Air Tour set for Friday

The New Mexico Centennial celebration air tour will arrive in Tucumcari on Friday as part of a month long Centennial aviation celebration.

The tour of about 30 aircraft will land at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport for the third stop on a weekend air tour, said Joyce Woods, co-director, New Mexico Pilots Association

Woods said this stop in Tucumcari will celebrate the New Mexico Centennial and the recent renovation of the Tucumcari Municipal Airport terminal. She said the public is invited to come out to the airport to see the terminal since its renovation and watch the aircraft arrive from Santa Fe.

Weather permitting, pilots and crew will fly a planned route, landing at community airports for commemorative celebrations and aviation museum visits. These include the Cibola Aviation History Museum at Grants-Milan, Walker Aviation Museum at Roswell, and the War Eagles Museum at Santa Teresa. Departing from Grants-Milan Municipal Airport on Friday morning, the tour will cover 750 miles.

The tour presents a special opportunity to witness general aviation aircraft of all types flying together, and local airport activities to highlight New Mexico's rich aviation history, said Cathy Myers, president NMPA.

Myers said most of the planes being flown in the tour are general aviation, though there will be a couple of vintage aircraft's scheduled to join the tour.

Myers said the tour highlights the critical role of general aviation and community airports to New Mexicans throughout our history.

"In New Mexico, there are 59 public-use airports, 4 public-use heliports serving citizens including 5,053 pilots," said Yasmina Platt, Central Southwest Regional Manager for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. "These airfields support local commerce, help facilitate medical treatment, provide crucial regional fire-fighting response, disaster relief, search and rescue, and connect communities in New Mexico with the rest of the country."

Woods said refreshments would be served during this reception celebrating the Terminal Renovation Grand Opening.

The reception is from 3:30 p.m., – 5:30 p.m., with a brief public presentation planned for 4:30 p.m.

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