Memorial Field Airport

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Memorial Field Airport
HOT airport logo.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Hot Springs
ServesHot Springs, Arkansas
Elevation AMSL540 ft / 165 m
Coordinates34°28′41″N 093°05′46″W / 34.47806°N 93.09611°W / 34.47806; -93.09611Coordinates: 34°28′41″N 093°05′46″W / 34.47806°N 93.09611°W / 34.47806; -93.09611
HOT is located in Arkansas
Location of airport in Arkansas / United States
HOT is located in the United States
HOT (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 6,595 2,010 Asphalt
13/31 4,098 1,249 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2017)31,184
Based aircraft (2020)88
Source: FAA[1] and airport website[2]

Memorial Field Airport[1][2] (IATA: HOT, ICAO: KHOT, FAA LID: HOT) is located three miles southwest of the City of Hot Springs, in Garland County, Arkansas. It serves nearby Hot Springs National Park. The airport is used for general aviation; airline flights are subsidized by the federal government's Essential Air Service program at a cost of $1,637,012 (per year).[3]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023 categorized it as a general aviation airport (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).[4]


Aerial view

Memorial Field covers 844 acres (342 ha) at an elevation of 540 feet (165 m). It has two asphalt runways: 5/23 is 6,595 by 150 feet (2,010 x 46 m) and 13/31 is 4,098 by 100 feet (1,249 x 30 m).[1] The airport is non-towered (the existing tower is no longer staffed).

In the year ending May 31, 2017 the airport had 31,184 aircraft operations, an average of 85 per day: 98% general aviation, 2% military and less than 1% air taxi. In August 2020, there were 88 aircraft based at this airport: 67 single-engine, 12 multi-engine, 7 jet and 2 helicopter.

Airline and destination[edit]

Southern Airways ExpressDallas/Fort Worth, El Dorado (AR), Harrison (AR), Memphis[5]

Historical Airline Service[edit]

Hot Springs' first commercial airline service began in the late 1940s with Chicago and Southern Air Lines (C&S). In 1950 C&S was operating daily round trip Douglas DC-3 service on a routing of Detroit - Toledo, OH - Fort Wayne, IN - Indianapolis - Evansville, IN - Paducah, KY - Memphis - Hot Springs - Shreveport - Houston (Hobby Airport).[6] C&S merged with Delta Air Lines in 1953 and Delta continued serving Hot Springs using Convair 440 propliners[7] with nonstop flights to Little Rock and Shreveport and direct, no change of plane service to Chicago (Midway Airport), Houston (Hobby Airport), New Orleans, St. Louis and other destinations.[8] Shortly before discontinuing service in mid-1969, Delta had upgraded their flights to Douglas DC-9-30 jets.[9]

Trans-Texas Airways, (TTa), began service in 1953 using Douglas DC-3 aircraft with a daily round trip "milk run" flight routing of Memphis - West Helena, AR - Stuttgart, AR - Pine Bluff, AR - Little Rock - Hot Springs - Texarkana - Tyler, TX - Dallas - Fort Worth.[10] During the 1960s TTa upgraded their service using Convair 240 piston propliners and later to Convair 600 turboprops[11] In 1968, the airline began operating the first jet service to Memorial Airport using the Douglas DC-9-10 with a daily nonstop flight to Dallas and was also flying direct, one stop DC-9 service to Memphis via Little Rock.[12] Trans-Texas then changed its name to Texas International Airlines in 1969. Texas International (TI) continued to serve Hot Springs with DC-9 jetliners on a daily basis and in 1970 was flying nonstop to Memphis and Texarkana with continuing, direct service to Dallas and Houston.[13] By 1972, TI was operating daily DC-9 jet service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hot Springs via intermediate stops in Albuquerque and Dallas (Love Field).[14]

Central Airlines began service to Hot Springs by 1955 on a new route between Tulsa and Little Rock which made stops in Ft. Smith and Hot Springs using Douglas DC-3's and later upgrading to Convair 600 turboprops in the mid 1960s. Central was merged into Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) in 1967 and continued to serve Hot Springs with Convair 580 and Convair 600 turboprops nonstop to Fayetteville, Ft. Smith, Little Rock and Memphis at different times over the years. In 1967, Frontier was flying nonstop to Fort Smith and Little Rock with direct service being operated to Kansas City, Omaha and Denver.[15]

Through the 1950s and 1960s Hot Springs was served by three airlines consecutively. In early 1969 there were a total of 13 departures per day, four of them on DC-9 jets operated by both Delta and Texas International. With the passing of the Airline Deregulation Act, Frontier and Texas International both discontinued service by 1979 at which time commuter airlines began serving Hot Springs with direct propjet flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Memphis and Tulsa.[16] Rio Airways served from 1979 through 1983, Scheduled Skyways from 1983 through 1985, Air Midwest from 1985 through 1986, and Lone Star Airlines from 1989 through 1998. All flew Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners. Rio previously flew Beechcraft 99 turboprops nonstop to Dallas/Fort Worth and Memphis and Lone Star operated Dornier 328 propjets on the DFW route as well. Lone Star first operated as Exec Express II using Piper Navajo twin prop aircraft to DFW and was operating as Aspen Mountain Air at the end of their service. From early 1999 through September, 2002, Big Sky Airlines served Hot Springs followed by Mesa Airlines from October, 2002 through May, 2008. SeaPort Airlines began flights in March, 2010 using Pilatus PC-12 aircraft but went out of business in September, 2016. The current provider, Southern Airways Express, began service in March 2017 with nonstop flights to DFW using single engine Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft. Memorial Airport had several periods in between carriers where there was no airline service. Most passengers now use the Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Accidents at or near HOT[edit]

On August 25, 1992, a Lone Star Airlines Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III on a test flight crashed after takeoff 1km SE of Memorial Field Airport due to improper maintenance of all primary flight control cables. All three occupants were killed.[17]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for HOT PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective August 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Memorial Field Airport, official website
  3. ^ "Essential Air Service Reports". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 27 September 2012.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  6. ^, Oct. 1, 1950 Chicago & Southern Air Lines system timetable
  7. ^, Delta Air Lines 10/30/60 system timetable, page 16 & 8/1/66 system timetable, pages 42,49
  8. ^, Delta Air Lines 10/30/60 system timetable
  9. ^ Delta timetable April 27, 1969
  10. ^, Jan. 2, 1958 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
  11. ^ http://www.timetable[permanent dead link], Oct. 30, 1966 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
  12. ^[permanent dead link], August-Sept. Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
  13. ^, July 1, 1970 Texas International system timetable
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^, Oct. 29, 1967 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  16. ^, Official Airline Guide (OAG) Nov. 15, 1979, Feb. 15, 1985, Dec. 15, 1989, April 2, 1995 editions, Dallas/Ft. Worth-Hot Springs schedules
  17. ^ Accident description for N342AE at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on May 14, 2021.

Other sources[edit]

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-1997-2935) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2005-1-14: selecting Air Midwest, Inc., to provide essential air service at El Dorado/Camden, Jonesboro, Harrison and Hot Springs, Arkansas, at a subsidy rate of $4,155,550 annually for a two-year rate term.
    • Order 2007-1-7: selecting Air Midwest, Inc. to provide essential air service at El Dorado/Camden, Jonesboro, Harrison and Hot Springs, Arkansas, at a subsidy rate of $4,296,348 annually for the two-year rate term beginning April 1, 2007.
    • Order 2009-6-25: tentatively selecting Alaska Juneau Aeronautics, Inc. d/b/a SeaPort Airlines (SeaPort) to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at El Dorado/Camden, Harrison, Hot Springs, and Jonesboro, Arkansas, for two years.
    • Order 2009-7-8: making final the tentative selection of Alaska Juneau Aeronautics, Inc. d/b/a SeaPort Airlines, to provide essential air service at El Dorado/Camden, Harrison, Hot Springs, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.

External links[edit]