The airport of Falcon Field is situated in Maricopa County, Arizona. It was erected 6 miles (5.2 kilometers; 9.7 kilometers) northeast of Mesa, which owns it. It is currently, however, within city borders. It is classified as a relief airport in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021. Western Express Air’s scheduled service to Bullhead City ceased in January 2007.
The FAA and IATA utilize the same three-letter location identifier for most U.S. airports, although Falcon Field’s FAA code is FFZ and the IATA code is MSC.
Falcon Field Park is a five-acre public park administered by the City of Mesa’s Parks, Recreation & Commercial Facilities Department on the grounds of Falcon Field Airport. During World War II, the park was home to barracks and a recreation hall for British Royal Air Force cadets stationed at Falcon Field for pilot training. The recreation hall fireplace and commemorative plaques may still be seen near the park’s east end.
According to historians, a Hollywood motion picture studio built a swimming pool in the heart of what is now the park during that era in exchange for military assistance while filming the movie Falcon Field. When the airfield was deeded to the City of Mesa after the war, the pool was used as a public swimming pool for many years.
Southwest Airlines was formed by Hollywood producer Leland Hayward and pilot John H. “Jack” Connelly before World War II, with sponsorship from friends such as Henry Fonda, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, and Hoagy Carmichael.
Southwest Airlines used two other airfields in Arizona to train pilots from China, Russia, and 24 other Allied nations: Thunderbird Field No. 1 (now Thunderbird School of Global Management) and Thunderbird Field No. 2 (now Scottsdale Airport). Falcon was supposed to be Thunderbird Field III, where British pilots would be trained.
The British, on the other hand, requested that the field be named after one of their birds, therefore Falcon Field was established as the No. 4 British Flying Training School (BFTS). In the United States, there were six BFTS airfields located in Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, California, and Arizona.
It was eventually turned into a civil airfield. CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, the world’s biggest flying school, is based at Falcon Field. Falcon Field is home to student pilots from Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, and Vietnam.
Falcon Field has been home to Airbase Arizona since 1976, one of the largest units in the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), which operates a flying B-17G “Sentimental Journey” and a B-25J “Maid in the Shade,” among other aircraft. The Falcon Field World War II Aviation Hangars were added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 2016.
Summer days spent at the Falcon Field swimming pool are treasured recollections for many Mesa residents. It was later filled in to make room for new recreational facilities.
Today, Mesa families go to Falcon Field Park for picnics, birthday celebrations, and family reunions. During the annual Falcon Field Airport Open House in the spring, the park also offers exhibitions, children’s activities, Impala Bob’s Classic Car Show, and the food court.
Amenities of Falcon Field Park:
- Shaded Picnic Facilities
- First-come, first-serve shaded picnic ramadas
- Sand Volleyball Court (lit)
- Reservable Shaded Picnic Ramadas (480)644-7529
All picnic ramada reservations require a 24-hour notice.
By Azwatchdog – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816262
Mesa, Arizona is blessed to be home to many amazing parks. Here’s a short list of our favorites:
- Pioneer Park
- Riverview Park
- Dobson Ranch Park
- Greenfield Park
- Mariposa Park
- Desert Arroyo Park
- Countryside Park
- Signal Butte Park
All of these wonderful parks are located just a short distance from our location at 1630 South Stapley Drive, Suite 212 in Mesa, Arizona! Stop by for a visit anytime!