|Owner||Tipton Airport Authority|
|Location||Fort Meade / Odenton, Maryland|
|Elevation AMSL||150 ft / 46 m|
Tipton Airport (IATA: FME, ICAO: KFME, FAA LID: FME) is a public airport located just south of Fort George G. Meade in Odenton, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The facility is bordered by Fort Meade, the National Security Agency, and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. This airport opened in 1999 on the site of a former United States Army Airfield that was closed in 1995. It is operated by the Tipton Airport Authority.
Facilities and aircraft
For 12-month period ending April 2, 2008, the airport had 49,225 aircraft operations, an average of 134 per day: 98% general aviation and 2% air taxi. There are 128 aircraft/rotorcraft based at this airport: 85% single engine, 9% multi-engine and 6% helicopters.
Tipton Airport was originally a military airfield. It was constructed in 1960 over a landfill located on the outskirts of Fort Meade and was originally named Fort George G. Meade Army Airfield. The new airfield replaced a smaller airstrip that had been operating since at least 1935 at a site approximately two miles northeast of Tipton's location (what is now the Fort Meade post exchange and commissary complex). In April 1962, the field was renamed Tipton Army Airfield in honor of Colonel William Tipton, a Maryland National Guard officer and decorated veteran of both world wars. Tipton was killed in an aircraft crash in Ohio at the end of World War II.
At 2 A.M. on February 17, 1974, Robert K. Preston, a United States Army private first class, stole a United States Army Bell UH-1 Iroquois ("Huey") helicopter from Tipton Field, flew it to Washington, D.C. and hovered for six minutes over the White House before descending on the south lawn, about 100 yards from the West Wing.
Public Law 100-526, the Base Alignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1988, designated Tipton Army Airfield for closure, and as a result the land on which Tipton is located was transferred to civilian control in 1995. Following a lengthy environmental remediation, which included the removal of unexploded ordnance and hazardous waste, it was opened to civilian traffic. A formal dedication of Tipton Airport was held on October 27, 1999, and on November 1, 1999, the airport held a grand opening.
- FAA Airport Master Record for FME ( PDF), retrieved 2007-03-15
- Tipton Airport (official site)
- (Original) Fort Meade Auxiliary Army Airfield, retrieved 2011-01-14
- Minami, Wayde. Tipton Had Distinguished Career in War and Peace, retrieved 2011-01-14
- Freeze, Christopher. "The Time a Stolen Helicopter Landed on the White House Lawn - Robert Preston's wild ride.". Air & Space. Smithsonian. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Tipton Airport Homepage, retrieved 2011-01-14
- Davis, Clayton. A History of Tipton Army Airfield, retrieved 2011-01-14