Ruidoso-Sierra Blanca Regional Airport
The Sierra Blanca Regional Airport in Lincoln County serves the mountain community of Ruidoso and the surrounding area. The airport opened on December 11, 1987 replacing the Ruidoso Municipal Airport that was located within the city of Ruidoso. The new airfield was constructed on the Fort Stanton Mesa, 15 miles to the northeast as the former Ruidoso Municipal Airport saw a high number of accidents resulting from the surrounding terrain. Sierra Blanca Airport first opened with one runway and a second runway was constructed in the late 1990’s.
Historical commercial airline service:
Roswell Airlines served Ruidoso from 1975 through 1978 with flights to Albuquerque, Artesia, and Roswell. By 1978 Roswell Airlines changed its name to New Mexico Air and added new service to El Paso. The carrier used Piper Seneca and Piper Navajo aircraft.
Airways of New Mexico served Ruidoso in 1978 and 1979 with flights to El Paso that included a stop in Alamogordo. The carrier used Piper Navajo aircraft.
Permian Airways provided weekend service from Ruidoso to Midland/Odessa for a short time in 1979 using Piper Navajo aircraft.
Wise Airlines operated a Ruidoso-Midland/Odessa-San Angelo-Austin flight using a DeHavilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter for a short time in early 1984.
Air Ruidoso, based in Ruidoso, provided service to Albuquerque and El Paso (one stop in Alamogordo) from July 20, 1987 through May, 1989. The carrier used Piper Navajo aircraft. Service initially operated from the original Ruidoso Municipal Airport and switched to the new Sierra Blanca Regional Airport on December 11, 1987.
Mesa Airlines served Ruidoso on two occasions. The first service was from December 11, 1987 through April 11, 1988 with flights on an Albuquerque-Ruidoso-Roswell-Dallas/Fort Worth route using CATpass 200 aircraft. The second operation occurred from June 6, 1990 through October 27, 1990 with flights to Albuquerque and El Paso using Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft. For a short time in September, 1990, a Beech 1900 aircraft was used.
Lone Star Airlines served Ruidoso from September 5, 1995 through December 31, 1997 with two daily flights to Roswell and continuing to Dallas/Fort Worth. Initially a flight to El Paso was also operated but ended after two months. Swearingen Metroliner aircraft were used and during November, 1995, a third flight was operated to DFW using a Dornier 328 prop aircraft. Lone Star changed its name to Aspen Mountain Air in early 1997.
Rio Grande Air served Ruidoso from July 1, 2001 through May of 2002 with flights to Albuquerque. The carrier used Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft.
New Mexico Airlines was the final carrier to serve Ruidoso from February 11, 2008 through October, 2008. New Mexico Airlines provided flights to Albuquerque, El Paso (one stop in Alamogordo), and to Midland/Odessa (one stop in Hobbs). The carrier also used Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft.
In 2005 American Eagle, subsidiary of American Airlines, announced tentative plans for a nonstop flight from Ruidoso to Dallas/Fort Worth. An Embraer 145 regional jet was planned for use however the service never came to be. Instead, the city of Ruidoso joined in with a consortium for new American Eagle service from Roswell to DFW which began two years later.