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In 1942 Contra Costa County, California, purchased land at a Central County airport for $88,000. The County was building the airport until the US Army Air Forces Fourth Air Force expropriated the site. The Army has added land and built airport facilities and the pilot training base of the Concord Army Air B.

In 1946 the War Assets Administration (WAA) handed back the airport to the county. The transfer was formalized in 1947, and the airport was named after county supervisor William J. Buchanan, who served on the county board of supervisors for more than forty years. The US managed to use the airport on occasion. Army for moving soldiers, in particular during the Korean War.

George Lucas used Buchanan Field Airport as one of the last outdoor scenes in the 1972 film American Graffiti. In the scene Steven Bolander (Ron Howard) is saying good bye to friend Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) before Curt leaves for college on the Douglas DC-7C in the background.

Buchanan Field achieved its height of activity in 1977 with 357,000 total operations; through this measure Buchanan Field was the 16th busiest airport in the country, ahead of San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. During this time noise became a problem and in 1988 the county board of supervisors enacted a county noise control order banning certain aircraft from operating at Buchanan Field.

Beginning in the 1990s, the Board of Supervisors revised the Buchanan Field Airport Master Plan. Commercial construction for adjacent property such as Sam’s Club, Taco Bell, Sports Authority, and Jiffy Lube was approved in 1992. The County built a new Byron Airport in the eastern part of the county. On August 14, 2018, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors (Board) passed a resolution declaring the economic value of these airports by recognizing that they are important economic engines that help Contra Costa County fulfill its current and potential transportation and economic needs in the region. The Board further instructed staff to proactively explore creativity and competitive opportunities to improve the airports’ economic development potential, as they are the county’s capital assets and an integrated transport asset to the Bay Area.

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,
By Geraoma – Own work, Public Domain,

This amazing landmark in Concord, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:

  • Naval Weapons Station
  • Baldwin Community Park¬†
  • Concord Pavilion
  • Concord Skatepark
  • Dave Brubeck Park
  • Lime Ridge Open Space
  • Markham Regional Arboretum
  • Newhall Community Park

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek California! Stop by for a visit anytime!