Kirksville Regional Airport


Kirksville Regional Airport
IRK logo.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Kirksville
ServesKirksville, Missouri
LocationPettis Township, near Millard
Elevation AMSL966 ft / 294 m
Coordinates40°05′36″N 092°32′42″W / 40.09333°N 92.54500°W / 40.09333; -92.54500Coordinates: 40°05′36″N 092°32′42″W / 40.09333°N 92.54500°W / 40.09333; -92.54500
IRK is located in Missouri
IRK is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 6,005 1,830 Concrete
9/27 1,370 418 Turf
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations5,625
Based aircraft35

Kirksville Regional Airport (IATA: IRK, ICAO: KIRK, FAA LID: IRK) is four miles south of Kirksville,[1] on the west side of US highway 63.[2] One airline schedules passenger flights, subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 684 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[3] 926 in 2009 and 2,127 in 2010.[4] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a general aviation facility (the commercial service category requires at least 2,500 enplanements per year).[5]

Cape Air is the current airline, averaging 900 to 1,000 passengers per month[6] on three daily round trips to St. Louis Lambert International Airport[7]

Clarence Cannon Memorial Terminal at Kirksville Regional Airport.


Aviation in the Kirksville area began within a few years of the Wright brothers flight. Local resident Nick Sparling is credited as being Adair County's first aviator, in 1909. In 1924, Roy B. "Cap" Dodson started the first airport in the area, located on the north edge of Kirksville. However, an airfield at the present location of Kirksville Regional Airport wasn't created until 1930 when the Federal Aviation Administration built a series of emergency landing strips across the nation. With America's entry into World War II, the Kirksville Municipal Airport, as it had been declared in the late 1930s, received a major upgrade from the Civilian Pilots Training Program and the US Army Air Corps War Training Service. In 1942 a paved all-weather landing strip, hangars, a control tower and small restaurant were built; the paved runway was 3870 ft until 1968.

The post-war boom in commercial aviation reached Kirksville in 1960 when Ozark Air Lines began scheduled flights. The plane was a familiar sight to many World War II veterans, as Ozark used the Douglas DC-3, the civil counterpart of the famed C-47 'Gooney Bird', now in Ozark's white and evergreen instead of Army Air Corps colors. The Ozark route began in Kansas City to Chicago with stops in Kirksville, Ottumwa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Moline, Illinois. Airport improvements came after a bond issue was approved by Kirksville voters in 1967. A new six-thousand foot concrete runway was built, as well as a new terminal building and improved hangar facilities. The longer runway was needed for the faster Fairchild prop-jet that began flights to Kirksville in late 1968. Also in the 1960s, Ozark switched Kirksville service from a Kansas City-Chicago route to a Des Moines-to-St. Louis one. With the airport improvements came a new name, Clarence Cannon Memorial Airport—chosen to honor long-time US Congressman Clarence Cannon of Missouri who had done much to help secure air service and funding for the airport.

Despite nearly a million dollars in facility upgrades and a steady flow of passengers in and out of Kirksville, Ozark Airlines found the route to be financially untenable by the mid-1970s, with their final departure coming on April 23, 1976. Fortunately a local pilot and dentist, Dr. Stephen Barber, has established a small commuter air service, Horizon Airways, in 1972. Horizon was able to help fill the void left by Ozarks departure, eventually expanding to five aircraft and service to both Kansas City and St. Louis.[8][9]

Air Choice One began scheduled flight operations twice daily, to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport during July 2009. Scheduled operations are currently subsidized by the Essential Air Service Act. Previously service was operated by Air Midwest (operating as US Airways Express) to Kansas City International Airport[10] and by RegionsAir (operating as American Connection) with flights to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. In September, 2010 Cape Air replaced Air Choice One.


The airport covers 476 acres (193 ha) at an elevation of 966 feet (294 m). It has two runways: 18/36 is 6,005 by 100 feet (1,830 x 30 m) concrete; 9/27 is 1,370 by 100 feet (418 x 30 m) turf.[1]

In the year ending June 30, 2010 the airport had 5,625 aircraft operations, average 15 per day: 62% general aviation, 21% airline, 13% air taxi, 4% military. 35 aircraft were then based at the airport: 83% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, and 6% helicopter.[1]

Airline and destination

Scheduled passenger service:

Cape Air St. Louis


  • On October 19, 2004, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashed on approach to Kirksville. Thirteen individuals died and two sustained injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board determined pilot error to be the cause of the accident.[11][12]
  • On May 12, 2005 a Midwest Airlines Boeing 717 made an emergency landing at Kirksville Regional Airport after experiencing severe turbulence while en route from Kansas City, Missouri to Washington, D.C. A safe landing was made, with all 76 passengers and 4 crew unharmed. To date this is the largest aircraft to ever land at Kirksville Regional Airport.[13][14]
  • On November 5, 2013 American business executive Robert Groh, President of Geo-Syntheics, LLC, and an instructor pilot were killed when their plane crashed on final approach to Kirksville Regional Airport. The plane, a Piper PA-32 Saratoga, went down in a rural area of Adair County approximately 2.5 miles northeast of the runway shortly after a radio check-in with airport personnel. At that time the pilot reported no difficulties. The plane was on a cross-country flight from Centennial Airport near Denver, Colorado to Waukesha, Wisconsin, the home city for Geo-Syntheics.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for IRK (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "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. External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ Garlock, John (May 11, 2012). "Kirksville airport to embark on expensive improvements". KTVO-TV via website. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Kirksville Regional Airport-Cape Air schedule". City of Kirksville website. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  8. ^ A History Of Adair County Missouri published by the Kirksville-Adair County Bicentennial Committee, 1976.
  9. ^ 'Flying High!' by Tony Frost & Corey Pritchard, published in The Chariton Collector magazine Spring, 1987.
  10. ^ "Mesa Air Group Announces Schedule and Fares for Kirksville, Missouri as US Airways Express". Press Release. Mesa Air Group. October 13, 2006.
  11. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report: Collision with Trees and Crash Short of Runway, Corporate Airlines Flight 5966, British Aerospaaace BAE-J3201, N875JX, Kirksville, Missouri, October 19, 2004". National Transportation Safety Board. 2006-01-24.
  12. ^ "Poor Behavior, Fatigue Led to '04 Plane Crash". Washington Post. 2006-01-25.
  13. ^ "Lightening [sic?] considered in Midwest 717 uncontolled [sic?] descent". Air Transport Intelligence. 2007. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  14. ^ "Storm diverts airliner". The Topeka Capital-Journal. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  15. ^ Hunsicker, Jason (6 November 2013). "Plane crash victims were business owner, flight instructor". Kirksville Daily Express. Retrieved 7 November 2013.

Other sources

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket DOT-OST-1997-2515) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Order 2005-6-14: re-selecting RegionsAir, Inc. d/b/a American Connection, formerly known as Corporate Airlines (RegionsAir), to provide subsidized essential air service (EAS) at each of the above communities for a new two-year period from June 1, 2005, through May 31, 2007
    • Order 2006-8-19: selecting Air Midwest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, Inc., d/b/a US Airways Express (Air Midwest), to provide essential air service (EAS) at Kirksvillc. Missouri, at an annual subsidy rate of $627,100. This rate and carrier selection will become effective for the two-year period beginning when Air Midwest replaces RegionsAir, Inc. (formerly Corporate Airlines, Inc.), d/b/a American Connection (RegionsAir) at Kirksville.
    • Order 2008-5-2: selecting Multi-Aero, Inc. d/b/a Air Choice One to provide essential air service at Kirksville, Missouri with 11 nonstop stop round trips each week to St. Louis on 6 or 9-seat Twin Engine aircraft. Annual subsidy rate $806,169.

External links

  • Kirksville Regional Airport at City of Kirksville website
  • Aerial image as of April 1995 from USGS The National Map
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective August 13, 2020
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for IRK, effective August 13, 2020
  • Resources for this airport:
    • FAA airport information for IRK
    • AirNav airport information for KIRK
    • ASN accident history for IRK
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS weather observations: current, past three days
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart, Terminal Procedures