Rochester International Airport

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Rochester International Airport
Rochester International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator City of Rochester
Location Rochester, Minnesota
Hub for Mayo Clinic MedAir
Elevation AMSL 1,317 ft / 401.4 m
Coordinates 43°54′30″N 92°30′00″W / 43.90833°N 92.50000°W / 43.90833; -92.50000
Rochester International Airport is located in Minnesota
Rochester International Airport
Rochester International Airport
Rochester International Airport is located in the US
Rochester International Airport
Rochester International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 9,034 2,754 Concrete
2/20 7,301 2,225 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Number of Passengers 283,000[1]
Based aircraft (2017) 64

Rochester International Airport (IATA: RSTICAO: KRSTFAA LID: RST) is a nonhub primary airport located seven miles (11 km) southwest of the central business district of Rochester, a city in Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States. It is the second busiest airport in Minnesota. It used to be called "Rochester Municipal Airport", which was its name before adding customs and immigration facilities specifically for Mayo Clinic purposes in 1995.[2]

The airport covers 2,400 acres (971 ha) and has two runways: a 9,034 ft × 150 ft (2,754 m × 46 m) concrete primary runway (13–31) and a 7,301 ft × 150 ft (2,225 m × 46 m) concrete secondary runway (2-20).

Commercial air service is provided by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines using commuter jets only. Charter service is offered by Sun Country Airlines using narrow body Boeing 737 aircraft. The airport also has a large FedEx Express terminal in addition to a general aviation terminal.


The original Rochester International Airport was founded in 1928 by the Mayo Foundation as a way to get patients from far-flung locations to the Mayo Clinic. It originally was located in what is now southeast Rochester and occupied 285 acres (1.2 km²). The following year, 'Rochester Airport' was officially dedicated, and the Rochester Airport Company was founded as a subsidiary of the Mayo Foundation. Northwest Airlines began running Ford Trimotors to Rochester from its hub in St. Paul. Rochester was one of the first destinations from the Twin Cities in Northwest Airlines history, behind Chicago, Winnipeg, Green Bay, and Fargo.

In 1940, the existing runways were paved, and additional land was acquired, bringing the airport's total area to 370 acres (1.5 km²). During World War II, the Army Air Corps conducted training operations from the airport. In 1945, the Mayo Foundation gave the airport to the city of Rochester, but the Rochester Airport Company continued to operate the field under an agreement with the city. The airport was renamed Lobb Field in 1952. In the 1940s through the 1960s, the airport was served by Braniff Airways, North Central Airlines, Ozark Airlines, and other small air carriers in addition to Northwest.

In 1960 it was decided to replace Lobb Field with a new airport southwest of the town because it could not be expanded to accommodate the larger airliners and was too close to the urban area of Rochester. The original Rochester Airport was closed in 1961.

In 1960, Rochester Municipal Airport opened at its current location 8 miles (13 km) south of downtown Rochester. American Airlines began service to Chicago O'Hare in 1988. 1995 saw the addition of a US Customs post and it became the Rochester International Airport. TWA operated flights to St. Louis in early 2001, but these routes were dropped very soon due to the merger with American Airlines. On September 15, 2005, the primary runway was lengthened from 7,533' to 9,034' following a three-month closure for renovations. At the same time, runway centerline and touchdown zone lighting were both added. The change was made primarily to accommodate large wide body aircraft, which were heavily weight-restricted upon departure prior to the extension.


Plans for a new Terminal Building were recently updated to reflect continued use and investment into the existing Terminal including the addition of a US Customs Facility.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
American Airlines Chicago–O'Hare
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare

Airport directors from the airport are attempting to get more air service into Rochester. The airport directors have recently contacted the current providers, American and Delta, about adding more destinations, and have also contacted United and Frontier, to bring new nonstop destinations to the airport.[3] On February 26, 2017, United announced it was adding three daily flights to Chicago–O'Hare beginning June 8. The new flight will compete with existing service from American Airlines.[4]

In August 2012, just days after Allegiant Air announced flights between Rochester and Phoenix (Allegiant Air has since dropped its Rochester service altogether), the United States Department of Transportation gave the airport $500,000 and the city of Rochester gave the airport $250,000 to help recruit more airlines and non-stop destinations.[5]

Top destinations[edit]

Top domestic routes out of RST
(Oct 2016 - Sept 2017)
Rank City Passengers Carrier
1 Chicago–O'Hare, IL 61,000 American, United
2 Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 41,000 Delta
3 Atlanta, GA 21,000 Delta

Cargo destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
AirNet Express Des Moines, Fort Dodge (IA), Mason City (IA), Milwaukee, Omaha, St. Paul-Downtown
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Salt Lake City
FedEx Feeder operated by CSA Air Brainerd, Duluth, Wausau
Freight Runners Express Milwaukee

General Aviation Facilities[edit]

Rochester Aviation is the general aviation terminal at the airport. It is owned and operated by Hiawatha Aviation, Inc. The terminal provides line services, refueling services, and caters largely towards business aviation. On April 1, 2006, the ownership of Rochester Aviation was passed onto Regent Aviation of St. Paul. In November 2007, Regent Aviation in turn sold its ownership stake in Rochester's general aviation terminal to Signature Flight Support, a worldwide fixed-base operator provider. Aircraft rental and flight instruction at RST are available through Spectrum Pilot Services, with various aircraft providing flight instruction with a group of Certified Flight Instructors. The airport is also home to the Southeastern Minnesota Flying Club, which has had a presence at both RST and its predecessor Lobb Field for over 50 years.


Transportation to Rochester International Airport is available from downtown Rochester via $30 taxi or $15 shuttle service. Rochester Yellow Cab, Rochester Taxi, and Med-City Taxi service the airport with both cabs and shuttles.


  1. ^ a b "OST_R - BTS - Transtats". 
  2. ^ "Airport History - Rochester International Airport". 
  3. ^ RST Airside Times – Airport Director's Update Rochester International Airport. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  4. ^ "United domestic routes addition from June 2017". Routes Online. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  5. ^ Rochester Airport gets 750K for more air service KTTC. Retrieved August 16, 2012.

External links[edit]