Louisville International Airport
|Louisville International Airport
|IATA: SDF – ICAO: KSDF – FAA LID: SDF|
|Owner/Operator||Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA)|
|Hub for||UPS Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||501 ft / 153 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Louisville International Airport (IATA: SDF, ICAO: KSDF, FAA LID: SDF) is a public and military use public airport centrally located in the city of Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA. The airport covers 1,200 acres (4.9 km²) and has three runways. Its IATA airport code, SDF, is based on the airport's former name, Standiford Field. The airport is the seventh busiest in the world by cargo traffic. Although it has no regularly-scheduled international passenger flights, it is a port of entry, as it handles numerous international cargo flights.
It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,650,707 enplanements in 2011, a decrease of 0.02% from 1,651,037 in 2010.
The airport is home to Worldport, the worldwide hub of UPS. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123d Airlift Wing operates C-130 transport aircraft from the co-located Louisville Air National Guard Base.
Standiford Field was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941 on a parcel of land south of Louisville that was found not to have flooded during the Ohio River flood of 1937. It was named for Dr. Elisha David Standiford, a local businessman and politician, who was active in transportation issues and owned part of the land. The field remained under Army control until 1947, when it was turned over to the Louisville Air Board for commercial operations.
Until around 1947 Bowman Field was Louisville's main airport. For many years passenger traffic went through the small brick Lee Terminal at Standiford Field. Today's more modern and much larger facilities were built in the 1980s. Most of the Lee Terminal was later torn down.
The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 45 weekday departures on Eastern Airlines, 19 American, 9 TWA, 4 Piedmont and 2 Ozark. Scheduled jet flights (Eastern 720s to Idlewild) began in January–February 1962. Parallel runways, needed for expanded UPS operations, were part of an airport expansion plan begun in the 1980s.
When Louisville International Airport was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1941, it had one 4,000-foot (1,200 m) runway and was called Standiford Field. The airfield opened to the public in 1947 and all commercial service from Bowman Field moved to Standiford Field. American, Eastern, and TWA were the first airlines and had 1,300 passengers a week. The airlines used World War II barracks on the east side of the field until May 25, 1950, when a proper terminal opened. Lee Terminal could handle 150,000 passengers annually and included 6 new gates, which increased terminal space to 114,420 square feet (10,630 m2). The three runways (1, 6 and 11) were all 5000 ft.
In 1970 the terminal again expanded; the main lobby was extended and the 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) Delta Air Lines concourse was built.
The 1980s brought plans for a new terminal, the Louisville Airport Improvement plan (LAIP). Construction of a new landside terminal designed by Bickel-Gibson Associated Architects Inc. began, costing $35 million with capacity for nearly 2 million passengers in 1985. Most of the improvements began construction in the 1990s and the airport was totally renewed. During the 1990s Southwest Airlines passenger boardings increased 97.3 percent. In 1995 the airport's name was changed from Standiford Field to Louisville International Airport. Around that time SDF got two new parallel runways: runway 17L/35R, 8,580 feet (2,620 m) long and runway 17R/35L, 11,890 feet (3,620 m); both are 150 feet (46 m) wide. The Kentucky Air National Guard moved its base to SDF with 8 military aircraft; a new UPS air mail facility, new corporate hangars, a 4 level parking garage and a new control tower were also added. A new FBO was added, run by Atlantic Aviation and managed by Michael Perry. In 2005 a $26 million terminal renovation designed by Gensler Inc. was completed. Yearly passenger enplanements are about 1.7 million and are forecast to increase in the next 5 years. Louisville International is served by several airlines including American, Delta, Southwest, United, US Airways, FedEx and UPS.
Facilities and aircraft
Louisville International-Standiford Field covers 1,200 acres (486 ha) at an elevation of 501 feet (153 m) above mean sea level. It has three concrete runways: 17R/35L is 11,890 by 150 feet (3,624 x 46 m); 17L/35R is 8,579 by 150 feet (2,615 x 46 m); 11/29 is 7,250 by 150 feet (2,210 x 46 m).
In the year ending May 31, 2012 the airport had 150,293 aircraft operations, an average of 411 per day: 62% scheduled commercial, 27% air taxi, 8% general aviation, and 2% military. 26 aircraft were then based at this airport: 65% jet, 31% military, and 4% single-engine.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Atlanta, GA||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL)||240,000|
|2||Chicago, IL||O'Hare International (ORD)||135,000|
|3||Chicago, IL||Midway International (MDW)||134,000|
|4||Charlotte, NC||Charlotte/Douglas International (CLT)||119,000|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)||110,000|
|6||Baltimore, MD||Baltimore/Washington International (BWI)||109,000|
|7||Detroit, MI||Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW)||70,000|
|8||Denver, CO||Denver International (DEN)||64,000|
|9||Houston, TX||George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)||58,000|
|10||St. Louis, MO||Lambert-St. Louis International (STL)||52,000|
Scheduled cargo airlines and destinations
UPS Airlines is currently the airport's largest operator.
Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS (United Parcel Service) located at the Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky. Although UPS has had a hub at Louisville since 1980, the term was not used officially by the company until 2002, after a $1 billion, five-year expansion. Previously, the project was named "Hub 2000." The facility is currently the size of 80 football fields and capable of handling 115 packages a second, or 416,000 per hour. With over 20,000 employees, UPS is one of the largest employers in Louisville and Kentucky. The facility mainly handles express and international packages and letters. Worldport serves all major domestic and international hubs. Over 3.5 million passengers and more than 10 billion pounds of cargo pass through Louisville International Airport each year, making it the 67th busiest domestic airport for passengers and the third busiest for cargo (due to its status as the primary hub for UPS). The airport, currently in the midst of major terminal renovations, has three operational runways. The two parallel main runways run north/south and allow for simultaneous takeoffs and landings. The east/west runway is shorter and generally only used in adverse weather conditions.
Louisville International Airport is home to the Chautauqua Airlines maintenance complex, capable of holding nine planes, as well as the Compass Airlines main maintenance complex.
In addition to commercial air traffic there is a significant amount of general aviation activity at Louisville International Airport, for business travel and other purposes.
- On December 21, 1978, TWA Flight 541 from Louisville to Kansas City International Airport was hijacked by 17-year-old Robin Oswald to Williamson County Regional Airport in Illinois in attempt to secure the release of Garrett Brock Trapnell who was serving time at United States Penitentiary, Marion, for the January 28, 1972, hijacking of TWA Flight 2 from Los Angeles to New York. Oswald's mother, Barbara Oswald, was killed May 24, 1978, after hijacking a helicopter in an attempt to rescue Trapnell (and Martin J. McNally, who was serving time for the June 23, 1972, hijacking of a St. Louis-Tulsa American Airlines flight). Robin Oswald surrendered after 10 hours at the Williamson airport.
- On August 14, 2013, UPS Airlines Flight 1354 registration N155UP from Louisville to Birmingham, Alabama crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18 at Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport both pilots were killed.
- Worldport, UPS's global air-freight hub
- Kentucky World War II Army Airfields
- Bowman Field
- UPS Airlines
- FAA Airport Master Record for SDF ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- Airports Council International
- US Customs and Border Patrol
- "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 2011" (PDF, 1.7 MB). CY 2011 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012.
- Engineering News-Record 209. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Capital Projects at Louisville Airport Proceed; Officials Keep Eye on Security Costs
- "Louisville, KY: Louisville International-Standiford Field (SDF)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. February 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- UPS Worldport Facts
- "Final Calendar Year 2007 Enplanements and Percent Change from CY06". FAA. September 28, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- "Final CY07 (FY09) Cargo Landed Weight". FAA. September 26, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- Keve, Paul W. (August 1, 1995). Prisons and the American Conscience: A History of U.S. Federal Corrections. SIU Press. p. 173. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- O'Neil, Tim (June 25, 2011). "A Look Back: Airline hijacking at Lambert in 1972 turns bizarre". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- Louisville International Airport, official site
- Kentucky Air National Guard, official web site
- Standiford Field ANG / Louisville International Airport at GlobalSecurity.org
- Aerial image from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for SDF, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: