Huntsville International Airport Article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Huntsville International Airport

Carl T. Jones Field
Huntsville International Airport.svg
Huntsville International Airport.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerHuntsville / Madison County Airport Authority
Serves Huntsville, Alabama
Hub for
Elevation  AMSL629 ft / 192 m
Coordinates 34°38′14″N 86°46′30″W / 34.63722°N 86.77500°W / 34.63722; -86.77500

34°38′14″N 86°46′30″W / 34.63722°N 86.77500°W / 34.63722; -86.77500
HSV is located in Alabama
Location in Alabama
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18R/36L 12,600 3,840 Asphalt
18L/36R 10,006 3,050 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations63,015
Based aircraft80

Huntsville International Airport ( IATA: HSV [2], ICAO: KHSV, FAA LID: HSV) (Carl T. Jones Field) is a public airport ten miles southwest of downtown Huntsville, in Madison County, Alabama. [1]

The airport is part of the Port of Huntsville (along with the International Intermodal Center and Jetplex Industrial Park), and serves the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Opened October 1967 as the Huntsville Jetport, this was the third airport for Huntsville. [3] [4] [5] Today it has 12 gates with restrooms, shops, restaurants, phones and murals depicting aviation and space exploration scenes. There is a Four Points by Sheraton above the ticketing area/lobby, and adjacent to the terminal is a parking garage and to opposite sides are the control tower and a golf course.

The airport's west runway, at 12,600 ft (3,800 m), is the second longest in the southeastern United States, being 400 ft (120 m) shorter than the longest runway at Miami International Airport. Huntsville is frequently used as a diversion airport from larger hubs in the Southeast, such as Atlanta, due to its long runways and sophisticated snow removal and de-icing equipment. [6]

The airport's "Fly Huntsville" jingle encourages passengers to depart from Huntsville instead of driving to Birmingham or Nashville. [7] An August 2009 report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the first quarter of 2009 revealed that Huntsville passengers paid, on average, the highest airfares in the United States. [8] The airport reported that commercial airline passenger traffic at Huntsville International increased 2.3% in January 2010 over the previous year. [9]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a primary commercial service airport. [10] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 612,690 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, [11] 572,767 in 2009 and 606,127 in 2010. [12]


The original airport, Huntsville Flying Field / Mayfair Airport, was south of the city. It had sod runways, no lighting and opened in the early 1930s. By 1934 the airport had 4 dirt/sod runways, southwest of today's intersection of Whitesburg Drive & Bob Wallace Avenue.

A second airport south of downtown opened in 1941 with two paved runways, Runway 18/36 being 4,000' long. The terminal building was a wooden shack at the northeast end of Runway 5/23; the National Weather Service opened at the municipal airport in 1958. The second airport was near today's intersection of Memorial Pkwy and Airport Road; traces of runways and terminal facilities can be seen from the air.

HSV's first scheduled jets were United 727s in late 1966. The current airport opened in 1967, west of the city along I-565. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held 15 September 1968 with Dr. Wernher von Braun and Senator John Sparkman in attendance.

Airport facilities

The airport covers 6,000 acres (2,428 ha) at an elevation of 629 feet (192 m). It has two asphalt runways: 18R/36L is 12,600 by 150 feet (3,840 x 46 m) and 18L/36R is 10,006 by 150 feet (3,050 x 46 m). [1]

In the year ending December 31, 2017 the airport had 63,015 aircraft operations, average 173 per day: 40% military, 16% air taxi, 25% general aviation, and 18% airline. 80 aircraft were then based at the airport: 76% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, and 5% jet. [1]

Airlines and destinations

Huntsville International Airport is served by four airlines representing the three international airline alliances. Some service is flown by the regional affiliates via code sharing agreements. Six cargo airlines serve the airport; two (Cargolux from Luxembourg and Panalpina from Switzerland) are foreign. Cargolux and Panalpina fly only Boeing 747s.

On July 10, 2018, the airport announced that Frontier Airlines would begin nonstop service to Denver and Orlando in October.


American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington–National
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit
Frontier Airlines Denver, [13] Orlando [13]
Silver Airways Orlando [14]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Washington–Dulles


Ameriflight Louisville
Atlas Air Anchorage, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Houston–Intercontinental
Cargolux Atlanta, Luxembourg
FedEx Express Memphis
LATAM Cargo Colombia Bogota [15]
Panalpina London–Stansted, Luxembourg
UPS Airlines Louisville


Carrier shares: (Dec 2016 - Nov 2017) [16]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Delta Air Lines
PSA Airlines
Mesa Air
Expressjet Airlines
Trans States Airlines

Top destinations

Top domestic destinations: (Dec 2016 - Nov 2017) [16]
Rank Airport Passengers Airline
1 Atlanta, GA 225,430 Delta
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 76,450 American
3 Charlotte, NC 74,780 American
4 Washington (National), D.C. 45,260 American
5 Houston (Intercontinental), TX 36,850 United
6 Chicago (O'Hare), IL 23,500 American, United
7 Denver, CO 15,810 United
8 Detroit, MI 10,780 Delta
9 Washington (Dulles), D.C. 8,920 United

Past airline service

From 1969 to 1980 Huntsville (HSV) had nonstop or direct jet flights to Los Angeles as well as to Florida and Texas during the U.S. space program. These flights served the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.[ citation needed]

In June 1967 Eastern Airlines introduced "The Space Corridor" linking Huntsville with aerospace centers in St. Louis and Seattle and also with the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. [17] In the June 13, 1967 timetable, Eastern daily Boeing 727-100s flew to St. Louis and on to Seattle, and nonstop to Orlando continuing to Melbourne, Florida, near the Kennedy Space Center.[ citation needed] Eastern flew direct Douglas DC-9-30s to Houston, home of the NASA Johnson Space Center, via New Orleans during the late 1960s.[ citation needed] Eastern also had direct jets to Chicago during the early 1970s via Nashville.[ citation needed] As of April 1975, Eastern served Nashville, Orlando and St. Louis nonstop from Huntsville using Boeing 727 and Douglas DC-9 aircraft. [18]

In November 1967 Eastern scheduled nine departures each weekday from the then new airport while United had four and Southern operated 17.[ citation needed]

United Airlines also recognized the importance of Huntsville to the NASA space program and started nonstop Boeing 727-100s to Los Angeles in 1969.[ citation needed] United first served Huntsville in 1961 when it acquired Capital Airlines which had scheduled Vickers Viscounts nonstop from Huntsville's old airport (at 34°41′10″N 86°35′20″W / 34.686°N 86.589°W / 34.686; -86.589) ( 1949 diagram) to Memphis, Knoxville and Washington, D.C. and direct to New York (LaGuardia and Newark) and Philadelphia.[ citation needed] Until 1967 United used the same British-built Viscounts and then introduced Boeing 727-100s into Huntsville in the late 1960s.[ citation needed] As of April 1975, United served Greensboro, Knoxville, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. nonstop from Huntsville using a combination of Boeing 727 and 737 aircraft. [18] Raleigh/Durham service was added by 1979. [19] In August 1982 United had direct 727s to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver as well as nonstop Boeing 737-200s to Washington, D.C.[ citation needed]

Southern Airways also served Huntsville. In the late 1960s Southern introduced Douglas DC-9-10s with 75 seats into their fleet which had consisted of 40-seat Martin 4-0-4.[ citation needed] Southern's timetable in September 1968 listed nonstop jets to Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans and Muscle Shoals, AL. The airline was still flying the Martin 4-0-4 from Huntsville at that time.[ citation needed] As of April 1975, Southern served Atlanta, Chattanooga, Memphis, Montgomery, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, New Orleans and Orlando nonstop from Huntsville using DC-9 aircraft. [18] Southern had direct DC-9s from Huntsville to New York City ( LaGuardia Airport), Washington, D,C. ( Dulles Airport), Denver, St. Louis, Detroit and Wichita.[ citation needed] In 1979 Southern merged with North Central Airlines to form Republic Airlines which continued to serve Huntsville, by that time having dropped Chattanooga and Montgomery service and having added Greenville/Spartanburg and Mobile/Pascagoula service. [19] Republic was acquired by Northwest Airlines which later merged with Delta Air Lines.

Service to Atlanta (ATL) hit a high point in early 1985 when 17 nonstops a day flew HSV to ATL on four airlines, three flying "main line" jets. In the February 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide, Eastern Airlines had Boeing 727-100 and Douglas DC-9-50 flights, Republic Airlines was flying Douglas DC-9-10, DC-9-30 and DC-9-50s, United Airlines flew Boeing 727-100s and Delta Connection, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA, which currently operates as ExpressJet), had de Havilland Canada DHC-7 "Dash 7" and Shorts 360 turboprops. Today Delta Air Lines and their affiliate Delta Connection are the only air carriers flying between Huntsville and Atlanta.[ citation needed]

The air traffic control tower in this 1977 picture has since been replaced.

By 1989, the airport was mainly linked to major airline hubs: Delta served Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth, Eastern served Atlanta, American served Dallas/Fort Worth and Nashville, Northwest served Memphis, and United served Chicago and Washington Dulles. However, United and American offered nonstop service to Birmingham, United continued to offer nonstop service to Knoxville, and Delta had a daily flight to Memphis. [20] United pulled out entirely by 1995, while USAir entered the market in the early 1990s with multiple daily flights to Charlotte. [21]

Currently only American Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate main line jets into the airport. American has McDonnell Douglas MD-80s nonstop to Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) with some flights to DFW being flown by American Eagle Embraer ERJ-140 regional jets. American also flew Boeing 727-200, Fokker 100 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets between Huntsville and Nashville (BNA) in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the airline had a hub there. Delta operates McDonnell Douglas MD-88s and previously flew Douglas DC-9-50s nonstop to Atlanta (ATL) with some flights being flown by ExpressJet Canadair CRJ-700 and CRJ-200 regional jets as Delta Connection service to ATL. The Airport had service to New Orleans on Glo Airlines but that ended after the airline bankruptcy in 2017.


National Weather Service office at the airport during the 1970s

In 1989, Huntsville International became the first airport in the United States to install an ASR-9 dual-channel airport surveillance radar system. [22]

Currently, Huntsville International is undergoing major renovations of the concourse facilities, which will add:

  • A $60 million terminal expansion (under construction)
  • A new 219 ft (67 m) tall control tower (completed in 2007, opened May 4, 2008)
  • An expanded 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) concession area on concourse (opened April 12, 2008)
  • Upgraded flight information display systems at gates & parking areas (completed in 2007)
  • A parking deck expansion with 1,330 additional parking spaces (completed in December 2008)
  • An enlarged 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) public waiting and security screening area (completed in June 2009)
  • An expansion on the west runway, making it the second longest in the southeast[ citation needed] (completed in 2006)
  • A new taxiway between both runways with a 269 ft (82 m) tunnel running underneath (under construction)
  • A new air cargo building at the International Intermodal Center, which will include about 92,000 square feet (8,500 m2) (completed in February 2009)
  • Security system improvement (completed in October 2008)
  • Taxiway "L" between the airport's east and west runways (completed in October 2008)
  • Dirt work on a new Jetplex Industrial Park north access road linking the airport's entrance to Wall Triana Highway (completed in July 2008)
  • AirTran started servicing HSV with direct flights to Orlando in May 2010 and to Baltimore in June 2010. AirTran ended all service on August 12, 2012.

Also, plans are underway for another terminal area, added runways, and the lengthening of the two current runways.

Accidents and incidents

  • On April 4, 1977, Southern Airways Flight 242, left Huntsville bound for Atlanta but crashed near Rome, Georgia. The DC-9-31 operated by Southern Airways entered a severe thunderstorm with hail causing both engines to fail. [23] The DC-9 pilots then attempted an emergency landing on State Highway 92 in Georgia but crashed, killing 63 people on the plane and 9 on the ground. [24]
  • On December 11, 1991, a Beechcraft Beechjet 400A crashed into Mount Lavendar after taking off from Rome, Georgia, to Huntsville. The aircraft crashed after entering mountainous terrain with low visibility. [25] All 9 on board were killed.
  • On June 18, 2014, an IAI Westwind corporate aircraft crashed upon takeoff, killing all 3 on board. [26] [27]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for HSV ( Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (HSV: Huntsville Intl)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Huntsville's New Jetport Will Be First of Its Kind". The Tuscaloosa News. March 24, 1966. p. 5. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Christianson, Virgil (February 8, 1968). "New Huntsville Jetport Brings Vast Industrial Potential to the Area". The Times Tri-Cities Daily. Associated Press. p. 22. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  5. ^ Freeman, Paul. "Alabama: Huntsville area". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  6. ^ "Huntsville International Airport is prepared for diversions caused by winter weather". 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  7. ^ Baskas, Harriet (March 12, 2008). "Better branding through music: Original airport theme songs". USA Today.
  8. ^ Associated Press (August 4, 2009). "Flights from Huntsville ranked most expensive". WAAY-TV. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Clines, Keith (February 10, 2010). "Passenger traffic at airport starts to climb". The Huntsville Times. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011.
  10. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original ( PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012. External link in |work= ( help)
  11. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. External link in |work= ( help)
  12. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. External link in |work= ( help)
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "Huntsville, AL: Huntsville International-Carl T Jones Field (HSV)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  17. ^ "Vintage Airline Aviation and Aerospace Ads - eastern-airlines-ad-space-corridor.jpg - Magazine Advertisement Picture Scans". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  18. ^ a b c "HSV75p1". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  19. ^ a b "HSV79p1". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  20. ^ "HSV89p1". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  21. ^ "HSV95p1". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  22. ^ "Huntsville airport gets new radar system". The Tuscaloosa News. May 12, 1989. p. 7.
  23. ^ Ayres, Jr., B. Drummond (April 6, 1977). "Hail in Engines Is Blamed in Georgia Crash Killing 68". The New York Times. p. 20.
  24. ^ Purl, Sandy; Lewis, Gregg A. (April 1986). Am I Alive?: A Surviving Flight Attendant's Struggle and Inspiring Triumph over Tragedy. HarperCollins. ISBN  978-0-062-50691-7.
  25. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  26. ^ Grass, Jonathan (June 18, 2014). "Plane crash at Huntsville International Airport claims 3 lives". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  27. ^ Robinson, Carol; Davidson, Tiffany (June 19, 2014). "3 men killed in Wednesday plane crash identified". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved June 19, 2014.

External links