Burlington International Airport
USGS aerial image, 1995
|Owner||City of Burlington|
|Operator||Burlington Airport Commission|
|Serves||Burlington, Vermont, U.S.|
|Location||South Burlington, Vermont, U.S.|
|Elevation AMSL||335 ft / 102 m|
FAA airport diagram
Burlington International Airport (IATA: BTV, ICAO: KBTV, FAA LID: BTV) is a joint-use civil-military airport in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. It is owned by the City of Burlington, Vermont's most populous municipality. The airport is located in South Burlington, three nautical miles (6 km) east of Burlington's central business district. About 40% of the airport's passengers come from Quebec.
Federal Aviation Administration records show that the airport had 588,504 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2016, up from 581,143 enplanements in 2015, an increase of 1.3% . Passenger traffic was higher in the late 2000s. The airport had 640,790 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2010, a decrease of 8.5% from the 700,592 enplanements in 2009. This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011-2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year). The airport serves as the base of the 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard and an Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) of the Vermont Army National Guard and the Vermont State Guard.
On Saturday, August 14, 1920, the first aircraft landed at what became the Burlington Municipal Airport. It had previously been a 72-acre (29 ha) cornfield. Airport developers took a lease on the land for one year for $100.
With the onset of the Second World War, the United States government created a Defense Zone extending inland 150 miles (240 km) from the coastline, where private aircraft were restricted from operating. Burlington Municipal Airport was located approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) outside of the Defense Zone, allowing it to conduct pilot training both locally and from other airports located within the restricted zone, one such example being Boston's Logan Airport. Due to increased demand, the Burlington Municipal Airport was noted as being the busiest airport in the world on both August 14, 1942 and February 11, 1943, with 662 and 793 landings respectively.
On February 24, 1969, the Board of Aldermen voted to change the airport's title from "municipal" to "international" as a means of re-branding the airport and steering it away from the perceptions of it being a small, community-based facility.
On May 11, 1971, Burlington voters approved a $1.25 million bond for a new 40,000-sq/ft terminal. This terminal opened on October 7, 1973.
From 2000 to 2008, the airport experienced an increase in growth and service. Since 2000, $24 million in renovations and expansion has been invested at Burlington. In 2008, the airport authority completed a $15 million expansion project which added five gates - four with boarding bridges - and customer service areas, in addition to a 948-space parking garage and an elevated connected walkway.
The airport set a local record in July 2008 when 759,154 passengers flew from Burlington, the first time the figure has crossed 700,000.
BTV enplaned over 759,000 people in 2008, a 7.3% increase from 2007. However, FAA Data from 2015 show a decrease to 581,143 total enplaned, a significant decrease given stronger regional competition due to the increasing popularity of the recently constructed and renovated Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY (just over 30 miles, 48 km away via ferry). Total Plattsburgh Enplaned, in fact, for the 2015 Year reached 131,600.  Plattsburgh demand is driven by increased demand from Montreal, Quebec. Plattsburgh airport has staff who speak French and English, and a website and signage in both languages.
Burlington International Airport serves its metropolitan area, which contained over 206,000 residents as of 2006 U.S. Census estimates. Due to the relatively small size of the market, airlines mostly fly regional airliners on their Burlington routes. Among these are Bombardier CRJ-200, CRJ-700, and CRJ-900 and Embraer ERJ-145 and ERJ-175 regional jets operated by most of the major carriers. JetBlue, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines notably fly some of the only daily flights using mainline aircraft. Currently the largest scheduled passenger planes to fly out of Burlington are Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 flown by United Airlines, Boeing 717s flown by Delta Air Lines, and Embraer E-190s flown year-round by JetBlue. Denver, Colorado is the farthest destination served by any airline out of BTV.
In 2008, Big Sky Airlines stopped flying the Boston route. Management has been searching for a replacement for this important route, Cape Air has shown considerable interest in establishing this route using their Cessna 402s, currently the closest Boston-served destination by Cape Air to Burlington is the city of Rutland.
The airport has used natural resources such as marble and granite, and maple for interior decoration, intended to give the airport a "Vermont Feel". In 2009, the airport had fifteen gates serving seven airlines.
On February 3, 2010, it was announced that AirTran Airways would not be returning to Burlington. Service started in early 2009 on Boeing 717 aircraft operating 55-minute flights from Baltimore, but after only six months AirTran demoted BTV to seasonal service, operating only during the summer months. AirTran planned on resuming service in the spring of 2010, but for unspecified reasons, they did not. AirTran service lasted for eight months in 2009.Allegiant Air ended service from BTV in March 2017.
In 2010, a city-owned cable provider was unable to pay the city of Burlington $17 million it owed. As a result, Moody's downrated the debt for the city. Moody's also downrated the credit rating for the airport, as well. Although voters approved a $21.5 million bond for airport expansion, this downgrade made borrowing the money too expensive. The airport therefore borrowed $7.5 million from the city for a $14.5 million garage expansion. In June 2011, the city asked for the money back.
The airport was in the process of expanding the parking garage by adding two more levels on the north end. This would have given it a total of 2700 parking spaces. This project was later completed in early 2012. The airport finished renovating the upper concourses bathrooms in late 2013.
Burlington International Airport covers an area of 942 acres (381 ha) at an elevation of 335 feet (102 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 15/33 is 8,319 by 150 feet (2,536 × 46 m) with an asphalt and concrete surface; 1/19 is 4,112 by 75 feet (1,253 × 23 m) with an asphalt surface.
As a Burlington-owned facility, the airport purchases electricity from the city-owned utility.
In 2009, the Airport Authority sought $45 million for an expansion. If approved by Burlington city voters; it would provide 1,400 additional parking space to add onto the current 3-story, 2,100 spaces garage. It would hold 3,500 cars within 5 stories, with a completion date of late 2010 or early 2011. It was later completed in late 2011 though the airport had to remove half of the proposed parking spaces, leaving the parking lot looking like a backwards L if you look at it from the terminal.
The airport hosts two military installations. The first is Burlington Air National Guard Base and the 158th Fighter Wing (158 FW) based there, an Air Combat Command (ACC)-gained unit of the Vermont Air National Guard, flying the F-35 since August 2019. The 158 FW consists of approximately 1,000 Air National Guard personnel, both full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel and traditional part-time Air National Guardsmen.
The second installation is an Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) of the Vermont Army National Guard where the 1st Battalion, 103d Aviation Regiment and the 86th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) is based.
The airport is the muster point for the Air Wing of the Vermont State Guard.
|American Airlines||Seasonal: Charlotte|
|American Eagle|| Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National|
|Delta Connection||Atlanta (resumes December 17, 2020), Detroit, New York-JFK (resumes December 7, 2020), New York-LaGuardia (resumes December 17, 2020)|
|Frontier Airlines||Seasonal: Denver, Orlando|
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles|
|1||New York, NY||JFK||127,240||JetBlue, Delta|
|2||Chicago, IL||ORD||101,920||American, United|
|9||New York, NY||LGA||41,020||Delta|
Both major commercial parcel carriers (UPS Airlines and FedEx Express) fly into BTV, providing service for much of northern Vermont. UPS uses Wiggins Airways to ferry packages between Burlington and larger cargo hubs.
FedEx Express in fact operates the largest aircraft to frequently utilize Burlington International Airport. Cargo is flown in from the company's hub in Newark, New Jersey, via Syracuse or Portland, Maine, aboard medium ranged Boeing 757-200 aircraft (up until 2011 this was done by aging Boeing 727-200s before these aircraft were replaced by the newer, more versatile 757s). Upon arriving from Syracuse or Portland some of the cargo is unloaded from the 757 distributed to smaller, propeller-driven Cessna 208Bs operated by Wiggins Airways and flown to closer destinations such as Bangor and other destinations.
UPS flies exclusive connection flights with aircraft from Wiggins Airways to airports in the Northeast with Cessna 208s and small jet aircraft.
|FedEx Express||Memphis, Portland (ME), Syracuse|
|UPS Airlines operated by Wiggins Airways||Bangor, Manchester (NH), Rutland|
On January 29, 1990, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan operated by Airborne Express struck trees and crashed 1 mile SE of Burlington International Airport in snowy conditions. The aircraft was overloaded with cargo and the failure to de-ice the plane prior to departure caused the plane to stall and crash. Both occupants were killed.