The Paso Robles Municipal Airport is a 1300-acre site approximately four miles northeast of downtown Paso Robles. Originally constructed in 1943 as the Estrella Army Air Field, the airport plays its own part in the history of aviation in the local area. It saw little military activity during the War, but its advent paved the way for the future of aviation in this area. Sherwood Field, located a few miles to the south, probably plays a more colorful role in the beginnings of aviation in the north county. The Estrella Field was transferred to the City of Paso Robles in 1973 and industrial and general aviation development has seen continued growth since that time.
Under the City’s direction, sections of the industrial park have been developed with utilities and infrastructure improvements. Aircraft hangar and aviation service facilities have been constructed. Today, there is almost 500,000 square feet of industrial building in operation on the airport, housing nearly 40 individual businesses, and providing just over 700 jobs in the community. The number of aircraft based at the airport has grown from 55 at the time of City acquisition in 1973 to almost 200, today. Located approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the airport has a service area of over 2,000 square miles in northern San Luis Obispo and southern Monterey counties.
There is no scheduled airline service at the airport. The last carrier terminated operations in the early 1970’s in the wake of Federal de-regulation. The airport does serve a variety of other significant users. The California Department of Forestry (CDF) Air Attack Base provides major fire protection for three counties (San Luis Obispo, Kern and Monterey) and over 5.8 million acres of wildland area in this part of Central California. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Air Operations Division provides a variety of search, patrol and enforcement services for communities and the vast undeveloped areas within 100 miles in each direction from this airport. Many military, air charter, air ambulance, and other flying services operate from the Airport on a regular basis.
The Airport is owned and operated by the City of Paso Robles. All policy decisions and direction are provided by the City Council with any technical advice and review being provided by an appointed Airport Commission. The airport has tremendous potential for growth and will serve as a vital link in the transportation services of this area, far in to the future.