Castle Airport (KMER) located in Atwater, CA in the central valley of California has recently changed its name to Merced Castle Airport. This may be causing some confusion as there have been some recent incidents of pilots landing at Castle Airport and believing they were at Merced Muni/Macready Airport (KMCE) which is located approximately 5 miles to the southeast. Merced Castle Airport (KMER) has part time Class D Airspace with air traffic control tower frequency 118.175. Merced Muni/Macready (KMCE) is a non towered airport with a part time Class E Surface Area CTAF Frequency 122.7. Norcal Approach frequency for this area is 120.95. For more details see Airport/Facility Directory Southwest U.S.
Pilots are urged to exercise caution in identifying the correct airport when approaching for landing. The designator (KMER) has been mistakenly used in GPS navigation equipment by pilots who intended to land at Merced Muni. These pilots entered the Merced Castle Class D airspace without first establishing communications with ATC. Merced Castle Airport is a former Air Force Base with a single 11,802′ runway (31/13) and an ATC tower.? Merced Muni/Macready has a single 5903′ runway (30/12) and an ATC tower that is currently NOT IN USE. If there is any doubt as to the identity of the airport, pilots are urged to remain above 2000′ msl and to contact Norcal Approach on frequency 120.95? for assistance.
Pilots in the area are also reminded that Merced Castle and Merced Muni/Macready have extensive pilot training activity in a twenty-five mile radius including frequent practice instrument approaches in VFR conditions. All pilots are urged to exercise a high level of vigilance and caution while operating in the vicinity of Merced, CA.
Contact Name: Harlow Voorhees, FAASTeam Program Manager.
To see more airport information go to the AirNav web site.