John Glenn Columbus International Airport

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Coordinates: 39°59′53″N 082°53′31″W / 39.99806°N 82.89194°W / 39.99806; -82.89194

John Glenn
Columbus International Airport
John Glenn Columbus International Airport logo 2018.jpg
John Glenn International Airport Departure level.jpg
Ticketing area
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorColumbus Regional Airport Authority
ServesColumbus metropolitan area
Location4600 International Gateway Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
OpenedJuly 8, 1929; 93 years ago (1929-07-08)
Elevation AMSL815 ft / 248 m
Coordinates39°59′53″N 082°53′31″W / 39.99806°N 82.89194°W / 39.99806; -82.89194
Public transit accessBus transport Central Ohio Transit Authority 7, AirConnect
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10R/28L 10,114 3,083 Asphalt
10L/28R 8,000 2,438 Asphalt
Statistics (2021)
Total passengers5,822,322
Aircraft operations33,531
Area2,265 acres (917 ha)
Source: John Glenn Columbus International Airport[1][2][3][4]

John Glenn Columbus International Airport (IATA: CMH, ICAO: KCMH, FAA LID: CMH) is an international airport located 6 miles (9.7 km) east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Formerly known as Port Columbus International Airport, it is managed by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which also oversees operations at Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field. The airport code "CMH" stands for "Columbus Municipal Hangar," the original name of the airport.[5]

John Glenn Columbus International Airport is primarily a passenger airport. It provides 148 non-stop flights to 31 airports via nine airlines daily.[6]

On May 25, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill to rename the airport from Port Columbus International Airport to its current name, in honor of astronaut and four-term U.S. senator John Glenn.[7] The name change was unanimously approved by the airport's nine-member board on May 24, 2016.[8] Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on June 14, 2016, with the name change becoming official 90 days later.[9] On June 28, 2016, a celebration of the renaming was held and new signage bearing the airport's new name was unveiled.[10]


Early history[edit]

The Old Port Columbus Terminal, the airport's first control tower and terminal

The airport opened July 8, 1929, on a site selected by Charles Lindbergh, as the eastern air terminus of the Transcontinental Air Transport air-rail New York to Los Angeles transcontinental route. Passengers traveled overnight on the Pennsylvania Railroad's Airway Limited from New York to Columbus; by air from Columbus to Waynoka, Oklahoma; by rail again on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Waynoka to Clovis, New Mexico; and by air from Clovis to Los Angeles.[11] The original terminal building and hangars remain; the hangars are still in use, but the old terminal sits derelict.[12]

During World War II, most of the facility was taken over by the U.S. Navy, which established Naval Air Station Columbus in 1942. NAS Columbus was closed and the facility relinquished back to civilian authorities in 1946.[13][14] Also, during the war, the government established a government-owned aviation factory on the grounds of the airport known as Air Force Factory 85, eventually operated by North American Aviation. The plant produced the F-100 Super Saber, RA-5 Vigilante, T-2 Buckeye, T-28 Trojan, OV-10 Bronco and T-39 Sabreliner.

The diagram on the February 1951 Coast & Geodetic Survey instrument-approach chart shows runways 006/186 3550 ft long, 052/232 4400 ft, 096/276 4500 ft, and 127/307 5030 ft.

A new $12 million terminal building opened on September 21, 1958.[12] Jet airline flights (American 707s) started in April 1964.

Current control tower, completed in 2004

Historical airline service[edit]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 72 airline departures each weekday: 41 TWA, 16 American, 6 Eastern, 6 Lake Central and 3 Piedmont.[15]

The first major airline to fly into Columbus was TWA, and it kept a presence at Columbus over 70 years during the era of airline regulation.[12] TWA offered a club for exclusive passengers up until 2000 when America West took over a gate held by TWA and the club itself due to financial problems. The site of the club is now Eddie George‘s 27 grille. [16]

Columbus was formerly a hub of America West Airlines in the 1990s, but the company closed the hub in 2003 due to financial losses and the post 9/11-decline in air travel.[16]

The airport was the home base of short-lived Skybus Airlines, which began operations from Columbus on May 22, 2007. The airline touted themselves as the cheapest airline in the United States, offering a minimum of ten seats for $10 each on every flight. Skybus ceased operations April 4, 2008.[17]

Recent improvements[edit]

The airport's terminal in 1979

A $70 million renovation of airport facilities, designed by Brubaker/Brandt, was initiated in 1979 for the airport's 50th anniversary and completed in 1981.[18] This upgraded the airport's capacity to 250 flights per day by adding what is known today as Concourse B and added fully enclosed jetways at every gate.[12] Ten years later in 1989, a second, $15.5 million, seven-gate south concourse (now Concourse A) was dedicated.[12] The concourse was used exclusively by US Airways at the time, and later housed hubs for both America West Airlines until 2003, and Skybus Airlines until they shut it down in 2008 due to their bankruptcy. A north concourse was completed in 1996, which is now Concourse C, and was expanded in 2002.[12]

Between 1998 and 2000, numerous airport expansion and renovation projects were completed, including a $25 million terminal renovation in 1998 that included additional retail shops, new flight information displays, enhanced lighting, upgraded flooring, and a new food court. Also, new hangars and office spaces were completed for NetJets in 1999, as well as a $92 million parking garage including an underground terminal entrance, new rental car facilities, dedicated ground transportation area, improved eight-lane terminal access on two levels, and a new atrium and entrances in 2000, which were designed by URS Corporation.[12][19]

On April 25, 2004, a new 195-foot (59 m) control tower directed its first aircraft. This began several major facility enhancements to be constructed through 2025.[12] On October 21, 2010, a new arrivals/departures board replaced the old one in the main entrance area

Columbus began its Terminal Modernization Program in late 2012, which included new terrazzo flooring throughout the airport, new ceilings, new restrooms, more TSA security lanes, and new LED lighting. Construction started on Concourse A in late 2012 and was completed throughout the terminal in early 2016.[20]

In 2013, the airport completed a $140 million runway improvement that moved the south runway farther from the north runway. This created a buffer distance that enables simultaneous takeoffs and landings on the north and south runways, increasing air traffic volume. Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman commented, "As the city grows, the airport needs to grow with it."[21]

In 2019, construction began on a new car rental facility at the airport, with an estimated budget of $140 million.[22] This facility moves car rental out of the parking garage, opening up more spaces for travelers. The new building opened in late 2021, and utilizes electric buses to transport passengers.[23]

Recent history[edit]

Many airlines introduced new routes in the late 2010s, with the addition of Alaska Airlines with one daily flight to Seattle. Occasionally, larger aircraft that the airport is not used to receiving on a regular basis, such as the Boeing 767 and 777, are chartered through John Glenn and serviced by Lane Aviation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many new, current, and to-be-expanded routes were canceled or reduced. Air Canada temporarily suspended service to Columbus, while airlines such as United, American, and Delta used smaller aircraft for some of their mainline routes. Many of these routes saw an increase of service in mid-2021 as restrictions lifted and demand for air travel grew. Startup Breeze Airways also selected Columbus as one of its launch destinations in July with five routes.

Plans have been in development for many years for a new terminal, set to begin construction in 2024 to replace the current, aging building, beginning with the new car rental facility completed in 2021. As such, these plans involve a complete relocation of major on-site facilities, such as Lane Aviation's entire complex, in order to accommodate the project. The new terminal is suggested to house roughly 40 gates, 6 more than the current terminal capacity (2 of which intended for international arrivals), and would be one interconnected structure rather than three separate concourses inaccessible to each other past security.


The airport in 1987, predominantly as it stands today
Main flight information board at the entrance to Concourse B


John Glenn Columbus International Airport has one terminal with three concourses, and a total of 34 gates.[24] Non-precleared international flights are processed in Concourse C, which contains the airports customs facility.

Ground transportation[edit]

The airport is accessible directly by taking exit number nine on Interstate 670 to International Gateway. Alternatively, drivers can also get to the airport from the east via Hamilton Road, just south of Interstate 270, and enter at Sawyer Road or from the west via Stelzer Road.

Connected to the terminal is a six-story parking garage that provides long-term and short-term parking. Lower cost satellite parking options, with continuous free shuttle service, can be found in the Blue, Red and Green parking lots along International Gateway. The Blue lot is the closest to the terminal and also offers some covered parking. The cost of parking a car in the blue lot is $9 per 24 hours. The Red Lot costs $7 per 24 hours and the green lost costs $5 per 24 hours to park. The Green lot is the furthest away from the terminal. Additionally, there is a free cell phone lot accessed from the outbound side of International Gateway.[25][26]

The Columbus Metropolitan Area's bus service, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), has two bus services between the airport and downtown Columbus. AirConnect, a service that began in 2016, stops at the arrival and departure levels every 30 minutes.[27] COTA's 7 Mt. Vernon route is operated from downtown, with every other bus serving either the airport or Easton Transit Center.[28][29]

The GoBus Rural Inter-City Bus Service operates a thrice daily schedule to Athens, via Lancaster, Logan, and Nelsonville.[30]

Inbound taxi services operate through numerous taxi businesses in the Columbus area. A number of taxi services provide outbound transportation in the taxi lane.[31]

Other facilities[edit]

In 2001, Executive Jet Aviation (now known as NetJets), opened up a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) operational headquarters.[32]

In November 2006, Skybus Airlines began leasing 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office and hangar facilities at the Columbus International AirCenter adjacent to the airport.[33]

Regional carrier Republic Airways operates a large crew and maintenance base at the airport.

The airport has its own police and fire departments (ARFF-C).

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airports with direct service to and from John Glenn Columbus International Airport:
  Single regular service
  Seasonal only
  Upcoming or resuming
Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [34]
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [35]
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Hartford, Jacksonville (FL),[36] Norfolk, Orange County (begins March 29, 2023),[37] Providence (resumes March 29, 2023),[38] Raleigh/Durham (begins May 18, 2023),[39] West Palm Beach
Seasonal: New Orleans[40]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [42]
Frontier Airlines Denver, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Cancún, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Sarasota
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Pensacola
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (begins May 4, 2023)[46] [47]
United Airlines Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, San Francisco
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [48]


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from CMH (November 2021 - October 2022)[49]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 353,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Orlando, Florida 236,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
3 Denver, Colorado 205,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 203,000 American, United
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 194,000 American
6 Charlotte, North Carolina 171,000 American
7 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 148,000 Southwest
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 143,000 Southwest, Spirit
9 New York–LaGuardia, New York 139,000 American, Delta
10 Phoenix, Arizona 137,000 American, Southwest

Airline market share[edit]

Airline market share (June 2021-May 2022)[50]
Rank Carrier Passengers Percentage
1 Southwest Airlines 2,245,670 33.43%
2 Republic Airways 1,045,000 15.56%
3 Delta Air Lines 692,000 10.3%
4 American Airlines 672,000 10.0%
5 Spirit Airlines 579,000 8.61%
6 Alaska Airlines 47,143 1.45%
7 Frontier Airlines 46,425 1.43%
8 Air Canada Express 9,500 0.29%

Airport traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at CMH airport. See Wikidata query.

Annual passenger traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at CMH 1994–present[1][51]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
1994 5,439,820 2004 6,232,332 2014 6,355,974
1995 5,636,549 2005 6,611,575 2015 6,795,978
1996 6,275,587 2006 6,733,990 2016 7,324,180
1997 6,517,222 2007 7,719,340 2017 7,576,592
1998 6,420,037 2008 6,910,045 2018 8,141,656
1999 6,541,851 2009 6,233,485 2019 8,637,108
2000 6,882,485 2010 6,366,191 2020 3,269,127
2001 6,670,897 2011 6,378,722 2021 5,822,322
2002 6,741,354 2012 6,350,974 2022 6,226,166 (as of October)
2003 6,252,061 2013 6,236,528

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On June 27, 1954, an American Airlines Convair CV-240 (N94263) from Dayton International Airport was on approach to Runway 27 at 300 feet (91 m) when the left side of the plane collided with a US Navy Beechcraft SNB-2C Navigator (BuA23773), also on approach. The Convair recovered and landed, though the nose gear collapsed on landing. The Beechcraft crashed short of the runway, killing two on board. The probable cause was attributed to a "traffic control situation created by the tower local controller which he allowed to continue without taking the necessary corrective action. A contributing factor was the failure of both crews to detect this situation by visual and/or aural vigilance."[52]
  • On January 7, 1994, United Express Flight 6291 was a BAe Jetstream 41 being operated by Atlantic Coast Airlines; it was on approach to runway 28L when it entered into a stall at 430 feet (130 m) above runway level. The aircraft collided with a stand of trees and came to rest inside a commercial building 1.2 miles (1.9 km) short of the runway and burst into flames. The accident killed all three crewmembers and two of five passengers. The probable cause was attributed to "(1) An aerodynamic stall that occurred when the flight crew allowed the airspeed to decay to stall speed following a very poorly planned and executed approach characterized by an absence of procedural discipline; (2) Improper pilot response to the stall warning, including failure to advance the power levers to maximum, and inappropriately raising the flaps; (3) Flight crew experience in 'glass cockpit' automated aircraft, aircraft type and in seat position, a situation exacerbated by a side letter of agreement between the company and its pilots; and (4) the company's failure to provide adequate stabilized approach criteria, and the FAA's failure to require such criteria. Member Vogt concluded that the last factor was contributory but not causal to the accident. Additionally, for the following two factors, Chairman Hall and Member Lauber concluded that they were causal to the accident, while Members Vogt and Hammerschmidt concluded they were contributory to the accident: (5) The company's failure to provide adequate crew resource management training, and the FAA's failure to require such training; and (6) the unavailability of suitable training simulators that precluded fully effective flight crew training."[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Columbus Regional Airport Authority" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2010.
  2. ^ "Port Columbus Sets New Passenger Record in 2007". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. January 25, 2008. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
  3. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for CMH PDF effective January 27, 2022.
  4. ^ "CMH airport data at". Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  5. ^ "Airport ABCs: An Explanation of Airport Identifier Codes". Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  6. ^ "2020 Sample Flight Schedule" (PDF). Columbus Regional Airport Authority. March 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  7. ^ "Bill naming John Glenn airport passes in Ohio". Associated Press.
  8. ^ Julie Carr Smyth (May 25, 2016). "Ohio Airport to Be Named in Honor of Astronaut John Glenn". Associated Press. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Johnson, Alan (June 14, 2016). "Law signed naming John Glenn International Airport". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ohio's Columbus airport renamed for astronaut John Glenn". USA Today. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Fred J. Bunyan (January 1959). "Columbus Prepared for Progress". Flying Magazine.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Port Columbus Milestones". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Data" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Item".
  15. ^ Official Airline Guide, Washington DC: American Aviation Publications, 1957
  16. ^ a b "America West in Columbus". PSA History Page. 2003–2007. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  17. ^ "Skybus To End Operations". April 4, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Engineering News-Record". Engineering News-Record. 202 (1–13): 271. 1979. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  19. ^ "AECOM". Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  20. ^ "The One International Gateway Project Expands John Glenn International". Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  21. ^ Weese, Evan (August 22, 2013). "Port Columbus 'Staying Ahead of Demand Curve' With New South Runway". Columbus Business First.
  22. ^ "New Rental Car Facility Under Construction at CMH". Columbus Underground. April 18, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  23. ^ "New Rental Car Facility Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved April 5, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ a b c d "Terminal Maps". Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  25. ^ "Parking Maps". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. 2007. Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  26. ^ "Shuttle Lots and Airport Property". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. 2009. Archived from the original on December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2009.
  27. ^ "COTA plans bus line between airport and Downtown". Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  28. ^ "Public Transportation".
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Route A: Columbus // Athens // Parkersburg Schedule -". Archived from the original on June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "Taxi Services". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. 2007. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  32. ^ "Executive Jet, Inc. Inaugurates New Operations Center". Netjets Inc. June 14, 2000. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  33. ^ "Skybus will establish headquarters at Columbus International AirCenter". Skybus Airlines Inc. November 10, 2006. Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  34. ^ "Flight Timetable". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  36. ^ "Breeze Airways".
  37. ^[bare URL]
  38. ^ "Breeze Airways 1H23 Network Additions – 21DEC22". Aeroroutes. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  39. ^ Stradling, Richard (December 7, 2022). "Low-cost airline expanding at RDU even before its first flights take off this winter". The News & Observer. Raleigh. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  40. ^ Anthony McAuley. "Breeze Airways trims flight schedule on three New Orleans routes". Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  41. ^ "Breeze Airways". Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  42. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  43. ^ "Frontier". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  44. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  45. ^ "Spirit Airlines Adds Columbus, Ohio to its Growing Network". November 8, 2017.
  46. ^ "Sun Country Adds 13 Routes from Minneapolis Next Summer". November 15, 2022.
  47. ^ "Route Map". Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  48. ^ a b "Timetable". Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  49. ^ "RITA – BTS – Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  50. ^ Katz, Ezra (January 28, 2020). "Fly Columbus Traffic Report". Columbus Regional Airport Authority. Retrieved April 4, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  51. ^ "CMH Airline Statistics | Flight Stats at John Glenn International". Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  52. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident description Convair CV-240-0 N94263". Aviation Safety Network. 1954. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  53. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident description British Aerospace BAe 4101 Jetstream 41 N304UE". Aviation Safety Network. 1994. Retrieved November 13, 2007.

External links[edit]