|Owner||County of Ventura|
|Elevation AMSL||77 ft / 23 m|
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. The airport has one runway and serves privately operated general aviation and executive aircraft with no scheduled commercial service. A separate airfield in the southwest quadrant of the airport is for exclusive use of light-sport aircraft and ultralights.
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. 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. By 1985, the airport was entirely managed by the Ventura County Department of Airports.
Facilities and aircraft
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. It is an FAA-towered facility and there are three Fixed-Base Operators that are headquartered at the airfield.
- The American Aeronautical Foundation is based at the airport, as well as its fleet of a flying B-25J Mitchell and a C-47B Dakota under restoration. Rides on the B-25 are available.
- The Camarillo Composite Squadron 61 of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is based at this airfield. The CAP facilities are located near Sky Blue Air, at the east end of the airport.
- The Commemorative Air Force's Southern California Wing and its museum are located to the west of the Waypoint Cafe in three large hangars. Aircraft include the C-46 'China Doll' on static display, an F6F-5 Hellcat, F8F-2 Bearcat, P-51D Mustang, Yak-3M, Spitfire FR Mk. XIVe, A6M3 Mod. 22 Zero, two SNJ (T-6) Texans, and a PBJ-1J Mitchell, all of which (sans the C-46) are in flying condition. In addition — though not part of the CAF's fleet — a privately owned L-29 Delfin and MiG-17F are also housed in the hangars. Rides on the P-51, PBJ-1J, PT-19, and SNJ are available.
- The Experimental Aircraft Association's Chapter 723 and its facilities are located to the west of CAF museum in two hangars.
- From 1995 to 2012, one of the last Lockheed EC-121 Warning Stars underwent a major restoration and dominated the tarmac. It was flown out to the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.
The Ventura County Fire and Sheriff's Departments 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.
Accidents and incidents
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. The cause of the crash was pilot error and spatial disorientation.
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.
- PDF, retrieved 2007-03-15
- FAA National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems: 2007-2011
- "Camarillo Airport". US Army Corps of Engineers: Los Angeles District: Formerly Used Defense Sites. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
- History of Camarillo Airport Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
- "AAF B-25J and C-47B" American Aeronautical Foundation Retrieved: 29 August 2019.
- Southern California Wing
- Ogden, Bob. Aviation Museums and Collections of North America, Sudbourne, England, 2007. ISBN 978-0851303857.
- 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.
- "Aircraft - CAF SoCal" CAF So. Cal. Wing Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- "Warbird Ride Program - CAF SoCal" CAF So. Cal. Wing Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- Chapter 723
- Lawrence, Carol (January 14, 2012). "'Connie' spy plane leaves Camarillo Airport for new home". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- Foster, Jeremy (June 27, 2014) "Camarillo Airport lands outdoor space for aviation buffs, public" Ventura County Star
- "2 Dead After Single-Engine Homebuilt Plane Crashes Off Camarillo Airport Runway: VCFD". KTLA. 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- Philipps, Dave; Arango, Tim; Keene, Louis (2020-01-27). "Flying Into Patchy Fog, Kobe Bryant's Pilot Had a Decision to Make". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
- 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Investigators report Kobe Bryant's pilot got disoriented in clouds". 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
- Madler, Mark (October 13, 2020). "Record Flight for Electric Airplane at Camarillo Airport". San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-14.