Nashville International Airport
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Nashville International Airport

Nashville International Airport
Updated Nashville Airport Logo.png
Nashville International Airport Aerial June 2011.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerMetropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
OperatorMetropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA)
ServesNashville, Tennessee
Focus city forAllegiant Air
Elevation AMSL599 ft / 183 m
Coordinates36°07?36?N 086°40?55?W / 36.12667°N 86.68194°W / 36.12667; -86.68194Coordinates: 36°07?36?N 086°40?55?W / 36.12667°N 86.68194°W / 36.12667; -86.68194
BNA is located in Tennessee
BNA is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2L/20R 7,704 2,348 Concrete
2C/20C 8,001 2,439 Concrete
2R/20L 8,001 2,439 Concrete
13/31 11,030 3,362 Concrete
Statistics (2019)
Total passengers18,273,434
Aircraft operations230,229
Source: Nashville International Airport[1]

Nashville International Airport (IATA: BNA, ICAO: KBNA, FAA LID: BNA) is a public/military airport in the southeastern section of Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 1937, its original name was Berry Field, from which its ICAO and IATA identifiers are derived. The current terminal was built in 1987, and the airport took its current name in 1988. Nashville International Airport has four runways and covers 3,900 acres (1,600 ha).[2]

The airport is served by 16 airlines and has 585 daily arriving and departing flights with nonstop flights to more than 72 cities in North America and Europe. Berry Field Air National Guard Base is located at Nashville International Airport. The base is home to the 118th Airlift Wing and is the headquarters of the Tennessee Air National Guard.



Eastward view of Berry Field's original administration building

Nashville's first airport was Hampton Field, which operated until 1921. It was replaced by Blackwood Field in the Hermitage community, which operated between 1921 and 1928. The first airlines to serve Nashville, American Airlines and Eastern Air Lines, flew out of Sky Harbor Airport in nearby Rutherford County.[3]

By 1935 the need for an airport larger and closer to the city than Sky Harbor Airport was realized and a citizens' committee was organized by mayor Hilary Howse to choose a location. A 340-acre (1.4 km2) plot along Dixie Parkway (now Murfreesboro Road) composed of four farms was selected, and construction began in 1936 as one of the first major Works Progress Administration projects in the area. The airport was dedicated on November 1, 1936, as Berry Field, named after Col. Harry S. Berry, the Tennessee administrator for the Works Progress Administration. It opened in June 1937 with much fanfare, including parades, an air show, and an aerial bombardment display by the 105th Aero Squadron, which was based at the field.[4] Passenger service began in mid-July through American Airlines and Eastern Airlines, both of which operated Douglas DC-3s. The new airport had three asphalt runways, a three-story passenger terminal, a control tower, two hangars and a beacon, and was built at a cost of $1.2 million. In its first year Berry Field served 189,000 passengers.[3][5][6]

Tennessee National Guard facilities at Berry Field during World War 2.

During World War II, the airfield was requisitioned by the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command as the headquarters for the 4th Ferrying Command for movement of new aircraft overseas. During this time, the Federal government expanded the airport to 1,500 acres (6.1 km2). At the end of the war, the airport was returned to the control of the city, with a number of facilities remaining for support of the tenant unit of the Tennessee National Guard.[5]

The airport had been enlarged by the military during World War II, but in 1958 the City Aviation Department started planning to expand and modernize the airport.[5] The first scheduled jets were American 720/720Bs in 1961, the same year a new 145,000 square feet (13,500 m2) terminal opened off of Briley Parkway, west of runway 2L. For the first time more than half a million people passed through the airport when the six airlines that served Nashville carried 532,790 passengers. These renovations also included expansion of an existing runway, with 2L/20R being extended by 600 feet (180 m), and the construction of a new crosswind runway, 13/31.[5] In 1962 Nashville became the first municipal airport in the United States with a public reading room when the Nashville Public Library opened a branch inside the terminal.[7]

Hub years

By the 1970s the airport was again in need of expansion and modernization. In 1973 the newly created Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) finalized a plan for the long-term growth of the airport; the plan included a new terminal and a new parallel runway across Donelson Pike to increase capacity by reducing time between takeoffs and landings.[5]

In the early 1980s the MNAA commissioned Robert Lamb Hart, in association with the firm of Gresham, Smith and Partners, to design a modern terminal; construction began in 1984 and was completed in 1987. It had three main concourses and a smaller commuter concourse radiating from a distinctive three-story atrium.[3] An international wing was built in Concourse A; the airport was renamed Nashville International Airport/Berry Field. It is now rare to see the "Berry Field" portion used, but the airport's IATA code (BNA) is short for Berry Field Nashville, and the military facilities at the airport are still commonly known by this name. In 1989 a new parallel runway (2R/20L) was opened for use.[5]

American Airlines announced in 1985 that it would establish a hub at Nashville, and it officially opened in 1986. The hub was intended to compete with Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines and Piedmont Airlines for north-south traffic in the eastern United States.[8] Besides providing nonstop flights to many cities in the U.S. and Canada, American also operated a transatlantic flight from Nashville to London. The American hub was touted as a selling point in bringing companies such as Nissan and Saturn Corporation to the Nashville area. Nonetheless, the hub operated at a loss even during its heyday in the early 1990s, like the similarly sized hub American had at Raleigh/Durham.[9]

American's service peaked in 1993 with 265 daily departures to 79 cities, after which flights were gradually scaled back until the hub closed in December 1995.[10] American cited the aftermath of the early 1990s recession and the lack of local passengers as reasons for the closure.

Recent history

In the aftermath of the hub closure, Southwest Airlines gradually filled the void by subleasing American's gates and seizing a majority of the Nashville market. Southwest continues to dominate the airport to this day.[11]

In 2002 Embraer Aircraft Maintenance Services (EAMS) selected Nashville as the location for its Regional Airline Support Facility, which was built on the site of the demolished 1961 terminal building.[12]

In October 2006 the Nashville Metropolitan Airport Authority started an extensive renovation of the terminal building, designed by Architectural Alliance of Minneapolis and Thomas, Miller & Partners, PLLC of Nashville,[13] the first since the terminal opened 19 years prior. Phase one of the project involved updating and expanding food and vending services, improving flight information systems, and construction of a new consolidated security checkpoint for all terminals. Phase one was completed in 2009. Phase two of the project involved the expansion of the ticketing and check-in areas, the construction and renovation of bathrooms, and the renovation of the baggage claim areas. Completion of the second phase of the renovation project was completed in 2011.[14] These renovations bring the total size of the terminal building to over 1 million square feet (93,000 m2).[15] In addition to the terminal renovation and expansion, the renovations included expanding parking and a new rental car facility.[16] The renovated terminal was named the Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal in honor of a MNAA board chair in 2011.[5]

In addition to passenger amenities in the terminal and parking areas, the renovations included improvements to the airport's infrastructure. The largest project was the complete demolition and rebuilding of Runway 2L/20R, which was completed in August 2010. In addition to the rebuilding of Runway 2L/20R, Runway 2C/20C was closed from September through December 2010 for pavement and concrete rehabilitation. BNA's 91 acres (0.37 km2) of tarmac were also rehabilitated during this project after being funded entirely by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allotments.[17]

In August 2017, British Airways announced nonstop service between Nashville and London, which began on May 4, 2018. This marked the return of transatlantic service at BNA for the first time since 1995, when American ended their London flight.[18]

To accommodate growth at BNA, the Metro Nashville Airport Authority has commenced a $1.2 billion renovation of the airport dubbed as BNA Vision. Major projects in the vision include expanding and reopening Concourse D, constructing a new international arrivals facility, expanding/renovating the central terminal area and building a new hotel as well as new parking garages and access roads. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.[19]



Interior of the terminal
Concourse C

The Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal is the airport's main commercial terminal. It consists of three floors with ground transportation on the first, baggage claim services on the second; and ticketing, passenger drop off, and concourse access on the third.[20] There are 42 gates in the four concourses in use.[21] These concourses are connected by a large hub that contains a unified security checkpoint located in the main section of the terminal.[17] International flights are currently processed in Concourse A, which contains the airport's customs facility.

  • Concourse A contains 7 gates[21]
  • Concourse B contains 10 gates[21]
  • Concourse C contains 19 gates[21]
  • Concourse D contains 6 gates[21]

American operates an Admirals Club in Concourse C, while Delta operates a Sky Club in Concourse B.[22][23]


Nashville International Airport has four runways, three of which are parallel with one crosswind. The crosswind runway, 13/31, is the longest of the four at 11,030 feet (3,360 m). The most recent improvement was to runway 2L/20R, the primary outbound runway under the airport's Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System. It was completely rebuilt with concrete recycling techniques that prevented having to bring in large amounts of fresh concrete to the site, with construction ending in early 2011.[24]

Military facilities

Berry Field Air National Guard Base (ANGB) is located on the premises of Nashville International Airport. Since 1937 it has hosted the 118th Airlift Wing (AW). Berry Field faced the removal of its flying mission with the BRAC 2005 recommendation to realign its assets to other units. It initially averted this fate by taking on a new role as the C-130 International Training Center. The C-130s assigned to the unit were eventually transferred and the 118th AW became the 118th Wing, supporting unmanned aircraft operations.[25]

Approximately 1,500 personnel are assigned to both HQ, Tennessee Air National Guard and to the 118 AW at Berry ANGB. Approximately 400 are full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel, augmented by approximately 1100 traditional part-time air guardsmen.[25]

Airlines and destinations


Seasonal: Montréal-Trudeau
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [27]
Allegiant Air Appleton, Grand Rapids, Punta Gorda (FL), Richmond, Sarasota, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Allentown, Bozeman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Cleveland, Des Moines, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Flint, Greensboro, Gulfport/Biloxi, Harrisburg, Myrtle Beach, Norfolk, Orlando/Sanford, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Savannah, Sioux Falls, Syracuse, Tulsa
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Phoenix-Sky Harbor (begins November 4, 2020)[29]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National [30]
Boutique Air Muscle Shoals [31]
British Airways London-Heathrow [32]
Cape Air Marion, Owensboro [33]
Contour Airlines Indianapolis, Tupelo (MS) [34]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Cancún
Delta Connection Boston, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham [35]
Frontier Airlines Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Trenton
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York-JFK [37]
Memphis [38]
Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chicago-Midway, Cleveland, Columbus-Glenn, Dallas-Love, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford (resumes March 11, 2021),[39]Houston-Hobby, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Orange County (begins November 2, 2020),[40]Orlando, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Philadelphia, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Juan (begins March 13, 2021),[41]St. Louis, Tampa, Washington-National
Seasonal: Burbank, Cancún (resumes November 7, 2020) Fort Myers, Norfolk, Omaha, Salt Lake City (begins November 23, 2020)
Spirit Airlines Austin, Baltimore, Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa [43]
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Los Angeles, Madison, Portland (OR)
Ultimate Air Shuttle Cincinnati-Lunken [45]
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles [46]
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles [46]
WestJet Seasonal: Calgary [47]
WestJet Encore Toronto-Pearson [47]



Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from BNA (August 2019 - July 2020)[48]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 405,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Denver, Colorado 282,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 262,000 American
4 Charlotte, North Carolina 254,000 American, Southwest
5 New York-LaGuardia, New York 216,000 American, Delta, Southwest
6 Los Angeles, California 215,000 American, Delta, Southwest, Sun Country
7 Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois 214,000 American, Frontier, United
8 Orlando, Florida 212,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest
9 Detroit, Michigan 207,000 Delta, Southwest
10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 190,000 American, Frontier, Southwest

Airline market share

Largest Airlines at BNA (August 2019 - July 2020)[48]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 6,482,000 53.22%
2 Delta Air Lines 1,335,000 10.96%
3 American Airlines 1,302,000 10.69%
4 United Airlines 504,000 4.14%
5 SkyWest 503,000 4.13%
6 Other 2,054,000 16.87%

Accidents and incidents

  • On September 28, 1963, an Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-7 crashed on landing after the aircraft's nose gear collapsed. All 45 passengers and crew survived.[49]
  • On May 31, 1985, a Gulfstream I crashed immediately after takeoff due to failure of the left engine. Both people on board were killed.[50]
  • On January 29, 1996, a United States Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter crashed shortly after takeoff. The jet struck a housing development and erupted into a fireball, killing the pilot and four individuals on the ground.[51]
  • On September 9, 1999, a TWA McDonnell Douglas DC-9 suffered a landing gear collapse after a hard touchdown. All 46 passengers and crew survived.[52]
  • On October 29, 2013, a Cessna 172R departing from Windsor International Airport in Windsor, Ontario, Canada deviated from its declared destination of Pelee Island Airport, flew south to Nashville, and circled the airport for two hours before crashing on Runway 2C and bursting into flames, killing the sole occupant. The burned wreckage went unnoticed for nearly six hours, as it had been obscured by dense fog, before being spotted by another general aviation aircraft. The NTSB investigation of the crash determined that the pilot, Michael Callan, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Additionally, he falsely listed singer Taylor Swift as his next of kin, and had written letters with signs of stalking to her, leading investigators to believe that he flew to Nashville to stalk her.[53][54]
  • On December 15, 2015, Southwest Airlines Flight 31, a Boeing 737-300, from Houston, Texas, exited the taxiway and rolled into a ditch shortly after arriving into Nashville as the airplane was entering the terminal ramp. All 138 passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the plane and bussed into the airport.[55]

See also


  1. ^ "Airport Data - Nashville International Airport". Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for BNA (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective November 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Airports. "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture". Tennessee Historical Society. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Nashville International Airport's 75th Anniversary". Nashville International Airport. Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. 2012. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Nashville International Airport". [Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA)]. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "Nashville International Airport turns 75". Nashville Tennessean. June 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Library History". Nashville Public Library. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ Washburn, Gary (June 6, 1985). "American Airlines Plans Nashville Hub". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Fins, Antonio (March 16, 1997). "A Tale of 2 Cities ... And The Loss of an Airline Hub". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "Daily Departures from the Nashville Hub 1986-1996". Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Southwest Airlines' Nashville traffic up 54% in 10 years; January to September traffic climbs 11%; five new routes in 2019". January 2, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Global Presence". Embraer. 2010. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "Nashville International Airport, Terminal and Concourse Renovation, Nashville, TN". Architecture Alliance. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ "Nashville International Airport - Positively Transformed". MNAA. 2011. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "75h Anniversary". Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ "Consolidated Rental Car Facility". Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. November 2011. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ a b "MNAA Strategic Business Plan" (PDF). Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. February 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ "British Airways' Nashville-London flight shows Music City stepping onto global stage". Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Garrison, Joey. "Exclusive first look: Nashville airport unveils designs of dramatic $1.2 billion expansion". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ Kayak. "Nashville International Airport Guide". Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Nashville International Airport Interactive Map". Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Admirals Club Locations". American Airlines. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ Delta Air Lines. "Delta Sky Club Locations". Archived from the original on November 3, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ "Nashville International Airport Runway 2L/20R Reconstruction". Garver, Inc. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  25. ^ a b "118th Airlift Wing". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  26. ^ "Flight Schedules". Archived from the original on September 25, 2019. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ "Flight Timetable". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "Allegiant Interactive Route Map". Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ "American Airlines Adds Warm Weather Winter Routes". Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ "Boutique Air Schedule". Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "British Airways - Timetables". Archived from the original on February 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ "Cape Air schedules". Cape Air. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ "Contour Airlines". Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ "Frontier". Archived from the original on September 12, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  38. ^ "Destinations". Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Southwest Airlines Extends Published Flight Schedule Through Jan. 4, 2021". Southwest Airlines. May 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ Liu, Jim. "Southwest plans Nashville - San Juan service from March 2021". Routesonline. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ "Spirit Airlines Route Map". Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "Route Map & Flight Schedule". Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  45. ^ "Daily Flight Schedule" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  46. ^ a b "Timetable". Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  47. ^ a b "Flight schedules". Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  48. ^ a b "Nashville, TN: Nashville Metropolitan (BNA)". United States Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved 2020.
  49. ^ "EAL BNA 1963 Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  50. ^ "Gulfstream I 1985 Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  51. ^ Eric Schmitt (January 31, 1996). "Jet Aviator Killed in Nashville Had Earlier Crash, Navy Says". New York Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  52. ^ "TWA BNA 1999 Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  53. ^ "NTSB: Pilot wrote letters to Taylor Swift with 'flavor of stalking' before crash". August 6, 2018. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  54. ^ "NTSB: Plane Was Scheduled to Land in Ontario". Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  55. ^ "Southwest flight skids off taxiway in Nashville". CNN. December 15, 2015. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved 2015.

External links

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