Nashville International Airport is a joint civil-military airport in southeastern Nashville, Tennessee. It was established in 1937 as Berry Field, from which it derives its IATA and ICAO airport code: Berry Field, NAshville. Until 1988, the airport was referred to as Berry Field Nashville Airport when the name was changed to its current form reflecting plans for international flights with its new status as an American Airlines hub. American ceased hub operations at Nashville in the mid 1990s, with Southwest Airlines designating Nashville as a focus city and picking up most of American's market share shortly thereafter.
Nashville International Airport has four runways, the longest of which is long, a size adequate to handle all aircraft currently in service. The airport serves around 9.4 million passengers a year and over of cargo in 2011, making it the 35th busiest airport in the United States. The terminal complex includes an over passenger terminal with 47 air carrier gates and up to 78 commuter parking positions. It is a major factor in the regional economy, contributing $3.74 billion in economic activity, $1.18 billion in wages, and more than 39,700 jobs annually to the regional economy. The Airport serves a trade area of 79 counties in Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and northern Alabama. BNA is one of 12 airports in the United States participating in the FAA's Sustainable Master Plan program, which highlights environmentalism and sustainability as core components of airport development.
Berry Field Air National Guard Base is located at Nashville International Airport. The base is home to the 118th Airlift Wing, an Air National Guard unit operationally gained by the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) flying the Lockheed C-130, as well as the headquarters of the Tennessee Air National Guard.
Eastward view of Berry Field's original administration building at about Nashville's first airport was Hampton Field, which operated until 1921, followed by Blackwood Field in the Hermitage community, which operated between 1921 and 1928. The first airlines, American and Eastern, flew out of Sky Harbor Airport in nearby Rutherford County().
By 1935 the need for an airport larger and closer to the city than Sky Harbour Airport was realized and a Citizens Committee was organized by mayor Hillary Howse to choose a location. A 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, and officially opened in June 1937. The new airport had three asphalt runways, a three story passenger terminal, a control tower, two hangars and a beacon. In its first year Berry Field served 189,000 passengers.
In 1938 NE-SW and NW-SE asphalt runways crossed in front of the terminal and a east-west runway crossed the north ends of the other two runways. By 1939 a north-south runway had been added just west of the terminal, where the parallel taxiway is now. In May 1950 runway 2L/20R was , 2R/20L was , 5/23 was , 9/18 was and 15/33 was . The present runway 2C/20C is about 400 ft west of the line of old runway 2R/20L, which was extended to become a parallel taxiway after 1988.
Tennessee National Guard facilities at Berry Field during World War 2. During World War II the airfield was requisitioned by the United States Army Air Force 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 . 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.
The April 1957 OAG shows 50 weekday departures: 24 on American Airlines, 22 on Eastern Air Lines, two on Braniff International Airways and two on Ozark Air Lines. The airport had been enlarged by the military during World War II, but in 1958 the predecessor to the MNAA, the City Aviation Department, started planning to expand and modernize the airport.
In 1961 the new terminal opened off of Briley Parkway, west of runway 2L; that year six airlines carried 532,790 passengers. Scheduled jet service started in June when American Airlines flew a Boeing 720/720B on the New York-Nashville-Memphis-Dallas-Los Angeles route. The 1961 terminal was the setting for several scenes in the 1975 Robert Altman film Nashville. In 1962 Nashville became the first airport with a public reading room when the Nashville Public Library opened a branch inside the terminal.
Five runways (including 7000-ft runway 2L) were still in use in early 1960, but runways 9 and 15 soon closed; by 1962 runway (13-31) had opened and by 1965 runway 5 was closed.
Modern terminal and American Airlines hub
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.
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. 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 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.
American started its hub in 1986; that September it scheduled 66 weekday departures to 23 nonstop destinations, with 44 American Eagle turboprop departures to 14 more cities. American's service peaked in 1992, after which flights were gradually scaled back until the hub eventually closed. Concourse D, a ground-level concourse for American Eagle commuter flights, was closed with the end of American's hub operations. Southwest Airlines quickly filled the void by seizing 47% of the Nashville market and making it a focus city, with American remaining as the second largest carrier at Nashville. Today Nashville International Airport is served by 14 carriers with more than 375 average daily arriving and departing flights at 47 air carrier gate, with direct air service to 90 markets.
Historical Passenger Statistics
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.
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, the first since the terminal opened 23 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. These renovations bring the total size of the terminal building to over . In addition to the terminal renovation and expansion, the renovations included expanding parking and a new rental car facility. The renovated terminal was named the Robert C. H. Mathews Jr. Terminal in honor of a MNAA board chair in 2011.
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 of tarmac were also rehabilitated during this project after being funded entirely by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allotments.
As part of BRAC 2005, the Department of Defense was recommended to realign Berry Field Air National Guard Base, removing from the airport a flying Air National Guard presence. In October 2007, after significant community and government protest at the committee's findings, it was announced that as an amendment to the BRAC 2005 decision the 118th Airlift Wing would continue to retain a flying mission, transforming into the C-130 International Training Center, thereby retaining a flying military presence at BNA.
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. There are 47 gates in four major concourses (of which three are currently in use) bridged by a large connecting hub that contains a unified security checkpoint located in the main terminal.
The main terminal is served by MTA bus route 18, which provides express and local service between the airport's passenger facilities and downtown Nashville.
Concourse A was originally constructed to service American Airlines international flights between Nashville and London. Concourse A has 8 gates, of which 5 are currently occupied. It is now utilized by Frontier Airlines and United Airlines and their respective express subsidiaries and is the smallest concourse in use.
Concourse B is the second largest concourse in BNA with 13 gates, of which 9 are currently occupied. It is utilized by Delta Air Lines and US Airways and their respective subsidiaries for domestic flights.
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 currently occupied, although 6 of these gates are inactive. 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 Air Canada, American Airlines and American Eagle, and commuter Essential Air Service (EAS) flights by SeaPort Airlines.
This concourse, currently closed by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), was constructed as a ground level commuter terminal for American Eagle with 15 ground level commuter aircraft parking spots and gate facilities. All American Eagle flights operated out of Concourse D until, as a cost-cutting measure after 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. Currently, the MNAA has no plans to reopen Concourse D, and it is occupied by the Transportation Security Administration.
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. The Admirals Club is located above gate C12, in the same concourse as most of American's gates. The American Airlines Admirals Club, which was closed after September 11, 2001, reopened on July 11, 2007.
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.
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.
General Aviation, Charter and Commuter terminals
Fixed Base Operators 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.
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 currently operating from the main terminal.
Airlines and destinations
Airports with non-stop service from Nashville KBNA
Top Ten Busiest Domestic Routes Out of BNA (March 2011 February 2012) 
||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
||Frontier, Southwest, United
||Chicago, IL (Midway)
||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)
||Southwest, US Airways
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 FedEx facility at BNA. China Airlines ceased operations at Nashville on July 31, 2009. For September 2010-2011, BNA had of cargo pass through its facilities.
Additional charter and unscheduled cargo service is provided by:
Accidents and incidents
- On October 15, 1943, American Airlines Flight 63, a 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.
- 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.
- On May 31, 1985, a Gulfstream I crashed immediately after takeoff due to failure of the left engine. Of 2 aboard, 2 were killed.
- On September 9, 1999, a TWA DC-9 suffered a landing gear collapse after a hard touchdown. All 46 passengers and crew survived.
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