Waterloo Regional Airport

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Waterloo Regional Airport (Livingston Betsworth Field)
Waterloo Regional Airport Logo.svg
Airport typePublic
OperatorCity of Waterloo
ServesWaterloo, Iowa
Elevation AMSL873 ft / 266 m
Coordinates42°33′25″N 092°24′01″W / 42.55694°N 92.40028°W / 42.55694; -92.40028
ALO is located in Iowa
Location of airport in Iowa
ALO is located in the United States
ALO (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 8,399 2,560 Asphalt
18/36 6,003 1,829 Asphalt
6/24 5,400 1,647 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2016)19,314
Based aircraft (2017)97
FAA airport diagram

Waterloo Regional Airport (IATA: ALO, ICAO: KALO, FAA LID: ALO), also known as Livingston Betsworth Field, is a city-owned public-use airport located four miles (6 km) northwest of the central business district of Waterloo, a city in Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States.[1] It is mostly used for general aviation and is also served by one commercial airline.


The airport has two gates and one jet bridge. Delta Air Lines (which had previously merged with Northwest Airlines) was the airport's only carrier for several years with flights to its hub at Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN (MSP). In late 2011, Delta Air Lines said they would end service to Waterloo and immediately submitted an Essential Air Service (EAS) proposal to continue flying to Waterloo with government subsidies. As part of the EAS process, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) opened up the airport to a bidding process with other carriers. American Airlines submitted a proposal to start service between Waterloo and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport operated by their regional carrier, American Eagle, via a code sharing agreement . American sent representatives to Waterloo to present to the Chamber of Commerce and a straw poll of area businesses showed local companies favored service to Chicago over Minneapolis. American said they plan to only need the EAS subsidy for two years, when they believe that service will be self-sustaining. The Waterloo city council sent a recommendation to the DOT that American be awarded the contract and on December 8 DOT awarded American Eagle the contract. The regional airline affiliate of American Airlines initially operated flights twice daily.[2] American Eagle previously served Waterloo with ATR-42 and Saab 340 turboprop flights to Chicago during the 1990s.[3][4]

Historical airline service[edit]

Airline service to Waterloo began during the late 1940s on Mid-Continent Airlines which in 1950 was operating direct, no change of plane flights to Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis, Tulsa, Shreveport and New Orleans with Douglas DC-3s.[5] In 1966, Mid-Continent successor Braniff International was serving the airport with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven jets and Convair 440 prop aircraft with flights to Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis;[6] Braniff then discontinued all service the next year.

Ozark Air Lines arrived in 1955 with Douglas DC-3 service flying a linear routing of Chicago Midway Airport - Dubuque - Waterloo - Mason City - Fort Dodge - Sioux City.[7] By 1960, the airline was flying Fairchild F-27 turboprops into the airport.[8] Ozark began operating Douglas DC-9-10 jet service in 1966. Runway 12/30 had been extended from 5400 to 6500 feet around that time which enhanced jet operations. In 1967, Ozark was operating nonstop DC-9 jet service to Chicago O'Hare Airport and also direct to Denver via a stop in Sioux City with other flights being operated with Fairchild F-27 and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprops and Martin 4-0-4 prop aircraft.[9] The April 1970 Ozark timetable lists nonstop DC-9 service to Washington D.C. Dulles Airport (IAD) with this flight continuing to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA); however, this flight appears to have been short lived and by 1971 Ozark's direct DC-9 service from Waterloo to Washington and New York made an intermediate stop in Peoria before continuing to the east coast.[10] Besides DC-9-10 jets, Ozark also served Waterloo during the 1970s with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprops. According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), in 1975 Ozark was the only airline serving Waterloo with nonstop flights operated into the airport from Cedar Rapids, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City, Moline, Omaha, Rochester, MN, and Sioux City with a total of eighteen flights every weekday including nine DC-9 flights and nine FH-227 flights.[11] In 1976, Ozark was operating nonstop as well as direct, one stop DC-9 jet service to Denver and also direct, one stop DC-9 flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul at this time and was also continuing to fly direct and nonstop to Chicago O'Hare with up to seven flights a day with DC-9s and FH-227s in addition to operating direct service to Omaha, St. Louis and other regional destinations.[12][13] By 1982, Ozark was operating all of its flights from the airport with DC-9 jets with its service including direct, no change of plane flights from Waterloo to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Miami in Florida via St. Louis.[14] Ozark successor Trans World Airlines operated DC-9 jets to its St. Louis hub with TWA's mainline Waterloo service then being discontinued by early 1988 and replaced with Trans World Express turboprop service.

In 1985, regional airline Aspen Airways was operating direct Convair 580 turboprop service to Denver via a stop in Sioux City.[15] In 1986, regional air carrier Air Wisconsin was independently operating direct one stop service to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) with British Aerospace BAe 146-200 jets and de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops with these flights making an en route stop at either Cedar Rapids or Dubuque, IA.[16]

Several major airline regional air carrier affiliates served Waterloo during the 1980s and 1990s via code sharing flights including American Eagle, United Express, Northwest Airlink, Trans World Express, Midway Connection, and Air Midwest with the latter operating as Eastern Express on behalf of Eastern Airlines and also as Trans World Express. Besides Aspen Airways, several regional and commuter airlines independently served the airport in the past as well with turboprop service including Great Lakes Aviation, Midstate Airlines and Mississippi Valley Airlines (MVA). In 1989, nonstop turboprop service was being operated to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD), Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), St. Louis (STL), Kansas City (MCI) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) as well as to several other cities in the region.[17] Commuter and regional turboprop aircraft types operated into the airport over the years included the ATR-42, Beechcraft 99, Beechcraft 1900C, British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31, Convair 580, Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante, Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia, Saab 340 and Swearingen Metroliner. In 2007, Northwest Airlink was the only airline serving Waterloo with nonstop flights to the Northwest Airlines hub in Minneapolis/St. Paul operated with Canadair CRJ200 regional jets and Saab 340 turboprops.[18]

Under its founding manager, Walter Betsworth, Waterloo Municipal Airport expanded from a WWII training airstrip to a flourishing regional airport. After Betsworth's death in 1979 the airport was named The Livingston Betsworth Field, honoring Walter Betsworth and noted Iowa flying ace Jonathan Livingston. Competition from nearby airports, especially The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids eventually forced most airlines to drop Waterloo. Prior to its merger with Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines was operating the only mainline jet service from Waterloo with DC-9s until Delta took over this service to Minneapolis/Saint Paul, a former Northwest hub. Delta then discontinued its Waterloo service.

Current airline service[edit]

Waterloo Regional Airport is currently served by American Eagle, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, with flights to Chicago (ORD) operated with Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets.[19] [20]


Northwest Airlines flight 335, a Boeing 757, made a precautionary emergency landing at the Waterloo Regional Airport on June 2, 2009, about an hour into its flight from Detroit to Los Angeles with 182 passengers and a flight crew of eight. No one was injured. The cause was smoke in the cabin.

American Eagle Airlines flight 3047, an Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet en route from Sioux Falls, SD to Chicago O'Hare Airport, made an emergency landing at the Waterloo Regional Airport on February 18, 2016 after reports of smoke in the cabin about 20 minutes into the flight. There were 26 passengers on the flight with three crew members. No one was injured.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Waterloo Regional Airport covers an area of 2,583 acres (1,045 ha) and has three asphalt paved runways: 12/30 is 8,399 x 150 feet (2,560 x 46 m), 18/36 is 6,003 x 150 feet (1,829 x 46 m) and 6/24 is 5,400 x 130 feet (1,647 x 39 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2016, the airport had 19,314 aircraft operations, an average of 53 per day: 87% general aviation, 5% military, 1% scheduled commercial and 7% air taxi. In May 2017, there were 97 aircraft based at this airport: 75 single-engine, 9 multi-engine, 4 jet and 9 military.[1]

Airline and destination[edit]

The following airline offers scheduled passenger service at this airport:

American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for ALO (Form 5010 PDF), effective May 25, 2017.
  2. ^ http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/dot-selects-american-airlines-over-delta-for-waterloo/article_05ffbbd6-21e6-11e1-9c36-0019bb2963f4.html
  3. ^ Sept. 15, 1994 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Waterloo flight schedules
  4. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Chicago O'Hare-Waterloo flight schedules
  5. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, June 1, 1950 Mid-Continent Airlines system timetable
  6. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, April 24, 1966 Braniff International Airways system timetable
  7. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 9, 1955 Ozark Air Lines system timetable
  8. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 1, 1960 & June 1, 1967 Ozark Air Lines system timetables
  9. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, June 1, 1967 Ozark Air Lines system timetable
  10. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, April 25, 1971 Ozark Air Lines system timetable
  11. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Waterloo flight schedules
  12. ^ Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Waterloo flight schedules
  13. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, 1976 Ozark Airlines advertisement with flight schedules
  14. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 31, 1982 Ozark Air Lines system timetable
  15. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 & July 1, 1985 Aspen Airways route maps
  16. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Jan. 6, 1986 Air Wisconsin system timetable
  17. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG)
  18. ^ February 2007 OAG Flight Guide Worldwide, Waterloo flight schedules
  19. ^ http://www.aa.com, Waterloo-Chicago flight schedules
  20. ^ Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, April 8, 2012, http://wcfcourier.com/news/opinion/editorial/airport-on-the-right-track/article_67cbdc92-7ff5-11e1-a5a1-0019bb2963f4.html

Other sources[edit]

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket DOT-OST-2011-0132) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2011-12-2 (December 8, 2011): selected American Eagle Airlines, a regional affiliate of American Airlines, to provide 13 nonstop round trips per week to each community, Sioux City and Waterloo, from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Rate effective for a two-year period beginning when it inaugurated EAS at both communities through the end of the 24th month thereafter. The carrier inaugurated service at both communities on April 3, 2012, thus making the expiration date April 30, 2014. American Eagle was selected to provide service at Sioux City with 50-seat aircraft and 44-seat aircraft at Waterloo, with annual subsidy rates of $1,512,799 and $1,541,824, respectively.
    • Order 2014-3-14 (March 28, 2014): selecting American Airlines to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Sioux City and Waterloo, Iowa, for annual subsidies of $611,334 and $945,546, respectively. EAS to be Provided to Waterloo, Iowa - Effective Period: May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2016. Service: Thirteen (13) nonstop round trips per week to Chicago (ORD). Aircraft Type: Regional Jets, 44-50 seats.

External links[edit]