Mason City Municipal Airport
|Mason City Municipal Airport|
|IATA: MCW – ICAO: KMCW – FAA LID: MCW|
|Owner||City of Mason City|
|Serves||Mason City, Iowa|
|Elevation AMSL||1,214 ft / 370 m|
FAA airport diagram
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Mason City Municipal Airport (IATA: MCW, ICAO: KMCW, FAA LID: MCW) is a city owned, public use airport located five nautical miles (6 mi, 9 km) west of the central business district of Mason City, in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. Located in the northern part of Lake Township, the airport is just northeast of the city of Clear Lake. It is used for general aviation, although it previously had commercial service subsidized through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 11,678 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 11,076 enplanements in 2009, and 13,852 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).
The airport was founded in 1927 by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce and the Clausen-Worden Post of the American Legion, hence its airport code "MCW".
In the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake, musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died in a plane crash after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport. This event is not commemorated anywhere on the airport grounds.
Facilities and aircraft
Mason City Municipal Airport covers an area of 1,103 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 1,214 feet (370 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 18/36 is 6,501 by 150 feet (1,982 x 46 m) and 12/30 is 5,502 by 150 feet (1,677 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2011, the airport had 33,368 aircraft operations, an average of 91 per day: 90% general aviation, 5% scheduled commercial, 5% air taxi, and <1% military. At that time there were 55 aircraft based at this airport: 82% single-engine, 16% multi-engine, and 2% jet.
Airlines and destinations
Great Lakes Airlines previously served the airport without funding from the EAS program and the airline flew direct to Chicago O'Hare up until October 28, 1998. They pulled out service due to being unable to compete with Mesaba Airlines, which then offered six daily flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul.
- On August 22, 1954, Braniff Airlines flight 4630 Douglas DC-3 crashed south of Mason City Municipal Airport after departing Waterloo Regional Airport in nearby Waterloo, Iowa. The aircraft crashed after entering a thunderstorm at a low altitude. 12 of 19 passengers died.
- In the early morning hours of February 3, 1959 (also known as 'the day the music died'), following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa, musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died after the Beechcraft Bonanza they were flying in crashed after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport.
- FAA Airport Master Record for MCW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 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.
- "Fort Dodge, Mason City losing airline service". The Gazette. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-2001-10684) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2005-6-13: selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Airlink, an affiliate of Northwest Airlines, to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2005, at an annual subsidy of $777,709 for Thief River Falls and a combined annual subsidy of $2,160,770 for Fort Dodge and Mason City.
- Order 2007-6-3: re-selecting Mesaba Aviation Inc., d/b/a Northwest Airlink (Mesaba), to continue to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2007. Service will consist of 18 round trips per week at Fort Dodge and Mason City, routed Fort Dodge-Mason City-Minneapolis/St. Paul, at the combined annual subsidy rate of $21,113,865. Service at Thief River Falls will consist of 12 one-stop round trips per week to Minneapolis/St. Paul at the annual subsidy rate of $1,065,639. All service will be provided with 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft as Northwest Airlink.
- Order 2009-4-20: re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to continue providing subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, IA, and Thief River Falls, MN, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2009, at the annual subsidy rates of $2,225,213 for Fort Dodge and Mason City, and $1,230,322 for Thief River Falls.
- Order 2011-6-7: re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to provide essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, at annual subsidy rates of $1,910,995 and $1,017,545 at Mason City, respectively, for the five-month period June 1, 2011, through October 31, 2011.
- Order 2011-11-30: selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., to provide essential air service (EAS) at six communities at the following annual subsidy rates: Brainerd, Minnesota, $959,865; Fort Dodge, $1,798,693; Iron Mountain, $1,707,841; Mason City, $1,174,468; Thief River Falls, Minnesota, $1,881,815; and Watertown, $1,710,324, for the two-year period beginning when Great Lakes inaugurates full EAS at all six communities
- Mason City Municipal Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of May 1994 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective April 3, 2014
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MCW, effective April 3, 2014
- Resources for this airport: