Pensacola International Airport

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Pensacola International Airport
Pensacola International Airport.jpg
WMO: 72222
Airport type Public
Owner City of Pensacola
Serves Pensacola, Florida
Elevation AMSL 121 ft / 37 m
Coordinates 30°28′24″N 087°11′12″W / 30.47333°N 87.18667°W / 30.47333; -87.18667Coordinates: 30°28′24″N 087°11′12″W / 30.47333°N 87.18667°W / 30.47333; -87.18667
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
PNS is located in Florida
Location of airport in Florida
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 7,004 2,135 Concrete
8/26 7,000 2,134 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 117,053
Based aircraft 85

Pensacola International Airport[2] (IATA: PNSICAO: KPNSFAA LID: PNS), formerly Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport, is a public use airport three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of Pensacola, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the City of Pensacola.[1]

This facility is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.[3] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the it had 771,917 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[4] 694,786 enplanements in 2009, and 729,748 in 2010.[5]


In 1935 a passenger terminal opened, and airline service began two years later. Atlantic and Gulf Airlines went out of business a few months later after failing to get an airmail contract. In 1938 National Airlines began flights to Mobile and Jacksonville. From 1940 to 1945, the airport was a U.S. Navy training facility; the Navy built a control tower and added a fourth runway. In 1947 Eastern Air Lines began service out of Pensacola, and in 1952 a modern terminal replaced the original one. The airport was then dedicated to L.C. Hagler, the former mayor of Pensacola. In 1968 Eastern began the first scheduled jet service from Pensacola.

In 1978, after deregulation of the airline industry, several airlines tried Pensacola, including Continental and Delta. In 1978 a National Airlines Boeing 727 crashed into Escambia Bay while on approach for landing, the first fatal airline accident in the area. In 1979 US Airways, then called USAir, arrived at Pensacola. In 1990 the current terminal was built and AirTran Airways began jet service. In 2005 United Express began service out of Pensacola.

Pensacola mayor Ashton Hawyard announced on November 9, 2011 that, despite not serving any international destinations, the airport would change its name from Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport to Pensacola International Airport effective immediately.[6]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport covers an area of 1,211 acres (490 ha) at an elevation of 121 feet (37 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 8/26 is 7,000 by 150 feet (2,134 x 46 m) with an asphalt surface; 17/35 is 7,004 by 150 feet (2,135 x 46 m) with a concrete surface.[1]

Runway 17 has an instrument landing system and approach lights, while the Runway 26 approach has a localizer approach. A 1,000 ft. extension to the east end of Runway 8/26 was completed in 2006. The airport hopes to extend Runway 17/35 to about 8,500 ft.

The airport's two war-era diagonal runways were decommissioned in the 1960s.

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 117,053 aircraft operations, an average of 320 per day: 53% general aviation, 21% military, 18% air taxi, and 8% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 85 aircraft based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, 6% jet, and 4% helicopter.[1]

The most common aircraft used by the airlines is the ERJ-145 on American Eagle and United Express. The much larger MD-80 series aircraft used by American and Delta is the second most common. The 737 aircraft used by Southwest Airlines is the third. The CRJ-200 and CRJ-900 aircraft used by US Airways Express is the fourth. The smaller SF-34 propeller aircraft used by Silver Airways is the fifth. The UPS A300-600 is the sixth and the only wide body aircraft to regularly come to Pensacola. Delta seasonally operates the Airbus A319 and the Boeing 757-200.


Pensacola has one passenger terminal with 12 gates, built in the early 1990s. are located on the 2nd floor, while Gates 11 and 12 are located on the ground floor.

Gate assignments:

  • American: 5
  • Delta: 2, 4, 6
  • Silver: 1
  • Southwest: 10
  • United: 3
  • US Airways: 7

Terminal expansion[edit]

The terminal was expanded in 2011 at a cost of $35 million. The expansion was designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners[7] and Stoa Architects.[8][9]


The airport director is Greg Donovan.[citation needed] The airport is a department of the city of Pensacola.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Non-stop flights to Pensacola:

Airlines Destinations
American Airlines Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Silver Airways[10] Jacksonville (begins April 9, 2015), Orlando, Tampa
Southwest Airlines Chicago-Midway (begins March 7, 2015), Houston–Hobby, Nashville
United Express Houston–Intercontinental
Seasonal: Chicago O'Hare
US Airways Express Charlotte, Washington-National

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from PNS
(Dec 2013 – Nov 2014)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 325,000 Delta
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 91,000 American
3 Charlotte, NC 75,000 US Airways
4 Nashville, TN 65,000 Southwest
4 Houston (Intercontinental), TX 65,000 United
6 Miami, FL 41,000 American
7 Houston (Hobby), TX 34,000 Southwest
8 Orlando, Florida 16,000 Silver Airways
9 Tampa, FL 15,000 Silver Airways
10 Washington (National), DC 11,000 US Airways


Carrier shares: Dec 2013 – Nov 2014[12]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Delta Air Lines
Southwest Airlines
ExpressJet (Delta or United)
American Eagle
Mesa (United or US Airways)

Former airline flights[edit]

The Delta subsidiary, Song had service to Orlando International Airport. Republic Airlines flew to Washington Reagan. American Eagle flew to Chicago O'Hare. Delta flew to Dallas/Fort Worth, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and Memphis and Northwest flew to Memphis and Minneapolis prior to its merger with Delta.

Cargo airlines[edit]

UPS Airlines is the only cargo carrier at the airport currently.

Airlines Destinations
UPS Airlines Albany (GA), Louisville


On May 8, 1978 National Airlines Flight 193 landed in Escambia Bay while approaching the east-west runway. Three of the 58 passengers and crew on board were killed.

On December 27, 1987 an Eastern Airlines DC-9-31 made a hard landing and split its fuselage open just aft of its wing root. No one was seriously injured[13] in the accident but the aircraft was written off.[14]

On July 6, 1996, Delta Air Lines Flight 1288, an MD-88, experienced an uncontained engine failure during takeoff on Runway 17. Fragments from the number one (left) Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 turbofan engine penetrated the fuselage, killing two and seriously injuring one of the 148 people on board.


External links[edit]