When the Oakland Municipal Airport (now known as the Oakland International Airport (OAK)) opened in June, 1927, it included a 7,020-foot runway, the longest airport runway in the world at the time. What is now referred to as the North Field, which was once the entire Oakland Municipal Airport, is noteworthy due to its connections with early aviation history and participating pioneer flyers, such as Hegenberger & Maitland, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.
"The city of Oakland looked into the construction of an airport starting in 1925. In 1927 the announcement of the Dole prize for a flight from California to Hawaii provided the incentive to purchase 680 acres in April 1927 for the airport. The 7,020 foot long runway was the longest in the world at the time, and built in just 21 days to meet the Dole race start."
Charles Lindbergh made a special appearance at the airport's official dedication on September 17, 1927, three months after the airport was first used.
[The museum is open Wed-Sun so you can go learn about it directly! Also, the OHA is doing a tour featuring North Field on August 24. -Gene ]
On February 5, 1980 the North Field was designated Oakland Landmark #34, under Zoning Case #LM 79-310. During the November 14, 2011 meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, Board member Daniel Schulman made a Landmark of the Month presentation on the North Field. A copy of Mr. Schulman's PowerPoint presentation is available here: North-Field-LPAB-Presentation.pdf
The Oakland Municipal Airport was not the first airport in Oakland. That honor belongs to Durant Field, which had been created by Cliff Durant at 82nd Avenue and East 14th Street in 1916. Durant Field continued to operate for at least a few years after the new airport opened, although its runway was not long enough for heavily loaded aircraft.
Oakland International Airport
- A History of Aviation Excellence and Importance to the Community Fly Oakland
- Oakland Aviation Museum website
- Oakland's history in the air on display at the aviation museum Oakland North
- Aviation Firsts section on Oakland's Wikipedia entry
- Oakland International Airport: Early Years Wikipedia