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Albuquerque Metropolitan Airport Development Committee Collection,

Identifier: MSS-657-BC

Scope and Content

The collection documents much of the discussion and controversy surrounding plans to build a publicly-owned general aviation airport system on Albuquerque's West Mesa. Reports from consultants (Landrum and Brown, Herkenhoff and Associates, Ralph M. Parsons Company) and the Federal Aviation Authority, minutes and memos from meetings of the West Mesa Airport Evaluation Committee and Metropolitan Airport Development Committee chaired by Robert Nordhaus, news clippings, and other documents which belonged to committee member, Sherman Wengerd, comprise the collection of sixteen folders arranged in chronological order.


  • 1969-1979


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Project History

In 1969, Landrum and Brown were commissioned to study general aviation needs of the Albuquerque area, and to explore the feasibility of building a "reliever" airport on Albuquerque's West Mesa. The results of their study suggested, among other things, that the existing international airport be expanded rather than constructing a new airport on the West Mesa. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) did not support the report's findings, preferring the West Mesa option.

A city/county-wide controversy ensued. The city created the Airport Advisory Board, and the county created the West Mesa Airport Evaluation Committee to study the issue. In December 1970, the City and County Commissions joined together to reconstitute the West Mesa Airport Evaluation Committee as the Metropolitan Airport Development Committee (MADC), with members appointed by both entities. The MADC had an advisory role to the City and County Commissions, and was also charged with studying land acquisition west of the volcanoes.

In 1971, the City and County applied to the FAA for a master planning grant to study a West Mesa Airport site. Herkenhoff and Associates of Albuquerque and the Ralph M. Parsons Company of Los Angeles were selected to jointly conduct the Airport Master Plan Study, beginning in February, 1972. Their findings indicated that there were immediate foreseeable needs to develop a facility as a "reliever" for general aviation pressures on Albuquerque's International Airport.

In 1975, the Urban Transportation Planning Board recommended that local governments proceed with the application process for federal assistance to construct a new airport. A year-long environmental impact assessment was completed in December 1976. Public hearings were held in early 1977. An initial FAA grant providing funding for land acquisition was accepted by the City in the fall of 1978. A second grant for land acquisition followed in 1979. Ground was broken for a new airport on the West Mesa on December 10, 1982. Grand opening ceremonies took place on October 5, 1983. The airport was named the Double Eagle II Airport.


1 box (1 cu. ft.)


The collection consists of newspaper clippings, consultants reports, and agendas and meeting minutes of the Metropolitan Airport Development Committee, pertaining to the feasibility and need for a general aviation airport on Albuquerque's West Mesa.
Finding Aid of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Airport Development Committee Collection, 1969-1979
Edited Full Draft
Processed by M. LaCroix
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 657 BC::Albuquerque Metropolitan Airport Development Committee Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss657bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131