Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

(The former South Plains Army Airfield)
Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport TX 2006 USGS.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Lubbock
ServesLubbock, Texas
Location5401 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lubbock, TX 79403
Elevation AMSL3,282 ft / 1,000 m
Coordinates33°39′49″N 101°49′14″W / 33.66361°N 101.82056°W / 33.66361; -101.82056Coordinates: 33°39′49″N 101°49′14″W / 33.66361°N 101.82056°W / 33.66361; -101.82056
Websitehttp://www.flylbb.com
Map
LBB is located in Texas
LBB
LBB
Location
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17R/35L 11,500 3,505 Concrete
8/26 8,003 2,439 Concrete
17L/35R 2,891 881 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations78,402
Based aircraft134
Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (IATA: LBB, ICAO: KLBB, FAA LID: LBB) is five miles north of Lubbock, in Lubbock County, Texas.[1] Originally Lubbock International Airport, it was renamed in 2004 for former Texas governor Preston E. Smith, an alumnus of Texas Tech University.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 classifies it as a primary commercial service airport.[2] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 487,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2018,[3] and 455,000 in 2017. [4]

The airport is the 8th busiest airport in Texas. Lubbock International is first among the smaller Texas cities[citation needed] (behind both Dallas airports, both Houston airports, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso). It is one of 42 airports around the world with CNN Airport Network. Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport is a hub for FedEx and UPS feeder planes to cities around the South Plains.

History[edit]

The airport opened in November 1937 as South Plains Airport. In 1942 the United States Army Air Forces indicated a need for the airport as a training airfield. After its requisition by the Air Force, it was assigned to the World War II Army Air Forces Flying Training Command, Gulf Coast Training Center (later Central Flying Training Command). The airport was renamed South Plains Army Airfield and a rapid period of construction was begun to convert the civil airport into a military training airfield.

Construction involved runways and airplane hangars, with three concrete runways, several taxiways and a large apron and a control tower. Several large hangars were also built. Buildings were utilitarian and quickly assembled. Most base buildings, not meant for long-term use, were of temporary or semi-permanent materials. Some hangars had steel frames and the occasional brick or tile brick building could be seen, but most support buildings had concrete foundations and frame construction clad in little more than plywood and tarpaper.

The base was activated on September 11, 1942 as the South Plains Flying School. The mission was ground and flying training of glider pilots. Glider training was performed by the 848th School Squadron (Special), with overall training being under the 64th Two-Engine Flying Training Group. Aircraft assigned were Douglas C-47 Skytrains and Waco CG-4A gliders. The CG-4A was the USAAF's primary glider, consisting of little more than a wooden and fabric shell, equipped with radio, wheels, and brakes. Glider pilots trained at South Plains flew these craft in combat during the Normandy Invasion, Operation Market-Garden, and also Operation Varsity, the airborne invasion of Germany.

By late 1944 Flying Training Command ended all glider instruction, and control of South Plains AAF was transferred to Air Service Command at Tinker Field, Oklahoma. Under Air Service Command, South Plains became a maintenance and supply depot for excess aircraft that could not be accommodated at Tinker. After the war ended, in 1946 and 1947, South Plains was used as a storage facility for excess aircraft prior to their reclamation.

Military use of South Plains ended on December 1, 1947 and it was returned to the local government for civil use.[5][6][7][8]

Historical airline service[edit]

Braniff Airways, later to be Braniff International Airways, scheduled passenger flights to Lubbock by 1945.[9] Continental Airlines scheduled passenger service to Lubbock by 1948.[10]

Airline jets arrived in 1965 on Braniff International Airways and 1966 on Continental Airlines.[11][12] In spring 1966 Braniff BAC One-Elevens flew nonstop to Dallas Love Field and Amarillo, in addition to Lockheed L-188 Electra and Convair 340 flights, while Continental Douglas DC-9-10s flew nonstop to Dallas Love Field and El Paso in addition to Vickers Viscount flights. Trans-Texas Airways Convair 240s and Douglas DC-3s also served Lubbock.[13]

By 1976 all scheduled passenger airline flights at Lubbock were jets: Braniff Boeing 727-100s and Boeing 727-200s, Continental 727-200s and Texas International Airlines Douglas DC-9-10s, the latter being the re-named Trans-Texas Airways.[14] A 1976 OAG lists nonstop jets to Lubbock from Albuquerque, Amarillo, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), El Paso, Midland/Odessa and Wichita Falls and direct jets from Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi, Denver, Houston (IAH), Lawton, Los Angeles (LAX), Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Tulsa. Braniff Boeing 727s flew direct from Lubbock to New York Newark Airport, Washington D.C. National Airport and Nashville.[15]

Southwest Airlines began serving Lubbock on May 20, 1977 as an intrastate airline with Boeing 737-200s to Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby Airport, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Harlingen.[16] By 1978 Southwest had added nonstop 737 jet flights to El Paso in addition to nonstop jets to Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby Airport and direct jets to other Texas cities.[17] In 1983 Muse Air McDonnell Douglas MD-80s were flying nonstop to Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby Airport and Los Angeles (LAX).[18] American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were serving Lubbock by 1985, both flying nonstop to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) and Amarillo, American with 727-200s and Delta with 737-200s.[19] That year Aspen Airways BAe 146-100s and Convair 580s were flying direct from Denver via Amarillo.[20] In 1989 American, Delta and Southwest flights continued, joined by America West Airlines Boeing 737-200s nonstop from Phoenix and Midland/Odessa.[21]

Facilities[edit]

The airport covers 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) at an elevation of 3,282 feet (1,000 m). It has three runways: 17R/35L is 11,500 by 150 feet (3,505 by 46 m) concrete; 8/26 is 8,001 by 150 feet (2,439 by 46 m) concrete; 17L/35R is 2,891 by 75 feet (881 by 23 m) asphalt.[1]

In 2011 the airport had 78,402 aircraft operations, average 214 per day: 48% general aviation, 29% air taxi, 12% airline, and 10% military. 134 aircraft were then based at this airport: 72% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, 4% jet, and 4% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor[22]
Southwest Airlines Austin, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby (resumes April 14, 2020), [23] Las Vegas
United Express Denver, Houston–Intercontinental

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Ameriflight Dallas/Fort Worth
Baron Aviation Services Abilene, Roswell
Empire Airlines Fort Worth, Midland
FedEx Express Albuquerque, Memphis, Phoenix
UPS Airlines El Paso, Louisville

Statistics[edit]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from LBB
(May 2018 – April 2019)
[24]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas–Love, Texas 168,000 Southwest
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 131,000 American
3 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 50,000 United
4 Denver, Colorado 41,000 United & Southwest
5 Las Vegas, Nevada 37,000 Southwest
6 Austin, Texas 32,000 Southwest
7 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 20,000 American
8 Houston–Hobby, Texas 8,000 Southwest

Incidents[edit]

  • On July 8, 1962 Vickers Viscount N243V of Continental Airlines was damaged beyond economic repair when the propellers struck the runway shortly after take-off. A wheels-up landing was made in a wheat field.[25]
  • On January 27, 2009 an Empire Airlines ATR 42 cargo plane under contract from FedEx Express crashed on landing at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport at 04:37 CT. The plane, which had been traveling from Fort Worth Alliance Airport, landed short of the touchdown zone and skidded off the runway amid light freezing rain. There was a small fire on the plane and two crew members were taken to hospital with minor injuries.[26]
  • On February 4, 2015 a Piper PA-46, during the landing approach, struck a KCBD transmitter 8 miles south of the airport. The sole occupant was killed.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for LBB (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective November 15, 2012.
  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 September 27, 2012.
  3. ^ {{cite web | url = https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=LBB&Airport_Name=Lubbock,%20TX:%20Preston%20Smith%20International&carrier=FACTS
  4. ^ https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=LBB&Airport_Name=Lubbock,%20TX:%20Preston%20Smith%20International&carrier=FACTS. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
  6. ^ Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History's Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.
  7. ^ Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942–2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC
  8. ^ Thole, Lou (1999), Forgotten Fields of America : World War II Bases and Training, Then and Now – Vol. 2. Publisher: Pictorial Histories Pub, ISBN 1-57510-051-7
  9. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Sept. 20, 1945 Braniff Airways timetable
  10. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, May 1, 1948 Continental Airlines timetable
  11. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, April 24, 1966 Braniff International Airways timetable
  12. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1966 Continental Airlines timetable
  13. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 30, 1966 Trans-Texas Airways timetable
  14. ^ Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airlines Guide, North American Edition
  15. ^ Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), North American Edition
  16. ^ https://www.swamedia.com/pages/our-history-sort-by
  17. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1978 Southwest Airlines route map
  18. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Aug. 7, 1983 Muse Air route map
  19. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide
  20. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide
  21. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide
  22. ^ http://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/2015/11/13/american-airlines-adding-more-flights-phoenix/75729196/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=
  23. ^ "Southwest Airlines Announces new non-stop service from Lubbock to Houston". www.kcbd.com. Lubbock, Texas. November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  24. ^ https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=LBB&Airport_Name=Lubbock,%20TX:%20Preston%20Smith%20International&carrier=FACTS
  25. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  26. ^ "FedEx plane crashes in Texas". CNN. January 27, 2009.
  27. ^ http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/texas-news/2015/02/04/report-plane-crashes-into-lubbock-tv-tower/22900063/

External links[edit]