If you’ve come to the SDUA website because you have interest in the sport of ultralight flying at the only field remaining in San Diego county that supports ultralights, we’d like to fill you in on the current situation concerning the future of our club and in fact, the future of ultralight flying in the county.

Recently the City Water Department decided to extend the lease of Tactical Air Operations (TAO) for skydiving activities conducted at the Nichols Field, on the east end of Otay Reservoir, for 5 final years, but forced a requirement that all ultralights be removed.  The only reason given by the Water Department was “to protect the water shed from any potential contamination”.  This discretionary and unfair decision to keep the flying operations for skydiving while eliminating ultralight sport flying smacks as discriminatory and punitive.

Less than one percent (1%) of all flights in and out of Nichols Field are made by ultralights – the remaining 99% are flights related to skydiving.  That, in addition to the motor boating activities still allowed on the reservoir means that ultralight activities in comparison have little or no impact on the environment of the water shed area.  We don’t understand why the ultralight activities are being treated differently than skydive and motor boating activities!

Ultralight sport flying has been based at Nichols Field with continuous operation since 1980 – over 35 years.  In all that time, the Water Department as never complained that ultralights were adversely affecting the water quality around the Otay Reservoir.  In fact, we have implemented, and will continue to take, actions to ensure water runoff from our area does not adversely affect water quality.

All we are seeking at this point is to receive the same consideration as the skydiving operations, which is to be allowed to continue our sport for the same additional 5 years that the lease for skydiving allows.

We are seeking your help.  Please consider contacting your San Diego City Council members  or other influential people tied to the city and mayor now.  We can help you do this if you’ll send us an email (see Contact Us).  Help us save ultralight sport flying in the only location left in the county!  Thanks for your support.


Welcome to the San Diego Ultralight Association (SDUA) website!  SDUA was formed in 1976 to support and promote ultralight and sport aviation. Our mission is to help sport flying to become more accessible to all by freely sharing our combined knowledge and experience while being committed to safety and protecting the environment.  We do intend to have fun along the way!

Our clubhouse is on John Nichols Field, a private use airport in San Diego County, CA.  Nichols offers excellent year-round flying and is also home to an active skydiving community.  Membership in SDUA is open to everyone. Click on “About Us” for more information.


Last Site Revision – October, 2015