Flying Site: Tooele City Municipal Airport

Tooele Weather Forecast

The abandoned Tooele City Municipal Airport is a regular flying site for several Tooele model aviators. The runway is rough, the well-known waist-high Tooele grass is profuse, and sometimes the wind coming off the Stockton Bar is powerful, but it's one of the few remaining wide-open, treeless spaces on public land within the city limits. There are usually less than a half-dozen pilots here on the weekends. In fact, most times it's completely empty.

Please note, the Tooele City Municipal Airport is in Tooele City proper. This is not Bolinder Field, located near Erda, UT several miles to the north. You're allowed to fly at RPVs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles) at TCMA, but are not allowed to fly them at Bolinder Field in Erda.

The airstrip was originally 80 acres owned by the Tates. In the 1940's, the dirt runway was deeded to the city in order to have the Army Air Corps pave it. Bolinder Field was constructed several miles to the north to replace TCMA in 1989. After a crash in 2002, and several botched landings the same year, the City Council decided to dig trenches across the runway to prevent further use. The trenches were backfilled by the pilots leasing hangar space in order to fly their planes to another airfield, and the trenches remain filled -- if rather rough to drive -- today.

This airfield is located right on the border between Tooele City and the Deseret Depot. What this means is that it's on the far south end of town, and if you're coming from Salt Lake, it's almost exactly the same distance as going to Grantsville #2. So if you're looking for something "closer to Salt Lake", this really isn't it. It's a wonderful place to fly for locals, though we need to do some upkeep on the asphalt.

Tooele City intends to grant this public land to Utah State University, so this is a temporary flying site. It will probably remain open for several more years, and if we continue to maintain friendly relations with the city, this may be indefinite. Please follow these guidelines so that we may enjoy the use of this in-city wide-open space for at least a few more years.

  • Fly only from the far south end of the airport. Residences are only 160 yards from the runway at the north end, and nearly 400 yards away at the south end.
  • Your engine must be quieter than 65dBa measured at the nearest residential property line (County Code, section 6-21-6). As a general rule, if your engine is louder than 96dBa ten feet from the plane, it's probably too loud to fly here.
  • Establish your flight line to the south or west of the airstrip. Do not overfly the commercial area to the north or residential area to the east.
  • There is no channel board. Please be courteous to other flyers and do not turn on your transmitter until you have verified your channel is unused by other pilots.
  • The airfield is leased to John Snow. Do not fly anywhere near his trucks parked on the north end of the runway. The City Council and John don't mind people flying here, but be courteous!
  • City vehicles drive on the runway to reach some of their facilities. They have the right-of-way. Please park off to the side of the airstrip.
  • Bring a spotter. Planes from Bolinder Field sometimes buzz the runway and perform touch-and-goes here. Down your model immediately if a full-scale aircraft is nearby.
  • This is not an AMA-sanctioned field. You're flying at your own risk.

How to get there from RC Evolution in Tooele, six minutes away:

    1. Head South on Main Street (UT-36), go 1.2 miles
    2. Turn right on Vine Street, go 1.3 miles, all the way to the end of the road.
    3. Turn left on Tooele Blvd. Drive a very short distance.
    4. Take the first right on West 60 South St. Drive an even shorter distance.
    5. Take left on Millburn Dr. Drive perhaps half a block.
    6. The road seems to end. There's a brief stretch of dirt road at the end of this road, then you will see the airstrip, hangars, etc. Head right down the runway to the south end.

If you use Google Earth, you can download and view this location. You can also view it from just above the runway, or a a little further away, or to see the whole deal all the way from Vine street, click here.

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