McAllen Miller International Airport – Wikipedia

Airport in McAllen, Texas, United States

McAllen International Airport (IATA: MFE, ICAO: KMFE, FAA LID: MFE) is in McAllen, in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States.[1]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a small hub primary commercial service airport.[3]


McAllen International Airport covers 370 acres (150 ha) at an elevation of 107 feet (33 m). It has two asphalt runways: 14/32 is 7,120 by 150 feet (2,170 x 46 m) and 18/36 is 2,639 by 60 feet (804 x 18 m).[1] In November 2015 runway 13/31 was redesignated 14/32 and an EMAS, engineered materials arrestor system, was installed at the runway 14 approach end.

In the updated 20-year Master Plan for MFE runway 14/32 will be extended to 10,000 ft and a parallel runway will be added. An expanded cargo apron will be on the south side of the airport.

Runway 14/32 is the primary runway, used by all the airlines and most of the business flights. 3,000 feet will likely be added to Runway 14/32 to allow larger aircraft (Moultan, 2012). Runway 18/36 does not intersect Runway 14/32 so controllers can use both runways if needed. The departure end of Runway 18 is about 1/3 of the way down Runway 14/32, so traffic on final for Runway 36 must be cautious of traffic using Runway 14/32. Class D airports are airports that are less congested but they still have a control tower. This Class D airport has a simple layout and taxiways extend the full length of each runway (Foreflight, 2012). Both runways are asphalt and are in “Good Condition” (Foreflight, 2012). The terminal is easy for all traffic to reach from either runway, but aircraft on runway 14/32 have to cross runway 18/36 to reach the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO). The runways form a V. The terminal, tower, cargo facility, border patrol, and the U.S. Customs apron are all centrally located on the field, easy to access from either runway (Foreflight, 2012). On the west side of Runway 18/36, there are multiple hangars, the fixed based operator, and the fire station (Foreflight, 2012). In case of an accident on Runway 14/32, fire and rescue personnel would have to cross Runway 18/36, one possible issue of the layout at MFE.


The airport has one terminal with six gates. In early 2006, Gate 5 opened on the main concourse due to the arrival of Delta Connection.

In 2008 a terminal capacity study assessed the future needs of the airport and possible terminal expansion to include eight gates, larger ticketing/office area, TSA security area queue. Paid parking at the airport began on November 15, 2007 with the economy, long-term and short-term lots. A revised terminal expansion project with one additional gate, larger passenger waiting areas, expansion of the TSA screening areas, and other facility modifications began in March 2012.[4]

In the year ending October 31, 2018 the airport had 56,613 aircraft operations, an average 155 per day: 62% general aviation, 17% military, 15% commercial airline and 6% air taxi. In December 2019, 105 aircraft were based at this airport: 49 single-engine, 21 multi-engine, 17 jet, 11 helicopter and 7 military.[1]


Waiting area at the main terminal

In March 2012 the airport underwent expansion, completed in 2014.[5] Funding was combined from grants from the FAA and the TSA.[6]

The following are planned:

  • Addition of 52,000 square feet
  • Adding space for new explosives screening unit, bringing the total to three
  • Expanding the terminal and adding space for another gate
  • Adding space for the Transportation Security Administration
  • Sterilizer and steam generator (required for some international flights)
  • Replacement of HVAC central plant equipment

“The project includes construction of a one-story building addition of about 7,400 square feet at the west end of the terminal building for a checked baggage screening facility and expanded outbound baggage handling system; renovation of about 11,200 square feet at the east end of the terminal building for public lobby improvements, expanded passenger security screening checkpoint, tenant office improvements, and concessions. It includes a two-story addition of about 33,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gates with passenger boarding bridges, passenger holdrooms, public lobbies, restrooms, concessions, airline operations, and mechanical and electrical equipment rooms; renovation of about 5,000 square feet at the south end of the terminal building for aircraft boarding gate and passenger holdroom improvements. It includes the replacement of HVAC central plant equipment and refurbishment of five existing passenger boarding bridges. Work includes replacement of portions of the aircraft apron as required for building construction, underground utilities work, and apron drainage, and pavement marking and striping for aircraft positions and service vehicle lanes.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


American Airlines and United Airlines summer 2015 timetables show main line jets to McAllen while their codesharing partners, American Eagle (Mesa Airlines) and United Express (Mesa Airlines), flew regional jets.[8][9] American operates Airbus A319s while American Eagle flies Bombardier CRJ-900s. United flies Airbus A319s, Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-700s and 737-900ERs with United Express flying Bombardier CRJ-700s, Embraer ERJ-135s, Embraer ERJ-145s and Embraer ERJ-175s.

Allegiant Air flights are Airbus A319s.[10]

Aeromar uses ATR 42s or ATR 72s to Mexico City.[11]


The following airlines operate scheduled passenger service from the airport:

Current and recent air service[edit]

MFE is the busiest airline airport in the Rio Grande Valley.[12] The airport is also served by two of the three global alliances, Star Alliance and Oneworld. MFE lost its only international flight in September 2007 – a daily Continental Express flight to Mexico City although Mexican air carrier Aeromar currently operates nonstop service from the airport to the capital of Mexico. After less than one year it was announced that MFE would lose its only non-stop flight to Los Angeles (LAX), operated by Delta Connection partner ExpressJet Airlines, at the end of 2007; however, Allegiant Air currently flies a seasonal nonstop McAllen to LAX with several flights a week. In December 2007 it was announced that Delta Connection would pull out of McAllen on January 6, 2008, ending its two flights a day from MFE to Atlanta, operated by Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines. In March 2009 Delta, through its wholly owned subsidiary Northwest Airlines, began flying MFE to Memphis on Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines. Northwest Airlines had previously flown MFE to its Memphis hub starting in 2004. Following the completion of the merger of Northwest into Delta in 2010, the Memphis hub was eventually shut down although Delta continues to serve MEM.

On September 7, 2010 Delta Connection partner Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) resumed service to MFE essentially taking over the non-stop MFE–MEM route from Pinnacle Airlines. On May 1, 2011, Delta Connection partner ASA began non-stop service from MFE to ATL and ended service from MFE to MEM (flights from MFE to ATL were then operated by ExpressJet following the merger of this regional airline with Atlantic Southeast). This route was discontinued on May 1, 2012.

On May 24, 2009 Allegiant Air began bi-weekly, non-stop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), in addition to non-stop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) twice a week, and non-stop service to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) five times a week. On August 15, 2009, Allegiant announced that it would end service from MFE to LAX; Allegiant later reinstated service and flies non-stop to LAX seasonally in the summer months.

Past service[edit]

Trans-Texas Airways (TTa) and successor Texas International Airlines (TI) served the airport for over 32 years and was the only air carrier to do so for many years. In 1949 Trans-Texas 21-seat Douglas DC-3s flew Brownsville – Harlingen – McAllen – Laredo – Carrizo Springs/Crystal City – Eagle Pass – Uvalde – San Antonio – Beeville – Victoria – Houston and back;[13]
TTa also flew direct to El Paso. In 1963 Trans-Texas flights to McAllen were all Convair 240s flying direct to Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas Love Field, Fort Worth (via now closed Greater Southwest International Airport), Houston, Laredo, Longview, TX, San Antonio, Shreveport, Tyler, TX and Victoria;[14] In 1968 Convair 600s were on all TTa flights from the airport.[15] Jets arrived in 1969; in 1970 Texas International Douglas DC-9-10s flew non-stop to Houston Intercontinental Airport and Corpus Christi and direct to Dallas Love Field. In July 1970 TI was flying McAllen – Harlingen – Houston Intercontinental Airport – Dallas Love Field – Midland/Odessa – Roswell, NM – Albuquerque – Los Angeles, and Convair 600s flew non-stop to Houston and direct to Austin and San Antonio.[16] In 1978 Texas International was all-jet with Douglas DC-9-10s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s nonstop to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH) and San Antonio and direct to Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Lafayette, LA, Lubbock and New Orleans.[17] In 1980 TI flew nonstop DC-9s to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love Field, and Houston Intercontinental Airport.[18]

International air service[edit]

On January 11, 2012, Mexican air carrier Aeromar announced it would commence non-stop service to Mexico City beginning in mid-March. Aeromar currently operates the only international non-stop service from the airport flying ATR 42 or ATR 72 turboprops on its Mexico City route. On March 18, 2021, Aeromar announced twice a week, non-stop service to Monterrey initiating April 22, 2021.

Trans-Texas Airways (TTa) began flights to Mexico from the airport in 1967; in 1968 TTa had ten non-stop Convair 600s a week to Monterrey and direct six days a week to Tampico and Veracruz via Harlingen.[19] In 1969 Trans-Texas changed its name to Texas International Airlines and in 1970 was flying daily Douglas DC-9-10s nonstop to Monterrey with a routing of Dallas Love Field (DAL) – Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) – Harlingen – McAllen – Monterrey.[20] In 1974 Texas International DC-9s were flying nonstop to Mexico City, Dallas/Fort Worth – Houston Intercontinental – Corpus Christi – McAllen – Mexico City but no longer flew non-stop to Monterrey.[21] In 1975 Texas International was flying non-stop DC-9s from the airport to both Tampico and Veracruz twice a week with these flights continuing on to Mexico City and then non-stop from Mexico City back to McAllen.[22] By the late 1970s, Texas International was no longer flying from the airport to Mexico although the airline was continuing to fly DC-9s non-stop to both Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth.[17]

In 1982 Texas International merged into Continental Airlines and service to Mexico resumed. Texas International initially operated as an independent air carrier; the June 1, 1982 Continental (CO) / Texas International (TI) joint timetable lists non-stop DC-9s twice a day from the airport to Mexico City and non-stop DC-9s four times a week to Guadalajara.[23] By the end of 1983 Continental had pulled out of the airport.[24] Continental returned to McAllen in the mid 1980s with nonstop DC-9s to Houston Intercontinental, and nonstop MD-80s to Mexico City by the mid 1990s.[25][26] In the mid 2000s Continental had turned over its Mexico City flight to regional codesharing partner Continental Express operated by ExpressJet, flying a daily Embraer ERJ-145 to MEX.[27] This service ended later.

McAllen was served by Aeromexico partner Aerolitoral via a codesharing agreement during the mid 1990s. In 1994 Aerolitoral was flying up to four non-stops a day to Monterrey with Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners continuing direct to Chihuahua, Leon, San Luis Potosi, Tampico or Villahermosa.[28]

Past jet service[edit]

After merging with Texas International Airlines in 1982, Continental Airlines began serving McAllen, mainly non-stop to its hub at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Continental flew Boeing 727-100s, 727-200s, 737-300s, 737-500s, 737-800s, 757-200s, Douglas DC-9-10s, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s and MD-80s to McAllen.[29][27] Continental also flew one-stop direct service to Atlanta, Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Kansas City, Miami, New Orleans, Pensacola, Seattle and Tampa.[30] In 1994 the airline was flying MD-80s to Anchorage via Houston and Seattle. Continental merged with United Airlines in 2010.

In 1982 Austin-based Emerald Air (United States) operated Pan Am Express service in Texas via an agreement with Pan Am and flew two Douglas DC-9-10 flights a day to Houston Intercontinental Airport and San Antonio.[31] By 1984 Emerald Air was serving McAllen independently with up to eleven departures a day, all DC-9s. Emerald was flying non-stop to Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston Intercontinental, San Antonio and Corpus Christi and one-stop to Austin.[32] This airline went out of business in 1985.

Muse Air and successor TranStar Airlines served McAllen in the mid 1980s. In 1985, Houston-based Muse Air was sending up to five departures a day non-stop to its hub at Houston Hobby Airport with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50s, all continuing direct to Dallas Love Field.[33] Muse Air was acquired by Southwest Airlines which changed the Muse Air name to TranStar, and continued independently with nonstop DC-9-50s to Houston Hobby and one-stop to Dallas Love Field.[34] TranStar went out of business in 1987.

American Airlines began serving the airport about January 1991. In 1991 American had three daily McDonnell Douglas MD-80s to its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub and by 1995 was flying four daily Fokker 100s to DFW.[35] In 2007 American had up to four nonstop MD80s a day to Dallas/Fort Worth.[27] AA had one-stop MD-80s to Atlanta, El Paso, Oakland, and Raleigh/Durham. American and regional affiliate American Eagle continue to serve the airport.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) also served McAllen. In 2001 TWA McDonnell Douglas MD-80s flew nonstop to Austin and one-stop to its St. Louis hub.[36] By the end of 2001 Trans World Airlines had merged into American Airlines.

Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines flew to Delta’s Atlanta hub. In 2007 Delta Connection had two nonstops a day to ATL with Canadair CRJ-200s for Delta Air Lines in a codesharing agreement.[27] This service ended in 2012 and Delta no longer serves McAllen. Prior to the merger of Northwest Airlines with Delta in 2010, Northwest DC-9s flew nonstop to its Memphis hub in 2004, followed by Northwest Airlink nonstops to MEM on codesharing partner Pinnacle Airlines Canadair CRJ-200s in 2009.

Past commuter airlines[edit]

In the late 1970s Tejas Airlines flew Fairchild Swearingen Metroliners nonstop to San Antonio.[37]

McAllen was served by Austin-based Conquest Airlines from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s; in 1989 it flew Beechcraft 1900Cs nonstop to San Antonio.[38] By 1994 Conquest was flying nonstop to Austin, Laredo and San Antonio and one-stop to Tyler, TX, all on Metroliners.[28]


The McAllen Miller International Airport’s food and beverage options include a Coffee Zone both pre- and post-security and the Comfort Zone bar post-security.[39] In addition, the McAllen Airport offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the terminal. Post-security, the airport has a Classic Shoe Shine booth whose prices can be found on the airport’s website. For shopping amenities, the airport has the Explore McAllen store post-security. In October 2010, a CNBC News Store was completed pre-security. In addition, Aeromar Airlines operates a Salón Aeromar which is available for use for all passengers flying on Aeromar as well as their guests. Amenities in the club include complimentary soft drinks, Wi-Fi, TV, and more.

The airport has on-site and off-site rental car companies as well.

Area airports[edit]

Nearby airports with passenger air service in south Texas include:

Two airports across the border have passenger service: General Lucio Blanco International Airport (REX) in Reynosa and General Servando Canales International Airport (MAM) in Matamoros.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for MFE PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective December 5, 2019.
  2. ^ “Activity Report” (PDF). McAllen Miller International Airport. January 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  3. ^ “2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A” (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  4. ^ Hendricks, Dave. “For airport expansion, McAllen taps construction firm, plans financing”.
  5. ^ Hendricks, Dave. “McAllen curbs airport expansion”.
  6. ^ Hendricks, Dave. “U.S. Rep. Cuellar brings federal dollars for McAllen airport”.
  7. ^[dead link]
  8. ^, July 8, 2015 American Airlines timetable
  9. ^, July 11, 2015 United Airlines timetable
  10. ^, flight tracking for KMFE
  11. ^, McAllen-Mexico City schedules
  12. ^ “Activity report” (PDF).
  13. ^, Nov. 1, 1949 Trans-Texas timetable
  14. ^, March 1, 1963 Trans-Texas timetable
  15. ^, Aug. 1968 Trans-Texas timetable
  16. ^, July 1, 1970 Texas International timetable
  17. ^ a b, March 15, 1978 Texas International timetable
  18. ^, Oct. 1, 1980 Texas International map
  19. ^, Aug. 1968 Trans-Texas timetable
  20. ^, July 1, 1970 Texas International timetable
  21. ^, March 1, 1974 Texas International timetable
  22. ^, April 15, 1975 Official Airline Guide
  23. ^, June 1, 1982 Continental Airlines-Texas International Airlines joint timetable
  24. ^, Dec. 16, 1983 Continental timetable
  25. ^, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide
  26. ^, Oct. 30, 1994 Continental timetable
  27. ^ a b c d Feb. 2007 OAG Flight Guide Worldwide
  28. ^ a b Sept. 15, 1994 North American Edition, OAG Desktop Flight Guide
  29. ^, July 1, 1983; Feb. 15, 1985; Dec. 15, 1989; Oct. 1, 1991; April 2, 1995 & June 1, 1999 editions, Official Airline Guide
  30. ^, Feb. 1, 1987 Continental Airlines Employee timetable & Oct. 30, 1994 Continental timetable
  31. ^, Sept. 8, 1982 Pan Am timetable
  32. ^, March 15, 1985 Emerald Air timetable
  33. ^, July 20, 1985 Muse Air timetable
  34. ^, March 14, 1986 TranStar Airlines timetable
  35. ^, Oct. 1, 1991 & April 2, 1995 editions, Official Airline Guide
  36. ^, TWA McAllen service forum
  37. ^, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide
  38. ^, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide
  39. ^ Dave Hendricks, The Monitor. “McAllen airport construction halfway complete”.
  40. ^ Hendricks, Dave. “UPS leaving Harlingen airport for McAllen”.

External links[edit]