Airports are aviation complexes that consist of runways for the take-off and landing of aircraft as well as aviation support structures. Depending on airport size and air traffic, support structures at an airport may include control towers, terminals, hangars, and maintenance facilities. Other supporting services and amenities may also be available at an airport, including parking facilities, retail and dining services, hotels, and connections to other modes of transportation, such as rail or bus. The larger airports may contain internal transportation systems to move passengers among terminals and parking areas.
Reliever Airports are airports that relieve overcrowding at commercial service airports. These airports provide you with greater access to air transportation and may be publicly or privately-owned. General Aviation Airports include the remaining airports. This airport type is the largest single group of airports in the U.S. system. **Commercial Service Airports provide scheduled passenger service to at least 2,500 passengers per year. Commercial Service Airports in the U.S. are publicly owned (with one exception) and most are operated by state or regional authorities that have the power to issue bonds for capital improvements. Commercial Service Airports that serve 10,000 or more passengers per year are considered Primary Commercial Service Airports. Hubs and larger airports, some of which provide international service, are Primary Commercial Service Airports.
General Aviation Airports are smaller public use airports that do not provide scheduled passenger service. These airports serve a wide range of aviation needs, including personal flying, air taxi and chartered service, corporate and business flights, emergency and disaster response, and tourism. General Aviation Airports may be publicly or privately owned.
Airports that service the transport of at least 100 million pounds of cargo per year are considered Cargo Service Airports. While some airports may function exclusively for cargo transport, many provide both commercial services and cargo transport service. In these cases, an airport may have both a Commercial Service and Cargo Service designation.