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Cincinnati Municipal Airport - Lunken Field (Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport) (IATA: LUK, ICAO: KLUK, FAALID: LUK) is a public airport in Cincinnati, Ohio, three miles (5 km) southeast of Downtown Cincinnati. It is owned by the city of Cincinnati and serves private aircraft and the fleets of local corporations. It serves a few commercial flights and is the second largest airport serving Cincinnati after Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. It is known as Lunken Airport or Lunken Field, after Eshelby Lunken. It is bounded by US Route 50 (historic Columbia Parkway and Eastern Avenue) to the west, US Route 52 (Kellogg Avenue) and the Ohio River to the south, the Little Miami River (which originally flowed through the airfield but was diverted) to the east, and Ohio Route 125 (Beechmont Avenue) to the north. The airport is headquarters and hub for Cincinnati-based public charter airline Ultimate Air Shuttle, serving 5 destinations in the eastern United States with 16 peak daily flights. Lunken is also home to small charter airline Flamingo Air and its aviation school.
Cincinnati Municipal Airport (Lunken Airport) was Cincinnati's main airport until 1947. It is in the Little Miami River valley near Columbia, the site of the first Cincinnati-area settlement in 1788. When the 1,000-acre (400 ha) airfield opened in 1925 it was the largest municipal airfield in the world. The airport was named for industrialist Edmund H. Lunken, who ran the Lunkenheimer Valve Company. (The family's last name had been shortened from its original "Lunkenheimer" spelling.)
The first aviation related activities in the area were flying lessons offered by John "Dixie" Dixon Davis around 1921. The flights took place just north of the airport roughly where the Lunken Playfield is today.
During World War II, the airport served first as the headquarters of the I Concentration Command, before being transferred to the Air Transport Command.
Lunken Airport was supplanted by the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after flooding from the Ohio River and introduction of larger aircraft that needed longer runways. The flooding prompted the airport's nickname of "Sunken Lunken". During the Ohio River flood of 1937, the airfield and two-story main terminal building at the southwest corner of the airport were submerged, except for the third-floor air traffic control "tower". A plaque (which appears from ground level to be a single black brick) on the terminal building, facing the airfield, indicates the high-water mark. In the early 1960s Conrad International Corporation, which upgraded Beechcraft 18s, was located at the airport. In 1964 the FAA designated the airport as a general reliever airport. As business jet travel expanded, the 6100-ft parallel runway 2R was added about 1965 (requiring relocation of the Little Miami River).
Today the old control tower is home to the Lunken Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, and is the oldest standing control tower in the United States. The property also contains public recreation areas, including an 18-hole golf course, playgrounds, and walking/biking paths on the levee surrounding the airfield. In 2009 Ultimate Air Shuttle began operations at Lunken with a flight to Chicago-Midway, and has since expanded to four cities, including Chicago, New York, Charlotte, and Cleveland. Currently, many Cincinnati-area companies base their aircraft at the airport due to its proximity to downtown Cincinnati, but most airlines use Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Various proposals have taken place to add air service to the airport, including by Allegiant Air, which started operations at CVG instead, and Flamingo Air, which didn't happen. In 2018, a fixed based operator called Waypoint Aviation began operations out of a new 40,000-square-foot hangar at the airport.
The Sky Galley restaurant has been in nearly continuous operation for decades, and is so named because the first meals served on a commercial airliner (American Airlines) were prepared here.[failed verification] The Sky Galley is housed in the terminal building and has large windows and a patio dining area facing the airfield, allowing views of small aircraft and corporate jets taking off and landing. In 2019, the lease agreement for the restaurant was nearly cancelled by the city due to potential food safety risks reported by the Health Department. After an online petition on change.org gained over 17,000 signatures, an agreement was reached in which the city would provide up to $100,000 to help renovate the restaurant and grant it another 5-year lease if the owner committed to correcting the violations.
Lunken Airport from Alms Park
Cincinnati Municipal Airport - Lunken Field covers 1,140 acres (460 ha) and has three runways:
In 2004 the airport had 108,904 aircraft operations, an average of 298 per day: 83% general aviation, 17% air taxi, 1% military and <1% scheduled commercial. 314 aircraft are based at this airport: 62% single-engine, 21% jet, 15% multi-engine and 1% helicopter.
Top destinations (October 2016 - September 2017)
On 7 April 1981, a Learjet 23 was damaged by a bird strike after taking off from the airport and forced to return for an emergency landing. The copilot was killed and the pilot seriously injured.
On 16 December 1982, a Cessna 411 crashed into a bookstore in Montgomery, Ohio, on approach to land at the airport, killing the six people on board and injuring four more on the ground. One of those killed was Carl Johnson, who had embezzled $614,000 and was planning to lead authorities to the location of a buried portion of the money.
On 20 June 1984, a Cessna 340A crashed after taking off from the airport, killing the pilot and 3 passengers.
On 25 November 1986, a Bell 206 JetRanger news helicopter belonging to WKRC (AM) crashed after taking off from a heliport just north of the airport, killing the pilot and passenger.
On 26 January 1994, a Beechcraft Baron crashed in Newtown, Ohio, after taking off from the airport, killing the pilot.
On 14 July 2009, a Piper Cherokee crashed near the airport while trying to land, seriously injuring the pilot.
On 12 March 2019, a Piper Navajo crashed into a home in Madeira, Ohio while on approach to Lunken, killing the pilot. The aircraft, registered N400JM, was flying for an aerial photography and mapping company.[failed verification]