Dubuque Regional Airport

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Dubuque Regional Airport
Dubuque Regional Airport.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Dubuque
ServesDubuque, Iowa
Elevation AMSL1,077 ft / 328 m
Coordinates42°24′07″N 090°42′34″W / 42.40194°N 90.70944°W / 42.40194; -90.70944Coordinates: 42°24′07″N 090°42′34″W / 42.40194°N 90.70944°W / 42.40194; -90.70944
Location of Dubuque Regional Airport
DBQ is located in Iowa
DBQ is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 6,327 1,928 Concrete
13/31 6,502 1,982 Concrete
Aircraft operations (2017)50,301
Based aircraft (2017)63

Dubuque Regional Airport (IATA: DBQ, ICAO: KDBQ, FAA LID: DBQ) is eight miles south of Dubuque, in Dubuque County, Iowa.[1] On U.S. Highway 61, the airport is owned by the city of Dubuque and is operated as a department of the city government. The city council appoints people for four-year terms to the Airport Commission board, which oversees the airport. For day-to-day operations, the Commission hires an airport manager. DBQ is used for general aviation and sees one airline. A charter service is run by Sun Country Airlines. The airport offers maintenance and refueling services, including service for jets.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a primary commercial service facility.[2] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 42,870 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[3] 39,359 in 2009 and 33,861 in 2010.[4]

The 2013 Federal sequester would have resulted in the closure of the airport's control tower, but the Federal Aviation Administration ultimately reversed its decision.[5]


The first airline flights at Dubuque were Mid-Continent DC-3s in 1950. In 1955 successor Braniff was replaced by Ozark, which pulled out its DC9s and FH227s in 1981.

Northwest Airlines announced on February 7, 2008 that its regional partner Mesaba Airlines (Northwest Airlink) would return to Dubuque with twice daily Saab 340s to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. These flights began on June 20, 2008.[6][7] On July 2, 2009 the merged Delta/Northwest Airlines announced it would end service to Dubuque, leaving DBQ with one airline.[8]


Dubuque Regional Airport covers 1,240 acres (502 ha) at an elevation of 1,077 feet (328 m). It has two concrete runways: 18/36 is 6,327 by 150 feet (1,928 x 46 m) and 13/31 is 6,502 by 100 feet (1,982 x 30 m).[1]

In the year ending September 30, 2017 the airport had 50,301 aircraft operations, average 138 per day: 96% general aviation, 4% air taxi, <1% military and <1% airline. In September 2017, 63 aircraft were based at the airport: 52 single-engine, 9 multi-engine, 2 jet and 1 helicopter.[1]

The University of Dubuque has a flight operations center at the airport that provides for pilot training in the school's aviation programs. This includes ground school and actual flight training. The University has two hangars for their aircraft and a third hangar that is shared.

The terminal has free Wi-Fi internet access. The airport recently installed enclosed walkways at the gates, allowing passengers to walk to the planes without going outdoors. The terminal has an ATM, vending machines, and gaming machines. On June 22, 2018 the airport lost its restaurant (The Hangar Bar & Grille), due to American Airlines reducing its flights at the airport. The terminal has three gates for airline passengers and a jet bridge. The terminal has a baggage carousel, desks for three airlines, and rental car services including Avis and Hertz.

Airline and destination[edit]


American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare

American Eagle ERJ-145s fly to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago three times a day.


The airport has been recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration a number of times for its commitment to safety. It won the FAA's "Airport Safety Enhancement Award" in 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2003.[9] In order to receive this honor, an airport must be free from discrepancies during an inspection for three consecutive years. In 2008, the Dubuque Regional Airport marked 18 consecutive years of perfect safety inspections in accordance with FAR Part 139. That record is unmatched among the approximately 600 certified U.S. airports.[10]

Incidents and Accidents[edit]

  • On December 24, 1982 Piper PA-31 Navajo N4091U crashed on a back course approach to Runway 13 due to low visibility. The pilot and passenger were killed.[11]
  • On April 19, 1993 a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 N86SD, owned by the state of South Dakota, suffered a catastrophic failure of the propeller hub on its left engine and crashed, while on approach, south of the community of Zwingle, IA. The crash killed all 8 on board including the governor of South Dakota, George S. Mickelson.[12]
  • On October 23, 2001 Beechcraft Baron 58 N7235R arriving from DuPage Airport crashed while on approach to Runway 31 due to ground fog. One fatality occurred.[13]
  • On March 8, 2004 Cessna 172R N105FS stalled after ice accumulated on the wings, causing a hard impact on landing. Three minor injuries were reported.[14]
  • On April 3, 2011 AmericanConnection flight 5019 bound to O'Hare International Airport sustained substantial damage after the jet bridge was blown into the side of the plane. Winds were gusting to 27 kts, and the emergency brakes in the jet bridge failed to activate. There were no injuries, and the aircraft was repaired and returned to service.[15]
  • On October 13, 2014 Piper PA-46 N9126V crashed on approach to the airport. As of October 18, 2014 it is unclear why the plane crashed, though low visibility was reported. One fatality occurred.[16]


To update facilities and accommodate growth, the City of Dubuque announced plans in 2007 to build a new, larger terminal building.[17] The new $23 million facility is part of the airport's master improvement plan; it opened on June 9, 2016.[18]

The city has expressed interest in courting more airlines. Until recently, Dubuque Regional had up to three air carriers. Two were eliminated when the airline industry met hard times after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. With strong passenger numbers, a growing tourism industry, and financial stability among air carriers, expanded service seems likely in Dubuque.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for DBQ (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective Jan 5, 2017.
  2. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27.
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/10/politics/travel-faa-towers/
  6. ^ "Northwest Airlines Announces New Nonstop Service Between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Dubuque, Iowa" (Press release). Northwest Airlines. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "NW Airlines is Back" (Press release). Dubuque Regional Airport. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on August 3, 2007.
  8. ^ Mutzabaugh, Ben. "Mileage calculator". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Part 139 Airport Safety Enhancement Awards". Federal Aviation Administration. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  10. ^ "Airport Info". Dubuque Regional Airport. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  11. ^ "MKC83FA045". NTSB. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  12. ^ "NTSB Accident report on crash of N86SD" (PDF). US National Transportation Safety Board.
  13. ^ "CHI02FA009". NTSB. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  14. ^ "CHI04LA085". NTSB. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  15. ^ "CEN11IA270". NTSB. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Update: More details emerge in crash that killed local doctor". Telegraph Herald. TH Media. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  17. ^ "City of Dubuque: Fiscal year 2008 recommended budget" (PDF). City of Dubuque. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 24, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
  18. ^ "New Dubuque airport terminal done 6 months early, under budget". USA Today. Retrieved 6 June 2016.

External links[edit]