Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County
|Palo Alto Airport
of Santa Clara County
|IATA: PAO – ICAO: KPAO – FAA LID: PAO|
|Operator||County of Santa Clara|
|Location||Palo Alto, California|
|Elevation AMSL||4 ft / 1.2 m|
Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County (IATA: PAO, ICAO: KPAO, FAA LID: PAO) is a general aviation airport in the city of Palo Alto in Santa Clara County, California, USA, near the south end of San Francisco Bay on the western shore.
First time pilots should familiarize themselves with the complex SF Bay Area airspace, especially the overlying SFO Class B and the abutting SJC Class C airspace. Landing pilots should also watch out for bird and jackrabbit activity.
Facilities at this busy towered airport include multiple aircraft repair shops and a staffed terminal including West Valley Flight Club, Advanced Flyers, Peninsula Avionics, Sundance Flying Club, Stanford Flying Club, Rossi Aircraft, and Palo Alto Fuel Service. The airport is located within one-half mile of U.S. Route 101.
Fifteen miles of hiking and biking trails, affording multiple opportunities for birdwatching, form part of the adjacent 1,940-acre (785 ha) Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. The airport is also adjacent to a public golf course. Dining options within a short walk include the Abundant Air Cafe, the Bay Cafe at the Golf Course and the popular Ming's Restaurant.
Palo Alto airport has two approaches, both to runway 31 with 460' MDA/1-mi visibility minimums:
- GPS Runway 31
- VOR/DME Runway 31 from San Jose VOR
In 1989 a comprehensive area history analysis was conducted by Earth Metrics, based upon review of extant aerial photographs.(Earth Metrics, 1989) The photo reconnaissance flights were flown in 1956, 1960, 1973, 1974 and 1980 by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California.
Comparison of the aerial photographs indicate that no development had begun in the vicinity prior to 1956 other than the Palo Alto Airport and the Regional Water Quality Control Board Plant (terminus of Embarcadero Way). Between 1956 and 1960, no new development had taken place in the area; however, by 1973, the Harvey Gum Factory was on the subject site and structures were either completed or under construction at 1890 Embarcadero Road and 2440-2450 Embarcadero Way. Conditions were identical in the 1974 aerial photograph. In the 1980 aerial photograph, the Harvey Gum Factory is standing, and additional infill construction can be seen in the area such as the Baylands Business Park adjacent and to south of the site and the structure now located at 1860 Embarcadero Road. The Harvey Gum Factory was demolished in 1982, based upon Palo Alto Planning Department records.
World War II
The airport was opened to the public in April 1940. Taken over by the United States Army Air Forces on 22 March 1941 as a basic (level 1) pilot training airfield. Assigned to USAAF West Coast Training Center (later Western Flying Training Command). Conducted contract basic flying training. Fairchild PT-19s were the primary trainer used. Also had several PT-17 Stearmans and a few P-40 Warhawks assigned. There may have been as many as six auxiliary airfields in the area used for emergency and overflow landings during its USAAF use.
The airport was transferred to the United States Navy as King City NAAS in April 1945, and returned to civil control in December 1945.
- California World War II Army Airfields
- 35th Flying Training Wing (World War II)
- List of airports in the San Francisco Bay area
- List of attractions in Silicon Valley
- Reid-Hillview Airport
- South County Airport
- "Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- Shaw, Frederick J. (2004). Locating Air Force Base Sites History’s Legacy. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force.
- Manning, Thomas A. (2005). History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942–2002. Randolph AFB, Texas: Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC. OCLC 276858370.
- Santa Clara County Airports Official Site: Palo Alto Airport
- Earth Metrics. Inc, "Phase One Environmental Site Assessment, 1870 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto", Report No. 7897W0.001, June 2, 1989
- County of Santa Clara official site
- Palo Alto Airport Association
- Rich Acuff's Palo Alto Airport page
- PAO Airport Joint Community Relations Committee
- FAA Airport Master Record for PAO ( PDF)
- (PDF), effective February 5, 2015
- Resources for this airport: