Topic Author
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 12:33 pm

Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Thu Jun 01, 2000 10:29 am

There has been quite a discussion recently about Albany International Airport, my current "home" airport. TEDSKI and a few others claim it as home as well, and we all have a keen interest in its growth and promotion. Are there others out there who are passionate about their "home" lesser known airports who can report on activities, projections, etc. I am thinking of Airports such as KROC, KSYR, KGSP, KTOL, KMNH, KDAY, KAHN, KAVL,and so forth. Go for it folks, let's hear from you!
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 1999 12:15 pm

RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Thu Jun 01, 2000 1:01 pm

My home airport is Port Columbus International Airport, located in Columbus, Ohio. Port Columbus is constantly overlooked by the megahubs operated out of Cincinnati and Cleveland. Nevertheless, it is still my favorite airport, and I am very proud of it, despite it's relative mediocrity.
A few things about Port Columbus and the city it serves: Port Columbus has about 300 daily departures every business day, and is served by 22 commercial airlines serving Columbus and the Greater Central Ohio Area. The population of the city of Columbus is roughly 670,000; making Columbus the largest city in Ohio, and the 15th largest in the nation. The population of the Columbus metro area is about 3 million people. Columbus is also home to many national and international corporations, such as Nationwide Insurance, Huntington Banks, Wendy's, BankOne, and Scotts. Columbus is also home to the Ohio State University. So Port Columbus' clientele ranges from the seasoned business traveler to the vacationing tourist.
The airport itself is comprised of 3 concourses: Concourse A, which has 7 gates, B which has 17 gates, and C, which has 5 gates. America West is the carrier with the most daily nonstops to the most destinations from CMH, followed closely by USAirways. By the end of July, America West will have 45 daily departures to 12 destinations. So even though America West considers CMH a hub, it is minuscule compared to most others. Another disheartening fact is that of those 45 flights, only 16 will be with aircraft larger than a Canadair Regional Jet.
But on the bright side, not having an airline with a large hub in Columbus has allotted a good amount of room for other major carriers to find a niche in Columbus. Most of Delta's flights from Port Columbus are operated with the 757. Delta is the airline most traveled on by patrons of Port Columbus. TWA will also be adding 757 service to CMH during the summer months of this year. America West and United also provide 757 service to Columbus. Along with the major carriers, CMH is also a destination for regional airlines. Midwest Express and Midway both serve Port Columbus, each with 5 daily flights to Milwaukee and Raleigh/Durham respectively.
Port Columbus has to be one of the most spotter-friendly airport there is. There are numerous spotting areas all around the airport grounds. The airport garage provides the best views, and the A and C concourses wrap around it, providing an up close view of the aircraft at the gates. There is an official spotters area off the south runway, the long-term Red and Blue lots provide good views of traffic on the south runway, the Ohio History of Flight Museum's parking lot is excellent for viewing aircraft on the north runway, and also the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant is right next to the taxiway on the south runway. One can park at the restaurants parking lot and walk to the fence where planes are literally feet from you. The area is supposed to be restricted, but I have discovered that airport personnel are very lenient to spotters.
Major development of the airport has already begun to take place. A new mall was built at the threshold to the B concourse dubbed the Gateway Plaza which features a food court, restaurant, and stores. The airport also completed a $92 million parking garage extension which features a new 6 level garage, and a new 100ft glass atrium to the entrance of the airport. Construction on a new $17 million 224ft. control tower is also set to begin later this year. A 5 gate extension to the C concourse is also planned. Once built, an entirely new terminal is planned to be built.
For the airports future, I would like to see more connections out West. Columbus needs nonstop service to cities such as San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Antonio. Development of a large hub by any airline at Port Columbus is highly unlikely because of the proximity of the goliath hubs in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. Even so, I anticipate further expansion by most of the major airlines currently serving the airport. The Airport Authority has also been looking into nonstop service to Europe and has been in talks with both Lufthansa and British Airways. I have heard that British Airways actually currently holds the rights to begin nonstop service from Columbus to London.
Sorry about the length of the post, I appreciate the time taken to read it by those with the patience... . Thanks for the opportunity to share my airport to all those on the forum.
Topic Author
Posts: 564
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RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:11 pm

Fly CMH...great response. I lived in Cedarville OH 1982-84, and I remember great spotting from the top level of the parking deck. I remember picking up my wife from a PeoplExpress flight back then. I think TWA was a major presence at that time with L-1011 flights to the west coast. Is SW service a future possibility at KCMH?
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 1999 12:15 pm

RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Fri Jun 02, 2000 7:01 am

Actually, Southwest already serves Columbus. SWA has 6 nonstop flights from Columbus to Chicago Midway, 2 nonstops to St. Louis, 2 nonstops to Nashville, 2 nonstops to Tampa, 1 nonstop to Orlando, and 1 nonstop to Las Vegas from Columbus. Southwest flies mostly 737-300's to Columbus, though the Las Vegas and a Nashville flight use the 737-700. I think it's great that Southwest started service to Albany. The airport will profit greatly, so will those using the airport. By the way, is there any chance that Midway Airlines might start service to Ablany? They have added Buffalo and Rochester to their destination list, could Albany be next? Also, when does the revised www.albanyairport.com start?


Fri Jun 02, 2000 7:22 am

I agree, nice airport. I especially like how you can see a Caravelle and how the United gates still have DC-8 markings. I bet it gets a ton of passengers doing what I was doing on my visits; flying to or from Pittsburgh and taking the drive to avoid paying airfare out of PIT. Watch out for speed traps in and out of there though!
Topic Author
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 12:33 pm

RE: Lesser Known Airports

Fri Jun 02, 2000 7:32 am

I don't know if Midway has any plans to serve KALB. TEDSKI, have you heard anything?
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 10:08 pm


Fri Jun 02, 2000 11:59 am


Has AWA dramatically scaled back their presence in CMH? I remember several years ago they had a TPA-CMH flight, plus flights to many other east coast cities, but it appears that many of these have been discontinuted.

Is Colombus really the largest city in Ohio? Wow, I never new that!

Regardless of the nearby hubs, does CMH have the facilties for a hub (runways long enough to accomodate large planes, enough runways to handle lots of flight, terminal or space to build one to handle a hub airline, etc.)

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RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Fri Jun 02, 2000 12:46 pm

Isn't Columbus (going to be) America West's base for the Midwest?

Aaron G.
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2000 10:49 pm

About CMH

Fri Jun 02, 2000 10:53 pm

As a PIT flyer, I drive to CMH all the time for the cheap fares. It is a nice airport, but severely limited by being between CVG and CLE, not to mention PIT. One minor correction -- the CMH metro area by no way has 3 million people. It has about 1.5 million people. But the city itself is pretty large at 600k+.

Source: 1998 Census Data, www.census.gov

I personally still love the PIT airport -- been to every other 'nice' (as ranked by surveys) airport and see no competition but I'm biased!
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 1999 12:15 pm


Sat Jun 03, 2000 7:09 am

Pitflyer, thank you for the correction and the link. The source of my estimate was one of my teachers, I guess he needs to take a look at the census reports... .
Trvlr, about Columbus being/becoming America West's connection to the West...
America West's operations in Columbus are currently used mostly for O&D traffic, and some connections to the East Coast. America West does not really serve any Midwest destinations from Columbus. It would be great to have America West/Mesa start connecting flights into Midwestern cities. TWA and America West have started a frequent flier club partnership, so America West might focus on TWA providing most of their connections to the Midwest through St. Louis.
BizJet, I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. First of all, America West has scaled back operations in Columbus, but mostly by downgrading aircraft on many East Coast routes from Airbus aircraft to Regional Jets. America West destinations from CMH to East Coast cities, however, have not been discontinued. In fact, America West will start new flights to Hartford later in June.
Regarding TPA-CMH, America West used to have the most flights to the most destinations in Florida from CMH. America West served Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Ft. Meyers, West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, the latter 4 being seasonal. However, as more flights were added from PHX and LAS to Florida, and Delta Express and Southwest increased there presence in the Florida market from CMH, America West quickly pulled out. I believe this was a bad move by America West, since Delta Express then tookover the routes to Ft. Meyers and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as MCO and TPA and is profiting greatly from them. America West is now trying to get back into the Florida market from CMH by starting seasonal flights to Ft. Meyers during the winter.
In reference to the facilities CMH offers, the airport could support a larger hub. CMH's has two parallel runways, the north runway is 8,000ft. long, the south runway is 10,250ft. The south runway can handle just about any aircraft. The Concorde and the 747 have both used the south runway at CMH. The two runways can continue to handle an increasing amount of aircraft, and if the need were to arise, there are already plans for a third parallel 10,000ft runway.
Regarding the terminal, the current facilities are full. There are already plans to add 5 gates to the C Concourse, and also plans to build a new 50+ gate terminal along International Gateway, the airport's main road.
More information can be found at the airport's official, and unofficial websites:


Thanks for all the questions and comments regarding CMH. I enjoyed answering them.

RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Sat Jun 03, 2000 7:35 am

My 'home' airport is Wilmington International (KILM) in southeastern North Carolina. The terminal is 10 years old with 12 gates, but only has two jetways. The facility is small, but is new and is always clean. ILM is served mainly by USAirways, but Midway and ASA also provide service. Other airlines in the past have been American Eagle, United Express, and Continental Express. The only negatives about ILM is price sometimes and service to only IAD, CLT, ATL, and RDU.

ILM is a good place to go spotting. The airport authority has dedicated part of the field as an observation place. Also, there is a road 1500 feet from one of the runways that is awesome to watch the aircraft land. ILM is also an awesome place to spot because of the often military touch-and-go's which have included Air Force 1, Air Force 2, and many C-130's.

The Wilmington area has approx. 200,000 people and has the industries of GE, Corning, and DuPont. Also prominent is the film studios and the heavy tourism with the local beaches.

Anyway, there's my two cents about my home airport. As for Midway service to ALB, I do not know if they will fly there, however, they are doing extensive expansion and hiring, so I wouldn't be surprised with service to ALB.
PIT is an AWESOME airport! Although CLT's pretty nice.
If you have any comments, questions, or want a link to the ILM website, please let me know.


RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Sat Jun 03, 2000 8:33 am

My home airport is YHM is pathetic in terms or a Passenger service but it is slowly getting better but with cargo is a good size anyways it only has 3 passenger airliner that serve it 2 more were support to be coming but one got scared off by one of the other airline there and another changed airport where they where going to locate because of the goverment the biggest problem is the fact that its only 45 minuts away from torontos Pearson International which is the biggest airport in canada and is a Hub for Air Canada Royal Airline Canada 3000 Air Transat along with a whole bunch more airlines well i think it will grow over the next few years because the govenment gave 30 million dollas to build a new Highway to the airport so if your ever coming to the hamilton ontario area or Toronto try flying into Hamilton there is no delays at all usually fight are early there is easy check in do traffic to speak of and you can get to it from every major city in the Us and canada. Via Us Air Express Continental Express from the US and WestJet from Canada.

RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Sun Jun 04, 2000 5:07 am

The ILM website is http://www.airport-wilmington.com


RE: Lesser Known Airport Afficienados

Sun Jun 04, 2000 8:24 am

My home airport is Jacksonville, FL International (JAX/KJAX). Currently, "International" is a bit of a stretch, though BA wants to put an office here (and, hopefully, a flight or two! We can handle transatlantic 767s!). There are currently plans to build a new, longer runway, and two satellite terminals off of the main one. Each will include a seperate concourse, bringing us to 5, and hopefully they will be large enough to handle larger jets (747, 777, A340, etc.). Our runways have no problems with larger jets- Air Force One landed here once. We just can't handle anything bigger than an L-1011 in the gates.
I can't see how JAX will remain unhubbed for much longer, with startup airlines beginning to form (including the useless DCAir), and larger airlines needing a SE hub (CO, anyone? TWA, perhaps?). With the new terminals supposedly ready by 2010, I'd bet on one airline moving in and snapping up gates within a matter of 3 years. I expect JAX to be at hub status in 8 years, tops.
I would also hope on more inter-Florida flights. This would probably be a DL move, if anyone takes it, but a direct jet flight to MIA/FLL/TPA would be nice, and perfectly suited for a B717, B737-600, or A318.
Add to this the fact that Jacksonville as a whole is growing at a nice pace (current metro area population approx. 1.25 million), and I see hubbing in JAX's future.
JAXPORT (Port Authority) did make a dumb move by choosing not to utilize the abandoned NAS Cecil Field as a civil airport- it has a 12,000 foot runway (I believe), and lots of land around it. In 15-20 years, it could rival LHR or JFK, however they chose not to use it. Instead, Boeing and Northrop Grumman have leased out parts of it for testing, and the USN uses it for training.

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