Mason City Municipal Airport
|Mason City Municipal Airport|
|Owner||City of Mason City|
|Serves||Mason City, Iowa|
|Elevation AMSL||1,214 ft / 370 m|
FAA airport diagram
Mason City Municipal Airport (IATA: MCW, ICAO: KMCW, FAA LID: MCW) is a city-owned, public use airport located five nautical miles (9 km) west of the central business district of Mason City, in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. It is located in the northern part of Lake Township, just east of the city of Clear Lake. It is primarily used for general aviation, although it has commercial service subsidized through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, this airport had 11,678 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 11,076 in 2009, and 13,852 in 2010. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.
On February 2, 1942, Mason City passed a resolution to create a new airport and purchased 312 acres several miles west of the city. The new Mason City Municipal Airport saw its first official landing a few years later on March 29, 1945. The airport consisted of two paved runways, associated taxiways, and a small ramp area. A remodeled farmhouse was used as the first commercial terminal during the airport dedication on June 22, 1946.
Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died in a plane crash after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake. This event is not commemorated anywhere on the airport grounds.And there is a memorial near this area with "Buddy Holly's" glasses.
Facilities and aircraft
Mason City Municipal Airport covers an area of 1,103 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 1,214 feet (370 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 18/36 is 6,501 by 150 feet (1,982 x 46 m) and 12/30 is 5,502 by 150 feet (1,677 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2015, the airport had 33,368 aircraft operations, an average of 91 per day: 90% general aviation, 5% scheduled commercial, 5% air taxi, and <1% military. At that time there were 65 aircraft based at this airport: 49 single-engine, 13 multi-engine, and 3 jet.
Airlines and destinations
Air Choice One started service from Mason City to Chicago O'Hare International Airport in November 2014, to St. Louis Lambert International in February 2015, and to Minneapolis/St. Paul in November 2016.
|Air Choice One||Chicago-O'Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Air Choice One||
|2||Fort Dodge, IA||1,000|
- On August 22, 1954, Braniff Airlines flight 4630 Douglas DC-3 crashed south of Mason City Municipal Airport after departing Waterloo Regional Airport in nearby Waterloo, Iowa. The aircraft crashed after entering a thunderstorm at a low altitude. 12 of 19 passengers died.
- In the early morning hours of February 3, 1959 (also known as 'the day the music died'), following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake, Iowa, musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died after the Beechcraft Bonanza they were flying in crashed after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport.
- FAA Airport Master Record for MCW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (MCW: Mason City)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Mason City, IA: Mason City Municipal (MCW)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. Nov 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-2001-10684) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2005-6-13 (June 20, 2005): selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Airlink, an affiliate of Northwest Airlines, to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2005, at an annual subsidy of $777,709 for Thief River Falls and a combined annual subsidy of $2,160,770 for Fort Dodge and Mason City.
- Order 2007-6-3 (June 11, 2007): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation Inc., d/b/a Northwest Airlink (Mesaba), to continue to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2007. Service will consist of 18 round trips per week at Fort Dodge and Mason City, routed Fort Dodge-Mason City-Minneapolis/St. Paul, at the combined annual subsidy rate of $21,113,865. Service at Thief River Falls will consist of 12 one-stop round trips per week to Minneapolis/St. Paul at the annual subsidy rate of $1,065,639. All service will be provided with 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft as Northwest Airlink.
- Order 2009-4-20 (April 27, 2009): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to continue providing subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, IA, and Thief River Falls, MN, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2009, at the annual subsidy rates of $2,225,213 for Fort Dodge and Mason City, and $1,230,322 for Thief River Falls.
- Order 2011-6-7 (June 8, 2011): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to provide essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, at annual subsidy rates of $1,910,995 and $1,017,545 at Mason City, respectively, for the five-month period June 1, 2011, through October 31, 2011.
- Order 2011-11-30 (November 23, 2011): selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., to provide essential air service (EAS) at six communities at the following annual subsidy rates: Brainerd, Minnesota, $959,865; Fort Dodge, $1,798,693; Iron Mountain, $1,707,841; Mason City, $1,174,468; Thief River Falls, Minnesota, $1,881,815; and Watertown, $1,710,324, for the two-year period beginning when Great Lakes inaugurates full EAS at all six communities
- Great Lakes Airlines press release (January 27, 2014): Effective February 1, 2014, Great Lakes Airlines will be suspending service from Devils Lake and Jamestown, ND; Fort Dodge and Mason City, IA; Ironwood, MI; and Thief River Falls, MN due to the severe industry-wide pilot shortage and its relative acute impact on Great Lakes.
- Order 2014-1-20 (January 31, 2014): requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing Essential Air Service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and/or Mason City, Iowa. The communities will be without air service effective February 1, 2014.
- Mason City Municipal Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of May 1994 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective March 2, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MCW, effective March 2, 2017
- Resources for this airport: