Midland International Airport
|Midland International Airport
Midland Army Airfield
|2006 USGS airphoto|
|IATA: MAF – ICAO: KMAF – FAA LID: MAF|
|Operator||City of Midland|
|Location||Midland County, between Midland and Odessa, Texas, USA|
|Elevation AMSL||2,871 ft / 875 m|
|Sources: airport website and FAA|
Midland International Airport (IATA: MAF, ICAO: KMAF, FAA LID: MAF) is a city-owned public-use airport located eight nautical miles (15 km) southwest of the central business district of Midland, a city in Midland County, Texas, United States. The airport is also northeast of central Odessa.
Midland International Airport is the 9th busiest airport in Texas. Since 1991 it has been the headquarters of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and the American Airpower Heritage Museum. The airport has four airlines, three of which serve hubs with regional jets, and one that offers mainline jet service to various destinations. Southwest Airlines is the largest carrier at the airport. In 2012, 497,193 total passengers were enplaned. Midland International is one of only three international airports in Texas (including Dallas Fort-Worth International and Houston’s Bush Intercontinental) that has 4 Asphalt runways.
Midland International Airport was originally Sloan Field, a small airport started in 1927 by Samuel Addison Sloan. Sloan leased 220 acres of flat grassland from Clarence Scharbauer, a rancher. Sam Sloan was killed in 1929 and his brother, William Harvey Sloan continued the operation. In 1939 Harvey Sloan sold the Field to the City of Midland for $14,500.
Prominent businessmen in Midland could foresee the possibility of a military base in West Texas and in 1940 they started promoting the airport for use as a training base to the military establishment in Washington. Work was done by the Works Progress Administration with more runway and taxiway improvements, as well as airfield lighting. A visit by Brigadier General G.C. Brant, Commander of the Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center at Randolph Field was made and he reported that the situation at Midland was very favorable. On June 13, 1941, it was announced that Midland would become a training base to be named Midland Army Air Field
World War II
- see: Midland Army Airfield for a expanded World War II history of the airport
Midland Army Air Field was the home of the Army Air Forces Bombardier School, one of a dozen bombardier-training schools. It was one of the "West Texas Bombardier Quadrangle" schools of the Army Air Forces Training Command. The other bases in the quad were Childress Army Airfield, San Angelo Army Airfield and Big Spring Army Airfield. The sole purpose of the Bombardier College was to train young men to use the bombsight invented by Carl Norden.
The first group of cadets, Class 42–6, arrived for training from Ellington, Texas, on February 6, 1942. Midland reached a peak base population of more than 4,000 and graduated a total of 6,627 bombardier officers before all training ceased on January 1, 1946.
Postwar Civil use
Midland-Odessa Regional Airport (MAF) opened its new passenger terminal in the early 1960s. At the time, MAF was served by Continental and Trans-Texas, both of whom operated popular point-to-point services linking West Texas towns.
The terminal was identified by its scalloped roofline, which allowed a column-free interior. All services - ticketing, baggage claim and concessions, were located inside the building, and a single departure lounge opened up onto the apron. Continental and Trans-Texas both introduced DC9 jet flights in the late 1960s.
This layout served the airport well until the late 1970s 'oil boom' hit Midland-Odessa. Rapid economic growth in the two cities led to a dramatic increase in flights, by both the incumbent airlines and new-entrant carriers like Southwest Airlines. After airline deregulation in 1978, American and Delta began flights, followed by start-up America West a few years later.
To cope with the rising demand, a new gate area was constructed along the apron. Included in the plan were four second-level gates equipped with jetbridges, concession space, and escalator wells linking the addition to the existing terminal. The south end of the main terminal was extended to include more ticketing space, and the original terminal was modernized (the scalloped roofline was removed).
By the 1990s, several of the new-entrant carriers had pulled out and most of the remaining airlines had downgraded to regional jets. Only Southwest, the airport's largest carrier, operated mainline jet flights.
The terminal building, however, had begun to look tired, and airport officials began planning for a more modern replacement. Construction began on the facility (which would be located in the infield parking lot) in 1996. The first half of the new terminal was opened in early 1999, at which point the 1966 terminal was closed and demolished. The second half of the new terminal was finished in late 1999.
Until the September 11th attacks, everyone was allowed access to the second floor; since then, however, only passengers are allowed past the security checkpoints.
In 2012, the Midland City Council amended a contract allowing three teams of experts, the Midlands International Airport, Parkhill, and Smith & Cooper which will permit them to provide all of the necessary elements to complete a commercial space launch site application. The contract was amended to $628,502. Marv Esterly, the Director of Midlands International Airport has already taken steps with the FAA. When the team has their first meeting in September, they plan to put together a team of consultants and engineering firms to take environmental assessments, baseline noise studies, and sonic boom analysis. The firms included in these studies consist of Blue Ridge Research and Consulting, Cardno TEC and Silverwing Enterprises LLC. The primary purpose of the launch site is to permit XCOR Aerospace to test their highly specialized reusable winged commercial space vehicle. XCOR Aerospace chose to relocate their headquarters to the Midland International Airport which will soon be offering commercial space flights. Moreover, their research & development facility will be located at the airport as part of a $10 million economic development incentive deal.
Facilities and aircraft
- Runway 4/22 measuring: 4,605 x 75 ft (1,404 x 23 m), Surface: Asphalt
- Runway 10/28: 8,302 x 150 ft (2,530 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
- Runway 16L/34R: 4,339 x 100 ft (1,323 x 30 m), Surface: Asphalt
- Runway 16R/34L: 9,501 x 150 ft (2,896 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
For the 12-month period ending February 29, 2008, the airport had 86,384 aircraft operations, an average of 237 per day: 39% military, 34% general aviation, 16% air taxi and 11% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 78 aircraft based at this airport: 39% single-engine, 47% multi-engine, 12% jet and 2% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
|American Eagle operated by American Eagle Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Southwest Airlines||Dallas-Love, Houston-Hobby, Las Vegas|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Denver, Houston-Intercontinental|
|3||Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||86,000||American|
|5||Las Vegas, NV||45,000||Southwest|
- Midland International Airport, official site
- FAA Airport Master Record for MAF ( PDF), effective 2008-06-05
- Official website
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MAF, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: