Plattsburgh Air Force Base

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"PAFB" redirects here. For the military airport in Alaska with that ICAO code, see Ladd Army Airfield.
Plattsburgh Air Force Base
Plattsburgh AFB NY - 4 may 1994.jpg
USGS aerial photo as of 4 May 1994
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Owner United States Air Force
Location Town of Plattsburgh, near Plattsburgh, New York
Built 1954–1955
In use 1955–1995
Occupants United States Air Force
Elevation AMSL 234 ft / 71 m
Coordinates 44°39′14″N 073°27′56″W / 44.65389°N 73.46556°W / 44.65389; -73.46556Coordinates: 44°39′14″N 073°27′56″W / 44.65389°N 73.46556°W / 44.65389; -73.46556
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 11,758 3,584 Asphalt/Concrete
Plattsburgh AFB is located in New York
Plattsburgh AFB
Plattsburgh AFB
Location of KPGB

Plattsburgh Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) base covering 3,447 acres (13.7 km²) in the extreme northeast corner of New York, 20 miles (32 km) south of the Canadian border, located on the western shore of Lake Champlain opposite Burlington, Vermont, in the city of Plattsburgh, New York. . It is a military superfund site[1]

The base closed on 25 September 1995, pursuant to the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 (10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687 note) and the recommendations of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission. It is now a civilian airport and industrial complex, operated by the Plattsburgh Air Base Development Authority. The airfield is now known as Plattsburgh International Airport.



Plattsburgh AFB is bordered by the city of Plattsburgh and the Saranac River to the north and the Salmon River to the south. It lies on the western shore of Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont border.[1]

Major units[edit]

308th Bombardment Wing[edit]

380th Bomb Wing[edit]

497th Air Refueling Wing[edit]

820th Strategic Aerospace Division[edit]


Previous designations[edit]

  • Plattsburgh Air Force Base (1955-25 September 1995)

Major commands to which assigned[edit]

Major commands to which the base was assigned:

Major units assigned[edit]

Operational history[edit]



Early history[edit]

Missile operations[edit]
A Convair SM-65F Atlas #100 at Site 6 Au Sable Forks NY
Assigned aircraft[edit]
A B-47 Stratojet from Plattsburgh on display

Second half of the Cold War[edit]

Built during the Cold War, Plattsburgh AFB's runway is large enough to land the space shuttle. It was on a list of alternate landing sites for the space shuttle.[2] Space shuttle Columbia astronaut Michael P. Anderson, born at Plattsburgh AFB, was an Air Force pilot at Plattsburgh AFB when he got selected by NASA in 1994.

BRAC 1991 and closure[edit]
Governor Mario Cuomo speaking at a rally in favor of keeping the base

Accidents and incidents[edit]

KC-135 Fuselage Departs Plattsburgh AFB

Current status[edit]

Operating tables being taken out of the old base hospital, in the Double Cantilever Hangar

After the base was decommissioned, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC) was created to manage the 5,000-acre (20 km2) property. PARC split up the base into 165 parcels for redevelopment.[3] While community leaders feared in 1995, at the time of the actual closure, that the North Country's economy would collapse, this did not turn out to be the case; the base actually only accounted for about 8 percent of the local economy because it was so isolated.[4] On 16 and 17 August 1996, PARC hosted a massive music concert on the runway of the old decommissioned airbase by the band Phish. 70,000 people attended the concert known as the Clifford Ball[5] which added $20 million to the local economy.[6]

Current[when?] PARC tenants on former airbase properties include Wood Group, Pratt & Whitney Industrial Turbine Services (the first and longest continuous tenant), Bombardier,[7] Composite Factory, Inc.,[8] ORC Macro,[9] Pratt & Whitney,[10] GSM Vehicles (vintage trailer restoration) and the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO).[11]

The U.S. Air Force lists Plattsburgh among its BRAC "success stories."[12] The base's reuse and the circumstances surrounding it were chronicled in Flying High Again: PARC's Redevelopment of Plattsburgh Air Force Base, written by Marian Calabro and published by in 2008.[13][14]

Environmental problems[edit]

While digging for new PARC construction was underway low level nuclear materials (such as contaminated protective clothing) were found buried. The levels of radiation were safe and the area was decontaminated.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b "Public Health Assessment, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York". Plattsburgh, New York: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 5 October 2000. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Schumer Urges Airbus To Pick New York Facilities To Build New Aircrafts (sic)". Senator Chuck Schumer's Publicity Office. 25 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 November 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to PARC". Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Authority. 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  4. ^ JOE LoTEMPLIO Decision to close PAFB blindsided community Plattsburgh Press-Republican (NY) September 26, 2015
  5. ^ "Small Adirondack Town Is Host of a Giant Concert". The New York Times. 18 August 1996. Retrieved 26 November 2007. ,
  6. ^ Weiss, Lois (4 September 1996). "Concert shows potential for military bases – Plattsburgh Airbase, New York". Real Estate Weekly. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  7. ^ "Bombardier to open plant at Plattsburgh, N.Y. (Plattsburgh Air Force Base)". RailwayAge. 1 October 1994. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  8. ^ LoTemplio, Joe (21 June 2001). "Local Composite eyes opportunistic designation". Press Republican. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Tenants". Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Authority. 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  10. ^ LoTemplio, Joe (7 September 2012). "Demolition work on old airport hangar under way". Press-Republican. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "PATAKI: WestingHouse Air Brate To Bring 150 Jobs To Plattsburgh to Service Manufacturers Worldwide, Add Jobs at Yonkers Plant WABCO". Governor George Pataki's Press Office. August 1997. Archived from the original on 7 February 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Air Force BRAC Success Stories". Air Force Real Property Agency. 8 May 2002. Archived from the original on 17 January 2004. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Calabro, Marian (2008). Flying High Again: PARC's Redevelopment of Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.: p. 160. ISBN 0976833123. 
  14. ^ Heath, Dan (16 May 2008). "PARC success revealed in new book". Press-Republican. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]