McAllen-Miller International Airport
|McAllen Miller International Airport|
|IATA: MFE – ICAO: KMFE – FAA LID: MFE|
|Owner||City of McAllen|
|Elevation AMSL||107 ft / 33 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
McAllen Miller International Airport (IATA: MFE, ICAO: KMFE, FAA LID: MFE) is a city owned, public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) south of the central business district of McAllen, a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States.
It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 372,640 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 361,778 enplanements in 2009, and 344,302 in 2010.
McAllen Miller International Airport covers an area of 370 acres (150 ha) at an elevation of 107 feet (33 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with asphalt surfaces: 13/31 is 7,120 by 150 feet (2,170 x 46 m) and 18/36 is 2,638 by 60 feet (804 x 18 m).
According to the updated 20-year Master Plan for MFE, runway 13/31 will be extended to 10,000 ft. In addition, a parallel runway will be added. An expanded cargo apron will be on the south side of the airport.
The two runways are the center the airside portion of MFE. These runways are Runway 13/31, and Runway 18/36 (Foreflight, 2012). Runway 13/31 is the longest and the primary runway at MFE. This runway is used for all of the commercial and the majority of the business flights. With increasing demand and service, expansion is imminent. There will most likely be 3,000 feet added to Runway 13/31 to be more suitable to larger commercial aircraft (Moultan, 2012). Runway 18/36 can be used to land separate and smaller traffic. Runway 18/36 Does not intersect Runway 13/31 so controllers are able to land traffic easier and use both runways if they absolutely need to. However, the departure end of Runway 18 stops about at about 1/3 of the way down Runway 13/31. This means the traffic on final for Runway 36 must be very cautious of traffic approaching or departing Runway 13/13. Class D airports are airports that are on the smaller side but they still have a control tower. This Class D airport has a very simple layout and taxiways extend the full length of both runways to allow traffic to be able to enter and exit the active runway in an efficient manner (Foreflight, 2012). Both runways are made of asphalt and are in “Good Condition” (Foreflight, 2012). The terminal is very easy for all traffic to reach coming from either runway. However an airplane using Runway 13/31 will have to cross Runway 18/36 to be able to reach the Fixed Base Operator (FBO). The runways make the shape of the letter V. The terminal, tower, cargo facility, border patrol, and the U.S. Customs apron are all centrally located on the field and are easy to access from either runway (Foreflight, 2012). Taxiway’s A and C are the two taxiways that connect all of these facilities and make this airport very accessible. On the western side of Runway 18/36, there are multiple hangars, the fixed based operator, and the fire station (Foreflight, 2012). In the case of an accident on Runway 13/31, fire and rescue personnel would have to cross Runway 18/36. That is one possible issue of the layout at MFE.
Facilities and aircraft
The airport has one terminal with five gates. In early 2006, Gate 5 opened on the main concourse due to the arrival of Delta Connection. However, the gate has been temporarily removed while the terminal undergoes construction.
In 2008, a terminal capacity study was conducted to assess the future needs of the airport and possible terminal expansion to include eight gates, larger ticketing/office area, TSA security area queue. Paid parking at the airport was implemented on November 15, 2007 with the implementation of the Economy, Long-term and Short-term Lots. A revised terminal expansion project that includes one additional gate, larger passenger waiting areas, expansion of the TSA screening areas, and other facility modifications began in March 2012.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 65,821 aircraft operations, an average of 180 per day: 73% general aviation, 12% scheduled commercial, 11% military, and 4% air taxi. At that time there were 109 aircraft based at this airport: 56% single-engine, 23% multi-engine, 12% jet, and 9% helicopter.
The following are planned additions/renovations:
- Addition of 52,000 square feet
- Adding space for new explosives screening unit, bringing the total to three
- Expanding the terminal and adding space for another gate
- Adding space for the Transportation Security Administration
- Sterilizer and steam generator (required for some international flights)
- Replacement of HVAC central plant equipment
"The project includes construction of a one-story building addition of approximately 7,400 square feet at the west end of the terminal building for a checked baggage screening facility and expanded outbound baggage handling system; renovation of approximately 11,200 square feet at the east end of the terminal building for public lobby improvements, expanded passenger security screening checkpoint, tenant office improvements, and concessions. It includes a two-story addition of approximately 33,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gates with passenger boarding bridges, passenger holdrooms, public lobbies, restrooms, concessions, airline operations, and mechanical and electrical equipment rooms; renovation of approximately 5,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gate and passenger holdroom improvements. It includes the replacement of HVAC central plant equipment which has reached the end of its useful life; and refurbishment of five existing passenger boarding bridges. Site work includes replacement of portions of the aircraft apron as required for building construction, underground utilities work, and apron drainage, and pavement marking and striping for aircraft positions and service vehicle lanes. The project includes a phased construction program and temporary facilities and provisions necessary to support ongoing airport operations during construction.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service at this airport:
|Aeromar||Mexico City, San Luis Potosí|
|Allegiant Air||Las Vegas
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Houston-Intercontinental|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Houston-Intercontinental|
MFE is the busiest commercial passenger airport in the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan area. The airport is also served by two of the three global alliances, Star Alliance and Oneworld. Following growth in commercial passenger service, MFE lost its only international flight in September 2007 - a daily Continental Express flight to Mexico City. After less than one year in service, it was announced that MFE would lose its only non-stop flight to Los Angeles, operated by Delta Connection partner ExpressJet Airlines, at the end of 2007. In December 2007, it was announced that Delta Connection would pull out of the McAllen market altogether on January 6, 2008, discontinuing its remaining two flights a day from MFE to Atlanta, operated by Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines. In March 2009, Delta, through its wholly owned subsidiary Northwest Airlines, returned to MFE with operations to Memphis, operated by Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines. Northwest Airlines had previously operated flights from MFE to Memphis starting in 2004.
On September 7, 2010, Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines resumed service to MFE essentially taking over the non-stop MFE-MEM route from Pinnacle Airlines. On May 1, 2011, Delta connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines began non-stop service from MFE-ATL and discontinued service from MFE-MEM (flights from MFE-ATL were then flown under the ExpressJet brand following its merger with Atlantic Southeast). However, this route was discontinued on May 1, 2012. On May 24, 2009, Allegiant Air commenced bi-weekly, non-stop service to LAX Los Angeles, in addition to non-stop service to SFB Orlando two (2) times a week, and non-stop service to LAS Las Vegas five times a week. On August 15, 2009, Allegiant announced that it would cease to operate service from MFE to LAX after less than a year in service due to poor passenger load factor.
As of May 1, 2012, Delta ceased operations at MFE and concluded the SkyTeam presence at this airport. Delta's decision was due to a lack of profitability on that route. No date has been provided for when DL will be re-instituting service to MFE. However, on January 11, Aeromar announced it was beginning non-stop service to Mexico City beginning in mid-March.
The McAllen Miller International Airport's food and beverage options include a Quizno's pre- and post-security as well as DAZBOG Coffee and Expeditions Bar pre-security. However, once the terminal renovation is completed, the food court will be replaced with a Coffee Zone both pre- and post-security. In addition, the McAllen Airport offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the terminal and a business center providing travelers with privacy, phones, and wireless internet connections. Post-security, the airport has a Classic Shoe Shine booth whose prices can be found on the airport's website. For shopping amentities, the airport has The Paradies Shops post-security. In October 2010, a CNBC News Store was completed pre-security. In addition, Aeromar Airlines operates a Salon Diamante which is available for use for all passengers flying on Aeromar as well as their guests. Amenities in the club include complimentary soft drinks, Wi-Fi, TV, and more.
The airport has the following on-site rental car companies:
The following are off-site rental car companies:
|United Airlines Cargo||Houston-Intercontinental|
|United Parcel Service||Louisville|
Nearby commercial airports with passenger service include:
- Valley International Airport (HRL) - Harlingen (40 miles)
- Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport (BRO) - Brownsville (63 miles)
- FAA Airport Master Record for MFE ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 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 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.
- McAllen International Airport, official site
- McAllen Miller International (MFE) at Texas DOT airport directory
- Aerial image as of January 1995 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective December 12, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MFE, effective December 12, 2013
- Resources for this airport: