Jump to content

Billings Logan International Airport

Coordinates: 45°48′28″N 108°32′34″W / 45.80778°N 108.54278°W / 45.80778; -108.54278
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Billings Municipal Airport)

Billings Logan International Airport
Billings Logan International Airport tower
Logo for Billings Logan International Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Billings
OperatorBillings Department of Aviation & Transit
ServesBillings, Montana, United States
OpenedMay 29, 1928; 96 years ago (1928-05-29)
Hub for
Operating base forCape Air[3]
Time zoneMountain Standard Time (UTC−07:00)
 • Summer (DST)Mountain Daylight Time (UTC−06:00)
Elevation AMSL3,662 ft / 1,116 m
Coordinates45°48′28″N 108°32′34″W / 45.80778°N 108.54278°W / 45.80778; -108.54278
FAA Airport Diagram of BIL
FAA Airport Diagram of BIL
Billings Logan International Airport is located in Montana
Billings Logan International Airport
Billings Logan International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
07/25 5,501 1,677 Asphalt
10L/28R 10,518 3,206 Asphalt
10R/28L 3,800 1,158 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Aircraft operations99,748
Based aircraft197
Sources: FAA[4] flybillings.com[5]

Billings Logan International Airport (IATA: BIL, ICAO: KBIL, FAA LID: BIL) is in the western United States, two miles (three kilometers) northwest of downtown Billings, in Yellowstone County, Montana. It is the fourth largest airport in Montana, having been surpassed in recent years by Bozeman, Missoula, and Flathead County (Kalispell) in both number of gates as well as annual enplanements.[6] Owned by the city of Billings,[4][7] the airport is on top of the Rims, a 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooking the downtown core, and covers 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of land.[4][8]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).[9] According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 387,368 passenger boardings (enplanements) in 2013,[10] 388,329 in 2010 and 397,073 in 2009.[11]

Billings Logan International Airport has scheduled nonstop flights to several airline hubs such as Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Chicago, and Seattle. Billings also serves as a small hub for Cape Air,[3] a commuter airline which operates nonstop flights with Cessna 402 prop aircraft within Montana to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Sidney, and Wolf Point.


The first recorded flight in Billings was in 1913 by a local dentist named Dr. Frank Bell, using his home-made Curtiss 0-X-5, on Memorial Day 1913. With much publicity. Dr. Bell took off from Billings flying west-southwest to Park City and back, a 40-mile (65 km) round trip. This flight was captured by local artist J.K. Ralston in his painting entitled First Flight, displayed in the airport lobby.

In 1927, the City of Billings approved $5,000 and 400 acres (160 hectares) on top of the Rims to build a runway. The 1,820-foot (550 m) runway and small administrative building was built by horse-drawn equipment; the airport opened on May 29, 1928.

In 1933, Northwest Airlines introduced the first scheduled passenger air service. Northwest was serving Billings in 1935 as a stop on a route between Chicago and Seattle flown with Lockheed Model 10 Electra twin prop airliners.[12] During the 1950s and early 1960s, Northwest operated Douglas DC-3, Douglas DC-4, Douglas DC-6B and Douglas DC-7C propeller aircraft into Billings.[13]

Inland Air Lines was serving the airport in 1939 as a stop on a route between Denver and Great Falls.[14] Western Airlines then acquired Inland Air Lines and in 1944 was serving Billings with Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar twin prop aircraft on the route between Denver and Great Falls.[15] Western operated Convair 240 and Douglas DC-6B propeller aircraft into the airport during the 1950s and early 1960s.[16]

The original Frontier Airlines was serving Billings in 1950 with Douglas DC-3 aircraft operated on routes to Denver and Salt Lake City.[17] By 1962, Frontier had introduced Convair 340 aircraft on its flights into the airport and would later serve Billings with Boeing 737-200 jets as well as with Convair 580 and de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops.[18][19]

Improvements over the years include runway lights in 1935 to the new 120-foot (37 m) air traffic control tower in 2005. Major terminal expansions were made in 1958, 1972, and 1992. In early 2006 the airport added electronic monitors giving info on arrivals and departures.

The name changed from the Billings Municipal Airport to Billings Logan Field in 1957, after Dick Logan, the airport manager, died. In 1971 the airport became Billings Logan International Airport.[20]

By 1961, Northwest Airlines was operating Lockheed L-188 Electra propjet service into the airport on a routing of New York Idlewild Airport (IDL, now JFK Airport) - Detroit (DTW) - Milwaukee (MKE) - Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) - Bismarck, ND (BIS) - Billings (BIL) - Great Falls (GTF) - Spokane (GEG) - Yakima (YKM) - Seattle (SEA).[21]

The jet age arrived in Billings by 1966 when Northwest introduced Boeing 727-100 "Fan Jet" flights in addition to its Electra turboprop service.[22] In 1968, Northwest was operating nonstop 727 jet service from the airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Great Falls and Spokane as well as direct, no change of plane 727 flights to New York LaGuardia Airport, Newark, Washington, D.C. National Airport, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle and Portland, OR.[23]

Western Airlines was serving Billings in 1966 with Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprops with an example routing being Los Angeles (LAX) - San Diego (SAN) - Phoenix (PHX) - Denver (DEN) - Cheyenne (CYS) - Casper (CPR) - Sheridan (SHR) - Billings (BIL).[24] Western was also operating direct Electra propjet service to Calgary (YYC) via a stop in Great Falls (GTF) during the late 1960s.[25] By the early 1970s, Western was operating all of its flights into the airport with Boeing 737-200 jetliners.[26] In 1979, Western was operating nonstop Boeing 727-200 service to both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seattle as well as flying nonstop Boeing 737-200 service to Denver, Great Falls and Salt Lake City.[27]

For at least part of each year from the late 1970s to early 1980s, Billings was served by wide body McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jetliners operated by Northwest Airlines. In 1979, Northwest was flying DC-10 service on a round trip routing of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) - Detroit (DTW) - Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) - Billings (BIL) - Great Falls (GTF) - Spokane (GEG) - Seattle (SEA).[27] By 1982, the airline was operating the DC-10 on a round trip routing of Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) - Billings - Great Falls - Spokane - Seattle.[28] The DC-10 was the largest aircraft ever to be operated in scheduled passenger service into the airport. For a short period in 1979, Northwest used a Boeing 747 to provide passenger service to MSP-BIL-SEA. This was at the tail end of a pilot/airline dispute. Northwest also served Billings with Boeing 727-200, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50, McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and Airbus A319 jetliners over the years.[29][30]

In 1983, four airlines were operating mainline jet service into the airport: Continental Airlines with Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 nonstop flights to Denver and Great Falls, the original Frontier Airlines (1950-1986) with Boeing 737-200 nonstop flights to Denver, Great Falls and Helena, Northwest Airlines with Boeing 727-200 nonstop flights to Great Falls, Helena, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Spokane with direct service to Chicago, Seattle and Portland, OR, and Western Airlines with Boeing 737-200 nonstop flights to Salt Lake City with direct service to Los Angeles and San Francisco.[31] By 1985, Northwest had once again added nonstop service to Chicago O'Hare International Airport flown with Boeing 727-200 aircraft while United Airlines had begun flying Boeing 737-200 nonstop service to Denver.[32] Also in 1985, the airport had commuter airline service operated by Big Sky Airlines, Centennial Airlines and Pioneer Airlines with the latter air carrier operating as Continental Express on behalf of Continental Airlines.[32]

Another airline which operated jet service into Billings was Horizon Air which in 1999 was operating Fokker F28 Fellowship twin jets with nonstop flights to Seattle on behalf of Alaska Airlines.[33] By 2003, the airline was serving Billings with Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets.[34] Horizon Air continues to serve the airport at the present time on behalf of Alaska Airlines with the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 propjet which is the largest and fastest member of the de Havilland Canada DHC-8 regional turboprop family of aircraft.[35] Additional airlines operating regional jets from the airport in the past included America West Express operated by Mesa Airlines with Canadair CRJ-200 aircraft and Frontier JetExpress flown by Horizon Air with Canadair CRJ-700 aircraft with both air carriers operating nonstop service to Denver.[36][37]

Big Sky Airlines was a commuter air carrier that was based in Billings from 1978 to 2008. Big Sky primarily operated small turboprop airliners including the Beechcraft 1900D, British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner (Metro III and Metro 23 models) and Handley Page Jetstream as well as Cessna prop aircraft. The airline operated nonstop flights from the airport to Butte, MT, Casper, WY, Denver, CO, Glasgow, MT, Great Falls, MT, Helena, MT, Lewistown, MT, Miles City, MT, Sidney, MT and Wolf Point, MT at various times during its existence.[38] In addition, Big Sky operated direct, no change of plane flights from the airport to Bismarck, ND, Boise, ID, Dickinson, ND, Havre, MT, Jamestown, ND, Kalispell, MT, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Missoula, MT, Moses Lake, WA, Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA and Williston, ND at various times during its existence as well.[39] Besides operating as an independent air carrier, Big Sky also operated Northwest Airlink service from Billings via a code sharing agreement with Northwest Airlines in 1989.[40]

As of 2022, the airport is undergoing massive renovations and improvements. This is being done in multiple phases and includes both added gates and a fully redesigned terminal. The first phase of new gates and terminal areas was completed in summer 2022. Work is ongoing and the renovation is expected to help the airport grow and remain modern.

Airport governance[edit]

The Aviation and Transit Board governs BIL, with seven members, each appointed for four-year terms. It is required of the position of a board member to possess the qualifications fit for the Mayor's office. With the consent of the Council, the Mayor elects the board members. No board member may be reelected once his or her term expires. The purpose of the Aviation and Transit Board is not only to help govern the operations of the airport, but also to act as a citizens' advisory board to the City Council. They are to make sure that city policies are implemented and carried out. Shortcomings are to be reported and recommendations are to be made to the City Council.


Billings Logan International Airport has three runways. The primary runway is Runway 10L/28R with a length of 10,518 feet and width of 150 feet. ILS/DME[jargon] on 28R is at 3,738 feet MSL[jargon] is the lowest approach. The second runway is Runway 07/25 with a length of 5,501 feet and width of 75 feet; this runway serves as the crosswind runway. The final runway is Runway 10R/28L with a length of 3,800 feet and width of 75 feet. This runway serves as the primary runway for single engine and light piston aircraft. All three runways are asphalt.[41]

There are nine taxiways currently in use. Taxiway A runs parallel to Runway 10L/28R, serves as the last exit of Runway 10L and connects to the terminal area. Taxiway B runs through Runway 10L/28R as an access taxiway to the Northern Air Tanker Base. Three Taxiways, C, E and F, serve as exit taxiways that vary in width to serve certain size aircraft. Taxiway D intersects Runway 10L/28R and serves as a northern exit point for Runway 25. Two taxiways (G and H) provide all exits for Runway 10R/28L and Runway 7. Finally, Taxiway J is the primary taxiway from the terminal area to the cargo ramps. Two hotspots exist on the airfield side of operations. Hotspot 1 is located at the intersection of Runway 10R/28L and Runway 7/25. Hotspot 2 is located at the intersection of Taxiway C and Runway 10L/28R.[42]

In the year ending December 31, 2023, the airport had 99,748 operations, an average of 273 aircraft operations per day: 58% general aviation, 29% air taxi, 13% airline, and 1% military. 197 aircraft were then based at the airport: 106 single-engine, 62 multi-engine, 22 jet, and 7 helicopter.[4]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


A Delta Air Lines Airbus A319 decelerating on the runway
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Portland (OR)
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Los Angeles,[43] Phoenix/Mesa
Seasonal: San Diego[44]
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare,[45] Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Cape Air Glasgow (MT), Glendive, Havre, Sidney (MT), Wolf Point
Delta Air Lines Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
Delta Connection Salt Lake City
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (begins June 19, 2024)[46]
United Airlines Denver
United Express Denver


FedEx Express Denver, Great Falls, Memphis, Sioux Falls
Freight Runners Express Fargo
UPS Airlines Denver, Louisville, Omaha, Ontario, Portland (OR)


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest routes from BIL (September 2022 - August 2023)[47]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 127,000 United
2 Salt Lake City, Utah 84,000 Delta
3 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 51,000 Delta
4 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 51,000 Alaska
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 39,000 American
6 Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona 25,000 Allegiant
7 Las Vegas, Nevada 16,000 Allegiant
8 Sidney, Montana 7,000 Cape Air
9 Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Arizona (PHX) 7,000 American
10 Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois 4,000 American
Largest Airlines at BIL
(September 2022 – August 2023)
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 United Airlines 211,000 24.90%
2 Delta Air Lines 179,000 21.11%
3 SkyWest Airlines 142,000 16.82%
4 Horizon Air 102,000 12.06%
5 Allegiant Airlines 82,000 9.67%
Other 131,000 15.44%

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On July 8, 1938, a Northwest Airlines Lockheed Super Electra stalled on takeoff. One passenger of the ten on board died.[49]
  • On December 8, 1945, a Douglas C-47 operated by Northwest Airlines on an Army charter flight from Fargo, North Dakota crashed 3/10 of a mile south of Billings in snowy weather at night, struck trees and crashed. 19 out of the 23 on board were killed.[50]
  • On December 18, 1992, a Cessna 550 arriving from Watertown, SD crashed on approach to runway 28R, killing all 8 occupants. The investigation found the cause to be wake turbulence from a Boeing 757 that arrived just prior to the incident, causing the aircraft to roll inverted.[51]
  • On May 23, 2008, Alpine Air Flight 5008, a Beechcraft 1900C registration N195GA acting as a contract mail flight, impacted terrain about three miles northeast of Billings-Logan International Airport en route to Great Falls International Airport approximately three minutes after takeoff. The sole occupant, the pilot, was killed.[52]
  • On November 15, 2015, an El Al Boeing 777-200 made an emergency landing at Billings Logan International Airport. The cockpit received an engine fire warning on the right-hand engine. The plane was en route from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles carrying 297 passengers and 20 crew members. Inspection after landing indicated no fire was present.[53]
  • On April 20, 2020, a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne N926K crashed just west of the airport in a local gun and archery establishment. The sole occupant, the pilot, received fatal injuries due to smoke inhalation. A probable cause by some locals favors a possible engine failure upon initial climbout.[54][55]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Alpine Air :: Services". Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  2. ^ "Locations". corporateair.net. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Cape Air Montana | Billings, Sidney, Glasgow, Wolf Point, Havre, Glendive". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for BIL PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective January 25, 2024.
  5. ^ "BIL operations report for 2023 at flybillings.com". flybillings.com. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  6. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Billings Airport, MT - Official Website | Official Website". ci.billings.mt.us. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "BIL airport data at skyvector.com". skyvector.com. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  9. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2013" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. June 20, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF, 1.0 MB) on August 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  12. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 10, 1935 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  13. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 1, 1955 & May 22, 1960 Northwest Airlines system timetables
  14. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, July 7, 1939 Inland Air Lines system timetable
  15. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Nov. 3, 1944 Western Airlines system timetable
  16. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1956 & Sept. 6, 1960 Western Airlines system timetables
  17. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Nov. 1, 1950 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  18. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Oct. 28, 1962 Frontier Airlines system timetable
  19. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  20. ^ "Airport History | Billings Airport, MT - Official Website". flybillings.com. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  21. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, May 28, 1961 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  22. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, March 1, 1966 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  23. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, July 1, 1968 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  24. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 1, 1966 Western Airlines system timetable
  25. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 1, 1968 Western Airlines system timetable
  26. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 6, 1973 Western Airlines system timetable
  27. ^ a b http://www.departedflights.com, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  28. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Aug. 1, 1982 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  29. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Oct. 1, 1991 & June 1, 1999 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules; Sept. 9, 1987 Northwest Airlines system timetable
  30. ^ http://www.airliners.net, photo of Northwest Airlines A319 departing from Billings
  31. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1983 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  32. ^ a b http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  33. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  34. ^ http://www.airliners.net, photos of Horizon Air CRJ-700 aircraft at Billings
  35. ^ https://www.alaskaair.com, Flight Schedules
  36. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, April 7, 2002 America West Airlines system timetable
  37. ^ http://www.airliners.net, photos of America West Express and Frontier JetExpress aircraft at Billings
  38. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, 11/15/79, 2/15/85, 10/1/91, 6/1/99 Official Airline Guide (OAG) editions, Billings flight schedules
  39. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Big Sky Airlines route maps
  40. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Billings flight schedules
  41. ^ "Airport master record" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  42. ^ Billings Logan International Airport. (2007). Chapter 1: Inventory. Retrieved from http://flybillings.com/DocumentCenter/View/5987
  43. ^ https://ir.allegiantair.com/news-releases/news-release-details/allegiant-announces-twelve-new-routes-one-way-fares-low-49
  44. ^ Liu, Jim. "Allegiant Air further expands S20 network in June 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  45. ^ "Allegiant begins direct service from Billings to Portland May 7". May 6, 2021.
  46. ^ "Sun Country Airlines Expands with 11 New Destinations, Including Two in Canada".
  47. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved December 11, 2023.
  48. ^ "RITA | BTS BIL | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved December 11, 2023.
  49. ^ Accident description for NC17383 at the Aviation Safety Network
  50. ^ Accident description for 45-922 at the Aviation Safety Network
  51. ^ "SEA93GA041". ntsb.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  52. ^ "SEA08FA135: Full Narrative". ntsb.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  53. ^ "Yes, that was an El Al Boeing 777 at the airport in Billings, Mont". usatoday.com. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  54. ^ "Pilot killed in Billings plane crash". Q2 News (KTVQ). April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  55. ^ "Accident Piper PA-31T1 Cheyenne I N926K,". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved April 23, 2024.

External links[edit]