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San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously votes to save Oceano airport

Pilots from across California rallied to defend Oceano County Airport after increased scrutiny from local opponents threatened its survival. The success of these efforts proves how vital community support can be when elected officials assess the impact of an airport.

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The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 to approve a resolution showing continued support for the airport during a March 26 meeting after witnessing the passionate written and in-person testimony from the aviation community in the state.

More than 40 airport supporters showed up to the meeting to testify in person after AOPA, in collaboration with the California Pilots Association, engaged pilots and aviation advocates across the state through a call to action on this issue. Hundreds of emails were also sent to the board from pilots and aviation enthusiasts from Torrance to Fresno and San Francisco—all in support of Oceano County Airport.

In a March 25 letter to the board, AOPA Western Pacific Regional Manager Jared Yoshiki outlined AOPA’s support for the resolution in favor of the airport, detailing the economic and community benefits it brings to California as a crucial part of the regional air transportation network.

“The airport serves as a gateway to some of California’s unique communities and stunning beaches, attracting visitors from across the state and the country,” Yoshiki wrote. “Moreover, due to its strategic location, the airport can operate as a vital base of operations that provides essential emergency services when natural disasters hit the region. This is especially important now, as California's fire season continues to pose a constant threat to the area, and the airport can help minimize property damage and loss of life.”

A community airport such as Oceano can also serve as a gateway to career field exploration through student engagement with science, technology, engineering, and math topics and flight training opportunities.

“We are extremely grateful for the unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors. Their recognition of the importance of the airport will bolster the surrounding air transportation system and bring benefits to the community,” said Yoshiki. “I look forward to continuing to work with them to promote the safety and growth of GA in San Luis Obispo County.”

The overwhelming success of the resolution in favor of Oceano County Airport—even amid calls to repurpose the land—can be attributed to the pilots who lent their voices. Advocating for airports outside of our own communities strengthens the entire aviation system.

Lillian Geil
Communications Specialist
Communications Specialist Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.
Topics: Advocacy, Airport Advocacy, State Legislation

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