Mountain View Voice

News - May 18, 2012

The decisions that shaped Moffett Field

1933 The U.S. Government commissions Sunnyvale Naval Air Station, later renamed Moffett Field, to house the U.S.S. Macon airship. Hangar One is constructed.


As WWII begins, an aircraft research center is built at Moffett for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor of NASA.


The Cold War over, the U.S. Navy leaves Moffett Field to NASA Ames Research Center.


The Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommends that Moffett Federal Airfield remain open.


A group of local city officials, military officials and residents called the Community Action Committee holds public deliberations on the future of Moffett Field for six months.


NASA finalizes a plan for NASA Ames that does not impact the airfield. It includes the NASA Research Park west of the airfield, research facilities, private business space and a college campus to be used by the University of California and several other colleges. The GSA awards the plan "Best Innovative Policy Winner."


NASA Headquarters approves a master plan for NASA Ames that describes land use and business plans for the next 20 years.


The U.S. Navy proposes to tear down Hangar One, but later backs away from the proposal in favor of leaving it as a bare frame once its asbestos, lead and PCB-laced siding is removed.


It is revealed that Google's founders are parking their private planes at Moffett under a $1.3 million-a-year lease. NASA Ames officials vow to make other such partnerships to defray $7 million annual airfield operation cost.


Hangar One is one of "America's 11 most endangered historic places" according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


NASA signs a 50-year lease with the Air National Guard, which uses the runway and a hangar next to it.


The White House's office of budget and management reviews conflict between the Navy and NASA over Hangar One's restoration and agrees that restoring it is the best option, putting the responsibility on NASA. Congress fails to approve the necessary funding.


Google's founders, through H211 LLC, propose to pay for Hangar One's restoration in return for a long-term lease for two-thirds of it as a hangar for their growing fleet of private planes.


NASA reviews and affirms the Ames Research Center Master Plan.


In response to the H211 proposal, NASA administrator Charles Bolden calls Hangar One and the Moffett Federal Airfield "excess" property that no longer fits in NASA's mission. He begins to push for a review of Moffett by the General Services Administration.

Sources: Mountain View Voice and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's office.


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