HISTORY >>

The airport property was originally owned by Don Inman, who maintained and operated the grass airstrip known as Seaside-Gearhart airport from 1946 through the 50s. During that time general aviation was booming, state and federal governments were financing small airport development, and Seaside wanted in on the act. So in 1960 they convinced the State to purchase the airport and install a paved runway, taxiways and parking ramp. The state owned and operated the airport until 1990, when it was deeded to the city of Seaside on condition that they keep it open and operating as an airport for at least 20 years.

Local pilots appeared before the council and made a case for improving the airport, highlighting the potential benefits of attracting upscale flying tourists to the city. The council conducted a workshop and ended up declaring nearly unanimous support for keeping the airport and getting started on improvements. A federal Airport Improvement grant, amounting to over $120,000, was applied for and subsequently approved, and in summer 2004, a project to repair runway cracks and depressions and install a new wind indicator and segmented circle was completed.

During this period the city recognized the need for more guidance on issues involving the airport, and a new airport advisory committee was formed. Since 2004 the committee has provided recommendations on over $1million worth of improvements, including a new beacon tower and rotating beacon, improvements to the drainage system, obstruction removal, avigation easements, ramp and taxiway improvements, security fencing, and improved visitor parking. Many of these improvements were made by local contractors, and all were 90-95% funded funded through FAA airport improvement grants.  In addition to making recommendations on specific improvements, The committee has drafted policy documents, helped with maintenance and signage, and worked to help enable a private hangar development on the airport, resulting in several new based aircraft at the airport.