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Bucholz Aaf Airport

Bucholz Army Airfield
Airport type Military
Operator United States Army
Location Kwajalein
Elevation AMSL 9 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 08°43′12″N 167°43′54″E / 8.72°N 167.73167°E / 8.72; 167.73167Coordinates: 08°43′12″N 167°43′54″E / 8.72°N 167.73167°E / 8.72; 167.73167
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 6,668 2,032 Asphalt

Bucholz Army Airfield (IATA: KWA, ICAO: PKWA, FAA LID: KWA) is a United States Army airfield located on Kwajalein Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Its position is ideal for refueling during trans-Pacific flights, and the airport is available to civilians through Air Marshall Islands and Continental Micronesia.

Since the entire Kwajalein Island is a military base, non-military passengers on commercial flights are transported to and from the neighboring island of Ebeye, the civilian population center of Kwajalein Atoll.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Marshall Islands Airok, Bikini, Elenak, Enewetak, Lae, Likiep, Majkin, Majuro, Woja, Wotho
Continental Airlines operated by Continental Micronesia Chuuk, Guam, Honolulu, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Majuro


Bucholz Army Airfield was initially built by the Japanese in 1943 as part of a large naval base. It came under heavy air attacks in late 1943 to neutralize the island. The atoll was assaulted by American forces on 31 January 1944. Employing the hard-learned lessons of the Battle of Tarawa, the United States launched a successful twin assault on the main islands of Kwajalein in the south and Roi-Namur in the north. The Japanese defenders put up a stiff resistance though outnumbered and under-prepared. The determined Japanese defense left only 51 survivors of an original garrison of 3,500.

After the seizure from the Japanese, Kwajalein was developed into a major American base and staging area for further campaigns in the advance on the Japanese homeland. After repairing and expanding the Japanese airfield, the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) moved Headquarters, Seventh Air Force from Nanumea to the airfield in April 1944, and moved the B-24 Liberator-equipped 11th Bombardment Group from Tarawa and 30th Bombardment Group from Abemama to Bucholz at the beginning of April. From Kwajalein, the heavy bombers struck at enemy targets in the Marshall Islands.

Along with the heavy bomber groups, the USAAF reassigned the F-5 (P-38 Lightning)-equipped 28th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron to Kwajalein to fly long-range photographic missions over the Marshalls and reported directly to Headquarters, Seventh Air Force.

The USAAF combat units remained until fall, 1944 until being moved forwards into the Marianas, being assigned to airfields on Guam and Saipan. The United States then used Kwajalein as a maintenance and supply hub, supplying forward bases with supplies and equipment.

After the war, the United States used Kwajalein as a main command center and preparation base for Operation Crossroads and an extensive series of nuclear tests (comprising a total of 67 blasts) at the Marshalls' atolls of Bikini and Enewetak. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, Bucholz became part of the Atomic Energy Commission Pacific Testing Area.

Although the Marshall Islands was officially granted independence from the United States, and became an independent republic in 1986, Kwajalein atoll is still used by the United States for missile testing and various other operations. Although this military history has deeply influenced the lives of the Marshall Islanders who have lived in the atoll through the war to the present, the military history of Kwajalein has made tourism almost non-existent and has kept the environment in relatively pristine condition. American civilians and their families who reside at the military installations in Kwajalein are able to enjoy this environment with few restrictions.

As of 2009, Bucholz Army Airfield is still operated by the United States Army. All civil and military operations require 24 hours' prior permission.

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General Info
Country Marshall Islands, Rep.of
Time UTC+12
Latitude 8.720122
08° 43' 12.44" N
Longitude 167.731661
167° 43' 53.98" E
Elevation 9 feet
3 meters
Type Military
Magnetic Variation 008° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Operating Agency U.S.ARMY
Island Group Marshall I
International Clearance Status - Airport of Entry
- Landing Rights Airport

Opr 0000-0800Z Mon; 1745-0930Z Tue-Sat, OT ctc Base OPS 118.8 (Advsy Svc only).-
Opr 0000-0800Z Mon; 1745-0930Z Tue-Sat.
All acft within 180 NM maint ctc.
Communications Remarks  
A/G See FIH HF Station List-Pacific, Asia.

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
06/24 6668 x 198 feet
2032 x 60 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
NDB NDJ BUCHOLZ - 359 At Field -

Fuel JP-5, Keroscene MIL Spec T-5624
Oil O-156, MIL L 23699 (Synthetic Base)Turboprop/Turboshaft Engine
Other Fluids SP, Single Point Refueling

LHOX, Low and high pressure oxygen servicing
82lb/min (1123cfm) at 130 deg air inlet temp,45psia(min) air outlet

CAUTION TACAN 75' AGL twr lctd 164' N of Twy E cntrline. Men, eqpt and veh may opr in close proximity to the rwy. 250' twr 8.5 NM WNW. Vertigo potential exists dur ngt opr especially dur periods of reduced vis due lack of vis cues. Avoid rain catchments on N side of rwy and twy. Portions of Twy E not vis fr twr. No ovrn avbl. Numerous trees and other obst within 300' S of rwy. Seawall at ea end of rwy. Electro-magnetic radiation may exist 24 hr dly within 5 NM sfc to 30,000'.
JASU (A1)(MA-1A)(MD-3)
LGT PAPI Rwy 06 MEHT 50', Rwy 24 MEHT 51'.
MISC Wx avbl H24. Ltd staffing Sun-Mon. Acft with cargo must plan all up-load, down-load opr btn 2030-0530Z Tue-Sat. Exc will be considered on a day-to-day basis. Limit eng run-ups to a min. No extn eng run-ups on Sun btn 2000-2400Z. Class D Airspace eff 0000-0800Z Mon, 1745-0930Z Tue-Sat.
OIL O-128-156
OPR HOURS Attended (Base Ops) 1730-0930Z, Tue-Sat, 1830-0930Z Sun-Mon. Tran acft hrs of svc 1900Z-0900Z. Trans acft should plan to arr NLT 0800Z. OPS outside these hr reqUS Army, Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) apvl and support pers sked. Unattended afld OPS NA exc in an emerg. See FLIP AP/3 OAKLAND FIR, FLT HAZ.
RSTD PPR, with 24 hr ntc rqr for all acft, exc reg sked coml and AMC Channel msn. Allacft transporting explosive cargo (including AMC Channel msn) rqr a PPR. Ctc Base OPS, Pacific DSN 480-2131, CONUS DSN 254-2131, C805-355-2131. For tran acft:All pers not traveling on offl bus are rqr to obtain prior entry auth. Space avbl pax are NA to RON on island, unless prior apvl has been obtained. Tran aircrewand pax are subj to Entry/Exit screening by security pers. Acft rqr cargo loading/unloading (especially those transporting explosive cargo) should plan to arr btn 2030-0530Z Tue-Sat. POC entry/exit: DSN 254-2134. Acft avoid over flt E end of island blw 1500' AGL. Twy A and E are wt rstd for flwing acft: B737, B757, B767, C-5, C-17, C-130, C-141, and DC-8. Back taxi and 180 turn on rwy will be rqr, for either arr or dept. Exceptions may be granted for twy A, in order to access explosive cargo prking loc.
TRAN ALERT No tran alert svc avbl.

The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2010.
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