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Brown Field Municipal Airport: Wikis


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Brown Field Municipal Airport
Brown Field Municipal Airport diagram.png
Airport type Public
Operator City of San Diego
Serves San Diego, California
Elevation AMSL 526 ft / 160 m
Coordinates 32°34′20″N 116°58′49″W / 32.57222°N 116.98028°W / 32.57222; -116.98028
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8L/26R 7,972 2,430 Asphalt/Concrete
8R/26L 3,180 969 Asphalt

Brown Field Municipal Airport (IATA: SDMICAO: KSDMFAA LID: SDM) is located in San Diego, California, 13 miles (21 kilometers) southeast of Downtown San Diego and named in honor of United States Navy Commander Melville S. Brown, who was killed in an airplane crash in 1936. Its FAA/IATA airport code of SDM probably comes from "San Diego Municipal". Formerly a Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS), it is now a port of entry from Mexico. It is sometimes staffed by the U.S. Customs Service, but only upon the request of incoming pilots to the FAA.

It first opened in 1918 as East Field, later becoming NAAS Otay Mesa and then NAAS Brown Field, both in 1943. It was last used by the U.S. Navy in 1962, before becoming converted for general aviation use. Its primary runway is 7,972 feet (2,430 m) long.



Tijuana Airport is just over 1 nmi (1.9 km) to the south, with a similar length and a slightly different runway orientation (09 / 27) but is clearly a commercial passenger facility.

In addition, a precision approach is not possible to either runway end due to steep, rising terrain (elevation 3,600-feet) less than six miles (10 km) east of the airport. There have been several crashes due to pilots not maintaining sufficient altitude over these nearby mountains (often flying VFR at night).

Notable accidents

  • March 16, 1991, Seven members of Reba McEntire's band and her road manager were among 10 people who died in the crash of a plane that departed from Brown Field. The aircraft impacted terrain on Otay Mountain northeast of the airport.[1]

See also


External links



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