Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) has been owned and operated by the City of Charlotte for 86 years. Established in 1935 and opened 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 Acting Aviation Director Haley Gentry, who administers the CLT annual budget over $184 million, and leads the Airport Management Team as well as nearly 700 Aviation Department employees. Gentry reports to Aviation Director Brent Cagle who is currently on special assignment with the City Manager's Office.
CLT provides service to 182 destinations throughout the world and averages 700 daily 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 eight major carriers, 15 regional carriers and three foreign flag carriers.
CLT is ranked among the world's top 10 busiest airports. In 2019, a record-breaking year, CLT welcomed more than 50 million passengers for an average of 137,449 passengers a day. That includes 21,000 daily passengers who begin (origination) and end (destination) their travel at CLT and 117,000 people who fly into CLT daily to connect with a flight to another city. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, passenger numbers and flights decreased. By year's end CLT had welcomed more than 27 million passengers and handled nearly 400,000 arrivals and departure.
Despite the pandemic, CLT remains busy because it is the second largest hub for American Airlines, the world's largest airline. Additionally, general aviation is operated through Wilson Air Center-CLT, which serves as the executive terminal for Fortune 500 companies. Since 1948, the North Carolina Air National Guard's 145th Airlift Wing has been based at CLT.
CLT is also a major employment center, with nearly 22,000 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 is also a major contributor to the region's economy, CLT contributes $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.
CLT Airport Home Page
Aviation Leadership Team