Boise Airport

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For the airport serving Boise City, Oklahoma, see Boise City Airport.
Boise Airport
Boise Air Terminal
Gowen Field
Boise Airport Logo.jpg
Boise Airport-ID-05 July 1998-USGS.jpg
1998 USGS Photo
WMO: 72681
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator City of Boise
Serves Boise, Idaho
Hub for Horizon Air[1]
Elevation AMSL 2,871 ft / 875 m
Coordinates 43°33′52″N 116°13′22″W / 43.56444°N 116.22278°W / 43.56444; -116.22278Coordinates: 43°33′52″N 116°13′22″W / 43.56444°N 116.22278°W / 43.56444; -116.22278
BOI is located in Idaho
Location in Idaho
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10L/28R 10,000 3,048 Asphalt
10R/28L 9,763 2,976 Asphalt
09/27 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
Statistics (2010, 2012)
Aircraft operations (2012) 112,769
Based aircraft (2012) 264
Total Passengers (2010) 2,805,691
Source: ACI,[2] Federal Aviation Administration[3] Boise Airport[4] A-Z World Airports[5]

Boise Airport (IATA: BOIICAO: KBOIFAA LID: BOI) (Boise Air Terminal or Gowen Field)[3][6] is a joint civil-military airport three miles south of Boise in Ada County, Idaho.[3] The airport is operated by the city of Boise Department of Aviation and is overseen by an Airport Commission.[7]

Boise is a landing rights airfield requiring international general aviation flights to receive permission from a Customs and Border Protection officer before landing.

In addition to being a commercial and general aviation airport, Boise is used by the Idaho Air National Guard on the Gowen Field Air National Guard Base portion of the airport. The National Interagency Fire Center is based in the city of Boise and the Boise Airport is used for logistical support. The United States Forest Service also uses Boise Airport as a base for aerial firefighting air tankers during the wildfire season.[8]

Boise Airport had 1,307,505 enplaned passengers in 2012, a reduction from 1,395,554 passengers in 2011. BOI ranked 78th in the nation in enplanements for 2012.[9]


In 1926 the first municipal airport in Boise named Booth Field was built on a gravel bed where the Boise State University campus now stands. The first commercial airmail flight in the United States passed through this airfield on April 26, 1926, carried by Varney Airlines. Varney Airlines began operating out of Boise in 1933, later merging with National Air Transport to become United Airlines. With United Airlines able to trace its roots to Varney, United is recognized as the airline that has operated the longest out of Boise, 83 years as of 2009. United Airlines has contracted out its airport operation to SkyWest and no longer has any active employees in the State of Idaho. This airfield also played host to Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis on September 4, 1927.[7]

The current airport has its origins in 1936 when Boise began buying and leasing land for the airport. By 1938 Boise had the longest runway in the United States, 8,800 feet (2,682 m). The steel hangar for Varney Airlines was moved to the present field in 1939. As aircraft grew the hangar was no longer big enough and was converted into a passenger terminal. It was part of the modern terminal facility until the completion of a new terminal in 2004.

During World War II the Army Air Corps, later Army Air Forces, leased the field for use as a training base for B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bomber crews. More than 6,000 men were stationed there during the war.[7]

The field was named Gowen Field in 1941 on July 23, after 1st Lt. Paul R. Gowen (1909–1938).[10][11] Born and raised in Caldwell, he attended the University of Idaho for two years, then obtained an appointment to West Point in 1929, and graduated ninth in his class in 1933.[11][12] While piloting a twin-engine B-10 bomber in the Army Air Corps, Gowen was killed instantly in a crash in Panama in July 1938.[11] The right engine failed shortly after take-off from Albrook Field, near Panama City. The other two crew members, navigator and radio operator, survived and crawled from the wreckage with burns.[13][14]

After the war the part of the field used by the Army Air Forces was returned to the city.[7] The Idaho Air National Guard began leasing the airfield after the war, and still does.[7]

Between 2001 and 2005 Boise Airport was remodeled. The airport now has a new terminal and an elevated roadway for departures. There were two phases in building the new terminal. Phase 1 considered amenities such as baggage claim, lobby, and food and beverage concession, which were completed in 2003. Phase 2 dealt with security checkpoints and a new concourse (Concourse C) and the remodeling of Concourse B, which were completed in 2005.[15]

Boise Airport's passenger terminal

The Boise Airport Passenger Terminal designed by CSHQA is a three-story, steel-framed 378,000-square-foot (35,100 m2) state-of-the-art aviation facility. Curvilinear, steel trusses create the undulating ceiling plane of the ticket lobby and define the signature profile of the building. The terminal has garnered national attention for the beauty of its design and is considered a prototypical post 9/11 facility.[16]

The Boise Airport was fourth in passenger satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Global Airport Satisfaction Index Study.[17]

The Boise Airport was a hub for Horizon Air from the late 1980s to the early 2000s with over 50 flights to 15 destinations at its peak, but was scaled down post 9/11. It currently is a minor focus city.


Boise Airport covers 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) at an elevation of 2,871 feet (875 m). It has three runways:

  • 10L/28R: 10,000 x 150 feet (3,048 x 46 m) Asphalt, Weight capacity: 75,000 pounds (34,000 kg)/single wheel; VASI system[3]
  • 10R/28L: 9,763 x 150 feet (2,976 x 46 m) Asphalt, Weight capacity: 75,000 pounds (34,000 kg)/single wheel; VASI, ILS/DME[3]
  • 09/27: 5,000 x 90 feet (1,524 x 27 m) Asphalt, Weight capacity: unspecified; Restrictions: Military only[18]

In the year ending April 30, 2007 the airport had 184,023 aircraft operations, average 504 per day: 52% general aviation, 23% airline, 18% air taxi, 7% military. 286 aircraft were then based at this airport: 58% single-engine, 10% multi-engine, 7% jet, 9% helicopter and 16% military.[3]

In 2005 over 3 million passengers passed through the airport.[7]

The airport can handle minor maintenance and repairs through fixed base operators Jackson Jet Center, Turbo Air and Western Aircraft.

The new air traffic control tower under construction in 2009.

Law enforcement is handled by the Boise Police Department. The Airport Division has an authorized strength of 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants, and 28 officers. There are currently 5 TSA certified K-9 units trained in explosive detection.[7]

New ATC tower[edit]

In 2008, city officials broke ground for Boise Air Terminal's latest improvement on January 4, a new air traffic control tower. The tower's height at 295 feet (90 m) made it the tallest building in the state of Idaho until it was surpassed by the Zions Bank Idaho Headquarters Building in 2013 (at 323 ft), and the Pacific Northwest's tallest control tower. It was relocated to the south side of the airport in order to control an existing Guard assault strip, runway 09/27, south of Gowen Field. The tower was planned and constructed when it was believed that the radar functions would be moved to Salt Lake City in Utah. After it was decided to leave the radar positions in Boise, the facility at the base of the tower was redesigned and partially remodeled to house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON).

The tower and TRACON opened on September 16, 2013 with updated electronics and equipment, including the STARS radar system; improving services and safety for pilots and the flying public. With the expanded facilities and new equipment, the TRACON operates the approach control for Boise Airport, and also remotely operates the approach control for the Bozeman Airport in Montana. The TRACON was then renamed Big Sky Approach to reflect the broader geographical coverage. The consolidation of Boise and Bozeman approach control facilities into Big Sky Approach is part of the FAA's continuing plan to consolidate approach control services across the nation. Boise's TRACON was designed with the option of adding additional radar scopes, and may offer approach control services to other airports in the future.

Gowen Field Air National Guard Base[edit]

C-130s previously operated by the Idaho ANG parked on the ramp at Gowen Field.

Gowen Field Air National Guard Base primarily refers to the military facilities on the south side of the runways, which includes Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and reserve units of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The field is home to the 124th Fighter Wing (124 FW), Idaho Air National Guard, which consists of one flying squadron operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC) and 12 additional support units. The aircraft based at Gowen Field ANGB is the A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support attack aircraft of the 190th Fighter Squadron (190 FS). The 124 FW was previously designated as the 124th Wing (124 WG) until 2009 and as a composite unit also operated C-130 Hercules transport aircraft in the 189th Airlift Squadron (189 AS), which was operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC). BRAC 2005 directed that the Idaho Air National Guard divest itself of the C-130 mission by 2009, transferring its C-130s to the Wyoming Air National Guard, while retaining its A-10 fighter mission. The 124 FW is composed of over 1000 military personnel, ranging from full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technicians (ART) to traditional part-time air national guardsmen.[8][19]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled passenger[edit]

In addition to scheduled airlines, several charter companies stop at Boise.

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
Lewiston, Portland (OR), Reno (begins November 5, 2015), Sacramento, San Jose (CA), Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane[20] C
Alaska Airlines
operated by SkyWest Airlines
San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma C
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Los Angeles B
Delta Air Lines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City B
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma B
Gem Air Seasonal: Salmon, Stanley Lower
Southwest Airlines Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento (begins January 6, 2016), Spokane
Seasonal: Chicago-Midway,[21]
United Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Chicago-O’Hare
United Express Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco B
US Airways
operated by American Airlines1
Phoenix B

^1 All US Airways flights will be rebranded as American Airlines effective October 17, 2015.

In 2014, Boise was given a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help them start up non-stop service to Atlanta with Delta Airlines. According to Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp, Summer 2015 is the earliest that Delta would begin offering the Atlanta service. [22]


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Burns, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, Seattle
FedEx Express Casper, Memphis, Salt Lake City
UPS Airlines Louisville, Salt Lake City, St. Louis
Western Air Express Lewiston, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, Spokane, Twin Falls[23]


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from Boise (Jun 2014 - May 2015) [24]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 199,000 Southwest, United
2 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 192,000 Alaska, Delta
3 Salt Lake City, Utah 168,000 Alaska, Delta
4 Portland, Oregon 138,000 Alaska
5 Phoenix, Arizona (PHX) 124,000 Southwest, US Airways
6 Las Vegas, Nevada 99,000 Allegiant, Southwest
7 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 88,000 Delta
8 San Francisco, California 73,000 United
9 Oakland, California 66,000 Southwest
10 Los Angeles, California 49,000 Allegiant, Delta, United

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Boise Airport, 2006 thru 2014[25]
Year Passengers
2014 2,753,153
2013 2,612,457
2012 2,609,816
2011 2,781,708
2010 2,805,692
2009 2,795,297
2008 3,185,006
2007 3,365,303
2006 3,289,314

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On February 3, 2012, a Lancair IV-PT turboprop (N321LC) flown by Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron Technology, crashed shortly after take-off from runway 10R, killing the pilot. Appleton was attempting an emergency landing, and had aborted an earlier take-off attempt for unknown reasons.[27][28]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^
  2. ^ 2010 North American final rankings[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f FAA Airport Master Record for BOI (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2008-04-10
  4. ^ 404e – Boise Airport. (January 13, 2012).
  5. ^ Boise Airport Data.
  6. ^ "FAQs". Boise Airport. City of Boise. 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Boise Airport (2005). "Airport Administration". City of Boise. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  8. ^ a b "Gowen Field Air National Guard Base". January 21, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Paul R. Gowen". Find a Grave. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Lt. Paul R. Gowen" (PDF). Idaho Military Historical Society: Pass in Review. September 2003. pp. 5, 6. 
  12. ^ "Beta Theta Pi". Gem of the Mountains. University of Idaho. 1928. p. 365. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Whence Came the Name . . . ?". Gowen Research Foundation Electronic Newsletter 1 (7). July 1998. Retrieved 2006-08-31. 
  14. ^ "Obituary: Lt. Paul Gowen (1909–1939)". Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ "History of BOI". City of Boise. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ CSHQA Architecture, Engineering, Planning, Boise Idaho.
  17. ^ "2004 Global Airport Satisfaction Index Study" (PDF). J.D. Power and Associates. December 6, 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  18. ^ FAA and Airport Operations.
  19. ^ 124th Wing [124th WG]. (December 31, 1952).
  20. ^ "Alaska Airlines Resumes Spokane – Boise Route from late-August 2015". March 19, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Berg, Sven (October 2, 2014). "Boise wins federal grant for Delta to launch non-stop flights to Atlanta". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  23. ^ WAE Route Map.
  24. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats.
  25. ^ Statistics. Retrieved on Mar 28, 2015.
  26. ^ "N75142 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  27. ^ Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron, dies in airplane crash at Boise Airport,, February 3, 2012.
  28. ^ Micron CEO Steve Appleton's final flight lasted 80 seconds, Idaho Statesman, February 4, 2012.

External links[edit]