Camarillo Airport

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Camarillo Airport
Camarillo Airport-2006-USGS.jpg
2006 USGS photo
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCounty of Ventura
LocationCamarillo, California
Elevation AMSL77 ft / 23 m
Coordinates34°12′50″N 119°05′40″W / 34.21389°N 119.09444°W / 34.21389; -119.09444
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 6,013 1,833 Asphalt/concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 50 15 Asphalt
H2 50 15 Asphalt
Statistics (2006)
Aircraft operations153,360
Based aircraft600

Camarillo Airport (ICAO: KCMA, FAA LID: CMA) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) west of the central business district of Camarillo, a city in Ventura County, California, United States.[1] The airport has one runway and serves privately operated general aviation and executive aircraft with no scheduled commercial service. A separate airfield[clarification needed] in the southwest quadrant of the airport is for exclusive use of light-sport aircraft and ultralights. The airport is the site for an annual air show "Wings Over Camarillo", organized by the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.[2]

According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, it is categorized as a reliever airport.[3]

History[edit]

Camarillo Airport was established in 1942 when the U.S. Public Roads Administration acquired 100 acres (40 ha) of farmland to develop a landing strip for light planes.[4] California State Highway Department constructed an auxiliary landing field with a 5,000 ft (1,500 m) runway, which was later extended to 8,000 ft (2,400 m) in 1951 to accommodate what by then had developed into Oxnard Air Force Base. The Aerospace Defense Command, via the 414th Fighter Group at Oxnard AFB, directed the 354th, 437th, and 460th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons successively.

In the years following the closure of Oxnard AFB in January 1970, the Ventura County government actively pursued the acquisition of the former military base property from the Department of Defense for commercial airport use. This initiative ran into public opposition, opposed primarily by local residents concerned about the noise of growing commercial traffic. In 1976, the transfer of the airport was finally approved, provided the runway length was shortened to 6,000 feet (1,800 m) by displacing the runway threshold each end, substantially at the eastern end.[5] The agreement also did not allow cargo and large commercial passenger flights.[6] By 1985, the airport was entirely managed by the Ventura County Department of Airports.[7]

From 1995 to 2012, one of the last Lockheed EC-121 Warning Stars underwent a major restoration and dominated the tarmac. After completion of work, it was flown out to the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.[8] The Ventura County Department of Airports began work in 2022 on a layout plan dealing with maintenance and other near-term projects for the airport.[6]

Facilities and operations[edit]

Camarillo Airport covers an area of 650 acres (260 ha) and contains one runway (8/26) which measures 6,013 x 150 ft (1,833 x 46 m). It has two helipads, both measuring 50 by 50 ft (15 x 15 m). For a 12-month period ending June 5, 2006, the airport had 153,360 aircraft operations, an average of 420 per day: 98% general aviation, 2% air taxi and <1% military. There are 600 aircraft based at this airport: 84% single engine, 8% multi-engine, 5% ultralights, 3% jet aircraft and 1% helicopters.[1]

The airport is an FAA-towered facility, with a number of Fixed-Base Operators headquartered at the airfield, including vintage aviation organizations.

The Camarillo Composite Squadron 61 of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is based at this airfield, located near Sky Blue Air, at the east end of the airport.

The Ventura County Fire Department and Sheriff's Office each support large, separate facilities at opposite ends of the field to support new recruit and recurring refreshment training.

A "Viewport" opened in 2014, providing a child-friendly area to view the airport activities which had become difficult with increased security concerns.[9]

The Chapter 723 of the Experimental Aircraft Association[10] and its facilities are located to the west of CAF museum in two hangars.

CAF So. Cal. Air Museum[edit]

Spitfire FR Mk XIVe
A6M3 mod. 22
F8F-2 before restoration
F6F-5 Minsi III

The Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force[2] and its museum are located to the west of the Waypoint Cafe in three large hangars. In addition to a collection of displays, models, and artifacts, the museum is home to the following aircraft:[11][12][13]

Airworthy

Warbird rides are sold on the PBJ-1J Mitchell, SNJ Texans, PT-19, and Aircoupe.[14]

Static/Restoration

Though not part of the CAF's fleet, the hangars are also home to the following aircraft:

B-25J Executive Sweet

American Aeronautical Foundation

High Alpha Airshows[18]

Privately Owned

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On August 7, 2019, a private aircraft from Wheeler Express crashed 1,000 feet (300 m) from the runway of the airport. Both people on board were killed.[19]

On January 26, 2020, a helicopter en route to Camarillo Airport crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, under heavy fog, killing all nine people on board, including basketball player Kobe Bryant.[20][21] The cause of the crash was pilot error and spatial disorientation.[22]

The Ampaire Electric EEL completed the longest flight to date for an airplane employing electric propulsion after launching from the airport on October 8, 2020. The hybrid electric aircraft, developed by U.S. startup Ampaire, will be used in a series of demonstration flights with Mokulele Airlines on its short-haul routes. The plane had just undergone four weeks of flight testing over the Oxnard Plain.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for CMA PDF, retrieved 2022-05-22
  2. ^ a b Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. Retrieved 2022-05-22
  3. ^ Appendix A of Report to Congress: National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), 2011-2015. Retrieved 2022-05-22
  4. ^ "Camarillo Airport". US Army Corps of Engineers: Los Angeles District: Formerly Used Defense Sites. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "Camarillo Airport History". County of Ventura Department of Airports. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Varela, Brian J. (July 12, 2022). "Ventura County to announce plans to ditch Camarillo Airport Master Plan update". Ventura County Star. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  7. ^ History of Camarillo Airport Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Lawrence, Carol (January 14, 2012). "'Connie' spy plane leaves Camarillo Airport for new home". Ventura County Star. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Foster, Jeremy (June 27, 2014) "Camarillo Airport lands outdoor space for aviation buffs, public" Ventura County Star
  10. ^ Chapter 723
  11. ^ Ogden, Bob. Aviation Museums and Collections of North America, Sudbourne, England, 2007. ISBN 978-0851303857.
  12. ^ Parker, Dana T. Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II, Cypress, CA, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9897906-0-4.
  13. ^ "Aircraft - CAF SoCal" CAF So. Cal. Wing Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Warbird Ride Program - CAF SoCal" CAF So. Cal. Wing Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  15. ^ "The Secrets of WWII" Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  16. ^ "F8F-2 N7825C restoration" CAF 12 Planes of Christmas Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  17. ^ "AAF B-25J and C-47B" American Aeronautical Foundation Retrieved: 29 August 2019.
  18. ^ "High Alpha Airshows fleet" High Alpha Airshows Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  19. ^ "2 Dead After Single-Engine Homebuilt Plane Crashes Off Camarillo Airport Runway: VCFD". KTLA. August 7, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  20. ^ Philipps, Dave; Arango, Tim; Keene, Louis (January 27, 2020). "Flying Into Patchy Fog, Kobe Bryant's Pilot Had a Decision to Make". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  21. ^ Cohen, Ben; Ailworth, Erin (January 27, 2020). "The Last Flight of Kobe Bryant's Life". The Wall Street Journal. New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  22. ^ "Investigators report Kobe Bryant's pilot got disoriented in clouds". February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Madler, Mark (October 13, 2020). "Record Flight for Electric Airplane at Camarillo Airport". San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Retrieved October 14, 2020.

External links[edit]