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Louisville NATCA Members Handle Record Kentucky Derby Air Traffic

Every year, the Kentucky Derby draws thousands of visitors to the Louisville, Ky., area. Two weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby, the “Derby Festival” kicks off with an airshow downtown over the Ohio River. There are different Derby-themed events that take place each day leading up to the main event. On Thursday, May 4, Louisville Tower/TRACON (SDF) set a single day record for operations.

“The Sunday after the Derby, sometimes known as Departure Sunday, was a challenge for the controllers at SDF and Louisville Bowman ATCT (LOU),” SDF FacRep Craig Oldis said. “Thunderstorms had moved through the area Sunday morning which made the operation more complex. Muhammad Ali Int’l Airport set a passenger record on May 7, with 17,236 passengers passing through the TSA checkpoint. I want to commend the controllers at SDF and LOU for their hard work and professionalism.”

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