Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport
Amarillo International Airport
|IATA: AMA – ICAO: KAMA – FAA LID: AMA|
|Owner||City of Amarillo|
|Operator||Amarillo Airport Department|
|Elevation AMSL||3,607 ft / 1,099.4 m|
Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (IATA: AMA, ICAO: KAMA, FAA LID: AMA) is a public airport six miles (10 km) east of downtown Amarillo, in Potter and Randall Counties, Texas, United States. The airport was renamed in 2003 after NASA astronaut and Amarillo native Rick Husband, who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February of that year.
Harold English opened English Field in 1929. That year Transcontinental & Western Air (the forerunner to TWA) started airline service through Amarillo. Later Braniff International, Continental Airlines and Trans-Texas Airways (later Texas International) operated flights to Lubbock and Dallas. Trans World Airlines operated flights to Wichita, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles (a nonstop 727 to LAX started in 1967). Braniff operated Lockheed Electras to Denver and Oklahoma City. Frontier Airlines operated Convair 580s to Denver and Memphis with intermediate stops in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The April 1957 OAG shows 23 weekday departures: 11 Braniff, 8 TWA, 2 Central and 2 Continental. The first scheduled jets into Amarillo were on TWA in 1964.
In 1952 the name changed to Amarillo Air Terminal. After the adjacent Amarillo Air Force Base was deactivated in 1968 a portion became part of Amarillo Air Terminal. The primary instrument runway, built for the USAF Strategic Air Command base, at 13,502 feet (4,115 m) is among the longest commercial runways in the United States and is still used for military training. During the mid-1970s the airport was used for jet training by (then) West German national airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG. In 1976 the airport changed its name to Amarillo International Airport upon the opening of a U.S. Customs facility, which has since been closed.
The original English Field terminal building was converted in 1997 to a museum maintained by the Texas Aviation Historical Society. This museum lost its lease with the City of Amarillo and is now located in buildings southeast of the main runway, formally known as Attebury Grain.  The name of the original airfield is memorialized in the English Fieldhouse, a local restaurant located adjacent to the general aviation terminal.
In 2003 the airport terminal building was rededicated to NASA astronaut Rick Husband, the commander of mission STS-107 of the Space Shuttle Columbia and an Amarillo native. Husband and his crew were killed when the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry on February 1, 2003.
Visits by NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA)
On July 1, 2007 the Space Shuttle Atlantis made a stop at the airport while being piggybacked from Edwards Air Force Base to Florida—one of the few visits by the shuttle to a commercial airport. After a brief stay it was flown on to Offutt Air Force Base.
In 2009 the airport was again used as a refueling stop by the SCA. On September 20, the Space Shuttle Discovery was transported from Edwards Air Force Base to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with stops in Amarillo, Carswell AFB in Ft.Worth, and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.
Facilities and aircraft
Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport covers 3,547 acres (1,435 ha) and has two concrete runways: 4/22 is 13,502 x 200 ft (4,115 x 61 m) and 13/31 is 7,901×150 ft (2,408×46 m). In 2007 the airport had 98,058 aircraft operations, average 268 per day: 48% military, 29% general aviation, 14% air taxi and 9% scheduled commercial. 40 aircraft were then based at this airport: 52% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, 28% jet and 3% helicopter. Leading Edge Corporation has an aircraft painting facility at the airport; many United Airlines planes are painted there.
Airlines and destinations
|American Eagle||Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Southwest Airlines||Dallas-Love, Las Vegas|
|United Express||Denver, Houston-Intercontinental|
|1||Dallas-Love Field, TX||113,000||Southwest|
|2||Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||102,000||American|
|5||Las Vegas, NV||28,000||Southwest|
- FAA Airport Master Record for AMA ( PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- Amarillo Voices: Journal is worth much more than a thousand words
- TSHA Online - Texas State Historical Association
- "Board asks for English Field lease extension". Amarillo Globe News. June 29, 2004. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006.
- Amarillo Int'l Unveils Clearly Upgraded Terminal
- (PDF), effective August 20, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for AMA, effective August 20, 2015
- Resources for this airport: