Charlotte Douglas Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Charlotte Douglas Airport

Charlotte Airport, with the IATA code of CLT and the ICAO code of KCLT, is a joint civil-military public international airport nearby the city of Charlotte, in the United States of America. The airport is large, handling just less than 40 million passengers per annum, and is therefore considered as the eleventh busiest in the nation. It has a high volume of aircraft movements as well, and is rated as the sixth busiest in the world in this regard. Passengers traveling through the airport will find all the facilities they require, and have several options for ground transport as well. They also have access to a wide range of airline carriers that travel to a large number of destinations around the world.

The airport of Charlotte is found in the state of North Carolina, and to the west of Charlotte’s city centre. It therefore serves the Charlotte metropolitan area. Within the state, Charlotte is to the east of Gastonia, to the south of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point and to the west of Fayetteville. It is also north of Augusta, Charleston and Columbia, which are cities found in South Carolina. Additional states that surround North Carolina include Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Charlotte Douglas Airport is particularly nearby the main roads of the Interstate 85, Interstate 485 and Billy Graham Parkway. These major roads provide airport access from the north, west and south. Wilkinson Boulevard is another important road for airport access, and is convenient to use from downtown Charlotte. Passengers travelling to Charlotte airport in their own vehicles will find plenty of parking options available. There are four long term car parks, an hourly car park and three daily car parks. A cell phone lot is also available, and valet parking is an option. This US airport offers some of the most affordable parking rates in the whole country.

A number of ground transport options are available to passengers. The CATS Sprinter buses are a cheap way to travel from the city centre, or one of many private shuttles can be booked. The public buses are available every twenty minutes for travel from the airport. Taxis are a convenient way to travel as well, and will cost just $25.00 from or to downtown Charlotte. The airport currently has no connections to the city’s light rail system. Arriving passengers can rent a car from one of the car hire companies, such as Avis, Hertz, Budget or National. They have rental counters on the lower baggage claim level of the terminal.

Charlotte Airport began as the Charlotte Municipal Airport in 1936, and was operated by the City of Charlotte. A passenger terminal was built, and regular flights were offered by Eastern Air Lines. In 1941, the United States Army Air Forces took control of the airport, establishing the Morris Field Air Base, which was used by the Third Air Force. After World War II the airport once again resumed public services, and was renamed as the Douglas Municipal Airport, in honour of former Charlotte Mayor, Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr. In 1954 the airport also received a new terminal building approximately 6,500 square meters in size, and with two levels. At this time, flights were offered by Delta Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines and Eastern Air Lines to destinations such as Newark, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Louisville and Jacksonville. Between 1960 and 1980 many improvements were made to the airport facilities, including the expansion of the terminal, a new concourse and a new 10,000 foot (3,000m) runway. Piedmont Airlines also declared Charlotte as the hub of their operations.

In 1982, a new terminal was opened, covering a surface area of 325,000 square feet, and the airport was also officially named as the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Shortly thereafter, expansions were made to Concourses B and C, and Concourse A was constructed in 1986. Concourse D came about in 1990, and was built as an international and commuter concourse. It has a surface area of 80,000 square feet. In the new millennium, the airport received new Concourse E, with 32 gates. This concourse is today mainly used by US Airways, the airline company for which the airport is a major hub.

Today, this US Airport consists of its main terminal building and five concourses. All areas of the airport have useful passenger amenities. There are over ninety retail shops and restaurants from which to choose, as well as banking and currency exchange facilities, free Wi-Fi internet connections and airline lounges. Visitor services include the Welcome Centre, which offers a variety of services, and volunteers can also be found in the terminal, ready to assist passengers with many of their queries. Additional facilities of the Charlotte airport include the USO of North Carolina, a lounge with amenities dedicated to military personnel, military retirees and their families, a superb viewing area from where the planes can be seen and the Carolinas Aviation Museum. This museum was established in 1992, and has a collection of over 50 aircraft. There is also an aviation library with many interesting features that include an extensive photography collection.

The majority of the airport’s passengers fly on domestic flights, however, a significant number are international passengers as well. Since that Concourse D is the international concourse, the airline companies here include Lufthansa, Air Canada and Insel Air. US Airways offers international flights as well. The most popular of international routes flown from Charlotte Airport are to Cancun in Mexico, Montego Bay in Jamaica, Toronto in Canada, Frankfurt and Munich in Germany, Nassau in the Bahamas and London in the United Kingdom. US Airways, along with American Eagle, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Ultimate Air Shuttle fly to the domestic destinations of Atlanta, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Newark, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, Miami, Nashville, Jacksonville, Charleston, Seattle/Tacoma and many others.

In 2011, Charlotte Douglas International Airport broke its passenger record, having served 39.4 million passengers, a two percent increase from 2010, which saw 38.2 million passengers. Since the airport is steadily growing in its operations, a five-year development plan is in place. Some of the future improvements include a new in-line baggage system, renovations to the baggage claim areas, expansion of Concourse E, an eastside terminal expansion, a new hourly parking deck and a new airport entrance road.

Further information is available from Charlotte Airport at 704-359-4013.