Laughlin Busiest Airfield in Air Force

The Air Force Flight Standards Agency named Laughlin AFB, Tex., USAF’s busiest airfield and air traffic control tower in 2011, with a total of 337,439 operations. Laughlin hosts specialized undergraduate pilot training. According to AFFSA, Laughlin’s 47th Operations Support Squadron radar approach control section conducted 266,591 operations last year, while Laughlin’s tower carried out 70,848 operations. Sixty-nine controllers assigned to the RAPCON and tower control 62 airfields and roughly 10,000 square miles of airspace within 100 miles of Laughlin, said base officials. “Other than the instructor pilots who sit directly behind and are in control of the students flying the plane, no one comes close to touching the 47th Flying Training Wing’s mission of graduating the world’s best pilots than the controllers do,” said CMSgt. Howard Teesdale, 47th OSS RAPCON chief controller. (Laughlin report by SrA. Scott Saldukas)