Yuma International Airport is situated in the heart of sunny Yuma, Arizona, on the borders of California and Northern Mexico, and serves an array of clientele ranging from airline passengers, general aviation pilots, military guests and aviation/aerospace contractors.
Yuma International Airport is a shared-use airport with civilian and military flight activity operated in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps via the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. The airport’s terminal is home to four car rental agencies, American Airlines, Customs and Border Protection, and Brewers Sports Bar and Restaurant – where you can sit downstairs in the main dining area or come upstairs to the Sky Box to enjoy the great food and fantastic views of the airfield and aviation activities. Together, the entire Yuma International Airport team offers a calm and relaxing atmosphere for our traveling clientele who work hard to ensure that everyone’s experience in our airport is an enjoyable one. For our military travelers, the Airport created the Military Comfort Center featuring plush furniture, books and games, several computers to check email and wonderful volunteers who make cookies and lemonade and love to make you feel at home.
Yuma International Airport is a strong community partner and is proud of its close relationships with the City of Yuma, Yuma County, Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, Visit Yuma, Arizona Western College, the US Yuma Proving Ground and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Together the community partners work in collaboration in an effort to encourage and increase business development, higher education, job creation and tourism.
Yuma is home to two major military installations, the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground and Marine Corps Air Station where significant testing and training is conducted by military, defense contractors and allied nations. Military activity is Yuma’s second leading economy (Agribusiness is number one) with an annual economic impact of over $1.75B and 65,000+ visitors.
Although many U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA), this airport is assigned NYL by the FAA and YUM by the IATA (which has not assigned NYL to any airport). The airport's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) identifier is KNYL.
Yuma International Airport covers an area of 3,100 acres (1,300 ha) at an elevation of 213 feet (65 m) above mean sea level. It has four runways:
3L/21R measuring 13,300 by 200 feet (4,054 by 61 m), concrete
3R/21L measuring 9,240 by 150 feet (2,816 by 46 m), asphalt/concrete
8/26 measuring 6,146 by 150 feet (1,873 by 46 m), asphalt
17/35 measuring 5,710 by 150 feet (1,740 by 46 m), asphalt
Yuma's history of flight dates to 1911 when Robert Fowler took off from Yuma to set a world's record for endurance and distance. He entered a Transcontinental Air competition sponsored by William Randolph Hearst. Originating in Los Angeles, he arrived in Yuma on October 25. Over 2,000 spectators watched the aircraft circle and make a landing. The next day he succeeded in setting a world's record. The site is home to the Yuma Landing Sports Bar and Grill and features historical aviation and Yuma artifacts.
In 1925, the Yuma Chamber of Commerce began negotiations to secure an airport for Yuma. After two years, 40 acres (16 ha) of land was secured from the federal government. The land was cleared, leveled, and the first hangar constructed. The land was officially designated as an active airport and named Fly Field after Colonel Ben Franklin Fly. In the beginning, Fly Field had limitations, including loose sand and a lack of facilities. In 1925, the Chamber's Aviation Committee decided another 160 acres (65 ha) was needed to create a first-class landing field in Yuma. Intense negotiations resulted in a public/private land trade, along with a promise by the government to provide Fly Field a steel frame hangar capable of housing 12 airplanes. Congressman Douglas of Arizona introduced a bill asking for the lease of 640 acres (260 ha) of government land to Yuma County for 20 years at a cost of $1 per year, with the privilege of renewal for another 20 years at the same rate. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Yuma Aviation Bill on February 27, 1928.
Almost immediately, the aviation committee started lining up activities for the airport. Yuma was selected to be a night stop for three transcontinental air races from New York to Los Angeles, and an international air race from Mexico to Los Angeles. The Chamber agreed to provide free gas and oil to the racers, at an estimated cost of $2,000. Yuma was also selected to be a stop-over for the first All American Tour of 25 Airplanes. In June of that year, the military announced that a United States Meteorological and Aerological station would be constructed at Fly Field at a cost of $30,000 and would be manned by four Army personnel, marking the first military presence at Yuma's airport.
In 1929, Yuma was selected as the first stop for the Women's Transcontinental Air Race. Amelia Earhart experienced landing problems and nosed her aircraft in the soft sand, destroying her propeller. A new propeller and mechanics were flown in from Los Angeles to make repairs so she could continue in the race. Fly Field experienced a downturn during the depression; but in the late 1930s it became clear that the United States faced a threat of conflict with the German Reich. The War Department needed facilities to train combat pilots and crews. Planning for the Yuma area, including a potential bombing range located between Yuma and Gila Bend, started in 1939 when a group of aeronautical experts toured the area. The Yuma County Board of Supervisors recommended Fly Field as a base for the Army Air Corps. Initially, Yuma County assumed the burden of airfield maintenance and limited the use exclusively to Army and Navy aircraft.
Money for the Fly Field expansion arrived early in 1941. Three separate government agencies pooled a total of $781,000 to initiate construction. By mid-year another $635,000 became available for re-paving the north-south runway. Between 1941 and 1942 two paved runways, each measuring 4,200 by 150 feet (1,280 by 46 m), were completed under the command of the 403rd Army Air Force Base Unit, Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center. In June 1942, the War Department authorized an additional $3 million. The first class of cadets arrived in January 1943 when the field was used for advanced pilot and gunnery training.
In September 1946, Yuma Army Air Field was scaled back and declared a surplus. The civilian portion of the field was returned to County, who again referred to it as Fly Field. The Chamber of Commerce promoted the City of Yuma airplane's famous endurance flights, which highlighted the region's weather which was very conducive to flying. This was a topic of particular importance to the military. The Airport became very active as a military facility during the Korean War, and was used extensively by the U.S. Air Force. In early 1951 the County Supervisors received a Department of Defense proposal to lease the airfield as a civilian-operated military training base with specific military and civilian sides. The Yuma County Board of Supervisors gave the U.S. Air Force a right of entry and in 1956 the field was named Vincent Air Force Base.
At the same time, the United States issued a U.S. Government Patent from the Department of the Interior which conveyed specific airport land to Yuma County. The conveyed land was the general footprint within today's current Airport boundary. The patent also preserves the ability of Yuma County to collect and retain landing fees to provide for Airport operating expenses. In addition to the conveyance of land, the patent granted rights to unrestricted civil aviation use of the airfield's facilities, including all runways and taxiways.
In 1959, control of the base was given to the United States Navy and then, nine days later, to the U.S. Marine Corps. The base was renamed Marine Corps Air Station Yuma (MCAS Yuma) on July 20, 1962. In 1965, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors created the Yuma County Airport Authority in accordance with the provisions of section 10-451, of the Arizona Revised Statutes, to take over the airport and all associated activity. A board of directors was elected from the community to oversee the Airport Authority and all airport functions.
Yuma International Airport’s current terminal was constructed in 1999 and name for long time Board Member F.C. “Frosty” Braden. In 2007, the board of directors passed a resolution declaring that Yuma International Airport was an "Aviation Partner" with MCAS Yuma. That partnership continues today, allows for unrestricted civil aviation use of the airfield facilities, including all runways and taxiways and promotes the security of the United States.
In 2009, the Yuma County Airport Authority created the Defense Contractor Complex (DCC) with new hangars, office space, expanded infrastructure in support of aviation and aerospace aircraft testing or maintenance/repair operations and business development opportunities. Then in 2010, Freeman Holdings, Inc. opened its Fixed Based Operations (FBO), Million Air Yuma, and provides a wide range of support and ground-handling services on the airfield.
Yuma currently holds several Guinness Book of World Records including Sunniest City in the World with over 4,015 hours of sunlight per year, and longest Wall of Fire measuring 16,046.5 ft. This was achieved by the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma at the Yuma Air Show on 18 March 2017. The Marine Corps Air Station broke their previous record of 10,178.3 ft set in March 2009.
Yuma International Airport appreciates this opportunity to be featured and invites you to visit our website, www.FlyYuma.com or our social media pages.
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