Standiford Field ANG
Louisville International Airport
The 123rd Airlift Wing (AW) of the Kentucky Air National Guard occupies two parcels of leased land
on the Louisville International Airport (IAP); one of 76 acres and the other of 5. The base is located
on the northeast side of the airport approximately five miles south of downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
The mission of the 123rd AW is to provide worldwide theater airlift for U.S. military and to support
humanitarian operations. The unit currently flies the C-130H model aircraft and occupies four
administrative, six industrial and two services buildings totaling approximately 355,000 square feet.
The 123rd has 334 full-time personnel, a number that surges once a month to 1,180 personnel during unit training drills.
An aerial survey during a 1937 flood pointed to an unaffected area that had the potential to be the home of a new airport. This survey showed a large, dry area of land which was later to become Standiford Field. The airport was named for Dr. Elisha David Standiford, who as a businessman and legislator played an important role in Louisville transportation history and who owned part of the land on which the airport was built. In 1941, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers cleared and built one north-south runway of 4,000 feet for building and modifying World War II aircraft.
The Federal Government turned the airport over to the Air Board in 1947, at which time all commercial flights moved to Standiford. Standiford Field opened for passenger business on November 15, 1947. Construction of the new landside terminal began in May 1983, with the terminal opening June 30, 1985. This was the third air terminal built in the 56-year history of air passenger service to the city. The structure represented eight years of planning and 26 months of construction. The modern facility replaced a terminal building first constructed in the late 1940s and originally designed to accommodate 150,000 annual passengers. In 1985, nearly two million passengers arrived and departed Louisville via scheduled airline service. The entire landside terminal project cost approximately $35 million.
In 1981 United Parcel Service began a new overnight-delivery business with hub operations at Louisville's airport. UPS built a 35-acre apron for parking additional aircraft and initially employed 135. Today, UPS has made Louisville's airport the fifth largest in the U.S. and the eighth largest in the world in air cargo handled. The company has become Kentucky's largest private-sector employer.
The Airport Authority announced an ambitious expansion plan in 1988 which called for the construction of two new parallel runways to double the airfield capacity. The airport expansion has and will continue to change the airport dramatically. The expansion has brought the opening of the new east and west parallel runways, a new Kentucky Air National Guard Base, a new United States Postal Service air mail facility, new corporate hangars, a new fixed-based operator, a four-level parking garage to handle increased passenger activity (about 3.7 million annually) and a new control tower.
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