Monday, January 02, 2017

All These Airfields Are For You -- Except KXTA Attempt No Landing There

A little aviation database oddity to open the new year.

While there are a plethora of airfields you can land on in the USA, and you can even land on military airfields in case of an emergency. You'd likely have to do a fair bit of paperwork if you did land at a military airfield in an emergency, but it's far better in a real emergency to declare it, land and do a bit of paperwork rather than not declare, fly on, and have someone else do the paperwork reporting your demise due to your stupidity.

But, there's one airfield in the continental US where you definitely cannot land.

This prohibited airfield however now happens to be in quite a few civilian aviation GPS databases.

KXTA, is otherwise known as Homey Airport and even better known to the world and especially the tinfoil hat brigade as Area 51.

It's an interesting story as to how it managed to get an ICAO identifier and get accidentally added to civilian GPS airport databases.

That error remains in lots of databases still used today, creating some humorous results:

Yes, thanks to this lasting database entry error, you can book your own private jet charter from Area 51.

Good luck with that.


OldAFSarge said...

Happy New Year, Aaron, to you and yours.

(I'm still catching up on my blog reading!)

Borepatch said...

Seems strange that you can land at Andrews but not there.