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Cortez Municipal Airport (IATA: CEZ, ICAO: KCEZ, FAA LID: CEZ) (Montezuma County Airport) is three miles southwest of Cortez, in Montezuma County, Colorado.[1] It sees one airline, Boutique Air, subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

Cortez Municipal Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Cortez
ServesCortez, Colorado
Elevation AMSL5,918 ft / 1,804 m
Coordinates37°18′11″N 108°37′41″W / 37.30306°N 108.62806°W / 37.30306; -108.62806Coordinates: 37°18′11″N 108°37′41″W / 37.30306°N 108.62806°W / 37.30306; -108.62806
WebsiteCEZ Website
CEZ is located in Colorado
CEZ is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 7,205 2,196 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations12,036
Based aircraft36

Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 8,401 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[2] 7,698 in 2009 and 6,342 in 2010.[3] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport (between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year).[4]

Its first airline flights were Monarch DC-3s in 1949; successor Frontier pulled out its Convair 580s in 1982.



Cortez Municipal Airport covers 622 acres (252 ha) at an elevation of 5,918 feet (1,804 m). Its one runway, 3/21, is 7,205 by 100 feet (2,196 x 30 m) asphalt.[1]

In 2011 the airport had 12,036 aircraft operations, average 32 per day: 83% general aviation, 17% air taxi, and <1% military. 36 aircraft were then based at the airport: 81% single-engine, 6% multi-engine, and 14% ultralight.[1] The airport is an uncontrolled airport having no control tower.[5]


Scheduled passenger service:

Boutique Air Denver, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Telluride (begins July 1)

Miracle at CortezEdit

A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft made an emergency nighttime forced landing August 3, 1959, at the Cortez Municipal Airport.[6] Major H. Mike Hua (now retired as General)[7] was on a training flight originating at Laughlin AFB, Texas; the U-2 aircraft engine flamed out at 70,000 feet MSL. Maj. Hua established best glide and was able to navigate through a valley to a lighted airport that wasn't on his map nor did he know of its existence beforehand. The airport was the only one in the area with a runway that was lighted overnight.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for CEZ (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). 2011 National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems]. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "1959 "alien landing" was an ROC pilot in a spy plane 「外星人登陸」? U2機台灣駕駛啦!". Taipei Times. February 27, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "2009 Cortez Aviation Heritage Celebration". Cortez Aviation Heritage Society. Retrieved June 12, 2013.

Other sourcesEdit

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-1998-3508) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2006-7-19: selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd. to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Alamosa and Cortez, Colorado for two years, beginning August 1, 2006. Alamosa will receive three nonstop round trips to Denver each weekday and weekend (18 total round trips per week) at an annual subsidy rate of $1,150,268. Cortez will receive three nonstop round trips to Denver each weekday and weekend at an annual subsidy rate of $796,577. Each community will be served with 19-passenger Beech 1900-D aircraft.
    • Order 2008-5-24: reselecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., d/b/a United Express, to provide essential air service (EAS) at annual subsidy rates of $1,853,475 at Alamosa, Colorado, and $1,295,562 at Cortez, through July 31, 2010.
    • Order 2010-7-5: selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., to continue providing subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Alamosa and Cortez, Colorado, for the two-year period beginning August 1, 2010, at the annual subsidy rates of $1,987,155 and $1,847,657, respectively.

External linksEdit