South Bend International Airport

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South Bend International Airport
South Bend Airport logo.png
Airport type Public
Owner St. Joseph County Airport Authority
Serves South Bend, Indiana Elkhart, Indiana Niles, Michigan St. Joseph, Michigan
Elevation AMSL 799 ft / 244 m
Coordinates 41°42′30″N 086°19′02″W / 41.70833°N 86.31722°W / 41.70833; -86.31722Coordinates: 41°42′30″N 086°19′02″W / 41.70833°N 86.31722°W / 41.70833; -86.31722
FAA diagram
FAA diagram
SBN is located in Indiana
SBN is located in the US
Location of airport in Indiana/United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9L/27R 4,300 1,311 Asphalt
9R/27L 8,414 2,565 Asphalt
18/36 7,100 2,164 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passenger Enplanements 314,300
Air Cargo (lbs) 27,717,111
Aircraft Operations 38,623
Fixed Wing Based Aircraft 64
Source: South Bend Airport website[1] and FAA[2]

South Bend International Airport (IATA: SBNICAO: KSBNFAA LID: SBN)[3] is three miles northwest of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States.[2] Formerly South Bend Regional Airport,[4] it is the state's third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic after Indianapolis International Airport and Fort Wayne International Airport.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015–2019 called it a primary commercial service facility.[5]

Federal Aviation Administration and St. Joseph County Airport Authority records show the airport had 328,992 passenger enplanements in 2013,[6] 311,158 in 2014,[7] and 314,300 in 2015.[8]

Front of airport terminal, June 2005


In the early days South Bend's main airport was Cadet Field in present-day Granger. Vincent Hugo Bendix, founder of Bendix Aviation, bought land northwest of South Bend to provide air service closer to the city. Bendix Field opened in 1933.[9]

Bendix Field was later called St. Joseph County Airport, then Michiana Regional Transportation Center. The airport was renamed South Bend Regional Airport on January 1, 2000, to help identify the airport, many travelers not knowing the meaning of Michiana (taken from Michigan and Indiana).[10][11]

The April 1957 OAG shows 10 weekday departures on North Central, 9 on United, 6 on Lake Central and 3 on TWA. North Central Airlines merged with Southern Airways on July 1, 1979, commencing operations with Republic from South Bend.

Until the 1980s the airport had four runways; in the 1950s runway 9 was 5000 ft, runways 6 (now taxiway A-3) and 12 (now taxiway A-4) were 4000 ft and the 3059-ft runway 18 connected the west ends of runways 6 and 12. In 1963-65 runway 9 was extended to 6000 ft. In 1967 SBN got its first scheduled jets, which were United Caravelles on a Chicago O'Hare-South Bend-Fort Wayne-Newark and back rotation.

On April 23, 2014, the St. Joseph County Airport Authority announced the airport was changing its name from South Bend Regional Airport to South Bend International Airport. The Airport Authority has had conversations with two airlines interested in providing service to Mexico and the Bahamas and indicated that it was looking at potential service to Toronto, Ireland and Europe. As part of the change, the airport will begin a $3 million(USD) project to construct a general aviation facility and a border customs area, to be financed through a combination of federal, state and airport funds.[12][13][14]


South Bend International Airport is one of the few multi-modal transportation facilities in America that provide air, interstate bus and interstate rail service at one terminal. The St. Joseph County Airport Authority claims the airport was the first truly multi-modal airport in the country.

The airport is governed by the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, which is a municipality in the State of Indiana. Its four bipartisan board members are appointed by the St. Joseph County Commissioners. The Airport Authority is directed by Mike Daigle who is an accredited airport executive. Board members include Thomas S. Botkin, Abraham Marcus, David R. Sage and James V. Wyllie. The Airport Authority employs approximately 60 staff members.

The mission of the St. Joseph County Airport Authority as defined is "to maximize the safety, service, efficiency and effectiveness of South Bend Airport for the traveling public, and to promote the value of the airport to the community."[15]


The airport covers 2,200 acres (890 ha) at an elevation of 799 feet (244 m). It has three asphalt runways: 9L/27R is 4,300 by 75 feet (1,311 x 23 m); 9R/27L is 8,414 by 150 feet (2,565 x 46 m); 18/36 is 7,100 by 150 feet (2,164 x 46 m).[2]

Runway 18/36 re-opened in the third quarter of 2007, at a new length of 7,100 feet (2,200 m). Runway connector N3 was reopened after being closed over a decade.

The terminal, built in 1981 and designed by HOK and Cole Associates[16] and expanded in 2011 by Ken Herceg & Associates, has one nine-gate concourse: Concourse A. Six of the nine gates (A3, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9) have jetways, while three (A1, A2, A4) are ground-level. Amenities include cafes and restaurants, a concession area/lounge, a gift shop, a children's play area, a business center, and free Wi-Fi available throughout the terminal.[17]

South Bend International Airport has an in-terminal viewing area with live air traffic control transmissions from South Bend Air Traffic Control Tower/TRACON. The viewing area is located on the second level of the terminal's atrium.

Plans have been drafted for the addition of a General Inspection Facility and Federal Inspection Station, allowing the airport to house U.S. Customs.[18] Construction began in 2016 and is expected to be completed prior to 2017.


Within Indiana, the airport is third in passenger enplanements (311,158) after Indianapolis International (3,605,908) and Fort Wayne International (323,252).[7] The airport is also in third place behind Indianapolis and Fort Wayne in cargo operations and fifth in the state for overall take-offs and landings. Due to South Bend's proximity to Chicago, South Bend air traffic controllers work closely with Chicago Center and Chicago Approach Control to sequence aircraft into and out of Chicago's terminal airspace. These efforts make South Bend's Tower/TRACON the second busiest terminal air traffic facility in the state.

In 2011 the airport had 38,623 aircraft operations, average 105 per day: 52% general aviation, 41% air taxi, 7% scheduled commercial and <1% military. 47 aircraft were then based at this airport: 62% single-engine, 23% multi-engine, 13% jet and 2% helicopter.[2]

Air service[edit]

South Bend's three airlines have non-stop flights to nine cities. Allegiant operates their Airbus A320 family to Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, United operates CRJ200s and ERJ-145s to Chicago O'Hare and Newark via their regional partners SkyWest and Expressjet, and Delta operates CRJ200 service to Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis through regional partner SkyWest. Due to the airports close proximity to Notre Dame, Delta operates seasonal mainline flights during graduation and home football games to Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, as well as New York LaGuardia with their Airbus A320s, Boeing 717s, or McDonnell Douglas MD80 series aircraft. Additionally, Delta provides charter operations to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team using Boeing 757, Boeing 767, or Airbus A330 series aircraft. The multi-modal terminal serves over one million air, rail and bus passengers each year. According to the 2007 Economic Impact Report from the Aviation Authority of Indiana, the airport's annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was in excess of $433.7 million. SBN’s annual contribution to the Indiana economy is estimated at more than $1.4 billion.[19]

Allegiant Air announced in March 2008 interest in providing direct flights between South Bend and Cancún, Mexico. The airport authority told the public in a press release that now is the time to prepare for the service, not later, due to the time it will take to get the customs facility operational, which could be a few years. The 2009-2011 terminal renovation did not include a customs facility, nor did US Customs & Border Protection open an office at the airport until 2014. However, construction is now underway for a passenger customs facility that will be linked to Gate A9 via a walkway. This facility is scheduled to open in 2016.

Frontier Airlines started flights between SBN and Denver in October 2012. However, the service ended a year later. The airport is working to find a replacement service to the Western US.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

South Bend International Airport is located in the US
Airline destinations from South Bend Airport
Airlines Destinations Refs
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater [20]
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia [21]
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul [21]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark [22]


Carrier shares: Aug 2015-Jul 2016[23]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Shuttle America
Top domestic destinations:
Nov 2015-Oct 2016
Rank Airport Passengers Airlines
1 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 63,000 Delta
2 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL) 61,000 Delta
3 Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) 56,000 United
4 Minneapolis/St Paul International (MSP) 30,000 Delta
5 Punta Gorda/Fort Myers (PGD) 23,000 Allegiant
6 Orlando/Sanford International (SFB) 22,000 Allegiant
7 St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE) 22,000 Allegiant
8 Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS) 15,000 Allegiant
9 Phoenix/Mesa Gateway (AZA) 15,000 Allegiant
10 Newark Liberty International (EWR) 13,000 United
Annual Passenger Enplanements at SBN, 2000 - 2015[24]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2000 432,439 2010 317,096
2001 375,817 2011 305,386
2002 409,319 2012 299,592
2003 404,607 2013 328,992
2004 397,565 2014 311,158
2005 349,847 2015 315,313
2006 378,909
2007 398,500
2008 357,168
2009 318,974


Airlines Destinations
FedEx Express Fort Wayne, Memphis
FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo Indianapolis
UPS Airlines Fort Wayne


  • On April 4, 2011, a pilot flying from Chicago Executive Airport attempted to land a rented Cirrus SR22, but was hit by a gust of wind on approach. The plane landed on the left wing, cart-wheeled and came to a stop 250 feet (76 m) from the runway. He was hospitalized in critical condition, with no one else on board. He later died from his injuries.[25]
  • On March 17, 2013, a private jet crashed into three homes near South Bend Regional Airport. Two of the four people on the plane were killed; the other two and one person on the ground were injured.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2015 Composite Statistic Chart (PDF), St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 5, 2016 
  2. ^ a b c d South Bend International Airport Master Record, FAA data republished by GCR Inc., retrieved July 5, 2016 
  3. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (SBN: South Bend)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Archival Record of 2011 South Bend Regional Airport website, Internet Archive, April 30, 2011, Archived from the original on April 30, 2011, retrieved July 5, 2016 
  5. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ 2013 Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank) (PDF, 1.8 MB), Federal Aviation Administration 
  7. ^ a b 2014 Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank) (PDF, 1.6 MB), Federal Aviation Administration 
  8. ^ 2015 Composite Statistic Chart (PDF), St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 5, 2016 
  9. ^ Stopczynski, Kelly (February 6, 2012). "Granger Neighborhood Was Original South Bend Regional Airport". WSBT-TV. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Airport Will Get New Name Again". South Bend Tribune. December 1, 1999. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ Falda, Wayne (January 2, 2000). "Flight into a New Era". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "South Bend Airport Becomes South Bend International" (Press release). St. Joseph County Airport Authority. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ Culp, Alice; Gray, Amanda (April 24, 2014). "South Bend Airport Adds 'International' to Name". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ Vivian, Krystal (April 23, 2014). "South Bend's airport could soon offer international flights to Bahamas, Mexico". The Elkhart Truth. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ Mission, St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 16, 2015 
  16. ^ Michiana Regional Airport: Multi-modal Airport Terminal Concept for St. Joseph County Airport Authority. South Bend: St. Joseph County Airport Authority. 1975. 
  17. ^ "Amenities at South Bend International Airport". St. Joseph County Airport Authority. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  18. ^ "International ambitions for South Bend airport". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  19. ^ Ottinger, Matt. "Non-Stop Party" (PDF, 298 KB). Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  21. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  23. ^ a b "South Bend, IN: South Bend Airport (SBN)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. January 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved August 6, 2016. 
  25. ^ NTSB Identification: CEN11FA267, National Transportation Safety Board 
  26. ^ NTSB Identification: CEN13FA196, National Transportation Safety Board 
  27. ^ "Indiana plane crash: Private jet plunges into houses". BBC News. March 18, 2013. 

External links[edit]