What is the elevation of the airport located in Wichita, Kansas?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Wichita’s Airport Elevation

Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is an essential transportation hub in the state of Kansas. As with any airport, the elevation of the runway and surrounding terrain is a critical component of its functionality. The airport’s elevation plays a crucial role in determining how aircraft operate within the airspace and how they respond to weather patterns and atmospheric changes.

Exploring the Topography of Wichita

Wichita, located in southern Kansas, is situated on the Arkansas River and is part of the Great Plains region of the United States. The city’s topography is characterized by gently rolling hills and flatlands, with an average elevation of approximately 1,369 feet above sea level. The surrounding landscape is primarily agricultural, with extensive farmland and grasslands. The city is prone to thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, and occasional tornadoes, particularly during the spring and summer months.

The Location of Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

Wichita’s airport is located approximately five miles to the west of the city center. The airport covers an area of approximately 3,248 acres and features three runways, which are oriented in various directions to accommodate different types of aircraft and weather conditions. The airport serves as a hub for several major airlines, and is a critical transportation link for both commercial and private air travel in the region.

Understanding Elevation and Its Importance in Aviation

Elevation is the distance above sea level at a specific point on the Earth’s surface. In aviation, elevation is a crucial factor that affects the performance of aircraft and the safety of flights. The higher the elevation, the thinner the air becomes, which can impact the ability of an aircraft to take off, climb, and maintain altitude. The elevation of an airport also determines the length of its runways, as well as the angle at which planes must approach and take off.

Factors Affecting Airport Elevation in Wichita

The elevation of an airport is determined by several factors, including the topography of the surrounding area, the altitude of nearby terrain, and the location’s proximity to bodies of water. In Wichita, the airport’s elevation is affected by the gentle hills and flatlands that characterize the city’s topography. The airport is also located near the Arkansas River, which has a minimal impact on its elevation but can affect the local weather patterns.

Measuring Wichita’s Airport Elevation

The elevation of Wichita’s airport is measured in feet above sea level. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airport’s elevation is 1,333 feet above sea level. This elevation is relatively high, which means that aircraft operating out of Wichita may face higher density altitudes and reduced engine performance. It also means that the airport’s runways must be longer to accommodate takeoff and landing operations.

How Elevation Affects Flight and Weather in Wichita

The elevation of Wichita’s airport has a significant impact on the performance of aircraft and the local weather patterns. The high elevation can cause aircraft to experience reduced engine performance, particularly during takeoff and climb operations. It also means that planes must take off and land at higher speeds than they would at a lower elevation airport. The elevation of the airport also affects the local weather patterns, particularly during the summer months when thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are common.

Comparing Wichita’s Airport Elevation to Other Airports

Wichita’s airport elevation is relatively high compared to other airports in the United States. For example, Denver International Airport, which is located at an elevation of 5,430 feet above sea level, is one of the highest commercial airports in the world. The elevation of an airport can impact its ability to accommodate specific types of aircraft and weather patterns, which is why airport designers and planners must carefully consider this factor when building new facilities.

Historical Changes in Wichita’s Airport Elevation

The elevation of Wichita’s airport has remained relatively consistent over the years. However, the airport has undergone several significant renovations and upgrades since it first opened in 1954. These changes have included the expansion of runways, the addition of new taxiways and terminal buildings, and the implementation of new safety and security measures. The airport’s elevation has remained a critical factor in all of these upgrades and improvements.

Maintaining and Managing Wichita’s Airport Elevation

The elevation of Wichita’s airport is carefully monitored and managed by airport officials and the FAA. Regular surveys and measurements are conducted to ensure that the airport’s elevation remains consistent and accurate. The airport’s runways and taxiways are also routinely inspected and maintained to ensure that they are safe and in good condition.

Impacts of Elevation on Aircraft Performance and Safety

The elevation of an airport can impact the performance of aircraft in several ways, including reducing engine power, decreasing lift, and increasing takeoff and landing distances. These factors can affect the safety of flights and require pilots to make adjustments to their flying techniques. Higher elevation airports also require longer runways to accommodate takeoff and landing operations, which can limit the types of aircraft that can operate at the airport.

Conclusion: Wichita’s Airport Elevation as a Critical Component of Air Travel

In conclusion, the elevation of Wichita’s airport plays a crucial role in the functionality and safety of air travel in the region. The airport’s high elevation presents unique challenges for pilots and aircraft, but also offers opportunities for growth and expansion in the aviation industry. Careful management and maintenance of the airport’s elevation will be critical to ensuring its continued success and safety for travelers in the years to come.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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