Columbia Airport is located within walking distance of the historic town of Columbia in the Sierra Nevada foothills at an elevation of 2118 feet. The airport features a lighted 4,650-foot paved runway and a 2,600-foot irrigated turf runway both of which are well maintained by the airport staff. Tail wheel aircraft come from neighboring airports to experience the fun and challenge of landing on a real grass runway.
AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System)
The AWOS at Columbia Airport uploads weather data to the National Weather Service every 5 minutes. Click here to see the current AWOS data.
Columbia Airport’s traffic patterns are to the west of the airport to keep the aircraft from flying over Columbia State Park and Columbia Elementary School. The normal traffic patterns are right traffic for Runway 17, left traffic for Runway 29, and left traffic for Runway 35. Take-offs and landings are discouraged for Runway 11 due to visibility restrictions with Runway 17. There are residences all around Columbia Airport, so we encourage all pilots to reduce their power settings once they make it to a safe altitude after take-off.
Colombia offers one of only two public use grass runways in California. Landing on grass is a lot more forgiving than pavement. Come check it out for yourself!
Runway condition information can be found here:
A unique Fly-In Opportunity close to the Bay Area! Fly In and camp out of your airplane!
There are aviation services offered at Columbia including Flight Instruction, Advanced Training and Maintenance.
Jake's Air Repair www.JakesAirRepair.com
Columbia Flying Club www.ColumbiaFlyers.com
Springfield Flying Service
Fuel & FBO:
Bald Eagle Aviation www.BaldEagleAviation.com
Jakes Air Repair
Find more about them here:
There is lots to see in Tuolumne County, Including Yosemite, Pinecrest Lake, Sonora and Columbia.
Here are the restaurants within walking distance from O22.
Mandy's Breakfast House - .3MI (10Min Walk)
A local favorite. Busy on weekends. (7AM-2PM)
Exit the airport terminal paring lot along Airport Rd towards the east. Turn right (South)along Parrots Ferry Rd. Mandy's is located across Parrots Ferry Rd.
Water Wheel Pizza & Saloon .4MI
Exit the airport terminal paring lot along Airport Rd towards the east. Turn right (South)along Parrots Ferry Rd. Continue past Mandy's and the gas station.
Columbia Frosty .5MI (14Min walk)
Take the Columbia Airport Trail to Parrots Ferry Rd and continue North along Parrots Ferry Rd. It is located on the west side of the road.
Columbia Market & Deli
Columbia House Restaurant
El Jardin Mexican Restaurant
St. Charles Saloon Pizza
Jack Douglas Saloon
Columbia Kates Teahouse
Columbia Airport was built in 1934 and dedicated in 1935 as Ralph Field.
“Through federal aid, the Civil Conservation Corps and the support of the American Legion, the airport site was cleared off and leveled. It was officially dedicated as Ralph Airport on June 16, 1935.
According to a Works Progress Administration job card: WPA Project No. 65-3-1872, Amount approved $26,386, approval date 10-18-35 “Construction of Administration building and runway. Airport improvement.”
The majority of the airport’s construction was carried out by CCC company 752, stationed at Camp Yankee Hill “under the technical supervision of the Sonora [Tuolumne County] Ranger Unit of the California Division of Forestry and the Management Direction of the Stanislaus National Forest, 5th Region, USFS.”
The airport was project #54 and included:
Development, including clearing of 45.2 acres at old Brady Field, near community of Columbia
Construction of two 2400-2500 airplane landing strips at Old Brady Field, near community of Columbia.
Project 54 was completed on 24 April, 1934. On 27 April, 1934 Co. 752 vacated CCC Camp Yankee Hill, P-213, returned to the 7th Corps Area and was assigned to CCC Camp Plainview, F-21, Plainview, Arkansas. Six months later the constructors of Ralph Field returned to their home state and CCC Camp Thayer, Hebron, Nebraska
Many other companies occupied Camp Yankee Hill P-213. However, none attained the accomplishments of Co. 752. Most of the heavy work having been completed, only cosmetic and maintenance work was accomplished at Ralph Field.”
In the late 1950's "Fire Bombing" was being developed and the first ire fighting aircraft were flow out of Columbia Airport in WW2 surplus Stearman trainers that were commonly converted into crop dusters.
Sonora Flying Service operated a number of surplus WW2 aircraft out of Columbia well into the late 1960's.
The Columbia Air Attack Base, located near Columbia State Park in the CDF Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit, was established in the late 1950s in conjunction with the US Forest Service. CDF took over the administration of the base from the Forest Service in 1966. It remained a joint operation until 1975 when the Forest Service relocated.
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