ATWATER — A charter plane landed at Castle Airport this week, carrying about 20 passengers headed to Yosemite National Park from other countries.
Mark Hendrickson, director of commerce, aviation and economic development for Merced County, called Castle Airport's passenger terminal a "marketing tool," adding that about 30 passengers make their way through it each day.
The terminal was built with grant funding in 2008, Hendickson said. It's being used for private charter passengers, mostly from other countries heading to the park.
Ideally, the terminal will be used for passenger flights, according to Mike North, county management analyst. The terminal has a large lobby with seating, televisions and other amenities, he said.
"This terminal is another resource for attracting activity at Castle and accommodating those who come through," North said. "This is a big step for Castle."
County officials have been working to redevelop the former air force base as a business center and airport.
Hendrickson said a market analysis is planned for Castle Airport in the near future to determine how to get the most out of the airport and best utilize the surrounding property.