Pensacola International Airport
|Pensacola International Airport|
|IATA: PNS – ICAO: KPNS – FAA LID: PNS
|Owner||City of Pensacola|
|Elevation AMSL||121 ft / 37 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Pensacola International Airport  (IATA: PNS, ICAO: KPNS, FAA LID: PNS), formerly Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport, is a public airport located within the city of Pensacola in Escambia County, Florida. The current Airport Director is Greg Donovan.
In 1935, the first civilian passenger terminal was opened. Two years later, the first airline service began. However, Atlantic and Gulf Airlines then went out of business only a few months later after failing to be awarded an airmail contract. In 1938, National Airlines began service out of Pensacola Municipal Airport to Mobile and Jacksonville. From 1940 to 1945, the airport was used as a U.S. Navy training facility. During this time, the Navy built a new control tower and added a fourth runway. In 1947, Eastern Air Lines began service out of Pensacola. In 1952, a new modern terminal replaced the 17 year old original terminal. When this terminal opened, the airport was dedicated to L.C. Hagler, the former mayor of Pensacola. In 1968, Eastern began the first scheduled jet service from Pensacola. In 1978, after federal deregulation of the airline industry, several air carriers began new services from Pensacola. Continental and Delta both initiated service to Pensacola at this time. Also in 1978, a National Airlines Boeing 727 jetliner crashed into Escambia Bay while on approach for landing, resulting in the first fatal airline accident in the Pensacola area. In 1979, US Airways, then operating as USAir, commenced new service into Pensacola. In 1987, an Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-9 jet crashed upon landing at the airport, splitting the aircraft in half. In 1990, the current terminal was built and AirTran Airways began jet service out of the airport. In 2005, United Express began service out of Pensacola.
Pensacola International Airport covers 1,211 acres (490 ha) and has two runways:
- Runway 17/35: 7,004 x 150 ft. (2,135 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
- Runway 8/26: 7,000 x 150 ft. (2,133 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
The Runway 17 approach is equipped with a full instrument landing system and approach light system, while the Runway 26 approach is equipped with 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. in the future, to better accommodate heavy aircraft.
Runway 17/35 was originally designated 16/34, and Runway 8/26 was designated 7/25. A gradual shift in magnetic north necessitated their re-designation during the 1980s. The airport's two war-era diagonal runways were decommissioned in the 1960s.
Pensacola has one passenger terminal consisting of 12 gates. The existing terminal was built in the early 1990s. Gates 11-12 are located on the ground floor and only Gate 11 is utilized by United. Gate 8 and 12 is currently unused, although Gate 8 is used as a spare Gate for any airline needing it.
Southwest: Gate 6
American: Gate 5 and 10
Delta: Gate 2 and 4
United: Gate 1, 3 and 11
US Airways: Gate 7 and 9
- Terminal Expansion 
Commercial Aircraft Operations
The most common aircraft seen at PNS is the Embraer 145 aircraft, operated by American Eagle and United Express. The MD-88, MD-90, Boeing 717-200 family of aircraft operated by AirTran and Delta are the second most common. The CRJ200, CRJ700, and CRJ900 family operated by US Airways Express is the third most common. Propeller aircraft operated by Silver Airways is the 4th. The UPS A300-600 is the 5th most common and the only wide body aircraft to regularly come to Pensacola. Delta also seasonally operates the Airbus A319 and the Boeing 757-200.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines fly these non-stop flights to Pensacola International Airport:
|American Eagle||Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami|
|American Eagle operated by ExpressJet||Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|
|Silver Airways||Orlando, Tampa|
|Southwest Airlines||Houston-Hobby, Nashville|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Houston-Intercontinental
Seasonal: Chicago O'Hare
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Washington-National|
|US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines||Charlotte|
|US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines||Washington-National|
Pensacola mayor Ashton Hawyard announced on November 9, 2011 that the airport would change its name from Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport to Pensacola International Airport effective immediately.
Discontinued Air service
The Delta subsidiary, Song once had service to Orlando International Airport. Republic Airlines operated flights to Washington Reagan. American Eagle operated flights to Chicago O'Hare. Delta offered flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and Memphis. Northwest operated service to Memphis as well prior to its merger with Delta.
UPS Airlines is the only cargo carrier at the airport currently.
|UPS Airlines||Albany (GA), Louisville|
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 in the accident but the aircraft was written off.
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.
- FAA Airport Master Record for PNS ( PDF), effective 2008-12-31
- Pensacola International Airport - Gresham Smith
- Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport - Stoa Architects
- Eastern Jet's fuselage cracks wide open during bumpy landing in Pensacola
- Aircraft McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N8948E Pensacola Regional Airport
- Pensacola International Airport, official site
- Resources for this airport:
- Petition to Bring Southwest Airlines to Pensacola