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Area 51's New Name: 'Homey Airport'

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  • Area 51's New Name: 'Homey Airport'

    SOURCE: Wired´s Danger Room blog
    DATE: JAN 18, 2008
    BY: Sharon Weinberger

    Area 51's New Name: 'Homey Airport'

    Area 51 has a name and it's called Homey, as in Homey Airport. The newsletter of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association has noted that the mysterious Area 51 "has been appearing in flight-planning software and on handheld GPS receivers for most of the past year as KXTA (standing for what, extraterrestrial?)."

    This is great news, and I love the name Homey Airport. AOPA goes on to speculate what might happen, however, if a non-ET aircraft attempts to actually land at Homey Airport:

    The Jeppesen FliteStar flight-planning program and AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner even identify it as Homey Airport and add, “Private, VFR, No Fee, Customs Info Unavailable.” Well, there’s a fee. The airport is deep within heavily restricted airspace, guarded by fighter jets. First come the legal fees, the probable confiscation of your aircraft, and a personal fee in the form of jail time.

    AOPA editors found KXTA clearly marked on a handheld GPS map drawn from an outdated August 2007 database. Runways are described as Runway 12-30, 5,420 feet by 120 feet, and Runway 14-32, 12,000 feet by 200 feet. That’s not quite true. One end of 14-32 continues across a dry lakebed for another 11,000 feet, but that portion is closed and partially covered with blowing sand. And there are four additional runways marked in the sand of the dry lakebed.

    Writing at Aviation Week's Ares blog, Guy Norris notes: "In a story with so many twists, turns and blind alleys, the moniker of “Homey Airport” for the lakebed site is a new one to me. Historian Pete Merlin’s excellent review of the Groom Lake facility (see refers to earlier identities such as Paradise Ranch, Watertown and of course the 1958 establishment of Area 51 into which the airfield was subsumed with the expansion of the Nevada Test Site."

    Personally, I like Homey Airport.


    So, do I , Rattler Rings a bell somehow...