McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport
|McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport|
|USGS 1997 orthophoto|
|IATA: MKL – ICAO: KMKL – FAA LID: MKL|
|Owner||City of Jackson & Madison County|
|Elevation AMSL||434 ft / 132 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (IATA: MKL, ICAO: KMKL, FAA LID: MKL) is a public use airport located four nautical miles (5 mi, 7 km) west of the central business district of Jackson, a city in Madison County, Tennessee, United States. It is owned by the city and county. The airport is mostly used for general aviation, but is also served by one commercial airline, subsidized by the Essential Air Service program. SeaPort Airlines began its services to Memphis and Nashville on January 22, 2012.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 134 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 1,502 enplanements in 2009, and 2,545 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation airport based on 2008/2009 enplanements (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).
The airport is also known as McKellar Field. It opened in 1942 and was assigned to the United States Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center (later the Eastern Flying Training Command) as a primary (level 1) pilot training airfield. There were also two local axillary airfields for emergency and overflow landings.
The airfield began training flying cadets under contract to Georgia Air Services, Inc. Flying training was performed with Fairchild PT-19s as the primary trainer. It also had several PT-17 Stearmans assigned.
The facility was inactivated on 16 October 1944 with the drawdown of AAFTC's pilot training program. It was declared surplus and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers on 30 September 1945. Eventually it was discharged to the War Assets Administration (WAA) and became a civil airport.
McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport is named in memory of the late Kenneth Douglas McKellar (1869–1957), a U.S. senator from Tennessee; and Major Robert Ray "Buster" Sipes, an Air Force pilot from Jackson who was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1969. Sipes is buried at the Shiloh National Military Park cemetery.
Major Sipes was killed in action during the Vietnam War but he was killed when his F-101 Voodoo crashed after takeoff from RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England. He was a USAF test pilot. A plaque can be found in the Church of St Peter & St Paul at Steeple Aston to remember Major Robert Sipes.
Facilities and aircraft 
McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport covers an area of 807 acres (327 ha) at an elevation of 434 feet (132 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 2/20 is 6,006 by 150 feet (1,831 x 46 m) and 11/29 is 3,538 by 100 feet (1,078 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending March 30, 2011, the airport had 20,322 aircraft operations, an average of 55 per day: 85% general aviation, 10% military, 5% air taxi, and <1% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 48 aircraft based at this airport: 50% single-engine, 25% multi-engine, 4% jet, 4% helicopter, and 17% military.
Airlines and destinations 
The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:
|SeaPort Airlines||Memphis, Nashville|
See also 
- FAA Airport Master Record for MKL ( 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.
Other sources 
- 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
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-2000-7857) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2005-6-14: reselecting RegionsAir, Inc. d/b/a American Connection, formerly known as Corporate Airlines, to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at each of the above communities (Burlington, IA; Cape Girardeau, MO; Ft. Leonard Wood, MO; Jackson, TN; Marion/Herrin, IL; Owensboro, KY; Kirksville, MO) for a new two-year period from June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2007, for a combined annual subsidy of $7,306,249. Also by this order, the Department is terminating the show-cause proceeding tentatively terminating subsidy at Kirksville, Missouri, as RegionsAir's selected proposal is below the $200-per-passenger cap.
- Order 2007-3-5: selecting Big Sky Transportation Co., d/b/a Big Sky Airlines, and Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd. to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at the above communities (Burlington, IA; Cape Girardeau, MO; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Jackson, TN; Marion/Herrin, IL, Owensboro, KY) for the two-year period from June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2009, using 19-seat Beech 1900D turboprop aircraft as follows: Big Sky at Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Owensboro for a combined annual subsidy of $3,247,440; and Great Lakes at Burlington, Fort Leonard Wood, and Marion/Herrin for a combined annual subsidy of $2,590,461.
- Order 2008-2-1: selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd. to provide subsidized essential air service at Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee and Owensboro, Kentucky for the two-year period beginning when the carrier starts full EAS at all three communities.
- Order 2009-6-17: selecting Pacific Wings, LLC to provide essential air service (EAS) at Owensboro, Kentucky, and Jackson, Tennessee, at a combined annual subsidy rate of $2,294,401 ($1,068,773 for Owensboro and $1,225,628 for Jackson), for a two-year period1 beginning when Pacific Wings inaugurates service.
- Order 2011-12-15: selecting SeaPort Airlines, Inc. to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Jackson, Tennessee, for a one-year period. The one-year period will begin when SeaPort inaugurates full EAS and will run through the end of the 12th month thereafter. This selection of SeaPort will provide Jackson with 12 nonstop round trips per week to Nashville International Airport (“Nashville”) and 6 nonstop round trips per week to Memphis International Airport (“Memphis”) using 9-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft at an annual subsidy rate of $1,149,703.
- McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport, official web site
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MKL, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: