If you build it, they will come, according to the movie Field of Dreams. Jason Vosburgh hopes the same holds true for his new airport.
According to Vosburgh, a former Fenton resident, following your dreams takes two things — education and the ability to be laughed at.
It was 17 years ago that Vosburgh and his wife drove out to California. “I moved to California for two reasons, opportunity and the weather,” Vosburgh said. “It is the quintessential ‘go west young man’ story.” Vosburgh first learned to fly at Price’s airfield in Fenton Township, a place that had a big influence on him.
“I just wanted to live there. That carried on until adulthood,” he said, and his dream to one day open his own airport.
Vosburgh said he studied what makes a successful general aviation airport, found a place to build it, and even had designs and plans made up. His attempts eventually failed, as Vosburgh learned that state regulations make it nearly impossible to build a new airport.
“I had already called my friends and family back home and told them I was building an airport. I felt like an idiot,” Vosburgh said.
Vosburgh was given a second chance at his dream when his wife came across an abandoned airfield from World War II for sale that was only an hour and a half away from their house. The two sold their house and moved their family into the airport just three months later.
After taking time to fix it up, Vosburgh Airfield has now been in operation for three years, and is the first new airport in southern California in 30 years.
“It’s the character and the strength of coming from a place like Fenton that is the quality in you in how you can succeed in the world,” Vosburgh said. “I am a big believer in higher education. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t gotten my MBA.”
Vosburgh received his MBA from Embry-Riddle aeronautical university, and is currently halfway through finishing his PhD in economics.
“If you are going to invest in something, the first thing you need to invest in first and foremost is yourself,” he said. Vosburgh is also an adjunct professor of global economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches 30 to 60 students from all around the world every year.
“It takes a lot of courage. You really have to love what you are doing,” Vosburgh said. “If you ever stop getting laughed at in your life you are doing something wrong.”