- ABQ redirects here. For the city, see Albuquerque, New Mexico; For the USAF use of this facility, see Kirtland Air Force Base; For the former airport serving Albuquerque, see Oxnard Field.
Albuquerque International Sunport is a public airport located 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the central business district of Albuquerque, a city in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, United States. It is the largest commercial airport in the state, handling 6,667,390 passengers in 2007. The airport serves Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Albuquerque in the 1930s was served by two private airports, West Mesa Airport
and Oxnard Field
. Around 1935 it was suggested that the city build a new public airport using WPA
money. Having secured $520,500 USD
in funding, Governor Clyde Tingley
broke ground for the project on February 28
. Albuquerque Municipal Airport
opened in 1939 with two paved runways, a Pueblo Style terminal
building designed by Ernest Blumenthal, and a massive hangar
designed to accommodate the new Boeing 307
The airport took on a new role in 1940 when it was designated Albuquerque Army Air Base, the precursor to today's Kirtland Air Force Base. The airport continues to share its runways with Kirtland, which also handles rescue and firefighting operations.
The present terminal was constructed in 1965 on a site just east of the original terminal. It has since been expanded twice, first in the late 1980s and most recently in 1996. The old terminal has been restored and currently houses offices of the Transportation Security Administration. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
ABQ's terminal, which was expanded to its present size in the late 1980s and again in 1996, encompasses 574,000 sq ft (53,300 m²)
. of space.
The airport has one passenger terminal that is designed in the Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture which houses two concourses and an area for commuter airline gates.
The count of passengers at the Sunport has seen an average per year increase of 2% over the last 15 years.
The airport's freight center moved 166,342,643 pounds of cargo in 2005.
The passenger terminal has free wireless internet access and electrical charging stations for passenger use.
Facilities and aircraft
Albuquerque International Sunport Airport covers an area of 2,039 acres
) which contains four runways
. For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 192,520 aircraft operations, an average of 527 per day: 41% scheduled commercial, 23% air taxi
23% general aviation
and 16% military. There are 322 aircraft based at this airport: 33% multi-engine, 30% single-engine, 18% military, 13% jet and 7% helicopter
Proposed closure of Runway 17/35
The airport has been considering closing the runway due to many reasons, mostly because of noise pollution
of nearby subdivisions to the north. Because runway 17/35 intersects all three of the other runways, it has the highest risk of runway incursions
; therefore air traffic control prefers not to use the runway unless absolutely necessary. The prevaling winds are from the west, and even during strong winds, the other runways can cover departure and landing. Currently, most of the runway's use is general aviation
. Therefore, another option is to shorten the runway, but unfortunately that is costly. Though the airport is planning to build a second terminal over it with 3 new concources.
Airlines and destinations
Albuquerque International Sunport has a single terminal with 23 gates in two concourses. There is also an area for commuter airline
Concourse A has 13 Gates: A1 - A12, A14
- Northwest Airlines Gates A10, A12 (Minneapolis/St. Paul)
- Southwest Airlines Gates A5 - A9, A11 (Amarillo, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, El Paso, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland (OR), St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, Tucson)
- United Airlines Gates A1, A3 (Denver, Washington-Dulles)
Concourse B has 10 Gates: B1 - B10
Commuter airlines use 2 Gates: E1 & E2
- ABQ RIDE offers bus service (Routes 50 and 222) at the southside of the baggage claim area.Commuter train
- ABQ RIDE Route 222 provides service to the New Mexico Rail Runner Bernallilo County/International Sunport Station. Service began April 20, 2007. The Rail Runner provides service both north and south of the airport, including Downtown Albuquerque it is also serviced to go to Santa Fe is 2009.Scheduled shuttle bus service
- Regularly scheduled bus and shuttle service is provided by various carriers to locations from ABQ to the city as well as Santa Fe, New Mexico.Taxi
- Taxis can be hailed through the Ground Transportation employees outside the baggage claim areas.
- On February 19, 1955, TWA Flight 260, a Martin 4-0-4 bound for Santa Fe, crashed into the Sandia Mountains shortly after takeoff. All 16 people on board the flight perished.
- On September 11, 1958, an F-102 Delta Dagger slid off the end of Runway 35 in heavy rain and struck a car on Gibson Boulevard before coming to rest in an empty lot on the north side of the street. Both occupants of the car were killed.
- On November 3, 1973, National Airlines Flight 27, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, suffered a catastrophic engine failure while en route from Houston to Las Vegas. Shrapnel from the engine struck the fuselage and caused an explosive decompression of the aircraft. One passenger was sucked out of the cabin. The plane was able to make an emergency landing at ABQ.
- On September 14, 1977, a USAF Boeing EC-135 crashed into the Manzano Mountains just after takeoff, killing all 20 people on board.
- On July 6, 1997, Delta Air Lines Flight 1470, a Boeing 727 suffered a right landing gear failure after landing on Runway 17. While there were no fatalities, 3 people were injured and the aircraft suffered serious damage.