LGAviation
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Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:25 pm

Seeing global airport statistics broken down into both domestic and international passengers, I've wondered what the busiest purely domestic airport is. My bet is that it's definitely a US airport but since both MDW and LGA offer scheduled service to Canada, those are out of consideration.
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reffado
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:31 pm

If I had to guess, I'd say DAL, if we're looking at purely domestic airports.
 
LGAviation
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:38 pm

I would have to correct my guess in that CGH easily surpasses DAL at 18mn+.
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winginit
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:40 pm

For the full year 2016 schedule as of today it is indeed DAL at least for US airports, with 7.07 billion outbound ASMs all domestic. In a real unexpected wildcard number two is ABQ (2.09 billion) followed by OMA (1.80 billion), MEM, OKC, TUS, and BUR.

[Edited 2016-05-22 09:42:21]
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:41 pm

A purely domestic airport has *no* FIS facility.

So DAL, LGA, MDW, and DCA qualify.
 
eal
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:44 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):

LGA, DCA and MDW all have service to Canada and/or Mexico. I think the OP is asking for purely domestic airports.
 
LGAviation
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:49 pm

Quoting eal (Reply 5):

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):

LGA, DCA and MDW all have service to Canada and/or Mexico. I think the OP is asking for purely domestic airports.

That was my initial point, which I clearly did not communicate as precisely as maybe I should have. I understand that the U.S. definition of a purely domestic airport includes airports that have scheduled international service provided CBP screening takes place at a pre-clearance facility, but I suppose that these would still be qualified as international airports in a global context. So my question targeted at airports without any international service whatsoever.
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Cubsrule
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 4:51 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):
A purely domestic airport has *no* FIS facility.

Maybe, but MDW certainly has an FIS facility and has a fair amount of service to Mexico.
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reffado
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 5:09 pm

Quoting LGAviation (Reply 2):

You're right on the money. I forgot your OP wasn't U.S. specific.

CGH might take that title.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 5:46 pm

I think it would be easier if we agree that a domestic airport is an airport without scheduled international passenger service. My money is on DAL.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):
A purely domestic airport has *no* FIS facility.

The absence of a full-scale FIS facility does not a domestic airport make.

As defined by US law, an international airport is an airport where international flights can land without prior permission from US CBP. The list is fairly short and they are all located on or near an international border. Planes entering the US are expected to land at one of these airports unless they have prior permission not to. AFAIK, DFW is the largest international airport (and also the furthest inland).

Landing rights airports are airport that international flights can land at instead of an international airport but only with prior permission. Most of the larger US airports are landing rights airports (LAX, JFK, ORD, ATL, etc...) but so are many smaller airports (DAL, MDW, LGA,...). The smaller airports may or may not have a full-scale FIS facility but international flights may very well land there either way.

The third category, user fee airports, is pretty much the same as landing rights airports. The main difference is traffic volume. Landing rights airports have enough international traffic that US CBP deems it necessary to have a presence at the airport. User fee airports are airports that do not have the volume to be landing rights airports but are willing to pay CBP at least $150,000 a year to have at least one full-time inspector on site to accept international flights.

Basically, domestic airports are defined as airports that are not international, landing rights or user fee airports.

[Edited 2016-05-22 10:59:26]
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snn2003
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 6:38 pm

I don't know how accurate this is but someone told me the other day it was DBQ, in Dubuque, Iowa. I am not 100% on that.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 6:50 pm

It is pretty unusual to come across domestic only airports - generally these are dictated by governments.

I can think of THR, which saw just under 14m pax per year in 2015. That will skyrocket as the sanctions are lifted.


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rbavfan
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 6:51 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):

No a purely domestic airport has no International flights. MDW, LGA & DCA all have service to Canada & DCA to Bahamas Using US pre-clearance from those locations.
 
SFOThinker
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 9:05 pm

Number two after CGH likely is ITM, which despite its formal name as Osaka International Airport, is purely domestic. It had 13.8 million passengers in 2013. International traffic uses KIX.
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 9:22 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 11):

Thought they still did Saudi Hajj flights from THR..?
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 9:27 pm

Quoting snn2003 (Reply 10):

I don't know how accurate this is but someone told me the other day it was DBQ, in Dubuque, Iowa. I am not 100% on that.

Dubuque and its 3 flights a day is the busiest domestic airport in the world... really?
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Rdh3e
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 9:37 pm

In the US it's:

DAL
BUF
BUR
OMA
OKC
RIC
CHS
SDF
BOI
ORF

*Ranked by Total Seats

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 14):
Thought they still did Saudi Hajj flights from THR..?

It appears G9 flies to SHJ from THR so THR would be out as "domestic only".
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 10:03 pm

Quoting TUGMASTER (Reply 14):
Thought they still did Saudi Hajj flights from THR..?

I think they have stopped them completely now - that was the only international flight IIRC.

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 16):
It appears G9 flies to SHJ from THR so THR would be out as "domestic only".

They fly into IKA, not THR.


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N1120A
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 10:14 pm

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):
A purely domestic airport has *no* FIS facility.

So DAL, LGA, MDW, and DCA qualify.

None of them qualify.
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815Oceanic
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 10:18 pm

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 16):

BUF recently got service to CUN and PUJ so it no longer qualifies.
 
ROCDLFAN
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 11:26 pm

Quoting 815Oceanic (Reply 19):

SAT only and Seasonal though, I hardly count it.
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Rdh3e
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Sun May 22, 2016 11:55 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 17):
They fly into IKA, not THR

Must be an error in OAG, it is showing up as THR for some reason.

Quoting 815Oceanic (Reply 19):

BUF recently got service to CUN and PUJ so it no longer qualifies.

Hasn't started yet, I guess it depends on what timeframe you use.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:07 am

MDW has customs and flights to airports that don't Preclear in on Volaris and Southwest.
a.
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:16 am

Don't forget Porter too. Toronto City doesnt have preclearance (yet_
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texdravid
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:21 am

DAL would have a number of international flights if not for the remnants of the Wright Amendment.
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815Oceanic
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:56 am

Quoting Rdh3e (Reply 21):

This service has actually operated for two winters now. Should be interesting to see if it returns next year with the weak Canadian dollar.
 
VX321
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 3:10 am

THR has hajj flights,so it's out.
 
axelesgg
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 7:38 am

Is Beijing Nanyuan perhaps near the top? Or maybe some other chinese airport...
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sirdanilot
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 8:06 am

Indeed I am appalled by the America-centred views on this subject (and in general the board seems a bit America-centred but let's put that aside as it's off topic). Surely one of the Russian, Chinese, Brazilian or Indian domestic airports would at least compete with the larger domestic US airports such as DAL . DAL sits at about 8 miion pax, while something like CGH completely outdwarfs if at 18 million annual pax (sources: wikipedia).

Shanghai Hongqiao would outdwarf any other but it has a limited amount of international flights to such countries as Japan and Korea.
 
LGAviation
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 8:17 am

Quoting sirdanilot (Reply 28):

Indeed I am appalled by the America-centred views on this subject (and in general the board seems a bit America-centred but let's put that aside as it's off topic). Surely one of the Russian, Chinese, Brazilian or Indian domestic airports would at least compete with the larger domestic US airports such as DAL . DAL sits at about 8 miion pax, while something like CGH completely outdwarfs if at 18 million annual pax (sources: wikipedia).

Shanghai Hongqiao would outdwarf any other but it has a limited amount of international flights to such countries as Japan and Korea.

I totally agree and indeed I believe that it will be difficult to find any larger domestic airport than CGH. I do believe that all major Russian airports have some sort of international service. The same goes for China with Nanyuan being the most serious contender at a rather meagre 5 mn passengers. As for India, it seems that even minor cities sustain international service to the Arab Gulf for obvious reasons. So that leaves us with the US candidates and CGH.
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steex
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 8:42 am

Quoting LGAviation (Reply 6):
I understand that the U.S. definition of a purely domestic airport includes airports that have scheduled international service provided CBP screening takes place at a pre-clearance facility, but I suppose that these would still be qualified as international airports in a global context.

I don't think even that is a clear cut definition. To me, there's a difference between an airport that has the most air traffic without any scheduled international service and an airport which is "purely domestic" because it is prohibited from serving international traffic due to legal restrictions and/or lack of infrastructure. The reality is that an airport like ABQ isn't purely domestic because it intends to be (they would gladly accommodate any airline's attempt to schedule international service), it merely lacks adequate traffic/yield to support a scheduled international service.

Quoting LGAviation (Reply 29):
So that leaves us with the US candidates and CGH.

Sticking with Brazil, let's not forget SDU as another airport with only domestic service. And, as another poster previously noted, ITM is limited to domestic service and would trump any such US airport in pax numbers.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 9:14 am

The way the question is phrased, freight is included. That kicks SDF from the list, MEM as well of course. Do not Forget busines aviation.
.

The Designation as "customs Airport" rules out the qualification as purely domestic Airport.

[Edited 2016-05-23 02:18:41]
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COSPN
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 10:36 am

Do they still run GMP~ITM ??? So ITM is out
 
777klm
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 11:45 am

So now we've got:

1 CGH - 18,134,768 pax / year (2014 data)
2 ITM - 14,193,277 pax / year (2010 data)
3 THR - 13,941,798 pax / year (2015 data) (no SCHEDULED Hajj flights)
4 SDU - 9,618,197 pax / year (2015 data)
5 DAL - 8,470,586 pax / year (2014 data)
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sirdanilot
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 11:52 am

Does anyone know whether CGH just 'happens' to be domestic or whether there is some law redirecting all international flights to GRU?
 
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reffado
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 12:12 pm

Quoting sirdanilot (Reply 34):
CGH is actually a domestic airport. It has had international flights in the past (before the 1985 opening of GRU).

Brazil's ANAC has ruled out the possibility of CGH operating international flights by General aviation, so the airport stands as purely domestic.

As far as I know, they don't even keep customs/immigration facilities there anymore.

On the GA side, it's because of government decisions. But, as with SDU, I'm almost certain that the actual reason for no commercial service has more to do with the runways and capacity. Being as short as they are, nothing larger than a 738 can actually land there, and even then, not with considerable payload IIRC.

[Edited 2016-05-23 05:14:22]
 
777klm
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 12:18 pm

Quoting sirdanilot (Reply 34):

CGH flights are restricted to domestic flights only since 2008 by ANAC, Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency. The de-internationalization as it was called was aimed to reduce operating costs. It's also worth to notice that the airport is slot controlled and is on max capacity.
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LGAviation
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 12:53 pm

Quoting 777klm (Reply 33):
3 THR - 13,941,798 pax / year (2015 data) (no SCHEDULED Hajj flights)

I know it's a terrible source, but wikipedia lists Tehran-Mehrabad as an Iran Aseman destination at Damascus (with the reverse not being true). Could anyone confirm that this service doesn't exist?
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777klm
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:04 pm

Quoting LGAviation (Reply 37):

Just checked the Iran Aseman website, and Damascus is not listed as one of their destinations.
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gatibosgru
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:52 pm

Quoting reffado (Reply 35):
nothing larger than a 738 can actually land there

  Starts @ 0:43

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKsXmKPGmLA
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reffado
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 1:58 pm

Quoting gatibosgru (Reply 39):

I stand corrected! But, for technicality's sake, that flight had 0 pax, didn't it?

Upon further research, it appears VASP would also land their A300 there for maintenance. The more you know...

Regardless, that answers my doubt that the reason is mostly government/slots.

Thanks for sharing the video, I'd never seen that before.

[Edited 2016-05-23 07:00:47]
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 2:38 pm

Quoting reffado (Reply 35):
But, as with SDU, I'm almost certain that the actual reason for no commercial service has more to do with the runways and capacity.

Wouldn't the most obvious reason be the decision to close customs facilities?
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gatibosgru
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 2:39 pm

Quoting reffado (Reply 40):

Quoting gatibosgru (Reply 39):

I stand corrected! But, for technicality's sake, that flight had 0 pax, didn't it?

Upon further research, it appears VASP would also land their A300 there for maintenance. The more you know...

Regardless, that answers my doubt that the reason is mostly government/slots.

Thanks for sharing the video, I'd never seen that before.

Purely for show, no pax on board, just wanted to share that cool video, must have been quite a sight to see at CGH!

TransBrasil has also used CGH with their 762s back in the day. Now the largest you'll see is A320s/737s
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slider
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 2:45 pm

Quoting 777klm (Reply 33):
4 SDU - 9,618,197 pax / year (2015 data)

Santos Dumont was going to be my first guess. Eh, top 5 not a bad first guess.

It really is awesome to watch planes land there from a vantage point on Sugarloaf. Airnerd's dream.
 
rg787
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 4:21 pm

Quoting gatibosgru (Reply 42):
Purely for show, no pax on board, just wanted to share that cool video, must have been quite a sight to see at CGH!

TransBrasil has also used CGH with their 762s back in the day. Now the largest you'll see is A320s/737s

There were international flights in the past but I think they stopped somewhere before going international. I know TR did CGH-BSB-US, and if memory serves me right they did the trip back directly to CGH. Today it is limited by some kind of law/regulation to A320/737, and there was even a law permitting only 1000 KM flights until some months ago.

As for SDU, I think even A320 aren't permitted there, only A319 and below. Anyone knows?
 
eal
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 4:35 pm

Asiana runs charters to ITM from JeJu and Daegu in South Korea.
 
airbazar
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 5:01 pm

Quoting sirdanilot (Reply 28):
Indeed I am appalled by the America-centred views on this subject (and in general the board seems a bit America-centred but let's put that aside as it's off topic). Surely one of the Russian, Chinese, Brazilian or Indian domestic airports would at least compete

Brazil is in America, or do you mean "U.S.-centered"?
Either way I don't think it's about being "America-centered" as much as common sense. The U.S. is one of if not the largest domestic air market in the World. Couple that with the way the airports are designed here in which only a few can handle international arrivals, and it's easy to deduce that there are quite some large domestic-only airports in the U.S.. By contrast, in the rest of the World, domestic-only airports are quite rare. Name 1 airport in all of Europe that is domestic only? You probably can't find one. Russia, China, Brazil, India sure have very large airports but how many are domestic only? Probably very few.
 
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reffado
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 5:02 pm

Quoting Buyantukhaa (Reply 41):
Wouldn't the most obvious reason be the decision to close customs facilities?

It would. My original post failed at expressing my meaning, that the bureaucracies and such can be changed to allow for flights. The physics of capacity (there's no slots) and runway lengths can't.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 5:23 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 46):
Couple that with the way the airports are designed here in which only a few can handle international arrivals, and it's easy to deduce that there are quite some large domestic-only airports in the U.S..

I'm not sure I understand your assertion here. We probably have more airports in the States that could handle a 100-seat international arrival without much trouble than most other countries. The capability frequently isn't used, but it's there.
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superjeff
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RE: Busiest Purely Domestic Airport

Mon May 23, 2016 5:33 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):A purely domestic airport has *no* FIS facility.

So DAL, LGA, MDW, and DCA qualify.
None of them qualify.

DAL is purely domestic for commercial transportation - that's the terms of the Wright Amendment resolution. They can't have international service.

Whether that ultimately changes, I don't know, but for the time being, DAL is purely domestic.

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