Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

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Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
WMO: 72421
Airport type Public
Owner Kenton County Airport Board
Operator Kenton County Airport Board
Serves Cincinnati, Ohio/Covington, Kentucky
Location 2939 Terminal Drive
Hebron, Kentucky
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 896 ft / 273 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 411: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).Location of airport in Kentucky / United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 12,000 3,658 Asphalt/Concrete
18C/36C 11,000 3,353 Asphalt/Concrete
18L/36R 10,000 3,048 Concrete
18R/36L 8,000 2,438 Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Total passengers 6,773,905
Aircraft operations 137,225
Sources: Airport website[4]
CVG Airfield Layout Diagram (2016 - FAA)

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (IATA: CVGICAO: KCVGFAA LID: CVG) is a public international airport located in Hebron, Kentucky, United States. It serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The airport's code, CVG, comes from the nearest major city at the time of its opening, Covington, Kentucky.[5] CVG covers an area of 7,000 acres (28.3 km2). It is the only airport in either Indiana, Kentucky, or Ohio that features nonstop service to Europe. The airport's international destinations include Cancún, Montego Bay, Paris, Punta Cana, and Toronto. The airport is the busiest in Kentucky and the second busiest serving an Ohio metropolitan area.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is the 9th largest hub for Delta Air Lines and plays host to the headquarters and main maintenance base for Delta Private Jets. The airport is a focus city for Ultra Low Cost Carriers Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines, as well as being the largest market for Vacation Express. In addition to a rapidly diversifying list of passenger airlines, CVG is the fastest-growing cargo airport in North America. The airport is the main global hub for Amazon Prime Air and is the largest global hub for DHL Aviation and DHL Express, ranking 6th in North America and 34th in the world for total cargo operations. The airport is headquarters and hub for Southern Air, which operates flights around the world for DHL Aviation.[6] The airport offers non-stop passenger service to 56 destinations with 195 peak daily departures.[7]


President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved preliminary funds for site development of the Greater Cincinnati Airport on February 11, 1942. This was part of the United States Army Air Corps program to establish training facilities during World War II. At the time, air traffic in the area centered on Lunken Airport just southeast of central Cincinnati.[8] Lunken opened in 1926 and was located in the Ohio River Valley. Due to its location, the airport frequently experienced fog, and the 1937 flood completely submerged its runways and two-story terminal building.[9] While federal officials wanted an airfield site that would not be prone to flooding, Cincinnati officials hoped to build Lunken into the premier airport of the region.[10]

A coalition of officials from Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties in Kentucky took advantage of Cincinnati's short-sightedness and lobbied Congress to build an airfield there.[11] Boone County officials offered a suitable site on the provision that Kenton County paid the acquisition cost. In October 1942, Congress provided $2 million to construct four runways.[8]

The field officially opened August 12, 1944, with the first B-17 bombers beginning practice runs on August 15. As the tide of the war had already turned, the Air Corps only used the field until 1945 before it was declared surplus. On October 27, 1946, a small wooden terminal building opened and the airport prepared for commercial service.[8]

The first commercial flight, on an American Airlines DC-3 from Cleveland, Ohio, landed at the airport January 10, 1947, at 9:53 am. A Delta Air Lines flight followed moments later.[12] The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 97 weekday departures: 37 American, 26 Delta, 24 TWA, 8 Piedmont and 2 Lake Central. As late as November 1959 the airport had four 5,500 ft (1,700 m) runways at 45-degree angles, the north–south runway eventually being extended into today's runway 18C/36C.

In the 1950s, Cincinnati city leaders began pushing for a major expansion of a site in Blue Ash to compete with the Greater Cincinnati Airport and replace Lunken as the city's primary airport.[13] The city purchased Hugh Watson Field in 1955, turning it into Blue Ash Airport.[14] The city's Blue Ash development plans were hampered by community opposition, three failed Hamilton County bond measures,[15] political infighting,[16] and Cincinnati's decision not to participate in the federal airfield program.[17]

Airport diagram for December 1958

Jet age

On December 16, 1960, the jet age arrived in Cincinnati when a Delta Air Lines Convair 880 from Miami completed the first scheduled jet flight. The airport needed to expand and build more modern terminals and other facilities; the original Terminal A was expanded and renovated. The north–south runway was extended 3,100 to 8,600 ft (940 to 2,620 m). In 1964, the board approved a $12 million bond to expand the south concourse of Terminal A by 32,000 sq ft (3,000 m2) and provide nine gates for TWA, American, and Delta.[8] A new east–west runway crossing the longer north–south runway was constructed in 1971 south of the older east–west runway.

Comair hub

In 1977, before the Airline Deregulation Act was passed, CVG, like many small airports, anticipated the loss of a lot of flights; creating the opportunity for Patrick Sowers, Robert Tranter, David and Raymound Muller to establish Comair to fill the void. The airline began service to Akron/Canton, Cleveland, and Evansville.

In 1981, Comair became a public company, added 30-seat turboprops to its fleet, and began to rapidly expand its destinations. In 1984, Comair became a Delta Connection carrier with Delta's establishment of a hub at CVG. That same year, Comair introduced its first international flights from Cincinnati to Toronto. In 1992, Comair moved into Concourse C, as Delta Air Lines gradually continued to acquire more of the airlines stock. In 1993, Comair was the launch customer for the Canadair Regional Jet, which it would later operate the largest fleet in the world. By 1999, Comair was the largest regional airline in the country worth over $2 billion, transporting 6 million passengers yearly to 83 destinations on 101 aircraft. Later that year, Delta Air Lines acquired the remaining portion of Comair's stock, causing Comair to solely operate Delta Connection flights.[18]

Enterprise Airlines hub

In 1988, two founders of Comair, Patrick Sowers and Robert Tranter, launched a new scheduled airline from CVG named Enterprise Airlines, that served 16 cities at its peak. The airline spearheaded the regional jet revolution in a unique manner by operating 10-seat Cessna Citation business jets in scheduled services. The flights became popular with Cincinnati companies. The airline served destinations including Baltimore, Boston, Cedar Rapids, Columbus (OH), Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Memphis, Milwaukee, New York–JFK, and Wilmington (NC).[19] The airline also became the first international feed carrier by feeding the British Airways Concorde at JFK. In 1991, the airline ceased operations because of high fuel prices and the suspension of the British Airways contract after the first Gulf War.

Delta hub

In the mid-1980s, Delta created a hub in Cincinnati and constructed Terminal C and D, with 22 gates. Delta built the CVG hub in order to gain a presence in the Midwest, after it had stuck to the southern United States for so long. It was chosen because the city had many Fortune 500 companies, and because many midwestern cities such as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis already had large hubs. In 1992, Delta made Cincinnati its number two hub and spent $500 million constructing Terminal 3 with Concourse A and B, in addition to adding a $50 million Concourse C for Comair. Also, another $350 million was used to expand and construct four much longer runways. During the 1990s, Delta operated a lot of mainline flights out of the airport, however during the late 1990s, ramped up Comair's operations, and established Delta Connection. This dramatically increased the aircraft operations from around 300,000 to 500,000 yearly aircraft movements. In turn, passenger volumes doubled within a decade from 10 million to 20 million. This expansion prompted the building of runway 18L/36R and the airport began making preparations to construct Concourse D, while adding an expansion to Concourse A and B. At its peak, CVG became Delta's second-largest hub, handling over 670 Delta and Delta Connection flights daily in 2005.[20] Delta served over 130 destinations with over 450 connection and 220 mainline flights in 2005. During this time, it was the fourth largest hub in the world for a single airline, based on departures, ranking only behind Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas.[21] The hub served everything from the 64 mile CVG-DAY, to a daily non-stop to Honolulu and Anchorage, to numerous transatlantic destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London–Gatwick, Munich, Paris–Orly, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome, and Zürich.[22] Delta was also planning on launching Asia service to CVG, beginning with Beijing–Capital, then expanding to Tokyo–Narita and Shanghai–Pudong eventually, however launch plans were delayed in 2002 due to slot restrictions and eventually stopped after the bankruptcy in 2005.[23]

Cuts by Delta Air Lines and SkyTeam partners

File:Food Court in Concourse B.jpg
Food Court in Concourse B
Airlines Destinations
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Delta Air Lines Albany, Allentown/Bethlehem, Albuquerque, Amsterdam, Anchorage, Asheville, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Boise, Brussels, Buffalo, Burlington, Chattanooga, Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Daytona Beach, Frankfurt, Freeport, Ft. Wayne, Fort Walton Beach, Grand Cayman, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Harrisburg, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston–Hobby, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Jackson (AL), Jackson Hole, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lexington, Little Rock, London–Gatwick, London (ON), Louisville, Manchester (NH), Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Montego Bay, Montréal–Trudeau, Munich, Nashville, Nassau, New Orleans, Newark, Newburgh, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Ontario, Orange County, Paris–Orly, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Providence, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond (VA), Rochester, Rome–Fiumicino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Jose del Cabo, San Juan, Sarasota, South Bend, Steamboat Springs, St. Louis, Syracuse, Toledo, Toronto–Pearson, Tucson, Vail, Vancouver, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach, Wilkes–Barre/Scranton, Zürich
Delta Connection Akron/Canton, Albany, Allentown/Bethlehem, Appleton, Asheville, Ashland, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Augusta, Austin, Bangor, Baton Rouge, Billings, Binghamton, Birmingham, Buffalo, Burlington, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Champaign, Cape Girardeau, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Chicago–Midway, Clarksburg, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Dayton, Daytona Beach, Des Moines, Erie, Evansville, Flint, Fort Walton Beach, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greenbrier, Greensboro, Greenville, Harrisburg, Houston–Hobby, Huntington, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson (AL), Jackson (TN), Jacksonville, Kalamazoo, Knoxville, La Crosse, Lafayette, Lansing, Lexington, Little Rock, London (ON), Long Island/Islip, Louisville, Madison, Manchester (NH), Melbourne, Miami, Midland, Moline, Montréal–Trudeau, Myrtle Beach, Nassau, Newburgh, New Haven, New Orleans, Newport News, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Owensboro, Panama City Beach, Panama City–Bay County, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Providence, Rapid City, Richmond (OH), Richmond (VA), Roanoke, Rochester, Saginaw, San Antonio, Sarasota, Savannah, Shreveport, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Springfield (IL), Springfield (MO), State College, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Tampa, Toledo, Traverse City, Tri Cities, Tulsa, Vail, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach, White Plains, Wichita, Wilkes–Barre/Scranton, Wilmington (NC)

Delta hub cuts

Delta 757-200 parked at Concourse B
File:N642CA (6284794204).jpg
Comair CRJ-700 taxiing from Concourse A

When Delta went into bankruptcy in September 2005, a large reduction at CVG eliminated most early-morning and night flights.[22] These initial cuts caused additional routes to become unprofitable, causing the frequency of low-volume routes to be further cut from 2006 to 2007. Planning for the new east/west runway stopped, along with all expansions to current terminals and Terminal 1 was closed due to lack of service. In 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines and cut flight capacity from the Cincinnati hub by 22 percent with an additional 17 percent reduction in 2009.[20] Once Delta acquired Northwest, Comair's older fleet, which was costly as a result of rising oil prices, was cut and replaced with other Delta Connection carriers. In 2010, Delta stabilized CVG operations with 63 destinations between mainline and connection flights.[27]

Many businesses in Cincinnati have urged Delta to restore the service level it had in the late 1990s and early 2000s while some, such as Chiquita Banana, Toyota, and Veritiv have already relocated to cities with more available flights.[28] The only remaining intercontinental service by Delta is a daily evening departure to Paris. In addition to serving the heavy international travel demand of local companies such as P&G and GE Aviation, the daily Paris flight is also sustained in great part because it ferries jet-engine parts between factories in Cincinnati and France due to GE Aviation's presence. Each year the flight carries 4,200,000 pounds (1,900,000 kg) of engine parts.[29] Air France operated flights into CVG for several periods for over a decade before finally terminating the service in 2007. Aeroméxico, Air France, KLM, and WestJet codeshare on Delta's international services out of CVG to Cancun, Paris, and Toronto.[30][31]

In January 2010, Delta's CEO Richard Anderson anticipated that there would be 160–170 daily departures in the summer and that the number would not change through at least the fall.[32][33] Delta closed Concourse A in Terminal 3 on May 1, 2010, and consolidated all operations into Concourse B. This resulted in the layoff of more than 800 employees.[34]

In June 2011, Delta announced that it would cut another 10% of the CVG hub capacity that summer, offering between 145–165 daily flights.

End of Comair service

A Comair CRJ-100ER in Concourse B at CVG, bound for Baltimore

In July 2012, Delta announced that its wholly owned and CVG-based subsidiary, Comair, would cease all operations by October of the same year. However, it said, "the discontinuation of Comair's operations will not result in any significant changes to Delta's network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes".[35] Delta transferred Comair's larger planes to other carriers and retired its 50-seat planes. Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines) now has a maintenance base at the airport and is one of the main third party operators for Delta Air Lines at CVG.

Low-cost service expansion

Frontier A320 taxiing from Concourse A in front of the Delta hangar

CVG has long struggled with high fares because of Delta's dominance at the airport.[36][37] Since 2013, Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines have been expanding at CVG, giving local travelers low fares without having to commute to Dayton, Louisville or Indianapolis. These fares are often 75% less than other airlines at CVG.[38]

Frontier Airlines announced it would begin service from CVG in October 2012 with a daily flight to Denver. This was the first modern attempt at bringing a low-cost carrier into the CVG region. Shortly there after, Frontier announced it would now offer two daily flights to Denver, and limited weekly service to Trenton/Mercer.[39] Since then, Frontier has announced service to 17 cites total with 93 weekly flights scheduled for June 2017.[40]

Allegiant Air began service from CVG in February 2014, to Orlando/Sanford and Punta Gorda (FL). Within two months of beginning operations, Allegiant announced additional service to Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Phoenix and Tampa.[41] As of June 2017, Allegiant has added routes to 17 non-stop destinations with a total of 63 weekly flights.[42][42][43] In July 2015, Allegiant Air announced plans to make CVG its midwestern base of operations with four based Airbus A319s and 90 new jobs for pilots, flight attendants, and service workers.[44]

On January 4, 2017, Southwest Airlines announced it would begin service to CVG, offering a total of 8 peak daily departures. On weekdays, 5 daily flights will be destined for Southwest's largest operation at Chicago–Midway, while only 4 will be offered on weekends, and the other 3 flights will go to Baltimore.[45]

Legacy carrier expansion

File:Empty Concourse C from back.jpg
Empty Concourse C seen from taxiway D

In February 2015, Delta announced another 14% cut at CVG, ending flights from 4 cities, while reducing frequency to a dozen other cities, reducing daily departures from 106 to 89. These cuts were a result of Delta's replacement of 50-seat connection airplanes with 150–200-seat planes.[46]

In Fall 2015, PSA Airlines opened a maintenance base at CVG in the old PIMCO hangar and a crew base beginning in January 2016. The new bases have led to additional American Airlines flight at CVG, operated by PSA Airlines including Charlotte, New York–LaGuardia, and Philadelphia. According to Will Smith, General Manager of Envoy, further American expansion at CVG is planned.[47]

In 2015, Delta Air Lines had its first increase in passenger capacity since it began cuts in late 2004. This was mostly due to the retirement of smaller regional aircraft for mainline service.[48][49][50]

On February 1, 2017, Delta Air Lines announced its first expansion at CVG since its cuts first capacity cuts since 2005. Delta announced it would increase capacity 6%, adding frequency and capacity on routes to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago–O'Hare, Detroit, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Intercontinental, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, and Washington D.C.[51] The increases are on top of a 7.4% increase in passenger capacity since 2015.[52] These changes reaffirm Delta's commitment to CVG as a hub and its largest carrier, maintaining 85 peak daily departures to 35 destinations.[53]

In the Summer of 2016, United Airlines announced the resumption of mainline flights at CVG to Denver and Chicago–O'Hare, while later adding San Francisco. In addition, they have removed all 50-seat planes from the airport and are using larger regional jets. In November 2016, United Airlines announced an increase to 3 daily departures to Washington–Dulles beginning on April 3, 2017. As a result, United has grown its seat capacity at CVG by 9.5% in 2016.[52]

In April 2017 American Airlines began mainline service to CVG on MD-80s to Dallas/Fort Worth.


Interior view of the atrium
The People Mover at CVG, which connects Terminal 3 to Concourse A and B

The airport's terminal/remote-concourse configuration, combined with simultaneous triple landing/takeoff capabilities, makes CVG a particularly efficient airport for flight operations. The concourses are all islands, helping with traffic flow and have a capacity of 103 gates, of which only 47 are open as of June 2016, down from a peak of 136 in 2007. The numerous runways can officially handle all aircraft up to the 747-8F, which sees daily service by cargo carriers. The runways have also handled the occasional A380, and after runway 9-27 and 18R-36L are widened to 200 ft., could be regularly used by any cargo carriers. CVG is a hub of Delta Air Lines, and was the central hub of Delta's wholly owned subsidiary airline, Comair, which provided regional jet service under the Delta Connection banner. As such, the airport serves a role in Delta's Midwest hub-and-spoke system, and is also a preferred diversion point for Detroit bound aircraft due to connection options. Delta Air Lines has considerably pared the number of flights from the Cincinnati hub and in August 2008 announced it would be moving all of its Comair flights to Concourses A and B and closed all operations in Concourse C in January 2009.[54] In February 2010, Delta announced it would close Concourse A in May and further consolidate operations in the remaining concourse. Terminal 1 was the original terminal and was built in 1960 and renovated in 1974.[55] Designed by Heery & Heery, Terminals 2 and 3 were built in 1974 when additional expansion necessitated more gates.[56] Terminal 3 was expanded specifically for Delta in 1987 and has three remote concourses.[55] Concourses B and C were completed in December 1994 as part of a $500 million expansion designed by Thompson, Hancock, Witte & Associates.[55][57] Concourses A and B are connected to the main terminal by an underground train system. Concourse C was reachable only by shuttle bus. Concourse B is served by Delta and its regional affiliates. Terminal 3 houses one of two US Customs and Border Protection facilities, located in Concourse B, with the other in DHL's cargo complex. All international arrivals except, U.S. border preclearance are processed in the Mezzanine Level of Concourse B. In May 2012, Terminal 2 was closed and all non-Delta operations were consolidated in a newly renovated Concourse A. The renovation was in response to civic and business leader's concerns about the loss of flights to and from the airport.[58] In October 2015, Terminal 1 was officially closed as Ultimate Air Shuttle vacated the building and the airport administrative offices were moved to the old Comair headquarters. Terminal 1 was closed in 2007, but re-opened in 2013 to serve Ultimate Air Shuttle. Terminal 1 was torn down in March 2016 and Terminal 2 was torn down in April 2016 in order to make room for a consolidated rental car facility and larger Concourse A.

The airport operates four paved runways:

  • Runway 9/27: 12,000 ft × 150 ft (3,658 m × 46 m), Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 18C/36C: 11,000 ft × 150 ft (3,353 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 18L/36R: 10,000 ft × 150 ft (3,048 m × 46 m), Surface: Concrete
  • Runway 18R/36L: 8,000 ft × 150 ft (2,438 m × 46 m), Surface: Concrete

Main Terminal (Terminal 3)

File:Inside Concourse A at CVG.jpg
Inside Concourse A at CVG in the American Airlines gates
File:Short end of Concourse B.jpg
Short end of Concourse B
File:Far end of Concourse B.jpg
Long end of Concourse B with many Delta planes
EM C-GATES-CVG (2726391021); View of Concourse C and Delta Connection Planes

The original Terminal 3 was very similar to Terminal 2, and featured the same spike-like design. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal C and renamed Terminal D with the construction of present-day Concourse A. As the number of flights increased and Delta needed more gates, the terminal was added onto. Concourses B and C were later built in 1994 and the terminals were connected by an underground tunnel and people mover. Around the same time, the name was changed again to Terminal 3.

Security checkpoint and baggage claim

The main terminal security checkpoint is on the ticketing level. This new, expandable checkpoint opened in November 2009. After clearing security, passengers can take escalators or elevators down to the Cincinnati Airport People Mover that departs to all gates. Arriving passengers exit the terminal by elevator or escalator up to the baggage claim level and all ground transportation on ground level.

Concourse A

Air Canada Express, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Apple Vacations, Bahamasair, Frontier Airlines, OneJet, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines use Concourse A. Most of them had used Terminal 2 before it closed. Concourse A was built as an extension of Terminal C, and named Terminal D, when Delta Air Lines made Cincinnati its second largest hub. The concourse served Continental, Northwest, Atlantic Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines until 2010, when Delta Air Lines closed the concourse. Shortly thereafter, the concourse underwent an extensive renovation before re-opening on May 15, 2012. Concourse A is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse houses a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint, however has been closed since 2012. In total, the concourse has 23 gates, of which 18 are open as of June 2016.[59] Gates A1/2/3/5/20/23 will be renovated and reopened by June 15, 2017 in order to handle increasing flights, passengers, and carriers.[60]

Concourse B

Delta Air Lines and Vacation Express use the concourse, as do all international arrivals without preclearance. Also, the main U.S. Customs and Border Protection are contained in Concourse B, and exit into the tunnel, letting passengers continue to baggage claim, or to another connecting flight. Concourse B was, like all concourses of Terminal 3, designed purposed for Delta and its affiliates, including Cincinnati based Delta subsidiary, Comair. The concourse houses the Delta Sky Club and most of the concessions located at the airport due to the many connecting passengers. Concourse B is an island and is only reachable by an underground moving walkway or people mover. The concourse now houses all Delta and Delta Connection flights with 28 gates. As a result of the length of the concourse, there are moving walkways running down the entire length of the concourse and a central food court on the immediate exit from the tunnel to Terminal 3.[61]

Concourse C

Concourse C opened in September 1994[62] to serve all Comair flights and was closed in 2009 due to flight reductions by Delta Air Lines. Concourse C is an island concourse. Access was via bus link from other terminals and ticketing areas. It was the first ever dedicated regional jet concourse at the time of its construction and with 53 gates it remains the largest in the world. The concourse has an H-shaped configuration with a waiting area in the center where passengers were able to sit and shop. Passengers would then proceed down the hallways when flights began boarding. Concourse C was expanded twice to increase gate capacity. First in 1997 to the south and again in 2001 to the north.[63]

Delta is the owner of the concourse building and held a lease for the land until 2025. However, on March 2, 2016, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that an agreement had been struck between Delta and CVG to terminate the lease for the land of Concourse C. Demolition of the concourse began in February 2017 and will continue for up to a year.[64] Prior to the deal to demolish the terminal Delta had released its sole claim on the gates however the concourse was not reactivated due to lack of demand, its remote location, and deteriorating structural integrity.

Concourse D

Concourse D, which would have been an island concourse connecting to Terminal 3, was in the planning stages before Delta's bankruptcy. It was intended to deal with an increasing number of flights, however, because of a decrease in air travel, was never built. It would have been located northwest from Terminal 1 and have about 60-70 gates and would have served all Delta Connection flights including Comair. Then all non-Sky Team carriers would use Concourse A and all international flights would be located in Concourse B, which was to be expanded into the closed Concourse C.[65]

2025 Master Plan, Outlines Terminal D Plan

Former terminals

International Terminal

The original international terminal at CVG was located west of Terminal 1, in the present day cell phone parking lot, sharing passenger facilities with Terminal A, which handled all of Comair's flights. The terminal served Delta Air Lines and various charter airlines from the 1970s until 1984 when Delta Air Lines moved its operations to Terminal D, and closed in 1994 when charter airlines were moved to the newly constructed Concourse B. The Terminal only had one gate, named Gate 1.[66]

Comair Terminal A

The original location of all Comair flights was on the apron west of Terminal B, named Terminal A, with passengers boarding aircraft directly from the tarmac. The aircraft hardstands were aligned diagonally, with buses shuttling passengers to Terminal D, where all Delta Air Lines flights were located. Some Comair operations were moved to Terminal D in 1982 when Comair began service for Delta, but the terminal later closed in 1994, when all Comair flights were moved to Concourse C. The apron where the planes were parked is still intact, but all passenger facilities have been removed.[67][68]

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 as seen from Terminal 2. In the foreground is an American Eagle ERJ-135

Terminal 1 was in the location of the original terminal and served non-Delta flights mainly consisting of US Airways flights. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal A with a regional corridor added for regional jets in the 1960s. When Terminal D was built in 1974, the building was renamed Terminal B, while Comair's apron was named Terminal A. Its name was changed again to Terminal 1 with the construction of Concourse B and C in 1994. The check-in and security area of Terminal 1 was very compact, and mostly served US Airways. The baggage claim was part of the check-in area, and provided access to Terminal 1 and 3 through a corridor.[69] Terminal 1 has 9 gates, which were numbered 1-9, and served US Airways flights, but remained very empty throughout the day. The terminal had several concessions, but after the reduction in flights, most of the vendors left or relocated to other terminals. Through the years, the terminal also was used by Skyway Airlines, Midwest Express, and Northwest Airlines. The terminal was closed in 2007 because of its outdated design and limited gate space. The front part of the terminal was renovated in 2013 and started serving Ultimate Air Shuttle on September 9 of that year. However the majority of the concourse was abandoned on October 19, 2015 when Ultimate Air Shuttle relocated to the Delta Jet Center, closing Terminal 1 until its demolition.[70] Terminal 1 was demolished in March 2016 in order to make room for a new consolidated rental car facility.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was built as an expansion to Terminal 1 to allow for the increasing number of flights and served American Airlines and United Airlines. Before the expansion adding more concourses, this terminal was referred to as Terminal B. In 1974, with the construction of Terminal D, it was renamed Terminal C, and later Terminal 2 following the construction of Concourse B and C. It was built at the same time as Terminal 3 and they shared similar designs. The check-in and security areas of Terminal 2 are located in the front of the terminal, and allow movement to Terminal 1 and 3 through a corridor. The baggage claim is located in a separate building across the street, immediately adjacent to the P2 parking garage, which provides short-term parking for the terminal. The terminal are consisted of eight gates, numbered 1-8, and served most airlines other than US Airways or Delta. After the closure of Terminal 1, it also served US Airways, and it ceased operations after the remodel of Concourse A. The terminal only had two food vendors, and lacked any sort of larger restaurant because of its outdated design and layout. In 2012, the airport decided to shut down the terminal and move the remaining airlines into Terminal 3, Concourse A. The terminal was removed in April 2016 to make way for a larger Concourse A and rental car facility.[71]

Future and expansion

Overview map of planned changes at CVG[72]

Since CVG's most recent Master Plan in 2013, the airport has seen tremendous growth in airline activity, leading the airport to follow a revised strategic plan for 2021. The plan highlights increasing Cargo space, improving current passenger terminals to handle the 9,000,000 predicted passengers in 2021, and constructing a new consolidated rental car facility.[73]

Terminal area

Terminal area of future layout

Concourse A gates A1/2/3/5 will be opened in June 2017 to accommodate new service by Southwest Airlines, in addition to future carriers.[74] Concourse C will be torn down in 2017 to construct an overnight parking and deicing area,[75] while a new consolidated rental car facility and parking garage will be constructed by 2021 to deal with an influx of local passengers.[76] A new west wing of Concourse A will also be added to accommodate increasing flights and Concourse B will be extensively renovated to handle Delta flights.[77] Most of this construction will be completed by 2021.[78]

Cargo areas

Amazon Prime Air will develop 920 acres of land at CVG in order to construct a 3 million sq. ft. sorting facility and ramp space for 100 cargo aircraft.[79] Also, the Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR) will be moved west of the airport to accommodate future DHL expansion.[80] The work on DHL's $108-million expansion began in the fall of 2015 and was completed in November 2016.[81]

Runways and taxiways

Runway 09-27 and 18L-36R are planned to be widened in order to accommodate larger aircraft from DHL including the 747-800F currently in daily use. Numerous other taxiways will be widened for access to the DHL complex. In the far future, plans for another east-to-west runway are included for nighttime DHL/Amazon Prime Air landings, but would only be needed if more expansion occurred.[78] As of April 2016, widening of taxiways surrounding the cargo and private hangars area, south of runway 09-27, has been finished.[82]

Airlines and destinations


Delta Air Lines operates a nonstop flight from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky to Paris–Charles de Gaulle using a Boeing 767-300ER. The route is the only nonstop transatlantic passenger flight to Europe from Indiana, Kentucky or Ohio.
Airlines Destinations Refs
Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson [83]
Allegiant Air Austin, Baltimore, Denver (begins June 2, 2017), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville (FL), Las Vegas, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, San Juan
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth [85]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [85]
Apple Vacations Charter: Cancún, Punta Cana
Seasonal Charter: Montego Bay
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Myers, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington–National
Delta Connection Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Hartford, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–National
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers
Frontier Airlines Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Diego (begins May 21, 2017), San Francisco, Tampa
Seasonal: Atlanta, Cancún, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston–Intercontinental, Philadelphia
operated by CFM
Pittsburgh [89]
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway (both begin June 4, 2017)[45] [90]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, San Francisco (begins June 8, 2017)[91]
Seasonal: Denver, Newark
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [92]
Vacation Express Charter: Cancún, Punta Cana
Seasonal Charter: Montego Bay


A B747-8F lines up on Runway 27 at CVG as a B747-400F lands on 18C
Airlines Destinations
Amazon Prime Air
operated by ABX Air
Baltimore, Chicago/Rockford, Ontario, Tampa
Amazon Prime Air
operated by Air Transport International
Allentown/Bethlehem, Baltimore, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Ontario, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Antonio–Lackland, Stockton
Amazon Prime Air
operated by Atlas Air
Ontario, San Antonio–Lackland, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, Cleveland–Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Richmond (VA), St. Louis–Spirit
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air
Atlanta, Baltimore, Calgary, Chicago–O'Hare, El Paso, Greensboro, Guadalajara, Harlingen, Harrisburg, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Monterrey, Nashville, Newark, New York–JFK, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Querétaro, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Vancouver
Seasonal: Hartford
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Hong Kong
DHL Aviation
operated by Air Transport International
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Memphis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlas Air
Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Bahrain, Brussels, Cedar Rapids, Charleston (SC), Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Detroit, Frankfurt, Hamilton, Harlingen, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Leipzig/Halle, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nagoya–Centrair, Nashville, New York–JFK, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Rome (NY), San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma, Tokyo–Narita, Vancouver
Seasonal: Grottaglie, McConnell AFB, Paine Field
DHL Aviation
operated by Cargojet Airways
Calgary, Montréal–Mirabel
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Air UK
Brussels, Chicago–O'Hare, East Midlands, Leipzig/Halle, New York–JFK
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Air
Anchorage, Austin, Bahrain, Brussels, Dallas/Fort Worth, East Midlands, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental, Leipzig/Halle, Memphis, Nagoya–Centrair, New York–JFK, Seoul–Incheon
Seasonal: Liège, Philadelphia, Seattle/Tacoma
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Charters
Baltimore, New York–JFK, Montréal–Mirabel, Philadelphia, Rochester
DHL Aviation
operated by Polar Air Cargo
Atlanta, Anchorage, Bahrain, Brussels, Chicago–O'Hare, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Leipzig/Halle, Los Angeles, Miami, Nagoya–Centrair, Seoul–Incheon, Singapore, Tokyo–Narita
DHL Aviation
operated by Southern Air
Anchorage, Austin, Bahrain, Baltimore, Calgary, Charlotte, Denver, Harlingen, Hartford, Hong Kong, Houston–Hobby, Kansas City, Leipzig/Halle, New York–JFK, Orlando, Philadelphia, Reno, Rochester, Sacramento–Mather, Salt Lake City, Seoul–Incheon, St. Louis, Tucson
DHL Express
operated by Air Cargo Carriers
Harrisburg, Richmond (VA)
Seasonal: Louisville
DHL Express
operated by Ameriflight
Albany, Bedford, Boston, Buffalo, Cedar Rapids, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Wayne, Lansing, Lexington, Louisville, Miami–Opa Locka, Richmond (VA), Salt Lake City, Smyrna, Springfield, St. Louis–Spirit, Wilkes–Barre/Scranton
Seasonal: Cleveland–Cuyahoga, Philadelphia–Northeast
DHL Express
operated by Suburban Air Freight
Albany, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha, Richmond (VA), Wilkes–Barre/Scranton
FedEx Express Louisville, Memphis

Amazon Prime Air hub

On January 31, 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon Prime Air would begin a $1.49-billion expansion to create a worldwide shipping hub at CVG. The hub will be Amazon's principal shipping hub and will be constructed on 900 acres of land at the airport with a 3 million square-ft sorting facility and parking positions for at least 100 aircraft. On April 30, 2017, Amazon began operations at CVG, and will incrementally base 40 Boeing 767-200ER's/300ER's at CVG, and will use DHL's facilities until construction is complete. Amazon plans to have 200 daily takeoffs and landings from its CVG hub to destinations across the U.S. and internationally. The hub will create over 2700 jobs in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.[94]

DHL hub

N784AX (8989921401); A DHL Boeing 767-200 at CVG

In 1984, DHL opened its CVG hub and began operations throughout the U.S. and world. However, in 2004, DHL decided to move its hub to Wilmington, Ohio, in order to compete in the United States shipment business. The plan ended up failing, and moved back to CVG in 2009 to resume its original operations. CVG now serves as the largest of DHL's three global hubs (The other two being Leipzig/Halle and Hong Kong) with 84 flights each day to destinations across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. DHL has completed a $105-million expansion and employs approximately 2,500 at CVG. Because of this growth, CVG now stands as the 6th busiest airport in North America based on cargo tonnage and 34th in the world.[95] On May 28, 2015 DHL announced a $108-million expansion to its current facility, which doubled the current cargo operations. The money was used to double the gate capacity for transferring cargo, an expansion to the sorting facility, and various technical improvements, which was completed in Autumn 2016. In addition, this has provided many more jobs for the Cincinnati area, and will dramatically increase the airports operations.[96]

Commercial charters and private aircraft

CVG, dominated by cargo and commercial flights, has very few private aircraft movements. Most businesses and local pilots choose Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport over CVG because of its location and convenience. However, charters have grown to over 50,000 passengers per year. The airport is the hub and headquarters for Delta Private Jets.

Delta Private Jets

Delta Private Jets is a private aircraft service, which is at aimed at businesses needing service to destinations on a private aircraft, or that the airport does not supply on a regular basis. This service serves the many business of Cincinnati, including many Fortune 500. Delta Private Jet is also available to Elite SkyMile members for an upgrade purchase price of $300–800 on select routes from Delta's Cincinnati, Atlanta, and New York hubs. In addition, this service allows travelers to avoid flying hassles such as security.[97] Delta Private Jets is located at 82 Comair Boulevard building, which had been the Comair headquarters and had the name Comair General Office Building.[98][99]


Comair CRJ-200 at Concourse C
Delta DC-9-50 taxiing, with FedEx Cargo operation in the background
File:Middle of Concourse B.jpg
Middle of Concourse B
File:American Eagle ERJ-145 with United Express in Distance in Concourse A.jpg
American Eagle ERJ-145 at gate A9 with United Express at A13 in distance at Concourse A
File:Empty Concourse C with Concourse B in Background.jpg
Empty Concourse C from the side with Concourse B in background
File:Intersection of runway 18C-36C and 09-27.jpg
Intersection of runway 18C-36C and 09-27
File:Landing Runway 18C with 18R in background.jpg
Landing runway 18C with 18R in background

Overall statistics

Year Total Passengers  % Change Aircraft Movements  % Change Notes
1992[100] 11,545,682 Steady 305,544 Steady Concourse C Opens
1993[100] 12,213,874 Increase 5.79% 312,204 Increase 2.18%
1994[100] 13,593,522 Increase 11.30% 339,839 Increase 8.85%
1995[100] 15,181,728 Increase 11.68% 365,114 Increase 7.44%
1996[100] 18,795,766 Increase 23.81% 401,367 Increase 9.93%
1997[100] 19,866,308 Increase 5.70% 417,391 Increase 3.99%
1998[100] 21,124,216 Increase 6.33% 442,276 Increase 5.96%
1999[100] 21,753,512 Increase 2.98% 476,128 Increase 7.65% Comair Merges with Delta
2000[100] 22,406,384 Increase 3.00% 461,454 Decrease 3.08%
2001[101] 17,270,475 Decrease 22.92% 387,462 Decrease 16.03% Comair Pilot Strike
2002[101] 20,812,642 Increase 20.51% 486,501 Increase 25.56%
2003[102] 21,197,447 Increase 1.8% 505,557 Increase 3.9%
2004[103] 22,062,557 Increase 4.1% 517,520 Increase 2.4%
2005[104] 22,778,785 Increase 3.2% 496,366 Decrease 4.1% Delta Declares Bankruptcy
2006[105] 16,244,962 Decrease 28.7% 345,754 Decrease 30.3% Delta Bankruptcy
2007[106] 15,736,220 Decrease 3.1% 328,059 Decrease 5.1%
2008[107] 13,630,443 Decrease 13.4% 285,484 Decrease 13.0% Delta Merges with Northwest
2009[108] 10,621,655 Decrease 22.1% 222,677 Decrease 22.0%
2010[109] 7,977,588 Decrease 24.9% 177,597 Decrease 20.2%
2011[110] 7,034,263 Decrease 11.8% 161,912 Decrease 8.8%
2012[111] 6,038,817 Decrease 14.2% 143,447 Decrease 11.4% Comair Ceases Operations
2013[112] 5,718,255 Decrease 5.31% 137,671 Decrease 4.03% Frontier Airlines Enters Market
2014[113] 5,908,711 Increase 3.33% 133,518 Decrease 3.02% Allegiant Air Enters Market
2015[114] 6,316,332 Increase 6.90% 133,068 Decrease 0.34%
2016[115] 6,773,905 Increase 7.24% 137,225 Increase 3.11%
2017[116] 1,610,092 (YTD) Increase 11.15% 32,613 (YTD) Increase 0.69% Southwest Enters Market

Cargo Statistics

Year Tonnage  % Change Notes
2005[117] 277,401 Decrease DHL Leaves CVG
2006[117] 47,728 Decrease 82.8%
2007[117] 43,759 Decrease 8.31%
2008[117] 48,721 Increase 11.33%
2009[117] 152,970 Increase 214.0% DHL Returns to CVG
2010[117] 415,692 Increase 171.8%
2011[117] 537,139 Increase 29.22%
2012[117] 599,778 Increase 11.66%
2013[117] 655,479 Increase 9.29%
2014[117] 722,431 Increase 10.21%
2015[117] 804,088 Increase 11.30%
2016[117] 818,364 Increase 1.78%
2017[117] 205,206 (YTD) Increase 8.04% Amazon Prime Begins May 1st

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from CVG
(February 2016 – January 2017)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 334,000 Delta, Frontier
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 263,000 American, Delta, United
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 163,000 American, Delta, Frontier
4 Charlotte, North Carolina 158,000 American, Delta
5 Denver, Colorado 149,000 Delta, Frontier, United
6 Orlando, Florida1 146,000 Delta, Frontier
7 New York–LaGuardia, New York 124,000 American, Delta
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 121,000 Allegiant, Delta, Frontier
9 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 117,000 American, Delta, Frontier
10 Newark, New Jersey 111,000 Allegiant, Delta, United

^1 Allegiant Air serves Orlando (SFB) with 51,000 additional passengers a year, not included in this total.[119]

Busiest international routes from CVG (January 2014 – December 2014)[120]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Paris, France (Charles de Gaulle) 108,776 Delta
2 Toronto, Canada (Pearson) 65,048 Air Canada, Delta
3 Cancún, Mexico 26,873 Apple Vacations, Delta, Frontier, Vacation Express
4 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 23,058 Apple Vacations, Delta, Frontier, Vacation Express
5 Freeport, Bahamas 4,867 Bahamas Air, Vacation Express
6 Montego Bay, Jamaica 3,484 Apple Vacations, Vacation Express

Airline market share

Largest Airlines at CVG
(October 2016)
Rank Carrier Percentage Passengers Destinations Served
1 Delta Air Lines 54.2% 159,928 35
2 American Airlines 14.3% 42,324 8
3 Frontier Airlines 13.0% 38,419 17
4 Allegiant Air 9.1% 26,747 16
5 United Airlines 9% 23,185 6
6 Air Canada 0.8% 2,400 1
7 Charters/Other 0.7% 2,184

Airport buildings and facilities

Office buildings

Delta Private Jets is headquartered on the grounds of the airport.[97] The 82 Comair Boulevard building, which houses the Delta Private Jets headquarters, used to be the Comair headquarters and had the name Comair General Office Building.[122]

77 Comair Boulevard, former headquarters of Comair

77 Comair Boulevard used to be the corporate headquarters of Comair.[123] The building, with 187,000 square feet (17,400 m2) of space,[124] is on South Airfield Road. In 2010, after the airline began downsizing, it considered leaving the building and moving to another location near the airport. A spokesperson did not disclose how much office space the airline occupied; she said it was planning to reduce its space by 20 to 25 percent.[125] In 2011 Delta Air Lines, parent company of Comair, suggested that Delta could help assist the airport in obtaining a Transportation Security Administration training center, with it being located in 77 Comair Boulevard.[126] In early 2011, Comair vacated the building.[124] In 2012 the Kenton County Airport Board (KCAB) approved a five-year lease, with two five-year options, for Southern Air for about 33,100 square feet (3,080 m2) of space in 77 Comair Boulevard. For the first period, the rent would be $9.95 per square foot. This would increase to $12 per square foot for the second period and $15 per square foot for the third period. The airport plans to spend $500,000 in capital improvements on 77 Comair Boulevard.[123] After Terminal 1 is demolished in December 2015, the KCAB will relocate their offices into the building.

Maintenance bases

File:Endeavor Air Maintenance Hangars.jpg
Endeavor Air maintenance hangars

The airport is home to many maintenance bases due to the substantial operations of several carriers at the airport. Delta Air Lines has hangar and line maintenance facility for its primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm, Delta TechOps.[127] Also, Allegiant Air will have a crew and maintenance base located at CVG by January 2016. On August 5, 2015, PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Eagle, announced plans to build a maintenance base at CVG due to the growing demand at CVG.[128]

Ground transportation

Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) provides bus service from the airport to Downtown Cincinnati via Route 2X. Car rental services are provided by Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar and Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. The airport has three Short Term Parking Garages, 1-3, which were originally used for each terminal respectively. Garage 1 is unused, while Garages 2 and 3 are used for all other passengers in the Main Terminal. The Short Term Parking areas are designated by fruit names: Level 1-Orange, Level 2-Lemon, Level 3-Lime, Level 4-Cherry, and Level 5-Grape. Long Term Parking is remote from the terminal, so passengers must use a shuttle bus between the terminals and Long Term Parking lot.



Until 2015, CVG consistently ranked among the most expensive major airports in the United States.[36] Delta operated over 75% of flights at CVG, a fact often cited as a reason for relatively high domestic ticket prices.[37] Airline officials have suggested that Delta practices predatory pricing to drive away discount airlines.[36][129] From 1990 to 2003, ten discount airlines began service at CVG, but later pulled out,[130] including Vanguard Airlines, which pulled out of CVG twice.[131] Delta maintains that its pricing is reasonable, considering the increased connectivity and non-stop flights that a hub airport offers a market the size of Cincinnati.[130]

In 2003, a study commissioned by CVG found that 18% of Cincinnati-area residents use one of five nearby airports including Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Lexington, or Louisville instead of CVG because passengers can find fares up to 50% lower at these nearby airports.[130] However, because Delta downsized its hub operations and Allegiant and Frontier increased flights, many more residents are choosing CVG, and have helped sustain low cost carriers at CVG for the first time.[132]

In the 4th Quarter of 2014, CVG dropped from being the most expensive airport at $514 to $485, making the airport now the third-highest. This is the lowest the airport has been since 2011, and is a result of Allegiant and Frontier increasing flights, along with Delta trying to attract local customers rather than connect passengers. CVG had the 5th largest drop in airfare prices in the country, and with more expansion of LCCs at the airport, will likely drop even more.[133]

In June 2015, released its list of the cheapest U.S. airports based on average price to the 101 most popular destinations in the U.S., and ranked CVG as number one, with an average price of $199. CVG was ranked 77th last year, and the dramatic change results from Frontier and Allegiant rapidly increasing flights.[134]

In the 2nd quarter of 2015, CVG dropped from an average price of $528 to $436, putting CVG at number 20 of the 100 busiest airports in the U.S. This is mostly the result of expansion by Allegiant Air and increased competition between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. This quarter ended a five-year streak of placing in the top 3 highest priced airports in the country.,[135] Later, in the 4th Quarter of 2015, CVG dropped to the 22nd most expensive airport, placing it at its lowest ranking since the DOT began keeping track of airfares in 1995. Average airfares have declined 20% in the last year, while local traffic has grown over 16% in the last quarter. The drop in airfares is due mostly to Allegiant and Frontier increasing flights, but average airfares from legacy carriers American, Delta, and United have also declined due to competition.[136]

In the 3rd quarter of 2016, CVG dropped down to number 44 with an average airfare of $363.[137]

CVG Airfare Adjusted For Inflation (1995–2016)

Industrial murals

CUT Ink Making Mural at CVG

The airport is home to 14 large Art Deco murals created for the train concourse building at Cincinnati Union Terminal during the station's construction in 1932. Mosaic murals depicting people at work in local Cincinnati workplaces were incorporated into the interior design of the railroad station by Winold Reiss, a German-born artist with a reputation in interior design.

When the train concourse building was designated for demolition in 1972, a "Save the Terminal Committee" raised funds to remove and transport the 14 murals in the concourse to new locations in the Airport. They were placed in Terminal 1, as well as Terminals 2 and 3, which were then being constructed as part of a major airport expansion and renovation.

The murals were also featured in a scene in the film Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In addition, a walkway to one of the terminals at CVG was featured in the scene in the film when Hoffman's character, Raymond, refused to fly on a plane.

On May 19, 2015, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the nine murals located in the old Terminals 1 & 2 will be relocated to the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.[138]

Accidents and incidents

  • On January 12, 1955, 1955 Cincinnati mid-air collision, a Martin 2-0-2 was in the take off phase of departure from the airport when it collided with a privately owned Castleton Farm's DC-3. The mid-air collision killed 13 people on the commercial airliner and 2 on the privately owned planes.
  • On November 14, 1961, Zantop cargo flight, a DC-4, crashed near runway 18C into an apple orchard. The crew survived.
  • On November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 727, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 58 (53 passengers and 5 crew) of the 62 (56 passengers and 6 crew) on board.
  • On November 6, 1967, TWA Flight 159, a Boeing 707, overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, injuring 11 of the 29 passengers. One of the injured passengers died four days later. The seven crew members were unhurt.
  • On November 20, 1967, TWA Flight 128, a Convair 880, crashed on approach to runway 18C, killing 70 (65 passengers and 5 crew) of the 82 persons aboard (75 passengers and 7 crew).
  • On October 8, 1979, Comair Flight 444, a Piper Navajo, crashed shortly after takeoff. Seven passengers and the pilot were killed.
  • On October 19, 1979, Burlington Airways, a Twin Beech twin prop crashed landed on KY 237 @ I-275 bridge overpass. Tail # N24K. No one was injured.[139]
  • On June 2, 1983, Air Canada Flight 797, a DC-9 flying on Dallas-Toronto-Montreal route, made an emergency landing at Cincinnati due to a cabin fire. Twenty-three of the 41 passengers died of smoke inhalation or fire injuries, including legendary Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers. All five crew members survived.
  • On August 13, 2004, Air Tahoma Flight 185, a Convair 580, was en route to Cincinnati from Memphis, Tennessee, carrying freight under contract for DHL Worldwide Express. The aircraft crashed on a golf course just south of the Cincinnati airport due to fuel starvation and dual engine failure, killing the first officer and injuring the captain.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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