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From Our Readers
Airport 1

City: Time To Get Out

Of Airport Business


Dear Editor,

For 20 years, the Oakdale airport has declined in operations. The facilities are not improved or maintained, and the physical appearance is disgusting. The tarmac is a shambles, cracked everywhere. Electrical power has not been upgraded for 30+ years. Some LED lighting has been installed after the FAA and grand jury visits. A theft camera on the fuel dump has been installed. But in recent Ad Hoc meeting, the city manager said if no more income, none of needed improvements can be done. Yet, the big $3300 per month from Sierra West 5 year lease and its 14 aliases is enough to justify all FAA assurance violations? Political pressure on the FAA compliance man to reduce his harsh treatment of Sierra West is being applied to let Sierra continue the sweet deal they have enjoyed for a long time. This must end.

Many airports die because city or county governments, not being flying advocates, charge that the airport is always in the red. This is also stated by Oakdale. Flying has two very opposite reactions from the public: 1. I want to learn how to fly or go flying with someone or 2. The planes will fall on my house, they are dangerous. Somewhere in these extremes, airports and airplanes have made economic contributions to their communities. More jobs, more enterprise, and more trained pilots.

Two airports in northern California, Sutter Buttes (052), and Balico (Turlock O15), have formed pilot groups to take care of the airport on a volunteer basis. No more contractor and consultant $100+ per hour charges. No more weeds uncut, no more debris on the runways and taxi ways. No more management charges for imperfect and incomplete maintenance. The pilot group for Oakdale O27 will now be formed from concerned pilots that have paid too much rent for dilapidated hangars and denied electricity. AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), Stanislaus County, FAA, and Cal Pilots organizations will endeavor to complete this transition for Oakdale.

If you have any interest in joining the group, please e-mail to

Bill Bradford,

Airport Support

Network Delegate