posted on Apr, 12 2014 @ 05:46 PM
reply to post by weavty1
KTPH is not really an essential airport from the standpoint of needing a place to be based. The FAA has a significant presence in Tonopah for
communications gear in the nearby mountains. Thus they might as well stage at the airport. If it wasn't for the comm gear, I think the operation at
KTPH would be smaller.
At 38.064124 -117.098785 are the civilian hangars. Even the one with the roof in disrepair is still in use. Desert Flying Services is over there.
There is one hangar with direct access to the airport on the north side at 38.064448 -117.096669. That has been there for years.
Most aircraft at KTPH are transitory. They just park in the open. I've seen Lifeflight operations out there with ambulance meeting the transport
plane. I've also seen fire fighting aircraft at KTPH. But it isn't a particularly busy place, and a new hangar is odd given the state of the economy
and size of the town. (Population 2500 or so.)
The Sundance choppers use KTPH when they do work on the Nellis range. The contracts are such that they seem to have access to the SUA, but probably
not to the Nellis infrastructure, i.e. fueling. Sundance has contracts related to wildlife surveys, and they also do flights related to the comm/radar
facilities on the range. A typical trip is a flight from McCarran to KTPH, then they leave from KTPH to roam the range, then return to KTPH before
going back to Vegas. I've tracked them electronically often, though I've only seen them at the airport once.
The trailer park nearby looks nearly deserted. I guess someone speculated that the transmix refinery nearby would need housing, but apparently not, or
they chose to live elsewhere. The big employer in town is the prison at 38.168656 -117.106699. Lots of traffic related to that facility.