Lomita Landing Strip
31 May 1994 USGS photo
|Owner||City of Torrance|
|Elevation AMSL||103 ft / 31 m|
The airport is classified by the FAA as a Regional Reliever and was once known as Torrance Municipal Airport; it was renamed for local sports and war hero Louis Zamperini on December 7, 1946, the 5th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
The airport was completed by the United States Army Air Forces on March 31, 1943, and was known as Lomita Flight Strip. It was an emergency landing field for military aircraft on training flights. It was closed after World War II and the War Assets Administration (WAA) turned it over to local government. Once turned over to the City of Torrance it was renamed Zamperini Field on December 7, 1946.
Zamperini Field covers 506 acres (205 ha) and has two asphalt/concrete runways: 11L/29R, 5,000 x 150 ft (1,524 x 46 m) and 11R/29L, 3,000 x 75 ft (914 x 23 m). It has one asphalt helipad, 110 x 110 ft (34 x 34 m).
In the year ending May 31, 2005 the airport had 173,027 aircraft operations, average 474 per day: 99% general aviation, 1% military and <1% air taxi. 499 aircraft are based at the airport: 89% single-engine, 8% multi-engine, 2% helicopter and <1% glider.
Zamperini Field has a small terminal with a vending machine, conference room, bathroom, and flight planning room. Outside a patio has small tables. Inside the terminal are historical papers related to the airport on the wall and a security post. A Lockheed T-33 (#52-9239) is on display on the turn court outside the terminal.
The helipad for a neighboring hospital, the Torrance Medical Center, is at the north-west corner of the airfield.
Zamperini Field is the home of Robinson Helicopter Company. Their entire production, assembly, and testing facilities are on the southeast side of the airfield and are the largest buildings at the field.
Accidents and incidents
- The Aeroméxico Flight 498 or Cerritos air disaster happened in 1986, when a private Piper Cherokee owned by William Kramer en route from Torrance to Big Bear City Airport near Big Bear Lake collided with a Douglas DC-9 owned by Aeroméxico en route from Mexico to Los Angeles International Airport. Both aircraft crashed, all on board and a few on the ground, being killed.
- Zamperini Field page at city website
- Zamperini Field (unofficial information site)
- (PDF), effective August 15, 2019
- Resources for this airport: