Watertown Regional Airport
(former Watertown Army Airfield)
|Owner||City of Watertown|
|Serves||Watertown, South Dakota, U.S.|
|Elevation AMSL||1,749 ft / 533 m|
Source: Federal Aviation Administration
Watertown Regional Airport( IATA : ATY , ICAO : KATY, FAA LID : ATY), formerly Watertown Municipal Airport, is two miles northwest of Watertown in Codington County, South Dakota.
An IATA airport code, also known as an IATA location identifier, IATA station code or simply a location identifier, is a three-letter code designating many airports and metropolitan areas around the world, defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The characters prominently displayed on baggage tags attached at airport check-in desks are an example of a way these codes are used.
The ICAOairport code or location indicator is a four-letter code designating aerodromes around the world. These codes, as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and published in ICAO Document 7910: Location Indicators, are used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015-2019 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service facility. Federal Aviation Administration data says it had 4,348 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2013, a decrease of 30.5% from 6,254 enplanements in 2012.
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) is an inventory of U.S. aviation infrastructure assets. NPIAS was developed and now maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a system for categorizing public-use airports that is primarily based on the level of commercial passenger traffic through each facility. It is used to determine if an airport is eligible for funding through the federal government's Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Fewer than 20% of airports in the U.S. qualify for the program, though most that don't qualify are private-use-only airports.
Generally speaking, a calendar year begins on the New Year's Day of the given calendar system and ends on the day before the following New Year's Day, and thus consists of a whole number of days. A year can also be measured by starting on any other named day of the calendar, and ending on the day before this named day in the following year. This may be termed a "year's time", but not a "calendar year". To reconcile the calendar year with the astronomical cycle certain years contain extra days.
During World War II, the airfield was used by the United States Army Air Forces as a Second Air Force cold weather bomber training base as an auxiliary to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, and by Air Proving Ground Command.
The United States Army Air Forces, informally known as the Air Force, was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army during and immediately after World War II (1939/41–1945), successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force of today, one of the five uniformed military services. The AAF was a component of the United States Army, which on 2 March 1942 was divided functionally by executive order into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply, and the Army Air Forces. Each of these forces had a commanding general who reported directly to the Army Chief of Staff.
The Second Air Force is a USAF numbered air force responsible for conducting basic military and technical training for Air Force enlisted members and non-flying officers. In World War II the CONUS unit defended the Northwestern United States and Upper Great Plains regions and during the Cold War, was Strategic Air Command unit with strategic bombers and missiles. Elements of Second Air Force engaged in combat operations during the Korean War; Vietnam War, as well as Operation Desert Storm.
B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator units underwent advanced training before going overseas. One unit that trained here was the 702d Bombardment Squadron of the 445th Bombardment Group.
The airport covers 919 acres (372 ha) at an elevation of 1,749 feet (533 m). It has two runways: 12/30 is 6,898 by 100 feet (2,102 x 30 m) concrete and 17/35 is 6,893 by 100 feet (2,100 x 30 m) concrete.
The acre is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong, which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1⁄640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare. Based upon the International yard and pound agreement of 1959, an acre may be declared as exactly 4,046.8564224 square metres. The acre is a statute measure in the United States and was formerly one in the United Kingdom and almost all countries of the former British Empire, although informal use continues.
The hectare is an SI accepted metric system unit of area equal to a square with 100-metre sides, or 10,000 m2, and is primarily used in the measurement of land. There are 100 hectares in one square kilometre. An acre is about 0.405 hectare and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.
In 2013 the airport had 15,200 aircraft operations, an average 42 per day: 72% general aviation, 18% air carrier, and 10% air taxi. At that time 32 aircraft were based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 19% multi-engine, 6% jet, and 6% glider.
General Aviation (GA) represents the private transport and recreational flying component of aviation, as well as the manufacturing or building process of those aircraft.
An air taxi is a small commercial aircraft which makes short flights on demand.
An aircraft engine is a component of the propulsion system for an aircraft that generates mechanical power. Aircraft engines are almost always either lightweight piston engines or gas turbines, except for small multicopter UAVs which are almost always electric aircraft.
From 2012 to 2018, runways 17/35 and 12/30 were overhauled using concrete, replacing worn out asphalt on both runways.
The airport passenger terminal was renovated in 2009. The upgrades included an overhaul of the interior design and an expanded TSA inspection area. The airport has no jet bridge, as the turboprop planes that served the airport did not work with them. With the introduction of jet service to the airport in 2016 and the discussion of a possible new terminal building in coming years, the airport could acquire a jet bridge in the near future. Watertown is the only commercial airport in South Dakota without a jet bridge.
The airport has free parking.
President Barack Obama landed at the airport twice, first in 2008 during his presidential campaign, and on May 8, 2015, to address the graduating class of 2015 from Lake Area Technical Institute. Both times, President Obama has arrived on a Boeing 757, during his campaign, on a chartered North American Airlines 757, and as president, using a smaller version of Air Force One (the Boeing C-32).
Air service to Watertown is provided by SkyWest Airlines using 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet 200s operating as United Express, with daily flights to Chicago and Denver.
|United Express||Chicago–O'Hare, Denver|
Airline flights at Watertown started about 1938; Braniff pulled out in 1959. North Central arrived in 1957 and successor Republic pulled out in 1985. The first jet flights were North Central DC9s in 1968.
Mesaba Airlines, operating as Northwest Airlink, and later, Delta Connection, served Watertown for years, with daily Saab 340s to Minneapolis/St. Paul. When Delta quit using the Saab 340 in December 2011, and announced the end of air service to Watertown, flights from Minneapolis temporarily used Delta's Canadair Regional Jet 200, until Great Lakes Airlines took over 4 months later.
Great Lakes Airlines offered daily non-stop 19-seat (later 9-seat) Beechcraft 1900Ds to Minneapolis/St. Paul, until city officials voted to end the service, citing unreliability of the airline.Great Lakes ended service to the airport on September 30, 2015.
In 2016, Aerodynamics, Inc. (later California Pacific Airlines) began flying to Watertown with daily service to Denver, via Pierre. However, the airline suspended all operations nationwide and ended flights to Pierre and Watertown on January 17, 2019.
Air service to Watertown resumed on April 3, 2019 with SkyWest Airlines operating as United Express.
Sun Country Airlines flew several seasonal charter Boeing 737-800s to Laughlin/Bullhead City International Airport in Arizona, known as "casino or gamblers' flights," in coordination with travel agencies in Watertown. These trips ended in 2015.
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Pierre, SD||12,640||California Pacific|
Mesaba Aviation, Inc. was an American regional airline based in Eagan, Minnesota From 2010 to 2012 the airline was a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corporation. Its flights operated as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines and US Airways Express for US Airways. Previously, the airline operated as Northwest Airlink and Northwest Jetlink on behalf of Northwest Airlines which subsequently merged with Delta. Mesaba Airlines effectively ceased operations on January 4, 2012, when all aircraft and personnel were transitioned to the Pinnacle Airlines operating certificate. Mesaba's operating certificate was surrendered on July 31, 2012.
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