Louisville International Airport Article

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Louisville International Airport

Standiford Field
Louisville International Airport Logo.png
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorLouisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA)
Serves Louisville, Kentucky
Hub for UPS Airlines
Elevation  AMSL501 ft / 153 m
Coordinates 38°10′27″N 085°44′11″W / 38.17417°N 85.73639°W / 38.17417; -85.73639

38°10′27″N 085°44′11″W / 38.17417°N 85.73639°W / 38.17417; -85.73639
Website www.flylouisville.com
SDF is located in Kentucky
SDF is located in the United States
SDF (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17R/35L 11,887 3,623 Concrete
17L/35R 8,578 2,615 Concrete
11/29 7,250 2,210 Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft operations169,699
Based aircraft36
Cargo handled5,782,767,038 lbs.
Sources: FAA, [1] RITA/ BTS, [2] Airport website [3]

Louisville International Airport ( IATA: SDF, ICAO: KSDF, FAA LID: SDF) is a public and military use public airport in Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The airport covers about 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) [1] and has three runways. Its IATA airport code, SDF, is based on the airport's former name, Standiford Field. It has no regularly-scheduled international passenger flights, but it is a port of entry, as it handles numerous international cargo flights. [4]

Over 3.8 million passengers and over 5.7 billion pounds (2,890,000 t) of cargo passed through the airport in 2018. [5] It is also the third-busiest in the United States in terms of cargo traffic, and seventh-busiest for such in the world. [6]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a "primary commercial service" airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. [7] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,684,738 enplanements in 2017, an increase of 3.26% from 1,631,494 in 2016. [8]

The airport is home to Worldport, the worldwide hub of UPS. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123d Airlift Wing operates C-130 transport aircraft from the co-located Louisville Air National Guard Base.

On January 16, 2019 the Regional Airport Authority voted to change the name of the airport to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in honor of the Louisville native. [9] It will take a few months to finalize the change, since the FAA has to approve the change before it becomes official. [10]


Standiford Field was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941 on a parcel of land south of Louisville that was found not to have flooded during the Ohio River flood of 1937. It was named for Dr. Elisha David Standiford, a local businessman and politician, who was active in transportation issues and owned part of the land. The field remained under Army control until 1947, when it was turned over to the Louisville Air Board for commercial operations. [11]

Until around 1947 Bowman Field was Louisville's main airport. For many years passenger traffic went through the small brick Lee Terminal at Standiford Field. Today's more modern and much larger facilities were built in the 1980s. Most of the Lee Terminal was later torn down.[ citation needed]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 45 weekday departures on Eastern Airlines, 19 American, 9 TWA, 4 Piedmont and 2 Ozark. Scheduled jet flights (Eastern 720s to Idlewild) began in January–February 1962. Parallel runways, needed for expanded UPS operations, were part of an airport expansion begun in the 1980s.[ citation needed]

When Louisville International Airport was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1941, it had one 4,000-foot (1,200 m) runway and was called Standiford Field. The airfield opened to the public in 1947 and all commercial service from Bowman Field moved to Standiford Field. American, Eastern, and TWA were the first airlines and had 1,300 passengers a week. The airlines used World War II barracks on the east side of the field until May 25, 1950, when a proper terminal opened. Lee Terminal could handle 150,000 passengers annually and included 6 new gates, which increased terminal space to 114,420 square feet (10,630 m2). The three runways (1, 6 and 11) were all 5000 ft.

In 1970 the terminal again expanded; the main lobby was extended and the 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) Delta Air Lines concourse was built. [11]

The 1980s brought plans for a new terminal, the Louisville Airport Improvement plan (LAIP). Construction of a new landside terminal designed by Bickel-Gibson Associated Architects Inc. began, costing $35 million with capacity for nearly 2 million passengers in 1985. [12] Most of the improvements began construction in the 1990s and the airport was totally renewed. During the 1990s Southwest Airlines passenger boardings increased 97.3 percent. In 1995 the airport's name was changed from Standiford Field to Louisville International Airport. Around that time SDF got two new parallel runways: runway 17L/35R, 8,578 feet (2,615 m) long and runway 17R/35L, 11,887 feet (3,623 m); both are 150 feet (46 m) wide. The Kentucky Air National Guard moved its base to SDF with 8 military aircraft; a new UPS air mail facility, new corporate hangars, a 4 level parking garage and a new control tower were also added. A new FBO was added, run by Atlantic Aviation and managed by Michael Perry. In 2005 a $26 million terminal renovation designed by Gensler Inc. was completed. [13] Yearly passenger enplanements are about 1.7 million and are forecast to increase in the next 5 years. Louisville International is served by several airlines including Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, United, FedEx, and UPS. [14] On January 16, 2019, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority voted to rename the airport after boxing legend Muhammad Ali, a Louisville native. [15]


Louisville International-Standiford Field covers 1,200 acres (490 ha) at an elevation of 501 feet (153 m). It has three concrete runways: 17R/35L is 11,887 by 150 feet (3,623 x 46 m); 17L/35R is 8,578 by 150 feet (2,615 x 46 m); 11/29 is 7,250 by 150 feet (2,210 x 46 m). [1] Runway 17R and 17L will be lengthened to 13,000 feet and 10,500 feet respectively within the next 2–3 years as an extra margin of safety for the new generation of cargo and passenger super-jets.

In the year ending May 31, 2018, the airport had 167,470 aircraft operations, an average of 459 per day: 76% airline, 15% air taxi, 7% general aviation, and 2% military. 36 aircraft were then based at this airport: 75% jet, 22% military, and 3% single-engine. [1] The terminal is named the Jerry E. Abramson Terminal Building and acquires 23 gates.

Airlines and destinations


Allegiant Air Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans (begins February 28, 2019), Savannah
American Airlines Charlotte (begins April 2, 2019), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles (begins April 2, 2019) [17]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [18]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [19]
Delta Connection Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia
Seasonal: Atlanta, Orlando
Frontier Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Austin, Orlando
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Tampa [21]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [22]


Air Cargo Carriers Beckley, Charleston (WV), Decatur, Warsaw (IN)
Ameriflight Huntsville, Knoxville, Moline/Quad Cities, Peoria, Smyrna (TN), South Bend
FedEx Express Cincinnati, Memphis, Oakland
SkyLink Express Hamilton
UPS Airlines Albany (GA), Albany (NY), Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Birmingham (AL), Bogotá, Boston, Buffalo, Burbank, Casablanca, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Cologne/Bonn, Columbia (SC), Columbus–Rickenbacker, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dubai, East Midlands, Fargo, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Wayne, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hamilton, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lafayette, Lansing, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Manchester (NH), McAllen, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal–Mirabel, Newark, Newburgh, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Peoria, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Sacramento–Mather, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle–Boeing, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Sioux Falls, Springfield (MO), Syracuse, Tampa, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Tulsa, Vancouver, Campinas–Viracopos, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach


Airline market share

Carrier shares for November 2017 – October 2018 [2]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from SDF (November 2017 - October 2018) [2]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 329,270 Delta
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 149,250 American, United
3 Charlotte, North Carolina 143,410 American
4 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 132,460 Southwest
5 Baltimore, Maryland 112,980 Southwest
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 112,660 American
7 Denver, Colorado 92,500 Frontier, Southwest, United
8 Detroit, Michigan 76,820 Delta
9 New York–LaGuardia, New York 62,030 American, Delta
10 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 61,420 United

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at SDF, 2003 through 2018 [3]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2018 3,866,057 2010 3,343,968
2017 3,474,340 2009 3,254,657
2016 3,346,545 2008 3,678,919
2015 3,359,472 2007 3,812,299
2014 3,355,811 2006 3,637,795
2013 3,404,080 2005 3,696,524
2012 3,365,115 2004 3,399,712
2011 3,392,745 2003 3,291,586


Louisville International Airport is home to a Republic Airline maintenance complex, capable of holding nine planes.

In addition to commercial air traffic there is a significant amount of general aviation activity at Louisville International Airport, for business travel and other purposes such as the Kentucky Derby. [23]


UPS Worldport Air Hub at Louisville International Airport

Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS (United Parcel Service) located at the Louisville International Airport. Although UPS has had a hub at Louisville since 1980, the term was not used officially by the company until 2002, after a $1 billion, five-year expansion. [24] Previously, the project was named Hub 2000. The facility is currently the size of 5.2 million square feet (48 ha; 80 football fields) and capable of handling 115 packages a second, or 416,000 per hour. [25] With over 20,000 employees, UPS is one of the largest employers in both the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a whole. The facility, which serves all of the company's major international and domestic hubs, mainly handles express and international packages and letters.

A UPS 757 cargo aircraft in former UPS livery.

A one-million-square-foot expansion was completed in spring 2006 to integrate heavy freight into the UPS system. The expansion was prefaced by the purchase of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, formerly Emery Worldwide. The new facility, designated Worldport Freight Facility (HWP), went online in April 2006 and was the first of the company's regional hubs to begin integrating the Menlo volume into the system. Menlo's facility in Dayton, Ohio, was taken offline in June 2006.

In May 2006, UPS announced that for the third time in seven years it would significantly expand its Worldport hub, with a second billion-dollar investment. The second expansion was completed in April 2010, with the facility now measuring 5,200,000 square feet (480,000 m2), with a perimeter of 7.2 miles (11.6 km). The plan was for more than one million square feet to be added to its existing facility, with another 334,500-square-foot (31,080 m2) of space to be renovated with new technology and equipment. Worldport sorting capacity was to expand from 300,000 packages per hour to 416,000 packages per hour. Additionally, several ramps at the Louisville International Airport were to be built or altered bringing a total increase of just over 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2).

Since many of the jobs are part-time and overnight, UPS has hired mostly college students by offering both nationwide tuition reimbursement and a special program called Metropolitan College, in which University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College students who work part-time overnight can receive 100% tuition reimbursement.

Worldport was featured on an episode of the television show Ultimate Factories in June 2008.

Accidents and incidents

See also


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for SDF ( Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "RITA | BTS | Transtats - Louisville, KY: Louisville International-Standiford Field (SDF)". March 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Reports and Statistics". Louisville Regional Airport Authority. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015.
  4. ^ US Customs and Border Patrol Archived October 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Louisville Regional Airport Authority Aviation Statistics" (PDF). December 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "Table 2 – TOTAL CARGO TRAFFIC 2013 - Preliminary World Airport Traffic and Rankings 2013 - High Growth Dubai Moves Up to 7th Busiest Airport - Mar 31, 2014". Airports Council International. March 31, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  7. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "Calendar Year 2017 Final Revenue Enplanements at All Airports" (PDF, 2.9 MB). faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. November 7, 2018.
  9. ^ http://www.flylouisville.com/wp-content/uploads/Release-Mayor-Fischer-celebrates-decision-to-rename-Louisville-airport-to-honor-Muhammad-Ali-1-16-19_FINAL_FOR_WEB.pdf
  10. ^ Kobin, Billy (18 January 2019). "5 things to know about Louisville's new airport name: Muhammad Ali". Courier-Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b "History". Louisville International Airport. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Engineering News-Record". 209. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Adams, Brent (June 17, 2002). "Capital projects at Louisville Airport proceed; officials keep eye on security costs". Louisville Business First. archives.californiaaviation.org. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Airlines". Louisville International Airport. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  15. ^ Kobin, Billy (January 16, 2019). "Louisville is renaming its airport after Muhammad Ali". Courier Journal. courier-journal.com. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  16. ^ https://www.flylouisville.com/flight-information/destinations/
  17. ^ https://www.lanereport.com/107099/2018/10/american-airlines-announces-new-nonstop-service-to-los-angeles-international-airport/
  18. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  19. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  20. ^ https://www.flylouisville.com/flight-information/destinations/
  21. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  23. ^ Epstein, Curt (May 5, 2015). "Derby, Boxing Match Fuel Atlantic's Best Day Ever". Aviation International News. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  24. ^ UPS Pressroom: Press Release Archive
  25. ^ UPS Worldport Facts
  26. ^ Keve, Paul W. (August 1, 1995). Prisons and the American Conscience: A History of U.S. Federal Corrections. SIU Press. p. 173. ISBN  9780809320035. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  27. ^ O'Neil, Tim (June 25, 2011). "A Look Back: Airline hijacking at Lambert in 1972 turns bizarre". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved May 17, 2012.

External links