Colorado Springs Airport
|Colorado Springs Airport
City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport
|FAA airport diagram|
|IATA: COS – ICAO: KCOS – FAA LID: COS
|Owner||City of Colorado Springs|
|Operator||City of Colorado Springs|
|Serves||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Elevation AMSL||6,187 ft / 1,886 m|
|Sources: airport web site and FAA|
Colorado Springs Airport (IATA: COS, ICAO: KCOS, FAA LID: COS) (City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport) is a city-owned public civil-military airport 6 miles (10 km) southeast of Colorado Springs, in El Paso County, Colorado. It is the second busiest airport in the state. The airport is co-located with Peterson Air Force Base which is on the north side of runway 12/30.
Colorado Springs Airport
Former terminal, now Peterson Air & Space Museum
|Nearest city:||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Area:||8.3 acres (3.4 ha)|
|Architectural style:||Art Deco, Moderne|
|Added to NRHP:||November 15, 1996|
The airport was founded in 1927, the same year Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight. Seven miles east of the city, the airport covered 640 acres (2.6 km²) and had two gravel runways. By the late 1930s the first passenger traffic was flowing through the airport on a flight from El Paso, Texas, through Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver and back. The first municipal terminal was built in 1942 in an art deco style. Soon after the terminal was built the field was taken over by the military in the months preceding World War II. After the war, the city regained operations.
In 1966 a new terminal was built on the west side of the runways, at a new site east of Colorado Springs beyond Powers Boulevard. This terminal expanded several times in the 1970s and 80s. By 1991 the airport had three 150-foot (46 m) wide runways, one 13,501 feet (4,115 m) long, making it the longest runway in Colorado until 16R/34L, a 16,000-foot (4,900 m) runway, opened at Denver International Airport in September 2003. In 1991 the city approved building a new terminal on the south side of the field.
The new terminal, a 280,000-square-foot (26,000 m2), 17-gate facility designed by the Van Sant Group cost $140 million dollars. It opened on October 22, 1994.
Through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s the airport tried to expand service. The largest number of passengers was nearly 5 million in 1996 when now-defunct Western Pacific Airlines had a hub at COS (they moved it to Denver International Airport in late 1996). Their timetable for 15 June shows 33 daily departures to 20 airports between the west coast and Newark and Washington Dulles. (All their flights left from or landed at COS.)
Colorado Springs now has non-stop flights to 11 U.S. cities. Most are hubs, but Colorado Springs has had sporadic flights to non-hub cities.
Facilities and aircraft
The airport covers 7,200 acres (2,900 ha) and has three paved runways: 17L/35R, 13,501 x 150 ft (4,115 x 46 m) long, 17R/35L, 11,022 x 150 ft (3,360 x 46 m) and 12/30, 8,269 x 150 ft (2,520 x 46 m).
Reached from Milton Proby Parkway, the terminal has two concourses. Only one (gates 1-12) is in use; the second concourse (called the Western Pacific Airlines concourse) has gates 14-18 (there is no gate 13.) The second concourse is now mainly used for meetings. Access between the concourses requires leaving the secure area and walking through the main terminal and down a long hallway.
Since September 2011 the airport terminal has been under renovation, including reconstruction of the TSA checkpoint to support full body scanners, expansion of office space behind the ticket counters, and facilities for automated baggage screening.
Repairs to runway 17L/35R, first scheduled for 2011 but delayed by the FAA shutdown, will begin in spring 2012.
In the year ending January 31, 2006 the airport had 153,244 aircraft operations, an average of 419 per day: 58% general aviation, 18% air taxi, 14% scheduled commercial and 11% military. 292 aircraft were then based at this airport: 50% single-engine, 22% multi-engine, 12% jet, 1% helicopter and 16% military.
The 16-gate passenger terminal opened on October 22, 1994. It now serves over 2 million passengers annually.
Airlines and destinations
|Allegiant Air||Las Vegas|
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|
|Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines||Salt Lake City|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles|
|1||Denver, CO||249,000||Frontier, United|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||51,000||Frontier, United|
|7||Salt Lake City, UT||31,000||Delta|
|8||Las Vegas, NV||27,000||Allegiant|
|9||Washington, D.C. (Dulles)||20,000||United|
Accidents and incidents
- On March 3, 1991, United Airlines Flight 585, a Boeing 737-291 flying from Peoria, Illinois, to Colorado Springs via Moline, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado, crashed on final approach to Colorado Springs Runway 35 after a rudder malfunction caused the aircraft to roll over and dive, killing all 25 on board. The incident was officially closed as undetermined but after investigating a nearly identical crash involving USAir Flight 427 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, as well as another nearly identical incident involving Eastwind Airlines Flight 517 in 1996 in Richmond, Virginia, the cause of the accident was finally determined. The reason was the effect of thermal shock on the rudder which blocked it entirely. The pilot tried to change the direction of the rudder but another effect of thermal shock was the reverse action of the pedals. The pilot flying pushed on the pedals but this contributed to the out-of-control diving of the aircraft since he was not aware of the reverse action of the pedals.
- On January 8, 2010, a 47-year-old man from Virginia by the name of Muhammad Abu Tahir became intoxicated on AirTran Airways flight 39 bound for San Francisco after it left Atlanta, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Colorado Springs. The plane landed with no issues and Tahir was arrested and taken to an El Paso County jail and later charged. The plane took off again from Colorado Springs for San Francisco several hours later.
- On December 30, 2010, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-300 operating as Flight 1921 from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 225 passengers and crew had to make an emergency landing at the airport due to engine problems. Two people were injured during evacuation.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in El Paso County, Colorado
- List of airports in the Denver area
- Colorado Springs Airport, official web site
- FAA Airport Master Record for COS ( PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Colorado Springs Airport - Colorado Springs Airport History
- "Unruly passenger charged in AirTran incident". CNN. January 12, 2010.
- Colorado Springs Municipal Airport at Colorado DOT website
- (PDF), effective May 30, 2013
- Resources for this airport: