Charlotte Douglas International Airport

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Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte airport satellite view.png
United States Geological Survey (USGS) aerial image before 18R/36L was built
WMO: 72314
Airport type Public
Owner City of Charlotte
Operator Charlotte Aviation Department
Serves Charlotte metropolitan area
Location Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Hub for American Airlines
Elevation AMSL 748 ft / 228 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
File:CLT Airport Diagram.pdf
FAA airport diagram
CLT is located in North Carolina
Location within North Carolina
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18L/36R 8,676 2,644 Asphalt/Concrete
18C/36C 10,000 3,048 Concrete
18R/36L 9,000 2,743 Concrete
5/23 7,502 2,287 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 44,279,504
Aircraft operations 580,007
Source: Federal Aviation Administration.[1] CLT press release.[2]

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (IATA: CLTICAO: KCLTFAA LID: CLT) is a joint civil-military public international airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Established in 1935 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, in 1954 the airport was renamed Douglas Municipal Airport after former Charlotte mayor Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr. The airport gained its current name in 1982 and is the second largest hub for American Airlines after Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with service to 175 domestic and international destinations as of 2008.[3] In 2009, it was the 9th busiest airport in the United States.[4] In 2010, Charlotte was the 6th busiest airport in the world, based on traffic movements and in 2013 it was the 23rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.[5] Charlotte is the largest airport in the United States without nonstop service to Asia.


The early years

The city received a $200,000 grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1930 to establish Charlotte's first municipal airport.

In 1936 the Charlotte Municipal Airport opened, operated by the City of Charlotte; Eastern Air Lines began scheduled passenger service in 1937. The original passenger terminal still exists at Fenway Sports Group's Boeing 727 parking area. (FSG's North American motorsport venture, Roush Fenway Racing, is based in the old terminal).

The United States Army Air Forces took control of the airport and established Morris Field Air Base in 1941. The airfield was used by the Third Air Force for antisubmarine patrols and training.

Aerial view circa 1946

1950 to mid-1960s: into the jet age

In 1954 a 70,000-square-foot (6,500 m2) passenger terminal opened and the airport was renamed Douglas Municipal Airport in honor of former Charlotte Mayor Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr. The terminal had two floors, though passenger operations were confined to the ground floor. Ticketing and baggage claim were on each side of an open space which bisected the building from north to south, and a mezzanine restaurant and airline offices overlooked this open space. Delta Air Lines began scheduled passenger service in 1956. The OAG for April 1957 shows 57 weekday departures on Eastern, 7 Piedmont, 6 Capital, 4 Delta and 2 Southern. Nonstop flights did not reach beyond Newark, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Louisville, Birmingham and Jacksonville.

Airport diagram for 1955

Eastern Air Lines began scheduled jet flights with the Boeing 720 in early 1962.[6] Eastern used the west pier, Piedmont and Delta the center pier, and United and Southern used the east pier.

Late 1960s to 1978: growth pre-deregulation

A major renovation project in the late 1960s expanded the facility considerably. Eastern opened a 'unit terminal' in 1967, replacing the old west pier. This new facility had 8 dedicated gates for Eastern, each with its own departure lounge, as well as a snack bar and separate baggage claim space. Eastern passengers continued to check in at the main terminal.

Two years later in 1969, a new enclosed concourse was built parallel to the center pier. When it was completed, Piedmont, Eastern and Delta moved in and the old center pier was demolished. The new concourse also had separate departure lounges, as well as restrooms and an enlarged baggage claim area. United's flights continued to the use the east pier, although an enclosed holdroom was added for waiting passengers.

In 1973, Eastern added two more gates to the end of its west concourse.

1978 to 1989: becoming a major hub

After airline deregulation in 1978, passenger numbers at the terminal nearly doubled between 1978 and 1980, and a new 10,000-foot (3,000 m) parallel runway and control tower opened in 1979. The airport's master plan called for a new terminal across the runway from the existing site and ground was broken in 1979. At the time, the airport had only two concourses: one used exclusively by Eastern, and one used by other carriers including United, Delta, Piedmont and several commuter airlines.[7]

In 1979 Piedmont Airlines chose Charlotte as the hub for its expanding route network. To accommodate booming growth, a new 325,000-square-foot (30,200 m2) passenger terminal designed by Odell Associates opened in 1982 and the airport was renamed Charlotte Douglas International Airport.[8]

Concourses B and C were expanded in 1987 and 1984 respectively, while Concourse A was built in 1986 to handle future growth[8]

In 1987 Piedmont started non-stop 767 flights to London.

In the mid-1980s the old terminal site was converted to a cargo center, and the central concourse and Eastern 'unit terminal' were removed to make way for more cargo buildings. The original main building still stands and is used for office space. The old control tower was removed in the late 1990s.

In 1989 Piedmont merged with USAir; the new merged operations kept the USAir name.

1990 to 2004: the influence of US Airways

US Airways jets at CLT in 1998 in the former USAir livery
Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 on final approach to runway 18C
The central atrium of the passenger terminal building

In 1990, a new 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) international and commuter concourse (Concourse D) opened, and in 1991 further expansion of the central terminal building continued, reflective of USAir's dominating presence at the airport. A monumental bronze statue of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (the namesake of the city), created by Raymond Kaskey, was placed in front of the main terminal.

In 1990, Lufthansa began Boeing 747 service to Germany; however, this service was discontinued shortly thereafter. In 1994, British Airways began service to London via a "global alliance" with USAir. This has since been discontinued, as the airlines had chosen opposite alliances (though they now are both in OneWorld). Lufthansa did restart service to Charlotte in 2003 and now operates flights between Charlotte and Munich, Germany utilizing Airbus A340-600 and Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

In 1999, plans were announced for the construction of a regional carrier concourse (present-day Concourse E) and for the expansion of Concourses A and D. This expansion was designed by The Wilson Group and LS3P Associates Ltd.[9]

In 2002, the new 32-gate Concourse E opened,[10] and US Airways also began non-stop service to Belize, Freeport, Providenciales, Punta Cana and St. Croix. The airline closed its Concourse D US Airways Club location in 2002.

In 2003, the main ticketing hall was expanded to the east, providing 13 additional ticketing counters and a new security checkpoint; and Concourse D was expanded by an additional 9 gates. That year, US Airways began service to Costa Rica, Mexico City and St. Kitts. Lufthansa also returned to the airport at this time providing service to Munich.

2005 and Beyond

Following America West Airlines' acquisition of US Airways in a reverse takeover,[11] Charlotte (CLT) remains the primary domestic hub for the airline. However, the majority of US Airways' international routes are served out of the airline's second-largest hub, Philadelphia. In April 2007, Charlotte was the fastest growing airport in the US[12] and is among the 30 busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic.

Dispute over control with the NC General Assembly

On July 16, 2013 the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill, introduced by state Senator Bob Rucho in February 2013, transferring possession of the airport to a 13-member regional authority. Then Mayor of Charlotte Patsy Kinsey expressed regret for the decision, saying it would throw the airport into "chaos and instability."[13] However, the City of Charlotte was granted a restraining order against the state by Judge Robert Sumner in order to maintain control of the airport and a court date was set for August 1 to determine the fate of the airport, with former Charlotte mayor Richard Vinroot representing the State as well as the former director of the airport, Jerry Orr.[14] Orr sent a letter to the City after the passage of the bill saying his "employment as Executive Director of the Airport Authority commenced and (his) employment by the City as Aviation Director terminated", but with the granting of the restraining order, this was interpreted as a resignation by the City and chief financial officer of the airport Brent Cagle was named Acting Director.[15]

The August 1, 2013 court date yielded a verdict that the transfer, should it occur, would need prior approval from the FAA, a division of the US Department of Transportation, currently headed by former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who has officially recused himself from the matter.

Construction and Expansion

Construction of Charlotte International's fourth runway began in the spring of 2007. At 9,000 feet (2,700 m) long, the new "third parallel" will allow three independent approaches for arrivals even from the south, potentially increasing capacity by 33 percent. This new runway lies west of the three existing runways. The construction of the fourth runway required the relocation of parts of Wallace Neel Road (which previously was the Western boundary of the airport) to an alignment located further to the west.

Construction involved two phases. The first phase, which began in March 2007, included grading and drainage. The second phase included the paving and lighting of the runway. In August 2009, crews paved the last section.[16]

On the morning of November 20, 2008 runway 18R/36L was changed to runway 18C/36C in anticipation of the upcoming commissioning of the new third parallel runway which would carry the 18R/36L designation when opened.

The runway opened January 6, 2010. The cost for the runway and taxiways was $325 million, with the federal government paying $124 million and the rest funded by a $3 fee added to the cost of a ticket.[17]

The new runway was initially operational for visual approaches only, but is since February 11, 2010 approved for instrument approaches as well. The Runway construction also has planned to reroute several roads around the airport. Within these plans, a new interchange at the I-485 outerbelt is planned to connect the airport and another relocated road.

In 2013, the airport will release plans for the largest expansion in the airport's history. This would add onto multiple concourses, add an additional food court and multiple new parking decks.

Furthermore, Charlotte Douglas has initiated a project known as "CLT 2015", this project has been aimed at aiding the airport cope with the massive increase of passengers at the airport in recent years and therefore expansion is needed to continue to allow Charlotte Douglas International Airport to continue growing in size and keep up with demand, the current plans are to expand the current terminal lobby to the north, construct a fifth runway and a new International terminal.

The "Fourth Parallel" runway for Charlotte Douglas is due to be formally designed in 2014 and construction has been planned to commence in January 2015 and scheduled for completion in the early stages of 2017, the runway is going to be built in between the existing runways 18R/36L and 18C/36C, and at 12,000 ft, the new runway will be Charlotte's longest to date.[18]


The airport plans to extend Concourse E by 120 feet (37 m) to accommodate additional aircraft. Unlike the rest of Concourse E, this new portion will have 2 levels to accommodate larger CRJs and Embraer aircraft.

In addition, Concourse E is planned to be disconnected to the main terminal and would be accessible by an underground walkway. A shuttle will be built connecting the terminals, parking garages, rental car center and eventually, light rail.

On September 28, 2010 construction officially began to expand the ticket counter area connecting it to Concourse E eventually making room for one more security checkpoint area. The first phase of the terminal expansion officially opened on Friday June 29, 2012.


The parking options at Charlotte Douglas have drastically improved in recent years. There have been two new Daily Parking decks erected since 2005, providing almost 6,000 additional parking spaces for the traveling public. There are also four Long Term lots, with Long Term 1 and 2 being the primary ones contributing a combined 6,500 spaces. In addition, there is the Daily North lot (formerly Remote), which is between the Daily and Long Term lots, with about 1,500 spaces. A new $40 million Business Valet Parking Deck, which utilizes Post Tension Concrete for each massive 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) level, has now opened. Charlotte's close-in surface and deck parking exits are serviced by part-time personnel from booths apparently dating to the 1982 terminal expansion. The Daily parking rates at CLT are some of the lowest in the nation, with Long Term costing $4 and Daily/Daily North Parking is $10 per day. Staff audits every parking area each evening to upload license plate data to ensure each vehicle is assessed the correct parking fee when it exits. The airport has recently aligned with a customer service program called SmartPark, which allows customers to call a hotline 24 hours a day to receive updates on parking conditions. Charlotte Douglas also has Valet parking that provides vehicle washing and detailing and even paintless dent removal services for an additional charge.

In November 2014, the airport opened its new terminal-adjacent hourly parking deck. This deck provides 4,000 public parking spaces on levels 4 through 7. The 3,000 spaces on levels 1 through 3 are dedicated to rental cars.[19] The opening of this new deck will allow for the future redevelopment of the former rental car lots with a new concourse.

All lots except the hourly deck can only be reached from the terminal via shuttle. Business Valet picks up outside Concourse D on the Departures level. All other shuttles pick up on the Arrivals level in the B zone and D zone. The Daily decks have a shuttle which makes 1 stop for both decks. Long Term 1 shares with Daily North and makes stops at lettered bus stops. Long Term 2 and 3 share a shuttle and also make stops at lettered bus stops.

As of July 2012 there is now also an offsite parking lot called Park n Go on Scott Futrell Drive.

The Overlook

A US Airways Airbus A321-200 landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in June 2009.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the few airports in the US that has a public viewing area. Here, visitors can watch planes take off, land and taxi to and from runway 18C/36C. It is credited with having one of the best airport views in the United States.

Carolinas Aviation Museum

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of a small number of major "hub" airports in the world which has an aviation museum located on the field. The Museum, established in 1992, has a collection of over 50 aircraft, including a DC-3 which is painted in Piedmont Airlines livery. The Museum also has an aviation library with over 9,000 volumes and a very extensive photography collection. Rare aircraft in the collection include one of only two surviving Douglas D-558 Skystreak aircraft and the second (and oldest surviving) US-built Harrier, which was used as the flight-test aircraft and accumulated over 5,000 flight-test hours.

In January 2011 the Museum acquired N106US, the US Airways Airbus A320 ditched by Chesley Sullenberger as US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. This aircraft, which was delivered on June 10, 2011, is about 35 years younger than any other commercial airliner on display in a museum and gives the museum an unparalleled technological lead over other aviation museums in the field of commercial aviation.


Concourse A
Concourse B
  • Concourse B has 16 gates and is one of two concourses used for American Airlines flights. Along with Concourse C, this terminal opened in 1982.
Concourse C
  • Concourse C has 18 gates and is the other concourse used for American Airlines flights.
Concourse D
  • Concourse D has 13 gates and serves as the international concourse. All international arrivals without customs preclearance are handled at this facility. Also, American Airlines operates some domestic flights. It is used by Lufthansa. It opened in 1990.
Concourse E
  • Concourse E has 38 gates and is entirely used for American Eagle flights, operating just over 340 flights per day (making it the largest express operation in the world). It opened in 2002. Gates E1 through E3 are available for any air carrier to use
New Concourse
  • A new concourse as a separate terminal is proposed to begin construction in 2015 where the former car rental area was. The new terminal building is expected to have 20 to 25 gates and will be served by more international carriers new to the airport. They are yet to be announced.[20]

Airline lounges

Admirals Club:[21] Concourses B and C/D connector USO Lounge: Atrium

There was an additional US Airways Club located in Concourse D, which was closed due to US Airways costcutting. British Airways also operated a lounge in the Main Atrium, which became a USO Lounge after they canceled service to Charlotte.

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson A
American Airlines Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charleston (SC), Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Harrisburg, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), St. Louis, St. Thomas, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Syracuse, Tampa, Washington–National, West Palm Beach, Wilmington (NC)
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Daytona Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, Sacramento
B, C, D
American Airlines Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Cancun, Cozumel, Curaçao, Frankfurt, Grand Cayman, Liberia, London–Heathrow, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Nassau, Providenciales, Punta Cana, St Lucia, St. Maarten, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo
Seasonal: Barcelona, Belize City, Bermuda, Dublin,Freeport, Madrid, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Puerto Plata, Rome–Fiumicino, St. Croix, St. Kitts
American Eagle Akron/Canton, Albany (begins February 11, 2016), Allentown/Bethlehem, Asheville, Atlanta, Augusta (GA), Austin, Baton Rouge, Birmingham (AL), Blountville/Tri-Cities, Burlington (VT), Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Dayton, Daytona Beach, Des Moines, Detroit, Evansville, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fayetteville (NC), Florence (SC), Fort Walton Beach, Fort Wayne, Gainesville, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Greenville (NC), Greenville/Spartanburg, Gulfport/Biloxi, Harrisburg, Hilton Head, Huntington (WV), Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson, Jacksonville (NC), Knoxville, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Lynchburg, Madison (begins April 5, 2016),[22] Manchester (NH), Melbourne (FL), Memphis, Milwaukee, Mobile, Montgomery, Montréal–Trudeau, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Bern, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Newport News/Williamsburg, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pensacola, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Roanoke, St. Louis, Salisbury (MD), San Antonio, Sarasota, Savannah, Springfield/Branson, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Toronto–Pearson, Tulsa, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National, White Plains, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wilmington (NC)
Seasonal: Austin, Boston, Freeport, Hartford/Springfield, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Key West, Portland (ME), Raleigh/Durham
B, C, E
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City A
Delta Connection Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia A
Frontier Airlines Chicago–O'Hare (begins April 15, 2016), Denver (begins March 17, 2016),[23] Orlando (begins April 15, 2016), Philadelphia, Trenton A
JetBlue Airways Boston, New York–JFK A
Lufthansa Munich D
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Houston–Hobby A
Ultimate Air Shuttle Cincinnati–Lunken FBO
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver (begins March 3, 2016), Houston–Intercontinental, Newark A
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles A
ViaAir Beckley, St. Augustine
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach


Airlines Destinations Terminal
DHL Aviation
operated by Southern Air
Cincinnati Cargo
FedEx Express Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis Cargo
UPS Airlines Louisville Cargo


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from CLT (Oct. 2014 – Sep. 2015)[24]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 915,000 Delta, US Airways
2 New York (LGA), New York 627,000 American, Delta, US Airways
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 611,000 American, US Airways
4 Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois 594,000 American, United, US Airways
5 Boston, Massachusetts 542,000 American, JetBlue, US Airways
6 Orlando, Florida 527,000 Southwest, US Airways
7 Newark, New Jersey 510,000 United, US Airways
8 Phoenix, Arizona 505,000 US Airways
9 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 477,000 Frontier, US Airways
10 Baltimore, Maryland 447,000 Southwest, US Airways
Busiest international routes from CLT (2014)[25]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Cancun, Mexico 354,402 US Airways
2 Montego Bay, Jamaica 293,988 US Airways
3 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 258,800 US Airways
4 Frankfurt, Germany 201,813 US Airways
5 Toronto (Pearson), Canada 195,701 Air Canada, US Airways
6 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 183,987 US Airways
7 Nassau, Bahamas 171,766 US Airways
8 Munich, Germany 150,536 Lufthansa
9 Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands 130,408 US Airways
10 Sint Maarten/Saint Martin 129,637 US Airways

Annual traffic

Traffic by calendar year
Passengers Change from previous year
2000 23,073,894 unknown0
2001 23,177,555 Increase010.45%
2002 23,597,926 Increase001.81%
2003 23,062,570 Decrease012.27%
2004 25,162,943 Increase1..9.11%
2005 28,206,052 Increase012.09%
2006 29,693,949 Increase005.28%
2007 33,165,688 Increase..11.69%
2008 34,739,020 Increase004.74%
2009 34,536,666 Decrease000.58%
2010 38,254,207 Increase010.76%
2011 39,043,708 Increase002.06%
2012 41,228,372 Increase005.60%
2013 43,456,310 Increase05.40%
2014 44,279,504 Increase01.89%
Source: Charlotte Douglas International Airport[2]

Reliever airports

Ground transportation

CATS' Sprinter Enhanced Bus Service connects the airport to the downtown Charlotte Transportation Center (this route was formerly known as the "Route 5-Airport"). It arrives and departs in front of Zone D Baggage Claim in the commercial lanes, and is easily identifiable by its green livery and "Sprinter" decals.

The service is operated from the airport every 20 minutes Monday–Friday from 5:50am to 7:00pm, after 7:00pm, service is offered every 30 minutes until 12:02am. On Saturday and Sunday, Sprinter operates from the airport every hour from 6:00am to 8:00am, every half-hour from 8:00am to 9:00pm and every hour from 9:00pm to 1:00am. Trip time from the airport to downtown is approx. 20 minutes (depending on traffic conditions) and one-way fare is $2.20 (this is the same as all local routes in the CATS system).[26] View the Sprinter Schedule for more detailed schedule and route information (click the link and choose 'Route 5-Airport').

Military facilities

Charlotte Air National Guard Base

Air Mobility Command.svg
Air National Guard.png
145th Airlift Wing.png

As a joint civil-military facility, the airport is home to Charlotte Air National Guard Base (Charlotte ANGB) and its host unit, the 145th Airlift Wing (145 AW) of the North Carolina Air National Guard, located in a military cantonment area on the east side of the airport. As an Air National Guard organization within the U.S. Air Force, the federal mission of the 145 AW is theater airlift and it is operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The 145 AW is composed of over 300 full-time and over 1000 traditional part-time military personnel, operating and maintaining C-130 Hercules aircraft in support of combatant commanders world-wide or as otherwise directed by higher authority. Its state mission is to respond to requirements, typically of a humanitarian or disaster-relief nature, as identified by the Governor of North Carolina.[27] The 145 AW's C-130H aircraft can also be equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), making them able to discharge large quantities of Phos-Chek, a water-based fire retardant slurry, at low altitude. In this capacity, the 145 AW is one of a select group of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command C-130 units that, under the direction of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), can deploy and provide military support to civilian authorities across the United States in combatting wild fires and forest fires.

Charlotte ANGB also maintains a USAF Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) unit, emergency vehicles and associated crash station/fire station on the installation, providing the airport with an additional crash/fire/rescue (CFR) capability that can augment the airport's own civilian ARFF organization.


Charlotte Douglas International Airport is also home to the USO of NC (United Service Organization of North Carolina) Travel Center, which functions as an airport lounge for military personnel (to include military retirees) and their families. Staffed by volunteers, the centers offer comfortable chairs, books, magazines, television, movies, video games, play areas for children and refreshments. Internet and phone use is available free of charge.

Accidents and incidents

  • On September 11, 1974, Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashed on final approach en route from Charleston, SC. The crash site is 3.3 miles (5.3 km) due south of what is now Runway 36R west of York Road and north of Thornfield Road. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was a "lack of altitude awareness" of the pilots at critical points during the approach. During the approach the pilots conversed about numerous non-operational topics. With pilot attention drawn outside the aircraft, altitude "call outs" were neglected. With foggy treetops in sight, the pilot pulled back sharply and went to full throttle. The DC-9-31, traveling over 200 mph, clipped trees and snapped its wings, rupturing fuel tanks that spilled 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) of Jet A fuel. The fiery airliner slid through dense woods into a ravine, broke into pieces and came to rest with most of its cabin exit doors blocked by pine trees. The Steele Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded quickly, extinguishing the fire within minutes. Of 82 people on board, only 13 survived the crash and fire. Two passengers died several days later and a third died 29 days after the crash. Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, lost his father and two brothers in the accident. Many passengers were wearing stylish "double-knit" garments that adhered to the skin when burned.[28]
  • On October 25, 1986, Piedmont Airlines Flight 467 overran the runway at Charlotte Douglas airport. The airplane was damaged beyond repair. Of the 119 people on board, 3 passengers sustained serious injuries, and 3 crewmembers and 28 passengers sustained minor injuries in the incident. There were no fatalities.[29]
  • On January 19, 1988, a Mountain Air Cargo De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 (N996SA), on a flight from Erie, Pennsylvania to Charlotte, descended below the glide path on approach to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, collided with a tree and struck the ground 1.6 km away from the airport. The crash was due to pilot error. The pilot was killed. There was no one else on board.[30]
  • On July 2, 1994, USAir Flight 1016 crashed in a residential area on approach, killing 37. The crash of the DC-9 was attributed to windshear during a thunderstorm. The flight originated in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • On January 8, 2003, US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashed on takeoff while en route to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, killing all 21 people aboard. The flight was operated by Air Midwest, an independent airline operating under a US Airways Express codesharing agreement.
  • On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 departing for Charlotte Douglas International Airport ditched in the Hudson River after losing both engines as a result of multiple bird strikes at an altitude of 3,000 feet (910 m); all 150 passengers (12 in first class and 138 in economy) and 5 crew members (2 pilots and 3 flight attendants) were successfully evacuated.[31][32]
  • On May 29, 2009, a runway incursion occurred on Runway 18L between US Airways Express Flight 2390, a CRJ-200 and a general aviation Pilatus PC-12 turboprop. While Flight 2390 was on its takeoff roll, the general aviation aircraft was instructed to taxi into position and hold on the same runway for an intersection departure. The aircrafts came within 10 feet of each other. There were no injuries.[33]
  • On July 1, 2012, a MAFFS-equipped Air Force Lockheed C-130H, assigned to the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, Morris Field, crashed in southwest South Dakota while fighting the White Draw Fire, killing four crew and seriously injuring two.[34][35][36]


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  6. Eastern's 720s are not in the QR OAG for January 15, 1962 and are in the one for February 1.
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