Great Falls International Airport

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Great Falls International Airport
(former Great Falls Army Airfield)
Great Falls International Airport - Montana.jpg
USGS 2006 orthophoto
IATA: GTFICAO: KGTFFAA LID: GTF
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Great Falls International Airport Authority
Serves Great Falls, Montana
Elevation AMSL 3,680 ft / 1,122 m
Coordinates 47°28′58″N 111°22′14″W / 47.48278°N 111.37056°W / 47.48278; -111.37056Coordinates: 47°28′58″N 111°22′14″W / 47.48278°N 111.37056°W / 47.48278; -111.37056
Website www.gtfairport.com
Map
GTF is located in Montana
GTF
GTF
Location in Montana
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 10,502 3,201 Asphalt
16/34 5,722 1,744 Asphalt
7/25 4,294 1,309 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 41,591
Based aircraft 108
Passenger boardings 172,415
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]
KGTF Airport Diagram
On final approach for Runway 3 at GTF International Airport.

Great Falls International Airport (IATA: GTFICAO: KGTFFAA LID: GTF) is a public/military airport in city limits three miles southwest of central Great Falls in Cascade County, Montana.[1]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.[2] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 143,811 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[3] 146,438 in 2009 and 155,204 in 2010.[4]

Great Falls International Airport is home to Great Falls Air National Guard Base and the Montana Air National Guard's 120th Fighter Wing (120 FW), the "Vigilantes." An Air National Guard unit operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC), the 120 FW transitioned from the F-16C Fighting Falcon to the F-15C Eagle in January 2009, which it employs in the air defense and air dominance missions.[5]

Malmstrom Air Force Base, home of the 341st Missile Wing (341 MW) of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), is 10 miles (16 km) east of GTF, on the east side of Great Falls. With the transfer of its KC-135 aircraft in the 1990s, Malmstrom's 12,000-foot (3,700 m) runway is closed to fixed-wing traffic and open only to military helicopters, so Great Falls ANGB provides support for fixed-wing military aircraft visiting Malmstrom AFB.

History[edit]

Great Falls International Airport was initiated in November 1928. The airport was leased by the U.S. War Department during World War II and became a home for the 7th Ferrying Command of the U.S. Army Air Forces during the war. During the war years, more than 7,500 bombers and fighter aircraft passed through Great Falls on their way to Europe and the Pacific. The U.S. Army acquired an additional 740 acres (3.0 km2) and built many buildings and other facilities. The airport was under government control until June 1948 when the Department of Defense deeded it back to the City of Great Falls with the stipulation that the facility could revert to military control in a national emergency. The airport was released from this clause in 1961.

In 1975 the terminal was replaced and all runways, aprons, and taxiways updated. With Federal Aviation Administration matching funds, the Great Falls International Airport Authority performs annual operations, maintenance, and capital improvements.[6]

Great Falls has had airline flights since the 1930s. For at least part of each year 1977–1981 it saw scheduled Northwest DC-10s EWR-DTW-ORD-BIL-GTF-GEG-SEA and back.

In 2011 the airport recorded the most boardings (172,415) in its history.[7] GTF was the fifth-busiest of the state's 15 major airports in 2011, behind Billings (407,960 enplanements), Bozeman (397,822), Missoula (292,530), and Kalispell (179,034).[8]

In early 2012 Frontier Airlines announced new flights to Great Falls from the Denver hub. Frontier is a low cost airline serving over fifty cities out of Denver. Frontier is among the lowest fare airlines in the U.S. measured by ticket price per average seat mile. The Airport Authority hopes to address rising ticket prices and a seasonal shortage of seats with the Frontier flights.

AvMax, a Calgary-based large jet maintenance and repair business, opened a large operation at GTF in 2006; they employ 150.

Facilities[edit]

The airport covers 2,113 acres (855 ha) at an elevation of 3,680 feet (1,122 m). It has three asphalt runways: 3/21 is 12,000 by 150 feet (3,201 x 46 m); 16/34 is 5,722 by 150 feet (1,744 x 46 m); 7/25 is 4,294 by 75 feet (1,309 x 23 m).[1]

In the year ending March 31, 2011 the airport had 41,591 aircraft operations, average 113 per day: 52% general aviation, 25% air taxi, 12% airline, and 11% military. 108 aircraft were then based at this airport: 61% single-engine, 17% military, 11.1% multi-engine, 8% helicopter, and 3% jet.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Alaska Airlines Helena, Seattle/Tacoma
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa
Seasonal: Los Angeles
Delta Connection Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Frontier Airlines Seasonal: Denver
United Express Denver

Top destinations[edit]

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of GTF
(July 2013 – June 2014)[9]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Salt Lake City, UT 41,000 Delta
2 Denver, CO 40,000 Frontier, United
3 Minneapolis/St Paul, MN 30,000 Delta
4 Las Vegas, NV 27,000 Allegiant
5 Seattle, WA 25,000 Alaska
6 Phoenix-Mesa, AZ 19,000 Allegiant
7 Helena, MT 1,000 Alaska

Cargo carriers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]