The current level of air service, in terms of nonstop destinations and flight frequencies, does not adequately serve the Louisville region’s business, industry and education communities, and, the region’s convention and tourism business.


Improve air service at Louisville International Airport (SDF) by adding new nonstop service to key coastal markets, with other markets to follow.

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It's time for Louisville to step up its game

Louisville passenger air service is inadequate for local travelers and is not competitive with peer cities.

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It’s harder to get here

Louisville nonstop service represents only 50% of the nonstop destinations served by airports in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville. Louisville’s air service represents between 33% and 50% of the total number of daily departures in these same cities.

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It’s All About Economic Development

Nonstop service to new, key markets is important to the region’s future. New service to Los Angeles, Boston, and other important markets will create new jobs, bring more tourists to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, serve as a catalyst for new film production and bring new conventions to the city.

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Companies expect access to key markets

Louisville lacks nonstop routes to key U.S. metro markets, including Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and adequate service to New York (combined, these markets represent five of the top 15 metro markets) and billions of potential new commerce for Kentucky.

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SDF is losing business to nearby airports

Strikingly, over 500,000 local passengers each year – representing nearly 33% of Louisville’s annual enplanements – drive to Cincinnati or Nashville for better air service options, making Louisville a net exporter of air travelers.

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Proven incentives improve air service

Other mid-sized cities have made passenger air service a top priority, organizing civic and business leadership to provide proven incentives for airlines to add new nonstop service (e.g., United Airlines from Indianapolis to San Francisco; Southwest Airlines from Columbus to Oakland, etc.).

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Call to action

Louisville-area civic and business leaders improve nonstop service at Louisville International Airport by committing to:
  1. Participate in minimum revenue guarantees to share upfront risk with airlines.
  2. Agree to fly new nonstop routes as they begin.
  3. Maximize airport-based incentives and marketing support for each new route.
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Our Plan to Develop New Air Service From Louisville

Louisville Regional Airlift Development, Inc. (LRAD) is the region’s newest non-profit corporation. LRAD is backed by leading business and community leaders in a dynamic region of six million people which extends from Louisville to include Southern Indiana, Elizabethtown, and Bowling Green. LRAD’s mission is simple: develop new nonstop air service routes from SDF – service which will provide enormous benefits to the entire region – to new and important domestic and international markets over a multi-year period. Individuals, businesses, and other organizations can support this drive by making a tax-deductible pledge to provide funds to be used for minimum revenue guarantees to support the launch of new air service at SDF.

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