Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport

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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
Birmingham International Airport.svg
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.jpg
NAIP aerial image, June 2006
Summary
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
Website FlyBirmingham.com
Map
USA Alabama location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
BHM
Location in Alabama
Runways
Direction LengthSurface
ftm
6/2412,0073,660Asphalt
18/367,0992,164Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft Operations101,202
Based Aircraft (2017)222
Passengers2,972,776
Enplanements1,325,897
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.

Contents

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.

History

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.

Facilities

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.

Concourses

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]

Architecture

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]

Passenger

AirlinesDestinations
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

Cargo

AirlinesDestinations
FedEx Express Memphis
UPS Airlines Louisville, Orlando

Statistics

Traffic by calendar year. Official ACI Statistics
PassengersChange from previous yearAircraft operationsChange from previous yearCargo
(metric tons)
Change from previous year
20053,138,429Increase2.svg8.6%144,178Decrease2.svg5.0%30,526Increase2.svg1.9%
20063,052,058Decrease2.svg2.8%124,103Decrease2.svg13.9%28,984Decrease2.svg6.7%
20073,222,689Increase2.svg14.3%138,975Decrease2.svg1.0%31,075Increase2.svg1.8%
20092,934,317Decrease2.svg5.7%106,780Decrease2.svg13.3%22,740Decrease2.svg14.9%
20112,895,161Decrease2.svg1.9%104,842Decrease2.svg4.6%24,913Decrease2.svg0.3%
20122,864,058Decrease2.svg1.3%96,839Decrease2.svg2.9%25,310Decrease2.svg0.7%
20132,686,393Decrease2.svg6.2%95,734Decrease2.svg1.1%23,824Decrease2.svg5.9%
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)
Southwest
858,000(30.26%)
Delta
768,000(27.10%)
PSA
312,000(10.99%)
ExpressJet
185,000(6.52%)
Mesa
181,000(6.38%)
Other
532,000(18.75%)
Top domestic destinations: (October 2017 - September 2018) [60]
RankCityAirportPassengersAirline
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

Controversy

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

Images

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