La Junta Municipal Airport

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La Junta Municipal Airport
(former La Junta Army Air Field)
La Junta Municipal Airport CO 2006 USGS.jpg
IATA: noneICAO: KLHXFAA LID: LHX
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner City of La Junta
Serves La Junta, Colorado
Location Otero County, Colorado
Elevation AMSL 4,229 ft / 1,289 m
Coordinates 38°03′00″N 103°30′35″W / 38.05000°N 103.50972°W / 38.05000; -103.50972Coordinates: 38°03′00″N 103°30′35″W / 38.05000°N 103.50972°W / 38.05000; -103.50972
Map
LHX is located in Colorado
LHX
LHX
Location of airport in Colorado
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 6,849 2,088 Asphalt
12/30 5,803 1,769 Asphalt/Concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 145 44 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations 6,900
Based aircraft 15

La Junta Municipal Airport (ICAO: KLHXFAA LID: LHX) is a city owned, public use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) north of the central business district of La Junta, a city in Otero County, Colorado, United States.[1] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.[2]

Although many U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned LHX by the FAA[1] but has no designation from the IATA.[3][4]

La Junta Municipal Airport in April 2008 as seen from an altitude of 9500ft MSL
Former La Junta AAF's Arlingtion Auxiliary Airfield #4: high view from the SW corner of the triangular runway looking WNW, 2006
Arlington Auxiliary Airfield #4: E/W runway looking west, notice runway asphalt and vegetation changes along runway, 2006

History[edit]

The history of La Junta Municipal Airport begins in 1935 with initial development by the Civil Aeronautics Authority. In 1940, the War Department leased the facility for civilian pilot training of British RAF and Royal Canadian Air Force pilots in 4-engine aircraft.

In 1942, the airport was taken over by the United States Army Air Forces and assigned to the Western Flying Training Command (WFTC) and the airfield was expanded to accommodate a large number of aircraft and training flights. Three asphalt runways were constructed in a triangle layout, 8000x150 (NE/SW), 8000x150 (E/W), 8000x150 (NW/SE) along with a large aircraft parking apron, taxiways, landing aids and several large aircraft hangars. In addition, four auxiliary airfields were constructed to accommodate training flights and emergency landings:

La Junta Army Airfield was activated on November 2, 1942 and was designated as an advanced twin-engine flying school under the jurisdiction of the 83d Flying Training Wing (Advanced, Twin-Engine), Douglas Army Airfield, Arizona. It operated B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bombers and Cessna AT-17, Curtiss AT-9 twin-engine, and BT-15 Valiant and BT-13 Valiant single-engined trainers.

In March 1944, the Advanced Twin Engine School was re-designated as the 402d Army Air Force Base Unit. In March 1945, the unit was re-designated as the 249th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Army Air Forces Pilot School, Specialized Four Engine) and jurisdiction was transferred to Second Air Force in June. The mission of La Junta AAF then became the training of replacement heavy bomber pilots in AT-17 Flying Fortress trainers for eventual assignment to B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.

The 50th and 358th Fighter groups were assigned to La Junta in late 1945 (August - November) for inactivation.

La Junta AAF received notice from Second Air Force that it would be inactivated on 28 February 1946 and it was returned to the local government for civil airport use following its closure.[5]

More airport, city, and county history can obtained from the Otero Museum and the Otero County Historical Society.[6]

La Junta Municipal Airport was used as a filming location for the 1973 film by Terrence Malick titled Badlands.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

La Junta Municipal Airport covers an area of 4,200 acres (1,700 ha) at an elevation of 4,229 feet (1,289 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 8/26 is 6,849 by 75 feet (2,088 x 23 m) with an asphalt surface and 12/30 is 5,803 by 60 feet (1,769 x 18 m) with an asphalt/concrete surface. It also has one helipad designated H1 with an asphalt surface measuring 145 by 145 feet (44 x 44 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 6,900 aircraft operations, an average of 18 per day: 95% general aviation and 5% military. At that time there were 15 single-engine aircraft based at this airport.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for LHX (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "La Junta Municipal Airport (IATA: none, ICAO: KLHX, FAA: LHX)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (LHX)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ Thole, Lou (1999), Forgotten Fields of America
  6. ^ Otero Museum

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Bibliography
  • 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
  • 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
  • Thole, Lou (1999), Forgotten Fields of America : World War II Bases and Training, Then and Now - Vol. 2. Publisher: Pictorial Histories Pub, ISBN 1-57510-051-7

External links[edit]

Historic links