The Newhall Airport, aka Saugus Airport, officially known as the Newhall Intermediate Field, started in 1930 adjacent to the corner of Newhall Avenue and 16th Street and operated until 1947, although it was used for private and commercial emergency landings for some 20 years afterward.
Russ Magowan Jr. writes (October 2003):
The Civil Aeronautics Administration was established in 1940. Its purpose was to improve and expand the air navigation system in the United States. This was accomplished by using airway beacons at regular intervals along the airway, and using low-frequency radio ranges for instrument flying. Most air carriers used DC-3 aircraft at this time.
The Newhall Intermediate Field had a powerful rotating airway beacon on a steel tower with two large green lights. A diesel motor generator shed contained standby power in case of power failure. The communication station, manned 24 hours a day in three 8-hour shifts, was located close to the intersection of Newhall Avenue and 16th Street.
The runway, which ran north-south, was made of compacted gravel and was 3,000 feet in length. During the war years, the Newhall station was very busy with three teletype circuits and six receivers for military and commercial aircraft to call the station. It was not uncommon for there to be 400 to 500 contacts with aircraft above the station on a daily basis, seven days a week. The station also compiled an hourly weather report, which was placed on the weather teletype circuit.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was nonexistent as a field for commercial aircraft at this time and was designated as a mines and military field[*]. For this reason, Newhall was even more important, as this station was near to Lockheed-Burbank, which for all practical purposes was the main airport for Los Angeles passengers on commercial flights. Should Burbank fog in, which it frequently did in the morning, all scheduled flights landed at Newhall with the aid of the lone airways communication operator who was on duty. The operators were Russ Magowan (Sr.), Bob Wilke, Norm Kruke, Jim Maddox and Ed Bauer.
The Newhall facility became obsolete after the termination of World War II, as jet aircraft arrived on the scene and airway beacons and low-frequency radio ranges became obsolete with all the new technology, such as radar. For this reason it was terminated. Bob Wilke became a local Realtor and Russ Magowan opened a radio and television service business, Newhall Radio & Television Service Co.
* In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres in southern Westchester for a new airport (LAX). The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal. (— Wikipedia)
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