Imperial County Airport

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Imperial County Airport

Boley Field
Airport typePublic
OwnerImperial County
ServesImperial / El Centro
LocationImperial County, California
Elevation AMSL-54 ft / -16 m
Coordinates32°50′03″N 115°34′43″W / 32.83417°N 115.57861°W / 32.83417; -115.57861Coordinates: 32°50′03″N 115°34′43″W / 32.83417°N 115.57861°W / 32.83417; -115.57861
IPL is located in California
Location of airport in California
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 5,308 1,618 Asphalt
8/26 4,501 1,372 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations14,589
Based aircraft47

Imperial County Airport (IATA: IPL[2], ICAO: KIPL, FAA LID: IPL) is a county-owned public-use airport in Imperial County, California, United States.[1] Also known as Boley Field,[citation needed] it is mostly used for general aviation, but has scheduled passenger service from one commercial airline. Service is subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

The airport is located one nautical mile (2 km) south of the central business district of Imperial, California,[1] partially in the City of Imperial and partially in an unincorporated area of Imperial County.[3] It serves nearby communities, including El Centro.[4]

As per the Federal Aviation Administration, this airport had 7,061 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[5] 5,641 in 2009, and 4,752 in 2010.[6] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport.[7]

The first scheduled passenger airline flights were operated by Western Airlines with Douglas DC-3s with service beginning during the late 1940s.[8] Western's service was followed by Bonanza Air Lines in the early 1950s also flying DC-3s.[9]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Imperial County Airport covers an area of 370 acres (150 ha) at an elevation of 54 feet (16 m) below mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 14/32 is 5,308 by 100 feet (1,618 x 30 m) and 8/26 is 4,501 by 75 feet (1,372 x 23 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 14,589 aircraft operations, an average of 39 per day: 71% general aviation, 10% scheduled commercial, 2% air taxi, and 17% military. At that time there were 47 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 8.5% multi-engine, and 8.5% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:

Mokulele Airlines Los Angeles

SeaPort Airlines previously operated Cessna 208 Caravan single turboprop engine aircraft on all scheduled flights from the airport. On January 19, 2016, Seaport Airlines announced the cessation of all service within California, citing their inability to find pilots as the reason.


Ameriflight Ontario
FedEx Feeder
operated by West Air

Historical airline service[edit]

Western Airlines was serving Imperial County Airport during the late 1940s with Douglas DC-3 flights to Los Angeles via stops in San Diego and Long Beach, and was also flying nonstop to Yuma.[8] Bonanza Air Lines, a "local service" air carrier as defined by the federal Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), began serving the airport during the early 1950s .[9] According to its March 1, 1953 system timetable, Bonanza listed its flights to the airport as service to El Centro and was operating Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft with a daily westbound routing of Phoenix-Blythe-Yuma-El Centro-San Diego-Santa Ana-Los Angeles.[10] Bonanza was also operating a daily eastbound DC-3 service at this time with routing of Los Angeles-Santa Ana-San Diego-El Centro-Yuma-Blythe-Phoenix-Prescott-Kingman-Las Vegas.[9] By 1963, Bonanza had retired the DC-3 from its fleet and was operating all flights into the airport with new Fairchild F-27 turboprops.[11] In 1964, the airline was operating nonstop F-27 propjet flights to Los Angeles and San Diego with one stop service to Phoenix via an intermediate stop in Yuma.[12] In 1968, Bonanza merged with Pacific Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West which continued to serve the airport with the F-27 with nonstops to San Diego and Santa Ana (now John Wayne Airport) as well as direct flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tucson.[13] In late 1970, Air West was serving the airport with Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jetliners with four flights a day including two nonstops to Los Angeles (LAX) and two direct flights to Phoenix (PHX) via an intermediate stop in Yuma (YUM).[14] At this same time, one of the DC-9 jet flights to LAX operated continuing, no change of plane service to Fresno, San Francisco, Portland, OR and Seattle via intermediate stops at other Air West destinations.[14] Air West would then be renamed Hughes Airwest which in 1972 had ceased jet service into the airport but was still operating nonstop F-27 propjet flights to Los Angeles and Santa Ana with direct service to Phoenix via a stop in Yuma.[15]

By 1980, Hughes Airwest had transitioned to an all-jet fleet and was no longer serving the airport.[16] Following the cessation of service by Hughes Airwest, a number of commuter and regional airlines operated flights over the years including one air carrier, Imperial Airlines, that had its beginnings at the airport. The following is a list of airlines and aircraft that served Imperial County Airport (IPL) from 1979 through 1999 primarily to Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) with Imperial Airlines and Air Bahia also flying nonstop to San Diego (SAN), and Scenic Airlines flying nonstop to both Las Vegas (LAS) and Long Beach (LGB) with this information being taken from the various editions of the Official Airline Guide (OAG) over the years:[17]

By early 2007, only one airline was serving the airport: SkyWest operating as United Express flying Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprops with nonstop service to LAX as part of a Los Angeles-El Centro/Imperial-Yuma route.[18] SkyWest subsequently ceased all service to the airport.


Carrier shares: January – December 2013[19]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations: Jan. – Dec. 2013[19]
Rank City Airport name & IATA code Passengers
1 Los Angeles Los Angeles International (LAX) 1,050
2 San Diego, CA San Diego International (SAN) 810
3 Burbank, CA Bob Hope Airport (BUR) 770
4 Van Nuys, CA Van Nuys Airport (VNY) <10
5 Ontario, CA Ontario International (ONT) <10


  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for IPL (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (IPL: El Centro / Imperial County)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Imperial city, California[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  4. ^ "Pilot Who Left Note in Airplane Hunted." Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1970. 3. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  6. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ a b, April 1, 1948 Western Airlines system timetable
  9. ^ a b c, March 1, 1953 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
  10. ^[permanent dead link], March 1, 1953 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
  11. ^, Aug. 16, 1963 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
  12. ^, March 1, 1964 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
  13. ^, July 1, 1968 Air West system timetable
  14. ^ a b Nov. 15, 1970 Official Airline Guide (OAG), El Centro flight schedules
  15. ^, July 1, 1972 Hughes Airwest system timetable
  16. ^, Sept. 1, 1980 Hughes Airwest system timetable
  17. ^, Official Airline Guide (OAG) editions: Nov. 15, 1979; April 1, 1981, Feb. 15, 1985; Dec. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 and July 1, 1999
  18. ^ Feb. 1, 2007 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Worldwide edition
  19. ^ a b "El Centro, CA: Imperial County (IPL)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. December 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2014.

Other sources[edit]

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket DOT-OST-2008-0299) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2008-12-26 (December 29, 2008): selecting SkyWest Airlines, Inc., d/b/a United Express, to provide essential air service at El Centro/Imperial, California, at an annual subsidy rate of $662,551 through December 31, 2010. SkyWest to provide 13 nonstop round trips per week to Los Angeles with 30-seat Embraer Brasilia aircraft,
    • Order 2009-5-21 (May 27, 2009): Approving Alternate Service Pattern
    • Order 2010-12-6 (December 3, 2010): selecting SkyWest Airlines, Inc., d/b/a United Express, to provide essential air service at El Centro, California, at an annual subsidy rate of $1,852,091 through December 31, 2012. SkyWest to provide 13 nonstop round trips per week to Los Angeles (LAX) with 30-seat Embraer Brasilia turboprops for $1,852,091 annual subsidy.
    • Order 2013-01-02 (January 2, 2013): selecting SeaPort Airlines, Inc. (SeaPort), to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at El Centro, California, for $1,943,7511 annually for 29 nonstop round trips per week to San Diego (SAN) on Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, 9-seat, single engine turboprop.
    • Order 2014-4-26 (April 24, 2014): directing interested persons to show cause as to why the Department should not terminate the eligibility ... under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program based on criteria passed by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law No. 112-95). We find that El Centro is within 175 miles of a large or medium hub, San Diego International Airport (SAN), a large hub, and, thus, is subject to the 10-enplanement statutory criterion. We also find that during fiscal year 2013, El Centro generated a total of 5,950 passengers (inbound plus outbound). Consistent with the methodology described above, that results in an average of 9.5 enplanements per day, below the 10-enplanement statutory criterion necessary to remain eligible in the EAS program.

External links[edit]