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Where is Monterey Bay Academy Airfield?

The Airfield is located at Monterey Bay Academy, at approximately 36.905105 N, 121.843808 W. You can find it on SkyVector here, or see it on Google Maps below.

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Operational Guidelines:

Our guidelines for remaining a safe destination and a good neighbor are best summarized in our entry (CA66) in (which we are working to update):

Permission to land, without prior request, is offered to first-time visitors.

For subsequent landings please sign and submit a liability release form available on the field.

Airfield operations are limited to daylight hours.

In observance of Seventh Day Adventist Sabbath, please limit use of the airfield from sunset Fridays until sunset Saturdays.

Caution regarding agricultural operations, and for people and animals using dirt roads adjacent to both sides of turf strip.

Recommend overflying airfield to observe operations adjacent to runway before landing.

Enter traffic pattern from ocean side to avoid flying over Monterey Bay Academy buildings and horse stables.

Avoid overflying houses located above coast, 3/4 nm SE of the airfield.

Student solo flights not recommended.

Occasional irrigation on turf from late afternoon to sunrise

Use caution concerning NOAA over flight restriction areas, throughout the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, prohibiting flight below 1,000 feet AGL except in pattern.

When you fly in, please review current airfield information and operating recommendations on the signboard in the tie down area at the airfield.


Liability Release:

The Airfield is designated “private use”, which means, according to FAA custom, that permission is required in order to land. Our intention, however, is to make visitors welcome. Protecting the Academy and Ocean Shore Aviation from liability is also an important concern in opening the Airfield to a much wider circle of pilots. We are asking return visitors to sign a license agreement granting them permission to visit. Think of this as you do the liability release required before participating in an adventure sport such as skydiving or skiing.

Agreements like this are written in “legalese”, a necessary style that, unfortunately, detracts from the welcome we wish to offer. We’re working to make it more user friendly. In the meantime, read it carefully before you sign; we trust you will find it appropriate to the circumstances. (Believe us; it’s much more user friendly than the agreement you must sign in order to skydive!) The license agreement gives you permission to land at Monterey Bay Academy Airfield for one year. You can pick up a copy at the Airfield, or you can open a copy in .pdf format here. The form can then be filled out on line and sent to Our airfield manager, Bob Carr, will sign it and return a scanned copy to you for your records.

Keeping MBA Airfield Open:

As noted on our home page, the Airfield is entirely a voluntary operation. We depend on your generous donations to meet our yearly fixed expenses: for liability insurance, rent, field improvements and compensation for our airfield manager. As this beautiful place grows in value to you, please reflect that feeling in your support. We also invite you to join us in working together to keep the Airfield alive. To learn how you can help, click the link “Support the Airfield” at the top of this page.

The Runways

Runway 10-28 is 2400 feet long at an altitude of approximately 70 feet MSL.Runway 28 is the favored runway for calm winds and ninety degree crosswinds. Pattern altitude is 1000 feet MSL Both patterns are over the ocean, with left turns to Runway 28 and right turns to Runway 10. Winds at the airfield are variable both in intensity and direction; keep a sharp eye on the windsocks.

Landing Procedures

If you have a radio, we suggest monitoring Watsonville Airport’s (WVI) CTAF frequency, 122.8. Listen for local traffic, and possibly aircraft on IFR Approach to Runway 02 at Watsonville. Keep your head on a swivel, as pilots may be landing without radio, and don’t forget to announce your position frequently.

Check the Airfield before landing; fly an upwind entry, looking carefully for horses, bike riders, or walkers near the strip. For many years, the Airfield has had few landings, so folks have become accustomed to a ride or stroll on the runway.

When landing on Runway 28 turn base before or beyond the homes on the coast ¾ NM to the southeast. On final approach, watch out for the farm building near the approach end of the runway.

When landing on Runway 10 we recommend a displaced threshold landing, touching down just beyond the cement drive that crosses the Airfield. The field has settled in front of the cement drive; landing before it may result in an unexpected bounce, or worse, a prop strike. The approach end of Runway 10 is flanked by buildings to the left and trees to the right; plan ahead for possible turbulence on short final or in the round out.

Takeoff Procedures:

·         Standard practice for Runway 28 takeoffs is to back taxi on the grass. When taking off, climb out to a minimum elevation of 1000 feet, as we are just north of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. When taking off from Runway 10, standard practice is to make an intersection takeoff from the cement drive – for the same reason mentioned above. Please avoid flying over the homes ¾ NM southeast of the field.


Below: The airport from the south. When approaching MBA from Watsonville (as seen here) it is good to fly an upwind along the runway looking for horses, people, bikes, etc. IMG_0758[1] Below: The airport from the north, looking at runway 10. It is best to fly an upwind leg along the runway and do a displaced threshold landing, touching down beyond the cement drive that crosses the runway into the tie down area. IMG_0760[1] Below: Homes to the southeast to be avoided can be seen at the top of this photo. Our segmented circle is visible in the tie down area. IMG_0761[1]

Other notes:

 When flying along the beach and over the ocean, except for landing and taking off, maintain 1000 feet AGL, as the airfield is just north of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Low flights during nesting season disturb threatened bird species, and can also result in significant fines.

Santa Cruz County prohibits overnight camping on the Airfield and Academy grounds.

If you leave the tiedown area, we recommend that you take your headsets, hand held radios, and other valuables with you; if possible, lock your plane, as well.

Current Webcam Image:

Check current webcam image Here. Image updated every ten minutes.

Hope you fly in soon!