Pilots take control of day-to-day operations at O52

Sutter LogoPilots involved with the Sutter Buttes Regional Aviation Association (SBRAA – a CalPilots Chapter) will take over day-to-day operations at Sutter County Airport (O52) in Northern California on Tuesday, July 1.

SBRAA is a local association of pilots, aviation advocates, Yuba-Sutter business supporters, friends and families committed to fully assuming the ongoing operation, maintenance, improvement and growth of the Sutter County Airport.

The airport is located on approximately 170 acres of land and serves the Yuba-Sutter and general aviation communities by housing general aviation operations, hangaring, aircraft maintenance and repair facilities and extensive privately owned crop dusting operations.

The Sutter Buttes Regional Aviation Association was founded in March 2012, and incorporated as an official California non-profit corporation with the help of the California Pilot’s Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

The original idea for the plan came from Jack Kemmerly, who has an extensive background in aviation, including a career with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and with the Cal Trans Department of Aviation. Jack proposed an idea where an independent board would run the airport.

Local pilot and aviation enthusiast Joe Borzelleri took Jack Kemmerly’s idea and ran with it, organizing the airport tenants, pilots and aircraft owners.

Other key players include SBRAA Treasurer Steve Whitmarsh who worked out the financial details and fine tuned the contract language to make this a win/win for Sutter County and SBRAA; Jim Stadel of Stadel Aircraft based on the airport; Howard Anthony, aircraft owner/pilot; AJ Hyatt, aircraft owner/pilot; Lloyd Davies, aircraft owner/pilot; Matt Warner local Civil Air Patrol leader and pilot.

Borzelleri is quick to point out that another key player and Sutter County official is Megan Greve, General Services Director for Sutter County.

“Megan has been with us since our very first meeting,” Borzelleri states, “And has been very supportive of our efforts along with the Sutter County Board of Supervisors, who unanimously voted in support of the SBRAA operating the airport.”

As of July 1, the SBRAA will assume responsibility for the airport from Sutter County and manage the day-to-day operations and future of the facility.

“We are well underway,” says Borzelleri, “But we continue to need the help of enthusiastic pilots, aircraft owners and friends of the airport. We’re not looking for money – although donations are always welcome — but we’re really looking for volunteers, people who love aircraft and airports and who love to fly!”

While no official public meeting or celebration is planned for the July date, SBRAA will host its major celebration during a regional fly-in called the West Coast Rag Wing Roundup, Oct. 25. The group plans food, fun, aircraft on display and more information about the SBRAA will be available; the public is invited to attend.

For more information: SutterButtesAviation.org