Kentucky is home to a strong aviation community that includes 52 public use General Aviation Airports and 6 Commercial Airports that provide scheduled passenger and/or air cargo services.
General Aviation (GA) airports are critical to the Commonwealth, providing much needed access across the state. While no passenger service travels through these vital facilities, their impact is seen by nearly every Kentucky industry. Business and corporate flyers depend on General Aviation airports for fast, reliable access to visit their facilities; freight suppliers use the GA network for timely movement of cargo; the agriculture community depends on the GA network for crop services; GA network air ambulances provide life-saving medical support; and a nationally recognized aviation education program is housed at a GA airport. In October 2019, Kentucky officials broke ground on new Gallatin County airport. The GA airport will be the 58th in the state and is expected to serve the business needs of the I-71 corridor between Louisville and Cincinnati. Kentucky is also home to six commercial airports that are certified to provide scheduled passenger service including Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF), Blue Grass Airport (LEX), Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport (OWB), Barkley Regional Airport (PAH), and Bowling Green-Warren County Airport (BWG). CVG, SDF, and LEX contribute more than 85,000 jobs and $9.6 billion in economic impact to the state.
Kentucky will soon be the only state to house three major air freight logistics companies moving goods through our state to the rest of the world. Due to their presence, Kentucky ranks third in the nation in total air cargo shipments.
Airports, regardless of size and service, require continual maintenance and improvements to safely serve customers. These improvements and maintenance projects are funded through a variety of sources including the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program, Aviation Economic Development Funds, and user fees. Maintaining and improving the Commonwealth’s aviation network requires a reliable and consistent funding mechanism. Stable funding allows Kentucky’s airports to plan, design, and complete major maintenance and improvement projects that will benefit all Kentuckians.