Palm Springs International Airport (Guide)

Palm Springs International Airport, formerly known as Palm Springs Municipal Airport, is located in The City of Palm Springs, California. IATA code of the airport is PSP, and many refer to it this way. Palm Springs Airport covers more than nine hundred acres and operates with two runways. PSP is not a busy airport; it is referred to as one of the most stress-free airports in the USA. Arriving at the Palm Springs International Airport is a beautiful and memorable experience. The indoor-outdoor Palm Springs airport design is unique and offers bright sunlight, clean air, and panoramic views of the impressive Palm Springs region mountain range located on more than 940 acres with two runways.

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More about Palm Springs International Airport (Guide)

Palm Springs International Airport (Guide)

Information about the airport

Palm Springs International Airport, formerly known as Palm Springs Municipal Airport, is located in The City of Palm Springs, California. IATA code of the airport is PSP, and many refer to it this way. Palm Springs Airport covers more than nine hundred acres and operates with two runways. PSP is not a busy airport; it is referred to as one of the most stress-free airports in the USA. Arriving at the Palm Springs International Airport is a beautiful and memorable experience. The indoor-outdoor Palm Springs airport design is unique and offers bright sunlight, clean air, and panoramic views of the impressive Palm Springs region mountain range located on more than 940 acres with two runways.

Palm Springs International Airport's top destination is San Francisco, California, with nearly two hundred thousand passengers between 2018 and 2019. Seattle, Washington is next with one hundred and seventy thousand passengers. PSP is open 24 hours a day, while the TSA checkpoint opens about one and a half hours before the first departure. Palm Springs International Airport serves the Coachella Valley, which in turn hosts the Coachella Festival, one of the biggest's festivals in the world.

Palm Springs International Airport serves the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, and Indio, California. Direct flights to Palm Springs are provided by Bellingham, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Edmonton, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

History and past use

In 1928, the first airfield in Palm Springs was constructed by Prescott Stevens for his customers at the newly built El Mirador Hotel. The one dirt airstrip was used by Army and Navy cadets from March Airfield and San Diego and aviation pioneers.

The Navy and Army pilots had a rivalry, and they would get into yelling competitions as they traded insults at El Mirador. This had a negative influence on the hotel inmates.

Stevens showed his dissatisfaction not only with the cadets' behavior but with sound from the airfield as well. Because of this conflict, the Gray brothers invited a group of their Navy mates to fly into the runway. Then the Navy airmen sat on the airfield firing up the engines until the areas of El Mirador Hotel were completely coated in dust. Soon after, Stevens built a new airfield farther from the hotel. The next airstrip was made off Vista Chino, then named Canebrake Road, where Raymond Cree Middle School is positioned today.

The brand-new airstrip worked until 1934 and had its first commercial flight from Los Angeles to Tijuana. As air travel was becoming more common, Stevens' small airport was essentially being used by the customers of El Mirador Hotel. The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce leased land on Section 14 from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and created a new airport in Palm Springs. Alejo Road bounded this new airport on the north, Avenida Caballeros on the west, Tahquitz Canyon Way on the south, and Sunrise Way on the east. After the city's incorporation in 1938, this airport was called the Palm Springs Municipal Airport. A couple of months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Army Corps of Engineers subleased land on the site where the Palm Springs International Airport sits today.

Past use

Palm Springs Airport was built as a military emergency landing site in 1939. It was built on land owned by Native Americans. The airfield was improved during the world war 2 to be a staging field by the military Air Corps Ferrying Command. The new airfield was built just half a mile away from the old one. Construction was completed in 1942. The United States Air Force Unit conducted training operations on this land with fighters and fighter-bombers. Some of these were P-40 Warhawk, P-38 Lightning, and P-51 Mustang. After the war ended, the military decided that the main airfield was excess and sold it to private buyers. The city of Palm Springs then purchased it 1961 and opened Palm Springs Municipal Airport.

Western Airlines was the first to start commercial flights in PSP in 1945, then came Bonanza Air Lines in the 1950s. At this point, the only nonstop flights were to California, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, but that changed in the 1970s when American Airlines began flying nonstop to Chicago. By 1969, it was apparent that the runways were too small to support the more modern planes and huge commercial airplanes, especially in the warm summer months, when air pressure causes a longer take-off necessary.

Between 1973 and 1982, an $11 million restoration was conducted, extending and upgrading the airfield with new runway illumination, fire stations, and taxiways. By 1979, yearly travelers had reached 600,000. The runways were extended anew in 1998, also that year, the first nonstop transcontinental flight landed on Alaska Airlines from Vancouver. The next year, a US Customs official was placed at the airport to provide to a large number of international corporate and private planes departing and landing. The airport got its modern moniker: Palm Springs International Airport.

In 2006, Air Force One Aircraft carrying the body of Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of United States, departed Palm Springs International Airport towards Washington DC for memorial services. A new concourse opened in 2007, raising the total number of gates to 16. In 2011, Palm Springs International Airport was named one of "America's top 10 most stress-free airports." A massive study by famous glass artist Dale Chihuly is the main attraction of an airport that provides tourists a welcoming sight of the desert lifestyle. Wonderfully groomed outside terrace seats, entertainment areas for kids and pets, a bakery, Starbucks coffee, souvenir shops, and newsstands all contribute to passenger comfort.