The Info List - Columbia Metropolitan Airport

Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
(IATA: CAE, ICAO: KCAE, FAA LID: CAE) is the main commercial airport for Columbia and the Midlands region of South Carolina. The airport is five miles (8 km) southwest of Columbia, in Lexington County.[1] The airport is a regional cargo hub for UPS Airlines.


1 History

1.1 World War II
World War II
era 1.2 Postwar use

2 Facilities 3 Airlines and destinations

3.1 Passenger 3.2 Cargo

4 Statistics

4.1 Top destinations

5 Southeastern Regional Cargo Hub 6 Accidents and incidents 7 Features 8 In popular culture 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] World War II
World War II
era[edit] The airport was built in the 1940 as Lexington County Airport. In 1940 the United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
indicated a need for the airfield as part of the buildup of its forces after World War II
World War II
began in Europe. The earliest recorded Air Corps use of the airport was when the 105th Observation Squadron began flying Douglas O-38
Douglas O-38
and North American O-47 light observation aircraft on 24 September[year needed]. In 1941 the airport came under formal military control and an immediate program began to turn the civil airport into a military airfield. On 8 December 1941, as the Columbia Army Air Base, Columbia Army Airfield's mission was a training base for B-25 Mitchell
B-25 Mitchell
crews. One of the earliest units to train at Columbia AAB was the 17th Bombardment Group, which arrived on 9 February 1942. When the group arrived in Columbia its combat crews were offered the opportunity to volunteer for an "extremely hazardous" but unspecified mission which ultimately turned out to be the famous Doolittle Raid
Doolittle Raid
on Japan. Contrary to popular belief, the volunteers who made up the crews of the Doolittle Raid
Doolittle Raid
did not train for the Raid itself at Columbia. Training at Columbia Army Air Base
Columbia Army Air Base
was phased down during the summer of 1945. Several units arrived at the base from overseas to inactivate during September and October. It was inactivated by the U.S. Army Air Forces on 30 November and returned to civil authorities, which converted it back to an airport. The 350th Bombardment Squadron
350th Bombardment Squadron
was assigned to Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
on 16 July 1947 as part of the Air Force Reserve, but it was never equipped or manned; it was inactivated on 27 June 1949. Postwar use[edit]

Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
(CAE), 1998

Passenger service was begun by Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
which has served Columbia for over 70 years. Delta began flights from Columbia to Charleston, Asheville, Jacksonville, Augusta, Savannah and New York–La Guardia. Delta DC-9
jet flights began March 7, 1966, with Flight 521 from Charleston continuing to Atlanta. Eastern Airlines
Eastern Airlines
provided service to Charlotte, Washington, and New York. Piedmont Airlines
Piedmont Airlines
flew from Augusta, Florence, and Charlotte in 1962. Southern Airways
Southern Airways
flew to Charleston and Greenville/Spartanburg. In January 1978 Eastern started flights to Atlanta after a route swap with Piedmont Airlines. Southern Airways
Southern Airways
left in December 1978, six months before their merger with North Central Airlines
North Central Airlines
to form Republic Airlines. Atlantis Airlines started service in 1979 for a brief time using Twin Otter
Twin Otter
aircraft. Piedmont Airlines
Piedmont Airlines
introduced nonstop service to Miami in January 1980, but all service was discontinued June 1980 leaving only Delta and Eastern in Columbia for a time. In November 1982, Piedmont Airlines
Piedmont Airlines
returned to Columbia with flights to Charlotte and later Newark. American Airlines
American Airlines
would start service in 1985 to Raleigh and United Airlines
United Airlines
would fly to Charlotte and Chicago–O'Hare. PeopleExpress and Continental Airlines. Freedom Airlines operated Convairs to Columbia in 1983. United Express (operated by Atlantic Coast Airlines) entered the market May 24, 1999 with service to Washington–Dulles and added Chicago–O'Hare on July 1, 2000. Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
(operated by Pinnacle Airlines) came to Columbia on October 6, 2003, offering service to Detroit. On October 30, 2005, American Eagle returned after a nine-year absence with service to Dallas/Fort Worth after Delta closed their DFW hub earlier that year. In October 2010 US Airways Express
US Airways Express
operated by Air Wisconsin began non-stops to New York–La Guardia, but wound up discontinuing it as a result of a New York–La Guardia slot swap with Delta, which now has two daily flights to the airport. Since 2000 the airport has tried to recruit low-cost carriers, but has been unable to maintain those services. Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air
tried service to Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, yet these services did not last. Independence Air
Independence Air
served Columbia briefly in 2004 and 2005 with service to Washington–Dulles before ceasing its operations in January 2006. In May 2008, Spirit Airlines began service to Fort Lauderdale but terminated the route in March 2009. In 2011, Vision Airlines
Vision Airlines
launched service to Destin, Florida, though it terminated the route after only a month. In 2015, former United Airlines
United Airlines
CEO Jeff Smisek was forced to step down after it was revealed that he had continued to run an unprofitable route to the airport from Newark Liberty International Airport for former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
chairman David Samson.[2] Facilities[edit] The airport covers 2,600 acres (1,100 ha) and has two runways: 11/29 is 8,601 x 150 ft (2,622 x 46 m) and 5/23 is 8,001 x 150 ft (2,439 x 46 m). It has a 50 x 50 ft (15 x 15 m) helipad. The center 75 feet of runway 5/23 is asphalt; the edges are grooved concrete.[1] The airport is a hub for UPS Airlines
UPS Airlines
and was a hub for Air South, a former low-cost carrier. In 2006 the airport had 98,239 aircraft operations, average 269 per day: 47% air taxi, 38% general aviation, 11% airline and 4% military. 100 aircraft were then based at the airport: 60% single-engine, 25% multi-engine, 14% jet and 1% military.[1] The terminal opened May 30, 1965 and was renovated in 1997. The renovation was designed by Heyward, Woodrum, Fant & Associates, Ltd.[3] It replaces a terminal built in the early 1950s which was a replacement of a terminal built several years earlier in the early 1950s.[4] Since the late 1980s, capital improvements have been undertaken, including a renovated and expanded terminal, a new parking garage (completed in 2003), the lengthening of the runways, and better interstate access. The terminal has several services, including a gift shop, the Everett Adams Memorial chapel, restaurants and bars inside the terminal. Free wireless internet service is provided throughout the airport as well as small number of recharge stations with access to outlets. Police and Fire/Rescue services are provided by the Columbia Metro Airport Department of Public Safety. Public safety officers are South Carolina Police Academy Class 1 officers, and South Carolina
South Carolina
Fire Academy IFSAC Firefighter II, and Airport Firefighter. Some have Basic EMT Certifications. The Department has Three ARFF units, One RIV unit, One Fire Pumper, and a Service Truck. Law Enforcement is covered by four patrol vehicles. The Department provides fire services at the FAR 139 level only. Structural firefighting is handled by Lexington County Fire Service. Airlines and destinations[edit] Passenger service is provided by four scheduled airlines, with commercial cargo service being handled by three scheduled airlines and numerous air freight operators. Two fixed-base operators also serve the Metro facility with various charter flights. The airport maintains a newly dedicated air cargo terminal, the Columbia Airport Enterprise Park (CAE Park) and Foreign Trade Zone #127. Columbia Metropolitan Airport recently completed a $45 million terminal expansion and renovation. Annually, the airport serves about 1 million passengers, though prior to the Great Recession, nearly 1.5 million passengers were served.[5] Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations

American Eagle Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Washington–National

Delta Air Lines Atlanta

Delta Connection Atlanta, New York–La Guardia

United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Washington–Dulles


Airlines Destinations

Castle Aviation Cincinnati

FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis

FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo Myrtle Beach

UPS Airlines Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisville, Miami, Oakland, Ontario, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento Seasonal: Hartford

UPS Airlines operated by Air Cargo Carriers Greenville/Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Swainsboro

UPS Airlines operated by Martinaire Beaufort, Charleston, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hilton Head, Statesboro

Statistics[edit] Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from CAE (Nov 2016 – Oct 2017)[6]

Rank City Passengers Carriers

1 Atlanta, Georgia 201,830 Delta

2 Charlotte, North Carolina 100,830 American

3 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 42,110 American

4 Washington–Dulles, D.C. 40,090 United

5 Washington–National, D.C. 36,590 American

6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 29,660 American

7 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 26,040 United

8 New York–La Guardia, New York 12,530 Delta

9 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 10,770 United

Southeastern Regional Cargo Hub[edit] In August 1996, the UPS Airlines-owned cargo airline opened an $80 million southeastern regional hub at the airport, one of six regional hubs throughout the United States. The hub offers next-day, second-day and third-day air service. The buildings encompass 352,000 square feet (32,700 m2) and the 44-acre (180,000 m2) ramp is large enough to hold 22 DC-8
aircraft. The hub can process 42,000 packages an hour. Other major air cargo companies serving the airport include ABX Air
and FedEx Express. Accidents and incidents[edit]

A Volpar 18
Volpar 18
(registration N47A[7]) crashed on February 26, 1971 while attempting to land at the airport. The aircraft crashed in poor visibility and fog while performing a missed approach, killing the pilot and 7 passengers.[8] A Beechcraft C90 King Air
Beechcraft C90 King Air
(N711FC[9]) crashed on December 20, 1973 while attempting to land at the airport. The aircraft collided with trees after descending below minimum descent altitude in poor visibility. The pilot and a passenger were killed and another passenger was seriously injured.[10] A Learjet 60
Learjet 60
(N999LJ[11]) crashed on September 19, 2008 while attempting a rejected takeoff on runway 11, crashing instead into the hillside across a road beyond the end of the runway. Four people died in the accident, including the two pilots. The sole survivors were musicians Travis Barker
Travis Barker
of Blink 182
Blink 182
and DJ Adam Goldstein, who died a year later.[12]


The airport's two airplane runways measure 8,000 feet (2,400 m) and 8,600 feet (2,600 m) in length. The airport runways can accommodate an airplane of any size, including the Boeing 747 and the military C-5A. The airport contains its own police department, fire station, and post office (Air Mail Facility). Decorative and semi-natural ponds bordering the sides of the airport terminal can be used by the airport fire department to put out fires. The air traffic control tower is 105 feet (32 m) tall. More than 1.1 million passengers travel through Columbia Metropolitan Airport each year. More than 1,400 people work at the airport.

In popular culture[edit]

An opening scene in the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, was shot in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
terminal although it is labeled as "New York Airport." Air scenes from the 1943 WWII film A Guy Named Joe, starring Spencer Tracy and Lionel Barrymore, and directed by Victor Fleming, were filmed at what was then called the Columbia Army Air Base.


Aviation portal South Carolina
South Carolina

^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for CAE (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20 ^ Harwell, Drew; Zezima, Katie (8 September 2015). "United Airlines chief steps down amid federal investigation" – via www.washingtonpost.com.  ^ Natural light pours into the Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Archived 2005-09-03 at the Wayback Machine. ^ http://www.columbiaairport.com/ airport section, history subsection ^ http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/17/3213731/columbia-airport-traffic-increased.html Columbia airport traffic increased in 2013 ^ "OST_R - BTS - Transtats". www.transtats.bts.gov.  ^ "FAA Registry (N47A)". Federal Aviation Administration.  ^ National Transportation Safety Board. MIA71AM076 ^ "FAA Registry (N711FC)". Federal Aviation Administration.  ^ National Transportation Safety Board. MIA74AM049. ^ "FAA Registry (N999LJ)". Federal Aviation Administration.  ^ "Crew in crash died of burns, smoke inhalation". 22 September 2008. 

External links[edit]

Columbia Metropolitan Airport, official site FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective March 29, 2018 FAA Terminal Procedures for CAE, effective March 29, 2018 Resources for this airport:

AirNav airport information for KCAE ASN accident history for CAE FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker NOAA/NWS latest weather observations SkyVector aeronautical chart for KCAE FAA current CAE delay information

AC-U-KWIK informat