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The 7 Lowest Civilian Airports In The US

How low can you go? These 7 airports have figured it out...

7) South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport, 0' MSL

Our first airport comes in at a whopping 0' MSL. Located south of New Orleans on the Louisiana bayou, South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. airport is one of the few places on earth you can land and have your altimeter read "0".

6) Imperial County Airport, -53' MSL

Located just a few miles from the Blue Angels' winter home at El Centro Airport, Imperial County will give you a front row seat for the blue and gold F-18s as they practice for next season.

US Navy

5) Salton City Airport, -84' MSL

This airport probably would never have been built, had it not been for the accidental creation of the Salton Sea. In 1905, engineers cut a canal into the Colorado River to increase water flow for area farmers. What happened next was unexpected. The outflow overwhelmed the canal, and water flowed into the Salton Basin for 2 years until the canal was repaired. Salton City was built next to it as a resort community in the 1950s, and the airport was built along with it.


4) Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, -115' MSL

Palm Springs' regional airport was built at the beginning of World War 2 and used as a training center for Army forces preparing for the invasion of North Africa. Today, it's home to general aviation and high-end private jet operations like Desert Jet for the Palm Springs area.

3) Brawley Municipal Airport, -128' MSL

It could have been named 'Braly', but the landowner that the city and airport were built on, J.H. Braly, refused his name to be used.

Google Maps

2) Cliff Hatfield Memorial Airport, -182' MSL

This airport is located in Calipatria, CA, the lowest elevation city in the western hemisphere.

1) Furnace Creek Airport, -210' MSL

At 210' below sea level, it's the lowest airport in North America. And if you wonder what it looks like flying 210' below sea level, check out this arrival and landing on runway 33.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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