Fresno Chandler Executive Airport
Chandler Municipal Airport (Old)
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport as seen in a 2006 aerial photo
|Owner||City of Fresno|
|Operator||City of Fresno Airports Division|
|Elevation AMSL||279 ft / 85 m|
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport (IATA: FCH, ICAO: KFCH, FAA LID: FCH) is a public use airport 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the central business district of Fresno, in Fresno County, California, United States. It is owned by the City of Fresno and the designated airport manager is Rick Duncan.
Chandler Airport opened in November 1929 and served as Fresno's primary airport for civil and commercial aviation until 1948.
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport is one of the oldest operational airports in California.
The history of the airport stretches back to the end of World War I. At the time, there were no facilities for aviation in the Fresno area. Recognizing the problem, husband and wife Wilber F. Chandler and Edna Maria Goble allowed pilots to take off and land in their fields once the crops were harvested. Pilots called the site "Chandler Field."
Efforts to raise funds a permanent aviation field in the city of Fresno started in the early 1920s. One notable fundraiser was the "World's Greatest Aerial Circus" held at the Chandler farm on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day 1923 featuring races, parachute jumps and dual wing walking.
In 1929, the Chandler family donated 100 acres of their land to the city to be used as a public-use airfield. The site was named after the family and opened as Chandler Air Field in November 1929. The airport was used by both civil and commercial aviation.
Less than a decade after it was open, it was already clear that the small runway would not be able to accommodate the increasingly larger airplanes used by the commercial airlines. Chandler's runway was extended to 4,000 feet in 1938 as part of a Works Project Administration project.
In early 1941, shortly before the United States officially entered World War II, the United States Army Air Corps Southwest Air District took over the airport while nearby Hammer Field was being built. Hammer Field opened in June 1942 and all military activity moved there.
After the end of the war, Hammer Field was inactivated by the Army Air Forces, and in 1946 the War Assets Administration reallocated the property to the city of Fresno. The airport opened in 1948 as the Fresno Air Terminal (FAT) (it has since been renamed the Fresno Yosemite International Airport). Trans World Airlines (TWA) and United Airlines flights to San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles moved from Chandler Field to the newly opened airport.
Fresno Chandler Executive Airport covers 200 acres (81 ha) at an elevation of 279 feet (85 m) above mean sea level. It has one asphalt paved runway designated 12/30 that is 3,630 by 75 feet (1,106 by 23 m).
For the 12-month period ending May 9, 2017 the airport had 24,885 general aviation aircraft operations, an average of 68 per day. At that time there were 124 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 7% ultralight, 6% multi-engine, 4% helicopter, and 1% jet.