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Santa Paula reopens as a special-use airportSanta Paula reopens as a special-use airport

Santa Paula reopens as a special-use airport

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Photo courtesy of the Santa
Paula Airport Association

Santa Paula pilots can get their birds back in the air now that the airport has a temporary special-use airport permit. The airport was closed after flooding in Southern California swept away an entire tiedown apron and a C-shaped piece of the runway. AOPA pledged to use its political expertise to help airport officials work through the rebuilding process.

"California Regional Representative John Pfeifer has kept in close communication with Santa Paula Airport President Rowena Mason and other airport officials. He has used his extensive background with the FAA and relationships with the state to assist," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. Pfeifer managed the FAA's airport division programs in Northern California and Nevada for almost 14 years before he retired.

The 2,000-foot temporary runway has been reoriented to provide a safety area between the centerline and the riverbank, and the numbers at each end have been replaced with an "R." Only based pilots are permitted to operate at the airport.

Airport officials also are receiving help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which received a $6 million grant to begin flood-control repairs in the area. The agency informed airport officials that it would start repairing the stream bank near the airport next week. However, the extent of the agency's repairs to the airport is not clear at this time.

March 10, 2005

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