RARA Announces Roswell

Image: Reno Air Racing Association

Today the Reno Air Racing Association announced the new home of the National Championship Air Races (NCAR) is Roswell, New Mexico. The first Roswell NCAR is scheduled for September 2025 and will feature all seven current racing classes.

RARA vetted a number of new locations following the loss of Reno-Stead last fall with finalists Casper, Wyoming, Pueblo, Colorado and Roswell topping RARA’s short list. The announcement ends one round of energetic speculation by air racing fans and is sure to start a fresh round of equally heated questioning.

Image: Reno Air Racing Association

At first glance the Roswell Air Center offers the expansive room associated with an ex-Strategic Air Command base. Built during World War II as Roswell Army Airfield the base made the news during the 1947 Roswell UFO incident before expanding as Walker Air Force Base during the cold war. The 10,000 and 13,000 ft runways suitable for loaded B-52’s remain and should provide a comforting safety margin for air racers. Field elevation is 3,671 ft and there is an operating control tower.

Roswell Air Center also has a balloon background. The Air Force launched stratospheric research balloons there and Felix Baumgartner launched his stratospheric freefall jump here as well in October 2012.

While not part of the official announcement, RARA will hold a Pylon Racing School at Roswell, likely in June 2025. This is necessary to re-accreditate race pilots and give much needed experience at the new venue. No information was released concerning course layouts, but there is extensive open land southwest of the field.

Open questions regarding Roswell are travel accessibility and hotel capacity for a large event. It’s possible the expansive ramp at the Roswell Air Center may allow the long-desired fly-in spectating, but at under 50,000 population and far from any major metropolitan center hotel rooms are no doubt limited in the area. As we said, a new round of speculation is about to begin, but the great news is the NCAR have found a place to land.

The full press release from the Reno Air Racing Association is below.


  1. Can’t see any rational that justifies Roswell over Pueblo, CO or Wendover. UT/NV
    Maybe because Roswell stars with an “R”, just like Reno, or hope that “Aliens” would be a big draw, but only if they show up at the event.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.