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Huntsville International Airport

Huntsville International Airport
Carl T. Jones Field
WMO: 72323
Airport type Public
Owner Huntsville / Madison County Airport Authority
Serves Huntsville, Alabama
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 629 ft / 192 m
HSV is located in Alabama
Location of airport in Alabama
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18R/36L 12,600 3,840 Asphalt
18L/36R 10,006 3,050 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations 80,726
Based aircraft 75

Huntsville International Airport (ICAO: KHSVFAA LID: HSV) (Carl T. Jones Field) is a public airport ten miles southwest of downtown Huntsville, in Madison County, Alabama, United States.[1]

The airport is a part of the Port of Huntsville (along with the International Intermodal Center and Jetplex Industrial Park), and serves the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Opened October 1967 as the Huntsville Jetport, this was the third airport site for Huntsville.[3][4][5] Today it has 12 gates with restrooms, shops, restaurants, phones and large murals depicting aviation and space exploration scenes. There is a Four Points by Sheraton above the ticketing area/lobby, and adjacent to the terminal is a parking garage and to opposite sides are the control tower and a golf course. The airport's west runway, at 12,600 ft (3,800 m), is the second longest in the southeastern United States, being just 400 ft (120 m) shorter than the longest runway at Miami International Airport.

The airport's "Fly Huntsville" jingle encourages passengers to depart from Huntsville instead of driving to Birmingham or Nashville.[6] A hesitancy to fly from HSV may be understandable, as an August 2009 report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the first quarter of 2009 revealed that Huntsville passengers paid, on average, the highest airfares in the United States.[7] The airport reported that commercial airline passenger traffic at Huntsville International increased 2.3 percent in January 2010 over the previous year.[8]

This airport is in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which called it a primary commercial service airport.[9] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 612,690 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[10] 572,767 in 2009 and 606,127 in 2010.[11]


  • Facilities and aircraft 1
  • Airlines and destinations 2
    • Statistics 2.1
  • Past airline service 3
    • Cargo 3.1
  • Expansion 4
  • Incidents 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Facilities and aircraft

Huntsville International Airport covers 6,000 acres (2,428 ha) at an elevation of 629 feet (192 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 18R/36L is 12,600 by 150 feet (3,840 x 46 m) and 18L/36R is 10,006 by 150 feet (3,050 x 46 m).[1]

In the year ending October 31, 2010 the airport had 80,726 aircraft operations, average 221 per day: 34% military, 26% air taxi, 24% general aviation, and 16% scheduled commercial. 75 aircraft were then based at this airport: 77% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, and 3% jet.[1]

Airlines and destinations

Huntsville International Airport is served by four airlines representing the three international airline alliances. Some service is flown by the regional affiliates of these airlines via code sharing agreements.

Airlines Destinations
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-National
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit
United Express Houston-Intercontinental, Washington-Dulles


Carrier shares: (Jan 2014- Dec 2014)[12]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Air Wisconsin
Top domestic destinations: (Jan 2014- Dec 2014)[12]
Rank Airport Passengers Airline
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL) 216,000 Delta
2 Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) 75,000 American
3 Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) 73,000 US Airways
4 Washington Ronald Reagan National (DCA) 43,000 US Airways
5 Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) 39,000 United
6 Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) 31,000 American, United
7 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 16,000 Delta
8 Denver International (DEN) 13,000 United
9 Washington-Dulles (IAD) 10,000 United

Past airline service

From 1969 to 1980 Huntsville (HSV) had nonstop or direct jet flights to Los Angeles as well as to Florida and Texas during the U.S. space program. These flights served the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

In June 1967 Eastern Airlines introduced "The Space Corridor" linking Huntsville with aerospace centers in St. Louis and Seattle and also with the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the June 13, 1967 timetable, Eastern daily Boeing 727-100s flew to St. Louis and on to Seattle, and nonstop to Orlando continuing to Melbourne, Florida, near the Kennedy Space Center. Eastern flew direct Douglas DC-9-30s to Houston, home of the NASA Johnson Space Center, via New Orleans during the late 1960s. Eastern also had direct jets to Chicago during the early 1970s via Nashville.

In November 1967 Eastern scheduled nine departures each weekday from the then new airport while United had four and Southern operated 17.

United Airlines also recognized the importance of Huntsville to the NASA space program and started nonstop Boeing 727-100s to Los Angeles in 1969. United first served Huntsville in 1961 when it acquired Capital Airlines which had scheduled Vickers Viscounts nonstop from Huntsville's old airport (at ) (1949 diagram) to Memphis, Knoxville and Washington, D.C. and direct to New York (LaGuardia and Newark) and Philadelphia. Until 1967 United used the same British-built Viscounts and then introduced Boeing 727-100s into Huntsville in the late 1960s. In August 1982 United had direct 727s to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver as well as nonstop Boeing 737-200s to Washington, D.C.

Southern Airways also served Huntsville. In the late 1960s Southern introduced Douglas DC-9-10s with 75 seats into their fleet which had consisted of 40-seat Martin 4-0-4. Southern's timetable in September 1968 listed nonstop jets to Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans and Muscle Shoals, AL. The airline was still flying the Martin 4-0-4 from Huntsville at that time. By summer 1978 the airline mainly operated Douglas DC-9-10 and DC-9-30s. Southern's timetable in July 1978 listed nonstop DC-9s from Huntsville to Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, Nashville and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Southern had direct DC-9s from Huntsville to New York City (LaGuardia Airport), Washington, D,C. (Dulles Airport), Denver, St. Louis, Detroit and Wichita. In 1979 Southern merged with North Central Airlines to form Republic Airlines which continued to serve Huntsville. Republic was acquired by Northwest Airlines which later merged with Delta Air Lines.

Service to Atlanta (ATL) hit a high point in early 1985 when 17 nonstops a day flew HSV to ATL on four airlines, three flying "main line" jets. In the February 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide, Eastern Airlines had Boeing 727-100 and Douglas DC-9-50 flights, Republic Airlines was flying Douglas DC-9-10, DC-9-30 and DC-9-50s, United Airlines flew Boeing 727-100s and Delta Connection, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA, which currently operates as ExpressJet), had de Havilland Canada DHC-7 "Dash 7" and Shorts 360 turboprops. Today Delta Air Lines and their affiliate Delta Connection are the only air carriers flying between Huntsville and Atlanta.

The air traffic control tower in this 1977 picture has since been replaced.

By the end of 1985 Huntsville had no nonstop flights beyond DFW, MEM, Knoxville and ATL.

Currently only American Airlines and Delta Air Lines operate main line jets into the airport. American has McDonnell Douglas MD-80s nonstop to Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) with some flights to DFW being flown by American Eagle Embraer ERJ-140 regional jets. American also flew Boeing 727-200, Fokker 100 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets between Huntsville and Nashville (BNA) in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the airline had a hub there. Delta operates McDonnell Douglas MD-88s and previously flew Douglas DC-9-50s nonstop to Atlanta (ATL) with some flights being flown by ExpressJet Canadair CRJ-700 and CRJ-200 regional jets as Delta Connection service to ATL.


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Louisville
Atlas Air Anchorage, Hong Kong, Luxembourg
Cargolux Atlanta, Luxembourg
FedEx Express Memphis
FedEx Express
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
Panalpina London-Stansted, Luxembourg
UPS Airlines Louisville


National Weather Service office at the airport during the 1970s

In 1989, Huntsville International became the first airport in the United States to install an ASR-9 dual-channel airport surveillance radar system.[13]

Currently, Huntsville International is undergoing major renovations of the concourse facilities, which will add:

  • A $60 million terminal expansion (under construction)
  • A new 219 ft (67 m) tall control tower (completed in 2007, opened May 4, 2008)
  • An expanded 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) concession area on concourse (opened April 12, 2008)
  • Upgraded flight information display systems at gates & parking areas (completed in 2007)
  • A parking deck expansion with 1,330 additional parking spaces (completed in December 2008)
  • An enlarged 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) public waiting and security screening area (completed in June 2009)
  • An expansion on the west runway, making it the second longest in the southeast (completed in 2006)
  • A new taxiway between both runways with a 269 ft (82 m) tunnel running underneath (under construction)
  • A new air cargo building at the International Intermodal Center, which will include about 92,000 square feet (8,500 m2) (completed in February 2009)
  • Security system improvement (completed in October 2008)
  • Taxiway "L" between the airport's east and west runways (completed in October 2008)
  • Dirt work on a new Jetplex Industrial Park north access road linking the airport's entrance to Wall Triana Highway (completed in July 2008)
  • AirTran started servicing HSV with direct flights to Orlando in May 2010 and to Baltimore in June 2010. AirTran ended all service on August 12, 2012.

Also, plans are underway for another terminal area, added runways, and the lengthening of the two current runways.


  • On April 4, 1977, [15]
  • On December 11, 1991, a [16]
  • On June 18, 2014, an IAI Westwind corporate aircraft crashed upon takeoff, killing all 3 on board.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for HSV (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (HSV: Huntsville Intl)".  
  3. ^ "Huntsville's New Jetport Will Be First of Its Kind".  
  4. ^ Christianson, Virgil (February 8, 1968). "New Huntsville Jetport Brings Vast Industrial Potential to the Area".  
  5. ^ Freeman, Paul. "Alabama: Huntsville area".  
  6. ^ Baskas, Harriet (March 12, 2008). "Better branding through music: Original airport theme songs". USA Today. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (August 4, 2009). "Flights from Huntsville ranked most expensive". WAAY-TV. 
  8. ^ Clines, Keith (February 10, 2010). "Passenger traffic at airport starts to climb". The Huntsville Times. 
  9. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" ( 
  10. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Huntsville, AL: Huntsville International-Carl T Jones Field (HSV)".  
  13. ^ "Huntsville airport gets new radar system". The Tuscaloosa News. May 12, 1989. p. 7. 
  14. ^ Ayres, Jr., B. Drummond (April 6, 1977). "Hail in Engines Is Blamed in Georgia Crash Killing 68".  
  15. ^ Purl, Sandy; Lewis, Gregg A. (April 1986). Am I Alive?: A Surviving Flight Attendant's Struggle and Inspiring Triumph over Tragedy.  
  16. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  17. ^ Grass, Jonathan (June 18, 2014). "Plane crash at Huntsville International Airport claims 3 lives".  
  18. ^ Robinson, Carol; Davidson, Tiffany (June 19, 2014). "3 men killed in Wednesday plane crash identified".  

External links

  • Huntsville International Airport, official site
  • Aerial image as of March 2002 from USGS The National Map
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective June 23, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for HSV, effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KHSV
    • ASN accident history for HSV
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KHSV
    • FAA current HSV delay information

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