Tentative Approval of Buchanan Airport New Hangars

Contra Costa County Supervisors have given tentative approval for addition hangars at Buchanan Field. Tri-Valley Herald, CA

CONCORD — An airport expansion plan at Concord’s Buchanan Field Airport received clearance Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors approved designs for more hangar space and commercial buildings.

It isn’t clear whether the plans will ever get off the ground, though. Airport Manager Keith Freitas said officials will wait and see if a developer wants to take on the project, which could entail creating a hangar big enough for 12 to 15 business jets and other aircraft west of Sally Ride Drive. Plans also would be allowed to include 14,800 square feet for office space.

“We had a tenant two years ago that wanted to expand operations on this 61/2 or 7 acres with additional ramp space, hangars and offices. We went through the process, and then in the final phase of environmental review of the proposal, the tenant withdrew its interest. But we decided to bring it before the board as a county project,” Freitas said. “Then, down the road, if we want to solicit a builder for the project, we can.” Need for hangar space, particularly for larger business jets, is at high demand in the Bay Area, according to the staff report that went to county supervisors Tuesday.

Office space at the field, which ranges in use from fuel providers to barbers, also would expand under the plan. The new commercial space, if built, could be for car rental and fuel companies as well as other businesses tied to aircraft. New planes parked at Buchanan as a result of the expansion would only slightly increase the number of trips in and out of the airport, by about six a day. The average now is 397 a day.

Noise and air pollution won’t significantly increase, according to environmental findings also approved by supervisors Tuesday.