In 1910, Modesto became the first city to include provisions in its charter to regulate “flying devices” and to build and maintain facilities for landings. Planes started arriving in Modesto in 1911 before the airport could be built.

This is what makes the City of Modesto’s 1910 City Charter bold. Forward thinking city leaders agreed that as Modesto continued to develop as a commercial and transportation center, there would be a need for a municipal airport. When it officially opened in 1918, it was the first municipally owned and operated airport in the country. It was on 82 acres south of downtown, where the current Modesto Municipal Golf Course is on Tuolumne Boulevard. By 1929, the 82 acres were not sufficient and the airport was moved to its present location.