Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, with an IATA airport code SAV, is located in Savannah, Georgia, United States. It is a joint commercial and military airport, run by the Savannah Airport Commission and owned by the City of Savannah. It was previously called Travis Field, Savannah International Airport, and Chatham Field.
Savannah/Hilton Head International is the primary commercial airport for the City of Savannah, the Coastal Empire region of Georgia and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The resort island of Hilton Head accounts for 40 percent of total airport passenger traffic.
The FAA included This Airport in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011 through 2015, In which it is categorized as a primary commercial service airport as it has more than 10 thousand passenger boardings per year. The airport is also part of a Foreign Trade Zone.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Police patrols SAV airport, together with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide sufficient airport security.
JetBlue, Delta, American, Air Canada, Frontier, United, Allegiant Air, and Sun Country Airlines all serve Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Visitors can find information counter providing local information about tourist attractions in Savannah City and most other coastal regions of southern South Carolina and Georgia.
Gulfstream Aerospace has its world headquarters in Savannah/Hilton Head Airport.
History of the Airport
Savannah Municipal Airport started operating flights on September 20, 1929, with the introduction of air service connecting Miami and New York by Eastern Air Express. In 1932, the airport was named Hunter Field by a city resolution. The First terminal was opened in a trolley car at Hunter Field in the middle of the 1930s. The Army Air Corps intended to take over Hunter Field to aid in an imminent war in 1940. Although commercial airlines proceeded to use Hunter Field, the city determined to construct a new public airport in acknowledgment of the increased military presence.
The 600-acre tract was acquired by The City of Savannah near Cherokee Hill, one of the highest points in the county, and the building of a new airport began. Three runways were built running east-west, north-south, and northeast-southwest. But before the construction of the airfield even completed, the US Army Air Corps took it over and started additional construction to carry out crew training missions. They named it Chatham Field and handled it until the end of World War II. Along with crew training base, the airfield was also used as a bomber base for B-24 bombers and fighter aircraft.
Three years after the war ended, Chatham Army Airfield was returned to the Georgia Air National Guard, and the airfield was renamed Travis Field. It was named in honor of Robert F. Travis, who died after the B-29 bomber crashed near the airport. Travis Field gained a new airline terminal and a control tower to accommodate the airlines.
In 1958, the airfield began working on a new airline terminal, and in 1962, the east/west runway was elongated to 9,000 ft. 1965, Delta Air Lines launched Douglas DC-9-10 flights, bringing The jet age to the airport. A $7.5 million Gulfstream manufacturing plant was inaugurated in Savannah/Hilton Head International in 1967.
A new $21 million terminal was constructed on the northwest edge of the airport in 1994, replacing the old six-gate one from 1960. Travis Field was renamed Savannah International Airport in 1983, even tho it didn't have any direct international flights at the time, then renamed again in 2003 to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. International service began in 2017. Air Canada was the first airline to begin seasonal flights between Savannah and Toronto.
In 1992, the airport introduced international non-stop flights to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Key Airlines was also conducting non-stop flights to several US cities and Savannah. Their non-stop flights were mainly done with Boeing 727-200, and 727-100 jet airliners. They were flown from the Airport to New York Newark, Aruba, Antigua, Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cancun Airport, and more.
The graves of the airport premise's two prior owners are marked on the runway 10's asphalt runway, as the family did not want to relocate the graves. This runway is considered to be the only one in the US with marked gravestones in it.
The new eight gates terminal opened in summer 1994. The project also added a new aircraft taxiway, parking apron, roads, stormwater ponds, and a new intersection at I-95 for entrance into the airport. KBJ Architects designed the project, and the total cost was $68.5 million.
Savannah/Hilton Head International handled 2,799,526 commercial airline customers in 2018, which was a 13.4 percent increase from last year. It is only behind Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport as Georgia's liveliest commercial airport. In 2019, the airport broke the record by managing 3,021,077 passengers.