Cavern City Air Terminal

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Cavern City Air Terminal
(former Carlsbad Army Airfield)
Cavern City Air Terminal - New Mexico.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner City of Carlsbad
Serves Carlsbad, New Mexico
Elevation AMSL 3,295 ft / 1,004 m
Coordinates 32°20′15″N 104°15′48″W / 32.33750°N 104.26333°W / 32.33750; -104.26333Coordinates: 32°20′15″N 104°15′48″W / 32.33750°N 104.26333°W / 32.33750; -104.26333
CNM is located in New Mexico
Location of airport in New Mexico
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 7,854 2,394 Asphalt
14L/32R 4,616 1,407 Asphalt
14R/32L 5,837 1,779 Asphalt
8/26 5,334 1,626 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Aircraft operations 6,862
Based aircraft 24

Cavern City Air Terminal (IATA: CNMICAO: KCNMFAA LID: CNM) is a public use airport in Eddy County, New Mexico, United States.[1] It is owned by the city of Carlsbad and located five nautical miles (6 mi, 9 km) southwest of its central business district.[1] The airport is served by one commercial airline, with scheduled passenger service subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 2,207 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[2] 3,417 enplanements in 2009, and 2,606 in 2010.[3] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).[4]


AAF Bombardier School patch, 1943

Established by the United States Army Air Corps in 1942 as Carlsbad Army Airfield, the facility was activated on October 12, 1942. Assigned to United States Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center (later Western Training Command) as an advanced (level 3) twin-engine training airfield. Began training flying cadets under the 940th Two-Engine Flying Training Detachment. Had a local axillary airfield for emergency and overflow landings.

The twin-engine school was replaced by Bombardier's School in mid-1942. Bombardier school lasted from 12 to 18 weeks during which a student dropped approximately 160 bombs, both in daytime and at night. Precise records were maintained of his hits and misses; the elimination rate was 12%. Upon graduation, a bombardier was transferred to an operational Second or Third Air Force training unit to join a crew being trained for overseas duty. The bombardier trainer used was the Beech AT-11 Kansan.

Inactivated on September 30, 1945 at the end of World War II and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers. Eventually discharged to the War Assets Administration (WAA) and became a civil airport.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Cavern City Air Terminal covers an area of 1,980 acres (801 ha) at an elevation of 3,295 feet (1,004 m) above mean sea level. It has four runways with asphalt surfaces: 3/21 is 7,854 by 150 feet (2,394 x 46 m); 14L/32R is 4,616 by 150 feet (1,407 x 46 m); 14R/32L is 5,837 by 100 feet (1,779 x 30 m); 8/26 is 5,334 by 75 feet (1,626 x 23 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending July 30, 2009, the airport had 6,862 aircraft operations, an average of 18 per day: 53% general aviation, 39% scheduled commercial, 4% air taxi, and 4% military. At that time there were 24 aircraft based at this airport: 67% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, and 12% helicopter.[1]

Airline and destinations[edit]

The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Boutique Air Albuquerque, Dallas/Fort Worth (both begin June 1, 2015)
Pacific Wings operated by New Mexico Airlines Albuquerque (ends May 31, 2015)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for CNM (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 

Other sources[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

External links[edit]