Area 51 now in aviation databases.

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2008-04-21 17:56:21

Attachments :       Customer Service  ■Subscribe to Air Force Times  ■Subscription Renewal  ■Advertise in Air Force Times  ■ Researcher offers clues on new Area 51 By Philip Ewing – Staff writerPosted : Thursday Jan 24, 2008 14:17:10 EST   The name “Homey Airport” — which reportedly is the new official designation for the top-secret Nevada military installation better known as Area 51 — could have its origins in the annals of top-secret aviation, one Area 51 enthusiast said. Joerg Arnu, a Las Vegas software developer and military aviation buff, said “Homey Airport” is a term that could have been working its way through records and bureaucracies since the 1960s when CIA pilots first began flying the then-top secret A-12 spy plane, a highly classified version of the supersonic jet that flew from Area 51 and is better known to the public as the SR-71 Blackbird. Because the base near the dry lake bed at Groom Lake, Nev., was so secret, A-12 pilots couldn’t even list it on their flight logs, Arnu said, so instead they listed “Home Plate” as their airport of origin. It’s possible that subsequent pilots also making secret flights shortened the “home plate” designation over the years to “Homey,” Arnu said, which then entered the lexicon of the insular corps of clandestine military and defense workers. The “Homey” moniker made its first publicly accessible appearance in a service bulletin distributed by the aerospace firm Honeywell, associated with the company’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, a technology built into aircraft to help them avoid collisions with obstacles or terrain while taxiing. In that January 2005 bulletin, Arnu said, Honeywell listed a slew of private airports with which the gear was newly compatible, including a field called “XTA,” listed in “Homey, U.S.A.” There are no Nevada towns called “Homey,” or at least none with airports. The information in the system listed with that designation coincides exactly with the location of the runways at Area 51. “Homey Airport” and KXTA now appear as the official designations for the Groom Lake base in new editions of flight planning software and civilian aviators’ navigation gear, several civilian aviation Web sites have reported. Because of Area 51’s longtime role in alien and conspiracy theories, wags online have speculated the new three-letter code stands for “extraterrestrial airport.” The “K” designation indicates only that the field is in the U.S., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Honeywell spokeswoman Karen Crabtree confirmed that Honeywell included “KXTA” and “Homey, USA” in its system database, but she said that information came from another aerospace company, Jeppesen. A Military Times search of the Honeywell information turned up four runways associated with “KXTA” and “Homey, USA,” and one additional listing for “Homey.” Jeppesen maintains a flight database and distributes it to companies like Honeywell. However, a Jeppesen spokesman, Eric Anderson said he did not know when “KXTA” and “Homey” were added or exactly where the terms came from. The company acquired the information from an official source, most likely the Federal Aviation Administration, he said. An FAA spokeswoman was contacted, but at press time said she was still trying to determine the origin of the “Homey” name and “KXTA” designation. Arnu, who runs the Area 51 Web site www.dreamlandresort…. said the “Homey Airport” and “XTA” revelations are typical of the bits of information associated with the growing public profile of Area 51 — by themselves they don’t mean much, he said, but associated with the Groom Lake location and runway information, they form “a piece of the puzzle.” Arnu said he has visited Area 51 several times, and described each experience as “spooky.” Based on his expeditions to the base, he said the base isn’t being scaled back, as some online theorists have said, but rather that its operations are expanding to the tune of at least one new building or hangar per year. ——— Staff writer Michael Hoffman contributed to this report. Previous story: Area 51 designated with a new name

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