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passengerpigeon
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Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:14 am

Like the title says, what are the largest population centres in the USA and Europe that don't have an airport within 1.5 hours' (traffic-free) driving or train time from downtown that sees scheduled flights year-round? I have been wondering this for a while, but other threads discussing this topic are either outdated or use different metrics (i.e. no airports within the city proper, but a city ). Grenoble Airport seems to be the most egregious example to me, having no flights at all in the summer despite serving a city of well over 100,000 inhabitants as well as ski areas; what is the reason for this lack of service? I was going to list CYS as well, but it seems that service is now back and "bigger than ever" with the daily flight to DFW. Białystok also has a new airport under construction.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:32 pm

I mean, it depends on your definition of 'big'? I would suggest using a benchmark of at least 100,000 people for Europe - I'm not sure though what a suitable benchmark would be for the USA.

Several years ago, I did an extensive piece of research on this topic. I don't have the document to hand, but IIRC there are no large (definition: pop of 100k+) cities more than 1.5h from an airport in Europe. In fact there are only a tiny handful more than 60 minutes from an airport (including one in Poland, a couple in Belarus, again IIRC) and very few which are more than 45 minutes away.

The winner though - my old hometown, Plymouth. Direct population of 260,000, and an immediate 'metro' population of 325,000. It's 52 minutes from the nearest airport (EXT) in zero traffic, making it by far the largest city in the EU to be so far from an airport, since the city mothballed PLH in 2011.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:05 pm

In France the largest city without a commercial airport is Dijon, however it has Dole-Jura Airport nearby. Granted, it only has a hand full of flights, mostly on Ryanair. But it does have scheduled airline service. Dole is about 40 minutes away from Dijon.

Europe is literally paved with commercial airports, there's always one nearby.
 
masgniw
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:19 pm

Bakersfield CA has almost 1m residents and is ~2 hrs from FAT and the LA area.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:52 am

masgniw wrote:
Bakersfield CA has almost 1m residents and is ~2 hrs from FAT and the LA area.


Ignoring Bakersfield's own airport ?
 
cofannyc
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:37 am

jetwet1 wrote:
masgniw wrote:
Bakersfield CA has almost 1m residents and is ~2 hrs from FAT and the LA area.


Ignoring Bakersfield's own airport ?


Which has service to 4 airports by 2 carriers...
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:36 am

cofannyc wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
masgniw wrote:
Bakersfield CA has almost 1m residents and is ~2 hrs from FAT and the LA area.


Ignoring Bakersfield's own airport ?


Which has service to 4 airports by 2 carriers...


Huh? Tell me more...
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masgniw
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:38 am

maps4ltd wrote:
cofannyc wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:

Ignoring Bakersfield's own airport ?


Which has service to 4 airports by 2 carriers...


Huh? Tell me more...


BFL has service to:
DFW
PHX
SFO
DEN

Some even more than once daily!!
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:51 am

masgniw wrote:
maps4ltd wrote:
cofannyc wrote:

Which has service to 4 airports by 2 carriers...


Huh? Tell me more...


BFL has service to:
DFW
PHX
SFO
DEN

Some even more than once daily!!


I'm dumb; I thought you were talking about San Bernardino.
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FlyRow
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:45 pm

Bern might be one after the demise of Skyworks. It has a airport, but no real scheduled flights.
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Kno
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:03 pm

I would imagine it's very hard to find a city of over 100k people with no airport within 1.5hr in distance... You'd probably end up with a list of large towns that few have heard of.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:02 pm

It's hard to say if BFL fits into this category. Kern County is approaching one million people; however, two factors work against Bakersfield ever having a "major" airport:

* The proximity of LAX. Los Angeles International Airport has the gravity effect of Jupiter, offering nearly unlimited choices for travelers, both domestic and international 2-3 hours away (or more, depending on traffic). BFL, on the other hand, has the gravity of a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, offering only a few domestic destinations, but they do exist: United has three flights per day (x2 DEN & x1 SFO) and American has five (x3 PHX and x2 DFW).

* Bakersfield's economy is based almost entirely on a couple of mega-producers of carrots (go into any grocery store in the U.S. and pick up a package of processed carrots - chances are VERY high that it says either Bolthouse or Grimmway Farms) and small family businesses. The premium demand for travel existed for many years solely based on the oil boom, with both DFW and IAH served at times, but because of the boom-then-bust cycle of that business, flights came and went. However, AA has returned to the DFW market first with one and now two daily non-stops. I understand part of that is due to a grant, but it started with one then expanded to two dailies, so maybe that market is proving itself again.

I posted a thread here in "Polls & Preferences" posing the question, "has any city 'suffered' more than BFL since deregulation?"...Suffered? No. Lost more service than any other airport in the world that is still open and functioning? Possibly.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:26 pm

What Bulkhead City ? It's about 90 mins from LAS
 
hoons90
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:02 am

What about Patras, Greece? Nearby Araxos Airport only has seasonal flights in the summer. No scheduled flights at all at the moment.
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IPFreely
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:36 am

jetwet1 wrote:
What Bulkhead City ? It's about 90 mins from LAS


It's nowhere near 100,000 population which seems to be the OP's threshold.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:37 am

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
What Bulkhead City ? It's about 90 mins from LAS


It's nowhere near 100,000 population which seems to be the OP's threshold.


Totally missed that part.
 
Wednesdayite
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:00 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
I mean, it depends on your definition of 'big'? I would suggest using a benchmark of at least 100,000 people for Europe - I'm not sure though what a suitable benchmark would be for the USA.

Several years ago, I did an extensive piece of research on this topic. I don't have the document to hand, but IIRC there are no large (definition: pop of 100k+) cities more than 1.5h from an airport in Europe. In fact there are only a tiny handful more than 60 minutes from an airport (including one in Poland, a couple in Belarus, again IIRC) and very few which are more than 45 minutes away.

The winner though - my old hometown, Plymouth. Direct population of 260,000, and an immediate 'metro' population of 325,000. It's 52 minutes from the nearest airport (EXT) in zero traffic, making it by far the largest city in the EU to be so far from an airport, since the city mothballed PLH in 2011.


I’d argue Sheffield is in a worse position.

With over twice the population of Plymouth, Sheffield is the 5th largest city and 8th largest metro area in the UK.

Sheffield is 42 minutes in no traffic from DSA - but DSA is a crappy airport with bare bones service. You get Wizz Air to a handful of Eastern European cities and TUI with some standard Mediterranean vacation destinations.

By comparison, Plymouth (via Exeter) gets delightful and useful destinations such as Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam etc.

Sheffielders need to travel to MAN (90 minutes); or LBA (80 minutes) to get the service that an airport like Exeter provides.
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dfwjim1
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:12 pm

Fun question. In the United States there is Chico, California which has a population of 95,000 and a metro population of 200,000. Chico is about 1.5 hours driving time from commercial airports in Sacramento and Redding, California.
 
bluefrog
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:24 pm

Grenoble Airport seems to be the most egregious example to me, having no flights at all in the summer despite serving a city of well over 100,000 inhabitants as well as ski areas;
you can get to lys in less than an hour from grenoble even the coach only takes an hour /hour and 10 mins
 
ibthebigd
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:49 am

Pikeville Kentucky is like 3 hours from the closest airport.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:35 pm

FlyRow wrote:
Bern might be one after the demise of Skyworks. It has a airport, but no real scheduled flights.


But how useful would it be? The Swiss rail system connects to both GVA and ZRH with in airport train terminals.
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:04 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
Bern might be one after the demise of Skyworks. It has a airport, but no real scheduled flights.


But how useful would it be? The Swiss rail system connects to both GVA and ZRH with in airport train terminals.


That wasn't the question.
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passengerpigeon
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:39 am

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
What Bulkhead City ? It's about 90 mins from LAS


It's nowhere near 100,000 population which seems to be the OP's threshold.


My mention of 100,000 people related to the example I gave of Grenoble; there's not necessarily a threshhold if the furthest cities from an airport all have fewer than 100,000 people.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:38 am

Macon Georgia has a metro population of 250k people with no air service outside of one EAS route to Baltimore. Most people probably cannot afford to fly there or just make the drive to Atlanta.

It has to be the largest city in this category.
 
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:43 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
Fun question. In the United States there is Chico, California which has a population of 95,000 and a metro population of 200,000. Chico is about 1.5 hours driving time from commercial airports in Sacramento and Redding, California.


Oh yeah, it had completely slipped my mind that Chico's airport lost its only airline service when Skywest retired the E120s, putting it in this category. Meanwhile Redding maintained its service, in spite of being a slightly smaller city, presumably because it's much farther away from any other city with an airport.
 
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:17 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
In France the largest city without a commercial airport is Dijon, however it has Dole-Jura Airport nearby. Granted, it only has a hand full of flights, mostly on Ryanair. But it does have scheduled airline service. Dole is about 40 minutes away from Dijon.

Europe is literally paved with commercial airports, there's always one nearby.


Commercial airports yes, but major airports, not so much. Germany has many relatively big airports, but only 2 or 3 that offer direct flights to most of the world. The rest are filled with low-cost airlines flying to a limited selection of destinations, generally within 1-3 hours of flying. Same for France, it is really only Paris CDG and Orly.
 
THY748i
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:47 am

Well, there‘s Vlora (Vlorë) in Albania with a population of ~ 130,000. It takes about two hours to get to TIA by car. There‘s currently a project underway to build an international airport in Vlora, the construction of which has not yet started.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:56 pm

ibthebigd wrote:
Pikeville Kentucky is like 3 hours from the closest airport.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


Umm...1.5hr to HTS (Huntington/Ashland/Ironton), and if you want more services (relatively), ~2 hr to CRW (Charleston WV) or TRI (Bristol/Tri-Cities). Plus it's a freaking town of 7k people. Plenty of towns in Southwestern Indiana are 1.5hr drive away from IND or EVV or even SDF are larger than Pikeville.

Otherwise, places like Macon GA or Chico CA would fit the OP's "threshold" to certain extent (Although there are flights out of MCN).

P.S. Grenoble is only ~1hr drive from LYS, with TGV service also. It's not as disconnected as the OP make it out to be.
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IADCA
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:07 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
Macon Georgia has a metro population of 250k people with no air service outside of one EAS route to Baltimore. Most people probably cannot afford to fly there or just make the drive to Atlanta.

It has to be the largest city in this category.


Except that outside of peak traffic times, Macon is within 1.5 hours of the airport in ATL (even if it isn't within 1.5 hours of downtown).
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:35 pm

IADCA wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
Macon Georgia has a metro population of 250k people with no air service outside of one EAS route to Baltimore. Most people probably cannot afford to fly there or just make the drive to Atlanta.

It has to be the largest city in this category.


Except that outside of peak traffic times, Macon is within 1.5 hours of the airport in ATL (even if it isn't within 1.5 hours of downtown).


Yeah, its right on the border of the question. I honestly can't think of a city that would fit into the category that OP set out.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Biggest American and European cities located more than 1.5 hours from the nearest scheduled airport

Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:16 pm

Some cities in Spain should qualify.

Córdoba (325,000 and a very touristic city) is 135 km to Seville and 172 km. to Málaga. Córdoba has though high-speed connection to Madrid, Málaga and Seville.

Castilla La Mancha has no longer commercial services (with Albacete no longer connected to Madrid and Ciudad Real closed).

Albacete is about 200k people (largest city in CLM). Nearest airports are MAD (258 km), ALC (175 km) and VLC (164 km). Granted Albacete is connected with high-speed train to Alicante, Madrid and Valencia but not the airports themselves.

Not what the OP is asking, but Zaragoza is an unique case. With 700,000 people, it has no legacy/hub connections. Only low-cost flights to a handful of European/domestic destinations.

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