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Niagara Falls International Airport is a joint civil-military public-use airport located four miles (6 km) east of the central business district of Niagara Fallsmarker, a city in Niagara Countymarker, New Yorkmarker, United Statesmarker. Owned and operated by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the airport shares its runways with the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. The airport lies within Class D airspace and has an operating FAA control tower.

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 660 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2005 and 1,409 unscheduled enplanements in 2006. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007-2011, Niagara Falls International is classified as a general aviation airport.

At this time the airport primarily handles general aviation and military aircraft of all sizes. Niagara Falls International began airline service in March 2007 to Myrtle Beach International Airportmarker with Myrtle Beach Direct; a new terminal building is slated for opening in 2009. For a wider range of aviation in the Niagara Falls area, see Buffalo Niagara International Airportmarker.

History

Niagara Falls International Airport was opened in 1928 as a city-owned municipal airport with four crushed-stone runways. During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces assumed control of the airport and upgraded its facilities to be used as an Army Air Force base. After the war, the base became a Reserve and National Guard installation, and then an Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard installation in 1947 following the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as independent service. Civilian aviation operations also resumed during the post-war period under a joint-use arrangement.

Military Facilities

Today, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is home to the Air Force Reserve Command's 914th Airlift Wing (914 AW) flying the C-130 Hercules and the New York Air National Guard's 107th Air Refueling Wing (107 ARW) flying the KC-135 Stratotanker. Both wings are operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The main runway was extended to over 9,000 feet (2,743 m) in 1959 to handle larger military aircraft, and was extended again in 2003 to its current length of 9,829 feet (2,996 m). For all practical purposes, the facility is a small Air Force base.

Both the 914 AW and 107 ARW number in excess of 1,100 military personnel each (over 2,200 total): full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technicians (ART), as well as "traditional" part-time Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel.

The New York Army National Guard also maintains an Army Aviation Support Facility at the station in support of operational Army flying units, both fixed-wing and rotary-wing.

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was included in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommendations issued by the Department of Defensemarker on May 13, 2005. If the BRAC committee, the President, and Congress had approved all of the recommendations, it would have resulted in the closure of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. However, due to a local grassroots campaign by families and associates of affected military personnel, coupled with a united political effort involving Republican and Democratic congressional representatives and other politicians including both US Senators from New York, the BRAC recommendation regarding this base was largely overturned and the base will remain open for the foreseeable future. Excluding several New York Air National Guard facilities that are "nominally" under "state control," the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is the last major U.S. Air Force installation in the State of New York and the largest U.S. federal facility in the region.

Commercial Flight Operations

From 1980 to 1984, commercial airline service was available at the airport via Air Niagara, a post-Deregulation airline with service to Newark Airportmarker. Empire Airlines also served the airport at one time, with service to Syracusemarker. Kiwi International briefly served the airport in 1998.

Today, the airport lacks regularly scheduled commercial air service and civilian operations other than general aviation and air cargo consist primarily of charter and seasonal airline activities. A new terminal complex is under construction to better service existing air service and is intended as an incentive to return scheduled regional and domestic passenger service to the airport. This new terminal complex is scheduled for completion in mid-2009.

Facilities and aircraft

Niagara Falls International Airport covers an area of 1,067 acres (432 ha) which contains three paved runways:
  • Runway 6/24: 5,189 x 150 ft (1,582 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 10L/28R: 9,829 x 150 ft (2,996 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 10R/28L: 3,973 x 75 ft (1,211 x 23 m), Surface: Asphalt


For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 42,512 aircraft operations, an average of 116 per day: 69% general aviation, 26% military, 3% air taxi and 1% scheduled commercial.

Planned terminal

Niagara Falls International Airport is currently working on the construction of the new terminal with two gates, to be opened in 2009. The terminal will consist of one jetway and one ground-loading gate and will be able to accommodate aircraft ranging up to a Boeing 747 in size. The exterior is designed to reflect Niagara Fallsmarker' water flow. Total project cost is an estimated $43.9 million, $31.5 million for the terminal and $12.4 million for runway apron and landside improvements.

Airlines and destinations



Nearby airports

0G0 - North Buffalo Suburban Airportmarker (11 nm E)

KBUF - Buffalo Niagara International Airportmarker (14 nm SE)

9G0 - Buffalo Airfieldmarker (18 nm SE)

9G3 - Akron Airportmarker (21 nm E)

9G6 - Pine Hill Airportmarker (30 nm E)

Source: AirNav

See also



References

  1. FAA Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data: 2006
  2. FAA National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems: 2007-2011
  3. New Terminal Initiative


External links




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