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Denver Centennial Airport - Apa

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Identifier : KAPA

Location : Denver, CO - Denver Centennial Airport

Elevation : 5883 MSL

Pattern Alt : 6800 MSL

Runways : 17R/35L (7004x77) - 17L/35R (10,002x100) - 10/28 (4800x75)

Frequencies : 118.9 TOWER

.................... 121.8 GROUND

.................... 143.75 APPROACH/DEPARTURE

.................... 120.3 ATIS ( 303-706-6722 phone)




Denver Centennial Airport is, IMHO, the premier general aviation airport for the Denver metropolitan area. It lies just southeast of downtown Denver on the east side of Interstate 25 and just north of Loop 470 (remember those landmark highways - they'll help you to find the airport easily). If you locate the intersection of those two highways and look north, you'll be able to more easily find the airport.


Flying into Denver from the south has always been one of my favorite trips. The view is outstanding. Coming from the south, you'll first be able to see Pike's Peak sticking up it's head out in the distance. It surely must have been a grand sight when Zebulon Pike first saw it and thought to himself "I've got to climb that mountain".


As you get closer to the city, the skyline of Denver will make for a beautiful sight with the mountains behind as backdrop. Going in the Winter will add an extra measure of nature's beauty. The snow covered plains leading up to the city make for some scenic photo opportunities.


Contact Denver Approach as you near the Class B airspace and they will help guide you into the area. I've always found Centennial to be a bit difficult to spot. It's nestled in the crook of the intersection of the loop and I-25 in a well developed industrial area. I'm usually within 5-7 miles before I can make out the runway - even though I know exactly where it is located (thank goodness for GPS).


With the runway being at almost 6000 msl, your actual ground speeds will be a lot higher than you'll normally be used to seeing out of the corner of your eye if you're a flatlander like me. Keep your eye on your airspeed indicator and keep those approach speeds nailed and you'll be fine, though.


The Perfect Landing Restaurant is located on the top floor of the Denver Jet Center. There are two main GA Fbo's at Centennial - TACAir and Denver Jet Center. TACAir is probably a little more suited to smaller piston-engine airplanes. I've never had a problem with the Jet Center, however. The people there have always been just as cordial as if I'd stepped down from a Citation X.


If you go to TACAir, you'll have to walk across the parking lot over to the Jet Center. If you park at Jet Center, you're already there! Go up the stairs in the main lobby and you'll easily find your way to the restaurant. Since it overlooks the runway and the mountains, you'll be able to enjoy your meal while looking at some of the best scenery that any airport restaurant has to offer.


The food is excellent. The Perfect Landing has a catering business that takes orders for the business jet crowd. The last time I was there, you could order breakfast any time - day or night. Centennial is a very busy airport with a lot of transient jet and piston engine departures and arrivals and a number of busy flight schools. You'll always have no shortage of airplanes to provide landing escapades entertainment while you enjoy your meail.


Walt's Rating :


Fun Factor Flying In : 9 - It's hard to keep your mind on your procedures and your eyes in the airplane when you're captivated by the mountain view spread out before you. The only thing that keeps it from being a 10 is the difficulty in spotting the airport.

Ambiance ............. : 9+

Food .................... : 9

Fun Factor Flying Home : 5 in the daytime or 6 at night. You're leaving the mountains and have nothing but empty and FLAT plains all the way to Dallas. It's a bit more interesting at night, but still nothing to see.

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