Essay

5 Largest Airports in Kentucky

The Kentucky Derby and the Bourbon Trail are the most well-known events in the Bluegrass State. Nonetheless, the state is also home to a number of significant airports that are essential in linking Kentuckians to the rest of the nation and the globe. Kentucky boasts 59 airports. This list is for you if you’re wondering which airport in Kentucky might have the best amenities or if you want to avoid the crowds and noise of major airports! Let’s examine Kentucky’s top five airports.

1. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

The official location of the first airport on this list is Hebron, Kentucky. Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky are served by the airport. In 2022, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), which has been operational since 1947, handled over 7.6 million passengers. In addition to being a key hub for the Cincinnati metropolitan area, CVG is one of the main airports serving this region of Kentucky.

This airport serves as a key hub for both cargo and passenger flights. CVG ranks as the 12th largest cargo airport worldwide and as the sixth largest in North America. Annually, this airport in Kentucky handles about 11,203 freight landings. With 56 airlines and more than 300 itineraries, CVG provides a broad selection of both domestic and international flights. The airport in Northern Kentucky is a major component in the area’s air transport hub thanks to its advantageous location and state-of-the-art amenities. With more than 16,000 workers, this airport keeps boosting the local economy.

2. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport

The renowned boxer Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in case you weren’t aware. It seems natural that Muhammad Ali should also be honored by having one of Kentucky’s major airports bear his name. An important center for transportation, the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) handles well over 3 million people a year. SDF handled 4.2 million passengers through arrivals and departures in 2019, making it the best year to far.

As of 2018, the Louisville airport employed 83,000 people, making SDF the largest employer in the Louisville Metro area. Furthermore, SDF is the second busiest cargo airport in North America and the fourth largest cargo airport globally. SDF is a cargo hub with a favorable location that specializes in packages and freights. Worldport is a sorting and logistics facility located at the Louisville Airport. Run by UPS, Worldport is one of the biggest automated package handling facilities in the world. Worldport’s excellent location in Louisville only serves to increase SDF’s economic sustainability by creating additional job possibilities.

3. Blue Grass Airport

The Blue Grass Airport is situated in Lexington, the center of Kentucky’s horse country. Over 1.3 million travelers pass through the LEX airport annually, and 107,702 people arrived at Blue Grass Airport in December 2023 alone. This airport in Kentucky is particularly significant for visitors who wish to see Lexington’s horse culture. The LEX airport has expanded and improved significantly over time. For instance, a 50,000-square-foot hangar is anticipated to open in the fall of 2024.

4. Tri-State/Milton J. Ferguson Field

Ashland, Kentucky is home to the Tri-State/Milton J. Ferguson Field. The tri-state region of West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky is well-served by this airport. Despite being the second-smallest airport on the list, this regional airport is essential for providing regional connectivity and serving the local communities.

5. Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

In Owensboro, Kentucky, sits the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport. This airport serves as a vital link between Western Kentucky and several areas. Following a local aviation accident in 1945, the Owensboro Airport was constructed in 1949. Despite not being the biggest airport in Kentucky, the OWB airport serves the local community well and is conveniently located for around a million people living in the surrounding areas of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Visiting Airports in Kentucky

The major airports in Kentucky benefit their surrounding communities economically in addition to providing connectivity and transportation services. These airports continue to influence air travel throughout Kentucky, from the busy airport in Louisville to the tiny regional airport in Owensboro.

Highlights of 5 Largest Airports in Kentucky:

Rank Airport Annual Passengers
1 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport 7.6 million
2 Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport 3.89 million
3 Blue Grass Airport 1.3 million
4 Tri-State/Milton J. Ferguson Field 115,000 thousand 31,000 thousand
5 Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport 31,000 thousand