LA/Palmdale Regional Airport
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2008)|
|LA/Palmdale Regional Airport
United States Air Force Plant 42
Palmdale Army Airfield
|USGS 2006 orthophoto|
|IATA: PMD – ICAO: KPMD – FAA LID: PMD|
|Owner/Operator||Los Angeles World Airports &
U.S. Air Force
|Elevation AMSL||2,543 ft / 775 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Palmdale Airport (IATA: PMD, ICAO: KPMD, FAA LID: PMD) is an airport in Palmdale, in Los Angeles County, California. It has two separate facilities: United States Air Force Plant 42, an entity of the United States Air Force which controls the airport property, and the LA/Palmdale Regional Airport, owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the city of Los Angeles, which controls a small airline terminal and a hangar complex (Site 9) on land leased from the U.S. government.
When combining the existing 5,800 acres (23 km²) of the current airport with the 17,500 acres (71 km²) of undeveloped land for the future airport, at 23,300 acres (94 km²) Palmdale Airport can be considered one of the largest civilian airports in the world. The two main runways are over 2 miles (3 km) long.
Most of the airport serves as a manufacturing plant for aircraft used by the United States' and their allies' militaries. The LA/Palmdale Regional Airport itself is a small terminal leased from the Air Force by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a department of the city of Los Angeles. The airport terminal is at the southwest corner of the airport and began civilian operations in 1971.
This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service facility based on enplanements in 2008 (more than 10,000 per year).Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 10,392 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 82% more than the 5,712 in 2007.
Built in 1940, Palmdale Airport was operated by the United States government, primarily as an emergency landing strip. In 1946 its operation was turned over to Los Angeles County for private use. In 1950 the airport was again taken over by the federal government for use in building and testing military aircraft, thus establishing operation of United States Air Force Plant 42.
From 1970 to 1983 the Los Angeles Department of Airports, now called Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), acquired about 17,750 acres (72 km2) of land east and south of the airport in unincorporated Los Angeles County to be developed into the future "Palmdale Intercontinental Airport," an alternative to LAX. LAWA has not developed its Palmdale airport land beyond the small airport terminal. In late 2008 Palmdale expressed interest in assuming operations at Palmdale Airport, including management of the terminal, taxiways, and parking, from LAWA. LAWA indicated that it was receptive to transferring the lease. Los Angeles wants to retain the land it owns near Palmdale for eventual use as an airport. The city is exploring non-aviation uses for the land, including activities related to energy production.
After several airlines were unable to sustain operations at Palmdale, the terminal was remodeled and reopened in May 2007. Convincing airlines of the marketability of the airport without subsidies has been difficult. Although Palmdale Airport offers airline passengers a quicker ground travel time from Sherman Oaks than the LAX airport car trip down the 405 freeway, it has not provided the range of destinations that would make passengers choose it over LAX and Bob Hope Airport. The communities around LAX and Burbank do not want the noise of additional flights, but most Antelope Valley residents support expanding service at Palmdale.
In January 2007 subsidies valued at $4.6 million, with $2 million slated to underwrite losses incurred from providing airline service, were raised to restore commercial service to the airport. The incentive package included a $900,000 grant from the federal government to the city of Palmdale to develop regional airport service.
In February 2007 the city of Palmdale and LAWA selected United Airlines to provide service between Palmdale and San Francisco International Airport. (The only other proposal was from Delta Air Lines to Salt Lake City). The SkyWest Airlines-operated United Express offered twice-daily, regional jet service beginning on June 7, 2007.
Between June 7 and December 31, 2007, the airport served 12,022 passengers, about 58 passengers per day.
On September 3, 2008 the San Francisco service was increased from two 50-seat regional jets to four 30-seat turboprop flights per day. On its September 18 schedule update, United canceled all flights beginning December 7, 2008, the day after the expiration of the federal grant and 18 months after the beginning of the PMD services.
LAWA is currently developing a master plan for Palmdale that will guide airport land use and development decisions through 2030.
Facilities and aircraft
The airport covers 5,832 acres (2,360 ha) at an elevation of 2,543 feet (775 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways with concrete surfaces: 4/22 is 12,001 by 150 feet (3,658 x 46 m); 7/25 is 12,002 by 200 feet (3,658 x 61 m); 72/252 is 6,000 by 75 feet (1,829 x 23 m).
On February 1, 1991, USAir Flight 1493, a Boeing 737 landing on Runway 24L at LAX, collided upon touchdown with a SkyWest Airlines Fairchild Metroliner, Flight 5569 departing to Palmdale Regional Airport, that had been holding in position on the same runway. The collision killed all 12 occupants of the SkyWest plane and 22 persons aboard the USAir 737.
- FAA Airport Master Record for PMD ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "United Airlines selected for Palmdale-Frisco service". LA Daily News. February 2, 2007.
- "L.A. Area Airport Totals for 2007". Long Beach Press Telegram. January 30, 2008.
- "LA/Palmdale Regional Airport To Double Air Service In September". News Release. Los Angeles World Airports. June 18, 2008.
- Palmdale Aviation & Aerospace Commission
- Aerial image as of June 1994 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for PMD, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: