McAllen Miller International Airport
|McAllen Miller International Airport|
|Owner||City of McAllen|
|Elevation AMSL||107 ft / 33 m|
McAllen Miller International Airport (IATA: MFE, ICAO: KMFE, FAA LID: MFE) is a city owned, public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) south of the central business district of McAllen, a city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. The airfield is located adjacent to the Interstate 2/U.S. 83 freeway.
It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 372,640 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 361,778 enplanements in 2009, and 344,302 in 2010.
McAllen Miller International Airport covers an area of 370 acres (150 ha) at an elevation of 107 feet (33 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with asphalt surfaces: 14/32 is 7,120 by 150 feet (2,170 x 46 m) and 18/36 is 2,638 by 60 feet (804 x 18 m). In November 2015 the runway designation of 13/31 was changed to 14/32 and an EMAS, engineered materials arrestor system, was installed at the runway 14 approach end.
According to the updated 20-year Master Plan for MFE, runway 14/32 will be extended to 10,000 ft. In addition, a parallel runway will be added. An expanded cargo apron will be on the south side of the airport.
The two runways are the center the airside portion of MFE. These runways are Runway 14/32, and Runway 18/36 (Foreflight, 2012). Runway 14/32 is the longer (and the primary) runway at MFE. This runway is used for all of the commercial and the majority of the business flights. With increasing demand and service, expansion is imminent. There will most likely be 3,000 feet added to Runway 14/32 to be more suitable to larger commercial aircraft (Moultan, 2012). Runway 18/36 can be used to land separate and smaller traffic. Runway 18/36 Does not intersect Runway 14/32 so controllers are able to land traffic easier and use both runways if they absolutely need to. However, the departure end of Runway 18 stops about at about 1/3 of the way down Runway 14/32. This means the traffic on final for Runway 36 must be very cautious of traffic approaching or departing Runway 14/32. Class D airports are airports that are on the smaller side but they still have a control tower. This Class D airport has a very simple layout and taxiways extend the full length of both runways to allow traffic to be able to enter and exit the active runway in an efficient manner (Foreflight, 2012). Both runways are made of asphalt and are in “Good Condition” (Foreflight, 2012). The terminal is very easy for all traffic to reach coming from either runway. However an airplane using Runway 14/32 will have to cross Runway 18/36 to be able to reach the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO). The runways make the shape of the letter V. The terminal, tower, cargo facility, border patrol, and the U.S. Customs apron are all centrally located on the field and are easy to access from either runway (Foreflight, 2012). Taxiway’s A and C are the two taxiways that connect all of these facilities and make this airport very accessible. On the western side of Runway 18/36, there are multiple hangars, the fixed based operator, and the fire station (Foreflight, 2012). In the case of an accident on Runway 14/32, fire and rescue personnel would have to cross Runway 18/36. That is one possible issue of the layout at MFE.
Facilities and aircraft
The airport has one terminal with six gates. In early 2006, Gate 5 opened on the main concourse due to the arrival of Delta Connection.
In 2008, a terminal capacity study was conducted to assess the future needs of the airport and possible terminal expansion to include eight gates, larger ticketing/office area, TSA security area queue. Paid parking at the airport was implemented on November 15, 2007 with the implementation of the economy, long-term and short-term lots. A revised terminal expansion project that includes one additional gate, larger passenger waiting areas, expansion of the TSA screening areas, and other facility modifications began in March 2012.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 65,821 aircraft operations, an average of 180 per day: 73% general aviation, 12% scheduled commercial, 11% military, and 4% air taxi. At that time there were 109 aircraft based at this airport: 56% single-engine, 23% multi-engine, 12% jet, and 9% helicopter.
The following are planned additions/renovations:
- Addition of 52,000 square feet
- Adding space for new explosives screening unit, bringing the total to three
- Expanding the terminal and adding space for another gate
- Adding space for the Transportation Security Administration
- Sterilizer and steam generator (required for some international flights)
- Replacement of HVAC central plant equipment
"The project includes construction of a one-story building addition of approximately 7,400 square feet at the west end of the terminal building for a checked baggage screening facility and expanded outbound baggage handling system; renovation of approximately 11,200 square feet at the east end of the terminal building for public lobby improvements, expanded passenger security screening checkpoint, tenant office improvements, and concessions. It includes a two-story addition of approximately 33,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gates with passenger boarding bridges, passenger holdrooms, public lobbies, restrooms, concessions, airline operations, and mechanical and electrical equipment rooms; renovation of approximately 5,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gate and passenger holdroom improvements. It includes the replacement of HVAC central plant equipment which has reached the end of its useful life; and refurbishment of five existing passenger boarding bridges. Site work includes replacement of portions of the aircraft apron as required for building construction, underground utilities work, and apron drainage, and pavement marking and striping for aircraft positions and service vehicle lanes. The project includes a phased construction program and temporary facilities and provisions necessary to support ongoing airport operations during construction.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate scheduled passenger service from the airport:
According to their summer 2015 system timetables, American Airlines and United Airlines were both operating mainline jet aircraft types on their flights into the airport while their respective codesharing partners, American Eagle (operated by Mesa Airlines) and United Express (operated by ExpressJet or Mesa Airlines), were flying regional jets. American operates Airbus A319 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners while American Eagle flies Canadair CRJ-900 regional jets. United operates Airbus A319, Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 jetliners with United Express flying Canadair CRJ-700, Embraer ERJ-135, Embraer ERJ-145 and Embraer ERJ-175 regional jets.
Current and recent air service
MFE is the busiest commercial passenger airport in the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan area. The airport is also served by two of the three global alliances, Star Alliance and Oneworld. Following growth in commercial passenger service, MFE lost its only international flight in September 2007 – a daily Continental Express flight to Mexico City although Mexican air carrier Aeromar currently operates nonstop service from the airport to the capital of Mexico. After less than one year in service, it was announced that MFE would lose its only non-stop flight to Los Angeles (LAX), operated by Delta Connection partner ExpressJet Airlines, at the end of 2007; however, Allegiant Air currently operates nonstop service on a seasonal basis between McAllen and LAX with several flights a week. In December 2007, it was announced that Delta Connection would pull out of the McAllen market altogether on January 6, 2008, discontinuing its remaining two flights a day from MFE to Atlanta, operated by Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines (now ExpressJet). In March 2009, Delta, through its wholly owned subsidiary Northwest Airlines, returned to MFE with operations to Memphis, operated by Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines. Northwest Airlines had previously operated flights from MFE to its Memphis (MEM) hub commencing in 2004. Following the completion of the merger of Northwest into Delta in 2010, the Memphis hub was eventually shut down although Delta continues to serve MEM at the present time.
On September 7, 2010, Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) resumed service to MFE essentially taking over the non-stop MFE–MEM route from Pinnacle Airlines. On May 1, 2011, Delta Connection partner ASA began non-stop service from MFE to ATL and discontinued service from MFE to MEM (flights from MFE to ATL were then operated by ExpressJet following the merger of this regional airline with Atlantic Southeast). However, this route was discontinued on May 1, 2012.
On May 24, 2009, Allegiant Air commenced bi-weekly, non-stop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), in addition to non-stop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) twice a week, and non-stop service to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) five times a week. On August 15, 2009, Allegiant announced that it would cease to operate service from MFE to LAX after less than a year in service due to poor passenger load factor. However, Allegiant subsequently reinstated service on the route and continues to fly non-stop between McAllen and LAX on a seasonal basis.
As of May 1, 2012, Delta ceased operations at MFE and thus concluded the SkyTeam presence at McAllen. Delta's decision was reported by the airline to be a lack of profitability on the Atlanta non-stop route. No date has been provided with regard to Delta possibly reinstating service to MFE.
Historical air service
Trans-Texas Airways (TTa) and its successor Texas International Airlines served the airport for over 32 years. In 1949, Trans-Texas was operating 21-seat Douglas DC-3 aircraft (which the airline called the "Starliner") with two daily round trip services flying an intrastate routing of Brownsville - Harlingen - McAllen - Laredo - Carrizo Springs/Crystal City - Eagle Pass - Uvalde - San Antonio - Beeville - Victoria - Houston. TTa was also flying direct service to El Paso at this time from the airport. By 1963, Trans-Texas was operating all flights into McAllen with Convair 240 propliners with direct service to Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas Love Field, Fort Worth (via now closed Greater Southwest International Airport), Houston, Laredo, Longview, TX, San Antonio, Shreveport, Tyler, TX and Victoria. In 1968, Convair 600 turboprops were being operated on all flights from the airport by TTa. By 1970, jet service had arrived in McAllen as Texas International Airlines was operating Douglas DC-9-10 jetliners non-stop to Houston Intercontinental Airport and Corpus Christi as well as direct to Dallas Love Field. According to the July 1, 1970 Texas International system timetable, the airline was also flying direct, no change of plane service to Los Angeles (LAX) at this time with a routing of McAllen - Harlingen - Houston Intercontinental Airport - Dallas Love Field - Midland/Odessa - Roswell, NM - Albuquerque - Los Angeles. In addition, Texas International was operating Convair 600 turboprop service non-stop to Houston and direct to Austin and San Antonio at this same time. By 1978, Texas International was operating an all-jet fleet with Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 aircraft with non-stop service to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH) and San Antonio as well as direct jet service to Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Lafayette, LA, Lubbock and New Orleans. For many years, the only scheduled airline service operated into McAllen was flown by Trans-Texas Airways and its successor Texas International.
International air service
On January 11, 2012, Mexican air carrier Aeromar announced it would commence non-stop service to Mexico City beginning in mid-March. Aeromar currently operates the only international non-stop service from the airport flying ATR 42 or ATR 72 turboprops on its Mexico City route.
Historically, Trans-Texas Airways (TTa) began flights to Mexico from the airport during the late 1960s. In 1968, TTa was operating ten non-stop flights a week to Monterrey as well as direct service six days a week to Tampico and Veracruz via Harlingen with all flights being operated with Convair 600 turboprops. In 1969, Trans-Texas changed its name to Texas International Airlines and by 1970 was operating daily Douglas DC-9-10 jet service non-stop to Monterrey on a routing of Dallas Love Field (DAL) - Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) - Harlingen - McAllen - Monterrey. In 1974, Texas International was operating non-stop DC-9 jetliner service to Mexico City on a daily routing of Dallas/Fort Worth - Houston Intercontinental - Corpus Christi - McAllen - Mexico City but was no longer flying non-stop to Monterrey. In 1975, Texas International was flying non-stop DC-9 service from the airport to both Tampico and Veracruz twice a week. By the late 1970s, Texas International was no longer operating international service from the airport to Mexico although the airline was flying all DC-9 jet service non-stop to both Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth at this time.
In 1982, Texas International was merged into Continental Airlines and international service to Mexico resumed at this time. Following the merger, Texas International was initially operated as an independent air carrier by Continental. The June 1, 1982 Continental (CO) / Texas International (TI) joint system timetable lists non-stop service being operated twice a day from the airport to Mexico City as well as non-stop service being flown four times a week to Guadalajara with all flights being operated by TI with DC-9 jets. However, by the end of 1983, Continental had ceased all international as well as domestic flights from the airport. Continental returned to McAllen by the mid 1980s with domestic service flown non-stop to Houston Intercontinental with Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets and was once again operating international non-stop flights to Mexico City from the airport by the mid 1990s with this service being flown with McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners. By the mid 2000s, Continental had turned over its nonstop service to Mexico City to regional codesharing partner Continental Express operated by ExpressJet which was flying daily to the capital of Mexico with an Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet. This service was subsequently discontinued.
McAllen was also served by Aeromexico partner Aerolitoral via a codesharing agreement during the mid 1990s. In 1994, Aerolitoral was flying up to four non-stops a day to Monterrey with Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner commuter propjets with continuing direct service being operated to Chihuahua, Leon, San Luis Potosi, Tampico and Villahermosa, all located in Mexico.
Past jet service
Following its merger with Texas International Airlines in 1982, Continental Airlines began serving McAllen primarily with non-stop service to its hub located at Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Over the years, Continental operated a number of different jetliner types into the airport including Boeing 727-100, 727-200, 737-300, 737-500, 737-800 and 757-200 aircraft as well as Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 and MD-80 jets. Continental also operated direct one stop flights from McAllen to a number of destinations at various times during the 1980s and 1990s including Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Kansas City (MCI), Miami (MIA), New Orleans (MSY), Pensacola (PNS), Seattle (SEA) and Tampa (TPA). In 1994, the airline was operating direct, no change of plane McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jet service on a daily basis from the airport to Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) via intermediate stops in Houston and Seattle. Continental merged with United Airlines in 2010.
In 1982, Austin-based Emerald Air (United States) was operating Pan Am Express service in Texas via an agreement with Pan Am and was serving McAllen with two Douglas DC-9-10 jet flights a day to Houston Intercontinental Airport and San Antonio. By 1984, Emerald Air was serving McAllen as an independent air carrier with up to eleven departures a day all operated with DC-9 twin jets. Emerald was flying non-stop jet service at this time to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), San Antonio and Corpus Christi with direct one stop service to Austin. This airline ceased operations and went out of business in 1985.
Muse Air and its successor TranStar Airlines served McAllen during the mid 1980s. In 1985, Houston-based Muse Air was operating up to five departures a day non-stop to its hub located at Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 jetliners with all of these flights offering continuing service on a one stop basis direct to Dallas Love Field (DAL). Muse Air was then acquired by Southwest Airlines which changed the Muse Air name to TranStar with the newly renamed airline continuing to serve the airport independently with non-stop DC-9-50 jet service to its Houston Hobby hub as well as one stop flights direct to Dallas Love Field. TranStar ceased operations and went out of business in 1987.
American Airlines began serving the airport during the early 1990s. In 1991, American was operating three daily nonstops to its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub with McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners and by 1995 was flying four daily nonstops to DFW with Fokker 100 twin jets. In 2007, American was operating up to four non-stops a day to Dallas/Fort Worth with all flights being operated with MD-80s. At this same time, the airline was also operating direct, one stop MD-80 service to Atlanta (ATL), El Paso (ELP), Oakland, CA (OAK) and Raleigh/Durham (RDU). American and its regional affiliate American Eagle continue to serve the airport at the present time.
Trans World Airlines (TWA) also served McAllen. In 2001, TWA was operating McDonnell Douglas MD-80 service non-stop to Austin (AUS) with continuing, direct one stop service to its St. Louis (STL) hub. By the end of 2001, Trans World Airlines had been merged into American Airlines.
As stated above, Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA, now ExpressJet) was flying to Delta's Atlanta (ATL) hub. In 2007, Delta Connection was operating two non-stop flights a day to ATL with Canadair CRJ-200 regional jets on behalf of Delta Air Lines via a codesharing agreement. This service was eventually discontinued in 2012 and Delta no longer has a presence in McAllen. Prior to the completion of the merger of Northwest Airlines with Delta in 2010, Northwest had operated non-stop DC-9 flights to its Memphis (MEM) hub in 2004 which were followed by Northwest Airlink nonstops to MEM operated by codesharing partner Pinnacle Airlines with Canadair CRJ-200 regional jets in 2009.
Past commuter airline service
McAllen was also served by Austin-based Conquest Airlines from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. In 1989, the commuter air carrier was operating non-stops to San Antonio with Beechcraft 1900C turboprops. By 1994, Conquest was flying non-stops to Austin, Laredo and San Antonio as well as direct one stop flights to Tyler, TX with all service being operated with Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner commuter propjets.
The McAllen Miller International Airport's food and beverage options include a Coffee Zone both pre- and post-security and the Comfort Zone bar post-security. In addition, the McAllen Airport offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the terminal. Post-security, the airport has a Classic Shoe Shine booth whose prices can be found on the airport's website. For shopping amenities, the airport has the Explore McAllen store post-security. In October 2010, a CNBC News Store was completed pre-security. In addition, Aeromar Airlines operates a Salon Diamante which is available for use for all passengers flying on Aeromar as well as their guests. Amenities in the club include complimentary soft drinks, Wi-Fi, TV, and more.
The airport has on-site and off-site rental car companies as well.
|United Airlines Cargo||Houston–Intercontinental|
|United Parcel Service||Little Rock, Louisville|
Nearby commercial airports with passenger air service in far south Texas include:
- Valley International Airport (HRL) – Harlingen (40 miles)
- Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport (BRO) – Brownsville (63 miles)
There are also two commercial airports located across the border in Mexico with passenger service: General Lucio Blanco International Airport (REX) in Reynosa and General Servando Canales International Airport (MAM) in Matamoros.
- FAA Airport Master Record for MFE ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "Activity Report" (PDF). McAllen Miller International Airport. January 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012. External link in
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. External link in
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. External link in
- http://www.mcallen.net/files/docs/bids/08-11-C30-190/BN%20MMIAP%20Terminal%20Expansion-revised.pdf[dead link]
- http://www.aa.com, July 8, 2015 American Airlines system timetable
- http://united.com, July 11, 2015 United Airlines system timetable
- http://www.flightaware.com, flight tracking for KMFE
- http://www.aeromar.com.mx, McAllen-Mexico City schedules
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Nov. 1, 1949 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1963 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 1968 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
- http://departedflights.com, July 1, 1970 Texas International Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, March 15, 1978 Texas International Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Aug. 1968 Trans-Texas Airways system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1970 Texas International Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1974 Texas International Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Tampico & Veracruz flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, June 1, 1982 Continental Airlines-Texas International Airlines joint system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 16, 1983 Continental Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Houston-McAllen schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Oct. 30, 1994 Continental Airlines system timetable
- Feb. 2007 OAG Flight Guide Worldwide, McAllen schedules
- Sept. 15, 1994 North American Edition, OAG Desktop Flight Guide
- http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1983; Feb. 15, 1985; Dec. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 & June 1, 1999 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Houston Intercontinental-McAllen schedules
- Feb. 2007 OAG Flight Guide Worldwide
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 1, 1987 Continental Airlines Employee system timetable & Oct. 30, 1994 Continental Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 8, 1982 Pan Am system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, March 15, 1985 Emerald Air system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, July 20, 1985 Muse Air system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, March 14, 1986 TranStar Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Oct. 1, 1991 & April 2, 1995 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Dallas/Ft. Worth-McAllen schedules
- http://airliners.net, TWA McAllen service forum
- http://www.departedflights.com, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), San Antonio-McAllen schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), San Antonio-McAllen schedules
- McAllen International Airport, official site
- McAllen Miller International (MFE) at Texas DOT airport directory
- Aerial image as of January 1995 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective September 14, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MFE, effective September 14, 2017
- Resources for this airport: