Sacramento - Mather

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Last Validated 03-2023
City Sacramento
Position 38°33'19"N 121°17'50"W
Runway(s) 04L/22R, 04R/22L
Elevation 98 ft


Located 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento and specializing in general aviation and cargo aviation, Mather Airport (MHR) is conveniently located along US 50. The name, “Mather Field,” was inspired by Carl Mather, a Second Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps. Lieutenant Mather was tragically killed on January 25, 1918 at the age of 16. During the war, Sacramento’s Liberty Iron Works in North Sacramento produced Curtiss JN-4 aircraft. Mather Field was closed in 1923 after the armistice agreement halted World War I and ended pilot training at Mather Field. Remaining personnel at Mather Field were sent to bases in other states. Prior to entering World War II, the US government rebuilt Mather Field and by 1941 the air base was fully activated. Mather was used for pilot, navigator, observer, and bombardier training throughout the war and served as a strategic stopover location for troops and aircraft departing for or returning from combat duty in the Pacific. In 1958, a Strategic Air Command B-52 wing was assigned to the base and was deactivated in 1989. USAF closed the base in 1993. Taking advantage of the former Air Force Base’s ample ramp space and generous runway, UPS moved their operation from Sacramento International Airport to Mather. In 2006, Mather hosted the inaugural California Capital Airshow. It was the first civilian-run airshow in Sacramento history and featured the US Navy Blue Angels and attracted more than 100,000 people during the two-day event. Curently, the airshow continues to attract aviation enthusiasts to Mather Airport.


The airport has two runways in a northeast-southwest direction. all aprons and hangars are to the north of these runways. Hangars from left to right are for CDF (California Fire Department), UPS, Mather Aviation and California Army National Guard.

Getting There

Sacramento/Mather airport is located south of the Route 50 El Dorado Freeway. Take the exit towards Bradshaw road and follow this road until you can turn left onto Old Placerville road. The airfield is now at your right. Take the exit to the right onto Macready Avenue to arrive onto the airport.

Around the Airport

1View onto CFS/UPS aprons

From the beginning of Macready Avenue, take the first right onto Neely Way. take the first left onto Rickenbacker Street to drive along the apron where UPS is based. Follow the road and cross Neely Way onto Skymaster Way. At the end take a right and left to arrive at Spaatz Way. From here you will have a view onto the apron. Take the next left onto Missile Way and at the and you will have a view onto another apron and the hangars of the CDF.

2View onto aprons

Driving onto Macready Avenue, you drive along the fence of the airport. take a right at Superfortress Avenue and will have a good view onto the aprons. Stop at any parking, and there are many, and view through the fence. At the end of the road, before the checkpoint, you have a view onto part of the apron of the CA ArNG. At the checkpoint, go back to Macready Avenue and follow it along the fence. At the bend to the left, you will have a view onto the apron again. Take a right onto Mather Boulevard for the last needed view.

3Eastside landing

Driving onto Macready Avenue, take the first left onto Mather Boulevard. follow it all the way until you see the approach lights and the runway. Park the car and position yourself.

4Mid-runway position.

Driving onto Macready Avenue, take the first left onto Mather Boulevard. follow it all the way until you arrive at Mather. Follow th eroad, now named Excelsior Road. After the village, take the first right and then again the first right. At the end, you will arrive at the fence. Do take some steps with you.

5Westside landing

For this spot, not the best ever, you have to continue on Bradshaw Road until you see a large excavation site at your left. take the road inbetween, Kiefer Boulevard until you arrive at the bend with Happy Lane. park your car here and position yourself.

Frits Jongerman photographed this resident UH-60 from spot 2. This is also where the preserved UH-1 is on display along the road.


121.850 / 307.900Clear.Del. & Ground
120.650 / 282.250 Tower
127.400 / 317.500NORCAL Departure/Approach

Based Operators

Det.1/F/2-135th AVN CA ArNGUH-60A
C/1-168th AVN CA ArNGUH-60L, HH-60L
A/3-140th AVN CA ArNGOH-58A+/C
Det. 2 D/3-140th AVN CA ArNGUH-72A
OSACOM det.32U-12U


74-22375UH-1H at spot 2

More Info

Mather AirportWebsite of Mather Airport by SAC.

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