Airports in United States of America » US Airports

United States of America (USA) consists of Fifty States and the federal district of Washington. The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released 2011-2015 National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). According to (NPIAS) there are over 19,700 airports in the U.S., of these 503 airports offering commercial services and 5,170 airports are open to the general public. The majority of public airports (2,829) are designated as reliever or general aviation airports versus commercial service.

The FAA explains airports in four general categories based on the type of airport activity:

  1. Commercial Service (CS) Airports are described as public airports receiving scheduled service and having more than 2,500 enplaned passengers in a year. According to the NPIAS, there are 503 existing CS airports.

a) “Primary Airports” are those CS airports with more than 10,000 annual enplanements.   382 of the 503 CS airports are considered primary airports.  They are further explained as “hubs,” based on the percentage of the total annual U.S. enplanements:

      • Large Hubs (29): more than one percent
      • Medium Hubs (37): between 0.25 and 0.999 percent
      • Small Hubs (72): between 0.05 and 0.249 percent
      • Non-Hubs (244): no fewer than 10,000 passengers but up to 0.049 percent

b) “Non-Primary Commercial Service Airports” are those CS airports with more than 2,500 but less than 10,000 annual enplanements.  These 121 airports account for less than 0.1 percent of annual enplanements.

  1. Cargo Service Airports are airports that, in addition to any other air transportation services that may be available, are served by aircraft providing air transportation of only cargo with a total landed weight of more than 100 million pounds.  “Landed weight” generally means the weight of aircraft.  An airport may be both a commercial service and a cargo service airport.  The NPIAS does not separately identify the number of cargo service airports from commercial service.
  2. Reliever Airports are defined as high-capacity general aviation airports in major metropolitan areas. They must have 100 or more based aircraft or more than 25,000 nomadic operations per year. The average reliever airport has 230 based aircraft, which is 28 percent of the nation’s general aviation fleet.  The NPIAS identifies 269 reliever airports.
  3. General Aviation (GA) Airports neither receive commercial service nor meet the Reliever airport criteria. To qualify for listing in the NPIAS, these airports must be open to the public, have at least 10 based aircraft, and be located within 20 miles of the nearest NPIAS airport.  There are 2,560 GA airports in the NPIAS.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the five U.S. airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), Chicago O’Hare International (ORD), Los Angeles International (LAX), Dallas-Ft. Worth International (DFW), and Denver International (DEN) Airports are the busiest airports in the United States.
Main commercial service airports in the U.S. are owned by an entity other than a unit of the U.S. government, a state or local government. But, a few airports have contracted retail development and management to foreign firms.  For example, BAA USA manages the terminal concessions operation at Pittsburgh International Airport, Baltimore Washington International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.  BAA USA is a subsidiary of BAA plc. which owns and operates several airports in the United Kingdom.

In this article part of data is cited about the U.S airports, different types of airports that are in operation, busiest airports in the United States and about the ownership of the airports. If you have any query, feel free to ask, please comment in the comment box below or directly contact me through our contact us page. Do give us feedback as your feedback will help us to improve the quality of contents at our site.

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