Bay Area Test Site (BATS)

...Accelerating Aviation Innovation

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What is it?

The Contra Costa County Airports Division (CCAD) is proactively promoting our airports and services (Buchanan Field and Byron) to attract aviation emerging innovation and technology businesses.  Buchanan Field is in a dense suburban environment and Byron Airport is in a rural environment.  Together these airfields offer businesses a unique opportunity to design, develop, and test in both environments in the heart of the Bay Area.

This brief is provided to support the development of a name for this effort as well as a brand. First, a name will be crafted and then identify branding will be created.

Market Need
Many Bay Area companies are developing aviation-related technologies and products.  These companies have been traveling to remote locations or out of state to perform testing because of the restricted and crowded nature of the Bay Area airspace and neighborhoods.  CCAD solves this acute problem by providing two welcoming aviation-testing sites in close proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Target Audience

The target users are aviation technology startup companies based in San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley that need aviation testing and development environments in close proximity to their headquarters and employee base. 

Key Messages

The following are key messages we want to convey:

  • Location, Location, Location: Buchanan Field and Byron Airports are located just 30 miles from downtown San Francisco and 50 miles from Silicon Valley, providing businesses with close-to-home locations for their employees.  Easy access is available via BART and freeways.
  • Facilities:  CCAD’s two airports have a selection of offices, workshops and hangars available for short-term and long-term lease. 
  • Services: There are full-service aviation providers at the two facilities that include pilot training, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, avionics, fabrication, aircraft storage, fuel, and other specialty aviation services.
  • Airspace:  Two different aviation testing environments allow businesses to grow in place: Buchanan Field is an FAA controlled airfield in Class D Airspace and Byron Airport is an uncontrolled airfield in Class G Airspace, going up to 700 feet.  
  • Positive FAA Relationships:  We have strong relationships and a proven track record with the Federal Aviation Administration and will eagerly assist companies to acquire the required operational and/or airspace permits/waivers.
  • Business Forward: Support at the County’s highest political level, staff concierge service, numerous support service options readily available, short and long term leases, and flexibility to grow and move between facilities.

Brand Values

The services and facilities offered by CCAD allow startups to focus on developing the future. Therefore, the brand associated with this offering includes these values:

  • future forward
  • technology-centric way of doing business
  • agile
  • easy to work with
  • knows me and anticipates my needs

Key Benefit

Startups approaching CCAD can use aviation-specific services and facilities with minimal cost and hassle.


Other airports used in the local area include Half Moon Bay and Hollister. Official UAS test ranges in other states like Reno and Pendleton Oregon are also used.

Airports in the Bay Area proper such as PAO, SQL, SFO, OAK, and HWD are too busy, very expensive, and have nearby populations which makes them unsuitable for development and test.

CCAD removes barriers that other airports have in place.

Go To Market Strategy

In order to attract tenants, we envision a program of direct outreach, individual and group presentations, conference attendance and participation, and individual networking.  Collateral will include a dedicated website, standardized and customized presentations, and social media presence.  The details of all of these elements are still in the planning stages. Specifically, to get the word out we intend to target startups, their VC investors, local, state and federal regulators (FAA et al), and influence groups (CalPilots et al).

 Core thought

The CCAD team is ready, willing and able to assist new aviation related startup companies access suitable work site facilities, obtain FAA airspace waivers/approvals, connect with needed aviation service providers, and quickly provide access to two ideal airspace development and testing sites.

CCC Buchanan Airport Final 6-17-19-small2 Opens in new windowContra Costa County Byron Airport 1 Page Brochure Opens in new window