A new era in Holloman flight operations

  • Published
  • By Captain Jim Jackson
  • 49th Operatoins Support Squadron
On Feb. 15, 2008, the Aero Club will launch its historic first uncontrolled airfield operations (UAO) flight from Holloman Air Force Base. This will kick off a new era in Holloman flight operations and will be the culmination of hard work put in by many base agencies to make UAO a reality.

Uncontrolled airfield operations is an Air Combat Command, first of its kind, flying procedure that allows Aero Club, Army Air, Alamogordo's Civil Air Patrol and specific aircraft of the 46th Test Group to fly when Holloman's airfield and Air Traffic Control tower is closed.

During the past eight years, Holloman's airfield operations flight attempted to get UAO procedures approved. Finally, in December 2007, UAO flying procedures at Holloman were approved. Holloman's UAO policy helped establish ACC directives and set a bench-mark for the entire command.

"Uncontrolled airfield operations will save tremendous amounts of money and allow operators the flexibility to fly at any time, even when the control tower and airfield management facilities are closed," said Lt. Col. Alex Grynkewich, commander of the 49th Operation Support Squadron.

Currently, the Aero Club repositions many of its aircraft to Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport on weekends when Holloman's airfield is closed which allows Aero Club members to continue flight training.

"Uncontrolled airfield operations will save the Aero Club countless dollars in rising fuel costs and manpower associated with repositioning aircraft from airport to airport while simultaneously promoting better customer support," said Col. Jack Forsythe, 49th Operations Group commander. "Army Air will reap similar benefits while performing vital White Sands Missile Range operations," he said.

An important message to Holloman's flight-line drivers:

Effective Feb. 1, 2008, flight-line drivers are not permitted to operate within the airfield's controlled movement area or on the north ramp when the airfield is closed without specific UAO flight-line driver's training. Contact the base flight-line driving program manager, Mr. Eric Martinez, at 572-5410 for more details. Additionally, flight-line drivers who have received UAO training, and have a mission requirement to operate within the CMA or north ramp during periods of airfield closure, will contact the Command Post at 572-7575 to receive approval before entering the CMA or north ramp. For questions or concerns, please contact the airfield operations flight at 572-3421.