Falcon Field (Arizona)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Falcon Field
Falcon Field Army Airfield
Falcon Field - Arizona - 2006-USGS.jpg
USGS 2006 orthophoto
IATA: MSCICAO: KFFZFAA LID: FFZ
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Mesa
ServesMesa, Arizona
Elevation AMSL1,394 ft / 425 m
Coordinates33°27′39″N 111°43′42″W / 33.46083°N 111.72833°W / 33.46083; -111.72833
WebsiteMesaAZ.gov/falcon_field/
Map
FFZ is located in Arizona
FFZ
Location of airport in Arizona
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
ftm
4R/22L5,1011,555Asphalt
4L/22R3,7991,158Asphalt
Helipads
NumberLengthSurface
ftm
H16018Asphalt
H26018Asphalt
Statistics (2008)
Aircraft operations319,419
Based aircraft605
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Falcon Field
Falcon Field Army Airfield
Falcon Field - Arizona - 2006-USGS.jpg
USGS 2006 orthophoto
IATA: MSCICAO: KFFZFAA LID: FFZ
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Mesa
ServesMesa, Arizona
Elevation AMSL1,394 ft / 425 m
Coordinates33°27′39″N 111°43′42″W / 33.46083°N 111.72833°W / 33.46083; -111.72833
WebsiteMesaAZ.gov/falcon_field/
Map
FFZ is located in Arizona
FFZ
Location of airport in Arizona
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
ftm
4R/22L5,1011,555Asphalt
4L/22R3,7991,158Asphalt
Helipads
NumberLengthSurface
ftm
H16018Asphalt
H26018Asphalt
Statistics (2008)
Aircraft operations319,419
Based aircraft605
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Falcon Field (IATA: MSCICAO: KFFZFAA LID: FFZ) is a city owned, public use airport located five nautical miles (6 mi, 9 km) northeast of the central business district of Mesa, a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States.[1] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a reliever airport.[2] Scheduled service to Bullhead City on Western Express Air was discontinued in January 2007.[3]

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Falcon Field is assigned FFZ by the FAA[1] and MSC by the IATA.[4]

History[edit source | edit]

Falcon Field in 1955.

Falcon Field got its start prior to World War II, when Hollywood producer Leland Hayward and pilot John H. "Jack" Connelly founded Southwest Airways with funding from friends like Henry Fonda, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, Hoagy Carmichael and others. Southwest Airways operated two other airfields in Arizona -- Thunderbird Field No. 1 (now the site of Thunderbird School of Global Management) and Thunderbird Field No. 2 (now the site of Scottsdale Airport) -- to train pilots from China, Russia and 24 other Allied nations. Falcon was to be Thunderbird Field III and would train British pilots.

But the British said they'd like the field to be named after one of their birds, and thus Falcon Field was opened as the No. 4 British Flying Training School (BFTS). There were six BFTS airfields in the U.S., in Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, California and Arizona.

In September 1941, the first cadets of the British Royal Air Force arrived. They trained in Stearman PT-17 biplanes and North American Aviation AT-6 Harvard monoplane trainers. The good weather, wide-open desert terrain, and lack of enemy airpower provided significantly safer and more efficient training than was possible in England. Even so, twenty-three British cadets, one American cadet and four instructors were killed in training and are now buried in the Mesa City Cemetery, along with several of their colleagues who have since died of natural causes. Several thousand pilots were trained there until the RAF installation was closed at the end of World War II. The City of Mesa purchased the field from the U.S. government for $1.

From 1945-65, the field was leased out to industrial interests, including Talley Defense Systems, Astro Rocket Inc., Rocket Power Inc., the Gabriel Company and others.

Eventually it became a working civilian airfield, and is now owned and operated by the city of Mesa. Falcon Field is the home base of CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, the largest flight school in the world. Student pilots from Belgium, The Netherlands, the UK, Turkey and Vietnam are flying at Falcon Field. Since 1976 Falcon Field has been the home of Airbase Arizona, one of the largest units in the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) which operates a flying B-17G "Sentimental Journey" and a B-25J "Maid in the Shade" among other aircraft.

Facilities and aircraft[edit source | edit]

Falcon Field covers an area of 784 acres (317 ha) at an elevation of 1,394 feet (425 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 4R/22L is 5,101 by 100 feet (1,555 x 30 m) and 4L/22R is 3,799 by 75 feet (1,158 x 23 m). It also has two helipads designed H1 and H2, each measuring 60 by 60 feet (18 x 18 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2008, the airport had 319,419 aircraft operations, an average of 875 per day: 98% general aviation, 1% air taxi, and 1% military. At that time there were 605 aircraft based at this airport: 80% single-engine, 13% multi-engine, 1% jet, and 6% helicopter.[1]

Other services[edit source | edit]

Local companies:

Local groups:

Local museums:

Education:

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for FFZ (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Press Release". Western Air Express. January 2007. 
  4. ^ "Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona (ICAO:KFFZ, FAA: FFZ, IATA: MSC)". Great Circle Mapper. 

Other sources[edit source | edit]

  •  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  • Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History’s Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.
  • Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942-2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC
  • Bustrin, Mary Louise. My Second Job. Mesa, AZ: Mary Louise Bustrin, 1990.
  • Dawson, Jim. The RAF in Arizona: Falcon Field, 1941-1945. Newnan, GA: Stenger-Scott Publishing, 2002.
  • Mallett, Daryl F. Falcon Field. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.
  • Simmons, Larry J. The Falcon Field Story. Scottsdale, AZ: Larry J. Simmons, 2002.

External links[edit source | edit]