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NAS Whidbey Island Menu



Air Operations

Operations Officer 257-2120
Airfield Manager 257-5391
Operations LCPO 257-2684
Operations Duty Officer 257-2681
Range Schedules 257-2877
Ground Electronics 257-2181
Air Traffic Control 257-1310
Air Terminal 257-6707
Facilities 257-2533
Search & Rescue 257-2681


The department and its divisions support the operations of tenant activities and transient aircraft. These include providing air traffic control, range scheduling, ground electronics and communications maintenance, air cargo and passenger service, arresting gear maintenance and Search and Rescue operations using the MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter.

Air Traffic Control Division provides all air traffic control services within the NAS Whidbey Approach Control Area. Staffed jointly by military and DoD civilians, the Air Traffic Control Facility (ATCF) is subdivided into Flight Planning, Control Tower and Radar branches, and also incorporates Range Schedules and Air Space Scheduling Divisions.

The ATCF operates the surveillance and precision radar systems and control tower, and controls all phases of military and civilian flight operations at Ault Field and Outlying Field (OLF) Coupeville. Routes into and around 15 airports are controlled within the confines of ATCF airspace. It is among the busiest and most complex facilities in the U.S. Navy Air Traffic Control System, challenging controllers with a varied and fast-paced environment that averages nearly 215,000 total operations annually.

NAS Whidbey Island Air Traffic Safety Enhancement pamphlets.  Click on the links below for more information.
Pamphlet 1, Mid-Air Collision Avoidance in the Local Area Around KNUW (Ault Field) and KNRA (NOLF Coupeville)
Pamphlet 2, Mid-Air Collision Avoidance Near Military Training Routes
Pamphlet 3, NAS Whidbey Island ATC Capabilities and Services

The main function of the Ground Electronics Division is to support the Air Traffic Control operations by providing communications, navigational aids, radar (both precision approach and air surveillance), automatic carrier landing system, and all associated weather equipment used by Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment.

The Facilities Division is responsible for maintenance on E-28 and E-5 arresting gear at NAS Whidbey Island and OLF Coupeville. They also service the Fresnel Lens Optical Landing Systems, Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing systems at both fields and provide firefighting services at OLF Coupeville.

The Fuels Division provides training and safety oversight of the Direct Refueling Facility, which conducts “hot” refueling of aircraft. The Naval Weapons System Training Facility Boardman, Oregon provides maintenance, fire suppression and range support operations for a 47,000 acre bombing range.

The Air Passenger Terminal/Transient Line is the central staging area for the forward deployment of squadrons to the fleet and on training detachments. It processes passengers, prepares cargo, supports a variety of transient aircraft and provides support to airfield operations with fleet carrier landing practices and training missions. An updated Space Available travel listing for personnel authorized to fly on DoD aircraft, with destinations throughout the world, is available at the Air Passenger Terminal.

NAS Whidbey Island Search and Rescue maintains and operates the most modern and capable helicopter in the inventory. Puget Sound's topography and weather offer unique challenges to helicopter operations. The MH-60S Knighthawk is capable of operating at high altitude and can transit with a high cruise speed. It is equipped with an all glass cockpit including the latest communications and navigation equipment. It can lift aircrew or injured hikers from a hover using its 200-foot hoist cable. The air station’s Knighthawks also provide support to ships, submarines and other units operating in the Puget Sound Area. The high altitude mountain SAR environment and Puget Sound shipboard support make Team Whidbey one of a kind.

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