Rickenbacker International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Rickenbacker International Airport

image-width = 189
type = Public
owner =
operator = Columbus Regional Airport Authority
city-served = Columbus, OH
location =
elevation-f = 744
elevation-m = 227
coordinates = coord|39|48|50|N|082|55|40|W|type:airport_region:US
website = [http://www.rickenbacker.org/home.asp www.rickenbacker.org]
r1-number = 5R/23L
r1-length-f = 12,102
r1-length-m = 3,689
r1-surface = Asphalt/Concrete
r2-number = 5L/23R
r2-length-f = 11,937
r2-length-m = 3,638
r2-surface = Asphalt
stat-year = 2005
stat1-header = Aircraft operations
stat1-data = 56,998
stat2-header = Based aircraft
stat2-data = 72
footnotes = Source: Federal Aviation AdministrationFAA-airport|ID=LCK|use=PU|own=PU|site=17786.*A, effective 2007-07-05]

Rickenbacker International Airport Airport codes|LCK|KLCK|LCK is a joint civil-military public airport located 10 miles (16 km) south of the central business district of Columbus, a city in Franklin County, Ohio, United States. It is managed by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which also operates Port Columbus International Airport and Bolton Field. Rickenbacker International is used primarily as a cargo airport for the city of Columbus and a growing number of passenger charter carriers are using the airport as well.

The United States Air Force maintains a presence in the form of the Ohio Air National Guard's 121st Air Refueling Wing, the first Air National Guard unit to fly KC-135 tankers. Rickenbacker International is also the headquarters for the Ohio Military Reserve, one of the state defense forces of Ohio.


Rickenbacker used to be run by the Rickenbacker Port Authority, until merging in 2003 with Port Columbus and Bolton field creating the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. As of July 2006, Rickenbacker is the world's 126th busiest cargo airport according to Air Cargo World. ["Air Cargo World": [http://www.aircargoworld.com/Graphics/month/28ACW0706Asia-Africa-Growing.pdf "Top Cargo Airports of the World" with focus on Africa and Asia.] Retrieved July 8, 2007.] Rickenbacker ranks as one of the worlds top 20 fastest growing cargo airports in July 2006 with 112,888 tons, a 15.3% increase from the previous year. This is mainly due to the transfer of AirNet Systems operations from Port Columbus International Airport to Rickenbacker. This number is expected to increase with the introduction of the new intermodal facility that is under construction. As of now it has scheduled service from FedEx along with contractors Mountain Air Cargo and CSA Air and UPS along with contractors Air Cargo Carriers. Multi-weekly 747 freighter service is operated by Evergreen International Airlines, Atlas Air, and Kalitta Air. Other airlines based at Rickenbacker are Snow Aviation and Air Tahoma. Rickenbacker International Airport was also the site for filming all aircraft exterior shots in the movie Air Force One starring Harrison Ford. Rickenbacker was recently chosen as the host airport for the 2007 Gathering of Mustangs and Legends air show.

Facilities and aircraft

Rickenbacker International Airport covers an area of convert|4342|acre|ha|0|lk=on which contains two runways:
* Runway 5R/23L: 12,102 x 200 ft (3,689 x 61 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete
* Runway 5L/23R: 11,937 x 150 ft (3,638 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2005, the airport had 56,998 aircraft operations, an average of 156 per day: 41% air taxi, 28% military, 23% general aviation and 9% scheduled commercial. There are 72 aircraft based at this airport: 14% single engine, 6% multi-engine, 6% jet aircraft, 44% helicopters and 31% military aircraft.

In December, 2006 PlanetSpace entered negotiations with the Ohio government to build a spaceport at Rickenbacker. [cite web |url=http://www.personalspaceflight.info/2006/12/02/spaceport-ohio/ |title=Spaceport Ohio? |publisher=Personal Spaceflight |date=2006-12-02]

Passenger airlines and destinations

* Direct Air
** Direct Air operated by Virgin America (Myrtle Beach)
* Sun Country Airlines (Laughlin/Bullhead City) [seasonal charter]

Cargo airline service

* Evergreen International Airlines (Anchorage, New York-JFK)
* FedEx Express ("inbound" Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Indianapolis, Baltimore/Washington "outbound" Memphis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark)
** FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo (Indianapolis, Memphis, Charleston)
** FedEx Feeder operated by CSA Air (Charleston)
* UPS Airlines (Louisville)
** UPS Airlines operated by Air Cargo Carriers (Louisville)
* Atlas Air (Anchorage, New York-JFK)
* Kalitta Air (Anchorage, New York-JFK)
* AirNet Systems (various cities)
* Air Tahoma


The facility was originally opened in June 1942 as Lockbourne Army Airfield (named after the nearby village of Lockbourne). It was then named the Northeastern Training Center of the Army Air Corps, and provided basic pilot training and military support.

During the Cold War the facility was known as Lockbourne Air Force Base and was assigned to the USAF Strategic Air Command. Lockbourne AFB was redesignated Rickenbacker Air Force Base on 18 May 1974, by Department of the Air Force Special Order GA-11 of 6 March 1974, to honor Columbus native Eddie Rickenbacker, the leading American fighter pilot of World War I.

The base was transferred from the Strategic Air Command to the Air National Guard and redesignated Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base on 1 April 1980.

The base was recommended for closure by the 1991 Commission, but as a result of a proposal by the State of Ohio, the 1993 Commission recommended that Rickenbacker ANGB be realigned rather than closed. The Commission decided to retain the 121st Air Refueling Wing and the 160th Air Refueling Group in a military cantonment area at Rickenbacker ANGB instead of realigning to Wright-Patterson AFB. The Air National Guard would continue to operate as tenants of the Rickenbacker Port Authority (RPA) on the RPA's airport and the military facilities were realigned as Rickenbacker Air National Guard Station on 30 September 1994 by the 1991 Congressional Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

In August 2001 a Groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction for a new, consolidated Navy and Marine Corps Air Reserve Center at Rickenbacker International Airport. The $10 million center, scheduled for completion in early 2003, will be located at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Club Street adjacent to the Air National Guard facility at Rickenbacker. Being developed by the Navy Reserve, the project will consolidate the Naval Air Reserve Center at Rickenbacker with the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center currently located on Yearling Road in Columbus. When completed, the nearly 1,000 Navy and Marine Corps Reservists currently located at the two existing Reserve Centers will shift their activities to this new facility. Once the new center opens, the site of the existing Naval Air Reserve Center at Rickenbacker will be redeveloped by the Rickenbacker Port Authority, which operates the convert|5000|acre|ha|0|lk=on|sing=on airport.

See also

* Central Air Defense Force (Air Defense Command)
* 121st Air Refueling Wing


External links

* [http://www.rickenbacker.org/home.asp Rickenbacker International Airport] (official site)
* Historical Photos
** [http://www.photohio.org/view_images/trans.php?bib_num=739572 Air show at Rickenbacker A.F.B. in 1974]
** [http://www.photohio.org/view_images/trans.php?bib_num=739531 Fighter jet with control tower in background, 1974]
** [http://www.photohio.org/view_images/trans.php?bib_num=728396 Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, the base's namesake, in 1958]

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