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Tulsa International Airport

Tulsa International Airport is a city-owned, public-use, joint civil-military airport located five miles (8 km) northeast of downtown Tulsa, a city in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States. It was originally named Tulsa Municipal Airport, when the city acquired it in 1929.[1] It was given its current name in 1963.[2]

The 138th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard is based at the co-located Tulsa Air National Guard Base.[3]

The airport is the global maintenance headquarters for American Airlines.[4]

During World War II, Air Force Plant No. 3 was built on the southeast side of the airport, and Douglas Aircraft manufactured several types of aircraft there. After the war, this facility was used by Douglas (later McDonnell Douglas) and Rockwell International (later Boeing) for aircraft manufacturing, modification, repair, and research.[5] IC Bus Corporation now assembles school buses in part of this building.[6]

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum is on the northwest side of the airport.

Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport serves as a reliever airport.



McIntyre Airport served as an unofficial city airport in the 1920s. Duncan A. McIntyre, an early aviator and native of New Zealand, came to Tulsa in 1919. His first airport was located at Apache and Memorial and opened August 22, 1919.[7] He moved and established a private airport on an 80-acre tract at the corner of Admiral Place and Sheridan Avenue. McIntyre Field had three hangars to house 40 aircraft and a beacon for landings after sundown.[8]

McIntyre evidently closed his airport during the 1930s and merged it with R. F. Garland a Tulsa oil man and owner of the Garland Airport at 51st and Sheridan Road. He ran the airport and became the President of the new venture.[9] This airport would later become the Brown Airport (after a number of ownres and names including the commervcial airport before it moved to 61st and Yale. In 1940, McIntyre accepted a position with Lockheed Corporation and moved to California.[10]

Charles Lindbergh landed at McIntyre Field on September 30, 1927. He had been persuaded to visit Tulsa by William G. Skelly, who was then president of the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as a booster of the young aviation industry. In addition to being a wealthy oilman and founder of Skelly Oil Company, Skelly also founded Spartan Aircraft Company. Lindbergh had already landed at Oklahoma City Municipal Airport, Bartlesville Municipal Airport and Muskogee's Hatbox Field. All of these were superior to the privately-owned McIntyre Field. Lindbergh pointed this out at a banquet given that night in his honor.[11]

Tulsa Municipal Airport in 1928, showing temporary terminal building. Apache Street in the foreground runs alongside two hangars. Sheridan Avenue in the background passed two more hangars.The initial municipal airport facility was financed with a so-called "stud horse note." This was a promissory note similar to those used by groups of farmers or horse breeders who would collectively underwrite the purchase of a promising stud horse. The note would be retired with the stud fees paid for use of the horse. In the case of the Tulsa airport, the note would be paid from airport fees.[11] Using this vehicle, Skelly obtained signatures from several prominent Tulsa businessmen put up $172,000 to buy 390 acres (178 hectares) of land for use as a municipal airport.[11] It was dedicated and officially opened July 3, 1928. The city of Tulsa purchased the airport, then named Tulsa Municipal Airport, in 1929, and put its supervision under the Tulsa Park Board.[1] Charles W. Short was appointed Airport Director in 1929, and remained in this position until 1955.[12]

The first terminal building was a nondescript, one-story wood and tar paper structure that looked like a warehouse. The landing strips and taxiways were simply mown grass. Still, it sufficed to handle enough passengers in 1930 for Tulsa to claim that it had the busiest airport in the world. The Tulsa Municipal Airport handled 7,373 passengers in February 1930 and 9,264 in April. This outpaced Croydon Field (London), Tempelhof (Berlin), and LeBourget (Paris) for the same months.[13]

A permanent Tulsa Municipal Airport terminal building opened in 1932 and was noted for its Art Deco style Tulsa International Airport entrance In 1932, the city inaugurated a more elegant Art Deco terminal topped with a control tower. Charles Short decorated the inside walls with a notable collection of early aviation photographs. This building served for nearly 30 years, until Tulsa opened a new terminal designed by the firm Murray Jones Murray in 1961[14]; on August 28, 1963 the facility was renamed Tulsa International Airport.[2][8]

In January 1928, Skelly bought the Mid-Continent Aircraft Company of Tulsa and renamed it the Spartan Aircraft Company. It first built a two-seat biplane, the Spartan C3 at its facility near the new airport. Later it would also build a low-wing cabin monoplane for use as a corporate aircraft, and the NP-1, a naval training plane used in World War II. In 1929, Spartan also established the Spartan School of Aeronautics across Apache street from the new Tulsa airport to train future fliers and support personnel.The Spartan School was activated as a U. S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) facility on August 1, 1939 as an advanced civilian pilot training school to supplement the Air Corps' few flying training schools. The Air Corps supplied students with training aircraft, flying clothes, textbooks, and equipment. The Air Corps also put a detachment at each school to supervise training. Spartan furnished instructors, training sites and facilities, aircraft maintenance, quarters, and mess halls.[15]

The 138th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard is based here. It was originally organized at the Tulsa airport in 1940 as the 125th Observation Squadron, then renamed when it deployed overseas during World War II.[3]

In 1941, the Federal Government constructed Air Force Plant No. 3, adjoining the east side of the airport. The plant was operated by Douglas Aircraft Corporation to manufacture, assemble and modify bombers for the U. S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945. Production was suspended when World War II ended in 1945. The plant was reactivated in 1950 to produce the B-47 Stratojet and later the B-66. In 1960, McDonnell Douglas, the successor to Douglas Aircraft Corporation, continued to use the facility for aircraft maintenanace. Rockwell International leased part of the plant to manufacture aerospace products. McDonnell Douglas terminated its lease in 1996.[16] Boeing bought Rockwell International's aerospace business in 1996, and took over much of the facility for aerospace manufacturing.[8]

In June 1946, American Airlines decided to build a maintenance and engineering base adjacent to the Tulsa Municipal Airport. According to the company, it is one of the largest private employers in Oklahoma.[4]

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum (TASM) was established in 1998, on the northwest side of the airport property.[17] The museum added the James E. Bertelsmeyer Tulsa planetarium in 2006.

Facilities and aircraft operations

Tulsa International Airport covers an area of which contains three paved runways:[18]

  • Runway 18L/36R: 9,999 x 200 ft (3,048 x 61 m), Surface: Concrete
  • Runway 18R/36L: 6,101 x 150 ft (1,860 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 8/26: 7,376 x 150 ft (2,248 x 46 m), Surface: Concrete

In late 2010 the airport embarked on a major overhaul of the 1950s era terminal buildings. Concourse B (home to Southwest and United) has begun and will include major HVAC replacement along with the more noticeable design changes. These design changes include sky lights and raising the somewhat low ceilings in the concourse area. Improved passenger waiting areas and gate redesigns. Following completion of Concourse B, Concourse A will get an overhaul (home to American and Delta).[19]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 129,014 aircraft operations, an average of 353 per day: 35% general aviation, 26% air taxi, 25% scheduled commercial and 13% military. There are 167 aircraft based at this airport: 32% single-engine, 22% multi-engine, 31% jet, 2% helicopter and 13% military.[18]

American Airlines Maintenance Facility

It is the headquarters for all Maintenance and Engineering activities at American Airlines worldwide, and is the maintenance base for the airline s fleet of MD-80, Boeing 757, and Boeing 737 and some Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 aircraft a combined total of nearly 600 airplanes. It employs over 6,400 people, including over 4,700 licensed aircraft and jet engine mechanics. According to the company, it is one of the largest private employers in Oklahoma.[4]

The Base occupies about and of maintenance plant at the Tulsa Airport. Each year, the base performs major overhaul work on about 80% of American s fleet. It also does aircraft maintenance for other carriers on a contract basis.[4]



  • Tulsa Tower 121.2 Runways (18L-36R, 8-26) 118.7 (18R-36L)
  • ATIS 124.9
  • Ground 121.9
  • Clearance Delivery 134.05


  • ILS
    • 36R 110.3
    • 18L 109.7
    • 18R 111.1
    • 26 114.4 (DME)
    • 8 114.4 (DME)[20]

Airlines and destinations

Tulsa International Airport consists of two passenger concourses (A and B). The airport offers non-stop service to 16 domestic destinations/airports.[21]


In addition to cargo service provided by commercial air carriers, TUL is also served by:

Top airlines and destinations

Busiest Domestic Routes from TUL (March 2011 - February 2012)[22]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (DFW) 287,000 American
2 Denver, Colorado 166,000 Southwest, United
3 Dallas, Texas (DAL) 129,000 Southwest
4 Houston, Texas (IAH) 126,000 United
5 Chicago, Illinois 121,000 American, United
6 Houston, Texas (HOU) 97,000 Southwest
7 Atlanta, Georgia 97,000 Delta
8 Phoenix, Arizona 58,000 Southwest
9 St. Louis, Missouri 52,000 Southwest
10 Las Vegas, Nevada 43,000 Southwest

Airport management

  • Jeff Mulder, A.A.E. Director of Airports
  • Alexis Higgins Deputy Director of Marketing
  • Jeff Hough Deputy Director of Engineering and Facilities
  • Ken Miller Deputy Director of Operations
  • Carl Remus Deputy Director of Administration and Finance

Industrial Land Development

Tulsa Airport Authority, in 2008, has begun a new Industrial Land Development project. Aerospace is one of the Oklahoma's largest industry clusters with 400 companies that directly or indirectly employ more than 143,000 people with a payroll of $4.7 billion and an industrial output of $11.7 billion. Tulsa is ranked 8th nationally for the size of its aerospace engines manufacturing cluster and 20th for its defense-related cluster.

TUL's central location in the south is easily accessible by a multi-modal transportation network. With a total of and 14,000 on-airport employees, Tulsa is a large center of aviation activity. Six sites totaling over of real estate will be developed. Each of the sites can be divided in to smaller lots to meet any organization's individual needs.[23]

HP Enterprise Services Building

This is HP's Penguin at the Tulsa Airport The HP Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) Building hosting some of Sabre's datacenter servers is located at the Tulsa Airport. The company applied a reflective material on the roof to reduce heat gain, thereby reducing the air conditioning power consumption.[24] In front of this building is a 6-foot sculptured penguin, which was a fund-raiser campaign for a penguin exhibit in the Tulsa Zoo.

See also


  • Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History s Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.
  • Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942 2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC

External links

de:Flughafen Tulsa fa: id:Bandar Udara Internasional Tulsa it:Aeroporto Internazionale di Tulsa ja: no:Tulsa internasjonale lufthavn zh:

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