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Homey Airport; KXTA - Nomenclature?

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posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 02:38 PM
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Greetings, fellow pilots and AM/FM buffs! I have a quick question that may not have an easy/quick answer - but the answer is out there somewhere -(and probably not that 'spooky'):

Does anyone have any idea, documentation, maps, or even a story or anecdote that can explain how the former Area 51/Groom Lake aerial facility came to be renamed Homey Airport/KXTA? What is the ORIGIN of the name "HOMEY" airport (&/or the "KXTA ICAO: airport code).

Although this renaming made a brief media splash a decade or so ago, I have been unable to find anything more about the background or schema in selecting and implementing this new element in the lineage of this facility. ("Dreamland", "Paradise Ranch", "Watertown", and other descriptors are a bit different since this 'Homey Airport' is an official federal FAA designation.)

For example, for years this airport has been listed as "now permanently closed", yet if it has never "opened" as Homey, how could it "now" be closed?

Also, if it is indeed officially and permanently closed, then how are all those aviation operations clearly going on daily around the airport - if the official airport is officially "closed"? Anyone with Google Earth can see a beehive of activity at the airport even now. How is that traffic handled at a 'closed' facility?

Here's an old Wired blurb on it... Not much else out there (no surprise, I suppose)...



edit on 4/26/2019 by Outrageo because: c.me@L5




posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 03:10 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

Could it be 'closed' to the public? A civilian plane surely couldn't land at Homey Airport without facing severe problems. I am just guessing obviously.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: spirit_horse

Yes. Airports get listed, even if there's no public access, because you could end up in a situation where it's there, or a hole in the ground.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 03:47 PM
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Permission to land at a "permanently closed" airport can (and must) be requested in advance (and, then, of course subsequently denied - for XTA especially...) - but in an emergency? Well, of course, the airport must be identified on charts, NOTAMs, etc. - although my guess your emergency better be quite quite severe, and quite genuine if you even think about starting a glide into this airspace. And even if you walk away from it unscathed, I can guarantee some very stressful and uncomfortable days ahead -and maybe kissing your wings goodbye...

My question is: HOW did it get the name "H-O-M-E-Y"? And what is the criteria used to designate HOMEY's code "KXTA" - I see no typical/logical FAA naming convention for airports evident (a la LAX/HNL/LON/ATL/HOU, etc.).

Just curious is all - not a big deal...

Thanks for chiming in!

p.s. For example, may this land have been owned by a rancher in the past who had a small airstrip here, by the last name of "Homey". Perhaps the cartographer mapping aeronautical charts came across a "Homey" Canyon, creek, wash, mountain, or other geographical feature and named the airport after that? Maybe the guy or gal in charge of designating a unique ID and code grew up loving "Homey the Clown"...? Ok, I'm throwing darts - but every strip has a history. This airport is especially colorful and intriguing for other reasons, of course (just breeze through a few hundred of these hallowed ATS threads!)

Yet - aviation/aeronautical/aerospace buffs get awful curious about these things, trivial as they may seem - and I'm running out of convincing "theory" about this topic at cocktail parties -and wish I had some reliable facts. WHO named this airport "Homey" , and if can be ascertained -why "Homey"?

edit on 4/26/2019 by Outrageo because: tt$a



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo



I see no typical/logical FAA naming convention for airports evident (a la LAX/HNL/LON/ATL/HOU, etc.).

How about ORD, OGG, JHM, UPP, HDH?

I think Homey is the actual name of the airfield, not a designation. But I don't know where it comes from.

edit on 4/26/2019 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 03:55 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

There's no public story behind it. The Nellis PAO was asked after ir was seen, and had no idea. It's thought that the XTA is a play on Extraterrestrial, since so many people equate the base with aliens. The K is used to identify airports in CONUS. All airports have a four letter identifier, so LAX is actually KLAX.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Many airports, as you must already know Phage, are named after the founder, closest large city, local politician, or other dignitary (such as O'hare Field in Chicago). Since identifiers must be unique, many airports need to stretch a bit to make something fit. But the attempt is made to make a phonetic fit, if possible/practical.

Good point, though!
edit on 4/26/2019 by Outrageo because: ~



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 04:20 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Outrageo

There's no public story behind it.


Umm, yep - thanks Zaph - I knew there was no "PUBLIC" story behind it. That's the problem. What I'm trying to determine is what was the story (not yet made public, perhaps) behind the naming logic (or, what, alternatively, "randomness?") of the word "HOMEY" being selected.

I'm rather sure that a bucket of five letter blocks didn't tumble out on to the floor somewhere, conveniently spelling out the word "HOMEY" in perfect sequential parlance.

There was a decision process involved. Heads and ideas came together for this - and a decision was ultimately made (not randomly, instantaneously, or absent of any forethought). Then, the final choice was submitted up through the chain-of-command for approvals (you know how it is...)

There need not be any secretive or otherwise sensitivity of information involved whatsoever. It may be as simple as the name of an old gold prospector's pet burro's grave marker found at the original site. Maybe it was an artesian well nearby that was capped to build a taxiway and the engineer who signed off on the valve job was named "Homey" by his pals. (or see previous posts - cartography is loaded with such cases). Anyway - you get the idea. It's an innocent question. Seeking leads to what is likely an equally innocent answer...

Just curious about the history here, is all. The missing pieces like this are irritating because it's hard to put together an accurate chronology. ANY clues?

Thanks, mates!

edit on 4/26/2019 by Outrageo because: ;>



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

If there's no public story behind it, you're probably not going to find out was my point. There are a couple people here that might know, but if it's not something already found, the odds are they're not talking.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Yeah, I was afraid of that, Dr.Fiveight - but thank you.

*sigh*

Thanks... I'll go back to the digital library then.

It was worth a shot...



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 04:38 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

I'll ask around and see if I can find out. Don't get your hopes up, but if I can, I'll tell you.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 05:29 PM
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As for landing at an unauthorized or closed facility it can and does happen. Planes can suffer electrical blackout and become lost in bad weather or be struck by lightening. Once a Mayday is declared all ground control will attempt to contact the pilot and lead them to safety. If radios are out approaching or overflying and waggling the wings back and forth will tell ground control you're out of contact.

When it does happen the pilot is taken into custody and informed they've made an unauthorized landing. Their aircraft is searched and checked for the problems they identified while airborne. After confirming the pilots ID and plane registration if the facility can repair the aircraft and make it airworthy they may then refuel the plane and allow the pilot to depart. It's a common sense approach and all aircraft flying in restricted zones are being tracked and watched. If the plane cannot be repaired then arrangements are made to remove it from the facility even if it requires disassembly and the pilot will be safely transported out.

I photographed a couple of these incidents for the USAF during my career including a couple of drunks who were arrested and detained for the civilian authorities. Deliberately overflying restricted zones will get you in legal trouble and your pilots license revoked. Landing during a real emergency will be treated as such until they sort out the details of the emergency.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo


Does anyone have any idea, documentation, maps, or even a story or anecdote that can explain how the former Area 51/Groom Lake aerial facility came to be renamed Homey Airport/KXTA? What is the ORIGIN of the name "HOMEY" airport (&/or the "KXTA ICAO: airport code).

Yeah , but take your Glasses Off First ........










posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

The identifier is probably something totally random. The K simply indicates an airport in the United States, so the short call sign is just XTA (like BUR for Burbank - which can also be called KBUR - or MCO for Orlando). Sometimes these designators some connection to the location name. Let's face it, BUR is pretty obvious, as is DFW for Dallas Fort Worth. Orlando Airport got MCO because it used to be McCoy Air Force Base.

The letters XTA probably mean nothing but they could also stand for Experimental Test Area, or the X is just filler and TA could be Test Area or Test Airfield, or something.

The name Homey is almost certainly derived from the long-standing code phrase Home Plate that has been used to indicate the airfield since at least the early 1960s. This name appears in numerous Project OXCART documents and was still in use in the late 1980s.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 07:27 PM
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Double post
edit on 26-4-2019 by Shadowhawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 08:48 PM
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originally posted by: Shadowhawk
a reply to: Outrageo



The letters XTA probably mean nothing but they could also stand for Experimental Test Area, or the X is just filler and TA could be Test Area or Test Airfield, or something.

The name Homey is almost certainly derived from the long-standing code phrase Home Plate that has been used to indicate the airfield since at least the early 1960s. This name appears in numerous Project OXCART documents and was still in use in the late 1980s.


Ahh... now that's more like it. My gratitude. I'll try to track down some of those obsolete OXCART charts. A gov't-produced piece of paper with "Home Plate" at those coordinates would be certainly validating.

Sure, XTA could mean any number of guesses - and those are good, but again, curious if there was decision-making process culminating in the letter-designation. I don't believe it was a haphazard , draw-from-a-hat affair, but rather a longer process involving many people and agencies - the matter was not taken lightly. To wit;

Has any, (or, more likely each) of the letters been acronymically assigned to a specific word (or symbol, toponym, etc.)? XTA, X-T-A Initialism or acrostic? x3?

Thank you for taking the time to reply, Shadowhawk...



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: Outrageo

I appreciate your enthusiasm, Outrageo, but you are giving the government waaaayyyy to much credit. Even the name "Area 51" was essentially pulled out of a hat when a government contractor accountant labeled the 1959 construction effort "Project 51." The official name (Area 51) was derived from that, not, as has been erroneously reported, from any sort of map grid of the Nellis Range. No such grid exists.

"Home Plate" was an unclassified term that could be used over radio channels, as when a pilot called in to report his progress during a flight. That term appears frequently in declassified Project OXCART documents. As I recall, Glenn Campbell also found it listed in a 1988 security handbook some time in the mid 1990s. That was the first time I ever heard that term.



posted on Apr, 27 2019 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: airforce47
As for landing at an unauthorized or closed facility it can and does happen.... ...Deliberately overflying restricted zones will get you in legal trouble and your pilots license revoked. Landing during a real emergency will be treated as such until they sort out the details of the emergency.


Thanks, AF47 - roger that one; and as it should be.

It's (mostly) understood to be a practical reaction that includes a combination of military protocol, aviation regulations, and common sense. No need to always shoot a wayward insect with a bum wing out of the sky with a cannon at close range - if human casualties, physical damage, and/or a [MSM] mess to clean up later is to be avoided.

Good summary/contribution; thanks



posted on Apr, 27 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: airforce47

An American A321 landed at Nellis a few weeks ago. They were getting to land at Mccarran, but the winds were too strong. They declared a fuel emergency, and Nellis opened up their runway.



posted on May, 4 2019 @ 01:00 PM
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I was looking at Flight Aware app today and stumbled upon KXTA. When you see the hundreds of commercial aircraft over that part of the U.S. there’s a literal halo around KXTA that extends pretty far where no air traffic penetrates. All routes circumvent that halo. Just interesting to see that big gap of airspace and hundreds of aircraft not cutting through.



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