Roswell International Air Center

T he Roswell International Air Center (RIAC) is located five miles south of the central business district of the City of Roswell and is the core of southeast- ern New Mexico’s industrial activity. RIAC was originally an army airfield and training facility during the Second World War. Afterwards, it was renamed the Walker Air Force Base in honor of General Kenneth Newton Walker, a native of Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, who was killed during a bombing mission over Rabaul, Papua New Guin- ea on January 5, 1943. The facility then served as part of the U.S. Strategic Air Command Nuclear Deterrent Program. In 1967, it was closed by the Air Force and the property was transferred to the City of Roswell, becoming its municipal airport and aviation-related business park. “When the city took over the base, 50 years ago, we inherited a 5,000-acre facility in a town that had just lost about a third of its population due to the closure of the Air Force Base,” re- counts Air Center Director, Scott Stark. “So, some creative folks began to market this as an indus- trial airport. In the meantime, because there are over 4,000 acres inside the airport fence and a lot of empty pavement, it became an airliner storage facility and then, later, an airliner main- tenance facility.” THE ROSWELL INTERNATIONAL AIR CENTER POTENTIAL UNLIMITED ROSWELL INTERNATIONAL AIR CENTER THE AT A GLANCE THE ROSWELL INTERNATIONAL AIR CENTER WHAT: A municipal airport and aviation-related business park WHERE: Seven miles south of Roswell, in Chaves County, New Mexico WEBSITE: