CALTRANS THREATENS CLOSURE OF OCEAN RIDGE AIRPORT (E55)
Ocean Ridge Airport in Gualala, California is vital to its small community, not only for the private pilots there, but also for tourism (essential to the community’s economy), emergency medical helicopter service, and disaster relief and operations in major fires, earthquake, etc. CalTrans has mandated runway repairs by 9/30/2014 or it will pull the airport’s public permit.
The Ocean Ridge Airport Association (ORAA) has undertaken certain measures to improve the airport’s economic outlook, but no local funding can pay for the slurry-coat, which will run around $60,000. So ORAA is asking other pilots for help, including CalPilot members. Nearly $15,000 has been raised far. But as the repair deadline is drawing close, ORR needs to the finish fundraising so a contractor can be lined upto do the repairs.
ON May 27th ORR launched an online crowd source fundraising campaign (like a
Kickstarter): http://smallknot.com/ocean-ridge-airport-association. It hopes the message will spread across the country and bring in the rest of the funds. Otherwise the airport will lose its public permit.
CalTrans has told ORR that it cannot budge on the deadline, even if comes down to being a simple matter of fundraising. So the 9/30/14 deadline is firm.
The airport owner, though not a pilot himself, understands its importance and has kept it open using his own funds, since it is not currently self-supporting.
This is an opportunity to help save an airport which does not involve expertise of lawyers and politicians, but simple direct donations of friends of aviation and our airports. If you would like to donate to the ORAA’s slurry-seal fund and help save Ocean Ridge Airport, visit oceanridgeairport.org or call ORR spokesperson Julie Bower at 707-884-3579. Donations of any level are appreciated. The Small Knot campaign has a series of rewards, including hotel stays in downtown Gualala.
Ocean Ridge Airport Association
P O Box 1000, Gualala, CA 95445.