Cincinnati, OH / Northern Kentucky – OEP:KCVG

8-15-2015 KCVG
CINCINNATI/NORTHERN KENTUCKY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
(7,000 acres) Covington, KY

Four Nearby Instrument Airports:

[KLUK] 12 E ; [I67] 14 N ; [KHAO] 20 N ;
[I69] 21 E ;
(ave. distance: 17 nm)

Total Based Aircraft:8
(3 single-props, 4 multi-props, 1 jet)
Operations & ATC:
(est. 366 ops/day (96% commercial)
24hr FAA towerFAA staffing as of 9/20/14:49
FAA’s ATADS data shows Peak Year was 2004. Total airport operations in 2014 were DOWN 74% from the peak year.
Click on this button for links to background info: [KCVG]-REFERENCE
Additional buttons:NextGen-Noisesearch (aiR)OEP-35
AIRNAV Form 5010 WIKI NOAA (weather)
FlightAware.comFlightStats.comFlightRadar24.com

CVG ATADS data, 1991-2014:

Year Commercial Ops % Commercial TOTAL OPS Change from Peak Year
1991 280,925 94% 298,044 -42%
1992 292,562 96% 305,544 -41%
1993 297,753 95% 312,104 -39%
1994 323,432 95% 339,839 -34%
1995 348,949 96% 365,114 -29%
1996 385,834 96% 401,367 -22%
1997 398,905 96% 416,894 -19%
1998 418,305 94% 443,070 -14%
1999 444,482 93% 476,128 -8%
2000 445,944 93% 477,844 -7%
2001 356,977 92% 386,388 -25%
2002 460,809 95% 485,156 -6%
2003 487,982 97% 505,557 -2%
2004 506,725 98% 515,851 PEAK YEAR
2005 487,828 98% 495,452 -4%
2006 338,896 98% 345,758 -33%
2007 321,464 98% 328,261 -36%
2008 279,778 98% 286,068 -45%
2009 218,354 98% 222,791 -57%
2010 172,734 97% 177,610 -66%
2011 157,367 97% 162,422 -69%
2012 138,519 96% 143,578 -72%
2013 132,739 96% 137,741 -73%
2014 128,129 96% 133,619 -74%

Aeronautical chart from VFRmap.com. (Click to open in a new window).

Scrollable aerial view at bing.com. (Click to open in a new window).


Airport Narrative (Overview & History)

Also known as the Greater Cincinnati Airport, KCVG is an example of the boom/bust cycles airport communities endure, related to the whims of FAA funding and airline decision-making. The airport was proposed in the early 1940’s, to compete with (and maybe replace) Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, which had proven to be flood-prone. The airport opened in 1944 and was initially used for military flight training. Airline flights began in 1947, and jet service arrived in 1960.

Comair began operating in 1977, and then Delta Airlines made the airport a hub in 1981. A major international cargo carrier, DHL, made a hub at KCVG in 1983. The Delta/Comair operation grew to become one of the biggest airline hubs in the U.S, and eventually thousands of passengers would scurry from gate to gate, making their connections. All these passengers passing through generated FAA AIP funds, to invest in more airport development. Terminals were added. A second north-south runway opened in 1991. Airport operations peaked at 516K in 2004 (this equates to 1,410 ops/day, or 29 takeoffs/ATC-hr; i.e., one takeoff every two minutes). The airport had more than a hundred gates when a third north-south runway was added in 2005.

But then, the hub began to crumble. DHL relocated their cargo hub to Ohio. When Delta Airlines merged with Northwest Airlines, they all but abandoned the KCVG hub. Then, early on a Sunday morning in August 2006, 49 people died when a Comair flight crashed while taking off at Lexington. That accident drew public focus onto the fatigue issues (for both pilots and controllers) and the severe cost-cutting practices among regional commuter/feeder airlines. Eventually, in July 2012, Delta announced that Comair would cease operations in the fall.

Geographically, KCVG is located in what would logically serve as a very efficient hub, a ‘mixing-point’ for nearly direct flights from all points in the northeast U.S. to all airports across the southwest, from New Orleans to Los Angeles. With three parallel runways and all those gates, it is astonishing to see so little activity at this airport. It is even more astonishing to see FAA ignoring the billions we have invested in KCVG capital improvements while directing new airline tax money toward other locations, to produce the next boom/bust airline hub.