“Willits has an airport?” – That’s the question new airport manager Dan Ramsey sometimes gets on introductions. “Yes, for nearly 49 years,” he responds. “The reason many Willits people don’t know about the airport is that it’s located four miles out of town at the northeast corner of Brooktrails,” he explains. “It serves the entire Little Lake Valley and beyond. A Willits pilot can be whale-watching, landing in Ukiah or Covelo, or even at Lampson Field in Lakeport, within about 20 minutes.”
This year’s California Aviation Awareness Day, Ramsey notes. “Reminds non-pilots how much state and local communities rely on aviation.”
Aviation annually adds $155 million to California’s economy. The state has nearly 35,000 registered aircraft and more than 62,000 licensed pilots and 246 airports, yet only 30 offer commercial passenger service. The other 87 percent serve “general aviation,” single- and twin-engine aircraft, typically owned and flown by people for recreation.