Waterloo Regional Airport
|Waterloo Regional Airport (Livingston Betsworth Field)|
|Operator||City of Waterloo|
|Elevation AMSL||873 ft / 266 m|
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. 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 (formerly Northwest Airlines) was the airport's only carrier for several years with flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. In late 2011, Delta Air Lines said they would end service to Waterloo and immediately submitted an Essential Air Service proposal to continue flying to Waterloo with government subsidies. As part of the EAS process, the Department of Transportation 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. 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. American Eagle previously served Waterloo with ATR-42 and Saab 340 turboprop flights to Chicago during the 1990s.
Historical airline service
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. 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; Braniff then discontinued all service the next year. Ozark Airlines arrived in 1955 and began operating Douglas DC-9-10 jet service in 1966 (runway 12/30 was extended from 5400 to 6500 feet around that time). The April 1970 Ozark timetable lists nonstop DC-9 service to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) with this flight continuing to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA); however, this flight appears to have been short lived. Ozark also served Waterloo with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprops. According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), in 1976 Ozark was the only airline serving Waterloo. Ozark was operating direct, one stop DC-9 jet service to Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul at this time and was also flying direct and nonstop to Chicago O'Hare Airport 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. 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.
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. Several commuter airlines independently served the airport in the past as well including Aspen Airways, 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. 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.
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, Northwest Airlines was operating the only mainline jet service from Waterloo with DC-9s until Delta began service to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, a former Northwest hub. Delta then discontinued all service to the airport.
Current airline service
Northwest 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 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
Waterloo Regional Airport covers an area of 2,583 acres (1,045 ha) and three asphalt paved runways: 12/30 is 8,400 x 150 feet (2,560 x 46 m), 18/36 is 6,002 x 150 feet (1,829 x 46 m) and 6/24 is 5,403 x 129 feet (1,647 x 39 m).
For the 12-month period ending October 31, 2006, the airport had 46,833 aircraft operations, an average of 128 per day: 66% general aviation, 13% military, 11% scheduled commercial and 10% air taxi. In January 2017, there were 97 aircraft based at this airport: 75 single-engine, 9 multi-engine, 4 jet and 9 military.
Airlines and destinations
The following airline offers scheduled passenger service at this airport:
- FAA Airport Master Record for ALO ( PDF), effective Jan 5, 2017.
- Sept. 15, 1994 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Waterloo flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Chicago O'Hare-Waterloo flight schedules
- http://www.timetableimages.com, June 1, 1950 Mid-Continent Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, April 24, 1966 Braniff International Airways system timetable
- Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Waterloo flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG)
- February 2007 OAG Flight Guide Worldwide, Waterloo flight schedules
- http://www.aa.com, Waterloo-Chicago flight schedules
- 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
- 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.
- Waterloo Regional Airport, official site
- (PDF), effective February 2, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ALO, effective February 2, 2017
- Resources for this airport: