After the St. Francis Dam disaster in 1928, local ranchers Ralph Dickenson and Dan Emmett decided some of the devastated area adjacent to the river would make a good location for an airport. They both had airstrips on their ranches and recognized that a single airport would greatly benefit everyone in the Santa Paula area.
Nineteen local ranchers and businessmen pooled their resources and began building with their own hands the Santa Paula Airport. Aviation heroes of the day came to the airport dedication ceremonies in August of 1930.
The Airport Today
Today Santa Paula Airport is a non-towered facility handling approximately 97,000 arrivals and/or departures a year, and is home to nearly 300 aircraft.
The airport today is smaller than local airports, primarily serving the local community and providing hangar space for pilots of nearby communities. Much of the original 1930’s-era facilities still exist and are used today, giving the airport a very authentic representation of the Golden Age of Aviation.