The California Agricultural Aircraft Association has served California Aerial Pest Control Operators and Ag pilots for over 70 years. Our association was born out of necessity when in legislation banning crop dusting was proposed in the fall of 1944. According to our records, “C.T. Jensen was dusting a field along a well traveled road and dusted one of our worthwhile legislators thoroughly. This legislator continued to his office in the Capital and promptly proposed legislation to ban the industry in our state.” A small group of operators quickly banned together and hired an attorney to oppose the bill. They were successful in combating that legislation.
On February 5, 1945, the California Agricultural Airplane Operators, Inc. filed corporate papers with the Secretary of State. The association started with around 30 members who paid $25 for dues that first year.
While the industry was born from surplus military equipment and veterans returning looking for flying seats, our forefathers realized that for the industry to grow and thrive, they needed to dedicate themselves to raising the bar, creating standards for applications and development of educational systems to support continued technological developments to mitigate drift. Knowing that they were stronger together than as individuals, they expanded the base of our association and changed its name to the California Agricultural Aircraft Association in 1954.
CAAA was born like many other associations to establish strength and utility to protect and develop the professionalism of an industry. Efforts were made to ensure that the Board representation was diverse, including all regions the state, fixed wing and helicopter, pilots and operators. Members have worked tirelessly to address issues that impacted the future of the industry. These included creation of standards of operation, addressing off target movement through, increasing professionalism, training of pilots and handlers and battling damaging legislation.
CAAA members continue their outreach to regulators and legislators, proactively address issues and educating them on the technological capabilities of modern aerial application equipment.