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American MD-80s in the desert (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Over the Boneyard: A Look Down at Roswell International Air Center

Roswell International Air Center is a public-use airport that serves the city of Roswell, N.M. It was previously known as Roswell Army International Airfield during World War II, and Walker Air Force Base during the Cold War. The base was previously known for a large presence of US Air Force Strategic Air Command, and the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. The base was closed and turned into the current airport on June 30, 1967.

The current airfield covers 5,029 acres and has two runways, one 13,001 feet and the other 9,999 feet. American Eagle is currently the only airline that services Roswell with daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix. The Air Force also frequently utilizes the airport for pattern work with aircraft mainly coming from Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico.

The airport includes a boneyard that houses many different types of aircraft, mainly old American Airlines jets. The airfield is home to over 200 aging jets scattered across the ramp. The dry desert air keeps old aircraft parts from aging faster, many of which will be used to keep active aircraft in the air.

AirlineGeeks was lucky enough to get an aerial tour over the airfield through a local flight school. Currently, if you were to visit the air center, you’d see mostly recently retired American MD-80s along with some of the airline’s 757s and 767s, many of which are still in the bare metal colors. The airport also currently hosts many of American’s 737 MAX 8s.

This story and its photos were produced by AirlineGeeks staff photographer Ben Suskind.


  • AirlineGeeks.com Staff

    AirlineGeeks.com began in February, 2013 as a one-man (er… teenager, rather) show. Since then, we’ve grown to have 20 active team members, and yes, we’re still growing. Some of us are looking to work in the aviation industry as professionals when we grow older. Some of us are still trying to decide what we want to do. That’s okay though, because we’re all here for the same reason: we love the airlines. We’re the youngest team of airline industry journalists out there.

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