April 28, 2004
Apr. 28, 2004 - AOPA representatives traveled to California recently to tell backers of Concord's Buchanan Field (CCR) face-to-face that AOPA stands with them in their efforts to fight off a bid to close the airport. Vice President of Regional Affairs Roger Cohen and California Regional Representative John Pfeifer met with U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher's (D-Calif.) district staff, City of Concord officials, Chamber of Commerce executives, and a host of local pilots, including Mt. Diablo Pilots Association, Friends of Concord Airport, and the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers from Buchanan Field and Byron Airport.
Despite warnings from the FAA that closing Buchanan would violate a number of federal grant obligations, Contra Costa County Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier has been pressing to close the airport and sell the land to developers. He wants to build a replacement airport on a garbage dump in a distant part of the county.
"Buchanan Field is a powerful economic engine for Concord and Contra Costa County," said Cohen. "And what makes it so powerful is location, location, location. Even if the FAA were to approve a relocation plan - which the agency has already said it does not support - moving so far away from the business center could only harm the county."
AOPA has been actively involved in the fight to protect the airport for a long time. The face-to-face meetings gave senior staff members the opportunity to see close up the work being done locally.
"After seeing all the great work that David Evans, our ASN volunteer at Buchanan Field, has done already, I feel confident Supervisor DeSaulnier will fail," said Cohen. "Combine local pilot activism with strong support from the FAA and members of the U.S. Congress like Ellen Tauscher and George Miller (D-Calif.), the city and business community, and I like our odds. I like them a lot."
Despite the strong opposition, DeSaulnier shows every indication of trying to move forward with his plan. AOPA plans to fight him every step of the way, including direct participation in upcoming public hearings on proposals to close or relocate Buchanan.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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