New Castle Airport
|New Castle Airport|
|2006 USGS aerial photo|
|IATA: ILG – ICAO: KILG – FAA LID: ILG|
|Owner||New Castle County, Delaware|
|Operator||Delaware River and Bay Authority|
|Focus city for||Frontier Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||80 ft / 24 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
New Castle Airport (IATA: ILG, ICAO: KILG, FAA LID: ILG), also known as the New Castle County Airport, is a public and military use airport in unincorporated New Castle County, Delaware, United States. Owned by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, it is located four nautical miles (7 km) south of the central business district of Wilmington. For commercial airline purposes, the airport markets itself as Wilmington/Philadelphia (ILG).
It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation reliever airport. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 642 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2011, and 1,064 passenger boardings in 2012. Thanks to the inauguration of regular service to several cities by Frontier Airlines, the 2013 enplanements numbers is expected to increase significantly.
The airport was originally established prior to World War II, named the Wilmington Airport and the Greater Wilmington Airport. The facility was taken over by the United States Army Air Forces during the war. Under USAAF control, the airport was renamed New Castle Army Air Base. The primary mission of the airfield was to facilitate the movement of aircraft overseas for delivery to the British and other Allies. Members of the historic Women Air Service Pilots (WASP) served as test and ferry pilots and towed targets for student gunners. There is a statue today at the airport that honors the women of the WASP that served their country in the time of need.
After the war ended, control of the airport was returned to civil authorities. A joint-use agreement was made between the United States Air Force and New Castle County authorities for a portion of the airport being retained for an Air National Guard Base. Trans World Airlines operated a large overhaul base for its overseas planes at the airport until 1957 when the airline moved it to the Kansas City Overhaul Base which became the basis for today's Kansas City International Airport.
1990s to present
In the late 1990s, the county leased the debt-stricken airport to the bi-state Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), operators of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, on a thirty-year lease with the provision that the DRBA may seek up to two additional thirty-year leases. Since taking over operations of the airport, the DRBA made the airport profitable, upgraded many aging buildings, and constructed numerous new buildings and facilities on the property.
From 1991 through 1998, again from 2000 to 2006, and from April 2008 until July 1, 2013, Delaware was the only U.S. state without any scheduled commercial flights. This was largely due to the small size of the state and the close proximity of large airports in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Salisbury, MD.
Shuttle America offered scheduled flights out of New Castle from the airline's founding in November 1998 until February 2000. They offered service to Hartford, Buffalo, and Norfolk, using the 50-seat Dash 8-300 turboprop aircraft. Shuttle America would eventually discontinue its independent operations and become a commuter affiliate of United Express and Delta Connection.
On June 29, 2006, Delta Air Lines began new services from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to New Castle Airport, making it the first commercial air service in six years. Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines operated the service using 50 seat CRJ regional jets, with two daily roundtrip flights. However, Delta Air Lines ended the Wilmington flights on September 6, 2007, leaving Delaware without any commercial air service.
On March 8, 2008, Skybus Airlines began new air service from Columbus, Ohio and Greensboro, North Carolina to New Castle Airport. Skybus ceased all operations effective April 4, 2008, once again leaving New Castle Airport without any airline service. As of August 4, 2010, Avis Rent a Car System, LLC, Budget Rent A Car System, Inc., and Cafe Bama were the only tenants in the Main Terminal.
On April 9, 2013 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Frontier Airlines will begin service July 1 from Wilmington/New Castle Delaware Airport (ILG) to Chicago-Midway, Orlando, Tampa, Houston, and Denver. On June 26, 2013, Frontier announced that nonstop service to Fort Myers would begin on November 16 using its A320 aircraft.
Facilities and aircraft
New Castle Airport covers an area of 1,250 acres (506 ha) at an elevation of 80 feet (24 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways with asphalt surfaces: 9/27 is 7,275 by 150 feet (2,217 x 46 m); 1/19 is 7,012 by 150 feet (2,137 x 46 m); 14/32 is 4,602 by 150 feet (1,403 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending October 31, 2011, the airport had 67,328 aircraft operations, an average of 184 per day: 85% general aviation, 10% military, 5% air taxi, and <1% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 219 aircraft based at this airport: 48% single-engine, 30% jet, 11% multi-engine, 9% military, and 2% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
Frontier Airlines, which markets the airport as "Wilmington/Philadelphia", started service to the airport in July 2013. Frontier offers five nonstop routes utilizing its 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. The sixth nonstop route to Fort Myers will begin in November of 2013. The service is thought to be part of Frontier's effort to remake itself as an "ultra-low cost carrier," after it eliminated domestic service to Philadelphia in 2012. Frontier also serves Trenton Mercer Airport north of Philadelphia.
|Frontier Airlines||Atlanta (begins April 29, 2014), Chicago-Midway, Denver, Detroit (begins April 29, 2014), Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa|
- "Frontier's latest focus city attempt is Wilmington, Del.". USA Today. April 10, 2013.
- FAA Airport Master Record for ILG ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "Welcome to Wilmington/Philadelphia (ILG)". Delaware River and Bay Authority. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- "Frontier Airlines to begin commercial service from Delaware's New Castle Airport". South Jersey Times. April 9, 2013.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- "Delawareans Helped To Pioneer Flying; 50th Anniversary to Be Observed Here". Wilmington Sunday Star. December 13, 1953.
- "Low-cost carrier Skybus calls it quits". MSNBC. April 4, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2008.
- "Frontier Airlines Adds New Nonstop Route Between Wilmington/Philadelphia and Fort Myers, Fla." (Press release). Frontier Airlines. June 26, 2013.
- Official sites: FlyWilmILG.com and NewCastleAirportILG.com
- PDF at Delaware DOT website
- Fixed base operators (FBOs): Hawker Beechcraft Services, Aero-Taxi, AeroWays, Dassault Aircraft Services, Atlantic Aviation
- Aerial image as of March 1992 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective December 12, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ILG, effective December 12, 2013
- Resources for this airport: