board needs to get back to being re-energized about the existing
airport and making it as good as it can be."
Ironically, that's just what AOPA said the county should do two
years ago when the association told DeSaulnier, "Rather than
exploring continued discussions about airport closure and
redevelopment options, AOPA asks for your support in promoting the
airport and exploring ways in which the airport can be the
cornerstone for the development and economic well-being of your
Since the military first gave the airport to the county in 1948,
it has grown into a major reliever airport for the San Francisco
Bay area and the forty-fifth busiest general aviation airport in
the nation, with more than 580 based aircraft and some 157,000
annual flight operations.