Moffett Federal Airfield (MFA), was previous called Naval Air Station (NAS) Moffett Field. It is currently operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA has continued the tenant program begun by the Navy, hosting several other organizations at MFA including the Naval Reserve, the California Air National Guard, and Onizuka Air Force Base. Control of on-base and off-base housing was transferred to Onizuka Air Force Base. Currently, NASA is continuing to operate MFA as a restricted federal airfield, but is also considering other uses of the property that will support its mission.
Despite its closure as an active military base, Moffett Field still has many active facilities and residents. Active military families still live on Moffett Community Housing, and the former base has several lodges which primarily house academics and students associated with the Ames Research Center. Moffett Field’s facilities available to residents include a pool, post office, golf course, and tennis courts.
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Located in Santa Clara County, California, near the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, MFA encompasses approximately 2,200 acres. It is bordered on the north by salt evaporation ponds which are adjacent to San Francisco Bay, on the west by Stevens Creek and NASA’s Ames Research Facility, on the south by Highway 101, and on the east by the Lockheed Aerospace Center. MFA is surrounded by a security fence, and access is limited to personnel, residents, and authorized visitors. Although the NASA-Ames property is distinct from the Moffett Federal Airfield property, NASA-Ames is located within the Moffett Field perimeter security fence.)
In 1933, the United States Government commissioned Sunnyvale Naval Air Station which was later renamed NAS Moffett Field. The original mission of the Naval Air Station was to serve as a home base for the Navy dirigible the U.S.S. Macon. Later, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) established what would eventually become NASA Ames Research Center adjacent to the Naval Air Station.
Moffett Field was closed as a military base on July 1, 1994. Supervision of Moffett’s many facilities, two runways, and three aircraft hangars was turned over to NASA Ames Research Center. NASA now operates Moffett Field as part of NASA Ames Research Center. Adaptive re-use of historic buildings is being planned and implemented by NASA at Moffett Field
Historic Hangar One was slated to become SpaceWorld Hangar One, a planned interactive space and science center, but polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in the building which, due to their toxicity to humans and the environment, must be re mediated or contained. The US Navy, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and other community stakeholders, is in the process of determining how best to remove the threat the hangar poses to the public and the environment. At this juncture, the decision to either tear down or clean up Hangar One has not been reached.
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