Welcome to Moffett Field, which is currently the only west coast AFCO AvPORTS facility. We are located in the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area about 7 miles north of San Jose (do you know the way?). AvPORTS was hired by Planetary Ventures (Google) to manage the airport when they won the bid from NASA for a long term lease of the 1,000 acre facility in 2013. We started operations here in April 2015, and we’ve been pretty busy these last 3-4 years! Not only did we need to start up our business from scratch to manage this former military airfield, but we also created a new Fixed Base Operation (FBO) to provide handling and fueling for civilian aircraft. We’re happy to say this part of the business is growing rapidly as we find we are handling an increasing number of corporate and charter jets that have found this airport to be more convenient for their customers than other Bay Area airports.
We are also proud to say that we are now able to provide fueling services to military and other government aircraft, as we were awarded a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Into-Plane contract last spring, and will be taking over the previously DLA controlled fuel farm at the airport as of December 1st. This action will virtually double our fueling operation, and is hopefully the first expansion of our business with our customer Planetary Ventures.
We’ve grown from an initial staff of 16 to now over 25 team members as business and revenue has increased over the last 3 years. We anticipate that number to grow substantially in the next 3-5 years.
In addition to our normal business we’ve hosted a number of special events and aircraft including overflow corporate/charter and over 30 law enforcement aircraft for Superbowl 50 (held at Levi’s Stadium in next-door Santa Clara, in 2016), the Solar Impulse round-the-world solar powered aircraft (landed at Moffett April 23, 2016), annual fundraising visits by the Collings Foundation (4-5 WWII bombers and fighters), the Ocean Cleanup research aircraft, annual visits by the Orbis DC-10 (a flying eye surgery teaching hospital), and last but not least a visit by the President and Air Force One. We also help host an annual event called the Breakthrough Prize Awards which is like a combination of the Nobel awards and the Oscars to provide seven $3M prizes to high tech and science innovators (we call it Silicon Valley Geeks meet Hollywood Glitterati!).
As part of our efforts to improve the airport, we’ve helped Google master plan a number of projects including a major pavement repair for our primary instrument runway, new markings and signage, replacement of aging runway and approach lighting, and a total replacement of the electrical vault and all the Navaids at the airport including the ILS, Localizer and military TACAN. Google has also started a project to completely replace the power and communications grid within the leasehold and disconnect from NASA’s aging infrastructure. Most of these projects are still under construction and will be completed next spring. And there is more on the horizon, but as they say in the military…’If I told you I’d have to shoot you!’
Our GM, Carl Honaker, is retiring at the end of December, but he will continue to help part time with special projects and consulting. Derek Pristavok will take the reins as GM starting in 2019, and Chris Nucci will move up to take Derek’s place as the Assistant Airport/FBO Manager. Gerald Ogg will be our new Maintenance Manager, and David Zamora will lead our new Fuel Farm team. Tammy Baier is our ‘Rock Star’ for all things administrative, and Robert Viernes, our new Safety, Environmental and Health Manager, has not only become our resident safety expert, but his background in the FBO world has been invaluable as we expand that part of our business.
We’ve been joined by some amazingly talented people in the last 4 years who make this place a safe, professional and fun place to work. Our Ops team includes Felino San Juan, Mark DeGuzman, Raul (Derek) Hernandez, Joseph (Joey) Valdivia, David Calvillo, Armando Moreno Parra, Alejandro Calderon, Emmet Jackson, Miguel Moreno, Al Cortez, Brian Truong, Jarred Mendoza and Yaricsa Gonzalez. Our Maintenance/Fuel Farm team includes Gerald Ogg, David Zamora, George Loughran, Alfonso Posada, Dwayne Patterson, Sean McCambridge and Mike Silva.
All of us at Moffett Field wish our AFCO AvPORTS peers, team members and their families a safe, enjoyable and meaningful holiday season!