Jorge Rubio, Ventura County Deputy Director of Airports, speaks with our Ventura TV host, Ed Wehan, about local airports. Rubio primarily discusses the Oxnard Airport and Camarillo Airport. Ventura County does not manage the Santa Paula private airport or the Navy Base airport.
The Camarillo Airport has one runway and exclusively serves privately operated general aviation and executive aircraft with no scheduled commercial service. A separate airfield exists in the southwest quadrant of the airport for exclusive use of Light-Sport Aircraft and Ultralights. Before 1970, the airport was known as Oxnard Air Force Base.
Camarillo Airport was originally established in 1942 when the California State Highway Department constructed an auxiliary landing field with a 5,000 ft runway, which was later extended to 8,000 ft in 1951 to accommodate what by then had developed into Oxnard Air Force Base.
In the years following the closure of Oxnard AFB in January 1970, Ventura County 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 ft. By 1985, the airport was entirely managed by the Ventura County Department of Airports.
Oxnard Airport is also operated and owned and by the Ventura County Department of Airports. Ventura County opened this airport in 1934 by clearing a 3,500 ft dirt runway. In the 1930s aviator Howard Hughes erected a tent at the airport to shelter his famous H-1 monoplane racer, which he tested from the dirt strip.
In 1938 Ventura County paved the dirt runway and built a large hangar.
In 1939 James McLean opened the Oxnard Flying School with a Piper J-3 Cub and a Kinner 2-seat airplane.
In late 1941, the airport was assigned to the U.S. Navy until the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu could be completed.
The Navy moved to NAS Point Mugu in 1945 and the Oxnard Flying School returned to the airport. Ventura County regained control of the airport in 1948.
Rubio also talks about local economic impact of the airports and touches upon support of drones and necessity of drone safety.
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