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Louisville International Airport

Louisville International Airport
Standiford Field
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA)
Serves Louisville, Kentucky
Hub for UPS Airlines
Elevation AMSL 501 ft / 153 m
SDF is located in Kentucky
Location of airport in Kentucky
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17R/35L 11,887 3,623 Concrete
17L/35R 8,578 2,615 Concrete
11/29 7,250 2,210 Concrete
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft operations 146,939
Based aircraft 31
Passengers (2014) 3,355,811
Sources: FAA,[1] RITA/BTS,[2] Airport website[3]

Louisville International Airport (ICAO: KSDFFAA LID: SDF) is a public and military use public airport centrally located in the city of Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky, US. The airport is situated on approximately 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. Although it currently does not have regularly-scheduled international passenger flights, it is a port of entry, as it handles numerous international cargo flights.[4]

Over 3.2 million passengers and over 4.7 billion pounds (2,350,000 t) of cargo pass through the airport each year.[2] It is also the third busiest in the United States in terms of cargo traffic, and seventh busiest for such in the world.[5]

The airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a "primary commercial service" airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year.[6] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,650,707 enplanements in 2011, a decrease of 0.02% from 1,651,037 in 2010.[7]

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.


  • History 1
  • Facilities and aircraft 2
  • Airlines and destinations 3
    • Passenger 3.1
    • Cargo 3.2
  • Statistics 4
    • Airline market share 4.1
    • Top domestic destinations 4.2
    • Annual traffic 4.3
  • Operations 5
  • Incidents 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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 plan begun in the 1980s.

When Louisville 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.[8] 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, 8,580 feet (2,620 m) long and runway 17R/35L, 11,890 feet (3,620 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.[9] 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 American, Delta, Southwest, United, FedEx and UPS.

Facilities and aircraft

Louisville International-Standiford Field covers 1,500 acres (610 ha) at an elevation of 501 feet (153 m) above mean sea level. It has three concrete runways: 17R/35L is 11,890 by 150 feet (3,624 x 46 m); 17L/35R is 8,579 by 150 feet (2,615 x 46 m); 11/29 is 7,250 by 150 feet (2,210 x 46 m).[1] 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, 2015 the airport had 146,939 aircraft operations, an average of 403 per day: 68% scheduled commercial, 22% air taxi, 8% general aviation, and 2% military. 31 aircraft were then based at this airport: 68% jet, 26% military, and 6% single-engine.[1]

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations Concourse
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth B
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington-National B
Delta Air Lines Atlanta A
Delta Connection Atlanta (ends January 4, 2016), Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Orlando
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa B
United Express Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles A


UPS Airlines is currently the airport's largest operator.

Airlines Destinations
Air Cargo Carriers Beckley, Charleston (WV), Decatur, Warsaw
Ameriflight Huntsville, Knoxville, Moline/Quad Cities, Peoria, Smyrna(TN), South Bend
FedEx Express Cincinnati, Memphis
UPS Airlines Albany (GA), Albany (NY), Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Birmingham (AL), Bogotá, Boston, Buffalo, Burbank, Casablanca, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Cologne/Bonn, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, East Midlands (UK), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Wayne, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hamilton, Harrisburg, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Hong Kong, 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, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Sacramento-Mather, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San José (CA), San Juan, Seattle-Boeing, Sioux Falls, Springfield (MO), Syracuse, Toronto-Pearson, Tulsa, Vancouver, Viracopos-Campinas International Airport, Washington-Dulles, West Palm Beach


Airline market share

Carrier shares for August 2014 – July 2015[10]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Shuttle America

Top domestic destinations

Top domestic destinations (August 2014 – July 2015)[10]
Rank City Airport Passengers
1 Atlanta, GA Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) 319,000
2 Chicago, IL O'Hare International (ORD) 165,000
3 Charlotte, NC Charlotte 146,000
4 Chicago, IL Midway International (MDW) 130,000
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) 123,000
6 Baltimore, MD Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) 117,000
7 Detroit, MI Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 70,000
8 Denver, CO Denver International (DEN) 65,000
9 Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis–Saint Paul (MSP) 57,000
10 Orlando, FL Orlando International (MCO) 50,000

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Louisville Airport, 2003 thru 2014[3]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 3,343,968
2009 3,254,657
2008 3,678,919
2007 3,812,299
2006 3,637,795
2005 3,696,524
2014 3,355,811 2004 3,399,712
2013 3,404,080 2003 3,291,586
2012 3,365,115
2011 3,392,745


Worldport is the worldwide air hub for UPS (United Parcel Service) located at the Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky. 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.[1] Previously, the project was named "Hub 2000." The facility is currently the size of 80 football fields and capable of handling 115 packages a second, or 416,000 per hour.[11] With over 20,000 employees, UPS is one of the largest employers in Louisville and Kentucky. The facility mainly handles express and international packages and letters. Worldport serves all major domestic and international hubs. Over 3.5 million passengers and more than 10 billion pounds of cargo pass through Louisville International Airport each year, making it the 65th busiest domestic airport for passengers and the second busiest for cargo (due to its status as the primary hub for UPS).[12][13] The airport, currently in the midst of major terminal renovations, has three operational runways. The two parallel main runways run north/south and allow for simultaneous takeoffs and landings. The east/west runway is shorter and generally only used in adverse weather conditions.

Louisville International Airport is home to a Shuttle America maintenance complex, capable of holding nine planes, as well as the Compass Airlines main maintenance complex.

In addition to commercial air traffic there is a significant amount of general aviation activity at Louisville International Airport, for business travel and other purposes such as the Kentucky Derby.[14]


See also


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for SDF (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "RITA | BTS | Transtats - Louisville, KY: Louisville International-Standiford Field (SDF)". March 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  3. ^ a b Reports and Statistics. Retrieved on Oct 15, 2015.
  4. ^ US Customs and Border Patrol
  5. ^ "Table 2 – TOTAL CARGO TRAFFIC 2013 - Preliminary World Airport Traffic and Rankings 2013 - High Growth Dubai Moves Up to 7th Busiest Airport - Mar 31, 2014". Airports Council International. March 31, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  6. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2011" (PDF, 1.7 MB). CY 2011 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Engineering News-Record" 209. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ Capital Projects at Louisville Airport Proceed; Officials Keep Eye on Security Costs
  10. ^ a b "Louisville, KY: Louisville International-Standiford Field (SDF)".  
  11. ^ UPS Worldport Facts
  12. ^ "Final Calendar Year 2007 Enplanements and Percent Change from CY06" (PDF). FAA. September 28, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Final CY07 (FY09) Cargo Landed Weight" (PDF). FAA. September 26, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2009. 
  14. ^ Epstein, Curt (5 May 2015). "Derby, Boxing Match Fuel Atlantic's Best Day Ever". Aviation International News. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Keve, Paul W. (August 1, 1995). Prisons and the American Conscience: A History of U.S. Federal Corrections. SIU Press. p. 173. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  16. ^ O'Neil, Tim (June 25, 2011). "A Look Back: Airline hijacking at Lambert in 1972 turns bizarre".  

External links

  • Louisville International Airport, official site
  • Kentucky Air National Guard, official web site
  • Standiford Field ANG / Louisville International Airport at
  • Aerial image from USGS The National Map
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective June 23, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for SDF, effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KSDF
    • ASN accident history for SDF
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KSDF
    • FAA current SDF delay information
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