Meadowlark Airport

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Meadowlark Airport
Location Huntington Beach, California
Elevation AMSL  ft / 27 feet m
Coordinates 33°43′08″N 118°02′13″W / 33.719°N 118.037°W / 33.719; -118.037Coordinates: 33°43′08″N 118°02′13″W / 33.719°N 118.037°W / 33.719; -118.037

Meadowlark Airport was a small general aviation airport in Southern California, about a mile east of the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach. Meadowlark's IATA airport code was L16. The airport operated privately in the 1940s and operated publicly from the 1950s to 1989.


Meadowlark Airport was purchased in 1947 by the Koichi and Toyo Nerio[1] family, and their children Art, Yukio and Betty. Eldest son Art Nerio,[2][3] managed the airport from 1970 until its closure in 1989, and could be identified as a lone bicycle-riding figure keeping an eye on things around the eighty-acre airfield.

When the airport opened several other small airfields were listed nearby, including Huntington Beach Airport, a small field with one hangar and fuel facilities built on a peat marsh in east Huntington Beach. Meadowlark Airport was initially a short strip used mostly by students to practice touch and go landings. The runway was first extended to 1,750 feet (530 m) and paved, and then further extended to 2,070 feet (630 m) with room for 150 aircraft. A few hangars, a restaurant, and fuel facilities were also added.[4] The airport was between Heil Avenue and Warner Avenue. Plaza Ln. is a small street that runs through where the runway used to be.

Nerio planned to develop the airport into commercial buildings, offices and residential units.[5]

Meadowlark today[edit]

Plaque commemorating Nerio and Meadowlark Airport.

Occupying the former airport site is the Summerlane community, within which is the Norma Brandell Gibbs Butterfly Park.[6] Visitors to the park will note a plaque commemorating Dick Nerio and Meadowlark Airport.[7]


  1. ^ Matsunaga, Gail (May 8, 2003). "Family Legacy to Support Building of OC Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum". Dateline. California State University, Fullerton. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Epting, Chris, Legendary Locals of Huntington Beach, Arcadia Publishing, 2015, p 122, ISBN 978-1-4671-0186-8
  3. ^ Chris Epting (November 11, 2014), In the Pipeline: Ex-manager's birthday evokes Meadowlark Airport's high-flying legacy
  4. ^ Smith, Vi (1985). From Jennies to Jets: The Aviation History of Orange County. Fullerton, California: Sultana Press. p. 96.
  5. ^ Billiter, Bill (March 4, 1993). "Complaints Stall Airport Site Action". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Norma Brandel Gibbs Park Sims Grove
  7. ^ Heywood, Mike (2008). Century of Service: A History of Huntington Beach. p. 137. ISBN 1-60643-981-2.

External links[edit]