Fresno Chandler Executive Airport

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Fresno Chandler Executive Airport
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport logo.png
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport - California.jpg
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport, 2006 aerial photo
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Fresno
OperatorCity of Fresno Airports Division
ServesFresno, California
Elevation AMSL279 ft / 85 m
Coordinates36°43′56″N 119°49′13″W / 36.73222°N 119.82028°W / 36.73222; -119.82028Coordinates: 36°43′56″N 119°49′13″W / 36.73222°N 119.82028°W / 36.73222; -119.82028
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
KFCH is located in California
Location of Fresno Chandler Executive Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 3,627 1,106 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations24,885
Based aircraft124

Fresno Chandler Executive Airport (IATA: FCH, ICAO: KFCH, FAA LID: FCH) is a public use airport 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the central business district of Fresno, California, United States. It is owned by the City of Fresno and managed by the city’s Airports Division.[2]

Chandler Airport opened in November 1929 and served as Fresno’s primary airport for civil and commercial aviation until 1948.

Today, Chandler is mostly used by general aviation aircraft and is a designated as a reliever airport for the larger Fresno Yosemite International Airport, located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast which is served by commercial airlines.

Sierra Sky Park Airport, a privately owned airport open to the public, that also serves general aviation aircraft, is located 8 miles (13 km) north.


Fresno Chandler Executive Airport is one of the oldest operational airports in California. Its history stretches back to the end of World War I. At the time, there were no facilities for aviation in the Fresno area. Recognizing the problem, husband and wife Wilber F. Chandler and Edna Maria Goble allowed pilots to take off and land in their fields once the crops were harvested.[3] Pilots called the site "Chandler Field."

Efforts to raise funds for a permanent aviation field in Fresno started in the early 1920s. One notable fundraiser was the "World's Greatest Aerial Circus" held at the Chandler farm on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day 1923, featuring races, parachute jumps and dual wing walking.[4]

In 1929, the Chandler family donated 100 acres of land to the city to be used as a public-use airfield. The site was named after the family and opened as Chandler Air Field in November 1929.[5] The airport was used by both civil and commercial aviation.

On March 23, 1930, Charles Lindbergh and his wife landed briefly at the airport and were greeted by a crowd of 20,000.[3]

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) funded the construction of the airport terminal and administration building along with other support buildings in 1936.[6] As of 2022, the building still stands and remains in active use. It is considered to be one of the most intact WPA funded airports in the United States.[7] The WPA also extended Chandler's runway to 4,000 feet in 1938.[3] However, despite the investments, it was already clear that the small facility would not be able to accommodate the increasingly larger airplanes used by the commercial airlines.

In early 1941, shortly before the United States officially entered World War II, the United States Army Air Corps Southwest Air District took over the airport while nearby Hammer Field was being built. Hammer Field opened in June 1942 and all military activity moved there.

After the end of the war, Hammer Field was inactivated by the Army Air Forces, and in 1946 the War Assets Administration reallocated the property to the city of Fresno. The now civilian airport re-opened in 1948 as the Fresno Air Terminal (FAT) (it has since been renamed the Fresno Yosemite International Airport). Trans World Airlines (TWA) and United Airlines flights to San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles moved from Chandler Field to the newly opened airport.

After the move, Chandler Airport was designated as a reliever airport for Fresno Yosemite International Airport and has been marketed as an executive airport located closer to Downtown Fresno.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Fresno Chandler Executive Airport covers 200 acres (81 ha) at an elevation of 279 feet (85 m) above mean sea level. It has one asphalt paved runway designated 12/30 that is 3,630 by 75 feet (1,106 by 23 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending May 9, 2017 the airport had 24,885 general aviation aircraft operations, an average of 68 per day. At that time there were 124 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 7% ultralight, 6% multi-engine, 4% helicopter, and 1% jet.[1]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for FCH PDF, effective December 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Inc., CGH Technologies. "FRESNO CHANDLER EXECUTIVE". Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Fresno Chandler Executive Airport Website". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  4. ^ "Chandler Field/Fresno Municipal Airport Historic District". Historic Fresno. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  5. ^ "Fresno Airports Master Plan - Chandler". Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Hunter, Pat; Stevens, Janice (September 2007). Fresno's Architectural Past: Volume II. Craven Street Books. ISBN 9780941936972.
  7. ^ Stiles, Elaine B. (2008). "The New Deal Fresno Walking Tour and Guide" (PDF). City of Fresno. City of Fresno Historic Preservation Program. Retrieved August 28, 2022.

External links[edit]