Key West International Airport
|Key West International Airport|
Aerial view of Key West International Airport
|Serves||Key West, Florida|
|Elevation AMSL||3 ft / 1 m|
Key West's aviation history began in 1913, with a flight to Cuba by Augustin Parla. In 1928, Pan American Airways began scheduled flights from Key West. The main runway at Meacham Field was pressed into U.S. Army use after the Pearl Harbor attack, and into U.S. Navy use later in World War II as an alternative to the Trumbo Point seaplane base and the main Naval Air Station for fixed-wing and lighter-than-air (i.e., blimp) aircraft on Boca Chica Key. After the war, the city took over what became Key West Municipal Airport. In January 1953, the city gave Monroe County the title to Meacham Field, allowing the county to apply for Federal Aviation Administration grants. Around the same time, the airport became Key West International Airport.
National Airlines began flights to Miami in the mid 1940s with Lockheed Lodestar twin prop aircraft, although the airport did not have a paved runway until around 1956. National served Key West for nearly 25 years and later operated Convair 340 and Convair 440 prop aircraft, as well as Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprops, into the airport. In 1968, National began the first jet flights into Key West with Boeing 727-100s, providing nonstop service to Miami. By 1969, National was operating daily 727 jet service direct to Washington National Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport via intermediate stops in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Orlando.
Several other airlines also began operating jet service into Key West. In 1979, Air Florida was operating five nonstop flights a day to Miami with Boeing 737 jetliners. In 1987, Eastern Airlines was operating daily mainline Boeing 727-100 jet service nonstop to Miami. By 1989, Piedmont Airlines was operating six nonstop flights a day to Miami with Fokker F28 Fellowship twin jets. This F28 jet service was then continued by USAir following its acquisition of and merger with Piedmont. More recently, Southwest Airlines, following its acquisition of AirTran, operated Boeing 737-700 jet service into the airport, including nonstop flights from New Orleans, Orlando, and Tampa. However, Southwest subsequently ceased all service to the airport.
A number of commuter and regional airlines also served Key West with turboprop and prop aircraft during the 1980s and 1990s primarily with nonstop flights to Miami but also with nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Naples, Orlando and Tampa. According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), these air carriers included Air Florida Commuter, Airways International, American Eagle Airlines, Bar Harbor Airlines (operating Eastern Express code sharing service for Eastern Airlines), Cape Air, Comair (operating Delta Connection code sharing service for Delta Air Lines), Dolphin Airlines, Gulfstream International Airlines (operating independently and later as Continental Connection with code sharing services for Continental Airlines), Gull Air, Pan Am Express, Paradise Island Airlines (operating code sharing service for Carnival Air Lines), Pro Air Services, Provincetown-Boston Airlines (PBA), Southeast Airlines, Southern Express and USAir Express. Turboprop aircraft operated into the airport included the ATR-42, British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31, Beechcraft 1900C, Beechcraft 1900D, Beechcraft C99, CASA 212 Aviocar, de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7, de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8, Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante, Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia, Nord 262 and Saab 340. American Eagle later operated ATR-72 propjets into the airport before introducing regional jet service. Delta Connection subsequently introduced regional jet service as well. Piston engine twin prop aircraft flown by commuter air carriers serving Key West included the Cessna 402, Douglas DC-3, Martin 2-0-2, Martin 4-0-4 and Piper Navajo.
The airport has two terminals designed by Mark Mosko and Dwane Stark of URS; Mosko also worked on Baltimore–Washington International Airport. The older ground-level terminal building opened in 1957 and now serves arriving passengers. The terminal was expanded with the addition of a second building elevated over the parking lot in February 2009. With an area of about 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2), it more than doubled the airport's terminal space. The newer building includes an elevated roadway and houses ticketing, check-in, and the airport's security checkpoint. The older building was then renovated with the former ticketing area becoming an expanded departure gate lounge, and the baggage claim area was then expanded into the former departure lounge. The two buildings are connected by an enclosed walkway.
Parking for 300 vehicles is at ground level beneath the newer terminal—150 spaces for rental cars and 150 for the public.
In 2011, the airport had 62,293 aircraft operations, averaging 170 per day: 71% general aviation, 16% air taxi, 13% airline, and <1% military. At the time, 59 aircraft were based at the airport: 61% single-engine, 37% multi-engine, and 2% helicopter.
Key West's traffic was generally fairly stagnant to start the new millennium, but gradually began increasing at the end of the 2000s with the addition of the new terminal and the introduction of low-cost jet service operated by AirTran, as well as mainline jet service by Delta.  However, Southwest Airlines then acquired AirTran in 2011 and continued to operate flights from the airport, first via the AirTran brand and then directly via Southwest branding before ceasing all service in June 2014. This resulted in a slight decrease in traffic in the 2014 calendar year.
Airlines and destinations
|American Eagle||Miami, Washington–National
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|
|Gulf Coast Airways||Naples|
|Silver Airways||Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa|
|United Express||Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Newark|
Delta Air Lines currently operates mainline jet service into the airport with Boeing 737-700 jetliners. Key West's 4,801 foot runway is the shortest runway in North America used regularly by 737s. Delta's regional affiliate, Delta Connection (operated by ExpressJet), operates Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets. American Eagle operates Embraer ERJ-145, E170, and E175 regional jets into Key West. Silver Airways operates Saab 340B turboprops. United Express will be using E-170s for service to Newark and Chicago O'Hare.
|3||Charlotte, North Carolina||27,000||American/US Airways|
|3||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||27,000||Silver|
|6||Washington–National, D.C.||14,000||American/US Airways|
|8||Fort Myers, Florida||7,000||Silver|
Accidents and incidents
- On April 25, 1959, a Vickers Viscount of Cubana de Aviación was hijacked on a flight from Varadero to Havana. The aircraft landed at Key West.
- On March 19, 2003, Aerotaxi Flight 882, operated by Douglas DC-3C CU-T1192, was hijacked on a flight from Rafael Cabrera Airport in Nueva Gerona, Cuba to José Martí International Airport in Havana, The six hijackers were detained upon the plane's landing at Key West.
- On October 31, 2011, a Gulfstream G150 carrying NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick ran off the end of Key West's runway after experiencing a loss in braking action upon landing. The jet, owned by NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, suffered nose gear damage.
- On November 2, 2011, a Cessna Citation crash landed in Key West. The flight, which originated in Fort Lauderdale, had a brake failure upon landing. Two pilots were on board along with two passengers. Only minor injuries were reported. The aircraft was stopped by the airport's newly installed EMAS system.
- FAA Airport Master Record for EYW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "AirNav: KEYW - Key West International Airport". www.airnav.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- "History and events for Key West International Airport". keywestinternationalairport.com.
-  Archived March 10, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Key West airport shelf". keyshistory.org.
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Feb. 1945 National Airlines system timeyable
- http://www.timetablemages.com, April 26, 1959 National Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, May 31, 1964 system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, July 15, 1969 National Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Key West to Miami flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Aug. 31, 1987 Eastern Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, June 1, 1989 Piedmont Airlines route map
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Miami-Key West flight schedules
- [dead link]
- http://www.departedflights.com, Official Airline Guide (OAG) editions: April 1, 1981; July 1, 1983; Feb. 15, 1985; Dec. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995; June 1, 1999; Miami-Key West flight schedules & Key West flight schedules
- "NEW KEY WEST AIRPORT TERMINAL TO OPEN FEB. 25". Florida Keys. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "New Terminal Opens at Key West International Airport". Florida Browser. Retrieved September 17, 2009.
- McCarthy, Ryan (December 21, 2011). "Key West airport gets a lift with new terminal, service". The Miami Herald. Retrieved December 21, 2011.[dead link]
- "AirTran and Delta begin 737 flights to Key West". Sunshine Skies. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- http://www.aa.com, timetable
- "Silver Airways - Official Website- Flights to Florida, Bahamas & More". silverairways.com.
- "RITA - BTS - Transtats". bts.gov.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- "CU-T1192 Hijacking description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2001.
- "Cuba". DC3 history. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- "Rick Hendrick crash". Accident Description. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "Accident Report". Accident Report. NJ.com. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Key West International Airport page at Monroe County website
- Aerial image as of February 1999 from USGS The National Map
- "Key West International Airport". brochure from CFASPP
- (PDF), effective March 2, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for EYW, effective March 2, 2017
- Resources for this airport: