Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
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|Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport|
|Owner||Kenton County Airport Board|
|Operator||Kenton County Airport Board|
|Serves||Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky|
|Location||2939 Terminal Drive
Hebron, Kentucky, U.S.
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||896 ft / 273 m|
Sources: Airport website
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVG, ICAO: KCVG, FAA LID: CVG) is a public international airport located in Hebron, Kentucky, United States. It serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The airport's code, CVG, comes from the nearest major city at the time of its opening, Covington, Kentucky. CVG covers an area of 7,000 acres (28.3 km2). The airport's international destinations include Cancún, Montego Bay, Paris, Punta Cana, Reykjavík–Keflavík, and Toronto.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport offers non-stop passenger service to 57 destinations with 195 peak daily departures. It is the second smallest domestic hub for Delta Air Lines and plays host to the headquarters and main maintenance base for Delta Private Jets. The airport is a focus city for Ultra Low Cost Carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines, as well as being the largest market for Vacation Express.
In addition, CVG is the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America. The airport is the main global hub for Amazon Prime Air and is the largest global hub for DHL Aviation and DHL Express, handling numerous domestic and international cargo flights every day. Overall, CVG ranks 6th in North America and 34th in the world for total cargo operations. The airport is headquarters and hub for Southern Air, which operates flights around the world for DHL Aviation.
As of 2017, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has been rated by Skytrax as the 26th best airport in the world, making it the highest rated airport in the United States and second highest rated in North America, behind only Vancouver International Airport. Skytrax also named CVG as the best regional airport in North America, and the second best regional airport in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Main Terminal (Terminal 3)
- 4 Former terminals and concourses
- 5 Future
- 6 Airlines and destinations
- 7 Amazon Prime Air hub
- 8 DHL hub
- 9 Commercial charters and private aircraft
- 10 Statistics
- 11 Airport buildings and facilities
- 12 Other
- 13 Accidents and incidents
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved preliminary funds for site development of the Greater Cincinnati Airport on February 11, 1942. This was part of the United States Army Air Corps program to establish training facilities during World War II. At the time, air traffic in the area centered on Lunken Airport just southeast of central Cincinnati. Lunken opened in 1926 and was located in the Ohio River Valley. Due to its location, the airport frequently experienced fog, and the 1937 flood completely submerged its runways and two-story terminal building. While federal officials wanted an airfield site that would not be prone to flooding, Cincinnati officials hoped to build Lunken into the premier airport of the region.
A coalition of officials from Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties in Kentucky took advantage of Cincinnati's short-sightedness and lobbied Congress to build an airfield there. Boone County officials offered a suitable site on the provision that Kenton County paid the acquisition cost. In October 1942, Congress provided $2 million to construct four runways.
The field officially opened August 12, 1944, with the first B-17 bombers beginning practice runs on August 15. As the tide of the war had already turned, the Air Corps only used the field until 1945 before it was declared surplus.
On October 27, 1946, a small wooden terminal building opened and the airport prepared for commercial service. Boone County Airlines was the first airline to provide scheduled service from the airport and had its headquarters at the airport.
The first commercial flight, on an American Airlines DC-3 from Cleveland, Ohio, landed at the airport January 10, 1947, at 9:53 am. A Delta Air Lines flight followed moments later. The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 97 weekday departures: 37 American, 26 Delta, 24 TWA, 8 Piedmont and 2 Lake Central. As late as November 1959 the airport had four 5,500 ft (1,700 m) runways at 45-degree angles, the north–south runway eventually being extended into today's runway 18C/36C.
In the 1950s, Cincinnati city leaders began pushing for a major expansion of a site in Blue Ash to compete with the Greater Cincinnati Airport and replace Lunken as the city's primary airport. The city purchased Hugh Watson Field in 1955, turning it into Blue Ash Airport. The city's Blue Ash development plans were hampered by community opposition, three failed Hamilton County bond measures, political infighting, and Cincinnati's decision not to participate in the federal airfield program.
On December 16, 1960, the jet age arrived in Cincinnati when a Delta Air Lines Convair 880 from Miami completed the first scheduled jet flight. The airport needed to expand and build more modern terminals and other facilities; the original Terminal A was expanded and renovated. The north–south runway was extended 3,100 to 8,600 ft (940 to 2,620 m). In 1964, the board approved a $12 million bond to expand the south concourse of Terminal A by 32,000 sq ft (3,000 m2) and provide nine gates for TWA, American, and Delta. A new east–west runway crossing the longer north–south runway was constructed in 1971 south of the older east–west runway.
In 1977, before the Airline Deregulation Act was passed, CVG, like many small airports, anticipated the loss of a lot of flights; creating the opportunity for Patrick Sowers, Robert Tranter, David and Raymound Muller to establish Comair to fill the void. The airline began service to Akron/Canton, Cleveland, and Evansville.
In 1981, Comair became a public company, added 30-seat turboprops to its fleet, and began to rapidly expand its destinations. In 1984, Comair became a Delta Connection carrier with Delta's establishment of a hub at CVG. That same year, Comair introduced its first international flights from Cincinnati to Toronto. In 1992, Comair moved into Concourse C, as Delta Air Lines gradually continued to acquire more of the airlines stock. In 1993, Comair was the launch customer for the Canadair Regional Jet, which it would later operate the largest fleet in the world. By 1999, Comair was the largest regional airline in the country worth over $2 billion, transporting 6 million passengers yearly to 83 destinations on 101 aircraft. Later that year, Delta Air Lines acquired the remaining portion of Comair's stock, causing Comair to solely operate Delta Connection flights.
Enterprise Airlines hub
In 1988, two founders of Comair, Patrick Sowers and Robert Tranter, launched a new scheduled airline from CVG named Enterprise Airlines, that served 16 cities at its peak. The airline spearheaded the regional jet revolution in a unique manner by operating 10-seat Cessna Citation business jets in scheduled services. The flights became popular with Cincinnati companies. The airline served destinations including Baltimore, Boston, Cedar Rapids, Columbus (OH), Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Memphis, Milwaukee, New York–JFK, and Wilmington (NC). The airline also became the first international feed carrier by feeding the British Airways Concorde at JFK. In 1991, the airline ceased operations because of high fuel prices and the suspension of the British Airways contract after the first Gulf War.
In the mid-1980s, Delta created a hub in Cincinnati and constructed Terminal C and D, with 22 gates. Delta built the CVG hub in order to gain a presence in the Midwest, after it had stuck to the southern United States for so long. It was chosen because the city had many Fortune 500 companies, and because many midwestern cities such as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis already had large hubs. In 1992, Delta made Cincinnati its number two hub and spent $500 million constructing Terminal 3 with Concourse A and B, in addition to adding a $50 million Concourse C for Comair. Also, another $350 million was used to expand and construct four much longer runways. During the 1990s, Delta operated a lot of mainline flights out of the airport, however during the late 1990s, ramped up Comair's operations, and established Delta Connection. This dramatically increased the aircraft operations from around 300,000 to 500,000 yearly aircraft movements. In turn, passenger volumes doubled within a decade from 10 million to 20 million. This expansion prompted the building of runway 18L/36R and the airport began making preparations to construct Concourse D, while adding an expansion to Concourse A and B. At its peak, CVG became Delta's second-largest hub, handling over 670 Delta and Delta Connection flights daily in 2005. Delta served over 130 destinations with over 450 connection and 220 mainline flights in 2005. During this time, it was the fourth largest hub in the world for a single airline, based on departures, ranking only behind Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas. The hub served everything from the 64 mile CVG-DAY, to a daily non-stop to Honolulu and Anchorage, to numerous transatlantic destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London–Gatwick, Munich, Paris–Orly, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome, and Zürich. Delta was also planning on launching Asia service to CVG, beginning with Beijing–Capital, then expanding to Tokyo–Narita and Shanghai–Pudong eventually, however launch plans were delayed in 2002 due to slot restrictions and eventually stopped after the bankruptcy in 2005.
Cuts by Delta Air Lines and SkyTeam partners
Delta hub cuts
When Delta went into bankruptcy in September 2005, a large reduction at CVG eliminated most early-morning and night flights. These initial cuts caused additional routes to become unprofitable, causing the frequency of low-volume routes to be further cut from 2006 to 2007. Planning for the new east/west runway stopped, along with all expansions to current terminals and Terminal 1 was closed due to lack of service. In 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines and cut flight capacity from the Cincinnati hub by 22 percent with an additional 17 percent reduction in 2009. Once Delta acquired Northwest, Comair's older fleet, which was costly as a result of rising oil prices, was cut and replaced with other Delta Connection carriers. In 2010, Delta stabilized CVG operations with 63 destinations between mainline and connection flights.
Many businesses in Cincinnati have urged Delta to restore the service level it had in the late 1990s and early 2000s while some, such as Chiquita Banana, Toyota, and Veritiv have already relocated to cities with more available flights. The only remaining intercontinental service by Delta is a daily evening departure to Paris. In addition to serving the heavy international travel demand of local companies such as P&G and GE Aviation, the daily Paris flight is also sustained in great part because it ferries jet-engine parts between factories in Cincinnati and France due to GE Aviation's presence. Each year the flight carries 4,200,000 pounds (1,900,000 kg) of engine parts. Air France operated flights into CVG for several periods for over a decade before finally terminating the service in 2007. Aeroméxico, Air France, KLM, and WestJet codeshare on Delta's international services out of CVG to Cancun, Paris, and Toronto.
In January 2010, Delta's CEO Richard Anderson anticipated that there would be 160–170 daily departures in the summer and that the number would not change through at least the fall. Delta closed Concourse A in Terminal 3 on May 1, 2010, and consolidated all operations into Concourse B. This resulted in the layoff of more than 800 employees.
In June 2011, Delta announced that it would cut another 10% of the CVG hub capacity that summer, offering between 145–165 daily flights.
End of Comair service
In July 2012, Delta announced that its wholly owned and CVG-based subsidiary, Comair, would cease all operations by October of the same year. However, it said, "the discontinuation of Comair's operations will not result in any significant changes to Delta's network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes". Delta transferred Comair's larger planes to other carriers and retired its 50-seat planes. Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines) now has a maintenance base at the airport and is the main third party operator for Delta Air Lines at CVG.
Low-cost service expansion
CVG has long struggled with high fares because of Delta's dominance at the airport. Since 2013, Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines have been expanding at CVG, giving local travelers low fares without having to commute to Dayton, Louisville or Indianapolis. These fares are often 75% less than other airlines at CVG.
Frontier Airlines announced it would begin service from CVG in October 2012 with a daily flight to Denver. This was the first modern attempt at bringing a low-cost carrier into the CVG region. Shortly thereafter, Frontier announced it would now offer two daily flights to Denver, and limited weekly service to Trenton/Mercer. Since then, Frontier has announced service to 17 cites total with 93 weekly flights scheduled for June 2017.
Allegiant Air began service from CVG in February 2014, to Orlando/Sanford and Punta Gorda (FL). Within two months of beginning operations, Allegiant announced additional service to Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Phoenix and Tampa. As of June 2017, Allegiant has added routes to 19 non-stop destinations with a total of 69 weekly flights. In July 2015, Allegiant Air announced plans to make CVG its midwestern base of operations with four based Airbus A319s and 90 new jobs for pilots, flight attendants, and service workers.
On June 4, 2017, Southwest Airlines began service to CVG, offering a total of 8 peak daily departures. On weekdays, 5 daily flights go to Southwest's largest operation at Chicago–Midway, while only 4 are offered on weekends, and the other 3 flights go to Baltimore.
On August 23, 2017, WOW air announced it would add nonstop service to Reykjavík–Keflavík, Iceland starting May 10, 2018. The route will initially be operated 4x/week using an Airbus A321 aircraft.
Legacy carrier expansion
In Fall 2015, PSA Airlines opened a maintenance base at CVG in the old PIMCO hangar and a crew base beginning in January 2016. The new bases have led to additional American Airlines flights at CVG, operated by PSA Airlines including Charlotte, New York–LaGuardia, and Philadelphia. According to Will Smith, General Manager of Envoy, further American expansion at CVG is planned.
In 2015, Delta Air Lines had its first increase in passenger capacity since it began cuts in late 2004. This was mostly due to the retirement of smaller regional aircraft for mainline service.
In the summer of 2016, United Airlines announced the resumption of mainline flights at CVG to Denver and Chicago–O'Hare, while later adding San Francisco. In addition, they have removed all 50-seat planes from the airport and are using larger regional jets. In November 2016, United Airlines announced an increase to three daily departures to Washington–Dulles beginning on April 3, 2017. As a result, United has grown its seat capacity at CVG by 9.5% in 2016.
On February 1, 2017, Delta Air Lines announced its first expansion at CVG since its capacity cuts in 2005. Delta announced it would increase capacity 6%, adding frequency and capacity on routes to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago–O'Hare, Detroit, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Intercontinental, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, and Washington D.C. The increases are on top of a 7.4% increase in passenger capacity since 2015. These changes reaffirm Delta's commitment to CVG as a hub and its largest carrier, maintaining 85 peak daily departures to 35 destinations.
In April 2017, American Airlines began mainline service on MD-80s between CVG and Dallas/Fort Worth.
The airport's terminal/remote-concourse configuration, combined with simultaneous triple landing/takeoff capabilities, makes CVG a particularly efficient airport for flight operations. The concourses are all islands, helping with traffic flow and have a capacity of 103 gates, of which only 47 are open as of June 2016, down from a peak of 136 in 2007. The numerous runways can officially handle all aircraft up to the 747-8F, which sees daily service by cargo carriers. The runways have also handled the occasional A380, and after runway 9-27 and 18R-36L are widened to 200 ft., could be regularly used by any cargo carriers. CVG is a hub of Delta Air Lines, and was the central hub of Delta's wholly owned subsidiary airline, Comair, which provided regional jet service under the Delta Connection banner. As such, the airport serves a role in Delta's Midwest hub-and-spoke system, and is also a preferred diversion point for Detroit bound aircraft due to connection options. Delta Air Lines has considerably pared the number of flights from the Cincinnati hub and in August 2008 announced it would be moving all of its Comair flights to Concourses A and B and closed all operations in Concourse C in January 2009. In February 2010, Delta announced it would close Concourse A in May and further consolidate operations in the remaining concourse. Terminal 1 was the original terminal and was built in 1960 and renovated in 1974. Designed by Heery & Heery, Terminals 2 and 3 were built in 1974 when additional expansion necessitated more gates. Terminal 3 was expanded specifically for Delta in 1987 and has three remote concourses. Concourses B and C were completed in December 1994 as part of a $500 million expansion designed by Thompson, Hancock, Witte & Associates. Concourses A and B are connected to the main terminal by an underground train system. Concourse C was reachable only by shuttle bus. Concourse B is served by Delta and its regional affiliates. Terminal 3 houses one of two US Customs and Border Protection facilities, located in Concourse B, with the other in DHL's cargo complex. All international arrivals except, U.S. border preclearance are processed in the Mezzanine Level of Concourse B. In May 2012, Terminal 2 was closed and all non-Delta operations were consolidated in a newly renovated Concourse A. The renovation was in response to civic and business leader's concerns about the loss of flights to and from the airport. In October 2015, Terminal 1 was officially closed as Ultimate Air Shuttle vacated the building and the airport administrative offices were moved to the old Comair headquarters. Terminal 1 closed in 2007, but re-opened in 2013 to serve Ultimate Air Shuttle. Terminal 1 was demolished in March 2016 and Terminal 2 was demolished in April 2016 to make room for a consolidated rental car facility and larger Concourse A.
The airport operates four paved runways:
- Runway 9/27: 12,000 ft × 150 ft (3,658 m × 46 m), Asphalt/Concrete
- Runway 18C/36C: 11,000 ft × 150 ft (3,353 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete
- Runway 18L/36R: 10,000 ft × 150 ft (3,048 m × 46 m), Surface: Concrete
- Runway 18R/36L: 8,000 ft × 150 ft (2,438 m × 46 m), Surface: Concrete
Main Terminal (Terminal 3)
The original Terminal 3 was very similar to Terminal 2, and featured the same spike-like design. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal C and renamed Terminal D with the construction of present-day Concourse A. As the number of flights increased and Delta needed more gates, the terminal was added onto. Concourses B and C were later built in 1994 and the terminals were connected by an underground tunnel and people mover. Around the same time, the name was changed again to Terminal 3.
Security checkpoint and baggage claim
The main terminal security checkpoint is on the ticketing level. This new, expandable checkpoint opened in November 2009. After clearing security, passengers can take escalators or elevators down to the Cincinnati Airport People Mover that departs to all gates. Arriving passengers exit the terminal by elevator or escalator up to the baggage claim level and all ground transportation on ground level.
Air Canada Express, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Apple Vacations, Frontier Airlines, OneJet, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Vacation Express use Concourse A. Most of them had used Terminal 2 before it closed. Concourse A was built as an extension of Terminal C, and named Terminal D, when Delta Air Lines made Cincinnati its second largest hub. The concourse served Continental, Northwest, Atlantic Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines until 2010, when Delta Air Lines closed the concourse. Shortly thereafter, the concourse underwent an extensive renovation before re-opening on May 15, 2012. Concourse A is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse houses a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint, however has been closed since 2012. In total, the concourse has 23 jetway gates and 1 remote gate (A1-23 and R27), of which 22 are open as of July 2017 (A1-19, A21-22, R27).
Delta Air Lines is the main occupant of the concourse, however, all international arrivals without preclearance also deplane at the concourse. The main U.S. Customs and Border Protection are contained in Concourse B, and exit into the tunnel, letting passengers continue to baggage claim, or to another connecting flight. Concourse B was, like all concourses of Terminal 3, designed purposed for Delta and its affiliates, including Cincinnati based Delta subsidiary, Comair. The concourse houses the Delta Sky Club and most of the concessions located at the airport due to the many connecting passengers. Concourse B is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse now houses all Delta and Delta Connection flights with 28 gates. As a result of the length of the concourse, there are moving walkways running down the entire length of the concourse and a central food court on the immediate exit from the tunnel to Terminal 3.
Former terminals and concourses
The original international terminal at CVG was located west of Terminal 1, in the present day cell phone parking lot, sharing passenger facilities with Terminal A, which handled all of Comair's flights. The terminal served Delta Air Lines and various charter airlines from the 1970s until 1984 when Delta Air Lines moved its operations to Terminal D, and closed in 1994 when charter airlines were moved to the newly constructed Concourse B. The Terminal only had one gate, named Gate 1.
Comair Terminal A
The original location of all Comair flights was on the apron west of Terminal B, named Terminal A, with passengers boarding aircraft directly from the tarmac. The aircraft hardstands were aligned diagonally, with buses shuttling passengers to Terminal D, where all Delta Air Lines flights were located. Some Comair operations were moved to Terminal D in 1982 when Comair began service for Delta, but the terminal later closed in 1994, when all Comair flights were moved to Concourse C. The apron where the planes were parked is still intact, but all passenger facilities have been removed.
Terminal 1 was in the location of the original terminal and served non-Delta flights mainly consisting of US Airways flights. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal A with a regional corridor added for regional jets in the 1960s. When Terminal D was built in 1974, the building was renamed Terminal B, while Comair's apron was named Terminal A. Its name was changed again to Terminal 1 with the construction of Concourse B and C in 1994. The check-in and security area of Terminal 1 was very compact, and mostly served US Airways. The baggage claim was part of the check-in area, and provided access to Terminal 1 and 3 through a corridor. Terminal 1 has 9 gates, which were numbered 1-9, and served US Airways flights, but remained very empty throughout the day. The terminal had several concessions, but after the reduction in flights, most of the vendors left or relocated to other terminals. Through the years, the terminal also was used by Skyway Airlines, Midwest Express, and Northwest Airlines. The terminal was closed in 2007 because of its outdated design and limited gate space. The front part of the terminal was renovated in 2013 and started serving Ultimate Air Shuttle on September 9 of that year. However the majority of the concourse was abandoned on October 19, 2015 when Ultimate Air Shuttle relocated to the Delta Jet Center, closing Terminal 1 until its demolition. Terminal 1 was demolished in March 2016 in order to make room for a new consolidated rental car facility.
Terminal 2 was built as an expansion to Terminal 1 to allow for the increasing number of flights and served American Airlines and United Airlines. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal B. In 1974, with the construction of Terminal D, it was renamed Terminal C, and later Terminal 2 following the construction of Concourse B and C. It was built at the same time as Terminal 3 and they shared similar designs. The check-in and security areas of Terminal 2 are located in the front of the terminal, and allow movement to Terminal 1 and 3 through a corridor. The baggage claim is located in a separate building across the street, immediately adjacent to the P2 parking garage, which provides short-term parking for the terminal. The terminal are consisted of eight gates, numbered 1-8, and served most airlines other than US Airways or Delta. After the closure of Terminal 1, it also served US Airways, and it ceased operations after the remodel of Concourse A. The terminal only had two food vendors, and lacked any sort of larger restaurant because of its outdated design and layout. In 2012, the airport decided to shut down the terminal and move the remaining airlines into Terminal 3, Concourse A. The terminal was removed in April 2016 to make way for a larger Concourse A and rental car facility.
Concourse C opened in September 1994 to serve all Comair flights and was closed in 2009 due to flight reductions by Delta Air Lines. Concourse C was an island concourse and access was via bus link from other terminals and ticketing areas. It was the first ever dedicated regional jet concourse at the time of its construction and with 53 gates it remains the largest in the world. The concourse had an H-shaped configuration with a waiting area in the center where passengers were able to sit and shop. Passengers would then proceed down the hallways when flights began boarding. Concourse C was expanded twice to increase gate capacity. First in 1997 to the south and again in 2001 to the north. The building was demolished in February 2017.
CVG is currently working on a 2050 master plan in order to prepare for dramatic increases in passenger and cargo activity at the airport. By 2021, the airport hopes to increase cargo activity, expand passenger terminals to handle the 9,000,000 predicted passengers, and construct a new consolidated rental car facility.
Concourse A gates A3/5 opened on June 4, 2017 to accommodate new service by Southwest Airlines, while gates A1/2 will be available to future carriers. Concourse C was torn down in early 2017 to construct an overnight parking and deicing area, while a new consolidated rental car facility and parking garage will be constructed by 2021 to deal with an influx of local passengers. Concourse B, the customs facility, baggage claim, and ticketing areas will be renovated in late 2017 under a $4.5 million plan. A new west wing of Concourse A will also be added to accommodate increasing flights. Most of this construction will be completed by 2021.
Amazon Prime Air will develop 920 acres of land at CVG in order to construct a 3 million sq. ft. sorting facility and ramp space for 100 cargo aircraft. Also, the Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) will be moved west of the airport to accommodate future DHL expansion. The work on DHL's $108-million expansion began in the fall of 2015 and was completed in November 2016. The airport also hopes to attract more cargo carriers to the airport, so far adding Singapore Airlines Cargo and Cargolux service.
Runways and taxiways
Runway 09-27 and 18L-36R are planned to be widened in order to accommodate larger aircraft from DHL including the 747-8F currently in daily use. Numerous other taxiways will be widened for access to the DHL complex. In the far future, plans for another east-to-west runway are included for nighttime DHL/Amazon Prime Air landings, but would only be needed if more expansion occurred. As of April 2016, widening of taxiways surrounding the cargo and private hangars area, south of runway 09-27, has been finished.
Airlines and destinations
Amazon Prime Air hub
On January 31, 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime Air would begin a $1.49-billion expansion to create a worldwide shipping hub at CVG. The hub will be Amazon's principal shipping hub and will be constructed on 900 acres of land at the airport with a 3 million square-ft sorting facility and parking positions for at least 100 aircraft. On April 30, 2017, Amazon began operations at CVG, and will incrementally base 40 Boeing 767-200ER's/300ER's at CVG, and will use DHL's facilities until construction is complete. Amazon plans to have 200 daily takeoffs and landings from its CVG hub to destinations across the U.S. and internationally. The hub will create over 2700 jobs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.
In 1984, DHL opened its CVG hub and began operations throughout the U.S. and world. However, in 2004, DHL decided to move its hub to Wilmington, Ohio, in order to compete in the United States shipment business. The plan ended up failing, and moved back to CVG in 2009 to resume its original operations. CVG now serves as the largest of DHL's three global hubs (The other two being Leipzig/Halle and Hong Kong) with 84 flights each day to destinations across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. DHL has completed a $105-million expansion and employs approximately 2,500 at CVG. Because of this growth, CVG now stands as the 6th busiest airport in North America based on cargo tonnage and 34th in the world. On May 28, 2015 DHL announced a $108-million expansion to its current facility, which doubled the current cargo operations. The money was used to double the gate capacity for transferring cargo, an expansion to the sorting facility, and various technical improvements, which was completed in Autumn 2016. In addition, this has provided many more jobs for the Cincinnati area, and will dramatically increase the airports operations.
Commercial charters and private aircraft
CVG, dominated by cargo and commercial flights, has very few private aircraft movements. Most businesses and local pilots choose Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport over CVG because of its location and convenience. However, charters have grown to over 50,000 passengers per year. The airport is the hub and headquarters for Delta Private Jets.
Delta Private Jets
Delta Private Jets is a private aircraft service, which is at aimed at businesses needing service to destinations on a private aircraft, or that the airport does not supply on a regular basis. This service serves Cincinnati businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies. Delta Private Jet is also available to Elite SkyMile members for an upgrade purchase price of $300–800 on select routes from Delta's Cincinnati, Atlanta, and New York hubs. In addition, this service allows travelers to avoid flying hassles such as security. Delta Private Jets is located at 82 Comair Boulevard building, which had been the Comair headquarters and had the name Comair General Office Building.
|Year||Total Passengers||% Change||Aircraft Movements||% Change||Notes|
|1992||11,545,682||305,544||Concourse C Opens|
|1999||21,753,512||2.98%||476,128||7.65%||Comair Merges with Delta|
|2001||17,270,475||22.92%||387,462||16.03%||Comair Pilot Strike|
|2005||22,778,785||3.2%||496,366||4.1%||Delta Declares Bankruptcy|
|2008||13,630,443||13.4%||285,484||13.0%||Delta Merges with Northwest|
|2012||6,038,817||14.2%||143,447||11.4%||Comair Ceases Operations|
|2013||5,718,255||5.31%||137,671||4.03%||Frontier Airlines Enters Market|
|2014||5,908,711||3.33%||133,518||3.02%||Allegiant Air Enters Market|
|2017||4,452,481 (YTD)||14.21%||84,131 (YTD)||5.84%||Southwest Enters Market|
|2005||277,401||DHL Leaves CVG|
|2009||152,970||214.0%||DHL Returns to CVG|
|2017||547,459 (YTD)||18.40%||Amazon Prime Enters Market|
|1||Atlanta, Georgia||337,000||Delta, Frontier|
|2||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||273,000||American, Delta, United|
|3||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||164,000||American, Delta, Frontier|
|4||Charlotte, North Carolina||158,000||American, Delta|
|5||Denver, Colorado||158,000||Delta, Frontier, United|
|6||Orlando, Florida1||153,000||Delta, Frontier|
|7||Las Vegas, Nevada||126,000||Allegiant, Delta, Frontier|
|8||New York–LaGuardia, New York||125,000||American, Delta, Frontier|
|9||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||117,000||American, Delta, Frontier|
|10||Newark, New Jersey||117,000||Allegiant, Delta, United|
|1||Paris–Charles de Gaulle, France||100,772||Delta|
|2||Toronto–Pearson, Canada||76,677||Air Canada, Delta|
|3||Cancún, Mexico||35,608||Apple Vacations, Delta, Frontier, Vacation Express|
|4||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||21,031||Apple Vacations, Delta, Vacation Express|
|5||Montego Bay, Jamaica||3,167||Apple Vacations, Vacation Express|
|6||Freeport, Bahamas||2,430||Vacation Express|
|1||Delta Air Lines||54.2%||159,928||35|
Airport buildings and facilities
Delta Private Jets is headquartered on the grounds of the airport. The 82 Comair Boulevard building, which houses the Delta Private Jets headquarters, used to be the Comair headquarters and had the name Comair General Office Building.
77 Comair Boulevard used to be the corporate headquarters of Comair. The building, with 187,000 square feet (17,400 m2) of space, is on South Airfield Road. In 2010, after the airline began downsizing, it considered leaving the building and moving to another location near the airport. A spokesperson did not disclose how much office space the airline occupied; she said it was planning to reduce its space by 20 to 25 percent. In 2011 Delta Air Lines, parent company of Comair, suggested that Delta could help assist the airport in obtaining a Transportation Security Administration training center, with it being located in 77 Comair Boulevard. In early 2011, Comair vacated the building. In 2012 the Kenton County Airport Board (KCAB) approved a five-year lease, with two five-year options, for Southern Air for about 33,100 square feet (3,080 m2) of space in 77 Comair Boulevard. For the first period, the rent would be $9.95 per square foot. This would increase to $12 per square foot for the second period and $15 per square foot for the third period. The airport plans to spend $500,000 in capital improvements on 77 Comair Boulevard. The KCAB relocated their offices into the building after Terminal 1 was demolished in March 2016.
The airport is home to many maintenance bases due to the substantial operations of several carriers at the airport. Delta Air Lines has hangar and line maintenance facility for its primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm, Delta TechOps. Subsidiary of Delta, Endeavor Air, maintains a maintenance base in the old Comair hangars. Also, Allegiant Air has a crew and maintenance base located at CVG, while PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Eagle, has a maintenance base at CVG.
Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) provides bus service from the airport to Downtown Cincinnati via Route 2X. Car rental services are provided by Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar and Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. The airport has three Short Term Parking Garages, 1-3, which were originally used for each terminal respectively. Garage 1 is unused, while Garages 2 and 3 are used for all other passengers in the Main Terminal. The Short Term Parking areas are designated by fruit names: Level 1-Orange, Level 2-Lemon, Level 3-Lime, Level 4-Cherry, and Level 5-Grape. Long Term Parking is remote from the terminal, so passengers must use a shuttle bus between the terminals and Long Term Parking lot.
Until 2015, CVG consistently ranked among the most expensive major airports in the United States. Delta operated over 75% of flights at CVG, a fact often cited as a reason for relatively high domestic ticket prices. Airline officials have suggested that Delta practices predatory pricing to drive away discount airlines. From 1990 to 2003, ten discount airlines began service at CVG, but later pulled out, including Vanguard Airlines, which pulled out of CVG twice. Delta maintains that its pricing is reasonable, considering the increased connectivity and non-stop flights that a hub airport offers a market the size of Cincinnati.
In 2003, a study commissioned by CVG found that 18% of Cincinnati-area residents use one of five nearby airports including Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Lexington, or Louisville instead of CVG because passengers can find fares up to 50% lower at these nearby airports. However, because Delta downsized its hub operations and Allegiant and Frontier increased flights, many more residents are choosing CVG, and have helped sustain low cost carriers at CVG for the first time.
In the 4th Quarter of 2014, CVG dropped from being the most expensive airport at $514 to $485, making the airport now the third-highest. This is the lowest the airport has been since 2011, and is a result of Allegiant and Frontier increasing flights, along with Delta trying to attract local customers rather than connect passengers. CVG had the 5th largest drop in airfare prices in the country, and with more expansion of LCCs at the airport, will likely drop even more.
In June 2015, CheapFlights.com released its list of the cheapest U.S. airports based on average price to the 101 most popular destinations in the U.S., and ranked CVG as number one, with an average price of $199. CVG was ranked 77th last year, and the dramatic change results from Frontier and Allegiant rapidly increasing flights.
In the 2nd quarter of 2015, CVG dropped from an average price of $528 to $436, putting CVG at number 20 of the 100 busiest airports in the U.S. This is mostly the result of expansion by Allegiant Air and increased competition between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. This quarter ended a five-year streak of placing in the top 3 highest priced airports in the country. Later, in the 4th Quarter of 2015, CVG dropped to the 22nd most expensive airport, placing it at its lowest ranking since the DOT began keeping track of airfares in 1995. Average airfares have declined 20% in the last year, while local traffic has grown over 16% in the last quarter. The drop in airfares is due mostly to Allegiant and Frontier increasing flights, but average airfares from legacy carriers American, Delta, and United have also declined due to competition.
In the 3rd quarter of 2016, CVG dropped down to number 44 with an average airfare of $363.
CVG Airfare Adjusted For Inflation (1995–2017)
The airport is home to 14 large Art Deco murals created for the train concourse building at Cincinnati Union Terminal during the station's construction in 1932. Mosaic murals depicting people at work in local Cincinnati workplaces were incorporated into the interior design of the railroad station by Winold Reiss, a German-born artist with a reputation in interior design.
When the train concourse building was designated for demolition in 1972, a "Save the Terminal Committee" raised funds to remove and transport the 14 murals in the concourse to new locations in the Airport. They were placed in Terminal 1, as well as Terminals 2 and 3, which were then being constructed as part of a major airport expansion and renovation.
The murals were also featured in a scene in the film Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In addition, a walkway to one of the terminals at CVG was featured in the scene in the film when Hoffman's character, Raymond, refused to fly on a plane.
Accidents and incidents
- On January 12, 1955, 1955 Cincinnati mid-air collision, a Martin 2-0-2 was in the take off phase of departure from the airport when it collided with a privately owned Castleton Farm's DC-3. The mid-air collision killed 13 people on the commercial airliner and 2 on the privately owned planes.
- On November 14, 1961, Zantop cargo flight, a DC-4, crashed near runway 18C into an apple orchard. The crew survived.
- On November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 727, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 58 (53 passengers and 5 crew) of the 62 (56 passengers and 6 crew) on board.
- On November 6, 1967, TWA Flight 159, a Boeing 707, overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, injuring 11 of the 29 passengers. One of the injured passengers died four days later. The seven crew members were unhurt.
- On November 20, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a Convair 880, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 70 (65 passengers and 5 crew) of the 82 persons aboard (75 passengers and 7 crew).
- On October 8, 1979, Comair Flight 444, a Piper Navajo, crashed shortly after takeoff. Seven passengers and the pilot were killed.
- On October 19, 1979, Burlington Airways, a Twin Beech twin prop crashed landed on KY 237 @ I-275 bridge overpass. Tail # N24K. No one was injured.
- On June 2, 1983, Air Canada Flight 797, a DC-9 flying on Dallas-Toronto-Montreal route, made an emergency landing at Cincinnati due to a cabin fire. Twenty-three of the 41 passengers died of smoke inhalation or fire injuries, including legendary Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. All five crew members survived.
- On August 13, 2004, Air Tahoma Flight 185, a Convair 580, was en route to Cincinnati from Memphis, Tennessee, carrying freight under contract for DHL Worldwide Express. The aircraft crashed on a golf course just south of the Cincinnati airport due to fuel starvation and dual engine failure, killing the first officer and injuring the captain.
- Ohio World War II Army Airfields
- Kentucky World War II Army Airfields
- Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport
- Cincinnati–Blue Ash Airport
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.|
- Historical Images of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport
- History of the Industrial Murals
- Mural images and location map
- (PDF), effective September 14, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for CVG, effective September 14, 2017
- Resources for this airport: