Alamogordo–White Sands Regional Airport
|Alamogordo–White Sands Regional Airport|
Airport terminal building
|Owner||City of Alamogordo|
|Serves||Alamogordo, New Mexico|
|Elevation AMSL||4,200 ft / 1,280 m|
Alamogordo–White Sands Regional Airport (IATA: ALM, ICAO: KALM, FAA LID: ALM) is a city-owned public-use airport located four nautical miles (5 mi, 7 km) southwest of the central business district of Alamogordo, a city in Otero County, New Mexico, United States. It was formerly known as Alamogordo Municipal Airport.
The airport does not presently have any commercial air service. New Mexico Airlines discontinued service to the airport on April 1, 2012 after the airport lost eligibility for subsidies through the Essential Air Service program.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 414 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 505 enplanements in 2009, and 369 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation airport (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).
Facilities and aircraft
Alamogordo–White Sands Regional Airport covers an area of 1,465 acres (593 ha) at an elevation of 4,200 feet (1,280 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 4/22 is 9,207 by 150 feet (2,135 x 46 m) with an asphalt surface; 16/34 is 3,512 by 200 feet (1,070 x 61 m) with a dirt surface.
For the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009, the airport had 34,460 aircraft operations, an average of 94 per day: 93% general aviation, 5% air taxi, and 2% military. At that time there were 86 aircraft based at this airport: 88% single-engine, 1% multi-engine, 1% jet, 1% helicopter, 6% glider, and 2% ultralight.
The airport installed an 8-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array in November 2008, using a $100,000 grant from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. The system is estimated to save the airport $100 to $300 per month, and after 2012 when new buyback rate go into effect that amount may rise to $300 to $500 per month in electric costs savings.
Historical airline service
Continental Airlines provided the first commercial air service to Alamogordo in 1955 by having their Douglas DC-3 flights between El Paso and Albuquerque make a stop at the airport. During the late 1950s, the aircraft were upgraded to the Convair 340 followed by the four-engine Vickers Viscount turbo prop in 1959. Air service was shifted to Holloman Air Force Base in 1957 but back to the White Sands airport a few years later. As Continental was growing into a large airline, service was transferred to Frontier Airlines in 1963. Frontier began flights on the same routing with the 50-seat Convair 580 aircraft however the El Paso flights were later dropped. In the late 1970s, two small commuter airlines began service, Zia Airlines with flights to Albuquerque and Airways of New Mexico to El Paso. By late 1979, Frontier was in the midst of becoming an all jet airline and discontinued its service leaving it to the commuter airlines. Zia ceased operating in early 1980 and Air Midwest began flights to Albuquerque with Swearingen Metroliner aircraft later that year. Airways of New Mexico also began flights to Albuquerque and Air Midwest ended their service a year later. Airways of New Mexico ceased operating in 1985 at which time Mesa Airlines began service with Beechcraft 99 and Beechcraft 1900 airliners. JetAire, a new commuter airline, also served the Alamogordo to Albuquerque market for a few months in 1985 and for two months in the spring of 1987, Trans Colorado Airlines, operating as Continental Express, provided flights to El Paso using Swearingen Metroliners. Another short-lived commuter airline, Air Ruidoso, briefly provided flights to Albuquerque and El Paso in the spring of 1988. Mesa's service to Albuquerque continued until 2002 when Rio Grande Air was awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract for subsidized flying to smaller cities. Two years later Rio Grande Air ceased operations and the EAS contract was then awarded to Westward Airlines which only operated for a few months in 2005 before suspending operations as well. The contract was then given to Valley Air Express but this airline was still on the drawing board and never got off the ground. Mesa Airlines was then ordered to return to Alamogordo until early 2008 when Pacific Wings, dba New Mexico Airlines, began service using 9-seat Cessna 208 Caravans. The Caravans's are unpressurized and a much smaller and slower type of aircraft and passenger traffic dwindled causing the EAS subsidies to be cancelled in 2012. New Mexico Airlines ended their flights and the city has not seen airline service since.
- FAA Airport Master Record for ALM ( 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)" (PDF). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
- Österreich, Elva K. (December 17, 2008). "Alamogordo airport first to install solar support". Alamogordo Daily News. pp. 1A, 6A. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008.
- Timetables from the airlines that have served Alamogordo
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-1996-1901) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2002-4-18 (April 25, 2002): selecting Rio Grande Air to provide subsidized basic essential air service for a two-year period at Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for an annual subsidy rate of $849,235.
- Order 2004-10-9 (October 21, 2004): selecting Westward Airways, Inc., to provide essential air service with nine-passenger Pilatus PC-12 aircraft at Alamogardo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for two years at an annual subsidy rate of $518,870.
- Order 2005-10-16 (October 21, 2005): selecting Valley Air Express, Inc., to provide essential air service with nine-passenger, twin-engine aircraft at Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for two years at an annual subsidy rate of $592,170.
- Order 2006-5-24 (June 1, 2006): tentatively selects Mesa Air Group, Inc. d/b/a Air Midwest to provide essential air service (EAS) with 19-passenger Beech 1900D aircraft at Alamogordo, New Mexico, for two years, beginning when the carrier inaugurates service. The annual subsidy rate will be set at $717,506.
- Order 2007-6-13 (June 18, 2007): prohibiting Air Midwest, Inc., from suspending service and requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing replacement essential air service (EAS) at all of the captioned communities listed in this order (Roswell, NM; Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, NM; Cedar City, UT; Moab, UT; Vernal, UT; Ely, NV; Merced, CA; Visalia, CA).
- Order 2007-9-29 (October 1, 2007): selecting Pacific Wings L.L.C., d/b/a New Mexico Airlines, to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) with 9-seat Cessna Grand Caravan (C-208B) turboprop aircraft at Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for the two-year period beginning when the carrier inaugurates full service, for an annual subsidy rate of $994,623.
- Order 2009-11-14 (November 19, 2009): re-selecting Pacific Wings L.L.C., d/b/a New Mexico Airlines (New Mexico Airlines), to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) with 9-seat Cessna Grand Caravan (C-208B) turboprop aircraft at Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for the two-year period beginning January 1, 2010, for an annual subsidy rate of $1,169,337.
- Tentative Order 2011-12-8 (December 16, 2011): directing interested persons to show cause why the Department should not terminate the eligibility of Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and allow Pacific Wings L.L.C., d/b/a New Mexico Airlines, to suspend service at the community. New Mexico Airlines was the only air carrier to submit a proposal in response to Order 2011-7-2 and would continue to provide 12 weekly nonstop round trips each week between the community and Albuquerque, utilizing nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan (C-208B) turboprop aircraft, for an annual subsidy rate of $1,187,531. Public Law 112-27, signed into law on August 5, 2011, amended the definition of “eligible place” for the purpose of receiving EAS. See 49 U.S.C. § 41731. The amendment, among other things, states that to be eligible, a community must have had an average subsidy per passenger of less than $1,000 during the most recent fiscal year, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation.
- Final Order 2012-2-14 (February 17, 2012): terminating the eligibility of Alamogordo/Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico (Alamogordo), under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program; and allowing Pacific Wings L.L.C., d/b/a New Mexico Airlines, to suspend service at the community, if it chooses.
- City of Alamogordo
- Aerial image as of October 1996 from USGS The National Map
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ALM, effective June 21, 2018
- Resources for this airport: