|IATA: IYK – ICAO: KIYK – FAA LID: IYK|
|Owner||Indian Wells Valley
|Elevation AMSL||2,457 ft / 749 m|
|Sources: airport web site and FAA|
Inyokern Airport (IATA: IYK, ICAO: KIYK, FAA LID: IYK) is a public use airport located one nautical mile (2 km) northwest of the central business district of Inyokern, in Kern County, California, United States. It is owned by the Indian Wells Valley Airport District and serves the Indian Wells Valley area. The airport is mostly used for general aviation.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 11,149 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 11,081 enplanements in 2009, and 11,109 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).
The Inyokern Airport Dragstrip opened in 1954, and was the second oldest continuously operating dragstrip in the United States, behind Thornhill Dragstrip in Kenton, KY which opened in 1953. The drag strip closed during the 2005 season due to new Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Beginning in the 1950s, regular glider records were set out of Inyokern in various sources of lift. Due to its location on the lee side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, it is an excellent location for altitude records in wave conditions or distance and speed records in thermal lift. It is a challenging location, as the winds change frequently, but with three long runways pilots generally have a variety of options for launch and landing. Many well known pilots have flown gliders out of Inyokern, including Neal Armstrong, Paul Bikle, and Steve Fossett.
Presently Inyokern Airport is the home to Sierra Soaring Club, which operates a Cessna 182 for towing gliders, a Blanik L-23 for rides and instruction, and a Schweizer 1-35 and Standard Cirrus for wave flights and cross country soaring.
In the wake of the drag strip's closing, the airport has been actively promoting its use for film shoots, with the Ridgecrest Regional Film Commission marketing it (Runway 28) as "the region's #1 filming location". A notable example of this new use is a television advertisement titled "Gravity", for the Lexus IS. The airdrop "target" featured in the commercial, where the falling automobile hits the ground, was painted on the old drag strip; however, many of the vehicle shots preceding the car drop actually feature the Lexus rolling down runway 20. Other notable automotive television ads shot here include most spots from Saab's "Born from Jets" campaign, as well as spots for Volkswagen, Volvo, Cadillac, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet, just to name a few.
Facilities and aircraft
Inyokern Airport covers an area of 1,640 acres (664 ha) at an elevation of 2,457 feet (749 m) above mean sea level. It has three asphalt paved runways: 15/33 is 7,100 by 75 feet (2,164 x 23 m), 2/20 is 6,275 by 75 feet (1,913 x 23 m), and 10/28 is 4,150 by 75 feet (1,265 x 23 m).
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 28,573 aircraft operations, an average of 78 per day: 80% general aviation, 10% military, 6% air taxi, and 5% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 117 aircraft based at this airport: 84% single-engine, 9% multi-engine, 5% glider, and 3% ultralight.
- Indian Wells Valley Airport District - Inyokern Airport
- FAA Airport Master Record for IYK ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Inyokern Dragstrip at North American Motorsports Pages
- Filming at Inyokern Airport
- RACVB - Local Film commissions Host Location Pros (10/25/01)
- Video: Lexus IS "Gravity" commercial
- Inyokern Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of May 1994 from USGS The National Map
- FAA Terminal Procedures for IYK, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: