South Dakota Airports

What Airports are There in South Dakota?

There are 71 public and 75 private airports in South Dakota, in addition to 53 general aviation airports and 38 heliports. At the same time, private airports in this state are more popular than in the other states. There are no international airports in this state, nor are there any large or medium-sized hubs. The total number of passengers at all airports is 903,958.

The South Dakota airports are well-connected to the largest U.S. cities. The biggest regional airports are situated in Aberdeen, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Watertown. Aberdeen Regional Airport is the oldest of them.

On the map of South Dakota airports, Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) appears to be the largest airport in the state (529,895 passengers), and the smallest one is Watertown Regional Airport (ATY) (12,064 travellers).

List of Airports in South Dakota

  • 1. Sioux Falls Regional Airport (also called Joe Foss Field) (FSD). It’s classified as a public and military airport, with over 150 weekly flights, around 10,000 passenger boardings per year, and 16 destinations served.
  • 2. Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP). It’s a non-hub public airport. From January 2020 to July 2020, there were 2,093 flights. The airport has 16 destinations in the United States to choose from. In 2020, it had nearly 51 thousand enplaned passengers.
  • 3. Aberdeen Regional Airport (ABR). The airport is typically used for general aviation. It’s one of two commercial airports in South Dakota. In 2020, the airport served 1.03 million travellers and approximately 60,000 aircraft movements.
  • 4. Pierre Regional Airport (PIR). It’s considered South Dakota’s principal commercial service airport. Averagely, it has around 10,000 enplanements per year, with around 32,140 aircraft operations per day.
  • 5. Watertown Regional Airport (ATY). It offers daily flights to Chicago and Denver, among other destinations. About 23,000 travelers passed through the Watertown airport in 2020, with approximately 11,000 boarding planes.

Most Popular Airlines

The most popular airlines that serve major airports in South Dakota are the following:

  • 1. Allegiant Air (Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa, and Orlando)
  • 2. American Airlines (Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • 3. Delta Air Lines (Minneapolis, Denver)
  • 4. Frontier Airlines
  • 5. United Airlines

South Dakota Destinations

Here is a list of the most popular destinations in South Dakota airports by the percents of online queries:

  • 1. Rapid City (49%)
  • 2. Sioux Falls (48%)
  • 3. Aberdeen (3%)
  • 4. Pierre (1%)

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

The South Dakota Air and Space Museum is a historic site located on the Ellsworth Air Force Base. It was established in 1957 to provide air defense to the Rapid City Army Air Base (a location where the heavy bomber units training took place during the World War II period). It bears the name of Brigadier General Richard E. Ellsworth, who died in 1953 during a training flight. The Ellsworth Air Force Base has kept the status of the military facility up to this day. It makes a great contribution to the Rapid City economy.

The museum is one of the largest national repositories dedicated to Air Force airplanes. It offers numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits that are open to the public and are free of charge (but the museum accepts donations). People who are interested in aviation and the United States Air Force should visit this museum.

The majority of installations are placed within the airpark. There you can see 22 of 3,970 B-29 Superfortress aircraft that were manufactured and assembled during the World War II period. Aside from exhibits, there are also pictures, maps, dioramas, and other unique showpieces that can tell you more about aviation. You can purchase Air Force-themed merchandise at the museum’s gift shop (airplane models, T-shirts, caps, etc.).