Lincoln Airport (Nebraska)

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Lincoln Airport
LNK airport logo.gif
A183367 Lincoln airport LNK.JPG
Airport type Public / Military
Owner City of Lincoln
Operator Lincoln Airport Authority
Serves Southeastern and central Nebraska
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Elevation AMSL 1,219 ft / 372 m
Coordinates 40°51′04″N 096°45′33″W / 40.85111°N 96.75917°W / 40.85111; -96.75917
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
LNK is located in Nebraska
LNK is located in the US
Location of airport in Nebraska / United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 12,901 3,932 Asphalt/concrete
14/32 8,649 2,636 Asphalt/concrete
17/35 5,800 1,768 Asphalt/concrete
Passenger volume 315,000
Aircraft operations 62,770[a]
Based aircraft 199[b]
Freight/Mail (lbs.) 73,000

Lincoln Airport (IATA: LNKICAO: KLNKFAA LID: LNK) (formerly Lincoln Municipal Airport) is a public/military airport five miles northwest of downtown Lincoln, the state capital, in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It is owned by the Lincoln Airport Authority[2] and is the second-largest airport in Nebraska.

The 12,901 foot primary runway was an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle though never used as such. The runway can handle Heavy military aircraft including the C-5 Galaxy and the Boeing E-4. The airport is also the home of Lincoln Air National Guard Base, an installation for the KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft operated by the 155th Air Refueling Wing (155 ARW) of the Nebraska Air National Guard. Airliners on charter flights by visiting college football teams which play the Nebraska Cornhuskers also utilize Lincoln Airport as a primary destination. The airport is home to Duncan Aviation, a family-owned aircraft maintenance and refurbishing company. Duncan Aviation has hangars on the east side of the airport and parts storage on the west side.

Lincoln Airport appeared in the 2013 Walt Disney Pictures movie Planes.


Lincoln Air Force Base sign
(apx. 1960)

During World War II the airfield was Lincoln Army Air Field and used for mechanics and flight-crew training. It closed in December 1945 and was transferred back to the City of Lincoln.

In 1952 the facility re-opened as Lincoln Air Force Base. After operating as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base supporting Boeing B-47 Stratojet bombers, Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter refueling aircraft and SM-65 Atlas intercontinental ballistic missiles, the United States Air Force closed the installation in 1966.

During the 1960s the two main airlines at Lincoln were United Airlines and the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986). Frontier Convair 580s flew nonstop and direct to Denver and Kansas City. United Douglas DC-6Bs flew nonstop to Denver, but nonstops to Chicago didn't start until 1967. Lincoln's first jets were in 1966, Frontier Boeing 727-100s MKC-LNK-DEN and back.

United Boeing 727-100s and Boeing 737-200s began flying nonstop to Chicago and Denver about 1968; LNK later saw United 727-200s, 737-300s, 737-500s and Airbus A320s. Frontier later operated 737-200s.

Other jet airlines included America West with Boeing 737-200s and 737-300s nonstop to Phoenix and Trans World Airlines DC-9s nonstop to St. Louis. The original Frontier Airlines ceased operations in 1986; successor Continental Airlines flew 737s and DC-9s to Denver. United mainline jet service was eventually replaced by flights operated by its United Express partners who now fly 50 seat regional jets from LNK.

In 2005, Northwest Airlines flew to Memphis but dropped the route within nine months. In early 2006, Allegiant Air began air service to Las Vegas but after two years, announced that it was transferring service to Grand Island, NE.[3] In May 2014 Delta Air Lines announced a non-stop flight to Atlanta would start September 8, resuming a service it briefly ran in 2009. In 2011 Delta resumed the Memphis service, but only over the summer.[4] The new flight will be a Delta Connection Canadair CRJ700, with $750,000 in federal spending used to guarantee revenue for Delta.

Today part of Lincoln Airport is home to the Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Air Refueling Wing (155 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained Air National Guard unit flying the KC-135R Stratotanker. Several Nebraska Army National Guard units are collocated at the installation, just east of Runway 36 alongside Taxiway Delta. The Air National Guard's tarmac is closed to general aviation and is guarded by Air Force Security Forces 24 hours a day.


Lincoln Airport covers 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) at an elevation of 1,219 feet (372 m). It has three asphalt/concrete runways: 18/36 is 12,901 by 200 feet (3,932 x 61 m); 14/32 is 8,649 by 150 feet (2,636 x 46 m); and 17/35 is 5,800 by 100 feet (1,768 x 30 m).[2]

In the year ending March 31, 2016 the airport had 62,770 aircraft operations, average 172 per day: approximately 59% general aviation, 21% military, 13% airline and 7% air taxi. 199 aircraft were then based at this airport: approximately 53% single-engine, approximately 25% multi-engine, 12% military, 7% jet and 3% helicopter.[2]


Endeavor Air operating as Delta Connection operates Canadair CRJ-200 regional jet flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) on behalf of Delta Air Lines.

ExpressJet operating as United Express operates Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet flights to Chicago (ORD) and Denver (DEN) on behalf of United Airlines; ExpressJet operating as Delta Connection operates Canadair CRJ-900 regional jet flights to Atlanta (ATL) on behalf of Delta Airlines.

SkyWest Airlines operating as United Express operates Canadair CRJ-200 regional jet flights to Denver (DEN) on behalf of United Airlines.

Air National Guard[edit]

The current Lincoln Air National Guard Base is home to the Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Air Refueling Wing (155 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained Air National Guard unit flying the KC-135R Stratotanker. The 155 ARW is the nation's second oldest Air National Guard unit, being offered federal recognition on 26 July 1946 as the 173rd Fighter Squadron.It operates from a new facility built on the southeast side of the main runway.

Several Nebraska Army National Guard units are also collocated at the installation, located just east of Runway 36, alongside Taxiway Delta. The Air National Guard's tarmac is closed to general aviation and is guarded by the 155th Security Forces Squadron (155 SFS), an Air Force Security Forces unit.

Air National Guard and other military aircraft land on the same runways as commercial or general aviation aircraft destined for their respective terminals, but their crews & passengers are never deplaned into the Lincoln Airport Terminal, with military aircraft taxiing directly to Air National Guard facilities.[5]

SAC base remains[edit]

Lincoln Airport and the Air National Guard use new facilities on the east and southeast side of the former SAC airfield. Located to the west side of the airfield, some of the large SAC hangars still are used, while others have been razed. The B-47 parking ramp is unused, as well as the former B-47 alert pads, still in evidence along the northwest end of runway 14/32. There are pieces of concrete in the airfield area, disconnected from the runways and taxiways, which are remnants of the old wartime airfield from the 1940s. The former Lincoln Air Force Base hangars and ground station are under private ownership of numerous businesses and individuals, though the original fire station is still in use. The streets of the base still are in evidence, but many of the old military buildings have been torn down. The former military family housing area is now a part of the Arnold Heights Park community, and new housing has been built on the south side of the base.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Delta Connection Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver

Number of daily flights[edit]

Carrier Destination Flights Aircraft
Delta Connection Atlanta 1 daily CRJ-900
Delta Connection Minneapolis 3 daily CRJ-200
United Express Chicago 4 daily ERJ-145
United Express Denver 3 daily ERJ-145


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from LNK
(Jan 2016 – Dec 2016)
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 51,000 United Express
2 Denver, Colorado 47,000 United Express
3 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 41,000 Delta Connection
4 Atlanta, Georgia 18,000 Delta Connection

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Total operations for the 12 month period ending March 31, 2016.
  2. ^ Total aircraft for the 12 month period ending March 31, 2016.


  1. ^ a b "Lincoln Airport (LNK) Summary Statistics". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for LNK (Form 5010 PDF), effective March 2, 2017; retrieved March 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Allegiant dropping Lincoln flights to Las Vegas". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Olberding, Matt (May 19, 2014). "Delta adds flight to Lincoln airport". Business. Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]