IFATC at Home - Centennial Airport (Denver, CO)



Elevation: 5,885ft

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall


When first opened in May 12,1968, “Centennial Airport” was originally named “Arapahoe County Airport” due to the county that it resided in. However on July 13, 1984, the airport received its new and current name Centennial Airport to reflect Colorado’s admission as the 38th state into the union. Centennial Airport today is one of the busiest airports in the nation leading the path for general aviation on many levels.

Centennial is home to Boom Aerospace, the creators of Boom Supersonic Airplanes. Currently they’re building the “next Concorde” that will revolutionize supersonic flight for airlines in an efficient and economic manner.

In addition to Boom, another business that draws a lot of attention is Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. This museum draws the attention of ages all across the board. Iconic aircraft, artifacts and some simulators gives kids young and old a taste of what flight is like.



For the 2019 calendar year, Centennial Airport was one of the busiest General Aviation airports in the country, if not in the world. From 01/01/2019 thru 01/01/2020, Centennial racked in over 350,000 total operation. Centennial is more known for its general aviation appeal and only has a few flights per day on Key Lime Air, a local air carrier to various destinations in the region. Centennial is also recognized as an overflow/reliever airport for Denver International Airport which lies a few miles north-east of Centennial. With Denver’s rapid popularity growth among travelers and businesses alike, it may be a matter of time before we see Centennial have a few airliners parked on the ramp. Compare this to other heavy hitter airports such as in the business aviation and airline world:

  • Van Nuys (VNY)- 212,651
  • Oakland (OAK) - 243,207
  • Long Beach (LGB) - 304,704
  • John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) - 319,061
  • Honolulu Intl. (HNL) - 327,607
  • Philadelphia (PHL) - 391,121
  • Atlanta (ATL) & O’Hare (ORD)- ≈ 915,000 – 930,000

Source: Air Traffic Activity System (ATADS)

Airport Layout

Centennial Airport is a Class D airport and, therefore; has a control tower. Image will be listed below. Centennial has 3 runways all used for various purposes. We have a US Customs station on field for international traveling aircraft as well as multiple flight schools and other Fixed Based Operators (FBOs).

  • 17L/35R being the main runway for just about all takeoffs for local/transient traffic and inbound transient aircraft. Everything from Gulfstreams, King Air’s, Dorniers, chartered CRJ900s, F18s, C130s, and other large business jets utilize this runway. The runway measures 10001ft x 100ft.

  • 17R/35L is the main runway for those small piston training aircraft. This runway is heavily used for those aircraft remaining in the pattern. This runway measures 7001ft x 75ft.

  • 10/28 is a unique runway. It’s not used for pattern work very often; if at all. Very rare to have an aircraft doing touch and goes here. Most piston aircraft will depart runway 10 if they’re departing to the south or east. If they’re local and they’re coming in, 10/28 is used in both directions regardless of ATIS. Similar to Aspen, 10/28 is a one way in, one way out type of runway with the option to land on 10 if traffic is light. Most traffic landing on 10/28, land on 28. This runway measures 4800ft x 75ft.

Airport layout taken about 1nm northwest of the field while in the pattern for 35L

Control Tower Image

Taken during Christmas time, hence the green and red lighting. Some of the best controllers out there with the best airport managers.

Taxi Diagram

Location of Centennial on Foreflight


The world is at your hands. Because Centennial is a general aviation airport, there are no regular routes that airlines or cargo companies fly other than to a couple small select cities. Centennial is about a 2hr 10min flight to Los Angeles area, and about a 2hr 45min flight to the New York area. About 1h 50mins to Mexico and about another 1 hr 30mins to Canada boarders. Nestled high up and about equidistant between the coasts, Centennial offers a vast selection of potential destinations for you to choose from.



As mentioned earlier, we get all sorts of aircraft. For our application, the following aircraft would be appropriate:

  • Airbus ACJ
  • Boeing 737BBJ
  • Dash 8
  • CRJ2, 700, 900
  • Cessna 172, 208, Citation X
  • TBM930
  • XCUB
  • All fighter jets and military props including all C130 models

---- ###### Sourced: [Centennial Airport Photo Library](http://www.centennialairport.com/index.php/for-media/stock-imagery-and-video)

What time will you be open?

Not sure yet. Still trying to decide. But I will mention it here when I do open. So keep tabs here and you’ll know! 😃


My home airport too yet I haven’t spotted there 🗿

Ooh, I may come down in a GA from one of my Californian edited airports. It would he a chance to fly out of them!

Ooo nice, I’ll try coming down there if I have a chance

This is great, I live in Denver and it’s great to see this article appear! I have flown my own Cessna out of KAPA a few times and it is very nice. I have been up in the control tower before. Thank you for this!

Might fly in tomorrow from somewhere in the mountains

👀 I’ll try to fly in from these airports…👀

Awesome! Nice to see another airport that isnt DEN getting some love.

Just wondering, what is special about this airport general aviation wise compared to all other airports in the Denver area, like Front Range, Rocky mountain metropolitan, Stapleton (rip) and even Denver International? DEN even has some GA operations east of terminal A.

This one is roughly 8 miles from where I live. And its the largest GA airport in the state. Front Range, Metro, Ft. Collins, etc. are all great airports to jump to, but they don’t have anywhere near the traffic that APA gets.

1 Like

I’m also planning to open here as well, but I’ll mostly be focusing on JeffCo and DIA.
Have fun Deer!

1 Like

Let’s hope this one stays in service for more than 27 years.

I drive past Centennial every day and absolutely love the airport. I am glad it is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Happy flying!

1 Like

Airport is OPEN for your enjoyment!


How long? I can be there for patterns or something in like an hour.

Edit: Hopping over shortly

Edit 2: You’re not open anymore?

Yeah, where did you go? I was looking to fly some patterns.

Joking aside I wish I could join you as it’s a beautiful airport, not going to lie. I’m in the middle of a flight sadly. Maybe another time!

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.