New Plan Announced to Save Hangar One at NASA Ames

PALO ALTO, CA (Anna Eshoo PR) — Following a meeting with Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), GSA, NASA, and the White House at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 26, the General Services Administration will issue a Notice of Intent regarding Hangar One and Moffett Federal Airfield, which reflects the following:

1. Moffett Federal Airfield will NOT be excessed. It will remain a restricted Federal Airfield and NASA will remain its custodian.

2. The Notice of Intent outlines a competitive bid process and the Request for Proposal (RFP) will be released this spring seeking a qualified lessee to provide for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic Hangar One.“This notice of intent embodies my consistent goals over several years to save Hangar One and to keep Moffett Federal Airfield as a local and Bay Area public safety and national security asset, and home to the 129th Rescue Wing,” Rep. Eshoo said.

She added, “GSA and NASA will work closely with the local community to explain the RFP process and produce the desired outcomes. I will continue to work with the agencies and my communities to see this critical process through.”

Editor’s Note:  The U.S. Navy, which used to operate Hangar One, stripped the exterior panels off the structure last year because they were heavily contaminated with asbestos and other toxins. It was up to NASA, which now maintains the hangar and Moffett Field, to re-skin it.

However, the funds required to perform that work have been perennially cut from NASA’s budget request. For months now, Hangar One has been sitting outside with its internal skeleton exposed to the elements, looking like some sort of bizarre modern art project run amok.

Last year, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden asked the GSA to determine Moffett Field to be excess property so it could be sold off.  That apparently will not happen now.

One of NASA’s major problems is high maintenance and repair costs on an aging infrastructure that was primarily built up during the 1960’s, when the space agency’s budget was much larger than it is today. NASA has had a hard time disposing of excess property or finding commercial users for it. This is an example of how difficult it is to do so.