Ocean Ridge Airport is a privately owned, public use airport in southern Mendocino County, California. The airport property sits on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean, nestled among the native redwood trees. A postcard showing an aerial view in the early days has the slogan, “Above the fog, beyond the smog.” And how true those words remain.
At 940 feet in elevation and one mile inland, Ocean Ridge Airport often sits above the fog. When other area airports are socked in, it is an ideal location for pilots coming to Gualala and surrounding communities, such as The Sea Ranch.
By car, Gualala is nearly two hours from a large city. There aren’t even any stop lights along the single main street that runs through downtown. This coastal village is a quiet retreat for tourists and residents alike, away from the air pollution, noise, and hussle-and-bussle of urban life.
This small airport is vital not only for private pilots who live here, but also for tourists (on which this small, remote community’s economy depends) and most importantly, emergency medical services such as helicopter ambulance services.
The property is owned by John H. Bower and has been in his family since the 1970s. He is not a pilot himself, but following in his own father’s footsteps, he has generously made it open to the public and hopes to continue to do so.
A group of interested community members has formed an informal group called Ocean Ridge Airport Association (ORAA) with the goal of raising funds to maintain the runway surface and to keep the airport open. This website has been created in response to a 2014 public closure threat so that a wider audience can participate in supporting this airport.