South Bend International Airport

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South Bend International Airport
SBN International Logo 2Color-horz-min.png
Airport typePrivate
OwnerSt. Joseph County Airport Authority
ServesSouth Bend, Indiana; Elkhart, Indiana; Niles, Michigan; St. Joseph, Michigan
Elevation AMSL799 ft / 244 m
Coordinates41°42′30″N 086°19′02″W / 41.70833°N 86.31722°W / 41.70833; -86.31722Coordinates: 41°42′30″N 086°19′02″W / 41.70833°N 86.31722°W / 41.70833; -86.31722
FAA diagram
FAA diagram
SBN is located in Indiana
Location of airport in Indiana/United States
SBN is located in the United States
SBN (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9L/27R 4,300 1,311 Asphalt
9R/27L 8,414 2,565 Asphalt
18/36 7,100 2,164 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger Enplanements368,877
Air Cargo (lbs)22,952,222
FAA ATCT Operations45,389
FAA TRACON Operations146,277
International GAF Operations132
Fixed Wing Based Aircraft64
Source: South Bend Airport website[1] and FAA[2]

South Bend International Airport (IATA: SBN, ICAO: KSBN, FAA LID: SBN)[3] is three miles northwest of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States.[2] It is the state's third busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic after Indianapolis International Airport and Fort Wayne International Airport.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015–2019 called it a primary commercial service facility.[4]

Federal Aviation Administration and St. Joseph County Airport Authority records show the airport had 328,992 passenger enplanements in 2013,[5] 311,158 in 2014,[6] and 314,300 in 2015.[7]

Front of airport terminal, June 2005


In the early days South Bend's main airport was Cadet Field in present-day Granger. Vincent Hugo Bendix, founder of Bendix Aviation, bought land northwest of South Bend in 1929 to provide air service closer to the city. Bendix Municipal Airport opened in 1933.[8][n 1]

Bendix Airport was later called St. Joseph County Airport, then Michiana Regional Transportation Center. The airport was renamed South Bend Regional Airport on January 1, 2000, to help identify the airport, many travelers not knowing the meaning of Michiana (taken from "Michigan" and "Indiana").[11][12]

The April 1957 OAG shows 10 weekday departures on North Central, 9 on United, 6 on Lake Central and 3 on TWA. North Central Airlines merged with Southern Airways on July 1, 1979, commencing operations with Republic from South Bend.

Until the 1980s the airport had four runways; in the 1950s runway 9 was 5000 ft, runways 6 (now taxiway A-3) and 12 (now taxiway A-4) were 4000 ft and the 3059-ft runway 18 connected the west ends of runways 6 and 12. In 1963-65 runway 9 was extended to 6000 ft. In January 1967 SBN got its first scheduled jets, United Caravelles flying Chicago O'Hare-South Bend-Fort Wayne-Newark and back.

On April 23, 2014, the St. Joseph County Airport Authority announced the airport was changing its name from South Bend Regional Airport to South Bend International Airport. The Airport Authority has had conversations with two airlines interested in providing service to Mexico and the Bahamas and indicated that it was looking at service to Toronto, Ireland and Europe; as part of the change, the airport will begin a $3 million(USD) project to construct a general aviation facility and a border customs area, to be financed through federal, state and airport funds.[13][14][15]


The airport is governed by the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, which is a municipality in the State of Indiana, its four bipartisan board members are appointed by the St. Joseph County Commissioners; the Airport Authority is directed by Mike Daigle who is an accredited airport executive. Board members include Thomas S. Botkin, Abraham Marcus, David R. Sage and James V. Wyllie; the Airport Authority employs approximately 60 staff members.

The mission of the St. Joseph County Airport Authority as defined is "to maximize the safety, service, efficiency and effectiveness of South Bend Airport for the traveling public, and to promote the value of the airport to the community."[16]

Annual Reports
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Economic Impact Report
The Aviation Association of Indiana - 2012 Economic Impact Study


The airport covers 2,200 acres (890 ha) at an elevation of 799 feet (244 m), it has three asphalt runways: 9L/27R is 4,300 by 75 feet (1,311 x 23 m); 9R/27L is 8,414 by 150 feet (2,565 x 46 m); 18/36 is 7,100 by 150 feet (2,164 x 46 m).[2]

The terminal, built in 1981 and designed by HOK and Cole Associates[17] and expanded in 2011 by Ken Herceg & Associates, has one nine-gate concourse. Seven of the nine gates (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) have jetways, while 2 gates (2A and 6A) are ground level. Amenities include cafes and restaurants, pet relief area, a concession area/lounge, a gift shop, a children's play area, a business center, and free Wi-Fi available throughout the terminal.[18]

Despite being partially obstructed by the new concourse the in-terminal viewing area remains open and offers live air traffic control transmissions from South Bend Air Traffic Control Tower/TRACON as well as a small airport-focused museum; the viewing area is located on the second level of the terminal's atrium adjacent to US Customs.

The airport is one of the few multi-modal transportation facilities in America that provide air, interstate bus and interstate rail service at one terminal; the St. Joseph County Airport Authority claims the airport was the first truly multi-modal airport in the country.

June 2017 brought the grand opening of SBN's International General Aviation Facility (GAF) which cleared nearly 60 international aircraft in its first partial year of operation. On July 16, 2019, a Boeing 747 chartered by the Liverpool Soccer Club landed at South Bend from Manchester England; this flight marked the opening of the Federal Inspection Station (FIS). On the same day, US Customs and Boarder Patrol announced South Bend Airport would be the states first Global Entry Enrollment Center.

The airport is a maintenance base for regional carrier SkyWest Airlines.


Within Indiana, the airport is third in passenger enplanements (305,491) after Indianapolis International (3,605,908) and Fort Wayne International (323,252);[6] the airport is in second place behind Indianapolis in cargo operations and third in the state for overall take-offs and landings. Due to South Bend's proximity to Chicago, South Bend air traffic controllers work closely with Chicago Center and Chicago Approach Control to sequence aircraft into and out of Chicago's terminal airspace; these efforts make South Bend's Tower/TRACON the second busiest terminal air traffic facility in the state and one of the busiest in the region.

In 2017 the airport handled 42,422 aircraft operations, averaging 118 per day; the TRACON handled over 150,000 operations in 2017 which is more traffic than the individual radar facilities in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Lansing and Muskegon.[19]

Air service[edit]

South Bend's four airlines have non-stop flights to thirteen cities. Allegiant offers flights to Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda, St Pete/Clearwater, Sarasota (seasonal), American Eagle has twice daily flights to Charlotte and Dallas, Delta Connection offers service to Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis, and United Express has multiple daily flights to Chicago O'Hare and seasonal service to Newark.

With the exception of Allegiant's Airbus A319/A320s, South Bend mostly sees regional jets such as the Bombardier CRJ200/700 and the Embraer E145/175. During Notre Dame football games and graduation, Delta is known to upgrade to mainline aircraft such as the Airbus A319/A320, Boeing 717, and McDonnell Douglas MD80 aircraft. Additionally, Delta and United have added point to point football flights for fans to travel directly from one college town to the other.

According to the 2007 Economic Impact Report from the Aviation Authority of Indiana, the airport's annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was in excess of $433.7 million. SBN's annual contribution to the Indiana economy is estimated at more than $1.4 billion.[20]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Sarasota (begins November 25, 2019)
American Eagle Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
United Express Chicago–O'Hare
Seasonal: Newark[21]


FedEx Express Fort Wayne, Memphis
FedEx Feeder Indianapolis
UPS Airlines Fort Wayne


Annual Passenger Enplanements at SBN, 2000 - 2018[22]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2000 432,439 2010 317,096
2001 375,817 2011 305,386
2002 409,319 2012 299,592
2003 404,607 2013 328,992
2004 397,565 2014 311,158
2005 349,847 2015 315,313
2006 378,909 2016 328,897
2007 398,500 2017 305,491
2008 357,168 2018 368,377
2009 318,974
Top 10 Destinations:
May 2017 - Apr 2018
Rank Airport Passengers Airlines
1 Atlanta, Georgia 59,370 Delta
2 Detroit, Michigan 56,850 Delta
3 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 49,730 United
4 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 27,370 Delta
5 Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, Florida 23,610 Allegiant
6 Orlando–Sanford, Florida 23,390 Allegiant
7 St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 19,790 Allegiant
8 Newark, New Jersey 14,990 United
9 Las Vegas, Nevada 14,730 Allegiant
10 Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona 14,690 Allegiant
Enplanements by Carrier: Dec 2016 - Nov 2017[23]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
SBN's Rank out of 794 US Airports (Dec 2017 - Nov 2018) [23]
Category Count Rank
Passenger Count 737,754 148 More than 81% of US airports
Number of Flights 7,617 143 More than 81% of US airports
Pounds of Freight 24m Lbs. 128 More than 84% of US airports


  • On April 4, 2011, a pilot flying from Chicago Executive Airport attempted to land a rented Cirrus SR22, but was hit by a gust of wind on approach. The plane landed on the left wing, cart-wheeled and came to a stop 250 feet (76 m) from the runway, he was hospitalized in critical condition, with no one else on board. He later died from his injuries.[24]
  • On March 17, 2013, a private jet crashed into three homes near South Bend Regional Airport. Two of the four people on the plane were killed while the other two on board, and one person on the ground, were injured.[25][26]
  • On September 12, 2017, a Beech N35 Bonanza made a forced landing into a ditch just short of the airport perimeter fence. No injuries were reported.[27]
  • On May 25, 2018, SkyWest (Delta Connection) flight 4647 made an emergency landing in South Bend after a halon bottle exploded in the cargo bin. The aircraft had just departed South Bend bound for Atlanta. None of the passengers or crew on board were injured.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The airport was also known as Bendix Field.[9][10]


  1. ^ 2015 Composite Statistic Chart (PDF), St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 5, 2016
  2. ^ a b c South Bend International Airport Master Record, FAA data republished by GCR Inc., retrieved July 5, 2016
  3. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (SBN: South Bend)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  5. ^ 2013 Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank) (PDF, 1.8 MB), Federal Aviation Administration
  6. ^ a b 2014 Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank) (PDF, 1.6 MB), Federal Aviation Administration
  7. ^ 2015 Composite Statistic Chart (PDF), St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 5, 2016
  8. ^ "A Look Back: Vincent Bendix was the man behind the start of airport in South Bend". South Bend Tribune. May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  9. ^ "Behind the Name: Bendix Left Big Mark". South Bend Tribune. August 3, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  10. ^ Stopczynski, Kelly (February 6, 2012). "Granger Neighborhood Was Original South Bend Regional Airport". WSBT-TV. Archived from the original on December 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Airport Will Get New Name Again". South Bend Tribune. December 1, 1999. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Falda, Wayne (January 2, 2000). "Flight into a New Era". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "South Bend Airport Becomes South Bend International" (Press release). St. Joseph County Airport Authority. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  14. ^ Culp, Alice; Gray, Amanda (April 24, 2014). "South Bend Airport Adds 'International' to Name". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  15. ^ Vivian, Krystal (April 23, 2014). "South Bend's airport could soon offer international flights to Bahamas, Mexico". The Elkhart Truth. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  16. ^ Mission, St. Joseph County Airport Authority, retrieved July 16, 2015
  17. ^ Michiana Regional Airport: Multi-modal Airport Terminal Concept for St. Joseph County Airport Authority. South Bend: St. Joseph County Airport Authority. 1975.
  18. ^ "Amenities at South Bend International Airport". St. Joseph County Airport Authority. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  19. ^ "Air Traffic Activity System (ATADS)". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  20. ^ Ottinger, Matt. "Non-Stop Party" (PDF, 298 KB). Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c "South Bend, IN: South Bend Airport (SBN)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. August 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  24. ^ NTSB Identification: CEN11FA267, National Transportation Safety Board
  25. ^ NTSB Identification: CEN13FA196, National Transportation Safety Board
  26. ^ "Indiana plane crash: Private jet plunges into houses". BBC News. March 18, 2013.
  27. ^ {{cite news}}
  28. ^ "UPDATE: Plane makes emergency landing at SB airport". WNDU. May 25, 2018.

External links[edit]