John Glenn Columbus International Airport

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John Glenn Columbus International Airport
John Glenn Columbus International Airport logo 2018.jpg
Port Columbus International Airport aerial view, September 2016.JPG
Aerial view in 2016
Airport typePublic
Owner/Operator Columbus Regional Airport Authority
Serves Columbus metropolitan area
Location4600 International Gateway Columbus, Ohio, United States
OpenedJuly 8, 1929;94 years ago (1929-07-08)
Elevation  AMSL 815 ft / 248 m
Coordinates 39°59′53″N082°53′31″W / 39.99806°N 82.89194°W / 39.99806; -82.89194
Public transit accessAiga bus trans.svg COTA alt logo.svg 7, AirConnect
KCMH Airport Map.png
FAA airport diagram
John Glenn Columbus International Airport
Direction LengthSurface
10R/28L10,1143,083 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Total passengers8,375,281
Aircraft operations44,368
Area2,265 acres (917 ha)
Source: [1] [2] [3]

John Glenn Columbus International Airport( IATA : CMH, ICAO : KCMH, FAA LID : CMH) is an international airport located 6 miles (9.7 km; 5.2 nmi) east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Formerly known as Port Columbus International Airport, it is managed by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which also oversees operations at Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field. The airport code "CMH" stands for "Columbus Municipal Hangar," the original name of the airport. [4]


John Glenn Columbus International Airport is primarily a passenger airport. It provides 148 non-stop flights to 31 airports via nine airlines daily. [5]

On May 25, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill to rename the airport from Port Columbus International Airport to its current name, in honor of astronaut and four-term U.S. senator John Glenn. [6] The name change was unanimously approved by the airport's nine-member board on May 24, 2016. [7] Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on June 14, 2016, with the name change becoming official 90 days later. [8] On June 28, 2016, a celebration of the renaming was held and new signage bearing the airport's new name was unveiled. [9]


Early history

The Old Port Columbus Terminal, the airport's first control tower and terminal Old Port Columbus Airport Control Tower and Terminal, Columbus, OH, US (06).jpg
The Old Port Columbus Terminal, the airport's first control tower and terminal

The airport opened July 8, 1929 as the Columbus Municipal Hangar on a site selected by Charles Lindbergh, as the eastern air terminus of the Transcontinental Air Transport air-rail New York to Los Angeles transcontinental route. Passengers traveled overnight on the Pennsylvania Railroad's Airway Limited from New York to Columbus; by air from Columbus to Waynoka, Oklahoma; by rail again on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Waynoka to Clovis, New Mexico; and by air from Clovis to Los Angeles. [10] The original terminal building and hangars remain; the hangars are still in use, but the old terminal sits derelict. [11]

During World War II, most of the facility was taken over by the U.S. Navy, which established Naval Air Station Columbus in 1942. NAS Columbus was closed and the facility relinquished back to civilian authorities in 1946. [12] [13] Also, during the war, the government established a government-owned aviation factory on the grounds of the airport known as Air Force Factory 85, eventually operated by North American Aviation. The plant produced the F-100 Super Sabre, RA-5 Vigilante, T-2 Buckeye, T-28 Trojan, OV-10 Bronco and T-39 Sabreliner.

The diagram on the February 1951 Coast & Geodetic Survey instrument-approach chart shows runways 006/186 3550 ft long, 052/232 4400 ft, 096/276 4500 ft, and 127/307 5030 ft.

A new $12 million terminal building opened on September 21, 1958. [11] Jet airline flights (American 707s) started in April 1964.

Current control tower, completed in 2004 KCMH ATC Tower 1.jpg
Current control tower, completed in 2004

Historical airline service

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 72 airline departures each weekday: 41 TWA, 16 American, 6 Eastern, 6 Lake Central and 3 Piedmont. [14]

The first major airline to fly into Columbus was TWA, and it kept a presence at Columbus over 70 years during the era of airline regulation. [11] TWA offered a club for exclusive passengers up until 2000 when America West took over a gate held by TWA and the club itself due to financial problems. The site of the club is now Eddie George‘s 27 grille. [15]

Columbus was formerly a hub of America West Airlines in the 1990s, but the company closed the hub in 2003 due to financial losses and the post 9/11-decline in air travel. [15]

The airport was the home base of short-lived Skybus Airlines, which began operations from Columbus on May 22, 2007. The airline touted themselves as the cheapest airline in the United States, offering a minimum of ten seats for $10 each on every flight. Skybus ceased operations April 4, 2008. [16]

Recent improvements

The airport's terminal in 1979 Port Columbus International Airport aerial view 01.jpg
The airport's terminal in 1979

A $70 million renovation of airport facilities, designed by Brubaker/Brandt, was initiated in 1979 for the airport's 50th anniversary and completed in 1981. [17] This upgraded the airport's capacity to 250 flights per day by adding what is known today as Concourse B and added fully enclosed jetways at every gate. [11] Ten years later in 1989, a second, $15.5 million, seven-gate south concourse (now Concourse A) was dedicated. [11] The concourse was used exclusively by US Airways at the time, and later housed hubs for both America West Airlines until 2003, and Skybus Airlines until they shut it down in 2008 due to their bankruptcy. A north concourse was completed in 1996, which is now Concourse C, and was expanded in 2002. [11]

Between 1998 and 2000, numerous airport expansion and renovation projects were completed, including a $25 million terminal renovation in 1998 that included additional retail shops, new flight information displays, enhanced lighting, upgraded flooring, and a new food court. Also, new hangars and office spaces were completed for NetJets in 1999, as well as a $92 million parking garage including an underground terminal entrance, new rental car facilities, dedicated ground transportation area, improved eight-lane terminal access on two levels, and a new atrium and entrances in 2000, which were designed by URS Corporation. [11] [18]

On April 25, 2004, a new 195-foot (59 m) control tower directed its first aircraft. This began several major facility enhancements to be constructed through 2025. [11] On October 21, 2010, a new arrivals/departures board replaced the old one in the main entrance area

Columbus began its Terminal Modernization Program in late 2012, which included new terrazzo flooring throughout the airport, new ceilings, new restrooms, more TSA security lanes, and new LED lighting. Construction started on Concourse A in late 2012 and was completed throughout the terminal in early 2016. [19]

In 2013, the airport completed a $140 million runway improvement that moved the south runway farther from the north runway. This created a buffer distance that enables simultaneous takeoffs and landings on the north and south runways, increasing air traffic volume. Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman commented, "As the city grows, the airport needs to grow with it." [20]

In 2019, construction began on a new car rental facility at the airport, with an estimated budget of $140 million. [21] This facility moves car rental out of the parking garage, opening up more spaces for travelers. The new building opened in late 2021, and utilizes electric buses to transport passengers. [22]

Recent history

Many airlines introduced new routes in the late 2010s, with the addition of Spirit Airlines with multiple destinations and Alaska Airlines with one daily flight to Seattle. Occasionally, larger aircraft that the airport is not used to receiving on a regular basis, such as the Boeing 767 and 777, are chartered through John Glenn and serviced by Lane Aviation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many new, current, and to-be-expanded routes were canceled or reduced. Air Canada temporarily suspended service to Columbus, while airlines such as United, American, and Delta used smaller aircraft for some of their mainline routes. Many of these routes saw an increase of service in mid-2021 as restrictions lifted and demand for air travel grew.

Startup Breeze Airways also selected Columbus as one of its launch destinations in July 2021 with five routes. The airline added additional routes from the airport in May 2023. [23] Sun Country Airlines announced a plan to fly to the airport during the 2023 summer season. [24]

Plans have been in development for many years for a new terminal, set to begin construction in 2024 to replace the current, aging building, beginning with the new car rental facility completed in 2021. As such, these plans involve a complete relocation of major on-site facilities, such as Lane Aviation's entire complex, in order to accommodate the project. The new terminal is suggested to house roughly 40 gates, 6 more than the current terminal capacity (2 of which intended for international arrivals), and would be one interconnected structure rather than three separate concourses inaccessible to each other past security.

In spring 2023, the airport prepared for a record travel summer matching traffic levels from before the COVID-19 pandemic. [25] [26]


The airport in 1987, predominantly as it stands today Port Columbus International Airport aerial view 02a.jpg
The airport in 1987, predominantly as it stands today
Main flight information board at the entrance to Concourse B John Glenn International Airport Flight Information Board.jpg
Main flight information board at the entrance to Concourse B


Commercial Terminal

John Glenn Columbus International Airport has one terminal with three concourses, and a total of 34 gates. [27] Non-precleared international flights are processed in Concourse C, which contains the airports customs facility.

General Aviation Terminals

The airport has two fixed-base operators, which offer fuel (both avgas and jet fuel), aircraft parking, conference rooms, crew lounges, snooze rooms, showers, courtesy transportation, and more. [28] [29]

Ground transportation

The airport is accessible directly by taking exit number nine on Interstate 670 to International Gateway. Alternatively, drivers can also get to the airport from the east via Hamilton Road, just south of Interstate 270, and enter at Sawyer Road or from the west via Stelzer Road.

Connected to the terminal is a six-story parking garage that provides long-term and short-term parking. Lower cost satellite parking options, with continuous free shuttle service, can be found in the Blue, Red and Green parking lots along International Gateway. The Blue lot is the closest to the terminal and also offers some covered parking. The cost of parking a car in the blue lot is $9 per 24 hours. The Red Lot costs $7 per 24 hours and the green lost costs $5 per 24 hours to park. The Green lot is the furthest away from the terminal. Additionally, there is a free cell phone lot accessed from the outbound side of International Gateway. [30] [31]

The Columbus Metropolitan Area's bus service, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), has two bus services between the airport and downtown Columbus. AirConnect, a service that began in 2016, stops at the arrival and departure levels every 30 minutes. [32] COTA's 7 Mt. Vernon route is operated from downtown, with every other bus serving either the airport or Easton Transit Center. [33] [34]

The GoBus Rural Inter-City Bus Service operates a thrice daily schedule to Athens, via Lancaster, Logan, and Nelsonville. [35]

Inbound taxi services operate through numerous taxi businesses in the Columbus area. A number of taxi services provide outbound transportation in the taxi lane. [36]

Other facilities

In 2001, Executive Jet Aviation (now known as NetJets), opened up a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) operational headquarters. [37]

In November 2006, Skybus Airlines began leasing 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of office and hangar facilities at the Columbus International AirCenter adjacent to the airport. [38]

Regional carrier Republic Airways operates a large crew and maintenance base at the airport.

The airport has its own police and fire departments (ARFF-C).

Airlines and destinations

Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson [39]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [40]
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [41]
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Hartford, Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Jacksonville (FL), [42] Norfolk, Orange County (resumes May 30, 2024), [43] Providence, West Palm Beach
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City (resumes June 7, 2024) [45]
Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [46]
Frontier Airlines Denver, New Orleans (begins May 22, 2024), [47] Philadelphia (resumes May 22, 2024) [48] [49]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington–National
Seasonal: Cancún, Kansas City (begins June 9, 2024), [50] Myrtle Beach, San Diego (begins June 8, 2024), [50] Sarasota
Spirit Airlines Boston (begins June 5, 2024), [52] Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark (begins June 5, 2024), [52] New York–LaGuardia (begins May 8, 2024), [53] Orlando
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Tampa
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul [55] [56]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, San Francisco
Seasonal: Newark, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles [57]


John Glenn Columbus International Airport
Airports with direct service to and from John Glenn Columbus International Airport: '"`UNIQ--templatestyles-000000C1-QINU`"'
  Single regular service
  Seasonal only
  Upcoming or resuming

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from CMH (January 2023 - December 2023) [58]
1 Atlanta, Georgia 410,000Delta, Southwest
2 Orlando, Florida 276,000Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
3 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 250,000American, United
4 Denver, Colorado 227,000Frontier, Southwest, United
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 217,000American
6 Charlotte, North Carolina 193,000American
7 New York–LaGuardia, New York 164,000American, Delta
8 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 161,000Southwest
9 Las Vegas, Nevada 140,000Southwest, Spirit
10 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 137,000Southwest, Spirit

Airline market share

Airline market share (January–December 2022) [59]
1 Southwest Airlines 2,484,00034.71%
2 Republic Airways 1,064,00014.87%
3 Delta Air Lines 621,0008.67%
4 American Airlines 794,00011.09%
5 Spirit Airlines 507,0007.09%
6 Alaska Airlines 47,1431.45%
7 Frontier Airlines 46,4251.43%
8 Air Canada Express 9,5000.29%

Airport traffic

Annual passenger traffic at CMH airport. See Wikidata query.

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2021, the airport had 98,185 aircraft movements, an average of 269 per day. This was 65% commercial, 19% general aviation, 16% air taxi, and <1% military. For the same time period, 88 aircraft were based at the airport: 50 jets, 27 single-enigne and 9 multi-engine airplanes, and 2 helicopters. [60] [61]

Annual passenger traffic

Annual passenger traffic at CMH 1994–present [62] [63]

Accidents and incidents

See also

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39°59′53″N082°53′31″W / 39.99806°N 82.89194°W / 39.99806; -82.89194