Imperial County Airport
Imperial County Airport
|Serves||Imperial / El Centro|
|Location||Imperial County, California|
|Elevation AMSL||−54 ft / −16 m|
Imperial County Airport (IATA: IPL, ICAO: KIPL, FAA LID: IPL) is a county-owned public-use airport in Imperial County, California, United States. Also known as Boley Field, 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, partially in the City of Imperial and partially in an unincorporated area of Imperial County. It serves nearby communities, including El Centro.
As per the Federal Aviation Administration, this airport had 7,061 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 5,641 in 2009, and 4,752 in 2010. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport.
The first scheduled passenger airline flights began in 1943, operated by Western Airlines with Douglas DC-3s. Western's service was replaced by Bonanza Air Lines in 1953 also flying DC-3s. Bonanza was merged into Air West (later Hughes Airwest) in 1968 and was the backbone air carrier for El Centro until 1979.
Facilities and aircraft
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).
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.
Airlines and destinations
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.
operated by West Air
Historical airline service
Western Airlines began serving Imperial County Airport in 1943 with Douglas DC-3 flights to Los Angeles via stops in San Diego and Long Beach, and was also flying nonstop to Yuma. Western's service ended in 1953.  Bonanza Air Lines, a "local service" air carrier as defined by the federal Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), began serving the airport in 1953, taking over the route of Western Airlines. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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). 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. Air West was renamed to Hughes Airwest in 1970. The DC-9 jet service was suspended in 1972 but reinstated during 1974 through 1975. By 1976 Hughes Airwest reverted back to operating all F-27 propjet flights to Los Angeles and Santa Ana with direct service to Phoenix via a stop in Yuma. All Hughes Airwest service to El Centro ended in 1979 and was replaced by commuter carriers Cochise and Sun Aire Lines.
The following is a list of commuter airlines and aircraft that served Imperial County Airport (IPL) from 1969 through 1999 primarily with nonstop flights to Los Angeles (LAX) and one stop to Phoenix (PHX) by way of Yuma (YUM). All service to Phoenix was discontinued in 1989. Imperial Airlines and Air Bahia flew nonstop to San Diego (SAN), and Scenic Airlines flew nonstop to both Las Vegas (LAS) and Long Beach (LGB). This information was retrieved from various editions of the Official Airline Guide (OAG) over the years:
- Imperial Airlines, 1969-1981 - Beech 18, Beechcraft Queen Air, Cessna 402, Cessna 404, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner
- Scenic Airlines, 1978 - Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner
- Air Bahia, 1980 - Piper Navajo, Piper Chieftain
- Cochise Airlines, 1979-1982 - Convair 440, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner
- Sun Aire Lines, 1979-1986 - Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner. Merged into SkyWest Airlines in 1985.
- Western Express, operated by SkyWest Airlines on behalf of Western Airlines, 1986-1987 - Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
- Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines, 1987-1997 - Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
- Skynet Airways, 1993-1995 - Cessna aircraft, service to Long Beach.
- United Express operated by WestAir, 1994-1997 - British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31
- United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines, 1997-2013 - Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
- SeaPort Airlines, 2013-2016, - Cessna 208 Caravan. Service to Burbank and San Diego.
- Mokulele Airlines, 2016-current, - Cessna 208 Caravan. Mokulele was merged into Southern Airways Express in 2020.
By 1997, 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. United Express continued providing the only service to the airport until 2013. Smaller commuter airlines using single-engine, non-pressurized aircraft now serve El Centro.
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|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|
- PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (IPL: El Centro / Imperial County)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Imperial city, California[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
- "Pilot Who Left Note in Airplane Hunted." Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1970. 3. Retrieved on September 26, 2009.
- "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). 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.
- http://www.timetableimages.com, April 1, 1948 Western Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1953 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
- http://www.timetablemages.com[permanent dead link], March 1, 1953 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 16, 1963 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1964 Bonanza Air Lines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, July 1, 1968 Air West system timetable
- Nov. 15, 1970 Official Airline Guide (OAG), El Centro flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1972 Hughes Airwest system timetable
- http://www.departedflight.com Archived 2017-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, Sept. 1, 1980 Hughes Airwest system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Official Airline Guide (OAG) editions: Nov. 15, 1969, Nov. 15, 1979; April 1, 1981, Feb. 15, 1985; Dec. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 and July 1, 1999
- Feb. 1, 2007 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Worldwide edition
- "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.
- 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.
- Airport page at Imperial County web site
- Aerial image as of May 2002 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective January 28, 2021
- FAA Terminal Procedures for IPL, effective January 28, 2021
- Resources for this airport: