Mason City Municipal Airport Information (Geography)

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Mason City Municipal Airport
Mason City Municipal Airport logo.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Mason City
Serves Mason City, Iowa
Elevation  AMSL1,214 ft / 370 m
Coordinates 43°09′28″N 093°19′52″W / 43.15778°N 93.33111°W / 43.15778; -93.33111

43°09′28″N 093°19′52″W / 43.15778°N 93.33111°W / 43.15778; -93.33111
FAA Airport Diagram
FAA Airport Diagram
MCW is located in Iowa
MCW is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 6,501 1,982 Asphalt
12/30 5,502 1,677 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2018)33,600
Based aircraft (2020)48
Departing Passengers (12 months ending November 2019)6,730

Mason City Municipal Airport ( IATA: MCW [2], ICAO: KMCW, FAA LID: MCW) is located six miles west of downtown Mason City, in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. [1] It is in the northern part of Lake Township, just east of the city of Clear Lake. It is used for general aviation and has airline 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 decided to build a new airport and purchased 312 acres several miles west of the city. The new Mason City Municipal Airport saw its first official landing on March 29, 1945. The airport had two paved runways, associated taxiways, and a small ramp area. A remodeled farmhouse was used as the first terminal during the dedication on June 22, 1946.

Airline flights began in 1946, on Mid-Continent; successor Braniff left in 1959. Ozark started in 1955 and pulled out in 1983 – no big airlines since then.

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 Mason City Municipal Airport in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, after a concert at the Surf Ballroom in nearby Clear Lake. This event is not commemorated anywhere on the airport grounds; a private monument is near the crash site.


The airport covers 1,103 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 1,214 feet (370 m). It has two asphalt 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). [1]

In the year ending June 30, 2018 the airport had 33,600 aircraft operations, average 92 per day: 89% general aviation, 11% air taxi and less than 1% military. In January 2020, there were 48 aircraft based at this airport: 41 single-engine, 4 multi-engine and 3 jet. [1]

Federal grants

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. [3]

In 2007 the airport received a $1 million federal grant to help purchase a perimeter fence around its runways. [4]

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. [5]

In 2010 the airport received $24,463 in federal funding for runway incursion markings. [6]

A 2011 federal grant provided $115,865 for apron rehabilitation. [7]

In 2012 the airport received a federal grant of $886,604 for the rehabilitation of its parking lot pavement. [8]

A 2013 federal grant paid for $540,000 of snow removal equipment for the airport. [9]

In 2014 the airport was awarded $601,317 in federal grants for improvements to its infrastructure. [10]

Airlines and destinations

Air Choice One started service from Mason City to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on November 17, 2014, [11] Flights to St. Louis Lambert International Airport began in February 23, 2015, [12] and flights to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport began in November 2016. [13]

Earlier, Mason City had airline service on Great Lakes Airlines and Mesaba Airlines.

Air Choice One Burlington, Chicago–O'Hare, 1 Minneapolis/St. Paul

1 Some Air Choice One flights to and from Chicago continue on from Mason City to Fort Dodge Regional Airport. However, the airline does not sell tickets solely between Mason City and Fort Dodge.


Carrier shares: (December 2018 – November 2019) [14]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Air Choice One
Top domestic destinations:
(December 2018 – November 2019) [14]
Rank Airport Passengers
1 Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) 3,260
2 Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP) 1,940
3 Fort Dodge Regional (FOD) 790
4 Burlington Southeast Iowa Regional (BRL) 740



  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for MCW ( Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective January 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (MCW: Mason City)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sen. Grassley: $26.7 Million in Federal Assistance to 42 Iowa Airports". US Fed News. February 9, 2005.
  4. ^ "C.C. airport among those to receive DOT grant funds". Charles City Press (Charles City, Iowa). May 16, 2007.
  5. ^ "More Than $4.1 Million to Iowa Airports" (press release). Senate Judiciary Committee. Government Press Releases. May 8, 2009.
  6. ^ "Sen. Grassley Announced Over $3 Million to Iowa Airpots". US Fed News. July 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "More Than $140,000 to Airports in Fairfield and Mason City". Targeted News Service. April 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "Harkin Announces $11.5 Million for Iowa Air Services". Targeted News Service. June 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "Harkin Announces More Than $4,000,000 in Federal Funding to Improve Iowa Airports". Targeted News Service. July 19, 2013.
  10. ^ "Harkin Announces more than $600,000 for Mason City Municipal Airport". Targeted News Service. June 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Air Choice One Begins New Service from Chicago O'Hare to Mason City, Iowa". Targeted News Service. November 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Mason City flights to St. Louis announced". Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. December 30, 2014.
  13. ^ "Airport gains Minneapolis flights – Air Choice One also will add flights to Fort Dodge, Mason City". The Hawk Eye. (Burlington, Iowa). November 8, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Mason City, IA: Mason City Municipal (MCW)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. November 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2020.

Other sources

  • 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.

External links