Fort Smith Regional Airport

Last updated
Fort Smith Regional Airport
Fort Smith FSM.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Fort Smith Airport Commission
Serves Fort Smith, Arkansas
Elevation  AMSL 469 ft / 143 m
Coordinates 35°20′12″N094°22′03″W / 35.33667°N 94.36750°W / 35.33667; -94.36750 Coordinates: 35°20′12″N094°22′03″W / 35.33667°N 94.36750°W / 35.33667; -94.36750
USA Arkansas location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Location of airport in Arkansas
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Airplane silhouette.svg
FSM (the US)
Direction LengthSurface
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 41,990
Based aircraft 102

Fort Smith Regional Airport( IATA : FSM, ICAO : KFSM, FAA LID : FSM) is a public use joint civil-military airport located three  nautical miles (6  km) southeast of the central business district of Fort Smith, in Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States. [1] FSM is governed by the Fort Smith Airport Commission as established by the City of Fort Smith, Arkansas. It serves the transportation needs of residents and businesses of Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. FSM is served by the regional airline affiliates of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. It has a large population of corporate and general aviation aircraft. A full-service fixed-base operator (FBO), TAC Air, provides service to general aviation, airline and military operators.

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 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.


The airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year). [2] In 2013, the airport had 82,742 passenger boardings (enplanements). [3]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) is an inventory of U.S. aviation infrastructure assets. NPIAS was developed and now maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a system for categorizing public-use airports that is primarily based on the level of commercial passenger traffic through each facility. It is used to determine if an airport is eligible for funding through the federal government's Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Fewer than 20% of airports in the U.S. qualify for the program, though most that don't qualify are private-use-only airports.

Since 1953, FSM has also been the home to Fort Smith Air National Guard Station and the Arkansas Air National Guard's 188th Wing (188 WG). Formerly a fighter wing that previously operated F-4 Phantom II, F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, the 188th Wing currently features three primary mission sets: Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MQ-9 Reaper); ISR (Distributed Ground Station-Arkansas); and Targeting (Space-Focused).

Arkansas Air National Guard

The Arkansas Air National Guard is the air force militia of the State of Arkansas, United States of America. It is, along with the Arkansas Army National Guard, an element of the Arkansas National Guard.

188th Wing

The 188th Wing is a unit of the Arkansas Air National Guard, stationed at Fort Smith Air National Guard Station, Fort Smith, Arkansas. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Combat Command.

Air Traffic services are provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from an Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower and TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control).

The airline terminal offers efficient operational space, convenience of close to the door parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, wingback seating, and the restrooms were voted the America’s Best Public Restroom in 2005. The Fort Smith Air Museum is located within the airline terminal.

Facilities and aircraft

Fort Smith Regional Airport covers an area of 1,359 acres (550 ha) at an elevation of 469 feet (143 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways with asphalt surfaces: [1] 7/25, the primary runway, is 8,017 by 150 feet (2,444 x 46 m) with dual instrument landing systems and can accommodate the largest aircraft; 1/19, the crosswind runway, is 5,001 by 150 feet (1,524 x 46 m).

Acre unit of area

The acre is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong, which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, ​1640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare. Based upon the International yard and pound agreement of 1959, an acre may be declared as exactly 4,046.8564224 square metres. The acre is a statute measure in the United States and was formerly one in the United Kingdom and almost all countries of the former British Empire, although informal use continues.

Hectare metric unit of area

The hectare is an SI accepted metric system unit of area equal to a square with 100-metre sides, or 10,000 m2, and is primarily used in the measurement of land. There are 100 hectares in one square kilometre. An acre is about 0.405 hectare and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

Elevation Height of a geographic location above a fixed reference point

The elevation of a geographic location is its height above or below a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface . The term elevation is mainly used when referring to points on the Earth's surface, while altitude or geopotential height is used for points above the surface, such as an aircraft in flight or a spacecraft in orbit, and depth is used for points below the surface.

For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2011, the airport had 41,990 aircraft operations, an average of 115 per day: 51% general aviation, 34% military, 11% air taxi, and 4% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 102 aircraft based at this airport: 53% single-engine, 21% military, 16% multi-engine, 10% jet, and 1% helicopter. [1]

General aviation civil use of aircraft excluding commercial transportation

General Aviation (GA) represents the 'private transport' and recreational flying component of aviation.

Military aviation use of aircraft by armed forces in combat or other military capacity

Military aviation is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Airpower includes the national means of conducting such warfare, including the intersection of transport and war craft. Military aircraft include bombers, fighters, transports, trainer aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft.

Air taxi on-demand commercial air transportation, particularly of smaller quantities of passenger or cargo by aeroplane or helicopter

An air taxi is a small commercial aircraft which makes short flights on demand.

Past airline service

Historically, Fort Smith was served by Braniff International Airways and Mid-Continent Airlines with both airlines commencing service to the airport during the 1940s. In 1965, Braniff introduced the first scheduled passenger jet service into the airport with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin jets with nonstop flights to Shreveport and Tulsa and direct service to Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Omaha and other destinations. [4] Braniff would later operate Boeing 727-200 jetliners into Fort Smith with direct, no change of plane service to Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City (JFK Airport) and Oklahoma City as well as nonstop 727 flights to Little Rock, Shreveport and Tulsa during the mid 1970s. [5] [6] Braniff began serving Fort Smith during the late 1940s with Douglas DC-3 aircraft flying a daily round trip routing of Denver-Amarillo-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Muskogee, OK-Fort Smith-Little Rock-Memphis [7] and later operated Convair 340 and Convair 440 propliners into the airport before switching to jets during the mid 1960s. [8] Mid-Continent Airlines began service to Fort Smith in 1946 flying a daily round trip routing of Kansas City-Joplin-Tulsa-Muskogee, OK-Fort Smith-Texarkana-Shreveport-New Orleans with Douglas DC-3 aircraft. [9] Mid-Continent was acquired by and merged into Braniff International in 1952.

During the mid 1970s, the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) was operating Boeing 737-200 jetliners and Convair 580 turboprops from the airport with nonstop service to Dallas/Ft. Worth. [6] By the late 1970s, Frontier had added Boeing 737-200 jet flights nonstop to Little Rock and Tulsa with direct one stop 737 service to Memphis and Oklahoma City in addition to nonstop 737 jet flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth. [10] During the early 1980s, Frontier was flying nonstop Boeing 737-200 jet service to Atlanta and Wichita. [11] The 737 flights to Wichita also provided one stop direct service to Denver. At this same time, Frontier was continuing to operate nonstop flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth with Convair 580 turboprops. Frontier began serving Fort Smith in 1967 when it acquired Central Airlines which had operated flights from the airport since the mid 1950s. At the time of the merger with Frontier in 1967, Central was providing service from Fort Smith to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Kansas City, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Tulsa and other destinations with Convair 600 turboprops and Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft. [12] Frontier then continued to serve these destinations from Fort Smith. [13] Central began serving the airport during the mid 1950s with Douglas DC-3 flights to Dallas and Fort Worth via Paris, TX; to Tulsa and Oklahoma City via Muskogee, OK; to Kansas City via Fayetteville, AR and Joplin, MO; and to Little Rock via Hot Springs, AR. [14]

Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA, now ExpressJet) flew Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop service nonstop to Dallas/Ft. Worth from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. [15] This service ended when Delta closed its hub operation at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

Following its acquisition of Republic Airlines (1979-1986) in 1986, Northwest Airlines established a hub in Memphis. By 1989, Northwest Airlink operated by Express Airlines I (now Endeavor Air) was flying nonstop service between Memphis and Fort Smith with British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and Saab 340 turboprops on behalf of Northwest via a code sharing agreement. [16]

Delta Connection then added a nonstop flight to Atlanta in 2007. With the merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines the service to Atlanta was temporarily discontinued, thus leaving Fort Smith with Delta Connection service only to the Memphis hub. [17] On June 7, 2012, service to Atlanta was restored with a single daily flight. Later that year, Delta then terminated Memphis service on September 5, but kept the same number of flights into Fort Smith by increasing service to Atlanta to three flights a day operated by Delta Connection with Canadair CRJ-200 regional jets. [18]

American Eagle service to Dallas/Ft. Worth was initially operated by Metroflight Airlines, a division of Metro Airlines, with Convair 580 turboprops via a code sharing agreement with American Airlines during the early and mid 1980s. [19] The DFW service operated on behalf of American was then flown with Saab 340 turboprops from the late 1980s to the late 1990s in competition with the Delta Connection service to DFW. [15] American Eagle then operated ATR-72 turboprop aircraft with nonstop service to Dallas/Ft. Worth until the late 2000s when it switched to Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets.

On September 1, 2015 Delta Connection switched to using Canadair CRJ-700 regional jet aircraft featuring first class as well as coach seats. At the same time, flights to Atlanta were reduced from three to two flights per day. [20]

Airlines and destinations

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Connection Atlanta


Passenger Boardings by Year (from FAA data) [21]

YearPassengersPercent Change
200099,493Decrease2.svg -3.01%
200190,311Decrease2.svg -9.23%
200285,137Decrease2.svg -5.73%
200389,510Increase2.svg 5.14%
200490,613Increase2.svg 1.23%
2005100,546Increase2.svg 10.96%
200693,795Decrease2.svg -6.71%
200797,344Increase2.svg 3.78%
200885,095Decrease2.svg -12.58%
200976,401Decrease2.svg -10.22%
201083,902Increase2.svg 9.82%
201184,136Increase2.svg 0.28%
201284,751Increase2.svg 0.73%
201382,742Decrease2.svg -2.37%
201490,214Increase2.svg 9.03%
201584,136Decrease2.svg -6.74%
201683,920Decrease2.svg -0.26%

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from FSM
(February 2016 – January 2017)
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 55,000
2 Atlanta, Georgia 31,000

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  1. 1 2 3 4 FAA Airport Master Record for FSM ( Form 5010 PDF ). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
  2. "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems . Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27.External link in |work= (help)
  3. "All Airports with CY 2013 Enplanements" (PDF, 204 KB). . Federal Aviation Administration. January 26, 2015.External link in |work= (help)
  4., Sept. 7, 1965 Braniff International system timetable
  5., Oct. 27, 1974 Braniff International system timetable
  6. 1 2 Feb. 1, 1976 edition, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Fort Smith flight schedules
  7., May 1, 1948 Braniff International Airways system timetable
  8., Oct. 25, 1964 Braniff International Airways system timetable
  9., July 1, 1946 Mid-Continent Airlines system timetable
  10., March 2, 1977 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  11., April 1, 1981 Official Airline Guide (OAG) Fort Smith flight schedules
  12., July 1, 1967 Central Airlines system timetable
  13., Oct. 29, 1967 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  14., June 1, 1955 Central Airlines system timetable
  15. 1 2, Official Airline Guide (OAG) Feb. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 and June 1, 1999 editions, Dallas/Ft. Worth-Fort Smith flight schedules
  16., Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Memphis-Fort Smith schedules
  17. "Fort Smith airport to lose Delta connection to Atlanta". The City Wire. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  18. Aric Mitchell (26 June 2012). "Atlanta to be hub for all Fort Smith Delta flights". The City Wire. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  19., Official Airline Guide (OAG) April 1, 1983 and Feb. 15 1985 editions, Dallas/Ft. Worth-Fort Smith flight schedules
  20. Minutes of Airport Commission Regular Meeting, July 23, 2015
  21. "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  22. "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. January 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.