Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport

Coordinates: 44°52′55″N 093°13′18″W / 44.88194°N 93.22167°W / 44.88194; -93.22167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
Wold–Chamberlain Field
Aerial view of the airport in 2012
Airport typePublic / Military
Owner/OperatorMetropolitan Airports Commission
ServesMinneapolis–Saint Paul
LocationFort Snelling Unorganized Territory, Minnesota, U.S.
OpenedJuly 10, 1920; 103 years ago (1920-07-10)
Hub forDelta Air Lines
Operating base for
Elevation AMSL841 ft / 256 m
Coordinates44°52′55″N 093°13′18″W / 44.88194°N 93.22167°W / 44.88194; -93.22167
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 11,006 3,355 Concrete
12R/30L 10,000 3,048 Concrete
12L/30R 8,200 2,499 Concrete
17/35 8,000 2,438 Concrete
Statistics (2023)
Traffic Movements323,929
Source: Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport[1][2]

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (IATA: MSP, ICAO: KMSP, FAA LID: MSP), also less commonly known as Wold–Chamberlain Field, is a joint civil-military public-use international airport located in Fort Snelling Unorganized Territory, Minnesota, United States. Although situated within the unorganized territory, the airport is centrally located within 10 miles (16 kilometers; 9 nautical miles) of both downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul. In addition to primarily hosting commercial flights from major American and some international airlines, the airport is also home to several United States Air Force and Minnesota Air National Guard operations. The airport is also used by a variety of air cargo operators. MSP is the busiest airport in the Upper Midwest.[3]

A joint civil-military airport, MSP is home to the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport Joint Air Reserve Station, supporting both Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard flight operations. Units stationed there include the 934th Airlift Wing (934 AW). The airport is located in Fort Snelling Unorganized Territory. Small sections of the airport border the city limits of Minneapolis and Richfield. However, under Minnesota state law, the parcel of land covered by the airport is not part of any city or school district.[4] MSP covers 2,930 acres (1,186 ha) of land.[5][6] The airport generates an estimated $15.9 billion a year for the Twin Cities' economy and supports 87,000 workers.[7]

MSP was a major hub for Northwest Airlines, and still is for its successor, Delta Air Lines.[8] It also serves as the home airport for Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines.[9] Delta Air Lines and its regional affiliates account for about 70% of the airport's passenger traffic. The airport is operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which also handles the operation of six smaller airports in the region.


What is now known as Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport started in 1919 as Speedway Field when several local groups came together to take control of the former bankrupt Twin City Speedway race track. The first hangar was a wooden structure, constructed in 1920 for airmail services.[10] The Minneapolis Park Board took possession of Speedway Field on June 1, 1928, and in 1929, passenger services began.[10][11] In 1923, the airport was renamed "Wold–Chamberlain Field" for the World War I pilots Ernest Groves Wold and Cyrus Foss Chamberlain. In 1944 the site was renamed to "Minneapolis–St. Paul Metropolitan Airport/Wold-Chamberlain Field", with "International" replacing "Metropolitan" four years later. Today it is rare to see the Wold–Chamberlain portion of the name used anywhere.


Ground was broken for the current Terminal 1 building on October 26, 1958.[12] The US $8.5 million, 600,000 square foot (56,000 m2) terminal with 24 gates on two concourses was designed by Lyle George Landstrom.[13] who worked for Cerny Associates. The terminal, then referred to as the New Terminal, was completed on January 13, 1962, and operations began on January 21.[12][14] Pier D (formerly the Gold Concourse, now Concourse G) was completed in 1971 and Pier A (formerly the Green Concourse, now Concourse C) was completed in 1972 as part of an expansion of the terminal designed by Cerny Associates.[14][15] This project also involved rebuilding the existing concourses into bi-level structures equipped with holding rooms and jet bridges.[14] The Gold Concourse was expanded in 1986 and included the airport's first moving walkway.[12] Concourses A and B opened on June 1, 2002, as part of a $250 million terminal expansion designed by Minneapolis-based Architectural Alliance.[16] The final component of the project included a $17.5 million extension of Concourse C consisting of six additional gates, which opened on October 31, 2002.[17]

Terminal 2 was first built in 1986 and then rebuilt in 2001. It is used mostly for charter and low cost airlines, including Minnesota-based Sun Country and Southwest, but is also used for Condor, Icelandair and JetBlue. The terminal has since been expanded and has a total of 14 gates. The colored labeling system for concourses in both terminals was replaced beginning in 2000 with the current system of lettered concourses.

Recent history[edit]

Due in part to aircraft noise in south Minneapolis, the Highland Park neighborhood in St. Paul, and surrounding suburbs, proposals were made in the 1990s to build a new airport on the fringes of the Twin Cities metro in Dakota County to handle larger jets and more international traffic.[18] Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other neighboring cities were concerned that such a move would have a negative economic impact, so an arrangement was made where the Metropolitan Airports Commission would outfit many homes in the vicinity of the airport with sound insulation and air conditioning so that indoor noise could be reduced. A citizen group named ROAR (Residents Opposed to Airport Racket) was created in 1998 and helped push the MAC to make these concessions. Later, in 2004, the MAC voted to reduce funding for the soundproofing projects, saying in part that the economic climate had turned in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak, who had been a founding member of ROAR, promised that the city would challenge the changes. In 2005, the cities of Minneapolis, Eagan, and Richfield and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority filed a lawsuit against the MAC, which was settled with a Consent Decree in 2007. The terms in the Consent Decree specified levels of sound insulation for homes within a fixed boundary of projected aircraft noise exposure around MSP. Upon the completion of the noise mitigation program in 2014, more than 15,000 single-family homes and 3,303 multi-family units around MSP were provided noise mitigation at cost of $95 million.[19]

A 2022 J.D. Power survey concluded that with ranking the largest US and Canadian airports on a 1,000 point scale based on traveler satisfaction, the airport received a score of 800, ranking it the best airport in the US and Canada. MSP's high ranking was accredited to its recently updated facilities.[20]

Delta A220-300 landing at MSP with a Delta 757-200 taxiing in the foreground.

In 2023, MSP was recognized by Cirium as the world's most on-time international airport, having an on-time departure rate of 84.44% and on-time arrival rate of 84.62%.[21]


Delta Air Lines jets parked at Concourse C


Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport has two terminals with a total of 131 gates.[22]

  • Terminal 1 (Lindbergh) contains 117 gates across seven concourses, lettered A–G.[22]
  • Terminal 2 (Humphrey) contains 14 gates across one concourse, lettered H.[23]

International arrivals are processed in Concourse G in Terminal 1, and in Terminal 2.[22]

The two terminals are located about one mile (1.6 km) apart and accessed from separate exits of Minnesota State Highway 5. The arrangement can be confusing for some drivers, as the terminals are not connected within the airport facilities, meaning that taking the wrong exit can cause a delay of several minutes, and require the use of lightrail public transit or the roadway to travel between terminals. In 2010, signage along Highway 5 was updated to make it more clear which airlines serve each terminal.[24][25]

Terminal 1 is named after aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was raised in Minnesota and Terminal 2 is named after vice president Hubert Humphrey, who also had represented Minnesota in Congress.

Ground transportation[edit]

The terminal buildings are directly located off of Minnesota State Highway 5. Several other major highways that border the airport are Minnesota State Highway 62, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Interstate 494.

Metro Transit, the region's public transportation provider, operates the Blue Line, a light rail route, on the airport grounds. Travelers can use the line to connect between the two terminals. No fare is charged for passengers only travelling between Terminal 1 and 2, and service between the terminals operates all day (the rest of the line shuts down for about four hours overnight).[26] Beyond the airport, the Blue Line travels to downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington. Metro Transit also operates bus route 54 to St. Paul.

Military facilities[edit]

The Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport Joint Air Reserve Station at MSP is home to the 934th Airlift Wing (934 AW), an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) unit and the 133d Airlift Wing (133 AW) of the Minnesota Air National Guard. Both units fly the C-130 Hercules and are operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The 934th consists of over 1,300 military personnel, of whom approximately 250 are full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel. The 133rd is similarly manned, making for a total military presence of over 2,600 full-time and part-time personnel.

The 934 AW serves as the "host" wing for the installation, which also includes lodging/billeting, officers club, Base Exchange (BX) and other morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) facilities for active, reserve/national guard and retired military personnel and their families.


Runways at MSP [27]
Runway Length / width Runway Surface Equipment
04 → 11,006 by 150 ft
3,355 by 46 m
← 22 Concrete Runway 04/22: Medium intensity runway edge lighting [AN(TE HI)]. Both equipped with a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) system.
17 → 8,000 by 150 ft
2,438 by 46 m
← 35 Concrete Runway 17/35: Touchdown and Centerpoint lights and a PAPI system. Runway 35: ILS CAT I-III.
12R → 10,000 by 200 ft
3,048 by 61 m
← 30L Concrete Runway 12R/30L: a PAPI system. 12R: ILS CAT I-III. 30L: ILS CAT II.
12L → 8,200 by 150 ft
2,499 by 46 m
← 30R Concrete 30R: medium intensity runway edge lighting [AN(TE HI)].
Both: a PAPI system.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Aer Lingus Dublin[28] [29]
Air Canada Express Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson [30]
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle[31] [32]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Anchorage, Portland (OR)
Allegiant Air Asheville, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota
Seasonal: Knoxville, West Palm Beach
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Philadelphia, Washington–National
American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare, New York–LaGuardia
Seasonal: Philadelphia, Washington–National
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt [36]
Delta Air Lines Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Bismarck, Boise, Boston, Bozeman, Calgary, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Detroit, Fargo, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madison, Mazatlán (begins December 21, 2024),[37] Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Missoula, Montréal–Trudeau, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Orange County, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Sarasota, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul–Incheon, Sioux Falls, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Tokyo–Haneda, Vancouver, Washington–National, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Asheville, Belize City, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Charleston (SC), Colorado Springs, Cozumel,[38] Dublin,[39] Duluth, Fairbanks, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Grand Cayman,[40] Harlingen, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Liberia (CR), Montego Bay, Myrtle Beach, Omaha, Palm Springs, Portland (ME), Providence, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Rapid City, Reno/Tahoe, Reykjavík–Keflavík,[41] San José del Cabo, Savannah, Tri-Cities (WA), Tucson, West Palm Beach, Wilmington (NC)[42]
Delta Connection Aberdeen (SD), Appleton, Bemidji, Bismarck, Brainerd, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Chicago–Midway, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Des Moines, Duluth, Escanaba, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Wayne, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Grand Forks, Grand Rapids, Great Falls, Green Bay, Hibbing/Chisholm, Indianapolis, International Falls, Iron Mountain, Kansas City, Knoxville (resumes June 7, 2024),[44] Louisville, Madison, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minot, Missoula, Mosinee/Wausau, Newark, Norfolk (resumes June 7, 2024),[45] Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Rapid City, Rhinelander, Richmond, Rochester (MN), Sault Ste. Marie (MI), Sioux Falls, South Bend, St. Louis, Syracuse, Toronto–Pearson, Tri-Cities (WA), Washington–Dulles, Wichita, Williston, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Traverse City
Denver Air Connection Ironwood, Pierre (ends June 9, 2024),[46] Thief River Falls [47]
Frontier Airlines Atlanta, Cincinnati,[48] Cleveland,[48] Dallas/Fort Worth,[48] Denver, Philadelphia (begins May 21, 2024)[48]
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Myers, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík [50]
JetBlue Boston [51]
KLM Amsterdam [52]
Lufthansa Frankfurt (begins June 4, 2024)[53] [54]
Southwest Airlines Austin, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Denver, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis
Seasonal: Dallas–Love, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami
Sun Country Airlines Asheville,[58] Boston, Cancún, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Eau Claire, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa
Seasonal: Albuquerque (begins June 19, 2024),[58] Anchorage, Atlanta,[59] Aruba, Austin,[60] Baltimore, Billings (begins June 19, 2024),[58] Belize City, Boise (begins June 19, 2024),[citation needed] Bozeman, Branson, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland,[61] Colorado Springs, Columbus–Glenn, Cozumel, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Glacier Park/Kalispell, Grand Cayman, Grand Rapids (begins June 13, 2024),[58] Gulfport/Biloxi, Harlingen, Hartford, Houston–Hobby,[58] Indianapolis, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Liberia (CR), Louisville, Manchester (NH) (begins August 22, 2024),[59] Mazatlán, Melbourne/Orlando, Miami, Milwaukee, Missoula (begins June 26, 2024),[58] Montego Bay, Monterey (begins August 8, 2024),[59] Montréal–Trudeau (begins June 21, 2024),[58] Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Oakland (begins May 23, 2024),[58] Omaha, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Mesa, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Providence, Providenciales, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Punta Gorda (FL), Raleigh/Durham, Rapid City, Reno/Tahoe, Richmond, Roatán, San Antonio, San José del Cabo, Sarasota, Savannah, St. Louis, St. Maarten,[62] St. Petersburg/Clearwater, St. Thomas, Spokane, Syracuse (begins June 6, 2024),[58] Toronto–Pearson (begins June 13, 2024),[58] Traverse City, Tucson, Vancouver, Washington–Dulles,[58] West Palm Beach, Wilmington (NC)
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco [64]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles [64]
WestJet Edmonton, Saskatoon [65]
WestJet Encore Regina[66] [67]


Amazon Air Cincinnati, Fort Worth/Alliance, Lakeland, San Bernardino, Wilmington [citation needed]
Bemidji Airlines Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Eveleth, International Falls, Grand Rapids (MN), La Crosse, Rice Lake, Thief River Falls [citation needed]
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Detroit, Omaha, Thief River Falls, Winnipeg [citation needed]
FedEx Express Appleton, Chicago–O'Hare, Fargo, Fort Worth/Alliance, Greensboro, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee
Seasonal: Columbus–Rickenbacker, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland, Rochester (MN), St. Louis
[citation needed]
FedEx Feeder Bemidji, Duluth, Memphis, Thief River Falls [citation needed]
UPS Airlines Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Chicago/Rockford, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Fargo, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, International Falls, La Crosse, Louisville, Marshall, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Rice Lake, Thief River Falls, Wadena, Winnipeg, Winona
Seasonal: Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Milwaukee, Ontario, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sioux Falls
[citation needed]


A Sun Country 737-800 departing MSP

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from MSP (January 2023 – December 2023)[68]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 897,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country, United
2 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 648,000 American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
3 Atlanta, Georgia 606,000 Delta, Spirit
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 601,000 American, Delta, Sun Country, United
5 Las Vegas, Nevada 575,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
6 Los Angeles, California 504,000 Delta, Spirit, Sun Country
7 Orlando, Florida 503,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
8 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 470,000 Alaska, Delta, Sun Country
9 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 431,000 American, Delta, Sun Country
10 Boston, Massachusetts 380,000 Delta, JetBlue, Sun Country
Terminal 1

Top international destinations[edit]

Busiest international routes from MSP (2022)[69]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands 390,147 Delta, KLM
2 Mexico Cancún, Mexico 357,781 Delta, Frontier, Sun Country
3 France Paris, France 210,044 Air France, Delta
4 Canada Toronto, Canada 157,637 Air Canada, Delta
5 Canada Calgary, Canada 130,822 Delta
6 Canada Winnipeg, Canada 110,721 Delta
7 United Kingdom London Heathrow, United Kingdom 92,220 Delta
8 Iceland Reykjavík, Iceland 88,649 Delta, Icelandair
9 Mexico Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 80,051 Delta, Sun Country
10 Canada Vancouver, Canada 76,599 Delta, Sun Country

Airline market share[edit]

Largest airlines at MSP (December 2022 – November 2023)[70]
Rank Airline Passengers Market Share
1 Delta Air Lines 17,959,000 58.24%
2 SkyWest Airlines (operates for Alaska Airlines, Delta Connection and United Express) 2,653,000 8.60%
3 Sun Country Airlines 1,639,000 5.44%
4 Southwest Airlines 1,615,000 5.24%
5 United Airlines 1,411,000 4.57%
6 American Airlines 1,178,000 3.82%
7 All other airlines 4,382,000 13.79%

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at MSP airport. See Wikidata query.
Annual passenger traffic (emplaned + deplaned) at MSP, (2001–2023)[71]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2001 33,733,725 2011 33,118,499 2021 25,202,120
2002 32,629,690 2012 33,170,960 2022 31,241,822
2003 33,201,860 2013 33,897,335 2023 34,770,800
2004 36,713,173 2014 35,152,460
2005 37,663,664 2015 36,582,854
2006 35,612,133 2016 37,517,957
2007 35,157,322 2017 38,034,431
2008 34,056,443 2018 38,037,381
2009 32,378,599 2019 39,555,036
2010 32,839,441 2020 14,851,289

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On March 7, 1950, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 307, a Martin 2-0-2 diverted from Rochester International Airport crashed 5 km northwest of MSP after first hitting a 70 foot high flagpole with its left wing on final approach, 8/10 of a mile from the touchdown point, in blinding snow. The left wing eventually detached and the aircraft dived and crashed into a house. All 13 passengers and crew and two children in the house were killed. A loss of visual reference to the ground on approach was the probable cause.[72]
  • On May 10, 2005, Northwest Flight 1495, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, suffered a valve fracture and lost hydraulic pressure in its right engine shortly after takeoff from John Glenn Columbus International Airport en route to MSP. The aircraft performed a successful emergency landing at MSP, but began experiencing steering problems and a loss of the brakes while taxing to the gate, resulting in it colliding with the wing of an Airbus A319-114 at approximately 16 mph. Eight injuries were reported among the crew and passengers of both planes and the ground crew.[73][74]

See also[edit]



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  71. ^ "About MSP". Archived from the original on January 1, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  72. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
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