Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
The Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) officially opened in 1947 with the landing of an American Airlines DC-3 flight in front of a welcoming hometown crowd. First used as an Army Air Corps pilot training site in 1944, the airfield was abandoned by the military after about a year of use as World War II was ending. Soon after that, local officials decided to build an airport terminal on the property, launching a new era of commercial flight at the site.
Although the airport serves Greater Cincinnati, it actually is based in Boone County, Kentucky. The airport is known to the locals and in the airline industry as CVG, referring to the nearby town of Covington. However, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong once joked that those initials might also stand for “Cincinnati very good.” Armstrong, who died in 2012, served on the airport’s board of directors in the 1970s.
Cincinnati’s first municipal airport opened in Ohio in 1925, but a decision to build a newer facility in Kentucky was made in the 1940s. Located southeast of Cincinnati, the older Lunken Airport earned the nickname “Sunken Lunken” because it had been damaged by Ohio River flooding. Those problems caused some to deem it unsuitable for expansion. Northern Kentucky civic leaders lobbied to have a newer airport built on farmland across the river in their state, not far from downtown Cincinnati. The project was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and subsidized with $2 million in federal funding.
The Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky airport has experienced dramatic expansion since those early days. With the introduction of jet planes in the 1960s, many more people began to travel by air. The first commercial jet service to CVG was introduced by Delta in 1960. Two additional terminals were opened in 1974, and a third one was remodeled to accommodate the growth. A $500 million terminal expansion in 1994 increased the number of airline gates to 100. A second north-south runway was added in 1991, and a third one was opened in 2005.
Over the years, the airport has become a major hub for global travel. The first international flight from the airport took to the skies in 1987. Today, the facility schedules flights to 53 non-stop destinations, including Paris and Toronto. More than 180 planes depart from the airport every day.
Visitors to the vast airport complex will discover there is much more to see than airplanes. At CVG’s Holscher Park, patrons can learn about airport operations as they view informational displays on a landscaped walking path. Groups on scheduled tours can visit the airport’s Tour Plane and can sit in a real jet cockpit. The airport boasts miles of horse trails, which can be used for free by participants in CVG’s Equestrian Program. The airport also offers an environmental science tour that highlights the technology used there to keep local streams clean.
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport Amenities
Inside the terminals, visitors can get a taste of Cincinnati’s past by viewing 14 art deco murals decorating the walls of the terminals. The mosaics, designed by German artist Winold Reiss, depict manufacturing workers and craftsmen who were key to industrial development in the city. The murals originally lined the walls at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal railway station, but they were moved to the airport in 1972 when the train terminal was sold.
CVG’s well-maintained grounds now cover more than 11 square miles. The airport is like a city in itself, with its own fire and police departments and its own road system. This bustling flight hub provides service to millions of passengers annually and supports about 50,000 regional jobs.
Airlines Serving Cincinnati Airport
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport serves as one of the major hubs for Delta Air Lines. When it comes to the fleet size, Delta Air Lines is considered the largest airline company in the world. This major U.S. carrier connects Cincinnati to several of the other airports that serve as domestic hubs for Delta Air Lines. The list of these important Delta hubs includes Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and New York City’s two major airports JFK and La Guardia. In fact, Atlanta is the busiest domestic route at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. Delta also serves as an important bridge between Cincinnati and popular Florida destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa.
Offering non-stop service to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, Delta Air Lines is the only airline at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to take passengers outside of the American continents. Cancun, Mexico and Toronto, Canada are the other international routes available through Delta Air Lines.
The Delta Connection service provides flights to major metropolitan airports and smaller regional airports. Examples of such destinations include Baltimore, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, Omaha, and Richmond. Delta Connection flights are provided by smaller U.S. airline companies such as Chautauqua Airlines, ExpressJet, Pinnacle Airlines, and Skywest Airlines. All Delta Air Lines service is offered at the gates of Concourse B in the terminal building of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Frontier Airlines invites passengers at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to enjoy some of the most popular resort areas in Mexico. Operating in Concourse B, this regional U.S. airline offers flights to Cancun International Airport and Punta Cana International Airport. This service to Mexico is known as Apple Vacations by Frontier Airlines.
The only international airlines that serve Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport are from Canada. Air Canada Express links Ohio’s third biggest city with Toronto, which is the largest city in Canada. Sunswing Airlines takes Cincinnati’s tourists to Montego Bay, the second largest city in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica. Both Canadian airlines operate at Concourse A.
The service at Concourse A in Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport is dominated by United Airlines. Being one of the largest airline companies in the United States, United Airlines links Cincinnati to other major domestic destinations. Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston Intercontinental, Newark Liberty, and Washington Dulles are major international airports in the United States that are on the list of the United Airlines schedule.