On December 2, 1946, a DC3 with Southwest Airways livery (which later would become Northwest Orient) landed at Watsonville Airport to pick up its first passenger and 16 pouches of mail, providing the first airline service to the community. This service continued until 1956.
The first airport manager was Robert Hudson. He held the post for about a year until he returned to the U.S. Air Force. Vern Ackerman and his business partner Robert F. Ditlevsen became co-managers of the airport. Ackerman bought out his partner and became airport manager in May 1948. In 1964 Ackerman resigned, only to return and be reappointed in July 1966.
During this period the first of the soon-to-be famed Watsonville Fly-In and Show first begin as the Northern California Antique Airplane Association's annual West Coast Antique Fly-In.
Early Fly-In's soon included air show performers including Aero Space Pyro, Amelia Reid, Dan Buchannan, Andreini Airshows, G.A.F. International, Jim Cheatham and John W Piggott.