December 7, 2003
Via FAX and E-mail
Board of Supervisors
County of Contra Costa
651 Pine Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Re: Proposed Closure of Buchanan Field Airport
Honorable Members: The California Pilots Association is dedicated to preserving California’s public airports as a vital part of the transportation system. I am writing about a proposal that has been put forth by Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier to spend $50,000 on a study aimed at supporting an alternate use for land on which Buchanan Field Airport is situated. This is an ill-advised proposal. The premise that the sale of Buchanan Field could benefit civil aviation is flawed on its face. There is no way that closure of such an airport that is recognized by the FAA as part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems could benefit civil aviation. Buchanan Field is Contra Costa County’s on-ramp and off-ramp to the regional, state and national airway systems.
Assuming, for sake of argument, that a desirable alternate use could be found for the airport land, the County is bound by assurance agreements with the FAA to keep the airport open. These agreements to preserve the airport exist because the FAA has found Buchanan Field to be a facility that provides a needed service for residents and businesses in the area. Any attempt to abrogate or waive any provisions of these agreements would be opposed by the California Pilots Association with all means available.
Our Association respectfully requests that your Board reject Mr. DeSaulnier’s proposal and instead use the $50,000 study cost for its intended purpose.
Very truly yours,
Jay C. White, President