Reno–Tahoe International Airport

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Reno–Tahoe International Airport
Reno-Tahoe International Airport Logo.svg
FAA airport diagram
RNO - FAA airport diagram.gif
RNO is located in Nevada
Location of the Reno–Tahoe International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Reno–Tahoe Airport Authority
Serves Reno, Nevada
Location Reno, Nevada
Elevation AMSL 4,415 ft / 1,346 m
Coordinates 39°29′57″N 119°46′05″W / 39.49917°N 119.76806°W / 39.49917; -119.76806Coordinates: 39°29′57″N 119°46′05″W / 39.49917°N 119.76806°W / 39.49917; -119.76806
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16R/34L 11,002 3,353 Concrete
16L/34R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
7/25 6,102 1,860 Concrete
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 145,515
Based aircraft 182
Sources: FAA[1] and airport web site[2]

Reno–Tahoe International Airport (IATA: RNOICAO: KRNOFAA LID: RNO) is a civil-military airport three miles (6 km) southeast of downtown Reno, in Washoe County, Nevada.[1][3]

It is the second busiest commercial airport in Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

The Nevada Air National Guard has the 152nd Airlift Wing southwest of the airport's main terminal.

Reno–Tahoe International was the hub of Reno Air, a now-defunct medium sized airline that had MD-80 and MD-90s to many cities until it was bought by American Airlines and later disposed of in 2001. Reno Air's first flight was on July 1, 1992 and its last flight was August 30, 1999.

The passenger terminal is named after the late US Senator Howard Cannon.[4] The main lobby of the terminal contains an exhibit featuring the bust of Nevada State Senator (and Nevada State Senate Minority Leader) William J. "Bill" Raggio. Raggio is described in the exhibit as being "The Father of the Airport Authority."

Public transportation to the airport is available on the airport drive via RTC Ride bus #19, which operates Monday through Friday. The bus takes passengers to the Downtown 4th Street Station. In addition, RTC Ride bus #12 takes people to the Downtown 4th Street Station and Meadowood Mall. The bus stops at Terminal Way & Villanova Street, which is a short walk from the north baggage claim via the marked pedestrian walkway.

Reno–Tahoe International Airport is the 61st busiest commercial airport in the nation and in the fall of 2010 opened a new 200 ft (61 m) ATCT replacing the old one of more than 50 years. The new tower is equipped with the latest in TRACON technology including ground radar. It cost over $30 million. It was designed by the Parsons Design Firm, responsible for the design of many other ATCT towers.


The airport was built in 1929 by Boeing Transport Inc. and named Hubbard Field after Boeing Air Transport VP and air transport pioneer Eddie Hubbard.[5][6] It was acquired by United Airlines in 1936 and purchased by the City of Reno in 1953. The August 1953 OAG shows 15 scheduled departures each weekday; ten years later there were 28. Jets (United 727s) arrived in 1964, but the airport didn't rate a nonstop to Los Angeles until 1969; a nonstop to Chicago began in 1970.

Airport diagrams for 1955 and 1966

The first terminal building was completed in time for the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California in 1960. The current configuration of the ticketing lobby and concourses were built in 1979.[7] The airport received its current name in 1994, when the terminal was named in honor of retired Air Force Reserve Major General and former U.S. Senator Howard Cannon.[8] Prior to that the airport itself was named Cannon International Airport.

The terminal was remodelled in 1996 and 2009. In 1996 the baggage claim and ticketing area was updated with technology and decor similar to Las Vegas. In 2008 the Airport began a $70 million project that enhanced the baggage screening equipment and remodeled the ticketing area with a modern Tahoe theme, the project was entirely completed in 2010. To complete the renovations, the TSA ordered the shutdown of the ticketing area, so the airport built a full service heated/a/c temporary ticketing tent, it took up the entire 3 lanes out of 6 in front the airport for taxi, pick up and drop off.

Vendors in the airport have changed greatly over the years, following the 1996 renovation, such vendors included Pizza Hut, TCBY and a Cigar Store, Starbucks opened in the concourses in the late 90's and stayed there until the early 2000s. Recently, the airport has initiated healthier options for its food lineup, replacing Starbucks with Peets Coffee and Tea and other brand names for the concourses.

The airport celebrated 75 years of service in November 2003. Over the last 10 years more than $70 million have been put into investments to modernize and expand the airport. Reno–Tahoe Int'l has been ranked one of the top airports[by whom?] in the nation for increasing service rapidly.

Reno–Tahoe Airport Authority officials announced in early 2011 that a $5 million remodel of the baggage claim area will begin in late 2011 and be completed in mid to late 2012, the project will bring the new look and feel of the renovated ticket lobby to the baggage claim. Details will include rock and sandstone pillars, tiled floors and new LED lighting. Also announced in early 2011, the new TSA body scanners are arriving at Reno–Tahoe Int'l Airport Summer 2011 but by 2014, the security checkpoint will move downstairs in place of the now public area slot machines. Passengers will now only have to pass through one checkpoint and access a newly expanded food court and escalators to both concourses past the new checkpoint, construction will begin in 2012 or 2013.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

In the early morning hours of January 21, 1985, Galaxy Airlines Flight 203 took off from the airport for Minneapolis, Minnesota and crashed 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southwest of the airport while the pilots were attempting an emergency landing after experiencing an unexpected vibration from under the wing. An investigation attributed the crash to pilot error for failing to maintain proper control over the aircraft while investigating the cause of the vibration. The vibration was later found to be caused by an open air start service door which the ground crew failed to secure before departure. All but 1 of the 71 passengers and crew onboard were killed.

Also in 1985, Roger Stockham, who would later be arrested for attempting to blow up a mosque in Michigan, was arrested at the airport for planting a pipe bomb and carrying an unregistered weapon.[9]

On April 13, 2011, a Cheyenne Lifeguard medical flight was forced to land at Reno–Tahoe International Airport without clearance, after the single overnight air traffic controller fell asleep in the tower. The incident, compounded by previous reports of sleeping contollers in 2011, led to the resignation of Air Traffic Organization chief executive Hank Krakowski.[10] The Federal Aviation Administration announced that 27 airports, including RNO, would be re-staffed with two air traffic controllers for overnight shifts.[11]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Reno–Tahoe International Airport covers 1,450 acres (590 ha) at an elevation of 4,415 feet (1,346 m) above mean sea level. It has three concrete runways: 16R/34L, 11,002 by 150 feet (3,353 x 46 m); 16L/34R, 9,000 by 150 feet (2,743 x 46 m); and 7/25, 6,102 by 150 feet (1,860 x 46 m).[1]

In the year ending July 31, 2007 the airport had 145,515 aircraft operations, average 398 per day: 44% general aviation, 37% scheduled commercial, 15% air taxi and 4% military. 182 aircraft were then based at this airport: 68% single-engine, 13% multi-engine, 12% jet, 2% helicopter and 4% military.[1]

Military facilities and aircraft[edit]

Air Mobility Command.svg
Air National Guard.png

The airport is also host to Reno Air National Guard Base, an approximately 60-acre (240,000 m2) complex which was established on the west side of the airport in 1954 when Air National Guard units relocated from the former Stead AFB in Reno. The base is home to the 152d Airlift Wing (152 AW), a Nevada Air National Guard unit operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and equipped with C-130H Hercules aircraft. A tactical fighter and fighter-reconnaissance unit for most of its history, the 152 AW transitioned to a tactical airlift mission in 1995. The wing is the host unit for the base, which has over 1,100 Air National Guard personnel, both full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technicians (ART), as well as part-time traditional air national guardsmen.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Alaska Airlines Portland (OR), San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma C
Allegiant Air Las Vegas C
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth C
American Eagle Los Angeles C
Delta Air Lines Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (resumes June 7, 2014)
Delta Connection Salt Lake City B
Southwest Airlines Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland (OR) (ends June 8, 2014), San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma (ends June 8, 2014)
Seasonal: Chicago-Midway
United Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Houston-Intercontinental
United Express Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Houston-Intercontinental
US Airways Phoenix C
US Airways Express Phoenix C

The terminal at RNO has 23 gates for the airlines that it serves. These airlines have around 140 flights daily to and from the airport, providing service to 15 cities non-stop and about 31 cities with a same plane one stop flight. Each terminal used to have its own security area on the concourse level, but were replaced in March 2013 with a combined security area on the first floor for both terminals.[12]

Air Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Elko, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Oakland, Phoenix, Placerville, Sacramento-Executive, Sacramento-Mather, San Francisco
FedEx Express Fresno, Las Vegas, Memphis, Oakland
UPS Airlines Denver, Des Moines, Louisville, Omaha, Sacramento-Mather

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest Domestic Routes from Reno/Tahoe (February 2013 - January 2014)[13]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Las Vegas, Nevada 361,000 Allegiant, Southwest
2 Phoenix, Arizona 214,000 Southwest, US Airways
3 Los Angeles, California 176,000 American, Southwest, United
4 Denver, Colorado 164,000 Southwest, United
5 Salt Lake City, Utah 121,000 Delta
6 Seattle, Washington 113,000 Alaska, Southwest
7 Dallas, Texas (DFW) 97,000 American
8 San Francisco, California 87,000 United
9 Portland, Oregon 66,000 Alaska, Southwest
10 San Diego, California 64,000 Southwest

Sound levels[edit]

Sound levels have been analyzed for over two decades at this airport, with one of the first studies being a comprehensive production of aircraft sound level contour maps.[14] Later analysis was conducted to analyze sound levels at Kate Smith School and provide retrofitting to reduce sound levels through a Federal Aviation Administration grant.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for RNO (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2008-04-10
  2. ^ Reno–Tahoe International Airport, official web site
  3. ^ "Cannon International Airport". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  4. ^ HotelsByCity.Net listing
  5. ^ Eddie Hubbard Pilot Extraordinaire
  6. ^ William Boeing and Eddie Hubbard deliver the first shipment of international airmail on March 3, 1919
  7. ^ 2007–08 budget of the Reno–Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA)
  8. ^ Airport Fact Sheet PDF (2.27 MB), Reno/Tahoe International Airport
  9. ^ "Terror charges filed in plot to blow up Islamic Center". 
  10. ^ Scott Sonner (2011-04-14). "FAA official resigns after sleeping controllers". Associated Press (Washington, D.C.: Google News). Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  11. ^ Hidalgo, Jason (2011-04-13). "FAA two-controller-at-night policy in Reno changed shortly after it was put in place". Reno Gazette-Journal (Reno, Nevada). Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  12. ^ "03-21-2013 - New Security Checkpoint, Shops & Restaurants Now Open". The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. 2013-03-21. 
  13. ^ "Reno–Tahoe, NV: Reno–Tahoe International (RNO)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. May 2011. 
  14. ^ Vegelatos, Reno Cannon International Airport Contour Maps, prepared for the Reno Cannon International Airport (1985)
  15. ^ C.Michael Hogan and Ballard George, Aircraft Sound Insulation Study for the Kate Smith School, Sparks, Earth Metrics, prepared for the FAA, January 8, 1988

External links[edit]