Fort Smith Regional Airport

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Fort Smith Regional Airport
Fort Smith FSM.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerFort Smith Airport Commission
ServesFort Smith, Arkansas
Elevation AMSL469 ft / 143 m
Coordinates35°20′12″N 094°22′03″W / 35.33667°N 94.36750°W / 35.33667; -94.36750Coordinates: 35°20′12″N 094°22′03″W / 35.33667°N 94.36750°W / 35.33667; -94.36750
FSM is located in Arkansas
Location of airport in Arkansas
FSM is located in the United States
FSM (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
1/19 5,001 1,524 Asphalt
7/25 8,017 2,444 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations41,990
Based aircraft102

Fort Smith Regional Airport (IATA: FSM, ICAO: KFSM, FAA LID: FSM) is a public use joint civil-military airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southeast of the central business district of Fort Smith, in Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States.[1] FSM is governed by the Fort Smith Airport Commission as established by the City of Fort Smith, Arkansas. It serves the transportation needs of residents and businesses of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. FSM is served by the regional airline affiliates of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. It has a large population of corporate and general aviation aircraft. A full-service fixed-base operator (FBO), TAC Air, provides service to general aviation, airline, and military operators.

The airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).[2] In 2013, the airport had 82,742 passenger boardings (enplanements).[3]

Since 1953, FSM has also been the home to Fort Smith Air National Guard Station and the Arkansas Air National Guard's 188th Wing (188 WG). Formerly a fighter wing that previously operated F-4 Phantom II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, the 188th Wing currently features three primary mission sets: Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MQ-9 Reaper); ISR (Distributed Ground Station-Arkansas); and Targeting (Space-Focused).

Air traffic services are provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from an air traffic control (ATC) tower and TRACON (terminal radar approach control).

The airline terminal offers efficient operational space, convenience of close parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, and wingback seating. Its restrooms were voted America's Best Public Restroom in 2005.[by whom?] The Fort Smith Air Museum is located within the terminal.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Fort Smith Regional Airport covers an area of 1,359 acres (550 ha) at an elevation of 469 feet (143 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with asphalt surfaces:[1] 7/25, the primary runway, is 8,017 by 150 feet (2,444 x 46 m) with dual instrument landing systems and can accommodate the largest aircraft; 1/19, the crosswind runway, is 5,001 by 150 feet (1,524 x 46 m).

For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2011, the airport had 41,990 aircraft operations, an average of 115 per day: 51% general aviation, 34% military, 11% air taxi, and 4% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 102 aircraft based at this airport: 53% single-engine, 21% military, 16% multi-engine, 10% jet, and 1% helicopter.[1]

Historical airline service[edit]

Fort Smith was first served by Braniff International Airways and Mid-Continent Airlines with both airlines commencing service to the airport in the mid 1940s. Braniff began serving Fort Smith with Douglas DC-3 aircraft flying a daily round trip routing of Denver-Colorado Springs-Pueblo-Amarillo-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Muskogee, OK-Fort Smith-Little Rock-Memphis,[4] and later operated Convair 340 and Convair 440 propliners into the airport. By the early 1950s, Braniff began an interchange agreement with Eastern Airlines to extend its Denver-Memphis route onto Birmingham, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami. Four engine Douglas DC-4 aircraft were used.[5] In 1965, Braniff introduced the first scheduled passenger jet service into the airport with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin jets with nonstop flights to Shreveport and Tulsa and direct service to Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Omaha and other destinations.[6] During the 1970s Braniff operated Boeing 727-100 and Boeing 727-200 jetliners through Fort Smith on routings of Dallas/Ft. Worth-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Fort Smith-Little Rock-Memphis-Nashville-New York City (JFK Airport) and Chicago-Kansas City-Tulsa-Fort Smith-Shreveport-New Orleans. Both routes were flown with one round trip flight each day.[7][8] All Braniff service to Fort Smith ended in early 1979 shortly after airline deregulation took affect.

Mid-Continent Airlines began service to Fort Smith in 1946, flying a daily round trip routing of Kansas City-Joplin-Tulsa-Muskogee, OK-Fort Smith-Texarkana-Shreveport-New Orleans with Douglas DC-3 aircraft.[9] Mid-Continent was acquired by and merged into Braniff International in 1952.

Central Airlines began service to Fort Smith in the mid 1950s with flights on routings of Tulsa-Fort Smith-Hot Springs-Little Rock and Ft. Worth-Dallas-Paris TX, Fort Smith, Fayetteville-Joplin-Kansas City. Another flight with follow the latter route but at Fayetteville it would proceed onto Ft. Leonard Wood and St. Louis, MO. Central also began using DC-3s but would later upgrade with Convair 240 and Convair 600 aircraft.[10] [11][12]

In 1967 Central merged into the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) which maintained the service to Fort Smith using Convair 580 turboprops.[8] Frontier soon added Boeing 727-100 jets with nonstop service to Dallas and St. Louis. By the late 1960s, Frontier replaced the 727s with Boeing 737-200 jet flights nonstop to Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) as well as direct flights to Kansas City with a stop in Joplin and to Denver with a stop in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. In 1976 a multi-stop flight was added on a routing of DFW-Lawton-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Fort Smith- Little Rock-Memphis using a 737.[13] In 1980, Frontier was flying nonstop Boeing 737-200 jet service to Atlanta and Wichita with direct service onto Denver.[14] At the same time, Frontier was continuing to operate nonstop flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth as well as direct flights to Kansas City and St. Louis with Convair 580 turboprops. The Convair 580s were retired in 1982 and service to Fort Smith was reduced to two flights per day to Denver, each making one stop enroute. All Frontier service then ended on October 1, 1984.

Scheduled Skyways provided commuter airline service beginning in the late 1970s with nonstop flights to Dallas Love Field and Fayetteville, AR using Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners. New service was added to Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, and Tulsa in the early 1980s as Frontier ended their service. Skyways merged into Air Midwest in 1985 and Air Midwest soon began a series of code share relationships with major airlines. Flights to Kansas City began operating as Eastern Express on behalf of Eastern Airlines in 1986 and were switched to Braniff Express on behalf of Braniff (1983-1990) in 1988. The Braniff Express service ended in late 1989 when Braniff ceased operations. New service to St. Louis began operating in 1985 as Ozark Midwest on behalf of Ozark Airlines. Ozark merged into Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1986 and the Ozark Midwest flights then began operating as Trans World Express which continued until 1993.[15]

Metroflight Airlines, a division of Metro Airlines, began service to Dallas/Ft. Worth and Fayetteville, AR in 1982 with Convair 580 turboprops. Metroflight would then become the first carrier to operate as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines in late 1984.

Republic Airlines (1979-1986) began providing Republic Express service operated by Express Airlines I (now Endeavor Air) with nonstop flights to Memphis in 1985. Republic soon merged into Northwest Airlines in 1986 switching the Republic Express service to Northwest Airlink. British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and Saab 340 turboprops were first used and upgraded to Canadair CRJ200 regional jets in the mid 2000s. Northwest Airlines then merged into Delta Air lines in 2010 and the Memphis flights continued as Delta Connection until 2012 when Delta discontinued the Memphis hub operation.[16]

Delta Connection operated by Rio Airways briefly operated flights to Dallas/Ft.Worth (DFW) using de Havilland Canada Dash-7s in late 1985 through early 1986. Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) then resumed the Delta Connection service to DFW flying Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprops from late 1986 until mid 2001.[17] ASA also operated flights to Memphis in 1985 and 1986 using Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirantes. ASA began nonstop flights to Atlanta in mid 2007 using Canadair CRJ-200 regional jets. The Atlanta flights ended in mid 2009 but returned on June 7, 2012 and later upgraded with CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 jets. The Delta Connection service was also changed from ASA to Endeavor Air.[18]

With the merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines in 2010, the Northwest Airlink service to Memphis was changed to Delta Connection but was discontinued on September 5, 2012 after Delta discontinued the Memphis hub operation. Delta Connection service to Atlanta was then increased to three daily flights.[19]

American Eagle service to Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) was initially operated by Metroflight Airlines in late 1984 using Convair 580s.[20] In 1987 the Convair 580s were retired and the DFW service was then flown with Saab 340 turboprops through the early 2000s in competition with the Delta Connection service to DFW.[17] In late 2000 American Eagle introduced Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets, switching all flights to jets by 2003. However some flights to DFW were later operated with ATR 72 turboprop aircraft on occasion in the early 2010s. By 2016, select flights began operating with larger Canadair CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 regional jets offering a first class cabin. American Eagle also provided nonstop flights to Nashville using Saab 340s for a brief time in 1993 and 1994 and service to St. Louis was provided in 2002 and 2003 operated by Trans States Airlines as AmericanConnection. The St. Louis service was flown with British Aerospace Jetstream 41s.[15]

On September 1, 2015, Delta Connection switched to using Canadair CRJ-700 regional jet aircraft featuring first class as well as coach seats. At the same time, flights to Atlanta were reduced from three to two flights per day. On January 5, 2016 even larger CRJ-900 jets were introduced.[21] All Delta Connection service to Fort Smith ended in mid 2020 with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic leaving the airport served only by American Eagle with flights to DFW.[22]

Airline and destination[edit]

The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:

American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth


Passenger boardings by year (from FAA data)[23]

Year Passengers Percent change
1999 102,583
2000 99,493 Decrease -3.01%
2001 90,311 Decrease -9.23%
2002 85,137 Decrease -5.73%
2003 89,510 Increase 5.14%
2004 90,613 Increase 1.23%
2005 100,546 Increase 10.96%
2006 93,795 Decrease -6.71%
2007 97,344 Increase 3.78%
2008 85,095 Decrease -12.58%
2009 76,401 Decrease -10.22%
2010 83,902 Increase 9.82%
2011 84,136 Increase 0.28%
2012 84,751 Increase 0.73%
2013 82,742 Decrease -2.37%
2014 90,214 Increase 9.03%
2015 84,136 Decrease -6.74%
2016 83,920 Decrease -0.26%
2017 85,726 Increase 2.15%

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from FSM
(August 2019 – July 2020)
Rank City Passengers
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 46,080
2 Atlanta, Georgia 16,170


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for FSM PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems]. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27.
  3. ^ "All Airports with CY 2013 Enplanements" (PDF, 204 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. January 26, 2015.
  4. ^, May 1, 1948 Braniff International Airways system timetable
  5. ^, Oct. 25, 1964 Braniff International Airways system timetable
  6. ^, Sept. 7, 1965 Braniff International system timetable
  7. ^, Oct. 27, 1974 Braniff International system timetable
  8. ^ a b Feb. 1, 1976 edition, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Fort Smith flight schedules
  9. ^, July 1, 1946 Mid-Continent Airlines system timetable
  10. ^, June 1, 1955 Central Airlines system timetable
  11. ^, July 1, 1967 Central Airlines system timetable
  12. ^, Oct. 29, 1967 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  13. ^, March 2, 1977 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  14. ^, April 1, 1981 Official Airline Guide (OAG) Fort Smith flight schedules
  15. ^ a b Official Airline Guide
  16. ^, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Memphis-Fort Smith schedules
  17. ^ a b, Official Airline Guide (OAG) Feb. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 and June 1, 1999 editions, Dallas/Ft. Worth-Fort Smith flight schedules
  18. ^ "Fort Smith airport to lose Delta connection to Atlanta". The City Wire. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  19. ^ Aric Mitchell (26 June 2012). "Atlanta to be hub for all Fort Smith Delta flights". The City Wire. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  20. ^, Official Airline Guide (OAG) April 1, 1983 and February 15, 1985 editions, Dallas/Ft. Worth-Fort Smith flight schedules
  21. ^ Minutes of Airport Commission Regular Meeting, July 23, 2015
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  24. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. January 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.

External links[edit]