Tucson IAP (ANG) is located in the southern part of Tucson, Arizona wedged between Interstates 10 and 19. It's home to the 162nd Fighter Wing whose mission in peacetime is to provide F-16 training for Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and foreign aircrews and in wartime to continue combat aircrew training and provide filler forces in direct support of war operations. The base encompasses 94 acres and contains 36 buildings; 35 industrial and 1 administrative with a total of approximately 530,000 square feet. There is no family or transient housing. The day-to-day base population is approximately 1000 personnel; however, one weekend each month the population surges to 1600 in response to Air National Guard drills.
One of the noisiest aircraft using TIA is the Arizona Air National Guard F-16 Fighter. The Air National Guard (ANG) has been operating out of TIA since 1956. Today, the TIA ANG base is home to one of the world's top two F-16 training squadrons. In August 1994 the Tucson Airport Authority and the Arizona Air National Guard signed a "letter of agreement" which included: Restricting the total annual number of ANG operations at TIA. It limited the use of afterburners - which are extremely noisy - to no more than 10% of annual F-16 takeoffs. The agreement also restricted F-16 afterburner usage to southeast takeoffs, over vacant land, whenever possible, and eliminated ANG fiight training or engine runups between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Tucson opened the first municipally owned airport in the United States in 1919. Commercial air service began in Tucson with Standard Airlines (later American Airlines) in 1928. Regular airmail service started two years later. In 1948 the Tucson Airport Authority was created as a non-profit, quasi-public corporation to operate the airport. The airport moved to its current location and operated on the west ramp out of three hangars vacated by WWII military manufacturing companies. In 1963 a new terminal facility was completed, housing six airlines and an international inspection station, earning the title, Tucson International Airport.
In 1988 TAA moved Tucson International Airport's main runway, 11L-29R, 1/2 mile to the southeast. This moved aircraft takeoffs and landings further away from populated areas. The shift also increased the altitude of aircraft arriving over populated areas, which keeps the highest noise exposure on airport property.
The terminal has 26 aircraft parking spaces, plus two spaces at International Building. Privately owned hangars house 240 aircraft; TAA and its tenants offer tie down positions for another 350 general aviation aircraft. The airport employs nearly 13,000 people with a payroll of $72 million. It is estimated there are another 10,000 people working in the airport area.
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