Salt Lake City International Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport in 2010
|Owner||City of Salt Lake City|
|Operator||Salt Lake City Department of Airports|
|Serves||Salt Lake City, Wasatch Front, Northern Utah, Southwest Wyoming and Southeast Idaho|
|Location||Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.|
|Elevation AMSL||4,227 ft / 1,288 m|
FAA airport diagram
Salt Lake City International Airport (IATA: SLC, ICAO: KSLC, FAA LID: SLC) 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.
The airport is the fourth-largest hub for Delta Air Lines, as well as a hub for Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines with nearly 300 daily departures. Following Delta and Delta Connection, the largest carriers are Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
In 2017, 24,198,697 passengers flew through Salt Lake City, representing a 4.5% increase from 2016. It is the 25th busiest in North America and 85th worldwide with regards to passenger numbers. There were 327,292 aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings) in 2017, about 900 per day. On an average day at SLC (in January 2018), there are over 343 scheduled nonstop airline departures per day to 93 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Salt Lake City International Airport continues to rank high for on-time departures/arrivals and fewest flight cancellations among major US airports. The airport ranked first for on time departures and arrivals and first for percentage of cancellations as of April 2017.
The airport is owned by City of Salt Lake City and is administered by the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. The city also owns and operates two other nearby airports, South Valley Regional Airport and Tooele Valley Airport. The airport is financially self-sustaining with revenue generated from airline and passenger fees, concessions, vehicle parking, fuel, and leases for office and hangar space. It was the only major airport in the country with no outstanding debt. The airport is also currently under construction and renovation in some areas due to an expansion plan, and expected to be completed by August 2020.
In 1911, a site for an air field was chosen on Basque Flats, named for Spanish-French sheep herders who worked the fields in the then-desolate area of the Salt Lake Valley, where a cinder-covered landing was subsequently created. The Great International Aviation Carnival was held the same year and brought aviation pioneers representing Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company and a team representing the Wright Brothers to Salt Lake City. World-famous aviator Glenn H. Curtiss brought his newly invented Seaplane to the carnival, a type of airplane that had never been demonstrated to the public. Curtiss took off from the nearby Great Salt Lake, awing the 20,000 spectators and making international headlines.
For several years, the new field was used mainly for training and aerobatic flights. That would change in 1920 when the United States Postal Service (USPS) began air mail service to Salt Lake City. The airport expanded and hangars and other buildings began to appear. In the same year, the airfield was given the name Woodward Field, named for John P. Woodward, a local aviator.
In 1925, the postal service began awarding contracts to private companies. Western Air Express, the first private company to carry U.S. mail, began flying from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles via Las Vegas. Less than a year later Western Air Express would begin flying passengers along the same route. Western Air Express later became Western Airlines, which had a large hub in Salt Lake City.
Charles Lindbergh visited Woodward Field in 1927, drawing many spectators to see The Spirit of St. Louis. During the next few years the airport would gain another runway and would span over 400 acres (1.6 km2). In 1930 the airport was renamed Salt Lake City Municipal Airport.
The first terminal and airport administration building was built in 1933 at a cost of $52,000. By then, United Airlines had begun serving Salt Lake City on flights between New York City and San Francisco.
As air travel became more popular and the United States Army Air Forces established a base at the airport during World War II, a third runway was added (Runway diagram for 1955). The April 1957 OAG (formerly the Official Airline Guide) shows 42 weekday departures: 18 on Western, 17 United and 7 Frontier. United had flown nonstop to Chicago since 1950, but a New York nonstop didn't start until 1968. The first jets were United 720s in September 1960.
A new terminal was needed and work began on the west side of the airport on Terminal 1, designed by Brazier Montmorency Hayes & Talbot and dedicated in 1960 after seven years of work and a cost of $8 million. In 1968 the airport became Salt Lake City International Airport when a non-stop route to Calgary, Canada was awarded to Western Airlines.
After airline deregulation in 1978, hub airports appeared. Western Airlines, with ties to Salt Lake City since its inception, chose the airport as one of its hubs. Terminal 2 was designed by Montmorency Hayes & Talbot and built solely for Western and had several murals by artist LeConte Stewart.
During the 1980s the airport saw further expansion to both terminals as well as runway extension. In 1987 Western Airlines merged with Delta Air Lines. Salt Lake City would continue to be a major airline hub.
In 1991 the airport opened a new short-term parking garage. The airport opened a new runway in 1995 along with the International Terminal and E concourse for SkyWest Airlines, which was designed by Gensler. A new 328-foot-tall (100 m) control tower, new approach control facility, and a new fire station were opened in 1999.
In 2001, Concourse E was expanded for additional gates and SkyWest Airlines opened its new maintenance hangar and training facility. In 2002, the airport saw heavy crowds as Salt Lake City welcomed over one million visitors for the Winter Olympics.
Recently the airport has upgraded its access roads and parking facilities in preparation for a new terminal. The airport has made minor upgrades to the terminals and concourses including expansion of baggage claim facilities.
Three days after the Paris terror attacks, an Air France A380 traveling from Los Angeles, California to Paris, France was diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport due to a bomb threat on the aircraft. The aircraft was the largest plane to ever land at the airport. The airport workers had only 15 minutes to get ready for the emergency landing.
Delta Air Lines, the airport's leading carrier has scheduled flights to cities in Canada, Mexico, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Air Canada Express operated service to Toronto–Pearson from 2006 through 2007. In May 2016, Air Canada resumed daily nonstop service to Toronto–Pearson from Salt Lake City, although the service was again discontinued.
Aeroméxico offered service from Salt Lake City to Hermosillo and Mexico City from 2002 through 2005. In November 2008, Aeroméxico resumed nonstop service to Mexico City, even though service was once again discontinued.
In June 2008, Delta Air Lines began daily nonstop service to Paris–Charles de Gaulle. This marked the first scheduled transatlantic route from Salt Lake City. In November 2008, Delta announced nonstop service to Narita International Airport near Tokyo, Japan, mostly as a result of Delta's merger with Northwest Airlines. The service began on June 3, 2009, the first nonstop from Salt Lake City to Asia. Between 2010 and 2011, the flights to Tokyo were seasonal, May to October. Delta has not operated the flight since October 2011.
Delta Air Lines launched seasonal nonstop service to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in May 2015, which was increased to daily service in late March 2016. In addition to Paris and Amsterdam, Delta launched a third transatlantic nonstop route from Salt Lake City to London–Heathrow on April 23, 2016. Other international routes that Delta Air Lines has launched from Salt Lake City include daily nonstop service to Toronto–Pearson, which resumed in May 2016, and non-stop service to Mexico City, which resumed in December 2014. These international additions are a direct result of Delta's renewed 10-year lease at the airport and commitment to expand at SLC.
On May 5, 2016, KLM began new, twice weekly nonstop service from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam, and increased service to three times weekly on July 4, 2016. It is the first transatlantic route from Salt Lake City served by a European-based airline. The service is intended to supplement the existing daily flight between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam operated by Air France KLM’s Transatlantic Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines.
Three passenger terminals have five concourses with a total of 83 gates:
|Alaska Airlines||Boise, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma|||
|American Airlines|| Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor|
|American Eagle||Chicago–O'Hare, Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor|||
|Delta Air Lines|| Albuquerque, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Boise, Boston, Bozeman, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn (begins June 16, 2019), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Jackson Hole, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Missoula, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Newark, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San José del Cabo, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National|
Seasonal: Anchorage, Kahului, Kalispell, London–Heathrow, Long Beach, Omaha, Pasco–Tri-Cities (WA), Vancouver
|Delta Connection|| Albuquerque, Billings, Boise, Bozeman, Burbank, Butte, Calgary, Casper, Cedar City, Chicago–O'Hare, Cody, Colorado Springs, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, El Paso, Elko, Eugene, Fresno, Grand Junction, Great Falls, Helena, Houston–Intercontinental, Idaho Falls, Jackson Hole, Kalispell, Las Vegas, Lewiston, Long Beach, Madison, Medford, Missoula, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pocatello, Rapid City, Redmond, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, St. George (UT), St. Louis, Sun Valley, Tri-Cities (WA), Tucson, Tulsa, Twin Falls, Vancouver|
Seasonal: Aspen, Austin, Eagle/Vail, Kansas City, Montrose, Oakland, Portland (OR), San Jose (CA), West Yellowstone
|Frontier Airlines||Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, San Antonio|
|JetBlue Airways||Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, New York–JFK, Orlando|||
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore, Burbank, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose (CA)|||
|United Airlines|| Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark|
Seasonal: San Francisco
|United Express||Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, San Francisco|||
|Ameriflight||Boise, Burley, Cedar City, Elko, Ely, Idaho Falls, Jackson Hole, Logan, Pocatello, Rexburg, Rock Springs, St. George (UT), Sun Valley, Twin Falls, Vernal|
|DHL Aviation||Cincinnati, Sacramento–Mather|
|FedEx Express||Boise, Indianapolis, Memphis, Oakland|
|FedEx Feeder||Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Sun Valley|
|UPS Airlines||Boise, Louisville, Oakland, Ontario, Portland (OR)|
|Western Air Express||Boise, Denver–Centennial|
|1||Denver, Colorado||839,200||Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United|
|2||Los Angeles, California||649,090||Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United|
|3||Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona||552,400||American, Delta, Southwest|
|4||Atlanta, Georgia||550,290||Delta, Frontier|
|5||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||509,390||Alaska, Delta|
|6||Las Vegas, Nevada||481,430||Delta, Frontier, Southwest|
|7||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||428,870||American, Delta|
|8||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||355,020||American, Delta, United|
|9||Portland, Oregon||342,980||Alaska, Delta|
|10||San Diego, California||335,080||Alaska, Delta, Southwest|
|Rank||Airport||2017 Passengers||2016 Passengers||Annual Change||Carriers|
|1||Amsterdam, Netherlands||166,601||122,593||35.9%||Delta, KLM|
|2||Paris–Charles de Gaulle, France||119,929||121,381||1.2%||Delta|
|3||Toronto, Canada||118,806||76,006||56.3%||Air Canada, Delta|
|5||Mexico City, México||85,234||75,662||12.7%||Aeromexico, Delta|
|7||London–Heathrow, United Kingdom||78,847||59,749||32.0%||Delta|
|9||San José del Cabo, México||34,728||33,389||4.0%||Delta|
|11||Puerto Vallarta, México||28,689||28,006||2.4%||Delta|
The airport handled 156,319 metric tonnes of cargo in 2008.
Despite being the twenty-eighth busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft operations, the airport still maintains a large general aviation presence. In 2008, 19% of aircraft movements at the airport came from general aviation traffic. This is in contrast to most large airports, which encourage general aviation aircraft to use smaller or less busy airports in order to prevent delays to commercial traffic. The airport is able to effectively handle both commercial and general aviation traffic largely in part to the airport's layout and airspace structure. Nearly all general aviation operations are conducted on the east side of the airport, away from commercial traffic. Additionally, smaller and relatively slower general aviation aircraft arrive and depart the airport in ways that generally do not hinder the normal flow of arriving or departing commercial aircraft.
2007 data shows there are 388 general aviation aircraft based at the airport. The airport has only one Fixed-Base Operator, located on the east side of the airport, which has been of debate between aircraft operators and the SLCDA. The airport has facilities for Air Ambulance, Law Enforcement, as well as state and federal government aircraft. Additionally, the airport is home to several flight training facilities, including one operated by Westminster College.
The Utah Air National Guard operates what was previously named the Salt Lake City Air National Guard Base on the east side of the airport. In November 2014, the installation was renamed the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base after Brigadier General Roland R. Wright, USAF (Ret).
The base occupies approximately 135 acres as a U.S. Government cantonment area leased from the airport. In addition to flight line, the installation comprises 63 buildings: 3 services, 13 administrative, and 47 industrial. There are 255 full-time Air Reserve Technician and Active Guard and Reserve personnel assigned, augmented by 1,343 part-time traditional air national guardsmen.
Salt Lake City International also houses a hangar and line maintenance facility for Delta Air Lines' primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm, Delta TechOps. Delta also operates a call center for reservations and sales as well as regional corporate offices.
SkyWest Airlines opened a new maintenance and training facility at the airport in 2001 where the company has its largest maintenance base. It is also where training is conducted for pilots, flight attendants, and other employees.
United Airlines operates a call center located near the airport.
Boeing Aircraft Company operates a manufacturing plant at the airport that manufactures vertical stabilizers and horizontal stabilizers for the Boeing 787 as well as components for the Boeing 737.
The airport and Salt Lake City Fire Department operate an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) training facility located on the airport. The training facility has been used to train and certify thousands of fire fighters from departments all over the world, including Antarctica.
In addition to the 328-foot-tall (100 m) Air Traffic Control Tower, TRACON is also located on the airport with the Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) located adjacent to the airport. The Salt Lake ARTCC covers the largest geographical area in the continental United States and controls airspace as far north as the Canada–US border.
Salt Lake City International airport is directly responsible for the employment of over 14,000 people and indirectly provides over 100,000 jobs generating a $2.7 billion payroll. The airport contributed a $5.34 billion economic impact in 2004.
April 30, 2008 marked a significant date for the airport, as it became the only large hub airport in the U.S. to be debt free, having retired its remaining bonds, for a payout of nearly US$50 million. This was done in response to spiking interest rates, but also put the Salt Lake Department of Airports in a better financial position for future expansion plans.
A revised master plan was released in May 2006 for the airport and is available for the public to view at the airport's website. Future plans call for runway 17/35 to be realigned to more precisely parallel runways 16L/34R and 16R/34L. Plans also call for runway 16L/34R to be lengthened to 15,100 feet (4,600 m) from its current 12,002 feet (3,658 m). Plans for a fourth parallel runway west of 16R/34L are also shown, but is more than fifteen years away.
In addition to runway reconfigurations, the airport will construct a new terminal and two new concourses. Plans call for a single terminal with an attached concourse consisting of 31 mainline gates and an additional parallel satellite concourse consisting of 15 mainline gates and 44 regional jet gates. The two concourses would be attached with an underground automated train. The existing terminal and concourses would be demolished and would leave room for additional expansion onto the two new concourses in the future.
Other plans call for a new parking garage and expanded cargo facilities. Construction of the Airport extension of the Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) TRAX light rail system (Green Line) from Downtown Salt Lake City to the airport began in October 2008, and began service on April 14, 2013. The TRAX Green Line connects the airport with the rest of UTA's rail system, including the FrontRunner (a commuter rail train that connects Salt Lake City with Ogden on the north and Provo on the south). In addition to the rail network itself, the TRAX line also connects with Park and Ride lots of both TRAX and FrontRunner, which allow transit patrons to avoid having to pay for parking at the airport.[Note 1]
In June 2010, the airport asked for public comments on the airport expansion as well as announcing the start of an environmental study of the master plan that had public hearings in the summer of 2011. In February 2012, the airport announced that construction would likely begin in 2013 and 2014, with completion slated for 2020. In 2021, the International Terminal and the concourses will begin demolition, and build the new North and South concourses. The expansion's details are deliberately being kept flexible to better adapt to changing conditions in the airline industry and are likely to change over the next 8–10 years. A top priority of the expansion will be to greatly increase airport buildings' resistance to earthquakes.
The airport is accessible from I-80 at exit 115 B or from I-215 at exits 22 and 22 B. The airport can also be accessed from North Temple street and Utah State Route 154 (Bangerter Highway) both of which terminate and merge into the airport's Terminal Drive.
|Route||Destination||Service Times||Terminals Served||Schedule|
|UTA TRAX Light Rail Service|
|Green Line (Route 704)||Light Rail service to North Temple Bridge, Temple Square Station, and City Center Station. Access to the TRAX Blue Line (Draper), TRAX Red Line (South Jordan and the University of Utah) and FrontRunner (Ogden and Provo).||5:40am to 11:30pm every 15 minutes on weekdays
6:30am to 11:15pm every 20 minutes on weekends
|UTA Bus Service|
|Route 551||Bus service to the west side of Salt Lake City.||Limited morning and afternoon service on weekdays||Terminal 1|||
|Route 453||Bus service to Tooele, Utah.||Limited morning and afternoon service on weekdays||Terminal 1|||
|Route 454||Bus service to Grantsville, Utah.||One morning and evening shuttle on weekdays||Terminal 1|||
Ground transportation is available to ski resorts and locations throughout Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah and Summit counties from Salt Lake International Airport. Many Salt Lake taxis, limousines and shuttles accommodate ski equipment.
In the 1994 comedy film Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd Christmas, portrayed by Jim Carrey, is seen running to gate B2 and falling off the jetway at Salt Lake City International Airport. He is also seen sliding across the floor to recover the brief case.
The 2003 romantic comedy-drama film Latter Days featured a layover scene at Salt Lake City International Airport en route to Pocatello, Idaho, in which the main characters get stuck in Salt Lake City when a snow storm closes the airport.
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