Topeka Regional Airport

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Topeka Regional Airport
Topeka Regional Airport Logo.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerMetropolitan Topeka Airport Authority
ServesTopeka, Kansas
Elevation AMSL1,078 ft / 329 m
Coordinates38°57′03″N 095°39′49″W / 38.95083°N 95.66361°W / 38.95083; -95.66361Coordinates: 38°57′03″N 095°39′49″W / 38.95083°N 95.66361°W / 38.95083; -95.66361
FOE is located in Kansas
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 12,803 3,902 Concrete
3/21 7,001 2,134 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations22,418
Based aircraft36

Topeka Regional Airport (IATA: FOE, ICAO: KFOE, FAA LID: FOE), formerly known as Forbes Field, is a joint civil-military public airport owned by the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority in Shawnee County, Kansas, seven miles south of downtown Topeka,[1] the capital city of Kansas. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a general aviation airport.[2] United Express scheduled airline flights on January 7, 2014, two daily regional jets to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, but ceased on September 2, 2014.[3][4] Allegiant Air scheduled jets nonstop to Las Vegas,[5] but discontinued service on July 30, 2007.[6]

The airport was served by the original Midway Airlines which in 1983 had two Douglas DC-9-10s a day nonstop to Kansas City and one-stop to Chicago Midway Airport.[7] In 1977 the original Frontier Airlines flew Boeing 737s nonstop to Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis; it also had Convair 580 flights.[8]

Topeka Regional Airport is used by the University of Kansas (KU) for charter flights for its athletic teams and by schools visiting the KU campus in Lawrence, which is 34 miles (55 km) east of the airport via the Kansas Turnpike. (Kansas City International Airport is 51 miles (82 km) from KU).

Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 14,922 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[9] 11,985 in 2009 and 15,115 in 2010.[10]


Topeka Regional Airport (formerly Forbes Field) is on the site of the Topeka Army Airfield, later Forbes Air Force Base, a former Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility that transferred to Tactical Air Command in 1964 (while retaining SAC-gained tenants) and closed in 1973. Most of the former base administrative area is now used for offices and an industrial park. The 190th Air Refueling Wing (190 ARW) of the Kansas Air National Guard also uses part of the airport as an cantonment area and Air National Guard installation; the wing flies Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.

From 1942 to 1973 the following Air Force components supervised the airfield:

In April 1976, except for areas retained by the Air National Guard, most of the former Forbes Air Force Base was turned over to the city of Topeka and Shawnee County. During this transition, all airline flights moved from the Philip Billard Municipal Airport to the newly established Forbes Field. On June 1, 1976, Frontier Airlines scheduled the first jet out of Forbes Field. In 1981 a bond to build a new air terminal was rejected, but approved a year later in 1982. The $5 million terminal was completed in 1985. The terminal has 5 airline ticket counters and 2 rental car counters. Currently Hertz is the only rental car company at FOE. There is also one baggage claim carousel. Several charter and military flights use the terminal today. Topeka had several carriers in the mid-1970s to late-1980s, including Air Midwest, the original Frontier Airlines, the original Midway Airlines, Trans World Airlines (TWA) and United Airlines. Forbes Field then handled up to 180,000 passengers per year. After the major carriers pulled out, commuter flights remained.

As recently as November 2003 Air Midwest had flights, codeshared with US Airways Express, on 19-passenger planes between Topeka and Kansas City.[11][12][13] Scheduled passenger service was subsidized by the Essential Air Service program until May 2003,[14][15] when it ended due to federal law not allowing a subsidy over $200 per passenger for airports within 210 miles of the nearest large or medium hub airport (Kansas City International Airport, a medium hub, is 71 miles away).[16]

United Express was the most recent airline at Topeka, with non-stop flights to Chicago-O'Hare that ended in September 2014

In 2012 the MTAA Board of Directors renamed the facility to Topeka Regional Airport and Business Center, maintaining the name of the airfield as Forbes Field. Topeka Regional Airport is currently the home of the Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Air Refueling Wing and the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment, Kansas Army National Guard.[17]


Topeka Regional Airport covers 2,854 acres (1,155 ha) at an elevation of 1,078 feet (329 m) above mean sea level. It has two concrete runways: 13/31 is 12,803 by 200 feet (3,902 x 61 m) and 3/21 is 7,001 by 150 feet (2,134 x 46 m).[1]

In the year ending October 31, 2017 the airport had 22,418 aircraft operations, average 61 per day: 65% military, 32% general aviation, 3% air taxi, and <1% airline. 36 aircraft were then based at this airport: 25% single-engine, 14% multi-engine, 11% jet, and 50% military.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The airport has no airline flights now.[when?]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for FOE (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Allegiant Air: Las Vegas Schedule. Retrieved May 5, 2006. Archived May 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Allegiant Air to end Topeka service". The Capital-Journal (Topeka). June 1, 2007.
  7. ^, April 24, 1983 Midway timetable
  8. ^, March 2, 1977 Frontier timetable
  9. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  10. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Anderson, Phil Vegas Bound. The Topeka Capital Journal. Retrieved May 5, 2006.
  12. ^ Schofield, Adrian Topeka Targets More Growth As Commercial Flights Return. Aviation Now. Retrieved May 5, 2006.
  13. ^ Forbes Field (ANG). Retrieved May 14, 2006.
  14. ^ "Essential Air Service Communities Eliminated from Subsidy-Eligibility". Office of Aviation Analysis, U.S. Department of Transportation. July 2010. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012. Topeka, KS, by Order 2003-4-16, effective May 1, 2003
  15. ^ "Order 2003-4-16". U.S. Department of Transportation. April 18, 2003.
  16. ^ "Order 2003-2-28". U.S. Department of Transportation. February 28, 2003.
  17. ^ Information from MTAA website Accessed on September 23, 2013.

Other sources[edit]

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-1996-1352) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2000-7-35 (July 28, 2000): tentatively re-selecting Air Midwest, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to provide essential air service at Topeka, Kansas, for the two-year period ending December 31, 2001, at an annual subsidy rate totaling $722,199.
    • Order 2001-8-13 (August 10, 2001): tentatively re-selecting Air Midwest, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to provide essential air service at Topeka, Kansas, for the two-year period beginning January 1, 2002, at an annual rate of $621,872.
    • Order 2003-2-28 (February 28, 2003): requests interested persons to show cause why we should not terminate subsidy for essential air service at Topeka, Kansas, and allow Air Midwest, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to suspend service there as of May 1, 2003.
    • Order 2003-4-16 (April 18, 2003): terminates subsidy for essential air service at Topeka, Kansas, and allows Air Midwest, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to suspend service as of May 1, 2003.

Further reading[edit]

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961 (republished 1983, Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0-912799-02-1).
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989

External links[edit]