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DakotaFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:37 pm

Hello,

Air Force One is visiting my city today and our commercial airport (BJI) is non-towered. I was just wondering how these types of flights are handled. Will MSP tower be responsible or does the Air Force bring their own temporary control tower?
 
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PatrickZ80
Posts: 4688
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:41 pm

For regular use, these airports might not have a tower but they do have a unicom frequency. It could be that Air Force One just tunes in to the unicom. On the other hand, they might install temporary ATC.
 
Noshow
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:43 pm

I don't know about AF1 but I once had a VIP "United States" Gulfstream in the circuit of a small non towered airport (Barstow Dagett) when they arrived at the same time as my rented 152. They normally talked on the radio and where quite polite and helpful to deal with. I even had the pleasure of passing their honor guard on my way to transient parking.
 
32andBelow
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:47 pm

The flight will be worked by the overlying center or tracon. There will be a TFR so no one else should be landing. Secret service would be at the airport prior to their arrival.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8362
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:51 pm

I’d bet the AF put a CCT team on the field to handle the comms and enforce the TFR. They’re a Mobile ATC team, no temp tower, needed. MSP ARTCC provides ATC service once airborne.

Here’s the TFR.

https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_4043.html
 
727LOVER
Posts: 8633
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:21 pm

Longest runway is 5,700 ft.....they using the 747?
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:32 pm

727LOVER wrote:
Longest runway is 5,700 ft.....they using the 747?

a lightly loaded 747 can take off or land on a 5700ft runway though I'm not sure why they would when the AF-2 C32's can do it easily.
 
Nick614
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:55 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:08 pm

Trump usually takes the 757 for his campaign stops
 
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Tugger
Posts: 11484
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:39 pm

Nick614 wrote:
Trump usually takes the 757 for his campaign stops

Yep, it's the C-32:
https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/666 ... to-Bemidji
(Top vid has the landing, sort of)

Tugg
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:42 pm

GW Bush flew the C-32 into ELD back during his Presidency.

The USAF put a temporary tower / team at the airport to handle coms on the unicom frequency. A helicopter was also brought in incase a diversion was needed. Five other USAF 89th aircraft landed at that field before the president came in, and left after he flew out. Murphy Petroleum bases their corporate jets at that field. Talked to one of their pilots a year or so after. It was the busiest that airport has ever been. Not enough ramp space for all the USAF aircraft, so they were parked on the unused runway.

The no-fly zone extended to over a dozen local fields, and every one was visited by the Secret Service who put up notices on the gates to access the field of the restriction on ANY flights during that time period.

Also the VC-25 was brought to Barksdale, on standby if the C-32 could not take off, along with the C-17 for the helicopter, and the C-17 for the motorcade vehicles. I understand the LA state police and AR state police blocked traffic for the motorcade vehicles. A lot of people thought the president was in the limo as it made the 100 mile trip through several small towns.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:40 am

Re: Air Force One and Non-towered Airports

Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:32 pm

Because they would be flying IFR, they would just talk to whichever Center or Approach that was controlling the airspace and they’d clear them for the approach. President Bush use to come to Maine to visit his parents estate on the C-32. They use to fly into Sanford Regional Airport-SFM which is primarily a small quiet uncontrolled GA airport. Always impressive seeing a 757 there on the ramp with Cessna 172’s.

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