ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque has big plans for its small relief airport on the westside known as the Double Eagle Airport.
The city is in the final stages of approving a new 20-year outlook, or master plan for Double Eagle, which calls for about $60 million in construction projects at the airport over the next two decades.
Built in the early 1970s, the airport was conceptualized as a “reliever” general aviation airport for the Sunport, which handles Albuquerque’s commercial airline traffic.
Since then, the mission hasn’t changed much for Double Eagle, but the amount of air traffic has steadily increased, with pilot training, small aircraft and military aircraft frequently using the airport’s two runways. “Our goal is to continue to move a lot of that relief route traffic, and the general aviation traffic to Double Eagle,” said Nyika Allen, the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department director. “Double Eagle is a great place for them to still be prioritized.”
In 2015, Double Eagle logged about 67,000 aircraft uses. By 2035, the city’s mid-range projection estimates more than 102,000 aircraft uses at Double Eagle in a single year. “I think between business and students and military, which of course we’re strong here in New Mexico, we expect to see some growth in that area,” said Allen.
Helicopters have proven to be one of the biggest areas of growth at Double Eagle. Military, medical, police and media helicopters have increasingly landed and taken off from the relief airport, according to the city.
Along with new hangers, one of the potentially largest projects outlined for the Double Eagle Airport is a new helipad area. “The addition of kind of a helicopter pad would allow us to separate that a little more from the general aviation plane traffic,” said Allen.
The city believes most of the $60 million in outlined projects could be paid for with federal funding or grants from the “AIP” or Airport Improvement Program.
Albuquerque city councilors are looking to approve the Double Eagle Airport master plan in the coming weeks.
Future regional transit plans also call for extending “Paseo del Volcan” south from Rio Rancho, right past the Double Eagle Airport. The planned Paseo del Volcan would also connect with I-40 on the westside of Albuquerque.