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Asheville Regional Airport

Asheville Regional Airport (IATA: AVL, ICAO: KAVL, FAA LID: AVL) is a Class C airport near Interstate 26 near the town of Fletcher, 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown Asheville, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, United States. It is owned by the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority.[1] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a small hub primary commercial service facility.[2] In 2018 it served an all-time record number of passengers for the airport, 1,134,568, an increase of 19% over 2017 and the fifth consecutive year of record traffic.[3]

Asheville Regional Airport
Asheville Regional Airport logo.png
Asheville Regional Airport (6284281669).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Asheville
OperatorAsheville Regional Airport Authority
ServesAsheville, North Carolina
LocationAsheville, North Carolina
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL2,165 ft / 660 m
Coordinates35°26′10″N 082°32′30″W / 35.43611°N 82.54167°W / 35.43611; -82.54167Coordinates: 35°26′10″N 082°32′30″W / 35.43611°N 82.54167°W / 35.43611; -82.54167
AVL is located in North Carolina
AVL is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 (Under Construction) 8,001 2,439 Asphalt
17/35 (Temporary Runway) 7,001 2,134 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2018)74,026
Based aircraft (2018)115
Total Passengers Served (12 months ending Dec 2018)1,134,568

The airport opened with a 6500-foot runway in 1961, replacing the airport at 35°26′20″N 82°28′52″W / 35.439°N 82.481°W / 35.439; -82.481 (Former airport serving Asheville).


Asheville Regional Airport covers 900 acres (360 ha) and has one asphalt runway (temporary) measuring 7,001 ft × 100 ft (2,134 m × 30 m).[1] Completion of a permanent 8,001 ft × 150 ft (2,439 m × 46 m) runway was expected by the end of 2019.[4]

In the year ending January 1, 2018 the airport had 74,026 aircraft operations, average 203 per day: 65% general aviation, 16% air taxi, 12% airline, and 7% military. In June 2018, 115 aircraft were based at the airport: 98 single-engine, 9 multi-engine, 6 jet, and 2 helicopter.[1]

The airport sees the following jet airliners regularly:

A Concorde supersonic transport (SST) visited AVL during a 1987 promotional tour and was snowed-in overnight. Chartered Boeing 747s (operated by United Airlines) have visited, as has an Airbus A340 during the visit of Charles, Prince of Wales, to the nearby Biltmore Estate in 1996. AVL's 8,001-foot (2,439 m) runway can handle almost any aircraft.

In April 2010 President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama landed in Asheville aboard a Boeing C-32 for a weekend getaway. In October 2011 President Obama landed in Asheville in the larger Boeing VC-25 to kick off his North Carolina and Virginia bus tour promoting his jobs bill. He gave a speech at the airport, and cited potential enhancements at the airport as part of the jobs push.[6] President Obama returned to Asheville on February 13, 2013, on the same aircraft for a brief visit and speech at a nearby manufacturing facility.

The terminal building opened on June 7, 1961.[7] A $20 million expansion and renovation project began in 1987. The expansion project was completed in 1992, which resulted in an expansion of the ticket lobby, baggage claim area, and administrative office space. A second-level boarding area and jetways were constructed, as well as an atrium to the existing lobby. The second-level boarding area was removed and the ground-level boarding areas were expanded and renovated in 2003, designed by McCreary/Snow Architects, PA and built by Wilkie Construction Company, Inc.[8] In 2009, $17.8 million of improvements were completed, including a Guest Services center, an additional baggage carousel, rental car desks, offices and security enhancements. In November 2017, a new 1,300-space parking deck opened in front of the airport terminal.[9]

As part of Project SOAR (Significant Opportunity for Aviation in our Region), a major airport improvement project, the existing runway (which was over 50 years old) was nearing the end of its useful life and required major reconstruction to continue its use into the future. Also, the existing runway did not meet the most current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements that were put in place long after the runway was originally constructed. In December 2015, a temporary runway was opened west of the existing runway (16/34). The temporary runway 35 Instrument Landing System (ILS) is operational, and Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI) are available on both ends of the runway. The runway magnetic compass heading has shifted slightly over the years, and runway 16/34 will be renamed to runway 17/35.[10] The new runway is scheduled to be in service by the end of summer 2019.[11] Allegiant Air bases Airbus A320 Family aircraft at the airport.[12]

Airline service: 1948-1996Edit

In 1948 Capital Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989) served the former Asheville airport, all with Douglas DC-3s. Capital flew nonstop to Charlotte and Knoxville;[13] Delta flew nonstop to Greenville, SC, and Knoxville;[14] Piedmont flew nonstop to Tri-Cities, TN and Charlotte.[15]

In 1961 Capital Airlines flew Vickers Viscounts to the recently opened new airport with nonstop service to Atlanta, Tri-Cities, TN and Winston/Salem.[16] Capital was acquired by and merged into United Airlines which in 1963 flew Viscounts and Douglas DC-6Bs nonstop to Atlanta, Greensboro, NC, Raleigh/Durham and Washington D.C. National Airport.[17] In 1966 Delta had one daily flight from Asheville, a Douglas DC-7 nonstop to Knoxville and direct to Louisville and Chicago O'Hare Airport.[18] In 1966 Piedmont Fairchild F-27s and Martin 4-0-4s flew nonstop to Atlanta, Charlotte, Knoxville, Roanoke and Tri-Cities, TN.[19]

Piedmont Airlines introduced Boeing 727-100s in 1967, a typical routing being Atlanta - Asheville - Winston/Salem - Roanoke - New York LaGuardia Airport.[20] In 1969 United Boeing 737-200s flew nonstop to Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham; a Delta McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 flew nonstop to Knoxville.[21]

In the April 1975 Official Airline Guide Delta, Piedmont, and United served Asheville.[22] Delta had one daily McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 from Knoxville, originating at Chicago O'Hare Airport via Louisville. Piedmont flew Boeing 737-200s, Fairchild Hiller FH-227s and NAMC YS-11s nonstop from Atlanta, Charleston, WV, Charlotte, Danville, VA, Fayetteville, NC, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, Knoxville, Lynchburg, VA, Nashville, Roanoke, Tri-Cities, TN and Winston/Salem, and direct 737s from Memphis, Richmond, VA and Washington D.C. National Airport. United was flying nonstop Boeing 737-200s from Atlanta, Charleston, WV and Raleigh/Durham. In 1976 United flew direct to Tampa via Atlanta;[23] in 1978 Piedmont 737s flew direct to Chicago O'Hare Airport via Tri-Cities, TN.[24]

Piedmont was the only jet airline at Asheville in February 1985, with Boeing 727-200 and Fokker F28 Fellowship nonstops from Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte and Roanoke and one-stop 727s from Denver, Miami and New York LaGuardia Airport, plus one-stop F28s from New York Newark Airport.[25] This OAG lists nonstop Delta Connection (Atlantic Southeast Airlines) de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7s and Short 360s from Atlanta, and Sunbird Airlines and Wheeler Airlines Beechcraft 99s from Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, plus Wheeler nonstops from Tri-Cities, TN.[25]

American Eagle BAe Jetstream 31s and Saab 340s began serving AVL from Nashville in 1986 and Raleigh-Durham in 1987.[26][27] This ended in 1995 when American closed both hubs.

The April 1995 OAG listed six airlines at Asheville: American Eagle, Delta, Delta Connection, USAir (which had merged with Piedmont in 1989) and USAir Express.[28] Delta and Delta Connection (ASA) had a total of eight nonstops a day from Atlanta, Delta on McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and Delta Connection on ATR 72s and Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias. Delta Connection (Comair) had three EMB-120 Brasilias a day from Cincinnati, a Delta hub. USAir and USAir Express had a total of nine nonstops a day from the USAir hub in Charlotte, USAir with Boeing 737-300s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s and USAir Express with Short 360s. USAir Express also had three nonstop Jetstream 31s a day from Raleigh/Durham, some stopping in Greenville/Spartanburg. Delta ended mainline jets to AVL in December 1995, with ASA taking over with British Aerospace 146s.[29]

In 1996 Midway Airlines briefly flew to its hub at Raleigh-Durham via Midway Connection partner Corporate Airlines Jetstream 31s.[30]

Airlines and destinationsEdit


Carrier sharesEdit

Carrier shares: (May 2017 – Apr 2018)[38]
Rank Airline Passengers % of market
Allegiant Air 325,000 32.26%
PSA (American Eagle) 177,000 17.54%
Skywest 167,000 16.55%
Delta 109,000 10.76%
ExpressJet 70,620 7.0%
Other 160,500 15.89%

Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from AVL (May 2017 – Apr 2018)[38]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
Atlanta, Georgia 142,940 Delta
Charlotte, North Carolina 114,260 American
Newark, New Jersey 52,800 Allegiant, United
Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 48,770 United
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 48,680 Allegiant, Spirit
St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 34,280 Allegiant
Orlando–Sanford, Florida 29,820 Allegiant
Punta Gorda/Ft Myers, Florida 24,270 Allegiant
Baltimore, Maryland 10,650 Allegiant
Vero Beach, Florida 1,400 Elite

Accidents and incidentsEdit

On July 19, 1967 Piedmont Airlines Flight 22, a Boeing 727, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 310 just south of the airport in Hendersonville. The collision happened just moments after the 727 took off from the Asheville Airport. All 82 people on both planes were killed.

On March 14, 2003 a Cessna 177 Cardinal crashed into Old Fort Mountain after taking off from the airport. It killed author Amanda Davis, who was on a book tour promoting her first novel Wonder When You'll Miss Me, and her parents.[39][40]

On October 27, 2004 a Beechcraft Duke crashed about 0.8 of a mile off the departure end of Runway 34 after an apparent right engine failure, killing all four people on board.[41][42]

On May 4, 2007, a 1977 Cessna 182 en route to Asheville Regional Airport crashed near the airport, killing three Georgia men. Initial reports said that rapper Jay-Z was on board. The reports were false.[43]

On October 6, 2017, a terrorist deposited a bag containing an improvised explosive device near the entrance to the Asheville Regional Airport terminal. The bomb was set to explode the following morning at 6:00 AM but was defused after being detected by bomb-sniffing dogs. The terrorist, Michael Christopher Estes, was arrested and faces two federal charges.[44][45][46]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for AVL (Form 5010 PDF), effective June 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ Published 11:09 a.m. ET Jan. 30, 2018 (2019-01-15). "AVL served more than 1 million annual passengers for the first time in its history in 2018". Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  4. ^ "Answer Man: Asheville Airport runway taking forever?". Citizen Times. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  5. ^ a b c "July - Asheville Regional Airport". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  6. ^ |newswell|text|Frontpage|s
  7. ^ "History - Asheville Regional Airport". Archived from the original on 2014-09-05. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Asheville Regional Airport Dedication Plaque - 2012". Airchive. 2CMedia. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  9. ^ "Good news, travelers: AVL opens new parking deck".
  10. ^ "Info for Pilots - Asheville Regional Airport". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Answer Man: Asheville Airport runway taking forever?".
  12. ^
  13. ^, June 1, 1948 Capital timetable
  14. ^, May 1, 1948, Delta timetable
  15. ^, July 1, 1948, Piedmont timetable
  16. ^, June 1, 1961 Capital timetable
  17. ^, Aug. 5, 1963, United timetable
  18. ^, Aug. 1, 1966, Delta timetable
  19. ^, April 24, 1966 Piedmont timetable
  20. ^, May 15, 1967 Piedmont timetable
  21. ^, April 27, 1969, Delta timetable
  22. ^, April 15, 1975, Official Airline Guide
  23. ^, June 11, 1976, United timetable
  24. ^, Dec. 15, 1978 & Sept. 15, 1983 Piedmont timetables
  25. ^ a b, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide
  26. ^ "AABNAhub". 1995-12-14. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  27. ^ "AARDUhub". Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  28. ^, April 2, 1995, Official Airline Guide
  29. ^ "Panama City News Herald Newspaper Archives, Aug 4, 1995". 1995-08-04. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  30. ^ "JIRDUhub". Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  31. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  33. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Elite Airways announces non-stop to Vero Beach from AVL". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  36. ^ "Spirit Route Map". Spirit Airlines.
  37. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  38. ^ a b "RITA BTS Transtats - AVL". April 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  39. ^ Luther, Claudia (March 24, 2003). "Amanda Davis, 32; 1st-Time Novelist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  40. ^ "Amanda Davis, 32, Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Teacher". The New York Times. March 18, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  41. ^ "ATL05FA013 NTSB report 27 October, 2004". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  42. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident 27-OCT-2004 Beechcraft 60 Duke N611JC". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  43. ^ [1][dead link]
  44. ^ Charlie May (2017-10-11). "A thwarted airport bombing receives little national press — and some activists cry foul". Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  45. ^ United States of America v Michael Christopher Estes - Criminal Complaint, United States District Court
  46. ^ "Complaint: Airport bomb suspect wanted 'to fight a war on US soil'". Asheville Citizen-Times. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 14 October 2017.

External linksEdit

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