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Airport Cincinnati (USA)- Northern Kentucky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Kenton County Airport Board
Operator Kenton County Airport Board
Serves Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky
Location 2939 Terminal Drive
Hebron, Kentucky, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 896 ft / 273 m
Coordinates 39°0256N 084°4004W / 39.04889°N 84.66778°W / 39.04889; -84.66778
Website www.cvgairport.com
Location of airport in Kentucky / United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 12,000 3,658 Asphalt/Concrete
18C/36C 11,000 3,353 Asphalt/Concrete
18L/36R 10,000 3,048 Concrete
18R/36L 8,000 2,438 Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Total passengers 6,773,905
Aircraft operations 137,225
Sources: Airport website[4]

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVGICAO: KCVGFAA LID: CVG) is a public international airport located in Hebron, Kentucky, United States. It serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The airport's code, CVG, comes from the nearest major city at the time of its opening, Covington, Kentucky.[5] CVG covers an area of 7,000 acres (28.3 km2). The airport's international destinations include Cancún, Cozumel, Freeport, Montego Bay, Paris, Punta Cana, Reykjavík, and Toronto.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport offers non-stop passenger service to 58 destinations with 195 peak daily departures.[6] It is the second smallest domestic hub for Delta Air Lines and plays host to the headquarters and main maintenance base for Delta Private Jets. The airport is a focus city for Ultra Low Cost Carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines, as well as being the largest market for Vacation Express.

In addition, CVG is the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America. The airport is the main global hub for Amazon Air and is the largest global hub for DHL Aviation, handling numerous domestic and international cargo flights every day. Overall, CVG ranks 6th in North America and 34th in the world for total cargo operations. The airport is headquarters and hub for Southern Air, which operates flights around the world for DHL Aviation.[7]

As of 2017, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has been rated by Skytrax as the 26th best airport in the world, making it the highest rated airport in the United States and second highest rated in North America, behind only Vancouver International Airport. Skytrax also named CVG as the best regional airport in North America, and the second best regional airport in the world.



President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved preliminary funds for site development of the Greater Cincinnati Airport on February 11, 1942. This was part of the United States Army Air Corps program to establish training facilities during World War II. At the time, air traffic in the area centered on Lunken Airport just southeast of central Cincinnati.[8] Lunken opened in 1926 and was located in the Ohio River Valley. Due to its location, the airport frequently experienced fog, and the 1937 flood completely submerged its runways and two-story terminal building.[9] While federal officials wanted an airfield site that would not be prone to flooding, Cincinnati officials hoped to build Lunken into the premier airport of the region.[10]

A coalition of officials from Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties in Kentucky took advantage of Cincinnati's short-sightedness and lobbied Congress to build an airfield there.[11] Boone County officials offered a suitable site on the provision that Kenton County paid the acquisition cost. In October 1942, Congress provided $2 million to construct four runways.[8]

The field officially opened August 12, 1944, with the first B-17 bombers beginning practice runs on August 15. As the tide of the war had already turned, the Air Corps only used the field until 1945 before it was declared surplus.[8]

On October 27, 1946, a small wooden terminal building opened and the airport prepared for commercial service. Boone County Airlines was the first airline to provide scheduled service from the airport and had its headquarters at the airport.[8]

The first commercial flight, on an American Airlines DC-3 from Cleveland, Ohio, landed at the airport January 10, 1947, at 9:53 am. A Delta Air Lines flight followed moments later.[12] The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 97 weekday departures: 37 American, 26 Delta, 24 TWA, 8 Piedmont and 2 Lake Central. As late as November 1959 the airport had four 5,500 ft (1,700 m) runways at 45-degree angles, the northsouth runway eventually being extended into today's runway 18C/36C.

In the 1950s, Cincinnati city leaders began pushing for a major expansion of a site in Blue Ash to compete with the Greater Cincinnati Airport and replace Lunken as the city's primary airport.[13] The city purchased Hugh Watson Field in 1955, turning it into Blue Ash Airport.[14] The city's Blue Ash development plans were hampered by community opposition, three failed Hamilton County bond measures,[15] political infighting,[16] and Cincinnati's decision not to participate in the federal airfield program.[17]

Airport diagram for December 1958

Jet age

On December 16, 1960, the jet age arrived in Cincinnati when a Delta Air Lines Convair 880 from Miami completed the first scheduled jet flight. The airport needed to expand and build more modern terminals and other facilities; the original Terminal A was expanded and renovated. The northsouth runway was extended 3,100 to 8,600 ft (940 to 2,620 m). In 1964, the board approved a $12 million bond to expand the south concourse of Terminal A by 32,000 sq ft (3,000 m2) and provide nine gates for TWA, American, and Delta.[8] A new eastwest runway crossing the longer northsouth runway was constructed in 1971 south of the older eastwest runway.

In 1977, before the Airline Deregulation Act was passed, CVG, like many small airports, anticipated the loss of a lot of flights; creating the opportunity for Patrick Sowers, Robert Tranter, David and Raymound Muller to establish Comair to fill the void. The airline began service to Akron/Canton, Cleveland, and Evansville. In 1981, Comair became a public company, added 30-seat turboprops to its fleet, and began to rapidly expand its destinations. In 1984, Comair became a Delta Connection carrier with Delta's establishment of a hub at CVG. That same year, Comair introduced its first international flights from Cincinnati to Toronto. In 1992, Comair moved into Concourse C, as Delta Air Lines gradually continued to acquire more of the airlines stock. In 1993, Comair was the launch customer for the Canadair Regional Jet, which it would later operate the largest fleet in the world. By 1999, Comair was the largest regional airline in the country worth over $2 billion, transporting 6 million passengers yearly to 83 destinations on 101 aircraft. Later that year, Delta Air Lines acquired the remaining portion of Comair's stock, causing Comair to solely operate Delta Connection flights.[18]

In 1988, two founders of Comair, Patrick Sowers and Robert Tranter, launched a new scheduled airline from CVG named Enterprise Airlines, that served 16 cities at its peak. The airline spearheaded the regional jet revolution in a unique manner by operating 10-seat Cessna Citation business jets in scheduled services. The flights became popular with Cincinnati companies. The airline served destinations including Baltimore, Boston, Cedar Rapids, Columbus (OH), Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Memphis, Milwaukee, New YorkJFK, and Wilmington (NC).[19] The airline also became the first international feed carrier by feeding the British Airways Concorde at JFK. In 1991, the airline ceased operations because of high fuel prices and the suspension of the British Airways contract after the first Gulf War.

Delta hub

In the mid-1980s, Delta created a hub in Cincinnati and constructed Terminal C and D, with 22 gates. In 1992, Delta made Cincinnati its number two hub and spent $500 million constructing Terminal 3 with Concourse A and B, in addition to adding a $50 million Concourse C for Comair. During the 1990s, Delta operated a lot of mainline flights out of the airport, however during the late 1990s, ramped up Comair's operations, and established Delta Connection. This dramatically increased the aircraft operations from around 300,000 to 500,000 yearly aircraft movements. In turn, passenger volumes doubled within a decade from 10 million to 20 million. This expansion prompted the building of runway 18L/36R and the airport began making preparations to construct Concourse D, while adding an expansion to Concourse A and B. At its peak, CVG became Delta's second-largest hub, handling over 670 Delta and Delta Connection flights daily in 2005.[20] Delta served over 130 destinations with over 450 connection and 220 mainline flights in 2005. During this time, it was the fourth largest hub in the world for a single airline, based on departures, ranking only behind Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas.[21] The hub served everything from the 64 mile CVG-DAY, to a daily non-stop to Honolulu and Anchorage, to numerous transatlantic destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, LondonGatwick, Munich, ParisOrly, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Rome, and Zürich.[22] Delta was also planning on launching Asia service to CVG, beginning with BeijingCapital, then expanding to TokyoNarita and ShanghaiPudong eventually, however launch plans were delayed in 2002 due to slot restrictions and eventually stopped after the bankruptcy in 2005.[23]

When Delta went into bankruptcy in September 2005, a large reduction at CVG eliminated most early-morning and night flights.[22] These initial cuts caused additional routes to become unprofitable, causing the frequency of low-volume routes to be further cut from 2006 to 2007. Planning for the new east/west runway stopped, along with all expansions to current terminals and Terminal 1 was closed due to lack of service. In 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines and cut flight capacity from the Cincinnati hub by 22 percent with an additional 17 percent reduction in 2009.[20] Once Delta acquired Northwest, Comair's older fleet, which was costly as a result of rising oil prices, was cut and replaced with other Delta Connection carriers. In 2010, Delta stabilized CVG operations with 63 destinations between mainline and connection flights.[24]

Many businesses in Cincinnati have urged Delta to restore the service level it had in the late 1990s and early 2000s while some, such as Chiquita Banana, Toyota, and Veritiv have already relocated to cities with more available flights.[25] The only remaining intercontinental service by Delta is a daily evening departure to Paris. In addition to serving the heavy international travel demand of local companies such as P&G and GE Aviation, the daily Paris flight is also sustained in great part because it ferries jet-engine parts between factories in Cincinnati and France due to GE Aviation's presence. Each year the flight carries 4,200,000 pounds (1,900,000 kg) of engine parts.[26] Air France operated flights into CVG for several periods for over a decade before finally terminating the service in 2007. Aeroméxico, Air France, KLM, and WestJet codeshare on Delta's international services out of CVG to Cancun, Paris, and Toronto.[27][28]

In January 2010, Delta's CEO Richard Anderson anticipated that there would be 160170 daily departures in the summer and that the number would not change through at least the fall.[29][30] Delta closed Concourse A in Terminal 3 on May 1, 2010, and consolidated all operations into Concourse B. This resulted in the layoff of more than 800 employees.[31]

In June 2011, Delta announced that it would cut another 10% of the CVG hub capacity that summer, offering between 145165 daily flights.

In July 2012, Delta announced that its wholly owned and CVG-based subsidiary, Comair, would cease all operations by October of the same year. However, it said, "the discontinuation of Comair's operations will not result in any significant changes to Delta's network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes".[32] Delta transferred Comair's larger planes to other carriers and retired its 50-seat planes. Endeavor Air now has a maintenance base at the airport and is the main regional carrier for Delta Air Lines at CVG.

Recent history

CVG has long struggled with high fares because of Delta's dominance at the airport.[33][34] Since 2013, Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines have been expanding at CVG, giving local travelers low fares without having to commute to Dayton, Louisville or Indianapolis. These fares are often 75% less than other airlines at CVG.[35]

Frontier Airlines announced it would begin service from CVG in October 2012 with a daily flight to Denver. This was the first modern attempt at bringing a low-cost carrier into the CVG region. Since then, Frontier has announced service to 17 cites total with 93 weekly flights scheduled for June 2017.[36]

Allegiant Air began service from CVG in February 2014, to Orlando/Sanford and Punta Gorda (FL). Since then, Allegiant has added routes to 19 non-stop destinations with a total of 69 weekly flights.[37][37][38] In July 2015, Allegiant Air announced plans to make CVG its midwestern base of operations with four based Airbus A319s and 90 new jobs for pilots, flight attendants, and service workers.[39]

In Fall 2015, PSA Airlines opened a maintenance base at CVG in the old PIMCO hangar and a crew base beginning in January 2016.[40]

In the summer of 2016, United Airlines announced the resumption of mainline flights at CVG to Denver and ChicagoO'Hare, while later adding San Francisco. In addition, they have removed all 50-seat planes from the airport and are using larger regional jets. As a result, United has grown its seat capacity at CVG by 9.5% in 2016.[41]

On February 1, 2017, Delta Air Lines announced its first expansion at CVG since it began capacity cuts in late 2005. Delta announced it would increase capacity 6%, adding frequency and capacity on over a dozen routes.[42] The increases are on top of a 7.4% increase in passenger capacity since 2015, which came as a result of the retirement of smaller regional aircraft for mainline service.[43][41] These changes reaffirm Delta's commitment to CVG, maintaining 85 peak daily departures to 35 destinations.[44]

In April 2017, American Airlines began mainline service for the first time since 2001 on MD-80s between CVG and Dallas/Fort Worth.

On June 4, 2017, Southwest Airlines began service to CVG, offering a total of 8 peak daily departures. On weekdays, 5 daily flights go to Southwest's largest operation at ChicagoMidway, while only 4 are offered on weekends, and the other 3 flights go to Baltimore.[45] In December 2017, Southwest announced new seasonal nonstop service to Phoenix to begin in March 2018.

On August 23, 2017, WOW air announced it would add nonstop service to ReykjavíkKeflavík, Iceland starting May 10, 2018. The route will initially be operated 4x/week using an Airbus A321 aircraft.[46]

In September 2017, Sun Country Airlines announced intentions to begin service from CVG to numerous warm-weather destinations beginning in Summer 2018.[47]

Main terminal

Security checkpoint and baggage claim

The main terminal security checkpoint is on the ticketing level. This new, expandable checkpoint opened in November 2009. After clearing security, passengers can take escalators or elevators down to the Cincinnati Airport People Mover that departs to all gates. Arriving passengers exit the terminal by elevator or escalator up to the baggage claim level and all ground transportation on ground level.

Concourse A

Air Canada Express, Allegiant Air, American Airlines (moving to B on April 1, 2018), Apple Vacations, Frontier Airlines, OneJet, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Vacation Express use Concourse A. Most of them had used Terminal 2 before it closed. Concourse A was built as an extension of Terminal C when Delta Air Lines designated Cincinnati as a hub. The concourse served Continental, Northwest, and Delta Air Lines/Delta Connection until 2010, when Delta Air Lines closed the concourse. Shortly thereafter, the concourse underwent an extensive renovation before re-opening on May 15, 2012. Concourse A is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. In total, the concourse has 23 jetway gates and 1 remote gate (A1-23 and R27), of which 22 are open as of December 2017 (A1-19, A21-22, R27).[48]

Concourse B

American Airlines (starting April 1, 2018), Delta Air Lines, and all international arrivals without preclearance use Concourse B. Delta Air Lines built the Concourse in 1994 as part of a $630 million expansion. Concourse B is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The main U.S. Customs and Border Protection are contained in Concourse B. The concourse contains 28 gates, a central food court, and a Delta Sky Club.[49]


CVG is currently working on a 2050 master plan in order to prepare for dramatic increases in passenger and cargo activity at the airport. By 2021, the airport hopes to increase cargo activity, grow traffic to 9,000,000 annual passengers, and construct a new consolidated rental car facility.[50]

Terminal area

Concourse C was torn down in early 2017 to construct an overnight parking and deicing area,[51] while work will begin on a new consolidated rental car facility in 2018.[52] Both concourses, the customs facility, baggage claim, and ticketing areas will be renovated in late 2017 to mid 2018 under a $4.5 million plan.[53][54] American Airlines will move to Concourse B by April 1, 2018 to accommodate the future growth and allow LCC's in Concourse A to expand. The airport will also add 16 new concession and retail locations in anticipation for 9 million passengers in 2018.[55][56]

Cargo areas

Amazon Air will develop 920 acres of land at CVG in order to construct a 3 million sq. ft. sorting facility and ramp space for 100 cargo aircraft.[57] Also, the Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) will be moved west of the airport to accommodate future DHL expansion.[58] The work on DHL's $108-million expansion began in the fall of 2015 and was completed in November 2016.[59] The airport also hopes to attract more cargo carriers to the airport, so far adding AeroUnion, Cargolux, and Singapore Airlines Cargo service.

Runways and taxiways

Runways 09-27 and 18L-36R are planned to be widened to 200 ft (61 m) in 2019 to accommodate larger aircraft. Numerous other taxiways will be widened for access to the Amazon and DHL complexes.[54]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Refs
Air Canada Express TorontoPearson [60]
Allegiant Air Austin, Baltimore, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville (FL), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Providence, Punta Gorda (FL), Raleigh/Durham, Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, San Juan
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth [62]
American Eagle Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia, Philadelphia, WashingtonNational [62]
Apple Vacations Charter: Cancún, Punta Cana
Seasonal Charter: Montego Bay
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma (resumes March 5, 2018), Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún, Detroit, Fort Myers, New YorkLaGuardia, WashingtonNational
Delta Connection Austin (resumes May 1, 2018), Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Hartford, HoustonIntercontinental, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, TorontoPearson, WashingtonNational
Seasonal: Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa
Frontier Airlines Austin (begins April 10, 2018), Cancún, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, New YorkLaGuardia, Orlando, PhoenixSky Harbor, San Antonio (begins April 9, 2018), Tampa
Seasonal: Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Jacksonville (FL) (begins April 8, 2018), Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham (begins April 9, 2018), San Diego, San José (CA) (begins April 8, 2018)[65]
OneJet Pittsburgh [67]
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, ChicagoMidway
Seasonal: PhoenixSky Harbor (begins March 8, 2018)[68]
United Airlines San Francisco
Seasonal: ChicagoO'Hare, Denver
United Express ChicagoO'Hare, Denver, HoustonIntercontinental, Newark, WashingtonDulles [70]
Vacation Express Charter: Cancún, Punta Cana
Seasonal Charter: Cozumel (begins May 24, 2018), Freeport (begins May 30, 2018), Montego Bay
WOW air ReykjavíkKeflavík (begins May 10, 2018) [46]
Airlines Destinations Refs
AeroUnion Guadalajara, Mexico City, Querétaro [72][73]
Amazon Air Allentown/Bethlehem, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago/Rockford, Dallas/Fort Worth, HoustonIntercontinental, Miami, Ontario, PhoenixSky Harbor, Providence, San AntonioLackland, Seattle/Tacoma, Stockton, Tampa
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton
DHL Aviation Albany, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin,1 Bahrain, Baltimore, Bedford, Boston, Brussels, Buffalo, Calgary, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, ClevelandCuyahoga, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Dover, East Midlands, Edmonton,2 El Paso, Greensboro, Guadalajara, Hamilton, Harlingen, Harrisburg, Hartford,3 Hong Kong, Honolulu, HoustonIntercontinental, Kansas City, Leipzig/Halle, Laredo,4 LondonHeathrow, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterrey, MontréalMirabel, NagoyaCentrair, Nashville, New Orleans,5 Newark, New YorkJFK, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, PhiladelphiaNortheast, PhoenixSky Harbor, Querétaro, Richmond (VA), Rochester, SacramentoMather,6 Salt Lake City, San Antonio,7 San Diego,8 San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, SeoulIncheon, St. Louis, St. LouisSpirit, TokyoNarita, Tulsa, Vancouver, WilkesBarre/Scranton, Winnipeg9
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Lansing, OsakaKansai, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Reno/Tahoe, Rome (NY), Springfield, Tucson
FedEx Express Louisville, Memphis, Norfolk [74][75][76]
Singapore Airlines Cargo Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles [77][78][79]
Yangtze River Express Anchorage, ChicagoO'Hare [80][81]

^1 DHL makes a stop in Tulsa before continuing to Austin, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Tulsa and Austin.[82]
^2 DHL makes a stop in Calgary before continuing to Edmonton, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Calgary and Edmonton.[83]
^3 DHL makes a stop in Rochester before continuing to Hartford, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Rochester and Hartford.[84]
^4 DHL makes a stop in El Paso before continuing to Laredo, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between El Paso and Laredo.[85]
^5 DHL makes a stop in Houston before continuing to New Orleans, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Houston and New Orleans.[86]
^6 DHL makes a stop in Salt Lake City before continuing to SacramentoMather, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Salt Lake City and SacramentoMather.[87]
^7 DHL makes a stop in Dallas/Fort Worth before continuing to San Antonio, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio.[88]
^8 DHL makes a stop in Phoenix before continuing to San Diego, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Phoenix and San Diego.[89]
^9 DHL makes a stop in Milwaukee before continuing to Winnipeg, however, they do not have rights to carry cargo solely between Milwaukee and Winnipeg.[90]

Amazon Air hub

On January 31, 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon Air would begin a $1.49-billion expansion to create a worldwide shipping hub at CVG. The hub will be Amazon's principal shipping hub and will be constructed on 900 acres of land at the airport with a 3 million square-ft sorting facility and parking positions for at least 100 aircraft. On April 30, 2017, Amazon began operations at CVG, and will incrementally base 40 Boeing 767-200ER's/300ER's at CVG, and will use DHL's facilities until construction is complete. Amazon plans to have 200 daily takeoffs and landings from its CVG hub to destinations across the U.S. and internationally.[91] The hub could create up to 15,000 jobs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.[92]

DHL hub

In 1984, DHL opened its CVG hub and began operations throughout the U.S. and world. However, in 2004, DHL decided to move its hub to Wilmington, Ohio, in order to compete in the United States shipment business. The plan ended up failing, and moved back to CVG in 2009 to resume its original operations. CVG now serves as the largest of DHL's three global hubs (The other two being Leipzig/Halle and Hong Kong) with 84 flights each day to destinations across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. DHL has completed a $105-million expansion and employs approximately 2,500 at CVG. Because of this growth, CVG now stands as the 6th busiest airport in North America based on cargo tonnage and 34th in the world.[93] On May 28, 2015 DHL announced a $108-million expansion to its current facility, which doubled the current cargo operations. The money was used to double the gate capacity for transferring cargo, an expansion to the sorting facility, and various technical improvements, which was completed in Autumn 2016. In addition, this has provided many more jobs for the Cincinnati area, and will dramatically increase the airports operations.[94]


Overall statistics
Year Total passengers Change (%) Aircraft movements Change (%) Notes
1992[95] 11,545,682 305,544 Concourse C opens
1993[95] 12,213,874 5.79% 312,204 2.18%
1994[95] 13,593,522 11.30% 339,839 8.85%
1995[95] 15,181,728 11.68% 365,114 7.44%
1996[95] 18,795,766 23.81% 401,367 9.93%
1997[95] 19,866,308 5.70% 417,391 3.99%
1998[95] 21,124,216 6.33% 442,276 5.96%
1999[95] 21,753,512 2.98% 476,128 7.65% Comair merges with Delta
2000[95] 22,406,384 3.00% 461,454 3.08%
2001[96] 17,270,475 22.92% 387,462 16.03% Comair pilot strike
2002[96] 20,812,642 20.51% 486,501 25.56%
2003[97] 21,197,447 1.8% 505,557 3.9%
2004[98] 22,062,557 4.1% 517,520 2.4%
2005[99] 22,778,785 3.2% 496,366 4.1% Delta declares bankruptcy
2006[100] 16,244,962 28.7% 345,754 30.3% Delta bankruptcy
2007[101] 15,736,220 3.1% 328,059 5.1%
2008[102] 13,630,443 13.4% 285,484 13.0% Delta merges with Northwest
2009[103] 10,621,655 22.1% 222,677 22.0%
2010[104] 7,977,588 24.9% 177,597 20.2%
2011[105] 7,034,263 11.8% 161,912 8.8%
2012[106] 6,038,817 14.2% 143,447 11.4% Comair ceases operations
2013[107] 5,718,255 5.31% 137,671 4.03% Frontier Airlines enters the market
2014[108] 5,908,711 3.33% 133,518 3.02% Allegiant Air enters the market
2015[109] 6,316,332 6.90% 133,068 0.34%
2016[110] 6,773,905 7.24% 137,225 3.11%
2017[111] 7,204,718 (YTD) 15.70% 137,640 (YTD) 9.15% Southwest enters the market
Cargo statistics
Year Tonnage Change (%) Notes
2003[98] 432,961
2004[98] 455,684 5.25%
2005[112] 277,401 60.9% DHL Leaves CVG
2006[112] 47,728 82.8%
2007[112] 43,759 8.31%
2008[112] 48,721 11.33%
2009[112] 152,970 214.0% DHL Returns to CVG
2010[112] 415,692 171.8%
2011[112] 537,139 29.22%
2012[112] 599,778 11.66%
2013[112] 655,479 9.29%
2014[112] 722,431 10.21%
2015[112] 804,088 11.30%
2016[112] 818,364 1.78%
2017[112] 933,879 (YTD) 26.70% Amazon Enters Market
Top destinations
Busiest domestic routes from CVG
(October 2016 September 2017)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 350,000 Delta, Frontier
2 ChicagoO'Hare, Illinois 287,000 American, Delta, United
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 170,000 American, Delta, Frontier
4 Orlando, Florida1 165,000 Delta, Frontier
5 Denver, Colorado 163,000 Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, United
6 Charlotte, North Carolina 157,000 American, Delta
7 New YorkLaGuardia, New York 144,000 American, Delta, Frontier
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 140,000 Allegiant, Delta, Frontier
9 Newark, New Jersey 134,000 Allegiant, Delta, United
10 Los Angeles, California 121,000 Delta, Frontier

^1 Allegiant Air serves Orlando (SFB) with 49,000 additional passengers a year, not included in this total.[114]

Busiest international routes from CVG (January 2016 December 2016)[115]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 ParisCharles de Gaulle, France 100,772 Delta
2 TorontoPearson, Canada 76,677 Air Canada, Delta
3 Cancún, Mexico 35,608 Apple Vacations, Delta, Frontier, Vacation Express
4 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 21,031 Apple Vacations, Delta, Vacation Express
5 Montego Bay, Jamaica 3,167 Apple Vacations, Vacation Express
6 Freeport, Bahamas 2,430 Vacation Express
Airline market share
Largest airlines at CVG
(July 2017)
Rank Carrier Percentage Passengers Destinations Served
1 Delta Air Lines 41.7% 155,230 34
2 Frontier Airlines 18.4% 68,461 20
3 American Airlines 13.4% 49,817 8
4 Allegiant Air 10.3% 38,326 22
5 United Airlines 9.3% 34,710 6
7 Southwest Airlines 6.4% 23,909 2
8 Air Canada 0.5% 1,987 1
9 OneJet 0.0% 89 1

Former terminals and concourses

International terminal

The original international terminal at CVG was located west of Terminal 1, in the present day cell phone parking lot, sharing passenger facilities with Terminal A, which handled all of Comair's flights. The terminal served Delta Air Lines and various charter airlines from the 1970s until 1984 when Delta Air Lines moved its operations to Terminal D, and closed in 1994 when charter airlines were moved to the newly constructed Concourse B.[117]

Comair terminal A

The original location of all Comair flights was on the apron west of Terminal B, named Terminal A, with passengers boarding aircraft directly from the tarmac. The aircraft hardstands were aligned diagonally, with buses shuttling passengers to Terminal D, where all Delta Air Lines flights were located. Some Comair operations were moved to Terminal D in 1982 when Comair began service for Delta, but the terminal later closed in 1994, when all Comair flights were moved to Concourse C.[118][119]

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was in the location of the original terminal and served non-Delta flights mainly consisting of US Airways flights. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal A with a regional corridor added for regional jets in the 1960s. When Terminal D was built in 1974, the building was renamed Terminal B, while Comair's apron was named Terminal A. Its name was changed again to Terminal 1 with the construction of Concourse B and C in 1994.[120] Through the years, the terminal also was used by Skyway Airlines, Midwest Express, Northwest Airlines, and Ultimate Air Shuttle. The terminal was closed in 2007 and was demolished in 2016 in order to make room for a new consolidated rental car facility.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was built as an expansion to Terminal 1 to allow for the increasing number of flights and served American Airlines and United Airlines. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal B. In 1974, with the construction of Terminal D, it was renamed Terminal C, and later Terminal 2 following the construction of Concourse B and C. It was built at the same time as Terminal 3 and they shared similar designs. After the closure of Terminal 1, it also served US Airways, and it ceased operations after the remodel of Concourse A. In 2012, the airport decided to shut down the terminal and move the remaining airlines into Terminal 3, Concourse A. The terminal was removed in April 2016 to make way for a larger Concourse A and rental car facility.[121]

Concourse C

Concourse C opened in September 1994[122] to serve all Comair flights and was closed in 2009 due to flight reductions by Delta Air Lines. Concourse C was an island concourse and access was via bus link from other terminals and ticketing areas. It was the first ever dedicated regional jet concourse at the time of its construction and with 53 gates it remained the largest in the world until demolition. The concourse had an H-shaped configuration with a waiting area in the center where passengers were able to sit and shop. Passengers would then proceed down the hallways when flights began boarding. Concourse C was expanded twice to increase gate capacity. First in 1997 to the south and again in 2001 to the north.[123] The building was demolished in February 2017.

Other facilities

Office buildings

Delta Private Jets is headquartered on the grounds of the airport.[124]

77 Comair Boulevard used to be the corporate headquarters of Comair.[125] The building, with 187,000 square feet (17,400 m2) of space,[126] is on South Airfield Road. In 2010, after the airline began downsizing, it considered leaving the building and moving to another location near the airport. A spokesperson did not disclose how much office space the airline occupied; she said it was planning to reduce its space by 20 to 25 percent.[127] In early 2011, Comair vacated the building.[126] In 2012 the Kenton County Airport Board (KCAB) approved a five-year lease for Southern Air for about 33,100 square feet (3,080 m2) of space in 77 Comair Boulevard.[125] The KCAB relocated their offices into the building after Terminal 1 was demolished in March 2016. By March 2018, Amazon plans on leasing 13,000 square feet (1,200 m2) of space in the building to plan and run its cargo hub at the airport.[128]

Maintenance bases

The airport is home to many maintenance bases due to the substantial operations of several carriers at the airport. Delta Air Lines has hangar and line maintenance facility for its primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm, Delta TechOps.[129] Subsidiary of Delta, Endeavor Air, maintains a maintenance base in the old Comair hangars. Also, Allegiant Air has a crew and maintenance base located at CVG, while PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Eagle, has a maintenance base at CVG.[130] FEAM Aero is building a maintinence, repair, and overhaul facility at the airport to serve Amazon and DHL's CVG based aircraft.[128]


Until 2015, CVG consistently ranked among the most expensive major airports in the United States.[33] Delta operated over 75% of flights at CVG, a fact often cited as a reason for relatively high domestic ticket prices.[34] Airline officials have suggested that Delta practices predatory pricing to drive away discount airlines.[33][131] From 1990 to 2003, ten discount airlines began service at CVG, but later pulled out,[132] including Vanguard Airlines, which pulled out of CVG twice.[133]

In 2003, a study commissioned by CVG found that 18% of Cincinnati-area residents use one of five nearby airports including Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Lexington, or Louisville instead of CVG because passengers can find fares up to 50% lower at these nearby airports.[132] However, because Delta downsized its hub operations and Allegiant, Frontier, and Southwest increased flights, many more residents are choosing CVG, and have helped sustain low cost carriers at CVG for the first time.[134]

CVG airfare adjusted for inflation (19952017)


Industrial murals

The airport is home to 14 large Art Deco murals created for the train concourse building at Cincinnati Union Terminal during the station's construction in 1932. Mosaic murals depicting people at work in local Cincinnati workplaces were incorporated into the interior design of the railroad station by Winold Reiss, a German-born artist with a reputation in interior design.

When the train concourse building was designated for demolition in 1972, a "Save the Terminal Committee" raised funds to remove and transport the 14 murals in the concourse to new locations in the Airport. They were placed in Terminal 1, as well as Terminals 2 and 3, which were then being constructed as part of a major airport expansion and renovation.

The murals were also featured in a scene in the film Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In addition, a walkway to one of the terminals at CVG was featured in the scene in the film when Hoffman's character, Raymond, refused to fly on a plane.

On May 19, 2015, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the nine murals located in the old Terminals 1 & 2 will be relocated to the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.[135]

Accidents and incidents

  • On January 12, 1955, 1955 Cincinnati mid-air collision, a Martin 2-0-2 was in the take off phase of departure from the airport when it collided with a privately owned Castleton Farm's DC-3. The mid-air collision killed 13 people on the commercial airliner and 2 on the privately owned planes.
  • On November 14, 1961, Zantop cargo flight, a DC-4, crashed near runway 18C into an apple orchard. The crew survived.
  • On November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 727, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 58 (53 passengers and 5 crew) of the 62 (56 passengers and 6 crew) on board.
  • On November 6, 1967, TWA Flight 159, a Boeing 707, overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, injuring 11 of the 29 passengers. One of the injured passengers died four days later. The seven crew members were unhurt.
  • On November 20, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a Convair 880, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 70 (65 passengers and 5 crew) of the 82 persons aboard (75 passengers and 7 crew).
  • On October 8, 1979, Comair Flight 444, a Piper Navajo, crashed shortly after takeoff. Seven passengers and the pilot were killed.
  • On October 19, 1979, Burlington Airways, a Twin Beech twin prop crashed landed on KY 237 @ I-275 bridge overpass. Tail # N24K. No one was injured.[136]
  • On June 2, 1983, Air Canada Flight 797, a DC-9 flying on Dallas-Toronto-Montreal route, made an emergency landing at Cincinnati due to a cabin fire. Twenty-three of the 41 passengers died of smoke inhalation or fire injuries, including legendary Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. All five crew members survived.
  • On August 13, 2004, Air Tahoma Flight 185, a Convair 580, was en route to Cincinnati from Memphis, Tennessee, carrying freight under contract for DHL Worldwide Express. The aircraft crashed on a golf course just south of the Cincinnati airport due to fuel starvation and dual engine failure, killing the first officer and injuring the captain.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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External links

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