Sikorsky Memorial Airport
|Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport|
|USGS 1991 orthophoto|
|IATA: BDR – ICAO: KBDR – FAA LID: BDR|
|Owner||City of Bridgeport|
|Elevation AMSL||9 ft / 3 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport (IATA: BDR, ICAO: KBDR, FAA LID: BDR) is a public use airport in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is owned by the city of Bridgeport and located three nautical miles (6 km) southeast of its central business district, in the town of Stratford. It was formerly known as Bridgeport Municipal Airport. In the past, the airport was usually referred to on destination maps and flight status displays as "Bridgeport".
This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility. It has three Fixed Base Operators (FBO's) and several private hangars. The last commercial service at the airport was provided by US Helicopter, which offered scheduled service to New York's Downtown Manhattan Heliport, and continuing service to John F. Kennedy International Airport. On September 25, 2009, US Helicopter shut down, ending their service.
The airport was originally Avon Field, a racetrack where aircraft landed on the grass infield. It was the site of the country's first air show held in 1911, on the grounds of what is currently St. Michaels Cemetery. It became known as Mollison Field after Captain Jim Mollison's crash landing there in 1933 during an attempt to fly across the Atlantic. The City of Bridgeport purchased the airport in 1937, after which it became Bridgeport Municipal Airport.
In 1972, it was rededicated as the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, honoring the airport's most famous tenant, Igor Sikorsky, who selected Stratford as the site for his Sikorsky Aviation Corporation in 1929.
At one time in the 1980s, the airport was simultaneously serviced by three carriers, US Airways Express, Delta Connection, and Continental Connection, however service to the airport declined rapidly in the 1990s. Airlines complained that the short length of the runway was preventing them from flying larger planes into the airport, and reducing profit. Continental Connection discontinued service to the airport in 1994, followed soon after by Delta Connection, which ended service in 1997. Finally, in November 1999, US Airways Express ended service to the airport, leaving Bridgeport with no commercial service.
The airport has been the subject of heated debate in the municipalities of Stratford and Bridgeport. While the City of Bridgeport owns the airport, the entirety of the property is located in the Town of Stratford. Before the end of World War II there was little more than salt marshes surrounding the airport, but in the 1950s and 1960s Stratford permitted extensive residential development in the Lordship area adjacent to the airfield. Bridgeport has pushed for runway and terminal expansion, hoping to attract new service to the airport, arguing that service to the airport is necessary for the growth of Bridgeport's economy. Stratford has opposed terminal expansion and any runway lengthening that would interfere with existing local roads. Even when the airport was served by major carriers, Stratford advocated for strict limits on flights in and out the airport because of noise impinging upon the Lordship and South End neighborhoods. In 2003, the Federal Aviation Administration mandated the lengthening of the two runways to accommodate unpaved safety overruns at each end. Stratford and Connecticut officials have vigorously resisted the FAA effort to install the overruns, but the FAA has notified Stratford, Bridgeport and state officials that it may obtain a federal court order to use eminent domain to complete necessary work to add the overruns.
In June 2006, US Helicopter began scheduled service to New York's Downtown Manhattan Heliport, with continuing service to John F. Kennedy International Airport. This marked the first time since 1999 that the airport welcomed regularly scheduled commercial airline flights. On September 25, 2009, US Helicopter suddenly shut down, ending their service.
In February 2007, state legislators from Bridgeport, in an effort to force expansion, introduced legislation allowing the State of Connecticut to take over the airport. Officials from Stratford would prefer the town take ownership of the airport and oppose the proposed state takeover.
Facilities and aircraft
Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport covers an area of 800 acres (324 ha) at an elevation of 9 feet (3 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with asphalt surfaces: 11/29 is 4,761 by 150 feet (1,451 x 46 m) and 6/24 is 4,677 by 150 feet (1,426 x 46 m). It also has one helipad designated H1 with an asphalt surface measuring 40 by 40 feet (12 x 12 m).
For the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, the airport had 67,951 aircraft operations, an average of 186 per day: 96% general aviation, 3% air taxi, and 1% military. At that time there were 190 aircraft based at this airport: 74% single-engine, 13% jet, 11% multi-engine, and 3% helicopter.
|FedEx Express operated by Wiggins Airways||Hartford, Newark|
- FAA Airport Master Record for BDR ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- History of Sikorsky Memorial Airport from City of Bridgeport website
- Sikorsky Memorial Airport at City of Bridgeport website
- Lordship aviation history
- Atlantic Aviation, a fixed base operator (FBO)
- Three Wing Flying Services, a fixed base operator (FBO)
- Volo Aviation, a fixed base operator (FBO)
- Aerial image as of April 1991 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BDR, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: