Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport
|Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport
(formerly Barnes Municipal Airport)
|Owner||City of Westfield|
|Serves||Westfield / Springfield, Massachusetts|
|Elevation AMSL||270 ft / 82 m|
Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport (IATA: BAF, ICAO: KBAF, FAA LID: BAF) is a public/military airport in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. It is owned by the City of Westfield and is three miles (6 km) north of it. The airport is northwest of the larger city of Springfield. Formerly known as Barnes Municipal Airport, it is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility. Westfield-Barnes is one of Massachusetts' largest airports with a strong flight training, general aviation, and military presence.
July 13, 1914 can be the date upon which aviation came to Westfield. Jack McGee of Pawtucket, Rhode Island flew a Wright biplane over Westfield and the flight originated on a strip of land near Southampton Road and the Holyoke Rail Bridge. McGee was hired by local merchants to drop tickets from his airplane which could have been claimed for prizes.
Following the entry of the United States into World War I, however, the expansive plain was heavily utilized by the federal government in August–September 1917 as Camp Bartlett, a mobilization and training camp for the 103rd and 104th Infantry Regiments of the 26th "Yankee" Division, prior to deployment in France.
In 1923 citizens of Westfield, and nearby Holyoke set out to build an airport. A group of influential local businessmen was charged to convince the owner of the land where the airport is now, Vincent E. Barnes, to sell his land to the City of Westfield for an airport. Barnes agreed to give up his land and he didn't ask for any money from the city or the businessmen. The 27-acre (110,000 m2) plot was named Westfield Aviation Field and was dedicated on October 12, 1923. However, as the field gained in popularity, Vincent Barnes leased the city another 27-acre (110,000 m2) plot, with only a fee of $1 per year starting in 1927. In 1936, Mrs. Barnes and her daughter Saddie Knox donated an additional 297 acres (1.2 km²) to the city of Westfield. Shortly thereafter, the City Council voted to name the airport after the family who made it possible, Barnes.
Between 1939 and 1940, the administration building, hangar, and the beacon light were built with grant money totaling near $90,000. Soon a passenger service was started. on October 28, 1937, a 10-passenger Stinson Trimotor aircraft began flying between Westfield and Newark, New Jersey. American Airlines DC-3s operated out of Westfield from 1938 until 1950.
Over the last 50 years the airport has expanded to 1,200 acres, added another runway, 15/33 with a length of 5,000 feet (1,500 m), and made improvements including a VORTAC and an ILS system. In 1974 the Air Traffic Control Tower opened easing traffic congestion.
The airport covers 1,200 acres (5 km²) at an elevation of 270 feet (82 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 2/20 measuring 9,000 by 150 feet (2,743 × 46 m) and 15/33 measuring 5,000 by 100 feet (1,524 × 30 m).
The airport recently opened a new administration and terminal which replaced a terminal that housed the original control tower. It is also the site of a major Massachusetts Air National Guard fighter jet wing and support installation.
Barnes Regional Airport has one fixed-base operator (FBOs).
Rectrix Aviation is the newest FBO, operating in the new terminal building which includes a conference room, weather facilities, and comprehensive pilot services. They sell Shell fuel and provide all typical FBO services. In late 2015, Rectrix bought out Five Star Jet Center, a former competitor and previously longest standing FBO on the field. Rectrix is now the sole FBO at Barnes.
Barnes Regional Airport has two FAA-approved flight schools.
The largest program is an official part 141 flight school named Westfield Flight Academy. The flight school offers instruction in four Cessna 172s, a Cessna 172 Cutlass RG, two Piper Cherokees, and a Piper Seneca. It is run by a current JetBlue Airways pilot and a Springfield attorney.
In addition, AD-UP Aviation operates a part 61 flight school out of the new terminal building. The school is run by a Master Certified Flight instructor, one of fewer than a dozen in Massachusetts. Instruction is given in high-wing, tail-dragger, and spin training.
Restaurant and bar
The former Flight Deck restaurant was replaced with The Runway Restaurant and Lounge when the new terminal opened. The Runway was operated by the owner of the now-closed B'Sharas Restaurant of West Springfield. It featured a full menu and bar. The Runway, like most of the terminal, was open to the public.
The Runway restaurant closed in early 2015 and the space is now occupied by Papps Bar and Grill which features a full bar, outside seating on the observation deck during warm weather months, and indoor casual dining facing the ramp and runways.
- FAA Airport Master Record for BAF ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 30, 2013.
- Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport. Official site. Accessed June 5, 2013.
- "Airline and Airport Code Search (BAF: Westfield / Barnes)". International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "KBAF – Barnes Municipal Airport". FAA data republished by AirNav. Effective September 20, 2012. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Check date values in:
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. External link in
- Albertine, Connell, The Yankee Doughboy, The Branden Press, Inc., 1968, pp. 19-24.
- Westfield-Barnes Airport (official site)
- 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard
- Five Star Jet Center (FBO/Flight School)
- AirFlyte, Inc. (FBO)
- AD-UP Aviation (Flight School/Aerial Advertising)
- The Runway by B'Sharas (Restaurant and Bar)
- Aerial image as of April 2001 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective March 2, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BAF, effective March 2, 2017
- Resources for this airport: