Missoula International Airport
Missoula International Airport
|Owner||Missoula County Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||3,206 ft / 977 m|
Sources: Montana DOT 
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year). Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 288,071 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 281,428 in 2009 and 289,875 in 2010.
Several expansion projects are planned or underway. The recently constructed 101-foot control tower was completed in September 2012. An expansion of the terminal building, with a new security screening area, was completed in 2007. Despite its name, not a single international flight operates from the airport.
Missoula's first landing strip was laid out in 1923 south of the university. An additional strip near the Western Montana Fair Grounds on what is now Sentinel High School was sold to the county in 1927 at the request of the Missoula chapter of the National Aeronautic Association and would become Missoula's first true airport. The current airfield is named after that chapter's first president, Harry O. Bell along with mountain flying pioneer Bob Johnson of Johnson Flying Service (now Minuteman Aviation). The original Garden City Airport was renamed Hale Field in 1935 and would operate as such until closing forever in 1954. The airport was gradually replaced by the Missoula County Airport opened in 1941 with WPA funds and the cooperation of the US Forest Service who needed access to an airport. The new airport was renamed Johnson-Bell Field in 1968 and today serves over 750,000 passengers a year.
In the year ending January 1, 2018 the airport had 35,944 aircraft operations, average 98 per day: 63% general aviation, 16% air taxi, 20% airline, and 2% military. 161 aircraft were then based at the airport: 56% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, 18% jet, and 14% helicopter.
The airport recently constructed a new 101-foot tall control tower, replacing one that opened in 1961. The new control tower is one of the tallest control towers in the Pacific Northwest, and is the tallest in Montana. The price tag is an estimated $6.77 million.
Due to increased patronage, it was determined in 2013 that further expansion of the current terminal was not financially prudent, with a new terminal instead being proposed. Construction started on the new terminal in 2018, with phase 1 expected to be complete and operational by the end of 2021. Upon the completion of phase 1, the current terminal will be demolished prior to beginning construction on phase 2, expected to be complete in 2022.
Airlines and destinations
|Alaska Airlines||Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego (CA), San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma|
|Allegiant Air|| Las Vegas, Orange County, Phoenix/Mesa|
Seasonal: Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland (OR)
|American Airlines||Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (resumes June 3, 2021)|
|American Eagle|| Dallas/Fort Worth|
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Los Angeles (begins June 3, 2021)
|Delta Air Lines|| Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City|
Seasonal: Atlanta (resumes May 29, 2021)
|Delta Connection|| Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City|
Seasonal: Los Angeles
|Frontier Airlines||Seasonal: Denver|
|United Airlines|| Denver|
|United Express|| Denver|
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco
|2||Denver, Colorado||55,000||Frontier, United|
|3||Salt Lake City, Utah||52,000||Delta|
|4||Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota||30,000||Delta|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||24,000||American|
|8||Las Vegas, Nevada||10,000||Allegiant|
|9||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||4,000||American, United|
|10||Los Angeles, California||3,000||Allegiant, United|
- PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective June 7, 2014.
- "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.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "Airport Studies and Research". Montana.gov. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- Briggeman, Kim (July 27, 2010). "Tower to rise: Missoula airport to get modern control center". The Missoulian.
- Fryer, Brian. "Missoula's New Airport Will Improve Passenger Service in Western Montana". Engineering News-Record. BNP Media. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
- "American Airlines plans additional domestic routes in S18". RoutesOnline. December 17, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
- "United continues domestic routes expansion in 2018". RoutesOnline. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- RITA | BTS | Transtats
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Missoula International Airport.|
- Missoula International Airport, official website
- (PDF), effective April 22, 2021
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MSO, effective April 22, 2021
- Resources for this airport: