Four Corners Regional Airport
|Four Corners Regional Airport|
|Operator||City of Farmington|
|Location||Farmington, New Mexico|
|Elevation AMSL||5,506 ft / 1,678.2 m|
Four Corners Regional Airport (IATA: FMN, ICAO: KFMN, FAA LID: FMN) is in San Juan County, New Mexico, a mile northwest of Farmington, which owns it. Great Lakes Airlines is the only airline to service the airport, with up to three daily departures to Denver International Airport. 
The airport has free long term parking, four major car rental companies at the terminal, and free WiFi in the terminal area.
Four Corners Regional Airport was primarily served by the original Frontier Airlines and by Mesa Airlines which was founded in Farmington and had its headquarters there for many years before moving to Phoenix. The Farmington airport has also been served by Air Midwest, Aspen Airways, Pioneer Airlines, Trans-Colorado Airlines, Sun West Airlines, Rio Grande Air, America West Express, Continental Express, United Express, American Eagle, and US Airways Express. In the past, the airport was by far the second busiest in the state of New Mexico behind the Albuquerque International Sunport. In terms of 2013 enplanements, it is currently the fifth busiest airport in the state, behind Albuquerque International Sunport, Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Roswell International Air Center, and Lea County Regional Airport serving Hobbs. In recent years most regional airlines have converted to all jet aircraft and Farmington cannot economically handle jets as the airport sits on top of a plateau in which the runways cannot be extended. Therefore, the airport has seen a significant drop in traffic, much of it now utilizing the La Plata County Airport near Durango, Colorado.
Historical airline service
Monarch Airlines was the first air carrier to serve Farmington beginning in 1947 using Douglas DC-3 aircraft on flights to Albuquerque and to Denver and Salt Lake City that made several stops en route. Monarch and two other carriers all merged in 1950 to create the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986).
Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) continued to serve Farmington with DC-3's through the 1950s and added flights to Phoenix making several en route stops as well. In 1958 Frontier created a mini hub at Farmington operating 13 flights per day with as many as five DC-3 aircraft on the ground at one time. Through the 1960s Frontier upgraded their aircraft with Convair 340 piston engine aircraft and later with Convair 580 turboprops. By 1981, Frontier had discontinued all flights to Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City; however, the flights to its Denver hub (with a fuel stop in Durango) were upgraded to Boeing 737-200 jetliners from 1982 through 1984. The Denver flights were then reverted to Convair 580 aircraft operated as Frontier Commuter before all service was discontinued in early 1985.
Aspen Airways first came to Farmington for a period in 1979 and flew Convair 580s nonstop to Denver and Albuquerque. The carrier returned to Farmington in 1983 with flights only to Denver and became a United Express affiliate in 1986. Aspen Airways introduced British Aerospace BAe 146-100 jets between Farmington and Denver with a stop in Durango beginning in 1985 but ended all flights in March, 1990 when the carrier was sold to Mesa Airlines.
Mesa Airlines, founded in Farmington, began in 1980 with service to Albuquerque using small Piper prop aircraft. Beechcraft 99, Beechcraft 1300 and Beechcraft 1900 turboprops were introduced in the mid 1980s and new service to Phoenix was added in 1985. Nonstops to Salt Lake City were also briefly operated in 1988. Flights to Denver began in April, 1990 when Mesa became a United Express affiliate after purchasing certain assets and routes of Aspen Airways. Larger Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 propjets were then acquired. In 1992 Mesa began another affiliation with America West Airlines and the Phoenix flights began operating as America West Express. Flights to Las Vegas were also briefly added and operated as America West Express in the mid 1990s. By this time Mesa was the backbone air carrier at Farmington operating over 30 departures per day at times amongst their three divisions. Mesa's independent flights to Albuquerque operated every hour. The Denver flights were discontinued in 1998 when Mesa lost its United Express affiliation to Great Lakes Airlines. Independent flights operated by Mesa Air to Albuquerque ran through 2007 and the America West Express flights to Phoenix ended in mid 2008. America West Airlines merged with US Airways in late 2007 with the Phoenix flights then being operated by US Airways Express shortly before being discontinued. Mesa has since grown into a much larger air carrier and now operates an all regional jet fleet flying for several major airlines via respective code sharing agreements.
Trans-Colorado Airlines served Farmington from early 1986 through mid 1987 with flights to Denver and Albuquerque. The carrier became a Continental Express affiliate in mid 1986 and operated Convair 580 and Swearingen Metroliner propjets.
American Eagle served Farmington from late 1994 through late 1995 with an eastbound flight to Lubbock and Dallas/Fort Worth and a westbound flight to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Saab 340 and ATR-42 turboprop aircraft were used.
Great Lakes Airlines began serving Farmington in mid 1998 with Beechcraft 1900D flights to Denver. The carrier had received the United Express affiliation formerly held by Mesa Airlines. The United Express affiliation was discontinued in early 2002 but the carrier continues to operate under its own brand. New flights to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles were later added with one stop en route however these flights all operate on a temporary basis.
Other smaller commuter airlines that have served Farmington include:
Pioneer Airlines, first in 1982 with flights to Denver and again for a short period in the summer of 1983 with flights to both Albuquerque and Denver using Swearingen Metroliner and Beechcraft 99 aircraft.
Rio Grande Air briefly served the Four Corners Airport from Albuquerque in 2001 with Cessna 208 Caravan's.
The peak of Farmington's commercial air service occurred in the summer of 1983 when the city was served by six airlines simultaneously with a total of 38 departures per day, three of which were Frontier Airlines Boeing 737 jets. As of October 1, 2015, only Great Lakes was serving the airport with three flights per day using aircraft equipped with only nine seats. Most traffic reportedly now uses the Durango, Colorado airport about 40 miles away.
Facilities and aircraft
- Runway 5/23 – 6,500 x 150 ft (1,981 x 46 m).
- Runway 7/25 – 6,704 x 100 ft (2,043 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending May 31, 2014, the airport had 35,479 aircraft operations, an average of 97 per day: 67% general aviation, 29% air taxi and 4% military. There are 126 aircraft based at this airport: 87% single-engine, 10% multi-engine, 3% jet, and >1% helicopter. The airport has one terminal for all arrivals and departures, as well as one FBO, Atlantic Aviation.
The data below lists annual total aircraft operations from 2009–2013 from the FAA's Air Traffic Activity System. The percent changes indicate an average of −7.52% in aircraft operations per year over the last 5 years.
|Calendar Year||Aircraft Operations||%|
Airline and destinations
|Great Lakes Airlines||Denver|
- Airport Master Record (FAA Form 5010), also available as a printable form (PDF)
- Four Corners Regional Airport (City of Farmington web site)
- FAA Airport Master Record for FMN ( PDF), effective 2007-10-25
- "Quick Takes". Regional Aviation News. June 4, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "COMPANY NEWS; Mesa Air to Buy Aspen Air Routes". The New York Times. December 27, 1989. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- Oestmann, Eric (September 4, 1992). "Airlines to offer lower fares to local passengers". Kingman Daily Miner. Google News Archives. pp. A1, A3. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "Continental has plans to cut jobs, flights". Rome News-Tribune. Google News Archives. August 1, 1991. pp. 9–A. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "Emergency landing made in cornfield". Spokane Chronicle. Google News Archives. January 20, 1989. pp. A6. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- September 15, 1994 Official Airline Guide
- February 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide
- departedflights.com, July 1, 1983 Official Airline Guide
- departedflights.com, December 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide
- Various timetables by all the airlines that have served Farmington
- "Air Traffic Activity System". Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.