Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

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Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
Express Jet Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner City of Wichita
Operator Wichita Airport Authority
Serves Southern Kansas
Location Wichita, Kansas[1]
Elevation AMSL 1,333 ft / 406.3 m
Coordinates 37°39′0″N 97°25′59″W / 37.65000°N 97.43306°W / 37.65000; -97.43306Coordinates: 37°39′0″N 97°25′59″W / 37.65000°N 97.43306°W / 37.65000; -97.43306
Website flywichita.com
ICTLocation in Kansas
ICT is located in Kansas
Location in Kansas
Direction Length Surface
ft m
1L/19R 10,301 3,140 Concrete
1R/19L 7,301 2,225 Concrete
14/32 6,301 1,921 Concrete

Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (IATA: ICTICAO: KICT) is about 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Wichita, Kansas. It is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Kansas.

The airport was previously Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The name was to be changed on March 31, 2015 by the city of Wichita,[2] but the official change occurred within the FAA on November 13, 2014 for a deadline to publish new aeronautical charts and airport directories. The new terminal is scheduled to officially open on May 1, 2015.[3]

The airport is named for Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (pronounced EYE-zən-how-ər), the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. His boyhood home, museum, and Presidential Library are at the Eisenhower Presidential Center in Abilene, Kansas.


Over the past 90+ years the largest airport in Wichita has had three major terminals, including the moving of its location from the southeast to southwest side of the city.

Wichita Municipal Airport[edit]

Kansas Aviation Museum, former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal from 1935 to 1951, located in SE Wichita
Bas-relief of the Spirit of St. Louis crossing the Atlantic above entrance

In October 1924 the city of Wichita hosted more than 100,000 people for the National Air Congress. The event was used by city planners to raise funds for a proposed Wichita Municipal Airport. The event was a success and ground-breaking ceremonies for the airport were held on June 28, 1929. The airport was then about 6 miles (10 km) southeast of the older Wichita city limits.

In August 1941 the Kansas National Guard 127th Observation Squadron was activated as the first military unit assigned to the Wichita airport.

By the summer of 1950 Boeing was ready to turn out the first production B-47 Stratojets and the United States Air Force sought to make Wichita Airport a permanent military installation. Public hearings began to consider locating an Air Force base near the Wichita Boeing facilities, and the city of Wichita was awarded $9.4 million to build a new airfield for its own use.

On May 31, 1951 the USAF took title to the airport. Civil and military flights shared the airport until the new city airport was completed in October 1954. The Wichita Municipal Airport was renamed Wichita Air Force Base then renamed again to its current name of McConnell Air Force Base.

The original terminal was eventually acquired by the City of Wichita in 1980. Volunteers entered the building in the late 1980s with wheelbarrows and shovels and began the arduous cleaning task. It was named the Kansas Aviation Museum and opened on April 19, 1991 to showcase Kansas aviation history.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport[edit]

Tarmac with baggage handling equipment in the foreground, and an America West jet in the background (1989)
Snow removal equipment (2011)

In 1951 the United States Air Force brought proceedings to condemn and acquire the Wichita Municipal Airport for what was to become McConnell Air Force Base. Wichita's park board quickly acquired 1,923 acres (778 ha) of land in southwest Wichita and the construction of a new "Wichita Municipal Airport" took about three and a half years. The Airport opened to general aviation traffic in 1953 and airline flights moved to the new airport on April 1, 1954. The new airport was dedicated on October 31, 1954 with two runways and became Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in 1973 after Kansas City renamed its Mid-Continent Airport to Kansas City International Airport.

The airport's ICT designation is an abbreviation for Wichita. At the time the Federal Communications Commission prohibited airport codes starting with "K" or "W." Naming conventions of the time then called for the second letter of the city to be used and then use any phonetics to make it easier to identify. Similarly, Kansas City could not get a KCI designation when it renamed its Mid-Continent International Airport to Kansas City International Airport in 1972 (so Kansas City still has MCI as its designation). IATA is reluctant to change designations once they appear on maps.

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 11 weekday departures on Braniff, 10 TWA, 4 Continental, 3 Central and 2 Ozark. Nonstop flights did not reach beyond Denver, Amarillo, Oklahoma City and Kansas City. TWA had the first scheduled jet flights, in 1964.

Two concourses attached to the terminal building with 10 gates were built in 1976. The ticketing areas were renovated and two gates were added in 1985.[4] A $6 million renovation of the terminal was completed in 1989.[5]

On September 13, 2012 groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new terminal. The estimated completion of the new terminal is March 2015.

Current terminal[edit]

The airport has one terminal with eleven gates on two connected Concourses

East Concourse Gates: 1-6 Airlines: Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection

West Concourse Gates: 7-8, 10-12 Airlines: Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, United Express


Gate 7 is blocked by the New Terminal Building Construction.

Gate 9 has not been used by any airline for several years, due to its smaller size (seating capacity) and lack of a boarding bridge. This gate hold area was converted into a "Home Team Sports Bar" in 2007 and is currently known as "Fast Break Bar". Therefore, Gate 9 is no longer considered or designated a gate.

Gate 11, not used by any airline at present, is now "The Flight Deck Lounge". It has plug-ins for laptops and for recharging cell phones and lounge & rocking chairs for passenger's comfort, as well as regular gate seating.

Currently eight gates are used at Mid-Continent Airport. Gates 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 have jet bridges. Gates 4, 7 and 11 do not; passengers walk out of the gate and down the stairs to the tarmac.

Rental car counters are located in the Baggage Claim wing. Besides the usual taxis and shuttles, Wichita Transit West Maple[6] line provides service to/from downtown Wichita. This bus runs daily except Sundays, from morning until early evening.

Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport[edit]

On March 4, 2014, the Wichita City Council approved changing the name of the airport from Wichita Mid-Continent to Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, in honor of former president, general, and Kansas native Dwight D. Eisenhower. [7] The name will become official on March 31, 2015, when the new terminal opens.[2][8]

Future terminal[edit]

Control tower and old terminal viewed from the new terminal's construction site (December 2013)

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new terminal took place on September 13, 2012. Construction started on October 9, 2012. The estimated completion of the new terminal is April 2015.[9] Portions of the existing terminal will be demolished (in stages) as the new terminal becomes fully operational. A flyover of the new terminal can be found on the Airport's website.

The new terminal will be just west of the present terminal. The two-story, 272,000 sq ft (25,300 m2). terminal, designed by HNTB will be a state-of-the-art modern architectural design expressing Wichita's prominent position in the aviation industry.[10] Other contractors include AECOM providing project management services and Key/Walbridge Joint Venture serving as the general contractor.[11] Aviation themed exhibits will be part of the terminal's design. Major elements include:[12]

  • New terminal roadway and covered curb with separate lanes for private and commercial vehicles.
  • Terminal building with enlarged ticketing and baggage claim on the main entry level.
  • Upper level concourse with departure lounges, concessions and expanded passenger security screening.
  • 12 boarding gates, each having a boarding bridge. Up to 16 boarding bridges total.
  • American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will each lease two gates. Allegiant Air will lease one gate.
  • Baggage handling systems with inline explosives detection security screening.
  • Enhanced pre-security and post-security concessions and passenger services.
  • Consolidated rental car facility counters, plus close-in parking and car return located in the covered garage.
  • Covered daily, short and long term parking in a multi-level garage directly across from the new terminal.
  • Short-term and long-term public parking plus a new expanded Park & Ride shuttle parking lot.
  • Parking with at least 3,000 spaces.
  • New communications, life safety and security systems.
  • New aircraft apron for the new terminal and gates.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines & destinations[edit]

Cities served non-stop from Wichita (ICT) (as of January 2015)
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa
Seasonal: Los Angeles
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth East
American Eagle Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth East
Delta Air Lines Atlanta East
Delta Connection Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul East
Southwest Airlines Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Las Vegas West
United Airlines Denver West
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental West

Busiest Routes[edit]

Busiest Domestic Routes from Wichita
(September 2013 – August 2014)[13]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas, Texas (DFW) 138,000 American
2 Atlanta, Georgia (ATL) 109,000 Delta
3 Chicago, Illinois (ORD) 103,000 American, United
4 Denver, Colorado (DEN) 96,000 United
5 Houston, Texas (IAH) 64,000 United
6 Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) 62,000 Allegiant, Southwest
7 Chicago, Illinois (MDW) 52,000 Southwest
8 Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota (MSP) 43,000 Delta
9 Dallas, Texas (DAL) 39,000 Southwest
10 Los Angeles, California (LAX) 21,000 Allegiant, United


Airlines Destinations
FedEx Garden City, Memphis
UPS Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Springfield/Branson

Incidents and accidents[edit]

National Weather Service office, located west of the runways along Tyler Road (2010)


On October 10, 2000, 2:52 PM, a Canadair Challenger CL-604 (CL-600-2B16) crashed during an experimental test flight. The plane burst into flames on impact with part of the wreckage landing on Tyler Road along the west side of the airport. Investigators say the crash was a result of pilot error and shifting fuel. The pilot and flight test engineer were killed. The copilot was seriously injured and died 36 days later.[14][15]


On December 13, 2013, Terry Lee Loewen, an avionics technician, was arrested for attempting to bomb the airport.[16][17][18] A Muslim-convert, he is alleged to have spent several months planning a suicide attack with a car-load of explosives.[19]

On January 19, 2014, 12:30 AM, an Oklahoma man rammed his pickup truck through a security gate at the airport and was found waving documents at a small plane.[20][21]

On October 30, 2014, 9:49 AM, a twin-engine Beechcraft B200 Super King Air 200 lost power in one engine during takeoff then crashed into the two-story FlightSafety International training building several blocks northeast of the airport terminal at 37°39′35″N 97°25′30″W / 37.6597524°N 97.4250192°W / 37.6597524; -97.4250192. The building sustained serious damage, including the collapse of walls and a portion of the roof. The airplane had one person aboard it, the pilot, who died. Four people died and five were injured.[22][23][24] See 2014 Wichita King Air crash for full details.

Nearby airports[edit]


  1. ^ Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Wichita Mid-Continent Airport; United States Geological Survey (USGS); July 1, 1984.
  2. ^ a b Wichita to be restored to new airport name; The Wichita Eagle; March 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Mid-Continent Airport’s name changes to Eisenhower sooner than planned; The Wichita Eagle; January 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "City of Wichita Airport Terminal Workshop" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "About Mid-Continent – Wichita Mid-Continent Airport". Flywichita.org. 
  6. ^ "West Maple (route #1)". Wichitatransit.org. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  7. ^ . KAKE News http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/Wichita-City-Council-to-vote-on-airport-name-change-248294681.html?llsms=732591&c=y&device=tablet.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Construction of airport on track for spring 2015 opening; The Wichita Eagle; August 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "City Celebrates New Terminal Groundbreaking". Wichita Airport Authority. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ McMillan, Molly (December 21, 2011). "Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Opens Bidding for Terminal Construction". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Program Team". Wichita Airport Authority. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Project Overview". Wichita Airport Authority. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Wichita, KS: Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. January 14, 2012. Retrieved Sep 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ Bombardier Challenger Plane Crash Remembered; kake.com; October 10, 2010.
  15. ^ Canadair Challenger CL-604 C-FTBZ Aircraft Accident Report; NTSB; April 14, 2004.
  16. ^ Renee, Amy. "Travelers find airport operating as usual after bomb plot | Wichita Eagle". Kansas.com. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  17. ^ FROSCH, DAN (2013-12-13). "Wichita Airport Technician Charged With Terrorist Plot". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  18. ^ "Arrest made in attempt to bomb Wichita airport, FBI says". Fox News. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  19. ^ Pete Williams (December 13, 2013). "Feds say they disrupted suicide bomb plot by worker at Wichita airport". NBC. 
  20. ^ Man charged with property damage, trespassing after driving through Mid-Continent Airport fence; The Wichita Eagle; January 23, 2014.
  21. ^ Oklahoma man who rammed truck through airport security gate pleads guilty to charges; The Wichita Eagle; June 3, 2014.
  22. ^ Four dead after plane crashes into building at Mid-Continent Airport; KSN; October 30, 2014.
  23. ^ Four dead, 5 missing after plane crashes at Wichita airport; The Wichita Eagle; October 30, 2014.
  24. ^ Aircraft N52SZ; Aviation Safety Network; October 30, 2014.

External links[edit]