General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport

General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport[3] (IATA: PIA[4], ICAO: KPIA, FAA LID: PIA) is a civil/military public airport five miles west of Peoria, in Peoria County, Illinois.[2] The airport is on the northwest edge of Bartonville, near Bellevue. It is owned by the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria,[2] which often refers to it as Peoria International Airport.[5] It was formerly the Greater Peoria Regional Airport.[6][7]

General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorMetropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria
ServesPeoria, Illinois
LocationLimestone Township, Peoria County
Elevation AMSL661 ft / 201 m
Coordinates40°39′51″N 089°41′36″W

Location of Peoria County in Illinois
Location in Peoria County
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 10,104 3,080 Concrete
4/22 8,004 2,440 Asphalt
Departing passengers (12 months ending Mar 2018)639,320
Aircraft operations (2017)41,557
Based aircraft (2018)69
Sources: Airport[1] and FAA[2]

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a non-hub primary commercial service facility.[8] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 278,426 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[9] 242,142 in 2009 and 249,595 in 2010.[10]

It is the fourth busiest of the 12 commercial airports in Illinois


On May 19, 1932 the citizens of Peoria voted to have an airport. On 195 acres (0.8 km²), American Airways (now American Airlines) and Chicago and Southern Airlines brought in airmail and passenger service on 4 shale-surfaced runways. The land was purchased by 261 Peoria businessmen who formed the Peoria Airport, Inc.[11] It was turned over to the Peoria Park District in 1937, then to newly formed The Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria in 1950.

Airport diagram for 1956

American Airlines and Chicago and Southern started flights to Peoria in 1945; C&S pulled out in 1949-50 and American left in 1962, then returned for a couple years starting in 1991. TWA served Peoria 1947 to 1960 and 1983 to 1991; Continental 1977 to 1983, United 1984 to 1995, Republic/Northwest 1986 to 1988, and Ozark from 1950 until it merged into TWA. Peoria's first jets were Ozark DC9s in 1966. A curious artifact of airline regulation: Peoria had never had nonstop flights beyond Chicago, but in 1969 Ozark was allowed a nonstop to New York La Guardia.

On April 25, 2007 the Greater Peoria Airport Authority announced a new 9 gate terminal will be built and the old terminal demolished. On October 10, 2008, the airport was renamed "General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport" during a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Ross Perot, a friend of the late Wayne A. Downing.[3] The new terminal, designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills of Jacksonville, FL, Dewberry (architecture firm) of Peoria, and built by Turner Construction, opened on April 27, 2011.[12] As of August 24, 2012, the airport was in negotiations for international flights using a temporary customs facility.[13]

In spring 2016 the Ray Lahood International Arrivals Terminal was completed, with more gates, TSA services, and a US Customs Port of Entry facility.

Air National Guard / Army National Guard

The airport is co-located with the Peoria Air National Guard Base, home to the 182d Airlift Wing (182 AW) of the Illinois Air National Guard. This Air National Guard unit is operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and consists of Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft. The airport is also home to the Illinois Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility No. 3 and 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment, currently operating the Boeing CH-47 "Chinook" helicopter.


Peoria International Airport covers 3,800 acres (1,538 ha) at an elevation of 661 feet (201 m). It has two runways: 13/31 is 10,104 by 150 feet (3,080 x 46 m) concrete; 4/22 is 8,004 by 150 feet (2,440 x 46 m) concrete.[2]

In 2017 the airport had 41,557 aircraft operations, average 114 per day: 32% general aviation, 31% air taxi, 18% military, and 9% airline. In June 2018, 69 aircraft were based at this airport: 40 single-engine, 8 jet, 14 military, 3 helicopter, and 4 multi-engine.[2]

Airlines and destinations

Peoria International Airport has four passenger airlines: Allegiant Air uses mainline jets; American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines use smaller, regional aircraft.

Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Orlando–Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Destin/Fort Walton Beach
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Connection Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul
United Express Chicago–O'Hare


There is one cargo airline, UPS.

UPS Airlines Louisville, Rockford


Top destinations

Carrier shares for (September 2017 – August 2018)[14]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations (September 2017 – August 2018)[14]
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 74,420 American, United
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 44,280 American
3 Atlanta, Georgia 40,870 Delta
4 Charlotte, North Carolina 28,540 American
5 Punta Gorda/Ft Myers, Florida 24,770 Allegiant
6 Phoenix–Mesa, Arizona 22,230 Allegiant
7 St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 21,120 Allegiant
8 Detroit, Michigan 20,430 Delta
9 Las Vegas, Nevada 20,270 Allegiant
10 Orlando–Sanford, Florida 11,110 Allegiant

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Louisville
Freight Runners Express Milwaukee
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, Louisville

Accidents and incidents

  • On October 21, 1971, Chicago & Southern Airlines (a) Flight 804, an ATECO Westwind II crashed 2 miles west of PIA after striking power lines in limited visibility and low clouds, killing all 14 passengers and 2 crew. The pilot knowingly descending below the Minimum Descent Altitude was the cause.[15]

(a) According to the Aviation Safety Network report (Reference #15 below), the above incident was an airline that was founded in 1969 and ended operations in 1971. Chicago and Southern Air Lines was a completely different airline that was founded in California in 1933 and merged in 1953 with Delta Air Lines to become Delta-C&S for 2 years until 1955, reverting back to Delta Air Lines.


  1. "General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport". September 1, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. FAA Airport Master Record for PIA (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective June 21, 2018.
  3. Haney, Dave (October 11, 2008). "He would have been proud". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
  4. "IATA Airport Code Search (PIA: Greater Peoria)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  5. "Contact Information". Peoria International Airport. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  6. "Greater Peoria Regional Airport". Archived from the original on September 14, 2008.
  7. "KPIA – Greater Peoria Regional Airport". FAA data republished by AirNav. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010.
  8. "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. October 21, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  9. "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  10. "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  11. "Brief History of the Airport". Peoria International Airport. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
  12. Haney, Dave (April 27, 2011). "Dignitaries Praise New Peoria Airport Terminal During Ceremony". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  13. Buedel, Matt (August 24, 2012). "Peoria Airport Discussing Direct Flights to Caribbean, Mexico". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  14. "Peoria, IL: General Downing – Peoria International (PIA)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. August 2018.
  15. Accident description for N51CS at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on April 30, 2019.

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