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Rick Husband
Amarillo International Airport
Amarillo Texas airport satellite photo 1997.jpg
IATA: AMAICAO: KAMAFAA: AMA
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner City of Amarillo
Serves Amarillo, Texas
Elevation AMSL 3,607 ft / 1,099 m
Coordinates 35°13′10″N 101°42′21″W / 35.21944°N 101.70583°W / 35.21944; -101.70583
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 13,502 4,115 Concrete
13/31 7,901 2,408 Concrete
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations 98,058
Based aircraft 40
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (IATA: AMAICAO: KAMAFAA LID: AMA) is a public airport located six miles (10 km) east of the central business district of Amarillo, a city in Potter and Randall Counties, Texas, United States.[1] The airport was renamed in 2003 after fallen NASA astronaut and Amarillo native Richard Douglas Husband, who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February of that year.

Contents

History

Harold English opened this airport as English Field in 1929. Also in 1929, Transcontinental & Western Air (the forerunner to TWA) inaugurated the first commercial airline service through Amarillo. Regularly scheduled services to Lubbock and Dallas were provided by Braniff International, Continental Airlines and Trans-Texas Airways (which was later rebranded as Texas International). Additionally, Trans World Airlines provided regularly scheduled service to such cities as Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles (nonstop) from this facility. Lockheed Jet-Prop Electra service was provided to Denver and Oklahoma City on Braniff International. Frontier Airlines provided regional service (Oklahoma/Kansas) utilizing Convair prop aircraft. Convenient connecting service at Dallas Love Field with American, Delta, Braniff International and Eastern Air Lines linked Amarillo with South, Southeast, Midwest, West Coast and East Coast destinations.

In 1952, the name changed to Amarillo Air Terminal. After the adjacent Amarillo Air Force Base was deactivated in 1968, a portion of it was converted to civilian use and became part of Amarillo Air Terminal. The primary instrument runway, while originally constructed as part of the former USAF Strategic Air Command base, at 13,502 feet (4,115 m) remains among the longest commercial runways in the United States, and it is still used by military pilots today. In 1976, the airport changed its name to Amarillo International Airport upon the opening of a U.S. Customs facility.

Southwest Airlines initiated service to Amarillo in 1978[2] with non-stop service to Dallas-Love Field. Southwest would eventually add non-stop service to Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Denver.

The original English Field terminal building was converted in 1997 to a museum maintained by the Texas Aviation Historical Society.[3] The name of the original airfield is memorialized in the English Fieldhouse, a local restaurant located adjacent to the general aviation terminal.

Statue of Rick Husband at Amarillo, Texas, airport

In 2003, the airport terminal building was rededicated to NASA astronaut Rick Husband, the commander of mission STS-107 of the Space Shuttle Columbia and an Amarillo native. Husband and his crew were all killed when the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry on February 1, 2003.

Visits by NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA)

On July 1, 2007, the Space Shuttle Atlantis made a stop at the airport while being piggybacked from Edwards Air Force Base to Florida -- one of the few visits by the shuttle to a commercial airport. After a brief stay it was flown on to Offutt Air Force Base.

In 2009, the airport was again used as a refuelling stop by the SCA. On September 20, the Space Shuttle Discovery was transported from Edwards Air Force Base to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with intermediate stops in Amarillo, Carswell AFB in Ft.Worth, and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.

Facilities and aircraft

Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport covers an area of 3,547 acres (1,435 ha) which contains two concrete paved runways: 4/22 measuring 13,502 x 200 ft (4,115 x 61 m) and 13/31 measuring 7,901 x 150 ft (2,408 x 46 m). For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2007, the airport had 98,058 aircraft operations, an average of 268 per day: 48% military, 29% general aviation, 14% air taxi and 9% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 40 aircraft based at this airport: 52% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, 28% jet and 3% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth
Continental Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines Houston-Intercontinental
Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Houston-Intercontinental
Southwest Airlines Dallas-Love, Denver, Las Vegas

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for AMA (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  2. ^ TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
  3. ^ "Board asks for English Field lease extension". Amarillo Globe News. 2004-06-29. Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:www.amarillo.com/stories/062904/new_fieldlease.shtml.  

External links

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