Mason City Municipal Airport
|Owner||City of Mason City|
|Serves||Mason City, Iowa|
|Elevation AMSL||1,214 ft / 370 m|
MASON CITY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT Latitude and Longitude:
FAA airport diagram
Mason City Municipal Airport ( IATA: MCW , ICAO: KMCW, FAA LID: MCW) is a city owned public use airport located five nautical miles (9 km) west of the central business district of Mason City, in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States.  It is located in the northern part of Lake Township, just east of the city of Clear Lake. It is primarily used for general aviation, although it has commercial service subsidized through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport.
On February 2, 1942, Mason City passed a resolution to create a new airport and purchased 312 acres several miles west of the city. The new Mason City Municipal Airport saw its first official landing a few years later on March 29, 1945. The airport consisted of two paved runways, associated taxiways, and a small ramp area. A remodeled farmhouse was used as the first commercial terminal during the airport dedication on June 22, 1946.
Musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. " The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died in a plane crash after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake. This event is not commemorated anywhere on the airport grounds; a private monument is located near the crash site.
Mason City Municipal Airport covers an area of 1,103 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 1,214 feet (370 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt paved runways: 18/36 is 6,501 by 150 feet (1,982 x 46 m) and 12/30 is 5,502 by 150 feet (1,677 x 46 m). 
For the 12-month period ending June 30, 2018, the airport had 33,600 aircraft operations, an average of 92 per day: 89% general aviation, 11% air taxi and less than 1% military. In January 2019, there were 50 aircraft based at this airport: 40 single-engine, 6 multi-engine and 4 jet. 
In 2005, the airport was awarded a $4,559,986 federal grant to rehabilitate a runway and relocate a localizer out of a runway safety area. 
In 2007, the airport received a $1 million federal grant to help purchase a perimeter fence around its runways. 
In 2009, the airport commission received a $820,916 federal grant to rehabilitate the airport's parking lot and for a Master Abstract Title Opinion study for the airport. 
In 2010, the airport received $24,463 in federal funding for runway incursion markings. 
A 2011 federal grant provided $115,865 for apron rehabilitation. 
In 2012, the airport received a federal grant of $886,604 for the rehabilitation of its parking lot pavement. 
A 2013 federal grant paid for $540,000 of snow removal equipment for the airport. 
In 2014, the airport was awarded $601,317 in federal grants for improvements to its infrastructure. 
Air Choice One started service from Mason City to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on November 17, 2014,  Flights to St. Louis Lambert International Airport began in February 23, 2015,  and flights to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport began in November 2016. 
|Air Choice One||Burlington, Chicago-O'Hare, Fort Dodge, Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Air Choice One|
|2||Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP)||2,070|
|3||Burlington Southeast Iowa Regional (BRL)||980|
|4||Fort Dodge Regional (FOD)||970|
- On August 22, 1954, Braniff Airlines flight 4630 Douglas DC-3 crashed south of Mason City Municipal Airport after departing Waterloo Regional Airport in nearby Waterloo. The aircraft crashed after entering a thunderstorm at a low altitude. 12 of 19 passengers died.
- In the early morning hours of February 3, 1959 (also known as ' the day the music died'), following a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake, musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, died after the Beechcraft Bonanza they were flying in crashed after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport.
- FAA Airport Master Record for MCW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective January 3, 2019.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (MCW: Mason City)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Sen. Grassley: $26.7 Million in Federal Assistance to 42 Iowa Airports". US Fed News. February 9, 2005.
- "C.C. airport among those to receive DOT grant funds". Charles City Press (Charles City, Iowa). May 16, 2007.
- "More Than $4.1 Million to Iowa Airports" (press release). Senate Judiciary Committee. Government Press Releases. May 8, 2009.
- "Sen. Grassley Announced Over $3 Million to Iowa Airpots". US Fed News. July 22, 2010.
- "More Than $140,000 to Airports in Fairfield and Mason City". Targeted News Service. April 20, 2011.
- "Harkin Announces $11.5 Million for Iowa Air Services". Targeted News Service. June 1, 2012.
- "Harkin Announces More Than $4,000,000 in Federal Funding to Improve Iowa Airports". Targeted News Service. July 19, 2013.
- "Harkin Announces more than $600,000 for Mason City Municipal Airport". Targeted News Service. June 21, 2014.
- "Air Choice One Begins New Service from Chicago O'Hare to Mason City, Iowa". Targeted News Service. November 19, 2014.
- "Mason City flights to St. Louis announced". Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. December 30, 2014.
- "Airport gains Minneapolis flights - Air Choice One also will add flights to Fort Dodge, Mason City". The Hawk Eye. (Burlington, Iowa). November 8, 2016.
- "Mason City, IA: Mason City Municipal (MCW)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. Sep 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- Essential Air Service documents (
Docket OST-2001-10684) from the
U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Order 2005-6-13 (June 20, 2005): selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Airlink, an affiliate of Northwest Airlines, to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2005, at an annual subsidy of $777,709 for Thief River Falls and a combined annual subsidy of $2,160,770 for Fort Dodge and Mason City.
- Order 2007-6-3 (June 11, 2007): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation Inc., d/b/a Northwest Airlink (Mesaba), to continue to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2007. Service will consist of 18 round trips per week at Fort Dodge and Mason City, routed Fort Dodge-Mason City-Minneapolis/St. Paul, at the combined annual subsidy rate of $21,113,865. Service at Thief River Falls will consist of 12 one-stop round trips per week to Minneapolis/St. Paul at the annual subsidy rate of $1,065,639. All service will be provided with 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft as Northwest Airlink.
- Order 2009-4-20 (April 27, 2009): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to continue providing subsidized essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, IA, and Thief River Falls, MN, for the two-year period beginning June 1, 2009, at the annual subsidy rates of $2,225,213 for Fort Dodge and Mason City, and $1,230,322 for Thief River Falls.
- Order 2011-6-7 (June 8, 2011): re-selecting Mesaba Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection (Mesaba), to provide essential air service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa, at annual subsidy rates of $1,910,995 and $1,017,545 at Mason City, respectively, for the five-month period June 1, 2011, through October 31, 2011.
- Order 2011-11-30 (November 23, 2011): selecting Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., to provide essential air service (EAS) at six communities at the following annual subsidy rates: Brainerd, Minnesota, $959,865; Fort Dodge, $1,798,693; Iron Mountain, $1,707,841; Mason City, $1,174,468; Thief River Falls, Minnesota, $1,881,815; and Watertown, $1,710,324, for the two-year period beginning when Great Lakes inaugurates full EAS at all six communities
- Great Lakes Airlines press release (January 27, 2014): Effective February 1, 2014, Great Lakes Airlines will be suspending service from Devils Lake and Jamestown, ND; Fort Dodge and Mason City, IA; Ironwood, MI; and Thief River Falls, MN due to the severe industry-wide pilot shortage and its relative acute impact on Great Lakes.
- Order 2014-1-20 (January 31, 2014): requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing Essential Air Service (EAS) at Fort Dodge and/or Mason City, Iowa. The communities will be without air service effective February 1, 2014.
- Mason City Municipal Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of May 1994 from USGS The National Map
- ( PDF), effective January 3, 2019
- FAA Terminal Procedures for MCW, effective January 3, 2019
- Resources for this airport: