McClellan–Palomar Airport

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McClellan–Palomar Airport
CRQ - FAA airport diagram.gif
FAA airport diagram
Airport type Public
Owner County of San Diego
Serves North San Diego County
Elevation AMSL 331 ft / 101 m
Coordinates 33°07′42″N 117°16′48″W / 33.12833°N 117.28000°W / 33.12833; -117.28000 (McClellan–Palomar Airport)Coordinates: 33°07′42″N 117°16′48″W / 33.12833°N 117.28000°W / 33.12833; -117.28000 (McClellan–Palomar Airport)
CLD is located in California
Location of airport in California
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 4,897 1,493 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 100 30 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 141,462
Based aircraft 285
Sources: FAA,[1] airport website[2]

McClellan–Palomar Airport (Palomar Airport) (IATA: CLDICAO: KCRQFAA LID: CRQ) is a public airport three miles (5 km) southeast of Carlsbad in San Diego County, California. It is owned by the County of San Diego.[1] The airport is used for general aviation. In March 2013 the airport was the fourth-busiest single runway airport in the United States.[3]

Most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, but McClellan–Palomar Airport is CRQ to the FAA and CLD to the IATA. The ICAO identifier is KCRQ.[4][5]

The airport is named for Gerald McClellan, an aviator and civic leader in San Diego's North County area.[6]


McClellan–Palomar Airport covers 466 acres (189 ha) and has one asphalt runway, 6/24, 4,897 ft × 150 ft (1,493 m × 46 m). The airport also has one asphalt helipad that is 100 by 100 feet (30 x 30 m).[1]

In 2008 the airport had 192,960 aircraft operations, an average of 529 per day: 89% general aviation, 7% air taxi, 3% scheduled commercial and 1% military. 325 aircraft are based at this airport: 61% single-engine, 24% jet, 11% multi-engine and 4% helicopter.[1]

It opened a $24 million airline terminal on January 29, 2009.[7][8] As of October 26, 2010 Palomar Airport's long term parking rates (30 day max) increased to $5 a day (from $3 per day).

Current and future service[edit]

As of late 2015, no major airliner serves the airport. Bookable flights by the public must be through charter and air taxi companies.[9]

Surf Air is a charter airliner operating at Palomar; the startup offers unlimited flights for a fixed rate to selected California cities and Las Vegas. The company began its first flights in 2013 and expanded to San Diego by late 2014.[10]

Past airline service[edit]

The airport was previously served by United Express with these flights being operated by SkyWest Airlines with Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft. United Express has now ended their service to the airport as they continue to phase out all of their Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft. This is due to the minimal runway length, which can not support any of United Express's current regional jet aircraft.[11]

Other airline service into the airport in the past included American Eagle operated by Wings West Airlines and United Express operated by WestAir Airlines to Los Angeles (LAX) as well as America West Express (later US Airways Express) to Phoenix. In 1995 American Eagle and United Express were operating a combined total of twelve nonstop services a day to LAX with both airlines flying British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 commuter propjets on the route.[12] In 1999, Mesa Airlines was operating the America West Express nonstop service to Phoenix with three flights a day with de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops.[13] Imperial Airlines also served the airport and was based there during the 1980s. Air Resorts operated flights from the airport as well during the 1980s.[14] Golden West Airlines also operated service during the 1970s from the airport. All of the airlines that previously served Carlsbad operated either turboprop or prop aircraft on their services into the airport.

The airport was planned to be the headquarters for California Pacific Airlines, which proposed to begin flights on six routes from the airport. The planned destinations were Sacramento, California; San Jose, California; Oakland, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico using a 70-seat Embraer 170 jet aircraft.[15] Start up of operations now appears to be unlikely as the Embraer 170 aircraft has been returned to its lessor. As of April 2015, Carlsbad airport city manager considers the airline "defunct".

United Express ended service to the airport on behalf of United Airlines in April 2015.[16]

BizAir Shuttle, a public charter airline with flights operated by Ultimate Air Shuttle Dornier 328JET aircraft, briefly operated scheduled service from McClellan–Palomar to Los Angeles International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas during the summer of 2015. Flights were abruptly halted on August 30, 2015.[17]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On January 24, 2006 a Cessna Citation V landing runway 24 on a flight from Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho burst into flames after crashing into a self-storage facility adjacent to the airport. All four aboard (two passengers and two crew) were killed; no one on the ground was hurt.[6]
  • On April 29, 2007 a Cessna 182 Skylane carrying three people crashed about 1-mile (1.6 km) off the shore shortly after takeoff at 9:30 am.[18]
  • On July 3, 2007 a Beechcraft 90 King Air carrying two people crashed after taking off shortly after 6 am in dense fog. The aircraft hit power lines, which caused power outages for local residents and businesses. The two on board died.[19][20]
  • On April 19, 2008 a Cessna Citation Mustang skidded off the end of runway 24 and collapsed the main landing gear. The aircraft had four on board, who were uninjured. The Mustang had flown from Lincoln Regional Airport, northeast of Sacramento, California.[citation needed]
  • On September 22, 2008 a Cessna 152 crashed just west of College Boulevard on the extended centerline after departing runway 24. The aircraft had two on board, who were both injured and evacuated by air.[21]
  • On September 28, 2008 a Beechcraft Bonanza crashed southeast of the airport after the pilot aborted a landing attempt in fog. The pilot was alone and was killed.[22]
  • On November 18, 2015 an Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil helicopter crashed at the airport, killing two people.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for CRQ (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  2. ^ McClellan–Palomar Airport at County of San Diego website
  3. ^ St John, Alison (March 15, 2013). "North County Regional Vision Takes Flight At Palomar Airport". KPBS. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "CLD - Carlsbad [Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport], CA, US - Airport - Great Circle Mapper". 
  5. ^ "CRQ - Caravelas, BA, BR - Airport - Great Circle Mapper". 
  6. ^ a b Baker, Debbi Farr; Gross, Greg; Kucher, Karen; Martinez, Angelica (January 24, 2006). "Four die in jet crash at Palomar Airport". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2006-12-14. 
  7. ^ Palomar Airport Grand Opening Set For January 29th[dead link]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "United to cut LAX service from Palomar". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  12. ^, April 1, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Los Angeles-Carlsbad schedules
  13. ^, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Phoenix-Carlsbad schedules
  14. ^ "Air Resorts Airlines". 
  15. ^ Carlsbad Palomar Airport to be the home of California Pacific Airlines. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. April 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  16. ^ "Runway length remains biggest challenge for McClellan-Palomar Airport". Seaside Courier (Encinitas, California). May 7, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  17. ^ Weisberg, Lori. Carlsbad-Vegas air service grounded, The San Diego Union–Tribune, September 3, 2015, Retrieved 2015-09-05
  18. ^[dead link]
  19. ^ Chabner, Shayna (July 3, 2007). "2 killed in San Diego County plane crash". North County Times. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  20. ^ Davis, Kristina; Martinez, Angelica (July 3, 2007). "Two killed when private plane crashes on takeoff". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  21. ^[dead link]
  22. ^ "Pilot dies in crash of plane near airport". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  23. ^

External links[edit]