Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport
|Owner/Operator||Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA)|
|Hub for||UPS Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||501 ft / 153 m|
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (IATA: SDF, ICAO: KSDF, FAA LID: SDF) is a public and military use public airport in Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The airport covers about 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) and has three runways. Its IATA airport code, SDF, is based on the airport's former name, Standiford Field. It has no regularly-scheduled international passenger flights, but it is a port of entry, as it handles numerous international cargo flights.
Over 3.8 million passengers and over 5.7 billion pounds (2,890,000 t) of cargo passed through the airport in 2018. It is also the third-busiest in the United States in terms of cargo traffic, and seventh-busiest for such in the world. The Airport will be renamed as Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011-2015 categorized it as a "primary commercial service" airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,684,738 enplanements in 2017, an increase of 3.26% from 1,631,494 in 2016.
The airport is home to Worldport, the worldwide hub of UPS. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123d Airlift Wing operates C-130 transport aircraft from the co-located Louisville Air National Guard Base.
On January 16, 2019 the Regional Airport Authority voted to change the name of the airport to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in honor of the legendary boxing great Muhammad Ali who is a Louisville native. On June 6, 2019, the airport unveiled its new logo, featuring "Ali's silhouette, arms up and victorious, against the background of a butterfly."
Standiford Field was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941 on a parcel of land south of Louisville that was found not to have flooded during the Ohio River flood of 1937. It was named for Dr. Elisha David Standiford, a local businessman and politician, who was active in transportation issues and owned part of the land. The field remained under Army control until 1947, when it was turned over to the Louisville Air Board for commercial operations.
Until around 1947 Bowman Field was Louisville's main airport. For many years passenger traffic went through the small brick Lee Terminal at Standiford Field. Today's more modern and much larger facilities were built in the 1980s. Most of the Lee Terminal was later torn down.
The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 45 weekday departures on Eastern Airlines, 19 American, 9 TWA, 4 Piedmont and 2 Ozark. Scheduled jet flights (Eastern 720s to Idlewild) began in January-February 1962. Parallel runways, needed for expanded UPS operations, were part of an airport expansion begun in the 1980s.
When Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport was built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in 1941, it had one 4,000-foot (1,200 m) runway and was called Standiford Field. The airfield opened to the public in 1947 and all commercial service from Bowman Field moved to Standiford Field. American, Eastern, and TWA were the first airlines and had 1,300 passengers a week. The airlines used World War II barracks on the east side of the field until May 25, 1950, when a proper terminal opened. Lee Terminal could handle 150,000 passengers annually and included 6 new gates, which increased terminal space to 114,420 square feet (10,630 m2). The three runways (1, 6 and 11) were all 5000 ft.
In 1970 the terminal again expanded; the main lobby was extended and the 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) Delta Air Lines concourse was built.
The 1980s brought plans for a new terminal, the Louisville Airport Improvement plan (LAIP). Construction of a new landside terminal designed by Bickel-Gibson Associated Architects Inc. began, costing $35 million with capacity for nearly 2 million passengers in 1985. Most of the improvements began construction in the 1990s and the airport was totally renewed. During the 1990s Southwest Airlines passenger boardings increased 97.3 percent. In 1995 the airport's name was changed from Standiford Field to Louisville International Airport. Around that time SDF got two new parallel runways: runway 17L/35R, 8,578 feet (2,615 m) long and runway 17R/35L, 11,887 feet (3,623 m); both are 150 feet (46 m) wide. The Kentucky Air National Guard moved its base to SDF with 8 military aircraft; a new UPS air mail facility, new corporate hangars, a 4 level parking garage and a new control tower were also added. A new FBO was added, run by Atlantic Aviation and managed by Michael Perry. In 2005 a $26 million terminal renovation designed by Gensler Inc. was completed. Yearly passenger enplanements are about 1.7 million and are forecast to increase in the next 5 years. Louisville International is served by several airlines including Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, United, FedEx, and UPS. On January 16, 2019, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority voted to rename the airport Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, after boxing legend Muhammad Ali, a Louisville native.
Louisville International-Standiford Field covers 1,500 acres (610 ha) at an elevation of 501 feet (153 m). It has three concrete runways: 17R/35L is 11,887 by 150 feet (3,623 x 46 m); 17L/35R is 8,578 by 150 feet (2,615 x 46 m); 11/29 is 7,250 by 150 feet (2,210 x 46 m). Runway 17R and 17L will be lengthened to 13,000 feet and 10,500 feet respectively within the next 2-3 years as an extra margin of safety for the new generation of cargo and passenger super-jets.
In the year ending May 31, 2018, the airport had 167,470 aircraft operations, an average of 459 per day: 76% airline, 15% air taxi, 7% general aviation, and 2% military. 36 aircraft were then based at this airport: 75% jet, 22% military, and 3% single-engine. The terminal is named the Jerry E. Abramson Terminal Building and includes 23 gates. The airport recently added more than ten nonstop destinations, bringing the current number to 33. In the future, the focus will be on growing more nonstop destinations and investing in a program called SDF Next, which will involve more than $100 million in terminal enhancements. SDF Next will include upgrades to the moving walkways, elevators and security checkpoint, as well as significant changes to parking and rental car services. Adding Federal Inspection Services in the next four years to allow international flights, specifically Mexico, is also in the works.
|Allegiant Air|| Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater|
Seasonal: Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Savannah
|American Airlines||Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles|||
|American Eagle||Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National|||
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|||
|Delta Connection|| Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia|
|Frontier Airlines|| Denver |
|Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale (begins November 3, 2019), Houston-Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Tampa|||
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles|||
|Beckley, Charleston (WV), Decatur, Madison, Warsaw (IN)|
|Ameriflight||Huntsville, Knoxville, Moline/Quad Cities, Peoria, Smyrna (TN), South Bend|
|Cincinnati, Memphis, Oakland|
|Albany (GA), Albany (NY), Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Birmingham (AL), Bogotá, Boston, Buffalo, Burbank, Casablanca, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Cologne/Bonn, Columbia (SC), Columbus-Rickenbacker, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dubai, East Midlands, Fargo, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Wayne, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hamilton, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lafayette, Lansing, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Manchester (NH), McAllen, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal-Mirabel, Newark, Newburgh, New Orleans, New York-JFK, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Peoria, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Sacramento-Mather, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle-Boeing, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Sioux Falls, Springfield (MO), Syracuse, Tampa, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Tulsa, Vancouver, Campinas-Viracopos, Washington-Dulles, West Palm Beach|
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|2||Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois||153,450||American, United|
|3||Charlotte, North Carolina||145,250||American|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||121,580||American|
|7||Denver, Colorado||101,900||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|10||New York-LaGuardia, New York||66,090||American, Delta|
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is home to a Republic Airline maintenance complex, capable of holding nine planes.
In addition to commercial air traffic there is a significant amount of general aviation activity at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, for business travel and other purposes such as the Kentucky Derby.
Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS (United Parcel Service) located at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. Although UPS has had a hub at Louisville since 1980, the term was not used officially by the company until 2002, after a $1 billion, five-year expansion. Previously, the project was named Hub 2000. The facility is currently the size of 5.2 million square feet (48 ha; 80 football fields) and capable of handling 115 packages a second, or 416,000 per hour. With over 20,000 employees, UPS is one of the largest employers in both the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a whole. The facility, which serves all of the company's major international and domestic hubs, mainly handles express and international packages and letters.
A one-million-square-foot expansion was completed in spring 2006 to integrate heavy freight into the UPS system. The expansion was prefaced by the purchase of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, formerly Emery Worldwide. The new facility, designated Worldport Freight Facility (HWP), went online in April 2006 and was the first of the company's regional hubs to begin integrating the Menlo volume into the system. Menlo's facility in Dayton, Ohio, was taken offline in June 2006.
In May 2006, UPS announced that for the third time in seven years it would significantly expand its Worldport hub, with a second billion-dollar investment. The second expansion was completed in April 2010, with the facility now measuring 5,200,000 square feet (480,000 m2), with a perimeter of 7.2 miles (11.6 km). The plan was for more than one million square feet to be added to its existing facility, with another 334,500-square-foot (31,080 m2) of space to be renovated with new technology and equipment. Worldport sorting capacity was to expand from 300,000 packages per hour to 416,000 packages per hour. Additionally, several ramps at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport were to be built or altered bringing a total increase of just over 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2).
Since many of the jobs are part-time and overnight, UPS has hired mostly college students by offering both nationwide tuition reimbursement and a special program called Metropolitan College, in which University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College students who work part-time overnight can receive 100% tuition reimbursement.
Worldport was featured on an episode of the television show Ultimate Factories in June 2008.