The Diablo Aviator Newsletter
Santa Claus at Buchanan Field
Rain delayed Santa's flight into Buchanan Field so Santa and his Elf arrived via the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting sled. Hundreds of good girls and boys lined up eagerly awaiting a picture with Santa at t he annual Airports' event held inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel this year due to the rain. The free public event raised hundreds of pounds of food and hundreds of dollars in donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated aircraft be equipped with ADS-B transponders after January 1, 2020. This mandate applies to airspace where a transponder is required today, which includes Buchanan Field but does not include the Byron Airport. ADS-B does improve safety and efficiency in the air and on runways but many of the avionics shops are backlogged from three to nine months for installation. As such, t he Byron Airport has available tie-down spaces for aircraft that may not meet the deadline or do not operate in the required airspace. For those interested in hangar space the County has hangar and hangar waiting list information on the Byron Airport webpage .
Gate Access and Piggy Backing
Recently the Airports’ had an incident with a tenant allowing someone to follow them through the security gate, a practice called “piggybacking”. Piggybacking is a security risk and may lead to unauthorized access to the Airport Operations Area by individuals that do not have access privileges. Piggybacking is against the rules of the Airports and should never be engaged in. 

However, a tenant that escorts a guest and takes responsibility for them by controlling their movements under the rules of the Airports is not piggybacking. Airport security is a joint effort and tenants are responsible for airfield security when accepting access card privileges.  Please report any issues to Operations staff at 925-681-4221.  Tenants may review the access card rules and airport security on the Airports’ website link here.
Buchanan Field Arrival Route Updated
The FAA standard terminal arrival route, or STAR, has been updated at Buchanan Field as of December 5, 2019. A STAR is   a published  flight procedure  for aircraft on instrument flight rules  (IFR)  flight plan  en route to the destination  airport . Click the BMBER ONE image to view the FAA Terminal Procedure Publications PDF online.
Wildfire Support at Buchanan Field
Billings Flying Service staged at Buchanan Field for the second half of November in support of Contra Costa County Fire and CalFire during Red Flag Warnings. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert and is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire. During heightened fire danger, CalFire will place additional firefighters on duty and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires.

Billings Flying Service utilize both external mounted fire buckets and belly tanks to deliver up to 2,600 gallons of water or retardant for fire suppression. Each aircraft is accompanied with a fuel truck, a service vehicle, and they operate numerous fixed-wing in support of their helicopter operations.
Disaster Airlift Response Team
Disaster Airlift Response Teams (DART) provide volunteer airlift resources to communities and emergency responders to improve California’s disaster resilience. When called upon, participating volunteers, pilots and their aircraft transport people and supplies when surface transportation has degraded.

At this time, the Buchanan Field DART is a supporting team and is in need of volunteers to become an active participating team. Volunteer roles include ground crew and pilots. Volunteers are not required to be pilots and anyone may be able to assist as ground crew. Once the Buchanan Field DART has adequate volunteers they will formalize the team with a full scale training exercise. If you are interested in volunteering you may contact the Buchanan Field DART at More information on DART at .
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