Airport

Raul M. Rojas, County Purchasing Agent, Director, Public Works
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Airport Manager

Dan Jensen
451 Airport Road
Novato, CA 94945
(415) 897-1754

Airport Weather

  • AWOS Radio: 120.675
  • Phone: (415) 897-2236

Aviation Info

Aviation Fuel

  • Phone: (415) 897-1653

Maps

Aviation Organizations

Photo of airport parking

"A mile of road will take you a mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere.” - Anonymous

The Department of Public Works operates Marin County Airport, known as Gnoss Field, for residents, visitors, businesses and local government agencies needing personal air transportation. The airport occupies 120 acres just north of Novato and east of Highway 101, where you can see several light green and beige hangars. We are home to about 300 aircraft and businesses, and are open 24 hours a day to serve the community.

The Marin County Airport serves as a reliever airport to the greater San Francisco Bay Area, shifting air traffic congestion away from larger airports with commercial airline flights. Airport users vary from daily flights for business people or flight training, to occasional trips for personal travel or special services of a government agency.

  • NEW - Notice For Public Meeting - DBE Program 3/30/17
  • NEW - Hangar Ground Lease Proposed Rate Increase
  • NEW - Runway Rehabilitation Proposal
  • FAA Public Hearing, Runway Ext. Purpose and Need Working Paper
  • Airport Uses
    • Business flights connect with customers, suppliers and branch offices
    • Personal flights visit family, friends, or vacation spots, or bring visitors to Marin County
    • Medical flights transport patients via air ambulance, or organs for transplantation
    • Law enforcement flights land at the airport to coordinate with ground units and refuel
    • Fire-fighting aviation support uses the airport as situations demand
    • Civil Air Patrol, an auxillary of the US Air Force, trains and operates for airborne search and rescue, supports law enforcement, disaster preparedness, humanitarian services, as well as educates CAP cadets
    • Volunteer pilots fly Angel Flight missions to transport family members and patients not needing ambulance services
    • Aviation businesses employ local people for flight instruction, aircraft maintenance, aircraft sales, and aviation consulting

Self-Supporting Operation

The aviation users of the Marin County Airport support all of the airport expenses through their rents, transient fees, fuel fees, and concession fees on airport businesses. The annual budget exceeds $750,000. Capital projects and planning efforts receive federal and state grants, which are in turn funded by aviation fuel taxes from across the country or state. The airport does not receive any monies from the Marin County General Fund.

In addition, property taxes on aircraft and business assets return over $500,000 each year to Marin County, half of which goes to support the Novato Unified School District.

Good Neighbor Policies

The County of Marin ensures land use policies support development projects near the airport that are compatible with continued aviation operations. These policies address airspace protection, noise impacts, overflights, and safety.

The airport also publishes guidelines for noise abatement procedures to avoid sound intrusion and overflights of nearby residences and businesses. If you want to report aircraft noise that you believe is associated with airport operation, click on the link below to use the on-line aircraft noise report form or call the airport manager at the phone number listed above. Please indicate on the form or in the message if you wish that the airport manager contact you.

Report an Aircraft Noise/Overflight Occurrence

 

Information for Nearby Residents

Learn More About Gnoss Field

Airport users welcome nearby residents to become more familiar with the benefits and policies that ensure the continued operation of a valuable county transportation asset. Good relations with neighbors have become important priorities for airport users, the County, Caltrans Division of Aeronautics and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

To visit the airport, or to learn more, please contact the Airport Manager or the Gnoss Field Community Association (GFCA)

Flight Regulations for Operating over Populated Areas

Pilots and aircraft operators must follow regulations established by the FAA for safe flight practices and compatible operations, which govern aircraft certification, pilot certification, airport certification, and flight procedures. For instance, new jet aircraft since 2006 must meet stringent noise emission standards, called Stage 4 requirements, that impose lower noise levels than earlier Stage 3 standards, and noisier Stage 2 jets will be prohibited from flying in the US after December 2015.

Flight procedures impose restrictions on how low aircraft may fly. Normally over congested or populated areas, aircraft must fly higher than 1000 feet over the highest obstacle within 2000 feet. Exceptions are provided for aircraft landing or taking off from a runway, and for aircraft, especially helicopters, flying with a waiver for specific low-altitude purposes, such as pipeline and powerline patrols. Exceptions are also provided for law enforcement, military and fire fighting operations.

Grants from the FAA to improve airports require the County provide assurances on how they operate and protect the airport. One important area concerns compatible land use planning around the airport. In California, an Airport Land Use Commission addresses four major planning factors that involve safety, protecting airspace from hazards, noise impacts and overflight issues.

In California, the Department of Real Estate requires the disclosure to buyers of real property within two miles of an airport that the property may be subject to aircraft noise and overflight impacts.

Finding Information about Flight Activity at Gnoss Field

People interested in tracking flight activity at Gnoss Field may use several web-based services. Aircraft flying on flight plans landing or departing from Gnoss Field can be located using FlightAware, including activity for the previous several days. Aircraft tracked by radar may be located using FlightRadar24, including a playback option for the past seven days. Radio communication by planes using the Gnoss Field CTAF frequency may be heard on the Internet using LiveATC , including an audio archive of past communications for 30 days.

Information About Airport Planning

Wildlife Hazard Assessment Underway

Airport planning efforts require outreach to airport users and the community, such as the Gnoss Field Vision Process and stages of environmental and project reviews. The Gnoss Field Visioning Report was presented to the Board of Supervisors on November 4, 2014.

Additional information on airport planning can be found in the meetings and agendas of the Airport Commission.

Information for Pilots, Instructors and Aircraft Owners

Welcome to Marin County Airport, Gnoss Field. This information should help you plan your flight into and out of the only public-use airport in Marin County.

Airport Information for Pilots

Typical Weather

Weather at Gnoss Field might be called California nice. Morning low clouds often burn off before noon. The marine layer comes in occassionally from the Pacific Ocean due west or wraps around from the Golden Gate through San Pablo Bay from the southeast. Storms in the winter usually come from the southwest. Otherwise, most days are clear and pleasant.

  • AWOS radio: 120.675
  • AWOS phone: 415-897-2236
Crosswinds

Crosswinds frequent Gnoss Field due to the high terrain to the west and cool waters of San Pablo Bay to the southeast. Gusts often increase the challenge of landing, so be prepared to go around. Some pilots claim that landing with crosswinds are better on runway 31 than runway 13 due to hangars and terrain, but be cautious.

Noise Abatement Procedures

Noise sensitive residents occupy homes to the south and southeast of the airport. Please see the Noise Abatement Procedures. In summary, no straight in approaches to runway 31 over the homes, and no straight out departures from runway 13 over the homes. Please fly tight traffic patterns for runway 31 to avoid overflight of the homes south and southeast of the airport.

VFR Procedures

VFR procedures must avoid the radio towers, which are 520' MSL. Traffic patterns may be inside or outside the towers depending on the performance of your aircraft. Approach the traffic pattern from outside the towers. For landing on runway 31, do not fly straight-in and turn base abeam the towers and plan a one-half mile final.

Instrument Procedures

Gnoss Field has one instrument approach, GPS RWY 13. The minimums are 1000' MSL due to towers and terrain.

Instrument departures involve turns to headings 080 degrees from runway 13 and 360 degress from runway 31.

Clearance for instrument departures can be received from Oakland Center, either by radio on the ground or through the FAA phone service. Some pilots file IFR flight plans with pickup points at nearby VORs, either Scaggs Island (SGD), Santa Rosa (STS), or Point Reyes (PYE).

  • Oakland Center: 127.80
  • FAA Clearance: 888-766-8267
Itinerant Parking

Gnoss Field reserves transient parking on the ramp closest to the administration building in spaces outlined in blue stripes. Large aircraft may park at both ends of the row; smaller aircraft in between facing the runway.

Fuel

Full-service fuel is available at 415-897-1653

Wash Rack

The wash rack is located on the east side of the runway, midfield, between the two sets of hangars. Signs limit usage to selected days due to the California drought.

Gate Access

Several pedestrian gates allow people to walk through between the ramp and the parking lots. Vehicle gate access requires card entry, available from the Airport Manager and generally issued to airport tenants.

Wildlife Incident Report

Marin County requests that pilots report encountering wildlife on, above or near the airport. Use this form, as well as FAA form 5200-7 in the case of a wildlife strike.

Airport Information for Instructors

Numerous flight instructors train students at Gnoss Field, some based on the field and others seeking challenging conditions due to the crosswinds.

Crosswinds

Prepare your students for the effects of gusty crosswind conditions. Winds rarely stay steady with variable speeds and directions common. Gusts to 25 knots are not uncommon with crosswinds ranging from 45 to 90 degrees across the runway.

Some pilots report that winds are more variable and challenging when landing on runway 13, due to terrain and less calming influence of the hangars at the runway 31 end.

Training areas

Training areas may be used southeast of the airport near the mouth of the Petaluma River. Please avoid training flights over populated areas of Marin County, along highway 101, and inland lakes surrounded by homes.

Please avoid simulated engine power loss when near the noise-sensitive areas south and southeast of the airport, especially when landing on runway 31. Changes in engine noise cause greater annoyance than constant noise. Use runway 13 for such procedures.

Reporting Points

Pilots in the area of Gnoss Field frequently use these reporting points:

  • Sears Point Raceway: about 6 miles east of the airport
  • Mouth of the Petaluma River: about 4 miles southeast of the airport
  • Highway 37: also about 4 miles southeast of the airport
  • KCBS Towers: the four illuminated radio towers, 520' MSL, about 1.5 miles southeast of the airport
  • Bend in the River: a prominent bend in the Petaluma River about 4 miles north of the airport
  • Landfill: a common base turn location about 1.5 miles north of the airport

Airport Information for Aircraft Owners

Aircraft owners and operators may park or store their aircraft at Gnoss Field.

Transient Parking

Daily transient parking is free and no commercial landing fees apply.

Aircraft parked overnight on tie-downs will be tagged and fees are $10/night for small aircraft, $15/night for turboprop aircraft, and $20/night for turbine aircraft.

Hangars

Hangars at Gnoss Field are clustered in three areas: A-hangars north of the ramp, B-hangars south of the ramp, and C-hangars on the east side of the runway. Hangars in the A and B clusters are privately owned on leased ramp space. Many are for rent or sale privately. Several offers are posted on the bulletin boards around the airport.

Hangars in the C cluster are leased from Marin County. All of the county hangars are presently rented, although a waiting list is being maintained.

County Storage Permit Form

To request a permit to store an aircraft at Gnoss Field, use this form to request a tie-down space on the ramp, a portable hangar or a county hangar.

Aircraft Storage Permit Form

Information About Airport Businesses

On-Airport Businesses
Business Name and Services Phone
Andres Amil Ill
Aircraft maintenance
415-342-7834
Aero Club Marin
Flight instruction, Aircraft rental
415-898-4834
Air Ward
Pilot supplies, Flight instruction, Aircraft rental
415-342-7834
Direct Avionics
Aircraft maintenance, Avionics maintenance, Aircraft rental
415-892-3511
John Ward Flight Training
Flight instructions
415-898-2466
James Simons MD
Senior Aviation Medical Examiner
415-899-9727
Scanlon Aviation
Aircraft maintenance, Flight instruction, Aircraft rental
415-342-7834
Sky Ranch Upholstery
Aviation interior upholstery
415-893-9721
DT Group Refueling
Full service aviation fuel: 100LL, JetA
415-897-1653
TJ Neff Aircraft Sales
Aircraft sales
415-898-5151
Airport Area Businesses
Business Name and Services Phone
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Rental Car
415-898-3500
800-704-8222
Hertz Local
Rental Car
415-892-1121
800-704-4473
Novato Oaks Inn/Best Western
Hotel
415-883-4400
Marriott Courtyard
Hotel
415-883-8950
Days Inn
Hotel
415-261-1861
Novato Taxi
Taxi
415-898-8484
Radio Cab
Taxi
415-485-1234
North Marin Taxi
Taxi
415-261-1861

Information for Young People and Women in Aviation

Young people in Marin County enjoy several opportunities to participate in aviation activities. The airport observation area near the north gate on Airport Road provides a place to watch planes arrive and depart, to listen to the radio traffic, and spot airplanes near the airport. The Young Eagles program introduces young boys and girls to flying through volunteer flights hosted by the local chapter 1232 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Local aviation businesses and the Gnoss Field Community Association have invited young people to tour the airport, airport businesses.

Women in aviation work and fly out of Gnoss Field. The Marin 99s represent women in Marin County that participate in the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots that promote advancement in aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support. Women at Gnoss Field work as flight instructors and aircraft mechanics at several of the airport businesses.