Fort Wayne International Airport
|Fort Wayne International Airport|
|IATA: FWA – ICAO: KFWA – FAA LID: FWA
– WMO: 72533
|Owner/Operator||Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority|
|Serves||Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|Elevation AMSL||814 ft / 248 m|
Fort Wayne International Airport (IATA: FWA, ICAO: KFWA, FAA LID: FWA) is eight miles southwest of Fort Wayne, in Allen County, Indiana. It is owned by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority.
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 294,968 enplanements in calendar year 2013, 5.07% more than 2012.
The airport has one terminal, the Lieutenant Paul Baer Terminal. Passenger flights reach seven airline hubs of Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and Philadelphia, along with flights to Orlando, Punta Gorda (serving Fort Myers and Sarasota), Tampa, Phoenix, and seasonal service to Myrtle Beach. Together, flights from the airport to these twelve cities serve over 640,000 combined arriving and departing passengers per year.
The airport has a 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m2) air cargo center on the southwest side. The center was occupied by Kitty Hawk Air Cargo, which had a hub at Fort Wayne until October 30, 2007, shortly after the carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The former Kitty Hawk hub is now used by several aviation and non-aviation companies including Logistics Insight, FedEx Express, and Spinach Ball.
Fort Wayne International is also home to a maintenance base for SkyWest Airlines CRJ-200 aircraft.
- 1 Baer Army Air Field in World War II
- 2 Early Passenger Service & The Jet Age
- 3 Deregulation & New Management
- 4 The 1990s and Expansion
- 5 9/11, Competition, and the First LCC
- 6 Breaking the Slump
- 7 Weathering the Recession
- 8 The Airport Today
- 9 2012 Master Plan & The Future
- 10 Preserving History
- 11 Facilities
- 12 Airlines & Destinations
- 13 Incidents
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Baer Army Air Field in World War II
The airport was built at a cost of $10 million as a U.S. Army Air Forces base during World War II, opening in 1941 under the name Baer Field and later Baer Army Air Field. During wartime, over 100,000 military personnel served out of Baer Field and its more than 100 structures. The principal units at the installation were the First Troop Carrier Group and the 45th Army Air Force Base Unit.
The oldest original Baer Army Air Field hangar, Hangar No. 40, was in use from World War II until 2012. Hangar No. 40's final tenant was FedEx Express, who used it until the hangar was damaged in a weather-related incident. After the damage to Hangar No. 40, FedEx moved into a portion of the former Kitty Hawk hub. Hangar No. 40 was demolished between March and April 2013.
Early Passenger Service & The Jet Age
At the end of World War II, the city of Fort Wayne bought the airport from the federal government's General Services Administration for $1, renaming it Baer Field/Fort Wayne Municipal Airport in 1946. Two passenger airlines initially served Baer Field: TWA and Chicago & Southern Airlines; United Airlines appeared in 1947 with one DC-3 each way a day. C&S merged with Delta Air Lines in 1953 and Delta is the airport's longest-serving carrier, having served the airport in one form or another ever since. In 1953 the airport's current terminal opened, replacing a converted military structure. The new permanent terminal had an air traffic control tower, an observation deck, and the "Look-Out Dining Room" restaurant with views of the ramp below. TWA, the first airline to serve Fort Wayne at what is now Smith Field, ended flights from Baer Field in 1963. Scheduled jet flights began in 1967 on United Caravelles (United had been using the turboprop Vickers Viscount at Baer Field for several years). United's jets were soon joined by Delta Douglas DC-9s. American Airlines added service to the airport in 1974, initially to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (which also opened that year) on the Boeing 727.
In addition to Delta, United, and later American, locally based Hub Airlines and other regional airlines flew to the airport in the 1960s and 1970s. The airport was the largest in Indiana not served by airlines classified as local service airlines by the Civil Aeronautics Board (e.g. Allegheny Airlines and Ozark Air Lines). Eastern Air Lines was the only CAB regulation-era "Big Four" airline that did not serve Baer Field at any time in its history.
Deregulation & New Management
In 1981, Baer Field's 1953 terminal building was modernized and expanded with features like jetways to handle increased traffic brought on by the Airline Deregulation Act. During the period immediately following deregulation in the late 1970s through the early 1980s, Air Wisconsin, Piedmont Airlines (later US Airways), and Republic Airlines were several of the airlines that had begun service to Baer Field. American also changed their Fort Wayne flights from Dallas to Chicago O'Hare, while Air Wisconsin took over United's Chicago route in partnership with United and later as United Express. Air Wisconsin also had a maintenance base on the west side of the airport in the 1980s and 1990s that handled BAe 146, BAe ATP, and later Canadair Regional Jet aircraft. After Air Wisconsin closed the maintenance base, Shuttle America briefly used the hangar before the loss of the US Airways Express Pittsburgh flying; the former Air Wisconsin hangar was later used by Endeavor Air before being used by SkyWest today. In 1985, management of Baer Field was transferred from the City of Fort Wayne to the newly established Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, with a board composed of equal numbers of City of Fort Wayne and Allen County officials.
The 1990s and Expansion
In 1991 Baer Field was renamed Fort Wayne International Airport; the terminal was renamed to continue honoring Lieutenant Paul Baer. Through the 1990s the airport underwent the largest expansion and revitalization in its history. Between 1994 and 1997, the terminal was again expanded, with design by MSKTD & Associates, Inc. Other improvements included runway upgrades and the Air Trade Center on the southwest side of the property. In 1998, Fort Wayne International Airport started advertising the airport to the general public for the first time. That same year, Delta ended its mainline jet service to Atlanta. Although this ended a tradition of service dating back to Chicago & Southern Airlines when the airport was converted to civil use in the 1940s, Delta continued to serve the airport via Delta Connection regional jets to Atlanta and Cincinnati. Other airlines serving the airport, including United, Northwest, and American, followed Delta's lead in introducing regional jets such as the Canadair Regional Jet, Fairchild Dornier 328JET, Avro RJ85, and the EMBRAER ERJ-145 to the airport. Turboprops such as the Saab 340, Beechcraft 1900, ATR 72, and Dash 8 also continued to play a role for flights to destinations such as Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit, occasionally alongside larger jets such as the DC-9, Fokker 100, and Boeing 737 on the same routes.
9/11, Competition, and the First LCC
By 2000, Fort Wayne International Airport was handling record traffic; the 2000 traffic record remains intact. American Eagle resumed nonstop flights to Dallas/Fort Worth that year, which continue. Air Canada Express began a short-lived service to Toronto. The following year, Fort Wayne International Airport's traffic dropped after the September 11 attacks. The slump continued for several years, prolonged by an ongoing fare war between Southwest Airlines, ATA Airlines, and others at Indianapolis International Airport, two and a half hours from Fort Wayne. In late 2003, ATA Connection began service from Fort Wayne International Airport to Chicago/Midway, the first low-cost carrier to serve the airport. Demand for the flights reached the point where airport management bought the on-site Days Inn to make room for more parking. ATA briefly switched the flight's destination to Indianapolis before closing their regional division completely in early 2005. US Airways also ended service to Pittsburgh, their lone service from the airport, as part of a broader dehubbing of Pittsburgh. US Airways left the airport, as the discontinued Pittsburgh service was not transferred to the airline's other hubs in Philadelphia or Charlotte. However, nine years later after the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, Fort Wayne International Airport got service to both hubs. Around the same time as the departure of US Airways from the airport, Northwest stopped using mainline aircraft on their Detroit flights; unlike US Airways, NWA continued to serve the Fort Wayne to Detroit route using regional jets and turboprops. Delta planned on introducing service to Orlando from the airport in 2005; however, the flights were canceled days before the planned launch as the result of Delta's Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Breaking the Slump
In 2006, a modernized 210 feet (64 m) air traffic control tower was opened on the south side of Fort Wayne International Airport, at a price of $9.7 million. One year later, Allegiant Air, the airport's second low-cost carrier, began operations with service to Orlando. Allegiant continues to serve the airport, and has since added service to Tampa/St. Petersburg, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Punta Gorda (serving Fort Myers and Sarasota), and Phoenix. At one time, Allegiant also offered service to Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale from the airport, and served Phoenix before late 2008 as well. The Las Vegas and Phoenix services were initially discontinued in 2008 due to fuel costs and fuel price volatility. However, the Phoenix suspension was ultimately temporary as Allegiant began adding more fuel-efficient Airbus A319 aircraft in 2013. The A319, along with lower fuel costs that made usage of the MD-80 viable again in 2014, both allowed the airline to serve Phoenix profitably from Fort Wayne, and the airport continues to pursue the resumption of Las Vegas flights. The airport also sees Airbus A320 aircraft from Allegiant, flying to Florida. The Fort Lauderdale service was eliminated along with several other Allegiant routes to Fort Lauderdale, including one from what is now South Bend International Airport, due to congestion problems at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
In 2008, all Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority properties including Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field received a new logo. The new brand, designed by Fort Wayne firm Catalyst Marketing Design, is meant to resemble jet contrails. Debuting together with the new logo was the slogan "A Whole New Altitude" that was and continues to be used for both airports along with the Airport Authority's operations. Northwest began service to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in early 2008; the service was temporarily suspended in 2009 following the merger of Delta and Northwest, but resumed in 2010 as seasonal service running between early March and late December. The Minneapolis flights are now year-round service.
Weathering the Recession
During and after the recession of 2008, Fort Wayne International Airport lost relatively little of its service and passengers when compared with similar Midwestern airports. Although Continental Airlines ended Cleveland service in 2009 and Delta ended Cincinnati service in 2011, there was no impact to the airport in the end. Unlike some other similar airports, Fort Wayne International Airport gained passengers in the four years immediately following Continental's discontinuation of Cleveland flights. In the cases of both Cleveland and Cincinnati, the service discontinuation was part of broader hub cutbacks at both Continental and Delta that affected many other airports. Following the merger of Delta and Northwest, Delta also replaced the last of the turboprop flying from the airport with regional jets. Around the time of the discontinuation of Cleveland service, United placed Continental flight numbers and allowed Continental OnePass frequent-flyer miles to be earned on United flights, including those from Fort Wayne. United continues to serve the airport following the United/Continental merger.
In 2010 Fort Wayne International Airport changed concessions vendors from Air Host to First Class Concessions. About a year later, new Seattle's Best Coffee locations opened on both the secured and unsecured sides, along with a Samuel Adams-themed restaurant and bar with hot food on the secure side for the first time. Hot food from the Samuel Adams Brewhouse is also available on the non-secured side, though not the alcoholic beverages offered on the secured side. Coca-Cola, which has a distribution operation on Airport Expressway near the airport, has been the only provider of both fountain and bottled non-alcoholic beverages to the airport since First Class Concessions took over the concessions contract. The gift shop was upgraded to include Fort Wayne brands such as DeBrand chocolates and Vera Bradley products, along with books, magazines, travel needs, and aviation-themed merchandise. The airport has offered free Wi-Fi ever since they started offering the service, and installed ARCONAS inPower Flex modules in select seating areas with both 110V and USB charging in 2011 to better serve laptop and smartphone users. The airport's Hospitality Hosts handed out their 1 millionth sugar cookie in 2011; these cookies are baked across the street from the airport at Ellison Bakery and are provided free to all arriving passengers.
The Airport Today
Today Fort Wayne is served by four carriers: Allegiant Air, American Eagle/US Airways Express, Delta, and United Express. Although they account for a small percentage of airport traffic (less than 1%), charter flights from operators including Allegiant, Vision Airlines, Miami Air International, and Republic Airlines also operate from the airport. During January and February, the airport's slowest months, Delta reduces Detroit flights, while United and American reduce Chicago flights. Delta's Atlanta and Minneapolis flights, all American flights aside from O'Hare, and Allegiant flights to Florida and Phoenix do not see reductions in January and February.
Fort Wayne International Airport and the Fort Wayne – Allen County Airport Authority introduced a new website in February 2013. The new website replaced one that debuted shortly after the airport's rebranding; unlike the previous airport website, the new website does not use Flash and uses responsive web design and CSS to deliver a full experience to both desktop and mobile users. A new television ad campaign called "That's Hard", focusing on the ease of using the airport and how it benefits the community, was also introduced in April 2013. The ads were filmed by Fort Wayne-based PUNCH Films and created by Asher Agency, the airport authority's advertising agency since 2006. Print ads for the campaign followed shortly afterwards, and a radio ad for the "That's Hard" campaign was launched in the spring of 2014.
The airport's terminal also received updates in 2013. These updates included new paint, expanded business and welcome centers, new children's play areas, permanent heating and air conditioning units for aircraft use at gates, and new lounge seating near the gates with power outlets. The airport's office reception area and executive offices on the second floor of the terminal building also received an update at approximately the same time. Also in 2013, Allegiant reintroduced service to Phoenix via Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in late October of that year. Phoenix is the third-most popular city from Fort Wayne International Airport behind Atlanta and Dallas, and prior to the reintroduction, Phoenix was also the most popular city without nonstop service from the airport. The resumed Phoenix service became Allegiant's fourth year-round and fifth total destination from the airport.
About six months after the legal closing of the American Airlines-US Airways merger, Fort Wayne International Airport and American Airlines Group announced twice-daily service to Philadelphia International Airport and daily flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, both legacy US Airways hubs. The new flights, operated by US Airways Express/American Eagle carrier Air Wisconsin, began on October 2, 2014. These three flights boosted the merged airline's departures from Fort Wayne by a third over the previous schedule, provided the airport's first route to the northeastern US since deregulation, and offered an additional gateway to the southeastern US and the Caribbean. Both hubs also improved connections to Europe from Fort Wayne, offering new one-stop flight options that were previously not available. Philadelphia also offers faster connections to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent through American's codeshare with Qatar Airways.
Shortly after the American announcement, Delta announced the upgrade of one of their Atlanta flights to larger aircraft with a first-class seating option; this is the first time in over a decade that first-class seats have been offered at the airport.
2012 Master Plan & The Future
An FAA Master Plan for Fort Wayne International Airport, the first since 2003, was completed in 2012. The new rental car area (which will bring covered spaces for rental cars) and parking lot reconfiguration (which will streamline the exit for the short- and long-term parking lots) are among the first improvements to be carried out under the master plan. These occurred in 2014, coinciding with a parking management change from Standard Parking to Republic Parking System, the first such change at the airport in 45 years. Shortly after the change in parking vendors, the airport started offering airline miles or hotel points for parking, dining, and shopping by becoming a member of the Thanks Again loyalty program along with smartphone parking payments. Parking rates remained unchanged as the vendors changed and Thanks Again was introduced.
The airport now has limited concessions post-security, as the current setup is a temporary improvement over the pre-2011 layout. Currently, the Samuel Adams Brewhouse and Seattle's Best Coffee, both open from 5 AM until the last departure of the day, are the only food concessions available post-security. The airport's master plan calls for additional concession development, and the airport authority's seven-year contract with First Class Concessions anticipates such a move occurring. The master plan also calls for the replacement of ground-level Gates 1 through 4 with an equal number of additional jetway gates on the second floor, and one of the new gates would include a passenger U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Services station to complement the existing FIS station for cargo. Both the new jetway gates and passenger FIS facility will improve the airport as a diversion point when airports in locations such as Chicago and Detroit are closed or restricted due to weather. The new gates would be added in part by moving the airport's fixed-base operator (FBO) to the airport's west side near the Endeavor Air/SkyWest maintenance base and by the demolition of an unused hangar. Currently, Atlantic Aviation is the FBO at the airport, but the airport authority will operate the FBO itself as of January 2016, when the new building opens. The master plan also calls for a larger Transportation Security Administration security area located on the second floor where the Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum now resides. The museum would then move either to a space located at the site of the current passenger holdrooms for Gates 1 through 4, to Smith Field, or to a non-airport location. This relocation will once again allow access to the museum without a TSA screening and a ticket or tour guide.
The various projects under the Master Plan will last for a timeframe of multiple years. The first completed projects will be a new access road on the west side of the airport for better access to the future FBO building, which was completed in mid-2014 along with a parking lot and car rental reconfiguration. Construction of the new FBO building began in mid-2014 and will be finished in 2015, with the switch from Atlantic to Airport Authority control happening January 15, 2016. Most other improvements will not start until 2016 and will likely continue for several years.
The Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum in the terminal recounts early aviation history in Northeastern Indiana. The museum's curator, Roger Myers, co-authored the book "Fort Wayne Aviation: Baer Field & Beyond", published by Arcadia Publishing. The book is available at the airport gift shop, from Amazon.com, and at Fort Wayne-area Barnes & Noble and Walgreens stores.
The main Runway 5/23 is 11,981 feet (3,652 m) long and 150 feet (46 m) wide grooved asphalt and concrete. The runway is large enough to accommodate the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter, Airbus A380, Boeing 747, and military air mobility and aerial refueling aircraft such as the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender. The runway has BAK-14 arresting gear on both ends for emergency arrestment of US and NATO/Allied fighter and other tactical fixed-wing aircraft.
In 2010 the airport had 40,961 aircraft operations, average 112 per day: 49% general aviation, 41% air taxi, 5% airline, and 5% military. 84 aircraft were then based at this airport: 44% single-engine, 23% multi-engine, 15% jet, 14% military, and 4% helicopter.
Airlines & Destinations
Fort Wayne International Airport has eight shared-use gates; certain airlines typically use certain gates. American Eagle, US Airways Express, and Allegiant Air share Gates 7 and 8. Until mid-2014, American and Allegiant were both ground-handled by American Eagle carrier Envoy Air. Trego-Dugan Jet Management now does ground handling for Allegiant, and Allegiant now uses its own ticket counter instead of sharing American's. As US Airways Express will become part of American Eagle in the near future, the two airlines share ground services and a ticket counter. Delta Connection, which is handled by Delta Air Lines subsidiary Delta Global Services (DGS), typically uses Gates 2, 4, 5, and 6. United Express, which also uses DGS for ground handling, shares Gate 6 with Delta along with ticket counter space.
Gates 1 through 4 are ground-level on the first floor of the terminal and are boarded via airstairs, whereas Gates 5 through 8 are on the second floor of the terminal and board via jetways. A half-height jetway is currently being added to Gate 4. As Gates 5 through 8 were built at a time when the airport had mainline service, these gates can handle aircraft ranging in size from the Canadair Regional Jet family used by Delta and United to the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, Boeing 757, and Airbus A320 family aircraft used by Allegiant. Gate 2 also has a Commute-a-Walk flexible walkway to shield passengers from elements such as rain and snow. This system was originally purchased for ATA Connection, which ceased operations in 2005, and also was briefly used by Allegiant Air. After Allegiant changed ground handling companies to Envoy Air, the airline switched from using Gate 2 to sharing American Eagle's gates 7 and 8. Gate 2 is used for Delta flights during peak departure times, but can be used for any airline serving the airport at any time with the airport's shared-use gate system.
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)||American, United||83,000|
|2||Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW)||Delta||53,000|
|3||Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL)||Delta||51,000|
|4||Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)||American||28,000|
|5||St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE)||Allegiant||23,000|
|5||Punta Gorda Airport (PGD)||Allegiant||23,000|
|7||Orlando/Sanford International (SFB)||Allegiant||19,000|
|8||Minneapolis/St Paul International (MSP)||Delta||13,000|
|9||Phoenix/Mesa Gateway (AZA)||Allegiant||10,000|
|10||Myrtle Beach International (MYR)||Allegiant||6,000|
|FedEx Express||Memphis, Providence, South Bend|
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, South Bend|
- In 2003, Charles McKinley shipped himself via Kitty Hawk Air Cargo from Newark Liberty International Airport to Buffalo, New York, then to Fort Wayne, eventually flying to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, undetected through security.
- On August 18, 2004, authorities shut down the airport after a "liquid substance" leaking from luggage caused six people to fall ill. Fearing that the incident may have been an act of terrorism, the FBI was involved in the investigation. Haz-mat later ruled that there was "no biological or chemical threat" and the airport was reopened that afternoon. All who were ill recovered and it was later revealed that the substance was an agent for producing perfume.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort Wayne International Airport.|
- FAA Airport Master Record for FWA ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "IATA Airport Code Search". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Enplanements for CY 2013" (PDF). CY 2013 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 4, 2014.
- Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority – Fast Facts. Retrieved on February 20, 2013.
- Kitty Hawk’s space void is virtually filled. The Journal Gazette. October 23, 2012. Retrieved on December 7, 2012.
- Fort Wayne International Airport website, Airport History. Retrieved on February 20, 2013.
- Fort Wayne International Airport – MSKTD & Associates, Inc.
- View From the Top: Airport's New Control Tower Ready for Service. The News-Sentinel. January 17, 2007. Retrieved on February 3, 2009.
- Facebook – PUNCH Films. Retrieved on February 25, 2013.
- Airport authority plans five projects for 2013 – WANE-TV. Retrieved on March 23, 2013.
- Fort Wayne International Airport website. Aviation Museum. Retrieved on February 20, 2013.
- "Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne International (FWA)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. September 2012. Retrieved Mar 2015.
- "Man who stowed away on flight sentenced". USATODAY.com. February 5, 2004.
- "Man shipped from New York to Texas in crate". CNN.com. September 10, 2003.
- "Airport shutdown blamed on perfume". CNN.com. August 18, 2004.
- Fort Wayne International Airport, official website
- 122nd Fighter Wing, official website
- Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Aerial photo from Indiana Department of Transportation
- (PDF), effective April 30, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for FWA, effective April 30, 2015
- Resources for this airport: