Kirksville Regional Airport
|Kirksville Regional Airport|
|IATA: IRK – ICAO: KIRK – FAA LID: IRK|
|Owner||City of Kirksville|
|Location||Pettis Township, near Millard|
|Elevation AMSL||966 ft / 294 m|
Kirksville Regional Airport (IATA: IRK, ICAO: KIRK, FAA LID: IRK) is a city owned, public use airport located six nautical miles (7 mi, 11 km) southeast of the central business district of Kirksville, a city in Benton Township, Adair County, Missouri, United States. The airport is situated in Pettis Township, near the village of Millard. It is served by one commercial airline with scheduled passenger service subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 684 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 926 enplanements in 2009, and 2,127 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).
Cape Air is the current air service provider, with an average of 900 to 1,000 passengers per month. Three flights per day are offered to Lambert-St. Louis airport, with three return flights to Kirksville daily as well.
Aviation in the Kirksville area began within a few years of the Wright brothers historic flight. Local resident Nick Sparling is credited as being Adair County's first aviator, in 1909. In 1924, Roy B. "Cap" Dodson started the first airport in the area, located on the north edge of Kirksville. However, an airfield at the present location of Kirksville Regional Airport wasn't created until 1930 when the Federal Aviation Administration built a series of emergency landing strips across the nation. With America's entry into World War II, the Kirksville Municipal Airport, as it had been declared in the late 1930s, received a major upgrade from the Civilian Pilots Training Program and the US Army Air Corps War Training Service. In 1942 a paved all-weather landing strip, hangars, a control tower and small restaurant were constructed.
A post-war boom in commercial aviation finally reached Kirksville in 1961 when Ozark Airlines began regular air service. The plane must have been a familiar sight to many area World War II veterans, as Ozark used the venerable Douglas DC-3, the civilian counterpart to the famed C-47 'Gooney Bird', now decked out in Ozark's white and evergreen instead of Army Air Corps colors. The Ozark route began in Kansas City, Missouri with intermediate stops in Kirksville, Ottumwa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Moline, Illinois, and terminated in Chicago. With the arrival of Ozark's DC-3's also came upgrades to the airport facilities. The original paved runway was rebuilt and lengthened to accommodate the larger aircraft, and a shorter, turf, runway was retained for the use of small private planes. Still more improvements came as result of a bond issue approved by Kirksville voters in 1967. A new six-thousand foot concrete runway was constructed, as well as a new terminal building and improved hangar facilities. The longer runway was necessary to accommodate Ozark Airlines switch from the DC-3 to a newer, faster Fairchild prop-jet with larger passenger capacity. It was also in the 1960s that Ozark Airlines switched Kirksville service from a Kansas City-Chicago route to a Des Moines-to-St. Louis one. With the airport improvements also came a new name, Clarence Cannon Memorial Airport—chosen to honor long-time US Congressman Clarence Cannon of Missouri who had done much to help secure air service and funding for the airport. Despite the nearly one million dollars in facility upgrades and a steady flow of passengers in and out of Kirksville, Ozark Airlines found the route to be financially untenable by the mid-1970s, with their final departure coming on April 23, 1976. Fortunately a local pilot and dentist, Dr. Stephen Barber, has established a small commuter air service, Horizon Airways, in 1972. Horizon was able to help fill the void left by Ozarks departure, eventually expanding to five aircraft and service to both Kansas City and St. Louis.
Air Choice One began scheduled flight operations twice daily, to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport during July 2009. Scheduled operations are currently subsidized by the Essential Air Service Act. Previously service was operated by Air Midwest (operating as US Airways Express) to Kansas City International Airport and by RegionsAir (operating as American Connection) with flights to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. In September, 2010 Cape Air replaced Air Choice One.
Facilities and aircraft
Kirksville Regional Airport covers an area of 476 acres (193 ha) at an elevation of 966 feet (294 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 18/36 is 6,005 by 100 feet (1,830 x 30 m) with a concrete surface; 9/27 is 1,370 by 100 feet (418 x 30 m) with a turf surface.
For the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, the airport had 5,625 aircraft operations, an average of 15 per day: 62% general aviation, 21% scheduled commercial, 13% air taxi, 4% military. At that time there were 35 aircraft based at this airport: 83% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, and 6% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:
|Cape Air||St. Louis|
- On October 19, 2004, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashed on approach to Kirksville. Thirteen individuals died and two sustained injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board determined pilot error to be the cause of the accident.
- On May 12, 2005 a Midwest Airlines Boeing 717 made an emergency landing at Kirksville Regional Airport after experiencing severe turbulence while en route from Kansas City, Missouri to Washington, D.C. A safe landing was made, with all 76 passengers and 4 crew unharmed. To date this is the largest aircraft to ever land at Kirksville Regional Airport.
- On November 5, 2013 American business executive Robert Groh, President of Geo-Syntheics, LLC, and an instructor pilot were killed when their plane crashed on final approach to Kirksville Regional Airport. The plane, a Piper PA-32 Saratoga, went down in a rural area of Adair County approximately 2.5 miles northeast of the runway shortly after a radio check-in with airport personnel. At that time the pilot reported no difficulties. The plane was on a cross-country flight from Centennial Airport near Denver, Colorado to Waukesha, Wisconsin, the home city for Geo-Syntheics.
- FAA Airport Master Record for IRK ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Garlock, John (May 11, 2012). "Kirksville airport to embark on expensive improvements". KTVO-TV via website. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- "Kirksville Regional Airport-Cape Air schedule". City of Kirksville website. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- A History Of Adair County Missouri published by the Kirksville-Adair County Bicentennial Committee, 1976.
- 'Flying High!' by Tony Frost & Corey Pritchard, published in The Chariton Collector magazine Spring, 1987.
- "Mesa Air Group Announces Schedule and Fares for Kirksville, Missouri as US Airways Express". Press Release. Mesa Air Group. October 13, 2006.
- "Aircraft Accident Report: Collision with Trees and Crash Short of Runway, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966, British Aerospace BAE-J3201, N875JX, Kirksville, Missouri, October 19, 2004". National Transportation Safety Board. 2006-01-24.
- "Poor Behavior, Fatigue Led to '04 Plane Crash". Washington Post. 2006-01-25.
- "Lightening considered in Midwest 717 uncontolled descent". Air Transport Intelligence. 2007. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- "Storm diverts airliner". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Hunsicker, Jason (6 November 2013). "Plane crash victims were business owner, flight instructor". Kirksville Daily Express. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket DOT-OST-1997-2515) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2005-6-14: re-selecting RegionsAir, Inc. d/b/a American Connection, formerly known as Corporate Airlines (RegionsAir), to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at each of the above communities for a new two-year period from June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2007
- Order 2006-8-19: selecting Air Midwest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express (Air Midwest), to provide essential air service (EAS) at Kirksvillc. Missouri, at an annual subsidy rate of $627,100. This rate and carrier selection will become effective for the two-year period beginning when Air Midwest replaces RegionsAir, Inc. (formerly Corporate Airlines, Inc.), d/b/a American Connection (RegionsAir) at Kirksville.
- Order 2008-5-2: selecting Multi-Aero, Inc. d/b/a Air Choice One to provide essential air service at Kirksville, Missouri with 11 nonstop stop round trips each week to St. Louis on 6 or 9-seat Twin Engine aircraft. Annual subsidy rate $806,169.
- Kirksville Regional Airport at City of Kirksville website
- Aerial image as of April 1995 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective February 5, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for IRK, effective February 5, 2015
- Resources for this airport: