Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. Established in 1935 and opened in 1936 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, its name was later changed to Douglas Municipal Airport, honoring former Mayor Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr. The Airport became known as Charlotte Douglas International Airport in 1982.
Daily operations are managed by
CEO Haley Gentry, who administers the CLT $225 million annual budget, and leads the Airport Management Team, as well as nearly 760 Aviation Department employees.
CLT provides service to 179 destinations throughout the world and averages 1,400 daily arrivals and departures. The 1.8-million square-foot terminal building contains five concourses and 114 gates. It has more than quadrupled in size since opening in 1982. Today, CLT is served by seven major carriers, 15 regional carriers and three foreign flag carriers.
In 2021 CLT was ranked among world's busiest airports, with 1,424 arrivals and departures and 118,636 people traveling to, from and though CLT each day, according to Airport Council International's annual airport rankings.
Prior to the pandemic, CLT set a record of hosting more than 50.2 million passengers for an average of 137,449 people a day. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, passenger numbers and flights decreased. By year's end CLT had seen numbers climb to more than 27 million passengers and nearly 400,000 arrivals and departure. In 2021, passenger counts had climbed to 43,302,230 and aircraft arrivals and departures rose to 519,895 for the year.
CLT is the second-largest hub for American Airlines, the world's largest airline. Since 1948, the North Carolina Air National Guard's 145th Airlift Wing has been based at CLT. Additionally, general aviation has surged under operator Wilson Air Center, which serves as the executive terminal for Fortune 500 companies.
Wilson Air Center – Charlotte, which manages CLT's corporate and private aircraft operations, recorded its busiest year at Charlotte Douglas in 2021 with 18,223 arrivals, a 6% increase from 2019 and a 46% increase from 2020.
CLT is a major employment center, with more than 20,000 workers on site. The majority (more than 12,000) are employed by American Airlines, with nearly 10,000 additional workers employed by other airlines, tenants, contractors, and businesses. Charlotte Douglas also is a major contributor to the region's economy with $24.6 billion in annual economic output, $1.3 billion in state/local taxes, 169,390 jobs for North Carolina residents and $5.7 billion in personal income, according to a report conducted by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation.