|IATA: BKG – ICAO: KBBG – FAA LID: BBG|
|Owner||Branson Airport, LLC|
|Opened||May 11, 2009|
|Hub for||Buzz Airways|
|Elevation AMSL||1,302 ft / 397 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Branson Airport (IATA: BKG, ICAO: KBBG, FAA LID: BBG) is a public use airport located eight nautical miles (15 km) south-southeast of the central business district of Branson, a city in Taney County, Missouri, United States. It is privately owned by Branson Airport, LLC.
Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned BBG by the FAA and BKG by the IATA (which assigned BBG to Butaritari Atoll Airport in Butaritari, Kiribati).
The airport opened on May 11, 2009. It is currently the only privately owned, privately operated commercial service airport in the United States as National Express Group Plc. reverted control of Stewart International Airport to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As part of the negotiations to create the airport, obtain financing and reduce liability, Branson Airport, LLC had to "gift" the land they owned to Taney County, Missouri in order to lease and operate the airport privately.
Prior to construction of Branson Airport, the closest commercial service airport was Springfield-Branson National Airport 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Branson. That airport is owned by the city of Springfield, Missouri.
The formal grand opening was May 8–10, 2009 during which the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed during an air show. The first flight arrived the following day, on May 11, 2009 from Minneapolis-St. Paul on a Sun Country Airlines scheduled commercial flight.
Frontier Airlines launched flights to Branson Airport with daily service to Denver as well as seasonal less than daily service to Milwaukee, which was formerly served from Branson through AirTran.
On February 23, 2011 Branson Airport's largest carrier, AirTran Airways announced they would be adding flights from Branson to Baltimore, Chicago-Midway and Houston-Hobby. All flights will have been year round.
As of August, 2012 Branson Airport offers six nonstop flights with more than 100 connections. AirTran Airways, acquired by Southwest Airlines in May 2011, offers nonstop service to Chicago and Houston, and had previously served Atlanta, Baltimore-Washington and Orlando. Frontier Airlines offers nonstop service to Denver. Branson AirExpress offers seasonal service; in 2012 they served Austin and Nashville.
On August 27, 2012, Southwest Airlines announced they would be taking over all AirTran flights at the airport on March 9, 2013. They fly to Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Houston-Hobby and previously Saturday-only flights to Orlando. Southwest Airlines will end service at the airport on June 7th, 2014.
On February 24, 2014, Frontier Airlines announced that their Branson to Denver service would be upgraded from seasonal to daily beginning June 9, 2014.
On April 3, 2014, Buzz Airways, operated by Corporate Flight Management announced service to Chicago-Midway and Houston-Hobby that will begin June 12, 2014, on a scheduled charter, filling the void left by the departure of Southwest Airlines.
Facilities and aircraft
Branson Airport covers an area of 922 acres (373 ha) at an elevation of 1,302 feet (397 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 14/32 with a concrete surface measuring 7,140 by 150 feet (2,176 x 46 m).
Airlines and destinations
|Buzz Airways||Chicago-Midway, Houston-Hobby|
|1||Chicago-Midway, IL||40,000||Buzz Airways|
|2||Houston-Hobby, TX||37,000||Buzz Airways|
There are some unusual consequences of the airport's private ownership. One such issue is the fact that competition is neither desired nor allowed. When an airline acquires a route to and from the airport, they will generally acquire an exclusive arrangement with Branson Airport, LLC, to serve that destination city. This however does not prevent a carrier from operating to a destination served by Springfield-Branson Airport to the north, for example AirTran flies to Atlanta competing with Delta Connection operations to Atlanta from the nearby airport.
“We don’t want suicide fares, two or three airlines bashing each other over the head until someone says ‘uncle’ and leaves,” said [CEO Steve] Peet, explaining why the airport agreed to protect the airlines from competition. “We want to build real service, sustainable service.”
Development and construction
Branson Airport is located in the Communities of Branson Creek development, a golf/residential complex land formerly belonging to Tennessee Ernie Ford. The land was originally purchased by Glenn Patch, a publisher of Computer Shopper and other magazines, in 1990 when he bought 7,000 acres (28 km2) in the area to develop the Branson Creek complex. Patch sold the 922 acres to Branson Airport, LLC in 2007. Patch also owns the franchise for the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theatre in Branson.
The owners have put the naming rights for the FBO, the terminal, and the entire airport up for sale.
The construction of the airport, which involved the flattening of several Ozark Mountains, is claimed to be the largest earthmoving project in Missouri history. A press release noted that between groundbreaking in July 2007 and May 2008 11 million cubic yards of earth had been moved.
The $155 million project includes a 7,140-foot (2,180 m) by 150-foot (46 m) runway, numbered 14/32, and a 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) terminal designed to accommodate 1.4 million passengers a year. The $155 million cost of the building the terminal included $38 million in private equity and $117 million in tax free bonds underwritten by Citigroup. The high-risk, high-yield bonds (top rate of 6.5%) were issued by the Branson Regional Airport Transportation Development District. The City of Branson will pay a subsidy of $8.24 to Branson Airport LLC for each arriving visitor with an annual cap of $2 Million. Given the rates at which the bonds are financed, this subsidy could amount to 20% of the total costs of financing the airport's construction.
Plans also call for the construction of an 8,000-seat arena and 15,000-seat amphitheater near the airport.
Nearby General Aviation Airports
Nearest Commercial Airports
- FAA Airport Master Record for BBG ( PDF), effective 2 July 2009
- Great Circle Mapper: KBBG / BKG - Branson, Missouri (Branson Airport)
- Great Circle Mapper: NGTU / BBG - Butaritari Atoll, Kiribati
- Negroni, Christine (April 20, 2009). "In Missouri, Investors Seek a Profit in Branson Airport". New York Times.
- Negroni, Christine (May 11, 2009). "Branson opening nation's only privately funded commercial airport". Dallas Morning News.
- "Branson's Privately Financed Airport: Branson Airport CEO on obtaining financing" (Video and transcript). FOX Business News. April 24, 2009.
- Honey, Mindy (May 2009). "New airport takes off". Branson Daily News.
- "Branson breaks ground on first private commercial airport; Completion scheduled for 2009" (PDF). News Release. City of Branson. July 20, 2007.
- http://articles.directorym.net/AT_BRANSON_UP_GOES_A_TERMINAL_Seattle_WA-r906317-Seattle_WA.html[dead link]
- http://www.flybranson.com/branson-airport-awards-contract-to-build-terminal[dead link]
- http://www.flybranson.com/construction[dead link]
- Cooke, Jeremy R. (June 12, 2009). "Illinois, Cleveland, Branson Sales Lead Municipal Bond Market". Bloomberg.com.
- Schultz Surveying and Engineering did all the construction staking and surveying for the airport. http://schultzengineering.com/engineering-surveying.asp http://flybranson.com/about_history.php
- FlyBranson.com, official site
- (PDF), effective June 26, 2014
- FAA Terminal Procedures for Branson Airport (BBG), effective June 26, 2014
- Resources for this airport: