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Castle Airport

Castle Airport
USGS aerial photo as of 15 August 1998
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OwnerMerced County Department of Commerce, Aviation, and Economic Development
LocationAtwater, California
Elevation58 m (191 ft)
Aircraft operations72153
Based aircraft80

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Castle Airport is a public use airport located seven nautical miles (13 km) northwest of the central business district of Merced, a city in Merced County, California, United States. It is operated by the Merced County Department of Commerce, Aviation, and Economic Development.

The airport is located at the former Castle Air Force Base which closed in 1995. This land is owned jointly by the city of Merced, city of Atwater and the county of Merced. Until 2007 this land was administered by the JPA or Joint Powers Administration.

It has served two large flight schools, American School of Aviation (ASA) and Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, both of which specialize in training foreign pilots, from India and China respectively. Activity related to these two schools makes up the majority of the air traffic at Castle. In early 2007, the control tower was reopened to handle increased training traffic.

Castle Air Museum is 500 yd (457.2 m) away, displaying over 50 restored World War II, Korean War, and Cold War era aircraft. Among the exhibit highlights are a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the world's fastest manned aircraft, and the massive Convair RB-36 Peacemaker, the only surviving reconnaissance variant of the largest bomber ever built for the United States Air Force.

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