Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport

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Cincinnati Municipal Airport
Lunken Field
Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport, 2006-01-25.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner City of Cincinnati
Serves Cincinnati, Ohio
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 483 ft / 147 m
Coordinates 39°06′12″N 084°25′07″W / 39.10333°N 84.41861°W / 39.10333; -84.41861
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3L/21R 3,802 1,159 Asphalt
3R/21L 6,101 1,860 Asphalt
7/25 5,128 1,563 Asphalt
Statistics (2004)
Aircraft operations 108,904
Based aircraft 314

Cincinnati Municipal Airport – Lunken Field (Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport) (IATA: LUKICAO: KLUKFAA LID: LUK) is a public airport in Cincinnati, Ohio, three miles (5 km) southeast of Downtown Cincinnati. It is owned by the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] The airport serves private aircraft and the fleets of local corporations. It is known as Lunken Airport or Lunken Field, after Eshelby Lunken.[2]

It is bounded by US Route 50 (historic Columbia Parkway and Eastern Avenue) to the west, US Route 52 (Kellogg Avenue) and the Ohio River to the south, the Little Miami River (which originally flowed through the airfield but was diverted) to the east, and Ohio Route 125 (Beechmont Avenue) to the north. The airport is a hub for small charter airline Flamingo Air and its aviation school.


Cincinnati Municipal Airport, also known as Lunken Airport, was Cincinnati's airline airport until 1947. It is in the Little Miami River valley near Columbia, the site of the first Cincinnati-area settlement in 1788. When the 1,000-acre (400 ha) airfield opened in 1925 it was the largest municipal airfield in the world.[3] Many Cincinnati-area companies base their aircraft there.[2]

On December 17, 1925 the Embry-Riddle Company was formed at Lunken Airport by T. Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle. A few years later the company moved to Florida, and later became the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 1928 the T. E. Halpin Development Co, later the Metal Aircraft Corporation produced 22 of the high-wing Flamingo at the airport.[4] Also in 1928, Aeronca Aircraft Corporation was formed to build cheap light aircraft; the factory building, hangar 4, is still in use. Over 500 C-2 and C-3 aircraft were built here.

Lunken Airport was supplanted by the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after catastrophic flooding from the Ohio River.[5] The flooding prompted the airport's nickname of "Sunken Lunken". During the Ohio River flood of 1937, the airfield and two-story main terminal building at the southwest corner of the airport were totally submerged, except for the third-floor air traffic control "tower". A plaque (which appears from ground level to be a single black brick) on the terminal building, facing the airfield, indicates the high-water mark.[6] Today the old control tower is home to the Lunken Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, and is the oldest standing control tower in the United States.[7] The property also contains public recreation areas, including an 18-hole golf course, playgrounds, and walking/biking paths on the levee surrounding the airfield.

Airport visitors[edit]

In 1927 Charles Lindbergh landed at Lunken and was mobbed by well-wishers.[8] In 1964 a large crowd of fans greeted The Beatles as they flew in to and out of Lunken for their concert at Cincinnati Gardens.[9]

Several U.S. presidents and other dignitaries have arrived via Lunken; On October 30, 2007 Air Force One landed at Lunken as President George W. Bush visited abutting Cincinnati neighborhood Hyde Park for a fund-raiser for Republican Congressman Steve Chabot.[10] On October 22, 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain and vice-presidential candidate Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of 12,000 in hangar A-10. Gretchen Wilson performed to start the rally. Cindy McCain and Todd Palin were also in attendance. Introducing them was former Republican Congressman (now US Senator) Rob Portman.[11][12] In 2011 the airport served as a backdrop for scenes in the film The Ides of March.[13]


Lunken Airport from Alms Park

Cincinnati Municipal Airport – Lunken Field covers 1,140 acres (460 ha) and has three runways:[1]

  • Runway 3L/21R: 3,802 x 100 ft (1,159 x 30 m) Asphalt
  • Runway 3R/21L: 6,101 x 150 ft (1,860 x 46 m) Asphalt
  • Runway 7/25: 5,128 x 100 ft (1,563 x 30 m) Asphalt

Airlines and non-stop destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Ultimate Air Shuttle Charlotte, Chicago-Midway, Morristown (NJ)

[citation needed]


In 2004 the airport had 108,904 aircraft operations, an average of 298 per day: 83% general aviation, 17% air taxi, 1% military and <1% scheduled commercial. 314 aircraft are based at this airport: 62% single-engine, 21% jet, 15% multi-engine and 1% helicopter.[1]


Sky Galley Restaurant has been in nearly continuous operation for decades, and is so named because the first meals served on a commercial airliner (American Airlines) were prepared here.[14] Sky Galley is housed in the original, Art Deco terminal building and has large windows and a patio dining area facing the airfield, allowing wonderful views of small aircraft and corporate jets taking off and landing.[15] Pilots can literally taxi up and park right outside the restaurant.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for LUK (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-07-05
  2. ^ a b "Lunken Airport". 
  3. ^ City of Cincinnati – History
  4. ^ Ohio Historical Society. Timeline: a publication of the Ohio Historical Society, Volume 23. 
  5. ^ The Airport Page, Boone County, Kentucky
  6. ^ Stulz, Larry (February 14, 2008). "Lunken Airport". 
  7. ^ "Lunken Cadet Squadron 078". 
  8. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1943). Cincinnati, a Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors. p. 131. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  9. ^ City of Cincinnati website
  10. ^ Wessels, Joe, Air Force One Pays 1st Visit to Lunken, Cincinnati Post, October 30, 2007
  11. ^ Palin, McCain Rally At Airport, USA Today, October 23, 2008
  12. ^ Palin, McCain Address Rally at Lunken Airport, Kentucky Post, October 22, 2008 [1]
  13. ^ John Kiesewetter (29 July 2011). "Area plays big part in movie trailer for Clooney's 'Ides of March'". The Cincinnati Enquirer. 
  14. ^ Pilot Getaways Magazine – Previous Issues – Summer 2003
  15. ^ Hoevener, Laura (2010). Adventures Around Cincinnati. Hillcrest Publishing Group. p. 59. 

External links[edit]