Wilmington Air Park

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Wilmington Air Park
Airborne Airpark - USGS 22 March 1994.jpg
USGS aerial image as of 22 March 1994 (only one runway at the time)
Airport type Public
Owner Clinton County Port Authority
Location Wilmington, Ohio
Elevation AMSL 1,077 ft / 328 m
Coordinates 39°25′41″N 083°47′32″W / 39.42806°N 83.79222°W / 39.42806; -83.79222
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4L/22R 10,701 3,262 Concrete
4R/22L 9,000 2,743 Concrete
Statistics (2006)
Aircraft operations 71,000

Wilmington Air Park[1] (IATA: ILNICAO: KILNFAA LID: ILN) is a public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) southeast of the central business district of Wilmington, a city in Clinton County, Ohio, United States. While DHL had privately owned the property while operating from the facility, the company agreed to donate the property to the Clinton County Port Authority.[1]

The airport was formerly known as Clinton County Air Force Base.


The airport opened in 1929 and a small hangar was built in 1930. The landing strip was approved by the Civil Works Administration in 1933. In 1940, the Civil Aeronautics Authority took control of Wilmington Airport for use as an emergency landing field. In 1942, the United States Army Air Forces took over the airport, renaming it Clinton County Army Air Field. With the establishment of an independent U.S. Air Force in 1947, the installation was renamed Clinton County Air Force Base and primarily supported Air Force Reserve flight operations and training.

The base was decommissioned as an Air Force installation in 1972 and the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) began developing the area as the Wilmington Industrial Air Park (WIAP). It also became home to the Great Oaks Joint Vocation School. In 1977, the Southern State Community College opened, using old barracks buildings as classrooms. In 1980, Midwest Air Charter was acquired by Airborne Freight Corporation, resulting in Airborne Express, which became the largest tenant at WIAP.[2]

In 2003, as part of the merger of DHL and Airborne, DHL kept Airborne's ground operations and spun off its air operations as ABX Air. The facility was a major sorting center for package delivery service DHL Express between 2005 and the sorting center's closing in July 2009, following then Deutsche Post-owned DHL's cessation of US domestic delivery services.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

The Wilmington Air Park covers an area of 2,000 acres (810 ha) at an elevation of 1,077 feet (328 m) above mean sea level. It has two concrete surfaced runways: 4L/22R is 10,701 by 150 feet (3,262 x 46 m) and 4R/22L is 9,000 by 150 feet (2,743 x 46 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 71,000 aircraft operations, an average of 194 per day: 96% scheduled commercial and 4% general aviation.[1]

Future of the Property[edit]

Aerial view of Airborne Airpark in 2012

On January 19, 2010, DHL agreed to turn over the airport, including its two runways, control tower, buildings and cargo storage facilities to the Clinton County Port Authority. On Jun 2, 2010, that donation became effective. While no concrete plans have been set, the port authority plans to work with local and state officials on redeveloping the property.[3]

A comprehensive Redevelopment Study for the Wilmington Air Park was completed in December 2011. An Executive Summary of those findings and recommendations can be found at its website.

In January 2012, the Clinton County Port Authority was in conversations with the Ohio Air National Guard for the possible return of a U.S. Air Force presence at the airport, with possible use as a joint civil-military airfield by the Air National Guard to operate model specific Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)[4]

Project Aerosmith[edit]

After years of dormancy, cargo activity suddenly came to life at Wilmington in the second half of 2015. Operated under the code name Project Aerosmith, it was speculated that Wilmington-based Air Transport Services Group was performing a trial run for a potential Amazon.com air cargo operation. More details came to light in a December 2015 Seattle Times story,[5] in which frustration with third-party carriers on the part of Amazon caused them to begin investigating their own cargo operation to be flown potentially by ATSG, Atlas Air, or Kalitta Air. The story revealed five ATSG Boeing 767s were being operated from Wilmington to airports near Amazon distribution centers during the trial run, with 219 flights operated between November 1 and December 17, 2015, as compared to just seven in the previous period the year before.

In March 2016, Project Aerosmith's customer was confirmed to be Amazon, with 20 767s to be leased to Amazon. The operations will be supported by ATSG and its subsidiaries which includes Air Transport International as its primary carrier for Amazon. Amazon, over a five-year period, was granted the right to purchase up to 19.9 percent of ATSG stock.[6]

The end result, however, would mean the Airpark would meet a fate similar to that experienced with DHL. It was announced in January 2017 that Amazon would shift their flight operations to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport with a major expansion to take place. The move was finalized on April 30, 2017, when the last Amazon flight departed.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for ILN (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2009-08-27.
  2. ^ ABX Air: Air Park History
  3. ^ "DHL agrees to donate airport to group for redevelopment". Dayton Daily News. 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Air Guard wants to fly UAV here". Wilmington News Journal. 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  5. ^ http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-in-talks-to-lease-20-jets-to-launch-air-cargo-business/
  6. ^ http://timesgazette.com/news/6137/atsg-amazon-strike-deal-at-wilmington-air-park

External links[edit]