Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

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Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Cincinnati Airport logo.png
Ariel View of CVG from East.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerKenton County Airport Board
OperatorKenton County Airport Board
ServesCincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky
Location2939 Terminal Drive
Hebron, Kentucky, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL896 ft / 273 m
Coordinates39°02′56″N 084°40′04″W / 39.04889°N 84.66778°W / 39.04889; -84.66778
CVG is located in Kentucky
Location of airport in Kentucky / United States
CVG is located in the United States
CVG (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 12,000 3,658 Asphalt/Concrete
18C/36C 11,000 3,353 Asphalt/Concrete
18L/36R 10,000 3,048 Concrete
18R/36L 8,000 2,438 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Total passengers8,865,568
Aircraft operations161,672
Sources: Airport website,[4] Federal Aviation Administration[5]

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 city at the time of its opening, Covington, Kentucky.[6] CVG covers an area of 7,000 acres (2,800 ha).[5]

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport offers non-stop passenger service to 63 destinations on 180-190 peak daily departures in North America and Europe.[7] The airport is a focus city for Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines, and Frontier Airlines. Additionally, CVG is the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America.[8] The airport is a global hub for both Amazon Air and DHL Aviation, handling numerous domestic and international cargo flights every day.[9] Overall, CVG ranks 4th in North America for total cargo operations.[10]



CVG Airfield Layout Diagram (2016, FAA)

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.[11] Lunken opened in 1926 in the Ohio River Valley; it frequently experienced fog, and the 1937 flood submerged its runways and two-story terminal building.[12] Federal officials wanted an airfield site that would not be prone to flooding, but Cincinnati officials hoped to build Lunken into the region's main airport.[13]

Officials from Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties in Kentucky took advantage of Cincinnati's short-sightedness and lobbied Congress to build an airfield there.[14] 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 build four runways.[11]

The field 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 it was declared surplus in 1945.[11]

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.[11]

The first commercial flight, an American Airlines DC-3 from Cleveland, landed on January 10, 1947, at 9:53 am. A Delta Air Lines flight followed moments later.[15] 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 expansion of a site in Blue Ash to compete with the Greater Cincinnati Airport and replace Lunken as the city's primary airport.[16] The city purchased Hugh Watson Field in 1955, turning it into Blue Ash Airport.[17] The city's Blue Ash plans were hampered by community opposition, three failed Hamilton County bond measures,[18] political infighting,[19] and Cincinnati's decision not to participate in the federal airfield program.[20]

Jet age[edit]

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.[11] 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, of 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.[21]

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).[22] 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.

Delta hub[edit]

Delta Air Lines' daily nonstop flight from CVG to Paris, currently flown with a Boeing 767-300ER, has operated continuously since 1990

In the mid-1980s, Delta created a hub in Cincinnati and constructed Terminal C and D with 22 gates. Delta followed this up in the early 1990s by spending $550 million constructing Terminal 3 with Concourses A and B and C. During the decade, Delta ramped up both mainline and Comair 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 over 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 flights daily in 2005.[23] It was the fourth largest hub in the world for a single airline, based on departures, ranking only behind Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, and Dallas/Fort Worth.[24] The hub served everything from the 64 mile CVG-DAY, to a daily nonstop to Honolulu and Anchorage, to numerous transatlantic destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Zürich.[25] 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.[26]

When Delta went into bankruptcy in September 2005, a large reduction at CVG eliminated most early-morning and night flights.[25] 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.[23]

Many businesses in Cincinnati had 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 relocated to cities with more available flights.[27] 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.[28] Air France operated flights into CVG for several periods for over a decade before finally terminating the service in 2007.[29][30]

In January 2010, Delta's then-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.[31][32] 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.[33] A further 10% cut in capacity followed in the summer of 2011, reducing the hub operation to around 145–165 daily flights.

After several years of cuts to its older fleet, which were cited as being cut due to high costs associated with rising oil prices, Delta's wholly owned and CVG-based subsidiary, Comair, ceased all operations in September 2012, ending over three decades of operations.[34] Delta transferred Comair's larger planes to other carriers and retired some of its 50-seat planes, while others, still bearing the original Comair "CA" and OH" registration numbers, remain flying for other Delta Connection carriers. Endeavor Air now has a maintenance base at the airport and is the main regional carrier for Delta Air Lines at CVG.

Recent history[edit]

Frontier A320 taxiing from Concourse A in front of the Delta hangar

Until 2015, CVG consistently ranked among the most expensive major airports in the United States.[35] Delta operated over 75% of flights at CVG, a fact often cited as a reason for relatively high domestic ticket prices.[36] Airline officials suggested that Delta was practicing predatory pricing to drive away discount airlines.[35][37] From 1990 to 2003, ten discount airlines began service at CVG, but later pulled out,[38] including Vanguard Airlines, which pulled out of CVG twice.[39] 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 could find fares up to 50 percent lower at these nearby airports.[38] However, because Delta downsized its hub operations and Allegiant, Frontier, and Southwest increased flights, many more residents are choosing CVG, and have helped sustain low cost carriers at CVG for the first time.[40]

Frontier Airlines announced it would begin service from CVG in October 2012 with a daily flight to Denver, becoming the first modern attempt at bringing a low-cost carrier into CVG. Previous low-cost carriers had been unsuccessful due to fierce competition from the Delta hub. The flight was a success, and since then, Frontier has expanded service to 20 cites total.[41] Allegiant Air began service in February 2014 to Orlando/Sanford and Punta Gorda (FL). Since then, Allegiant has added routes to 21 non-stop destinations.[42] 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.[43] Allegiant has since upgraded from Airbus 319's to Airbus 320's at CVG. On August 22, 2017, WOW Air announced that it will begin daily flights from CVG, to Reykjavik-Keflavik Airport (KEF) beginning in May 2018. However, WOW Air only operated daily flights at CVG until October 16, 2018. WOW Air announced that it was leaving CVG permanently.

In Fall 2015, PSA Airlines opened a maintenance base at CVG in the old PIMCO hangar and a crew base beginning in January 2016.[44]

Since 2015, CVG has seen significant growth in both legacy and low-cost carrier service. United Airlines added mainline flights to Denver, Chicago–O'Hare, San Francisco and removed all 50-seat regional planes on its routes.[45] American Airlines added mainline service between CVG and Dallas/Fort Worth. Meanwhile, Delta has been expanding at CVG for the first time since it began capacity cuts in late 2005. Delta has added frequency and capacity on over a dozen routes, and has resumed service to cities such as Seattle, Austin and Phoenix.[46][47]

Southwest Airlines began service to CVG in 2017 with flights to Baltimore and Chicago–Midway.[48] Since then, Phoenix has been announced as a new seasonal nonstop service that began in March 2018, along with year-round flights to Denver in August.

CVG is one of the busiest airports in the US in terms of cargo. When the passenger service left, the cargo service moved from Wilmington Air Park to CVG. Atlas Air, Kalitta Air, ABX Air, Air Transport International, DHL, Amazon Air, Southern Air, Polar Air, and AeroLogic all have major operations out of the airport.


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, grow traffic to 9 million annual passengers, and construct a new consolidated rental car facility.[49]

Terminals 1 and 2 were torn down in early 2017 to construct an overnight parking and deicing area,[50] while work will begin on a new consolidated rental car facility in 2018.[51] Both concourses, the customs facility, baggage claim, and ticketing areas will be renovated in late 2017 to mid 2018 under a $4.5 million plan.[52][53] American Airlines moved to Concourse B in April 2018 to allow for apron work at Concourse A. The airport will also add 16 new concession and retail locations in anticipation for 9 million passengers in 2018.[54][55]

Amazon Air will develop 1,129 acres (457 ha) of land at CVG in order to construct a 3,000,000 sq ft (280,000 m2) sorting facility and ramp space for over 100 aircraft.[56] Also, the Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) will be moved west of the airport to accommodate future DHL expansion.[57] The work on DHL's $108-million expansion began in the fall of 2015 and was completed in November 2016.[58] Runways 09-27 and 18L-36R are planned to be widened to 200 ft (61 m) in 2019 to accommodate larger aircraft. Numerous other taxiways will be widened for access to the Amazon and DHL complexes.[53]

Facilities and features[edit]

Interior view of the atrium
Interior view of Concourse B


The main terminal security checkpoint is on the ticketing level and 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.

Concourse A houses Air Canada, Allegiant Air, Frontier, Southwest, and United. Concourse A was built as an extension of Terminal C in 1982 and was used by Delta, Continental, and Northwest until 2010, when Delta terminated its lease on the concourse. Shortly thereafter, the concourse underwent an extensive renovation before reopening on May 15, 2012. Concourse A is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse contains 22 gates and some of the KCAB airport board offices.[59]

Concourse B houses American and Delta. The concourse houses a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and handles all international arrivals without preclearance. Concourse B is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse contains 28 gates and a Delta Sky Club.[60]

Maintenance bases[edit]

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.[61] 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.[62] FEAM Aero is building a maintinence, repair, and overhaul facility at the airport to serve Amazon and DHL's CVG based aircraft.[63]

Office buildings[edit]

Delta Private Jets is headquartered on the grounds of the airport.[64]

The former corporate headquarters of Comair was located at 77 Comair Boulevard and currently houses Amazon Air, DHL Aviation, and some of the KCAB airport board offices.[65][63] The building, with 187,000 square feet (17,400 m2) of space, is on South Airfield Road.[66] In early 2011, Comair vacated the building.[66]


Ink-making mural in Terminal 3

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.

The nine murals located in the former Terminals 1 & 2 was relocated to the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.[67]

Former facilities[edit]

Terminal 1 as seen from Terminal 2. In the foreground is an American Eagle ERJ-135
View of Concourse C and Delta Connection Planes

International terminal[edit]

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.[68]

Comair terminal A[edit]

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.[69][70]

Terminal 1[edit]

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.[71] Through the years, the terminal also was used by Enterprise Airlines, Skyway Airlines, Midwest Express, North Central Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989), Republic Airlines (1979-1986), and Ultimate Air Shuttle. The terminal was closed in 2007 and was demolished in 2016 in order to make room for a new consolidated rental car facility.

Terminal 2[edit]

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. After the closure of Terminal 1, it also served US Airways, and it ceased operations after the remodel of Concourse A. 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.[72]

Concourse C[edit]

Concourse C opened in September 1994[73] 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 remained the largest in the world until demolition. 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.[74] The building was demolished in 2017.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson [75]
Allegiant Air Charleston (SC), Denver, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville (FL), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, West Palm Beach (begins November 25, 2019)
Seasonal: Austin, Myrtle Beach, Norfolk, Providence, San Juan
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
Seasonal: Phoenix–Sky Harbor (begins December 18, 2019)[77]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [78]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún, New York–LaGuardia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Washington–National
Delta Connection Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Hartford, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, Washington–National
Frontier Airlines Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sarasota, Tampa
Seasonal: Atlanta, Austin, Cancún, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville (FL), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans,[80] New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, San Diego, San Francisco
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Denver
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale (begins January 11, 2020),[82] Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Tampa (begins January 11, 2020)[82]
United Airlines Denver, San Francisco (ends January 4, 2020)[84]
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [85]


Amazon Air Allentown/Bethlehem, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago/Rockford, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Hartford, Houston–Intercontinental, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Ontario, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), San Antonio–Lackland, St Louis Lambert, Seattle/Tacoma, Stockton, Tampa
Cargojet Calgary, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Hamilton (ON), Mexico City, Montréal–Mirabel, Vancouver
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, Hamilton [86]
DHL Aviation Albany, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Bahrain, Baltimore, Boston, Brussels, Calgary, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, East Midlands, Edmonton, El Paso, Greensboro, Guadalajara, Hamilton (ON), Harlingen, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Leipzig/Halle, Laredo, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterrey, Montréal–Mirabel, Nagoya–Centrair, Nashville, New Orleans, Newark, New York–JFK, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Querétaro, Richmond (VA), Rochester, Sacramento–Mather, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul–Incheon, St. Louis, St. Louis–Spirit, Tokyo–Narita, Tulsa, Vancouver, Wilkes–Barre/Scranton, Winnipeg
FedEx Express Louisville, Memphis
Seasonal: Detroit, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh

Cargo hubs[edit]

DHL Aviation[edit]

DHL Boeing 767-200 (N784AX) at CVG

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 5th busiest airport in North America based on cargo tonnage and 34th in the world.[89]

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.[90]

Amazon Air[edit]

On January 31, 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon 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 1,129[91] acres of land at the airport with a 3 million square-ft sorting facility and parking positions for over 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.[92] The hub could create up to 15,000 jobs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.[93]


Delta B737-900ER at Concourse B CVG
A Boeing 747-8F lines up on Runway 27 at CVG as a B747-400F lands on 18C

Overall statistics[edit]

Year Passengers Change (%) Aircraft movements Cargo tonnage
1992[94] 11,545,682 Steady 305,544 125,180
1993[94] 12,213,874 Increase 5.79% 312,204 146,252
1994[94] 13,593,522 Increase 11.30% 339,839 172,632
1995[94] 15,181,728 Increase 11.68% 365,114 197,711
1996[94] 18,795,766 Increase 23.81% 401,367 218,655
1997[94] 19,866,308 Increase 5.70% 417,391 234,781
1998[94] 21,124,216 Increase 6.33% 442,276 259,004
1999[94] 21,753,512 Increase 2.98% 476,128 279,481
2000[94] 22,406,384 Increase 3.00% 461,454
2001[94] 17,270,475 Decrease 22.92% 387,462
2002[94] 20,812,642 Increase 20.51% 486,501
2003[94] 21,197,447 Increase 1.8% 505,557 432,961
2004[95] 22,062,557 Increase 4.1% 517,520 455,684
2005[96] 22,778,785 Increase 3.2% 496,366 277,401
2006[97] 16,244,962 Decrease 28.7% 345,754 47,728
2007[98] 15,736,220 Decrease 3.1% 328,059 43,759
2008[99] 13,630,443 Decrease 13.4% 285,484 48,721
2009[100] 10,621,655 Decrease 22.1% 222,677 152,970
2010[101] 7,977,588 Decrease 24.9% 177,597 415,692
2011[102] 7,034,263 Decrease 11.8% 161,912 537,139
2012[103] 6,038,817 Decrease 14.2% 143,447 599,778
2013[104] 5,718,255 Decrease 5.31% 137,671 655,479
2014[105] 5,908,711 Increase 3.33% 133,518 722,431
2015[106] 6,316,332 Increase 6.90% 133,068 804,088
2016[107] 6,773,905 Increase 7.24% 137,225 818,364
2017[108] 7,842,149 Increase 15.77% 150,463 1,043,259
2018[109] 8,865,568 Increase 13.05% 161,672 1,241,320
2019[110] 7,674,445 (YTD) Increase 2.48% 135,606 (YTD) 1,032,457 (YTD)

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from CVG (May 2018 – April 2019)[10]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta, Georgia 390,000 Delta, Frontier
2 Illinois Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 283,000 American, Delta, United
3 Colorado Denver, Colorado 211,000 Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Texas Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 190,000 American, Delta, Frontier
5 Florida Orlando, Florida 182,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest
6 New York (state) New York–LaGuardia, New York 163,000 American, Delta, Frontier
7 Illinois Chicago–Midway, Illinois 156,000 Southwest
8 New Jersey Newark, New Jersey 154,000 Allegiant, Delta, United
9 North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina 154,000 American, Delta
10 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada 144,000 Allegiant, Delta, Frontier
Busiest cargo routes from CVG (January 2019)[111]
Rank City Cargo (pounds) Carriers
1 Alaska Anchorage, Alaska 38,686,878 DHL
2 Germany Leipzig/Halle, Germany 14,447,211 DHL
3 Florida Miami, Florida 14,427,248 Amazon, American, DHL
4 Illinois Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 10,341,326 American, Delta, DHL, United
5 Illinois Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 8,875,194 Delta, DHL
6 Texas Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 8,819,609 Amazon, American, Delta, DHL
7 Arizona Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 8,431,588 Amazon, Delta, DHL
8 Belgium Brussels, Belgium 8,223,096 DHL
9 Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico 7,990,928 AeroUnion, DHL
10 Texas Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 7,066,885 Amazon, Delta, DHL, United

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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 18 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 18, 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 Beechcraft Model 18 crash landed on KY 237 at the I-275 bridge overpass. There were no injures.[112]
  • 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.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

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External links[edit]