Founded in 1987, the Watsonville Pilot’s Association (WPA) serves to protect and promote general aviation at the Watsonville Airport and across Santa Cruz County. Our activities include:
Representing the Watsonville aviation community with a unified voice
Protecting the airport land and surrounding Airport Influence Area
Hosting training and seminars promoting pilot safety and proficiency
Fostering positive relationships within the Watsonville community
Educating on the utility and positive impacts aviation has on the city
Organizing community and social events
Sharing the magic of flight with the greater community!
HISTORY OF THE WPA
1942 Watsonville Airport Construction Begins
The Civil Aeronautics Administration, precursor to the FAA, agreed to construct an airport for Watsonville on the condition that the city provide the land and agree to maintain it as an airport in perpetuity. Construction began in 1942.
1943 Navy Auxiliary Airfield Station
During World War II, the War Department leased the 288 acre Watsonville Airport for $1, the Navy purchased an additional 35 acres and established the Naval Air Auxiliary Station (NAAS) Watsonville, a satellite base to Naval Air Station Alameda. After construction of support buildings and concrete ramps, combat aircraft lined the ramps, including Avengers, Corsairs, Dauntless’ and Hellcats.
1948 Return to City Control
After the war, the City acquired the land and improvements to the Airport at no cost. The actual transfer of the Airport back to the City was accomplished through a document called The Instrument of Transfer signed on July 13, 1948. The Instrument of Transfer placed restrictions on the use of the Airport land for “public airport purposes, and only for such purposes”. The City has governed the Airport ever since. The Airport has received Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Federal Grants to make improvements over the years, restricting the Airport to remain an airport by federal law. In 2021, the total acreage of the Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI) is 344 acres.
1987 Founding of the Watsonville Pilots Association
Founded in 1987, the Watsonville Pilots Association (WPA), also registered as the Watsonville Airport Pilots Association, serves to protect and promote general aviation at the Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI) and across Santa Cruz County.
The Watsonville Pilot’s Association (WPA) was founded on September 15, 1987 after the City demanded that the Airport Manager raise hangar rents and other issues. The founding members were Mike McIntyre (President), Steve Knudson (Vice President), Theresa Levandowski (Secretary), and Richard Peterson (Treasurer). The WPA filed their 501.(c)(3) documents through the California Aviation Counsel, the precursor to the California Pilots Association.
Read the complete history from 1987 to 2021...
President - Ryan Ramirez
Vice President - Barry Porter
Secretary - David French
Treasurer - Jeremy Lezin
Legal Affairs - Orry Korb
AOPA ASN Rep. - Glynn Falcon
Aviation Education - Open Position
Editorial - Open Position
FAASTeam Rep. - Mike Baker
WAAC Representative - Orry Korb
PVAA Representative - Marjorie Bachman
Website Editor - Ryan Ramirez
WPA Honorary Members
(Previous Officers/Board Members)