Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport

Last updated

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
Birmingham International Airport.svg
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.jpg
NAIP aerial image, June 2006
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Birmingham
OperatorBirmingham Airport Authority
Serves Birmingham, Alabama
Hub for AirMed International
Elevation  AMSL 650 ft / 198 m
Coordinates 33°33′50″N086°45′08″W / 33.56389°N 86.75222°W / 33.56389; -86.75222 Coordinates: 33°33′50″N086°45′08″W / 33.56389°N 86.75222°W / 33.56389; -86.75222
USA Alabama location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Location in Alabama
Direction LengthSurface
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft Operations101,202
Based Aircraft (2017)222
Freight (2015)177,166,860 lbs
Sources: FAA [1] [2] [3]

Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport( IATA : BHM [4] , ICAO : KBHM, FAA LID : BHM), formerly Birmingham Municipal Airport and later Birmingham International Airport, is a civil-military airport serving Birmingham, Alabama and its metropolitan area, including Tuscaloosa. It is in Jefferson County, five miles northeast of downtown Birmingham, [1] near the interchange of Interstates 20 and 59.

An IATA airport code, also known as an IATA location identifier, IATA station code or simply a location identifier, is a three-letter code designating many airports and metropolitan areas around the world, defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The characters prominently displayed on baggage tags attached at airport check-in desks are an example of a way these codes are used.

ICAO airport code four-letter code designating many airports around the world

The ICAOairport code or location indicator is a four-letter code designating aerodromes around the world. These codes, as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and published in ICAO Document 7910: Location Indicators, are used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning.

Federal Aviation Administration United States Government agency dedicated to civil aviation matters

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization.


BHM averages 301 aircraft operations a day, including 136 flights to 43 airports in 40 cities. [1] [5] BHM served 2,972,776 passengers in 2018, [3] and is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Alabama by passenger volume. [6]

Alabama A state in the United States

Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

The airfield can handle all aircraft types. The main runway is 12,007 feet (3,660 m) long. [7] The secondary runway is 7,099 feet (2,164 m) long. A Category II ILS allows operations in visibility as low as a quarter-mile.

The airport was renamed in July 2008 after Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, founding president of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and a leader of the Birmingham campaign during the Civil Rights Movement.

Fred Shuttlesworth Civil rights activist

Frederick Lee "Fred" Shuttlesworth was a U.S. civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, initiated and was instrumental in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, and continued to work against racism and for alleviation of the problems of the homeless in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he took up a pastorate in 1961. He returned to Birmingham after his retirement in 2007. He helped Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.

The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) was a civil rights organization in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, which coordinated boycotts and sponsored federal lawsuits aimed at dismantling segregation in Birmingham and Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. Fred Shuttlesworth, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, served as president of the group from its founding in 1956 until 1969. The ACMHR's crowning moment came during the pivotal Birmingham Campaign which it coordinated along with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Spring of 1963.

Birmingham campaign American Civil Rights Campaign in Alabama

The Birmingham campaign, or Birmingham movement, was a movement organized in early 1963 by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the integration efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, Fred Shuttlesworth and others, the campaign of nonviolent direct action culminated in widely publicized confrontations between young black students and white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal government to change the city's discrimination laws.

The Southern Museum of Flight currently operates on Airport Authority property, to the east side of the north–south runway. There are plans for it to relocate to a new site near the Barber Motorsports Park.

Southern Museum of Flight aviation museum in Birmingham, Alabama, USA

The Southern Museum of Flight is a civilian aviation museum Birmingham, Alabama USA. The facility features nearly 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. In addition, the Southern Museum of Flight is home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame, which presents Alabama Aviation History through collective biography.

Barber Motorsports Park motorsport venue in the United States

Barber Motorsports Park is an 880-acre multi-purpose racing facility located in Birmingham, Alabama. It was built by Alabama native George W. Barber, and includes the 230,000-square-foot Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum. It has been the site of the IndyCar Series' Grand Prix of Alabama since 2010. The Annual Barber Vintage Festival has taken place at the park each October since 2005. Barber is also the home of the Porsche Track Experience.


Aerial photo of Birmingham Airport, March 1951 BirminghamItlApt-9mar1951.jpg
Aerial photo of Birmingham Airport, March 1951

Commercial air service to Birmingham began in 1928 by St. Tammy and Gulf Coast Airways, at Roberts Field on the west side of Birmingham on a route from Atlanta, Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana. [8] Delta Air Service began service to Birmingham in late 1929 with six seat Travel Air airplanes along a route from Love Field in Dallas, Texas to Birmingham. [9] When American Airways (now American Airlines) began their Atlanta, Georgia to Fort Worth, Texas route, Birmingham was not included because their Ford Tri-Motors could not land at Roberts Field. So Birmingham began construction of what is now Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport. [10]

Delta Air Lines, Inc., typically referred to as Delta, is one of the major airlines of the United States and a legacy carrier. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline, along with its subsidiaries and regional affiliates, including Delta Connection, operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on 6 continents. Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

Travel Air Defunct American manufacturer of light aircraft based in Wichita, KS

The Travel Air Manufacturing Company was an aircraft manufacturer established in Wichita, Kansas, United States in January 1925 by Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman.

Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas Love Field is a city-owned public airport 6 miles (10 km) northwest of downtown Dallas, Texas. It was Dallas' main airport until 1974 when Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) opened.

The airport opened on May 31, 1931 with a two-story, white, Georgian style terminal and a single east–west runway. The terminal was just east of the later 1962 and 1971 terminal complexes. [11] [12] No remains of the 1931 terminal or landscaping are visible. With the addition of American Airlines in 1931 and Eastern Airlines in 1934, air traffic increased enough to warrant a second runway. [10]

World War II saw the airport leased to the United States Army Air Forces for $1 a year to support national defense. Birmingham Army Airfield was a section assigned to the Third Air Force as a fighter base, operated by the 310th Army Air Force Base Unit. The Army Air Force considerably improved the airport with land acquisitions, paving of additional taxiways, and construction of a control tower and an aircraft modification center south of the terminal (this is now closed.). [10]

Around the 1940s, Birmingham was considered as a potential air transportation hub for the Deep South. However, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines and the United States Postal Service each opted to use Atlanta for this purpose instead. One factor was an aviation fuel tax imposed by the City of Birmingham in the 1940s; other factors included Birmingham's location in the Central Time Zone, which placed it at a disadvantage in accommodating traffic between East Coast points, and a relatively strong sales and marketing campaign by Atlanta under Mayor William Hartsfield. [13]

After the airport returned to city control in August 1948 Southern Airways began service. [10] In March 1951 four runways were in use, Runways 5/23 (now 6/24) and 18/36, and runways at about 45/225 degrees north of Runway 5/23 and 85/265 degrees mostly south of Runway 5/23. Runway lengths were about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) to 5,500 feet (1,700 m). The runway at 45/225 degrees is now largely removed, though a paved portion remains crossing taxiway F near the Alabama Air National Guard facilities, used for airport equipment and helicopter landing/parking. The runway at 85/265 is also mostly removed, with remaining segments making up taxiway A5 and a portion of taxiway F east of Runway 18/36. [11] [14]

By 1959 Runway 5/23 was 10,000 feet (3,000 m) and service was started to Birmingham by Capital Airlines with Vickers Viscounts. The first scheduled jets were Delta Convair 880s in October 1961, flying ATL-BHM-MSY-LAX and back. (Birmingham then had nonstops to Newark and Washington, but no other nonstops beyond Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans, and no nonstops to Florida.) In the late 1960s Douglas DC-8, Douglas DC-9, Convair 880 and Boeing 727s were all scheduled to BHM.

During the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, pilots and crews from the Alabama Air National Guard's 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Birmingham were selected to train Cuban exile fliers in Nicaragua to fly the Douglas B-26 Invader in the close air support role. Although the 117th was flying the RF-84F Thunderflash, it had only recently retired its RB-26C Invaders, the last squadron in the Air Force to do so; thus the 117th was seen as the logical choice for the CIA's secret mission. Seven of the volunteer aviators participated combat operations during the final day of the invasion, on August 19, 1961. Birmingham natives Leo Baker, Wade Gray, Riley Shamburger, and Thomas "Pete" Ray were killed when their (two) aircraft were shot down. While American involvement had been suspected since before the invasion even began, Pete Ray's frozen body was kept as concrete proof of U.S. support. [15]

The lobby of the 1962 Birmingham Air Terminal viewed from the front doors. The ticketing area is in the background and the stair led to the boarding area. The terminal was torn down to make way for the 2011 terminal expansion. 1962 Birmingham Air Terminal IMG 3089.JPG
The lobby of the 1962 Birmingham Air Terminal viewed from the front doors. The ticketing area is in the background and the stair led to the boarding area. The terminal was torn down to make way for the 2011 terminal expansion.

Continued growth in passenger traffic by 1962 resulted in the construction of a second passenger terminal and a new air traffic control tower, [10] built west of the original 1931 terminal. This was dedicated on February 11, 1962 as the Birmingham Air Terminal. Charles H. McCauley Associates was the supervising architect and Radar & Associates was the designing architect. [16] It consisted of a single story building of repeated bays with steeply pitched roofs, which flanked a wider, higher center bay at the south end of the building for ticketing. A long, flat roofed northern section comprised the ground-level aircraft gates. [12] [17] The south portion remains today for various airport support functions.

In 1973 the current semi-circular terminal was completed west of the 1962 terminal and air traffic control tower. It had 15 aircraft gates and a 1,600 space parking deck. Allegheny Airlines (later US Airways) began service from Birmingham to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1970s. Deregulation of the airline industry saw airlines such as Comair, Florida Express, People Express, Air New Orleans, L'Express Airlines, and most importantly Southwest Airlines enter the Birmingham market. [10] The city unsuccessfully lobbied Piedmont Airlines to establish a Birmingham hub in the 1980s; American Airlines considered Birmingham as the site for a new north-south hub around the same time, but opted to establish hubs in Nashville and Raleigh/Durham instead. [13]

With the introduction of flights to Canada and Mexico, the official name of the airport was changed to Birmingham International Airport on October 20, 1993. [18] Also in 1993, the airport marked the completion of a $50.4m terminal renovation. [19]

In the early 1990s Runway 18/36 was extended to 7,100 feet, allowing use by airline jets. By the early 2000s Birmingham had built a new 211 feet (64 m) tall control tower and completed improvements to the air cargo areas, including a new facility at the far west end. The 1960s blue air traffic control tower was demolished in 2001. In 2006 Birmingham International Airport celebrated its 75th year. In July 2007 an 2,000-foot (610 m) eastward extension to Runway 6/24 was completed. Now 12,007 feet (3,660 m) in length, Runway 6/24 allows a fully loaded Boeing 747 to land or take off. [10] [20]

On June 23, 2008 Birmingham city mayor Larry Langford announced his proposal to rename the airport as the Fred L. Shuttlesworth International Airport, in honor of civil rights activist Fred Shuttlesworth. [21] On July 16, 2008, Mayor Langford and the Birmingham Airport Authority voted to change the name of the airport from the Birmingham International Airport to the Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport after the former civil rights activist. The name change cost about $300,000. [22] The FAA approved the name change and signage of the airport took place on April 3, 2009. In 2011, The Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport broke ground on a bold new Terminal Modernization Project. Three years later, the completed project provided a beautiful new terminal that nearly doubled the airport's footprint, but with minimal impact on their community and environment.


Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport covers 2,000 acres (809 ha) at an elevation of 650 feet (198 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 6/24 is 12,007 by 150 feet (3,660 x 46 m) and 18/36 is 7,099 by 150 feet (2,164 x 46 m). [1]

Atlantic Aviation operates two general aviation fixed-base operator facilities, and there are numerous corporate hangars north of Runway 6/24 and east of Runway 18/36. AirMed International, a fixed-wing air ambulance company, operates its main hub from here.

There is a large, full service aircraft modification and maintenance facility on the south side of the airport. It was originally built during World War II, but was subsequently expanded. While little work is now performed at the complex, the facility sits on approximately 180 acres of land and has 1.7 million square feet under its roof. It has 10 aircraft pull-through bays with space under the roof for 54 737 sized narrow-body aircraft.

In 2014 the airport had 94,534 aircraft operations, an average of 259 movements per day. Itinerant aircraft movements broke down as follows: 41% general aviation, 26% scheduled commercial, 26% air taxi, and 6% military. A total of 242 aircraft were then based at this airport. [1]

Commercial aircraft

Seven narrow body mainline airplanes start the day at Birmingham International Airport in May 2008. See photo description for more details. BHM dawn IMG 0603.JPG
Seven narrow body mainline airplanes start the day at Birmingham International Airport in May 2008. See photo description for more details.

In September 2014 typical commercial passenger traffic included Airbus A319/A320s, Boeing 737s, Boeing 757, Embraer 170s, MD-80s, Boeing 717s, CRJ 900s, CRJ700s, CRJ 200s, and Embraer 145s models on about 128 take offs or landings daily. [23] The dominant mainline aircraft was the Boeing 737 due to Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines service. Delta also uses the Airbus A319/A320 and MD-88 on its mainline flights. Seasonally, Delta uses the Boeing 757. American Eagle (Republic Airlines) and Delta Connection (Compass Airlines) uses the Embraer 170. The CRJ700/900 family was the most common regional aircraft, being used by American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express. The Canadair Regional Jets and ERJ 145 shared the second spot for regional jets, being utilized by the airlines above as well as American Eagle. Southern Airways Express operates on demand charter flights to select cities on the Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft (the only scheduled passenger service to BHM on turbo-prop aircraft). Mountain Air Cargo also operates daily flights to Memphis using the ATR-72 twin-turboprop aircraft on behalf of FedEx Express. FedEx operates their Boeing 757-200 as well as the Airbus A300-600; while UPS uses their Boeing 767-300F (seasonal), these are the only wide body aircraft to routinely use the airport. Numerous other aircraft are used for frequent charter flights. Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport is also a primary diversion airport for both Memphis International Airport and Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport due to its 12,007 ft runway, which frequently brings brief but unique visitors.

Military aircraft

Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base [24] is also located at the airport. It covers of approximately 147 acres and essential facilities to support the mission of the 117th Air Refueling Wing (117 ARW), an Alabama Air National Guard unit operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC), and its KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. [25]

The 117 ARW occupies 101 facilities including offices, mission support structures, maintenance hangars, a petroleum/oil/lubricants (POL) storage and refueling station, a joint Army and Air Force evacuation hospital, as well as 24/7 Security Forces, Fire Response, Base Defense Operations Center, and Base Command Post. The 117 ARW has nine KC-135R Stratotankers allotted among two squadrons the 106Th Air Refueling Squadron (ANG), and the 99Th Air Refueling Squadron (USAF). The current complement of personnel is over 300 full-time personnel, including military and civilian employees. This expands to over 1,300 personnel for Unit Training Assembly (UTA) weekends and during activation.

The Alabama Army National Guard (AL ARNG) and U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) also have facilities and units co-located on the base. Alabama Army Aviation Support Facility #2 provides aircraft hangar and maintenance facilities for companies of the 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment which operate CH-47D Chinook and UH-72A Lakota aircraft. The Armed Forces Reserve Center Buildings 1&2 provide facilities for the 109th Evacuation Hospital, 20th Special Forces Group (1st Battalion), and a Detachment of the 450th Military Police Company (USAR). The (AL ARNG) Field Maintenance Shop #11(FMS-11) facility is also located on base.

Terminal and concourses

Airport terminal, tower, and parking deck on March 14, 2008 BHM tower and terminal.jpg
Airport terminal, tower, and parking deck on March 14, 2008

BHM currently has one new terminal building with three new concourses, which opened on March 13, 2013 (Concourses A, B) and on August 14, 2014 (Concourse C). The landside terminal (the area before the security threshold) has two levels. The upper level has ticketing and check-in facilities, a business center, and a large function room. The lower level has baggage claim facilities, airline baggage offices, airport operations offices, and meeting rooms available for use. The airport also has its own police force with offices on the lower level of the terminal. There are vending machines and ATMs located throughout both levels, pre-security.

Terminal A referred to the former 1962 terminal, which was still in use as office space until it was closed in 2011. The former Concourse B was closed in June 2011 and demolished alongside Terminal A for the first phase of the terminal modernization project to make way for two new concourses, A and B, which opened on March 13, 2013. [26] Concourse C was closed in March 13, 2013 upon completion of Concourses A and B. Concourse C was not demolished, but was completely gutted and structurally modified, removing the rotunda at the end of the old concourse and changing the structure to make a rectangle shape with the same width from end to end. It then underwent an intensive remodel covering all aspects of the concourse, culminating in the opening of the concourse to flights on August 14, 2014.

There is a rental car facility located in an annex on the ground floor of the parking deck. Eight rental car companies are housed within this facility. The airport offers a parking deck with over 5000 spaces available for hourly and daily parking. A remote lot is available for long term parking, with over 700 spaces. A shuttle runs between the terminal and the remote lot continuously throughout the day. There is also a free cell phone waiting lot with a digital flight display for people waiting on arriving passengers.

Beginning in December 2015, Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority introduced two new express Airport Shuttle routes from downtown Birmingham hotels directly to the terminal. The shuttle routes operate hourly on Mondays through Saturdays and the fare is $5.00.


A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Concourses A and B took place on February 26, 2013. [27] The new terminal officially opened for business on March 13, 2013. [26] The new Concourse C was completed along with the second half of the main terminal building and baggage claim upon the completion of the second and final phase of the terminal modernization project. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Concourse C and phase 2 completion was held on August 11, 2014, and Concourse C officially opened for arriving and departing flights on August 14, 2014. [28]

Concourse A, which opened on March 13, 2013, consists of 8 gates: A1-A8. It is used by Delta and Frontier. It also contains US Customs and Immigration facilities capable of processing arriving international aircraft. For international arrivals, a partition is closed, forcing deplaning passengers through a glass corridor wherein they can see the interior of the main concourse, but cannot exit the corridor. The corridor leads down a special set of escalators into the US customs an immigration facility located below the main level. After being processed, passengers proceed through one-way doors into the main arrival hall.

Concourse B, which opened on March 13, 2013, consists of 5 gates: B1-B5. It is used by American.

Concourse C, which opened on August 14, 2014, consists of 6 gates: C1-C6. It is used by Southwest and United.

Former concourse B consisted of 6 gates, B1-B6. Prior to its closure and demolition, Concourse B was used by Northwest/Northwest Airlink, American/American Eagle, Continental/Continental Express, and US Airways Express. Northwest moved to Concourse C in May 2009 and was merged into Delta a year later. American Airlines moved to Concourse C on June 10, 2011; while US Airways and Continental moved to Concourse C on June 24, 2011. [29] Concourse B was then closed and demolished in August 2011 to make way for the construction for future concourses A and B. [30]

Former Concourse C consisted of 13 gates, C1-C14. It was the only concourse at the airport in operation and in use during the first phase of the terminal modernization project. Therefore, all commercial and charter services used this concourse. Concourse C was then closed when the new concourses A and B opened on March 13, 2013. [31]


The 1974 terminal was built in the International style of architecture popular for American commercial and institutional buildings from the 1950s through the late 1970s. It consists of a single curved terminal with concourses radiating outward. Large floor to ceiling plate glass windows form curtain walls on the departure level of the terminal with horizontal bands of repetitive white architectural panels above and below. A slight departure from typical International style, the upper band of panels was decorated with raised circles of four sizes, two circles per size per panel. The roof is flat over the terminal and concourses; a series of steel columns painted white with stay cables for the terminal awning project from the roof. An enclosed white-clad Observation Deck jutted out from the airside terminal face at a sharp angle between the old concourses B and C. On the airside of the terminal, a large horizontal white sign with teal lettering identified the city as Birmingham.

The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport terminal and the former Concourse C at night as viewed from parking deck BHM terminal at night IMG 9885.JPG
The Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport terminal and the former Concourse C at night as viewed from parking deck

Externally, Concourse C and Concourse B before their reconstruction were radically different than the terminal structure, consisting of straight radial spokes clad with white panels. Concourse C included a circular end which invokes the appearance of the terminal, whereas Concourse B terminated at a flat wall. The concourse walls had relatively few windows, typically at waiting and dining areas. The presence of multiple shops, restrooms and service areas reduced the need for windows in the concourses. Jetways were used for the majority of the gates and aircraft, though Delta Connection and United Express used stairs leading to the tarmac to board flights on regional jets (currently all flights at the new concourses use jetways). Passenger gates and services are located on the second floor with airside baggage handling and aircraft servicing on the ground level.

Interior view of the former Concourse B, which was demolished to make way for the new Concourses A and B BHM Concourse B IMG 0600.JPG
Interior view of the former Concourse B, which was demolished to make way for the new Concourses A and B

The interior of the terminal was renovated in the early 1990s and completed in 1993 at a cost of $50.4 million [18] which included new floor surfaces, lighting, wall coverings, renovated public spaces, and public art. The flooring was a mixture of carpet and large tiles, with tile primarily in the heavily used terminal spaces, dining areas, and restrooms. Numerous planters were positioned in hallways.

The new terminal and concourses completed in the 2010s terminal modernization feature open spaces and clean lines. There is abundant natural light from floor to ceiling windows and large skylights. Neutral colors accented with soft blue and chrome are found throughout the terminal.

Terminal expansion and modernization

In 2014, the airport completed a $201.6 million terminal renovation project. This project included a major renovation and upgrade to the airport's existing Concourse C, which was dismantled down to its structural components and rebuilt. Concourse B was completely demolished and new concourses A and B were built. All three concourses are now linked, allowing passengers to walk from Concourse A, through to Concourse C without exiting the secure area. The main terminal containing the ticketing and baggage claim areas has been completely gutted and remodelled. Additionally, there have been enhancements to the parking deck, allowing passengers to move between the terminal and the parking deck under cover and without navigating any stairs. There is now a single large security screening checkpoint with TSA PreCheck which provides access to all concourses. Many concessions and shopping, as well as US Customs and Border Protection offices have been added. A completely new integrated baggage screening system has been installed to handle the screening of checked luggage. The new terminal is said to be built with new efficient building standards, making it one of the greenest airports in the country. [32] The first phase of construction was completed on February 26, 2013 with the entire modernization project completed in 2014, culminating in a ribbon cutting ceremony held on August, 7th 2014. The project team included KPS Group and KHAFRA (Architects & Engineers), A.G. Gaston Construction (Project Management), and Brasfield & Gorrie and BLOC Global Services Group (Construction Management). [33] [34]

On March 22, 2013, a digital flight arrival/departure screen fixture, added as part of the 2013-2014 renovation, fell on a mother and her children, killing ten-year-old Luke Bresette, and injuring his mother and 2 other siblings of Overland Park, KS. [35] [36] In September 2014, the Bresette family and companies involved in the installation of the display reached a wrongful death settlement. [37] A bronze relief of Luke Bresette was installed in the landside Departures level near the location of the accident. [38]

Artwork displays

Several pieces of artwork are displayed within the Terminal and on the airport grounds. Approaching the airport along Messer Airport Boulevard, travelers pass a series of white three dimensional triangular shapes placed on raised posts along the shoulder and median of the roadway with a mid-span folded crease to suggest the wings of birds in flight or aircraft. In the 1990s terminal there were multiple pieces of art that became well known to frequent visitors to the airport. However, with the terminal modernisation project, most of these pieces were replaced with new, more modern, and in some cases, technologically advanced works.There are two unique major artwork displays in the terminal, both of which are located in Concourse B. The first major display is a living plant wall entitled "Earth Wind and Water: The Landscape of Alabama". This living wall is the largest living wall inside any airport terminal in the United States. The wall is 100 feet wide, 14 feet high, and contains 1,400 square feet of vegetated area. The second major work of art is an electronic display which is approximately 50 feet long and made up of 26 large format electronic LCD displays. The displays contain pictures and video clips which are linked to form an ever-changing moving wall depicting various "stories" focussing on African American history and civil rights. [39] There is also an art program at the airport which puts on display revolving collections of works throughout the terminal. The program includes works from local artists as well as artists from around the country. [39] In addition there is a rotating Barber Motorsports exhibit located on the lower level near the baggage claim. This exhibit features frequently changing displays containing various automobiles and race memorabilia such as driving suits and mounted steering wheels from famous race cars. There are many smaller works of art located all throughout the terminal, both pre and post-security. The airport website has an updated list of the various works of art on display. [40]

Airport amenities

There are a range of dining and shopping options in the terminal, both pre and post-security. [41] [42] [43] [44] The airport also features free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the terminal. [45]

In 2014, Yahoo Travel ranked the airport as the 49th out of 72 on a list of "Every Important U.S. Airport, Ranked by Its Food and Drink." [46]

Airlines and destinations

As of July 2019, the most frequently served destinations from Birmingham are Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston. Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier Airlines serve Birmingham with mainline narrowbody aircraft. Regional airlines provide a large share of daily air carrier service to Birmingham; the most common aircraft serving the airport is the Bombardier CRJ700 / CRJ900, followed by the Embraer E-175, McDonnell Douglas MD-88, and Boeing 737. [47]


American Airlines Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins September 4, 2019)(ends December 3, 2019)
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington–National
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Connection Detroit, New York–LaGuardia
Frontier Airlines Denver, Orlando
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale (begins November 3, 2019) [48]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental


FedEx Express Memphis
UPS Airlines Louisville, Orlando


Traffic by calendar year. Official ACI Statistics
PassengersChange from previous yearAircraft operationsChange from previous yearCargo
(metric tons)
Change from previous year
20142,624,665Decrease2.svg2.3%94,534Increase2.svg 8.7%22,501Decrease2.svg5.1%
20152,695,399Increase2.svg2.7%90,002Decrease2.svg 4.8%23,769Increase2.svg3.2%
20162,653,207Decrease2.svg1.6%94,651Increase2.svg 5.2%24,253Increase2.svg2.0%
20172,705,014Increase2.svg2.0%96,053Increase2.svg 1.5%24,837Increase2.svg2.4%
20182,972,776Increase2.svg10.0%101,202Increase2.svg 6.5%Source: Airports Council International. World Airport Traffic Reports
(Years 2005, [49] 2006, [50] 2007, [51] 2009, [52] 2011, [53] 2012, [54] 2013, [55] and 2014 [56] ) BHM Statistical Reports (Years 2015, [57] 2016, [58] 2017, [59] )
Carrier shares: (October - September 2018) [60]
CarrierPassengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations: (October 2017 - September 2018) [60]
1 Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Atlanta, GA Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson International (ATL) 389,710Delta
2 Flag of North Carolina.svg Charlotte, NC Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) 113,040American
3 Flag of Texas.svg Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) 98,390American
4 Flag of Illinois.svg Chicago, IL Chicago O'Hare International (ORD) 82,860American, United
5 Flag of Florida.svg Orlando, FL Orlando International (MCO) 81,650Delta, Frontier, Southwest
6 Flag of Texas.svg Houston, TX Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) 79,820United
7 Flag of Texas.svg Dallas, TX Dallas Love Field (DAL) 77,460Southwest
8 Flag of Texas.svg Houston, TX Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) 65,200Southwest
9 Flag of Illinois.svg Chicago, IL Chicago Midway International (MDW) 58,330Southwest
10 Flag of Florida.svg Tampa, FL Tampa International (TPA) 56,080Southwest

Accidents and incidents


In September 2013, Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines, the largest regional US passenger airline, told its pilots to avoid landing on Runway 18, following the crash of UPS Airlines Flight 1354 in Birmingham. An internal review following the accident concluded planes come "dangerously close" to nearby hills if even a few feet too low, that there is a significant "terrain threat" and a non-standard glide path. An aviation safety expert said the runway is "absolutely" safe. [65]

See also


Related Research Articles

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport international airport in Atlanta, GA, US

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, also known as Atlanta Airport, Hartsfield, or Hartsfield–Jackson, is an international airport 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It is named after former Atlanta mayors William B. Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson. The airport has 192 gates: 152 domestic and 40 international. ATL covers 4,700 acres (1,902 ha) of land and has five parallel runways.

OHare International Airport Airport in Chicago, Illinois, United States

O'Hare International Airport, typically referred to as O'Hare Airport, Chicago O'Hare, or simply O'Hare, is an international airport located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, 14 miles (23 km) northwest of the Loop business district, that is operated by the Chicago Department of Aviation and covers 7,627 acres (3,087 ha). O'Hare has non-stop flights to 228 destinations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Newark Liberty International Airport Primary airport in Newark, New Jersey

Newark Liberty International Airport, originally Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is one of the major airports of the New York metropolitan area and is located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. The airport straddles the boundary between the cities of Newark and Elizabeth, the former of which is the most populous city in the state. The airport is owned jointly by the cities of Elizabeth and Newark and leased to and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Orlando International Airport Public airport in Orlando, Florida, United States

Orlando International Airport is a major public airport located six miles (10 km) southeast of Downtown Orlando, Florida, United States. In 2018, MCO handled 47,696,627 passengers, making it the busiest airport in the state of Florida and the tenth-busiest airport in the United States.

Salt Lake City International Airport international airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Salt Lake City International Airport is a civil-military airport located about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States. The airport is the closest commercial airport for more than 2.5 million people and is within a 30-minute drive of nearly 1.3 million jobs.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, also known as Honolulu International Airport, is the principal aviation gateway of the City and County of Honolulu on Oahu in the State of Hawaii. It is identified as one of the busiest airports in the United States, with traffic now exceeding 21 million passengers a year and rising.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a civil-military airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. Established in 1935 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, the airport received its current name in 1982. It is the second largest hub for American Airlines after Dallas/Fort Worth, with service to 161 domestic and international destinations.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Airport in Hebron, Kentucky serving Greater Cincinnati in the United States

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is a public international airport located in Hebron, Kentucky, United States. It serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The airport's code, CVG, comes from the nearest city at the time of its opening, Covington, Kentucky. CVG covers an area of 7,000 acres (2,800 ha).

Norfolk International Airport Airport in Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk International Airport is three miles (6 km) northeast of downtown Norfolk, an independent city in Virginia. It is owned by the city of Norfolk and operated by the Norfolk Airport Authority: a bureau under the municipal government. The airport serves the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeast Virginia as well as northeast North Carolina.

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport airport near Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida, USA

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport is in Broward County, Florida, United States, The airport is off Interstate 595, U.S. Route 1, Florida State Road A1A, and Florida State Road 5 bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach, three miles (5 km) southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale and 21 miles north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. With over 700 daily flights to 135 domestic and international destinations, FLL has become an intercontinental gateway since the late 1990s, although Miami International Airport still handles most long-haul flights.

Key West International Airport airport

Key West International Airport is an international airport located in the City of Key West in Monroe County, Florida and two miles east of the main commercial center of Key West.

Tallahassee International Airport airport in Tallahassee, Florida, United States

Tallahassee International Airport is a city-owned airport five miles southwest of downtown Tallahassee, in Leon County, Florida. It serves the state capital of Florida, and its surrounding areas; it is one of the major airports in north Florida, the others being Pensacola International Airport, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, and Jacksonville International Airport. Despite its name, it does not yet service any international destinations.

Nashville International Airport airport in Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville International Airport is a public/military airport in the southeastern section of Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 1937, its original name was Berry Field, from which its ICAO and IATA identifiers are derived. The current terminal was built in 1987, and the airport took its current name in 1988. Nashville International Airport has four runways and covers 3,900 acres (1,600 ha).

Detroit Metropolitan Airport Airport near Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, usually called Detroit Metro Airport, Metro Airport, or just DTW, is a major international airport in the United States covering 4,850 acres (1,960 ha) in Romulus, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It is Michigan's busiest airport, and one of the largest airline hubs in the country. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a large hub primary commercial service facility.

Yeager Airport airport in West Virginia, United States of America

Yeager Airport is a public airport three miles (6 km) east of downtown Charleston, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States. It is owned by the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority. The airport hosts McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, home to nine C-130 Hercules aircraft of the West Virginia Air National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing, an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Charleston International Airport airport near Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Charleston International Airport is a joint civil-military airport located in North Charleston, South Carolina. The airport is operated by the Charleston County Aviation Authority under a joint-use agreement with Joint Base Charleston. It is South Carolina's largest and busiest airport; in 2018 the airport served nearly 4.5 million passengers in its busiest year on record. The airport is located in North Charleston and is approximately 12 miles (19 km) northwest of downtown Charleston. The airport is also home to the Boeing facility that assembles the 787 Dreamliner.

Huntsville International Airport airport in Alabama, United States

Huntsville International Airport is a public airport ten miles southwest of downtown Huntsville, in Madison County, Alabama.

Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport airport in Virginia, USA

Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is an airport located in Newport News, Virginia, and serves the Hampton Roads metropolitan area along with Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk. The airport is owned and operated by the Peninsula Airport Commission, which is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. PHF covers 1,800 acres of land.

Montgomery Regional Airport airport in Alabama, United States of America

Montgomery Regional Airport is a civil-military airport seven miles southwest of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. Owned by the Montgomery Airport Authority, it is used for general aviation and military aviation, and sees three airlines.

Fayetteville Regional Airport airport

Fayetteville Regional Airport, also known as Grannis Field, is a public use airport in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is owned by the city of Fayetteville and located three nautical miles (6 km) south of its central business district.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 FAA Airport Master Record for BHM ( Form 5010 PDF ). Federal Aviation Administration. effective January 5, 2017.
  2. FAA Preliminary CY 2015 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data
  3. 1 2 "Statistical Report". Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  4. "IATA Airport Code Search (BHM: Birmingham)". International Air Transport Association . Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  5. "Non-Stop and Direct Flights". Birmingham Airport Authority. Archived from the original on January 6, 2016.
  6. "Birmingham International Airport sets passenger record for 2007 of 3.2 million". Alabama Media Group.
  7. FAA Airport Diagram  (PDF), effective August 15, 2019. Federal Aviation Administration.
  8. Dodd, Don "Birmingham Aviation: From Fairgrounds Air Shows to the Southern Museum of Flight", Alabama Review, January 2004.
  9. "Delta Air Lines". New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "75th Anniversary Timeline". Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013.
  11. 1 2 "Birmingham International Airport 1951".
  12. 1 2 "Birmingham International Airport 1967".
  13. 1 2 Nicholson, Gilbert (April 27, 2003). "Did Delta hub propel Atlanta over Birmingham?". Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  14. Federal Aviation Administration Airport Diagram, Birmingham International (BHM), SE-4, June 5, 2008
  15. "3 pilots who died in Bay of Pigs remembered". Air Force Times . April 23, 2011.
  16. Birmingham Air Terminal dedication plaque; 1973 Terminal 2nd Floor
  17. "75th Anniversary Video". Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013.
  18. 1 2 "About BHM: History". Birmingham International Airport.
  19. "Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport". Airport Technology.
  20. "Birmingham International Airport". FAA Information effective February 14, 2008. AirNav.
  21. "Langford Looks to Rename Airport After Rev. Shuttlesworth". MyFox Birmingham.[ dead link ]
  22. "Airport Authority Votes to Change Airport Name". MyFox Birmingham.[ dead link ]
  23. "Live Flight Tracker: Birmingham International Airport". Flight Aware. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  26. 1 2 "Birmingham Airport Cuts Ribbon". WVTM-TV . February 26, 2013. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013.
  27. "Ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for new terminal at BHM". ABC 33/40 . February 23, 2013.
  28. "New concourse at BHM opening to arriving passengers". August 13, 2014.
  29. "US Airways, Continental moving to concourse C at BHM". Birmingham Business Journal . June 23, 2011.
  30. "Birmingham-Shuttlesworth progressing on renovations". WBRC . August 30, 2011.
  31. "New Airport Terminal Opening this Week". ABC 33/40 . March 10, 2013.
  32. "Birmingham airport aims for green efficiency with design". Alabama Media Group. January 30, 2011.
  33. "Terminal Modernization Project: Project Team". Birmingham Airport Authority. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012.
  35. "Father grieves son killed by Alabama airport sign's collapse". CNN . March 24, 2013.
  36. "Boy Dies, 4 Others Injured After Sign Collapses at Airport". KSEE . March 23, 2013. Archived from the original on March 25, 2013.
  39. 1 2 "Archived Press Releases - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  40. "Art in the Airport - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  41. "Shopping - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  42. "Dining - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  43. "Upper Level Terminal Map - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  44. "Lower Level Terminal Map - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  45. "Free WiFi - Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport".
  46. "Every Important U.S. Airport, Ranked by Its Food and Drink". November 10, 2014.
  47. | retrieved July 25, 2019
  49. Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  50. Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  51. Airport Council International's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  52. Airport Council International Archived August 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine 's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  53. Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  54. Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  55. Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  56. Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  57. BHM Airport Dec 2015 Statistical Report
  58. BHM Airport Dec 2016 Statistical Report
  59. BHM Airport Dec 2017 Statistical Report
  60. 1 2 "Birmingham, AL: Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International (BHM)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. March 2015. Retrieved Jun 2016.Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  61. Civil Aeronautics Board, Docket No. SA-111 File No. 301-46, adopted June 17, 1946 DOT Library – Special Collections Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  62. "NTSB Aviation Accident Data and Synopses database". National Transportation Safety Board. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved December 2007.Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  63. "NTSB Accident Report: L'Express Airlines, Inc. – Flight 508 – July 10, 1991" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. March 3, 1992. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2006.
  64. UPS, "UPS Flight 1354", August 14, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2013