New Castle Airport
|New Castle Airport|
|2006 USGS aerial photo|
|IATA: ILG – ICAO: KILG – FAA LID: ILG|
|Owner||New Castle County, Delaware|
|Operator||Delaware River and Bay Authority|
|Focus city for||Frontier Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||79 ft / 24 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
New Castle Airport (IATA: ILG, ICAO: KILG, FAA LID: ILG), also known as the New Castle County Airport, is a joint civil-military public airport located in unincorporated New Castle County, Delaware, United States and four miles (6 km) south of the central business district of the city of Wilmington.
The airport was originally established prior to World War II, named the Wilmington Airport and the Greater Wilmington Airport. The facility was taken over by the United States Army Air Forces during the war. Under USAAF control, the airport was renamed New Castle Army Air Base. The primary mission of the airfield was to facilitate the movement of aircraft overseas for delivery to the British and other Allies. Members of the historic Women Air Service Pilots (WASP) served as test and ferry pilots and towed targets for student gunners. There is a statue today at the airport that honors the women of the WASP that served their country in the time of need.
After the war ended, control of the airport was returned to civil authorities. A joint-use agreement was made between the United States Air Force and New Castle County authorities for a portion of the airport being retained for an Air National Guard Base. Trans World Airlines operated a large overhaul base for its overseas planes at the airport until 1957 when the airline moved it to the Kansas City Overhaul Base which became the basis for today's Kansas City International Airport.
In the late 1990s, the county leased the debt-stricken airport to the bi-state Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), operators of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, on a thirty-year lease with the provision that the DRBA may seek up to two additional thirty-year leases.
Since taking over operations of the airport, the DRBA has made the airport profitable, upgraded many aging buildings, and constructed numerous new buildings and facilities on the property.
From 1991 through 1998, again from 2000 to 2006, and since April 2008, the state of Delaware is the only state in the union without any scheduled commercial flights in or out of the state. This is largely due to the small size of the state and the close proximity of large airports in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Salisbury, MD. Skybus Airlines was the last commercial airline to fly out of New Castle Airport, with flights in 2008. Before Skybus, and Delta in 2006, the previous airline with scheduled flights was Shuttle America, which flew out of New Castle as an independent carrier from the airline's founding in November 1998 until February 2000. They offered service to Hartford, Buffalo, and Norfolk, using the 50-seat Dash 8-300 turboprop aircraft. Shuttle America would eventually discontinue its independent operations and become a commuter affiliate of United Express and Delta Connection. Prior to Shuttle America, the last scheduled service was provided to Parkersburg, West Virginia by USAir Express carrier Crown Airways in 1992-1993. United Airlines also served Wilmington, leaving in 1991.
The airport has one terminal, which has only served car rental agencies during those times when the airport did not have commercial air service. On June 29, 2006, Delta Air Lines began new services from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to New Castle Airport, making it the first commercial air service in six years. Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines operated the service using 50 seat CRJ regional jets, with two daily roundtrip flights. However, Delta Air Lines ended the Wilmington flights on September 6, 2007, leaving Delaware without any commercial air service until March 8, 2008, when Skybus Airlines began new air service from Columbus, Ohio and Greensboro, North Carolina to New Castle Airport. Skybus ceased all operations effective April 4, 2008, once again leaving New Castle Airport without any airline service. As of August 4, 2010, Avis Rent a Car System, LLC, Budget Rent A Car System, Inc., and Cafe Bama are the only tenants in the Main Terminal. It was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, on April 9, 2013, the day after expanded service began out of its Trenton, NJ (TTN) eastern US focus city, Frontier Airlines, according to an executive with the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO), will begin service July 1, 2013 from Wilmington/New Castle Del. Airport (ILG) to Chicago-Midway, Orlando, Tampa, Houston and Denver, its home base.
Facilities and aircraft
New Castle Airport covers an area of 1,250 acres (510 ha) which contains three asphalt paved runways: 1/19 measuring 7,012 x 150 ft (2,137 x 46 m), 9/27 measuring 7,181 x 150 ft (2,189 x 46 m), and 14/32 measuring 4,603 x 150 ft (1,403 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending October 31, 2011, the airport had 67,328 aircraft operations, an average of 184 per day: 85% general aviation, 10% military, and 5% air taxi. There are 209 aircraft based at this airport: 48% single engine, 28% jet, 12% multi-engine, 2% helicopter and 10% military.
Airline and destinations
Frontier Airlines, which markets the airport as "Wilmington/Philadelphia", will begin service to the airport in July 2013. The Company will offer five new nonstop routes on 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. The service is thought to be part of Frontier's effort to remake itself as an "ultra-low cost carrier," after it eliminated service to Philadelphia in 2012.
|Frontier Airlines||Chicago-Midway (begins July 1, 2013),Denver (begins July 2, 2013),Houston Intercontinental (begins July 1, 2013),Orlando (begins July 2, 2013),Tampa (begins July 4, 2013)|
- FAA Airport Master Record for ILG ( PDF), effective 2011-10-31
- "Low-cost carrier Skybus calls it quits". MSNBC. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- New Castle Airport (official site)
- Fixed base operators (FBOs):
- (PDF), effective May 30, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ILG, effective May 30, 2013
- Resources for this airport: