July 2, 2014
By Sarah Deener
A group of airport supporters officially took over leadership and day-to-day operations of the Sutter County Airport from Sutter County, Calif., July 1.
Sutter Buttes Regional Aviation Association, a local nonprofit comprising pilots, aviation advocates, business supporters, friends, and families, “committed to fully assuming the ongoing operation, maintenance, improvement and growth” of the airport, according to a media release.
AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer and Sutter Buttes Regional Aviation Association President Joe Borzelleri organized airport tenants, pilots, and aircraft owners to run the airport, located on approximately 170 acres of land just east of Garden Highway. AOPA provided advice and counsel on forming the local pilot association and resources for becoming a nonprofit pilot group.
“The county wasn’t showing any real interest in operating or improving the airport, so pilots stepped in to ensure the future of the airport,” said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn.
According to the media release, the idea of an independent board running the airport came from Jack Kemmerly, who has worked for AOPA and the Cal Trans Department of Aviation. Borzelleri ran with it, with support from several others. AOPA and the California Pilots Association helped the group, which was founded in March 2012, incorporate as a nonprofit in California. The airport serves Yuba and Sutter counties and has hangars, aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, and privately owned crop dusting operations.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated private pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
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