Asheville Regional Airport

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Asheville Regional Airport
Asheville Regional Airport Logo.jpg
Asheville Regional Airport (6284281669).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Asheville
OperatorAsheville Regional Airport Authority
ServesAsheville, North Carolina
LocationFletcher, North Carolina
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL2,165 ft / 660 m
Coordinates35°26′10″N 082°32′30″W / 35.43611°N 82.54167°W / 35.43611; -82.54167Coordinates: 35°26′10″N 082°32′30″W / 35.43611°N 82.54167°W / 35.43611; -82.54167
AVL is located in North Carolina
Location of airport in North Carolina / United States
AVL is located in the US
AVL (the US)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 (Under Construction) 8,001 2,439 Asphalt
17/35 (Temporary Runway) 7,001 2,134 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2018)74,026
Based aircraft (2018)115
Total Passengers Served (12 months ending Apr 2018)1,009,000

Asheville Regional Airport (IATA: AVL, ICAO: KAVL, FAA LID: AVL) is a Class C airport near Interstate 26 near the town of Fletcher, 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown Asheville, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, United States. It is owned by the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority.[1] It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility.[2] In 2017 it served an all-time record number of passengers for the airport, 956,634, an increase of more than 15% over 2016 and the fourth consecutive year of record traffic.[3] The current airport opened in 1961, replacing the airport at 35°26′20″N 82°28′52″W / 35.439°N 82.481°W / 35.439; -82.481 (Former airport serving Asheville).

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Asheville Regional Airport covers 900 acres (360 ha) and has one asphalt runway (temporary) measuring 7,001 ft × 100 ft (2,134 m × 30 m).[1] A permanent 8,001 ft × 150 ft (2,439 m × 46 m) runway is nearing completion for mid to late 2018.

For the 12-month period ending January 1, 2018, the airport had 74,026 aircraft operations, an average 203 per day: 65% general aviation, 16% air taxi, 12% scheduled commercial, and 7% military. In June 2018, there were 115 aircraft based at this airport: 98 single-engine, 9 multi-engine, 6 jet, and 2 helicopter.[1]

The airport sees the following jet aircraft on a regular basis:

A Concorde supersonic transport (SST) airliner visited AVL during a 1987 promotional tour and was snowed-in overnight. Chartered Boeing 747 jumbo jets (operated by United Airlines) have also visited, as has an Airbus A340 during the visit of Charles, Prince of Wales, to the nearby Biltmore Estate in 1996. AVL's 8,001-foot (2,439 m) runway allows for the operation of almost any aircraft type.

In April 2010, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama landed in Asheville aboard a Boeing C-32 for a weekend getaway. In October 2011, President Obama landed in Asheville in the larger Boeing VC-25 to kick off his North Carolina and Virginia bus tour promoting his jobs bill. He gave a speech at the airport, and cited potential enhancements at the airport as part of the jobs push.[5] President Obama returned to Asheville on February 13, 2013, on the same aircraft for a brief visit and speech at a nearby manufacturing facility.

The terminal building opened on June 7, 1961.[6] A $20 million expansion and renovation project began in 1987. The expansion project was completed in 1992, which resulted in an expansion of the ticket lobby, baggage claim area, and administrative office space. A second-level boarding area and jetways were constructed, as well as an atrium to the existing lobby. The second-level boarding area was removed and the ground-level boarding areas were expanded and renovated in 2003, designed by McCreary/Snow Architects, PA and built by Wilkie Construction Company, Inc.[7] In 2009, $17.8 million of improvements were completed, including a Guest Services center, an additional baggage carousel, rental car desks, offices and security enhancements. In November 2017, a new 1,300-space parking deck opened in front of the airport terminal.[8]

As part of Project SOAR (Significant Opportunity for Aviation in our Region), a major airport improvement project, the existing runway (which was over 50 years old) was nearing the end of its useful life and required major reconstruction to continue its use into the future. Also, the existing runway did not meet the most current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements that were put in place long after the runway was originally constructed. In December 2015, a temporary runway was opened west of the existing runway (16/34). The temporary runway 35 Instrument Landing System (ILS) is operational, and Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI) are available on both ends of the runway. It should be noted that the runway magnetic compass heading has shifted slightly over the years, and runway 16/34 will be renamed to runway 17/35.[9] The new runway is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2018.[10] Allegiant Air bases Airbus A320 Family aircraft at the airport.[11]

Historical airline service: 1948-1996[edit]

Capital Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989) were serving the former Asheville airport in 1948 with all three airlines operating Douglas DC-3 service at the time. Capital was operating nonstop flights to Charlotte and Knoxville as well as daily direct flights to Memphis, Norfolk, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Washington D.C. and other destinations in the eastern and southern U.S.[12] Delta was flying nonstop to Greenville, SC, and Knoxville with daily direct service to Chicago, Charleston, SC, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, FL, Miami, Savannah and other destinations in the eastern and southern U.S.[13] Piedmont was operating nonstop to Tri-Cities, TN and Charlotte in addition to flying direct to Cincinnati, Louisville, Wilmington, NC and other regional destinations.[14]

In 1961, Capital Airlines was operating Vickers Viscount turboprop airliners into the airport with nonstop service to Atlanta, Tri-Cities, TN and Winston/Salem as well as direct flights to Philadelphia, Richmond and Washington D.C. in addition to other regional destinations.[15] Capital was then acquired by and merged into United Airlines which in 1963 was continuing to serve Asheville with Viscount propjets and also Douglas DC-6B prop aircraft with nonstop flights to Atlanta, Greensboro, NC, Raleigh/Durham and Washington D.C. National Airport as well as direct service to Mobile, New Orleans and New York City via Newark Airport.[16] In 1966, Delta was operating only one daily flight from the airport with a Douglas DC-7 nonstop to Knoxville with continuing direct service to Louisville and Chicago O'Hare Airport.[17] Piedmont was continuing to serve Asheville as well in 1966 and was operating Fairchild F-27 turboprops and Martin 4-0-4 prop aircraft with nonstop service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Knoxville, Roanoke and Tri-Cities, TN as well as direct flights to Washington, D.C. and other destinations in the region[18]

The jet age arrived at the airport in 1967 when Piedmont Airlines introduced Boeing 727-100 service with a typical routing being Atlanta (ATL) - Asheville (AVL) - Winston/Salem (INT) - Roanoke (ROA) - New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA).[19] United was operating jet service into Asheville by 1969 with Boeing 737-200 aircraft being flown nonstop to Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham as well as direct to Baltimore and New York Newark Airport.[20] Delta was also operating jet service from the airport by 1969 with one daily McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 nonstop to Knoxville with this flight continuing on to Louisville and Chicago O'Hare Airport.[21]

According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), Delta, Piedmont, and United were continuing to serve Asheville in April 1975.[22] Delta was still operating one daily McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 flight into Knoxville with this service originating at Chicago O'Hare Airport and making an intermediate stop in Louisville. Piedmont was operating Boeing 737-200 jets as well as Fairchild Hiller FH-227 and NAMC YS-11 turboprops with nonstop service from Atlanta, Charleston, WV, Charlotte, Danville, VA, Fayetteville, NC, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, Knoxville, Lynchburg, VA, Nashville, Roanoke, Tri-Cities, TN and Winston/Salem as well as direct one stop 737 flights from Memphis, Richmond, VA and Washington D.C. National Airport. United was flying nonstop Boeing 737-200 service from Atlanta, Charleston, WV and Raleigh/Durham plus direct one stop flights from New York Newark Airport. By 1976, United was operating direct one stop service to Tampa via Atlanta.[23] By 1978, Piedmont was flying direct one stop 737 service to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD) via Tri-Cities, TN and by 1983 the airline was operating direct one-stop Boeing 727-200 flights to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) as well as direct one stop 737 flights to Orlando (MCO) both via Charlotte.[24]

Piedmont was the only airline operating jet service into Asheville by February 1985 according to the OAG with Boeing 727-200 and Fokker F28 Fellowship nonstop flights from Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte and Roanoke as well as direct one stop 727 service from Denver, Miami and New York LaGuardia Airport plus direct one stop F28 service from New York Newark Airport.[25] This same OAG also lists nonstop Delta Connection flights from Atlanta operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) on behalf of Delta on a code sharing basis with de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 and Short 360 turboprops as well as commuter air carrier flights operated with Beechcraft 99 turboprops by Sunbird Airlines and Wheeler Airlines with both airlines operating nonstop service from Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham plus nonstop flights from Tri-Cities, TN operated by Wheeler.[25]

American Airlines began serving AVL via its new hubs in Nashville in 1986 and Raleigh-Durham in 1987 using American EagleBAe Jetstream 31 and Saab 340 turboprop equipment.[26][27] This service continued until 1995 when both hubs were shut down by American.

The OAG listed six airlines serving Asheville in April 1995: American Eagle, Delta, Delta Connection operated by both Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) and Comair, USAir (which had acquired and merged with Piedmont in 1989) and USAir Express.[28] Delta and Delta Connection (operated by ASA) were operating a combined total of eight nonstops a day from the Delta hub in Atlanta, with Delta using McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners and Delta Connection with ATR 72 and Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia propjets. In addition, Delta Connection flown by Comair was operating three nonstop flights a day with Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia propjets from Cincinnati which was a Delta hub at the time. USAir and USAir Express were operating a combined total of nine nonstop services a day from the USAir hub in Charlotte, USAir with Boeing 737-300 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets and USAir Express with Short 360 turboprops. USAir Express was also operating three nonstop flights a day from Raleigh/Durham with British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 propjets, with some of these frequencies also stopping in Greenville/Spartanburg. (USAir was subsequently renamed US Airways in 1997 which in turn merged with American Airlines in 2015.) Delta discontinued mainline jet service to AVL in December 1995, with ASA replacing the service with its own British Aerospace 146 jet aircraft.[29]

In 1996 Midway Airlines briefly flew service to its hub at Raleigh-Durham via its Midway Connection-branded partner Corporate Airlines on BAe Jetstream 31 aircraft.[30]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Allegiant Air Baltimore, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Newark, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton (begins February 22, 2019)
American Eagle Charlotte, Philadelphia (begins May 3, 2019)[32]
Seasonal: Dallas–Fort Worth
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [34]
Delta Connection Atlanta
Seasonal: New York–LaGuardia
Elite Airways Seasonal: Vero Beach[35] [36]
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale,[37] Orlando,[37] Tampa [38]
United Airlines Newark (ends February 13, 2019) [39]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Washington–Dulles (begins February 14, 2019)
Seasonal: Newark (begins June 6, 2019)

Current destinations map[edit]


DHL Express Cincinnati


Carrier shares[edit]

Carrier shares: (May 2017 – Apr 2018)[40]
Rank Airline Passengers % of market
Allegiant Air 325,000 32.26%
PSA (American Eagle) 177,000 17.54%
Skywest 167,000 16.55%
Delta 109,000 10.76%
ExpressJet 70,620 7.0%
Other 160,500 15.89%

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from AVL (May 2017 – Apr 2018)[40]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
Atlanta, Georgia 142,940 Delta
Charlotte, North Carolina 114,260 American
Newark, New Jersey 52,800 Allegiant, United
Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 48,770 United
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 48,680 Allegiant
St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 34,280 Allegiant
Orlando–Sanford, Florida 29,820 Allegiant
Punta Gorda/Ft Myers, Florida 24,270 Allegiant
Baltimore, Maryland 10,650 Allegiant
Vero Beach, Florida 1,400 Elite

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On July 19, 1967 Piedmont Airlines Flight 22, a Boeing 727, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 310 just south of the airport in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The collision happened just moments after the 727 took off from the Asheville Airport. All 82 people on both planes were killed.

On March 14, 2003 a Cessna 177 Cardinal crashed into Old Fort Mountain after taking off from the airport. It killed author Amanda Davis, who was on a book tour promoting her first novel Wonder When You'll Miss Me, and her parents.[41][42]

On October 27, 2004 a Beechcraft Duke crashed about 0.8 of a mile off the departure end of Runway 34 after an apparent right engine failure, killing all four people on board.[43][44]

On May 4, 2007, a 1977 Cessna 182 en route to Asheville Regional Airport crashed near the airport, killing three Georgia men. Initial reports said that rapper Jay-Z was on board. The reports were false.[45]

On October 6, 2017, a terrorist deposited a bag containing an improvised explosive device near the entrance to the Asheville Regional Airport terminal. The bomb was set to explode the following morning at 6:00 AM but was defused after being detected by bomb-sniffing dogs. The terrorist, Michael Christopher Estes, was arrested and faces two federal charges.[46][47][48]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for AVL (Form 5010 PDF), effective June 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ Published 11:09 a.m. ET Jan. 30, 2018 (2018-01-30). "Asheville airport bests passenger record in 2017". Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  4. ^ a b c d "July - Asheville Regional Airport". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "History - Asheville Regional Airport". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Asheville Regional Airport Dedication Plaque - 2012". Airchive. 2CMedia. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  8. ^ "Good news, travelers: AVL opens new parking deck".
  9. ^ "Info for Pilots - Asheville Regional Airport". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Answer Man: Asheville Airport runway taking forever?".
  11. ^
  12. ^, June 1, 1948 Capital Airlines system timetable
  13. ^, May 1, 1948, Delta Air Lines system timetable
  14. ^, July 1, 1948, Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  15. ^, June 1, 1961 Capital Airlines system timetable
  16. ^, Aug. 5, 1963, United Airlines system timetable
  17. ^, Aug. 1, 1966, Delta Air Lines system timetable
  18. ^, April 24, 1966 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  19. ^, May 15, 1967 Piedmont Airlines timetable
  20. ^, April 27, 1969, United Airlines system timetable
  21. ^, April 27, 1969, Delta Air Lines system timetable
  22. ^, April 15, 1975, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Asheville flight schedules
  23. ^, June 11, 1976, United Airlines system timetable
  24. ^, Dec. 15, 1978 & Sept. 15, 1983 Piedmont Airlines system timetables
  25. ^ a b, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Asheville flight schedules
  26. ^ "AABNAhub". 1995-12-14. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  27. ^ "AARDUhub". Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  28. ^, April 2, 1995, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Asheville flight schedules
  29. ^ "Panama City News Herald Newspaper Archives, Aug 4, 1995". 1995-08-04. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  30. ^ "JIRDUhub". Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  31. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  32. ^ Hilario, Kenneth. "American Airlines to add N.C. & Tenn. flights from PHL in 2019". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  34. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Elite Airways announces non-stop to Vero Beach from AVL". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Up, Up and Away Asheville! Spirit Airlines Brings Ultra-Low Fares for Warm Weather Getaways - Spirit Airlines, Inc. – IR Site". Spirit Airlines, Inc. – IR Site.
  38. ^ "Spirit Route Map". Spirit Airlines.
  39. ^ a b "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  40. ^ a b "RITA BTS Transtats - AVL". April 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  41. ^ Luther, Claudia (March 24, 2003). "Amanda Davis, 32; 1st-Time Novelist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  42. ^ "Amanda Davis, 32, Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Teacher". The New York Times. March 18, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  43. ^ "ATL05FA013 NTSB report 27 October, 2004". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  44. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident 27-OCT-2004 Beechcraft 60 Duke N611JC". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  45. ^ [2][dead link]
  46. ^ Charlie May (2017-10-11). "A thwarted airport bombing receives little national press — and some activists cry foul". Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  47. ^ United States of America v Michael Christopher Estes - Criminal Complaint, United States District Court
  48. ^ "Complaint: Airport bomb suspect wanted 'to fight a war on US soil'". Asheville Citizen-Times. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 14 October 2017.

External links[edit]

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