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Nashville Municipal Airport

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Nashville Municipal Airport

Nashville International Airport
File:Nashville International Airport Logo.svg
Airport type Public
Owner City of Nashville
Operator Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA)
Serves Nashville, Tennessee
Focus city for Southwest Airlines
Elevation AMSL 599 ft / 183 m
Coordinates 36°07′36″N 086°40′55″W / 36.12667°N 86.68194°W / 36.12667; -86.68194Coordinates: 36°07′36″N 086°40′55″W / 36.12667°N 86.68194°W / 36.12667; -86.68194

Location of airport in Tennessee
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2L/20R 7,703 2,348 Concrete
2C/20C 8,001 2,439 Concrete
2R/20L 8,000 2,438 Concrete
13/31 11,030 3,362 Concrete
Statistics (2012)
Aircraft operations 174,750
Based aircraft 94
Passenger volume (2013) 9,651,000
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Nashville International Airport (IATA: BNAICAO: KBNAFAA LID: BNA) is a public and military use airport in the southeastern section of Nashville in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It 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] Established in 1937, its original name was Berry Field, from which it its ICAO and IATA identifiers are derived. The current terminal was constructed in 1987, and the airport took its current name in 1988. Nashville International Airport has four runways, the longest of which is 11,030 feet (3,360 m) long, a size adequate to handle all aircraft in service in 2012.

Nashville International Airport (BNA) ranks as the 34th-busiest airport in the United States in terms of passengers.[3] Nashville International exceeded 10 million passengers for fiscal year 2013, marking only the second time in the airport’s history to reach that figure. The total passenger count traveling through BNA in FY 2013 (July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013) was 10,064,661, which is a 3.1 percent increase from FY 2012. The last time BNA topped 10 million passengers was in 1993. BNA has added 14 new nonstop flights in the past year.

The airport terminal complex includes an over 1,000,000-square-foot (93,000 m2) passenger terminal with 47 air carrier gates and up to 78 commuter parking positions. BNA serves a trade area of 79 counties in Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and northern Alabama. The airport is a focus city for Southwest Airlines and has previously been a hub for American Airlines. Berry Field Air National Guard Base is located at Nashville International Airport. The base is home to the 118th Airlift Wing and is the headquarters of the Tennessee Air National Guard.



Nashville's first airport was Hampton Field, which operated until 1921. It was replaced by Blackwood Field in the Hermitage community, which operated between 1921 and 1928. The first airlines to serve Nashville, American Airlines and Eastern Air Lines, flew out of Sky Harbor Airport in nearby Rutherford County.[4]

By 1935 the need for an airport larger and closer to the city than Sky Harbor Airport was realized and a citizens' committee was organized by mayor Hillary Howse to choose a location. A 340-acre (1.4 km2) plot along Dixie Parkway (now Murfreesboro Road) composed of four farms was selected, and construction began in 1936 as one of the first major Works Progress Administration projects in the area. The airport was dedicated on November 1, 1936, as Berry Field, named after Col. Harry S. Berry, the Tennessee administrator for the Works Progress Administration. It officially opened in June 1937 with much fanfare, including parades, an air show, and an aerial bombardment display by the 105th Aero Squadron, which was based at the field.[5] Passenger service began in mid-July through American Airlines and Eastern Airlines, both of which operated Douglas DC-3 aircraft. The new airport had three asphalt runways, a three-story passenger terminal, a control tower, two hangars and a beacon, and was constructed at a cost of 1.2 million dollars. In its first year Berry Field served 189,000 passengers.[4][6][7]

During World War II the airfield was requisitioned by the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command as the headquarters for the 4th Ferrying Command for movement of new aircraft overseas. During this time, the Federal government expanded the airport to 1,500 acres (6.1 km2).  At the end of the war the airport was returned to the control of the city, with a number of facilities remaining for support of the tenant unit of the Tennessee National Guard.[6]

Early jet service

The airport had been enlarged by the military during World War II, but in 1958 the City Aviation Department, started planning to expand and modernize the airport.[6] Nashville gained its first scheduled jet service in 1961, the same year a new 145,000 square feet (13,500 m2) terminal opened off of Briley Parkway, west of runway 2L. For the first time more than half a million people passed through the airport when the six airlines that served Nashville carried 532,790 passengers. These renovations also included expansion of an existing runway, with 2L/20R being extended by 600 feet (180 m), and the construction of a new crosswind runway, 13/31.[6] In 1962 Nashville became the first municipal airport in the United States with a public reading room when the Nashville Public Library opened a branch inside the terminal.[8]

Modern terminal and hub status

By the 1970s the airport was again in need of expansion and modernization. In 1973 the newly created Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) finalized a master plan to coordinate the long term growth of the airport along projected increases in needed passenger capacity. This plan included the building of a new terminal and a new parallel runway across Donelson Pike to handle increasing operations by reducing the time between consecutive takeoffs and landings.[6]

In the early 1980s the MNAA commissioned Robert Lamb Hart, in association with the firm of Gresham, Smith and Partners, to design a modern terminal; construction began in 1984 and was completed in 1987. It had three main concourses and a smaller commuter concourse radiating from a distinctive three-story atrium.[4] An international wing was built in Concourse A and flights to Toronto started in 1988; the airport was renamed Nashville International Airport/Berry Field. It is now rare to see the "Berry Field" portion used, but the airport's IATA code (BNA) is short for Berry Field Nashville, and the military facilities at the airport are still commonly known by this name. In 1989 a new parallel runway (2R/20L) was opened for use.[6]

American Airlines and its subsidiary, American Eagle, officially opened their hub in Nashville in April 1986.[9] Besides operating service to many U.S. cities, American also flew nonstop from Nashville to London and Toronto. American's service peaked in 1992, after which flights were gradually scaled back until the hub eventually closed in 1995.[10] Southwest Airlines quickly filled the void by seizing 54% of the Nashville market and making it a focus city, with American remaining as the second-largest carrier at Nashville, followed by Delta Air Lines.[11][12]

Recent history

In 2002 Embraer Aircraft Maintenance Services (EAMS) selected Nashville as the location for its Regional Airline Support Facility, which was built on the site of the demolished 1961 terminal building.[13]

In October 2006 the Nashville Metropolitan Airport Authority started an extensive renovation of the terminal building, designed by Architectural Alliance of Minneapolis and Thomas, Miller & Partners, PLLC of Nashville,[14] the first since the terminal opened 19 years prior. Phase one of the project involved updating and expanding food and vending services, improving flight information systems, and construction of a new consolidated security checkpoint for all terminals. Phase one was completed in 2009. Phase two of the project involved the expansion of the ticketing and check-in areas, the construction and renovation of bathrooms, and the renovation of the baggage claim areas. Completion of the second phase of the renovation project was completed in 2011.[15] These renovations bring the total size of the terminal building to over 1,000,000-square-foot (93,000 m2).[16] In addition to the terminal renovation and expansion, the renovations included expanding parking and a new rental car facility.[17] The renovated terminal was named the Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal in honor of a MNAA board chair in 2011.[6]

In addition to passenger amenities in the terminal and parking areas, the renovations included improvements to the airport's infrastructure. The largest project was the complete demolition and rebuilding of Runway 2L/20R, which was completed in August 2010. In addition to the rebuilding of Runway 2L/20R, Runway 2C/20C was closed from September through December 2010 for pavement and concrete rehabilitation. BNA's 91 acres (0.37 km2) of tarmac were also rehabilitated during this project after being funded entirely by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allotments.[18]

Even with Nashville no longer being a hub for a major airline, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of passengers using the airport is expected to double within the next 20 years. With the additional renovations and expansions, the MNAA leadership has a stated goal of adding the number of nonstop destinations, increasing cargo service, and adding more international flights.[7] According to a November, 2012 interview with Chief Executive Officer Rob Wigington, the MNAA is actively seeking increased non-stop domestic flights and international service. Service to Latin America, especially Mexico City is a high priority, with the long term goal of restoring service to London and establishing service to Tokyo.[19]

Concourses and facilities

Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal

Nashville International Airport's Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal is the main commercial terminal for the airport. It consists of three floors, with ground transportation on the first level, baggage claim services on the second level, and ticketing, passenger drop off and concourse access on the third level.[20] There are 47 gates in the three concourses in use. The concourses are connected by a large hub that contains a unified security checkpoint located in the main section of the terminal.[18]

The terminal is served by Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority bus route 18, which provides express and local service between the airport's passenger facilities and the Music City Central bus terminal in Nashville's central business district.[21]

Concourse A was originally constructed to service American Airlines international flights between Nashville and London. Concourse A has 8 gates, of which 5 are occupied.[22] It is now utilized by Air Canada, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines and its respective express subsidiaries and is the smallest concourse in use.[23]

Concourse B is the second largest concourse in BNA with 13 gates, of which 9 are occupied.[22] It is utilized by Delta Air Lines and US Airways and their respective subsidiaries for domestic flights.[23]

Concourse C is the largest concourse at BNA, featuring a large shopping and dining area and the highest number of gates of any concourse. Concourse C has 24 gates, all of which are occupied, although 6 of these gates are inactive.[24] It was originally constructed to be the main concourse for American Airlines during BNA's tenure as a hub, which continues to maintain a large presence in the concourse. It is now mainly utilized by Southwest Airlines for their focus city operations in Nashville. Additional occupants of Concourse C include American Airlines and American Eagle, and commuter Essential Air Service (EAS) flights by SeaPort Airlines.[23]

Concourse D was constructed as a ground level commuter terminal for American Eagle with 15 ground level commuter aircraft parking spots and gate facilities.[24] All American Eagle flights operated out of Concourse D until, as a cost-cutting measure after September 11, 2001 (9/11), all American Eagle flights were moved to Concourse C to share gates with American Airlines. For a short period of time, Concourse D was used by Corporate Airlines to operate its own regional flights until it became an American Connection and Continental Connection regional affiliate, at which point the concourse was closed by the MNAA.[25] The MNAA has no plans to reopen Concourse D, and it is occupied by the Transportation Security Administration.[26]

Airline lounges

Nashville International Airport hosts two airline lounges, a Delta Air Lines Sky Club and an American Airlines Admirals Club. The Sky Club is located adjacent to gate B3, in the same concourse as all of Delta's gates.[27] The Admirals Club is located above gate C12, in the same concourse as most of American's gates.[28]

Public art

BNA is home to an aviation themed art project and gallery entitled Arts at the Airport. The award-winning Arts at the Airport program reviews and presents works by local, regional, and national artists for the enjoyment and enrichment of Nashville International Airport's passengers and visitors. In addition to visual art, Arts at the Airport includes various live music exhibitions, showcasing Nashville's musical heritage. Arts at the Airport is supported by the MNAA and the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC), and is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.[29]

In addition to the various exhibits, exhibitions and collections of Arts at the Airport, the Consolidated Rental Car Facility includes a large outdoor public art display by artist Ned Kahn. The installation includes a large number of alumnium sheets attached to hinges to the facade of the building designed to move with the wind, creating an undulating appearance to the surface of the building.[17]

General aviation, charter and commuter terminals

Fixed-base operators (FBO) Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support operate separate terminals from the main commercial terminal that are used primarily for general aviation and charter service. These FBOs provide hangar space, fueling and maintenance, and traveler amenities to individuals and companies utilizing the airport for non-scheduled commercial and private flights.[30][31]

Some scheduled commuter service flights have utilized the Atlantic Aviation terminal in the past. Due to its inability to secure a position at the main terminal and low number of scheduled flights, Tennessee Skies operated scheduled commercial EAS flights to Jackson, Tennessee from the Atlantic Aviation terminal. Since the cessation of Tennessee Skies flights from Nashville, no scheduled commercial service operates outside of the main terminal building, with all EAS flights operating from the main terminal.[32]


Nashville International Airport has four runways, three of which are parallel with one crosswind. The crosswind runway, 13/31, is the longest of the four at 11,030 feet (3,360 m). The most recent improvement was to runway 2L/20R, the primary outbound runway under the airport's Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System. It was completely rebuilt with concrete recycling techniques that prevented having to bring in large amounts of fresh concrete to the site, with construction ending in early 2011.[33]

Runway Length (ft) Length (m) Width (ft) Width (m) Notes
2L/20R 7,703 2,348 150 46 Instrument landing system (ILS) equipped
2C/20C 8,001 2,439 150 46 Instrument landing system (ILS) equipped
2R/20L 8,000 2,400 150 46 Instrument landing system (ILS) equipped
13/31 11,030 3,360 150 46 Instrument landing system (ILS) equipped on Runway 31

Airlines and destinations

Nashville International Airport is served by 13 carriers with more than 375 average daily arriving and departing flights at 47 air carrier gates. These carriers serve 51 airports with non-stop service from Nashville, with direct through service to 90 markets.[11]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Aeromexico Seasonal: Cancún[34] A
Air Canada Express operated by Jazz Air Toronto-Pearson C
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles
Seasonal: Miami
American Eagle operated by American Eagle Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Miami, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Washington-National C
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles
Seasonal: Cancún, Salt Lake City
Delta Connection operated by Compass Airlines New York-LaGuardia B
Delta Connection operated by Endeavor Air Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK B
Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet Atlanta, Detroit
Seasonal: Orlando (begins December 21, 2013)
Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis (ends January 6, 2014), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City B
Frontier Airlines Denver A
SeaPort Airlines Athens (GA), Jackson (TN) C
Southwest Airlines Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston (SC), Chicago-Midway, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Greenville/Spartanburg, Houston-Hobby, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, New York-LaGuardia, Norfolk, Orlando, Panama City (FL), Pensacola (FL), Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Oakland, Seattle/Tacoma
United Express operated by ExpressJet Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland,[35] Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles A
United Express operated by Shuttle America Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark A
US Airways Charlotte B
US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin Charlotte, Philadelphia B
US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines Charlotte B
US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National B
US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National B


Top Ten Busiest Domestic Routes Out of BNA
(November 2011 – October 2012)[36]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 360,000 Delta
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 281,000 American
3 Denver, CO 255,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Chicago, IL (Midway) 233,000 Southwest
5 Detroit, MI 217,000 Delta, Southwest
6 Charlotte, NC 217,000 US Airways
7 Baltimore, MD 199,000 Southwest
8 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 198,000 American, United
9 Orlando, FL 151,000 Southwest
10 Philadelphia, PA 143,000 Southwest, US Airways

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, between June 2011 and May 2012, Nashville International Airport ranked 34th in the United States and 1st in the state of Tennessee in terms of arriving and departing passengers. In the same time period, it ranked 35th in the United States terms of the number of scheduled departures, with 65,090 flights. The busiest year for BNA came in 2007, with a total of 9,698,000 total passengers passing through the airport.[36]

The largest carrier at Nashville International is Southwest Airlines, which carried over 5,161,000 enplaned passengers between June 2011 and May 2012, giving it 54% of the share of flights. Following Southwest are American with 7.71%, Delta with 7.62%, American Eagle with 5.76%, and ExpressJet with 3.19%, with the remainder equaling 20.86%.[36]

As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 4,648,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[37] 4,385,780 enplanements in 2009, and 4,432,527 in 2010.[38]

Cargo facilities

Air cargo integrators, charter cargo airlines and air express companies operate daily from the Nashville Air Cargo all-cargo complex. The complex, located across the airfield from the airport's passenger facility, is within five minutes of Interstate 40. It provides taxiway access to Nashville International's three parallel runways and crosswind international runway. The airport has seen considerable growth in its cargo operations in recent years with the addition of a 70,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) FedEx facility at BNA. China Airlines ceased operations at Nashville on July 31, 2009. For September 2010-2011, BNA had 43,500 t (43,000 long tons; 48,000 short tons) of cargo pass through its facilities.[39]

Airlines Destinations
ASTAR Air Cargo Cincinnati
BAX Global Toledo
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Washington-National

Additional charter and unscheduled cargo service is provided by AirNet Systems, Ameristar Air Cargo, Baron Aviation Services, Cherry Air Cargo, IFL, McNeely Charter Service, Mountain Air, Royal Air Cargo, Special Aviation Services and USA Jet.[40]

Military facilities

Berry Field Air National Guard Base (ANGB) is located on the premises of Nashville International Airport. Since 1937 it has hosted the 118th Airlift Wing (AW). Berry Field faced the removal of its flying mission with the BRAC 2005 recommendation to realign its assets to other units. It averted this fate by taking on a new role as the C-130 International Training Center.[41]

Approximately 1,500 personnel are assigned to both HQ, Tennessee Air National Guard and to the 118 AW at Berry ANGB. Approximately 400 are full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel, augmented by approximately 1100 traditional part-time air guardsmen. Approximately 100 additional foreign military personnel are also temporarily assigned to the 118 AW at any one time for training in the C-130E or C-130H aircraft.[41]


  • On October 15, 1943, American Airlines Flight 63, a Douglas DC-3, crashed near Centerville, Tennessee en route to Memphis after departing Nashville due to atmospheric icing on the aircraft's carburetors and wings. All 11 passengers and crew were killed. This accident remains to this day the costliest accident related to BNA in terms of lives lost.[42]
  • On September 28, 1963, an Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-7 crashed on landing after the aircraft's nose gear collapsed. All 45 passengers and crew survived.[43]
  • On May 31, 1985, a Gulfstream I crashed immediately after takeoff due to failure of the left engine. Both people on board were killed.[44]
  • On January 29, 1996, a United States Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter crashed shortly after takeoff. The jet struck a housing development and erupted into a fireball, killing the pilot and four individuals on the ground.[45]
  • On September 9, 1999, a Trans World Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9 suffered a landing gear collapse after a hard touchdown. All 46 passengers and crew survived.[46]
  • On October 29, 2013, a Cessna 172R, from Ontario, Canada, crashed at Nashville International Airport. According to preliminary information from the NTSB, the flight plans that were filled with Transport Canada was to fly to Pelee, Ontario. It is currently unclear how the plane got to Nashville International Airport. Around 3AM Eastern time, the plane crashed on runway 2C. The burned wreckage on runway 2C went unnoticed for nearly six hours before being spotted by another general aviation aircraft.[47]

See also


External links

  • Nashville International Airport, official site
  • Tennessee DOT airport directory
  • The National Map
  • PDF), effective July 24, 2014
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for BNA, effective July 24, 2014
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KBNA
    • ASN accident history for BNA
    • FlightAware live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KBNA
    • FAA current BNA delay information

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