The Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA) is responsible for owning, operating and developing Louisville International Airport (SDF) and Bowman Field (LOU). If you are interested in exploring business, employment or volunteer opportunities or reviewing reports and statistics, please click here.
Louisville International Airport (SDF)
Just 10 minutes from downtown, Louisville International Airport is a low-fare airport that draws travelers within a 200-mile radius of the city. The airport now has nonstop service to more than 25 destinations and convenient connections to cities worldwide. The airport accommodated almost 3.4 million passengers in 2012.
Louisville International ranks third in North America—and seventh in the world—in the total amount of cargo handled as home of United Parcel Service (UPS) international air-sorting hub. The airport handled more than 4.7 billion pounds of cargo, freight and mail in 2012.
Louisville International is situated on 1,200 acres. The passenger terminals comprise more than 360,000 sq. ft. and have 23 boarding gates. The airport offers 5,957 public parking spaces — including a 4-level parking garage, with three levels under cover and a convenient credit-card-only parking lot next to the passenger terminal.
The airport consists of two parallel runways, one crosswind runway and more than 62,000 linear feet of taxiways. Aircraft operations (take offs and landings) totaled 152,998 in 2011.
Runway lengths are as follows:
11/29 — 7,250 feet
17L/35R — 8,580 feet
17R/35L — 11,890 feet
For more detailed airfield information, visit www.gcr1.com/5010web/.
General Aviation Services
Atlantic Aviation Services at Louisville International (SDF) is a comprehensive facility with complete line service. In addition to the comfortable and convenient features of a new terminal and corporate hangar, Atlantic Aviation has developed an exclusive hand-held fuel management technology to handle quick-turn requirements. For more information, call General Manager Mike Agee at (502) 368-1515 or visit www.atlanticaviation.com/Locations/SDF.aspx.
In addition to commercial passenger and general aviation activities, Louisville International Airport is home to the Kentucky Air National Guard and UPS. UPS has become Kentucky’s second largest private-sector employer.
Kentucky Air National Guard
The Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing is based at Louisville International Airport and provides worldwide theater airlift for U.S. military and humanitarian operations. The wing is equipped with 12 C-130H model aircraft. Eight squadrons and seven flights carry out the unit’s mission by providing administrative and logistical support. For more information, visit www.123aw.ang.af.mil.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
The future of Louisville International Airport changed dramatically when, in 1982, United Parcel Service (UPS) began a new overnight-delivery business with hub operations at Louisville’s airport. UPS built a 35-acre apron for parking additional aircraft, initially employing 135 people and sorting 2,000 packages its first night.
Worldport, UPS’s international air express hub, sits prominently between Louisville International Airport’s parallel runways, connecting Louisville to 220 countries and territories in mere hours. UPS initially invested $1 billion in Worldport, which opened in 2002.
In April 2010, UPS completed a $1 billion expansion that increased sorting capacity by 37 percent to 416,000 packages per hour.
The expansion plan, which added two aircraft load/unload “wings” to the hub and a high-speed conveyor and computer control systems, increased Worldport by 1.2 million square feet to 5.2 million square feet (the equivalent of more than 90 football fields).
These expansions could have even greater significance for the area’s economy as the hub becomes a magnet for other industries. For more information, visit www.ups.com.
Worldport is the home base of UPS’s global air network and UPS Airlines, one of the world’s foremost cargo carriers. The company’s extensive air network includes international air hubs in Ontario, Canada; Shanghai, China; Miami, Fla. (to serve Latin America); Koln, Germany; Hong Kong and a recently completed intra-Asia hub in Shenzhen, China.
Heavy Airfreight Hub
In 2005, UPS chose Louisville for its heavy airfreight hub after closing the Dayton, Ohio, air hub of Menlo Worldwide Forwarding, which it had recently purchased.
A new $82.5 million, 686,000-square-foot heavy freight facility was added to the existing operations in Louisville. The heavy airfreight hub began their express air freight operation in June 2006. The freight operation employs approximately 850 people.
Powering the Regional Economy
Louisville International Airport and Bowman Field comprise the largest employment center in Louisville Metro. Growth at the airports translates into additional jobs, payroll, business expenditures and construction projects, as well as generating additional local and state tax revenues for the region.
The airports fuel the economy by helping retain and attract business, conventions and tourists. They provide access to world markets overnight and connect passengers to world destinations quickly.
In 2011, Louisville’s airports generated recurring economic impacts of:
- More than 64,135 jobs
- More than $2.28 billion in payroll
- More than $7 billion in economic activity and
- More than $320 million in state and local taxes
In 1985, reflecting Louisville’s passion for the arts, the airport’s Standiford Art Foundation (among the first foundations of its kind) actively began soliciting contributions for the placement of art and original commissions throughout the airport.
Today, as visitors walk through the airport, they encounter a stunning collection of public art. A playful sculpture evokes images of flight. Photographs detail the sights of the community and its environment. Painstakingly handcrafted quilts provide exquisite testimony to a cherished folk tradition. The essence of the city is captured in acrylic and canvas. And Pegasus, the mythical winged horse that’s the soul and symbol of our airports, flies in the landside rotunda.