Mercer County Airport (West Virginia)
|Mercer County Airport|
|IATA: BLF – ICAO: KBLF – FAA LID: BLF|
|Owner||Mercer County Airport Authority|
|Serves||Bluefield / Princeton, West Virginia|
|Elevation AMSL||2,857 ft / 871 m|
Mercer County Airport (IATA: BLF, ICAO: KBLF, FAA LID: BLF) is a public use airport in Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. Owned by the Mercer County Airport Authority, it is located three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of Bluefield, West Virginia and about nine miles (14 km) southwest of Princeton, West Virginia. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.
The airport has been served by commercial airlines in the past. Service was subsidized by the Essential Air Service program until August 1, 2006, when it was terminated due to federal law not allowing a subsidy over $200 per passenger for communities located within 210 miles of the nearest large or medium hub airport (Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina being 173 miles away). As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the Mercer County Airport had 2,041 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2004, 1,885 enplanments in 2005, 1,833 in 2006, and 1,721 in 2007. Commercial passenger service ceased in 2007.
Facilities and aircraft
Mercer County Airport covers an area of 144 acres (58 ha) at an elevation of 2,857 feet (871 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 5/23 with an asphalt surface measuring 4,743 by 100 feet (1,446 x 30 m).
For the 12-month period ending October 30, 2009, the airport had 16,400 aircraft operations, an average of 44 per day: 88% general aviation, 11% air taxi, and 1% military. At that time there were 22 aircraft based at this airport: 64% single-engine, 9% multi-engine, 9% jet, 14% helicopter, and 5% ultralight.
- Appalachian Airlines (discontinued operations in 1980)
- Colgan Air (discontinued operations November 12, 2007)
- FAA Airport Master Record for BLF ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Order 2006-6-22: Terminating the Essential Air Service subsidy eligibility of Bluefield/Princeton, West Virginia, as of August 1, 2006". U.S. Department of Transportation. June 26, 2006.
- "Enplanements for CY 2005" (PDF). CY 2005 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 2006.
- "Enplanements for CY 2007" (PDF). CY 2007 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. September 26, 2008.
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-1997-2761) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2002-4-25 (May 2, 2002): tentatively reselects Colgan Air, Inc. d/b/a US Airways Express, to provide essential air services at Beckley and Bluefield/Princeton, West Virginia, for the two-year period beginning August 1, 2002, at an annual subsidy rate to $2,067,693,
- Order 2002-10-34 (October 31, 2002): finalizes the tentative findings and conclusions set forth in Order 2002-4-25.
- Order 2004-6-14 (June 23, 2004): selects Colgan Air, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to continue providing essential air service at Beckley and Bluefield/Princeton, West Virginia, for the two-year period beginning August 1, 2004, at an annual subsidy of $20,017,064.
- Order 2006-6-22 (June 26, 2006): terminating the essential air service subsidy eligibility of Bluefield/Princeton, West Virginia, as of August 1, 2006, and allowing Colgan Air, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express, to suspend service there as of the same date, if it chooses (subsidy per passenger already exceeded the statutory ceiling of $200 per passenger and the community is located 173 miles from Charlotte, the nearest large or medium hub).
- Bluefield/Mercer County Airport at West Virginia DOT Airport Directory
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BLF, effective December 11, 2014
- Resources for this airport: