Lake City International Airport
|Z13, -41.5632 °S, 141.2957 °E|
|Lake City International Airport|
|City||Lake City, MN|
|Elevation AMSL||212 m|
|Highways||Airport Freeway (SR 993)|
|Metro lines|| LCTA Blue Line|
LCTA Orange Line (via LCX Monorail)
Lake City International Airport (WAAT: LCX, ANACA: BALC) is the primary airport of Lake City in the state of Minnonigan. Known locally simply as LCX, Lake City International Airport is a major international hub for the southwestern Federal States. With seven 3000+-meter runways and nearly 200 designated gates, Lake City is one of the highest-capacity airports in the world.
Lake City International Airport was first planned in 1952 to relieve overcrowding at the older, smaller Gunnison Airport on Lake City's northeast side. With little room to expand and growing noise concerns from affluent neighborhoods near Independence Park, the city chose to construct a new airport on the far western edge of the city rather than invest in further upgrades to Gunnison. The airport opened in 1963 with only what's now Terminal 1 and Runway 6L/24R completed.
The airport grew rapidly: Concourses D and E opened in 1972; Concourses F and G opened along with a parallel runway and cargo facilities in 1977. Runway 18/36 (now 18L/36R) opened in 1982, with Concourses H, J, and K opening shortly thereafter. In 1988, crosswind runway 13/31 opened after local concerns about noise in Meridian City and the Lakeview neighborhood of Lake City.
In 1993, the Lake City Aviation Authority announced the planned closure of Gunnison Airport by the year 2000. In preparation for Gunnison’s closing, Terminal 3 was planned as well as Runway 18R/36L. This new runway expansion was easily the most challenging LCX expansion to date, requiring extensive condemnation proceedings for over 30% of Meridian City, most of which was residential. Terminal 3 opened as scheduled in 1997; however, due to legal challenges, Runway 18R/36L would not open until 2008. Unfortunately, due to the success of SkyRide Airlines at Gunnison Airport while the 18R/36L legal challenges were playing out, the LCAA reversed itself and voted to keep Gunnison Airport open. Due to this reason, LCX is a rare high-volume hub that is significantly undercapacity.
In 2014, the terminal core was extensively remodeled and restructured. As part of the restructuring, a “global terminal” concept was unveiled with Concourses G, H, and J in Terminal 2. The gates in these three concourses are unreserved, with all international arrivals using these gates regardless of airlines. Passengers are then able to clear Customs without leaving the secured area, allowing for faster, easier connections to domestic flights. Domestic airlines are still permitted to allow departing international flights to use other Concourses; however, for connecting international passengers heading outside of the FSA planes must taxi to a G/H/J gate for a second round of boarding. The 2014 restructuring also added gates in each terminal that can accommodate dual-jetway operations for the world’s largest jets.
In 2015, the state government of Minnonigan and the Lake City Aviation Authority announced the LCX Vision 2020 plan, an ambitious plan to detangle LCX's runways to greatly increase airfield capacity. Currently, LCX can use no more than four runways simultaneously, only under certain wind conditions, and with Runways 06R/24L and 13/31 below capacity to avoid potential conflicts. During some weather events, LCX can only operate safely on two runways. The Vision 2020 plan will dramatically improve operations during inclement weather by adding four runways parallel to the 06/24 pair, allowing six active runways during favorable conditions and no less than four runways even during inclement weather. The ultimate buildout of Vision 2020 includes a western passenger terminal connected to the Terminal Core via an underground Airside Transit System (ATS) to allow travelers from southwestern Minnonigan to park, ticket, check bags, and clear security without needing to enter the Terminal Core through the congested Balmoral corridor. The western terminal will also open up new areas of Jasper County to commercial development.
Construction on Phase I of the plan, which replaced Runway 13/31 with a new Runway 06R/24L south of the existing South Cargo Area began in September 2018 with relocations of the Belt Harbor Railroad (using an older industrial alignment) and Interstate 18/21. Runway 06C/24C was also lengthened to 4000 m. On October 31, 2018, Runway 05R/23L opened; the paired Runway 05L/23R opened two weeks later, on November 14.
Currently LCX consists of three airside terminals (Terminals 1, 2, and 3) with a Landside Terminal outside security near Terminal 2. The Landside Terminal is open to the public and includes shopping, a food court, the LCTA Blue Line station, and The Wilberding at LCX hotel. Should additional gate capacity be necessary in the future, land exists to construct a Terminal 4 which would include existing Concourse R and future Concourses S and T.
With the opening of Runways 05L/23R and 05R/23L, a West Terminal was opened in the northwest corner of the airport. The West Terminal hosts no gates, but does provide landside amenities (parking, ticketing, baggage check, security, etc.) for travelers. Once clearing security, passengers can take the Airside Transit System (ATS) underground tramway to the Terminal Core. The West Terminal is also served by the LCX Monorail outside of security. The West Terminal allows travelers from areas south and west of Lake City to drive directly to the airport and avoiding highway congestion in the Balmoral area of Montrose.
|Concourse (Terminal)||Gates (total)||Airlines||Destinations||Notes|
|A (1)||A1-A20 (20)||Regional flights only|
|B (1)||B1-B10 (10)|
|C (1)||C1-C11 (11)|
|D (1)||D1-D10 (11)||Gates D7 and D7a can be combined for dual-jetway operations.|
|E (2)||E1-E11 (11)|
|F (2)||F1-F11 (12)||Federal Airlines|| Jundah-Stuart, TA, FSA
Morsboro, NA, FSA
Stanton, NC, FSA
Ann'harbor, NC, FSA
Malojdeh, Neo Delta
|Gates F1 and F1a can be combined for dual-jetway operations.|
|G (2)||G2-G13 (12)||Duncanheim Royal Airlines||Kattenden, Duncanheim|
|H (2)||H1-H17 (28)||Unreserved||International|| Gates H16 and H16a/H17a OR Gates H17 and H16a/H17a can be combined for use with dual-jetway operations.|
Gates H5a-H5f and H6a-H6f are reserved for short-distance international flights.
|J (2)||J1-J10 (10)||Unreserved||International|
|K (2)||K1-K10 (10)|
|L (2)||L1-L10 (10)|
|M (3)||M1-M11 (11)|
|O (3)||O1-O10 (10)||Regional flights only. Connects to main terminal via underground walkway.|
|P (3)||P1-P15a (12)||PenqAir||Warwick, Burton, Whitestone, Gilbertville||Gates P15 and P15a can be combined for use with dual-jetway operations.|
|Q (3)||Q2-Q14 (10)|
|R (3)||R1-R9 (8)|
Airlines and Destinations
With dedicated concourses of various sizes and extensive maintenance and cargo facilities, LCX is well-equipped to serve as a multi-airline hub in the region. Interested airlines should reach out to the Lake City Aviation Authority for availability options and gate assignments.
The LCX Terminal Core is located immediately southwest of the West Side Interchange, where the Outer Beltway (SR 900) interchanges with the South Minnonigan Expressway (SR 903), the latter of which heads directly into central Lake City. The Airport Freeway (SR 993) connects the Outer Beltway with the Terminal Core; the freeway also serves the hotel and entertainment district of Balmoral in Montrose.
Short-term parking is available in Parking Deck A and surface lots B and C in the Terminal Core; the LCX Monorail links the Terminal Core to long-term parking lots D and F and Parking Deck E as well as Economy Lot G outside the Consolidated Rental Car Facility northeast of the airport on Balmoral Avenue.
To improve passenger flow to and from the southwest, the West Terminal was opened in November 2018 with direct connections to Interstate 118.
Lake City Transit Authority and SMARTbus transit buses do not serve the Terminal Core directly; however, they do serve the LCX Monorail Long-Term Parking station for passenger connections. Intercity buses and hotel shuttles use the Intercity Bus Transfer Facility in the Consolidated Rental Car Facility (which is also on the LCX Monorail).
The LCTA Blue Line terminates in the Landside Terminal under Parking Deck A, providing direct access to all terminals. The LCX Monorail also connects to LCTA Orange Line and ComRail (2) trains at Dodge Transfer.
ComRail (1) riders can transfer to the LCTA Blue Line at Montrose, two stops away from the Terminal Core.