Southern Illinois Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorSouthern Illinois Airport Authority
ServesCarbondale / Murphysboro, Illinois
LocationJackson County, Illinois
Elevation AMSL411 ft / 125 m
Coordinates37°46′41″N 089°15′07″W / 37.77806°N 89.25194°W / 37.77806; -89.25194
Location of airport in Illinois
MDH (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 4,164 1,269 Asphalt
18L/36R 6,506 1,983 Asphalt
18R/36L 3,498 1,066 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations70,000
Based aircraft87

Southern Illinois Airport (IATA: MDH, ICAO: KMDH, FAA LID: MDH) is a public airport in Jackson County, Illinois, United States. It is located three nautical miles (6 km) northwest of the central business district of Carbondale and east of Murphysboro.[1] This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015–2019, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.[2]

The airport opened in 1950 and was originally known as Murdale Airport. Today it ranks as the eighth-busiest airport in the state.[3]

The airport is owned and operated by Southern Illinois Airport Authority, a local governmental entity created under state law. A five-member boards sets policy for the airport authority, and daily administration of the airport is carried out by an airport manager and staff. The board members are appointed by the mayors of Carbondale and Murphysboro and the Chairman of the Jackson County Board and serve for five years on a staggered basis.

Facilities and aircraft

Southern Illinois Airport covers an area of 850 acres (340 ha) at an elevation of 411 feet (125 m) above mean sea level.[1] Three lighted, hard surface runways provide all-weather capability. A precision instrument approach is available on the airport's primary runway.

Runway Dimensions Surface Status
6/24 4,164 x 100 feet (1,269 x 30 m) Asphalt In-use
18L/36R 6,506 x 100 feet (1,983 x 30 m) Asphalt In-use
18R/36L 3,498 x 60 feet (1,066 x 18 m) Asphalt In-use

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2009, the airport had 77,557 aircraft operations, an average of 212 per day: 99% general aviation, 1% air taxi, <1% scheduled commercial, and <1% military. At that time there were 89 aircraft based at this airport: 87% single-engine, 9% multi-engine, 1% jet, 2% helicopter and 1% ultralight.[1] In 2011, the airport had 70,000 operations, and there were 87 aircraft based at this airport.[3]

The airport is capable of accommodating a variety of aircraft up to and including the Boeing 757. Sufficient aircraft ramps and tie-down spaces exist for a large and varied number of aircraft. Hangar space is available for based and transient aircraft up to and including the Gulfstream V.

Southern Illinois Airport is also the home operating base for Southern Illinois University's aviation flight and aviation technologies programs. A $63.3 million Transportation Education Center opened in fall 2012 on the south side of the airport. This edifice houses the Aviation Flight, Aviation Management, and Automotive Technologies programs under one roof. The TEC also houses flight and air traffic control simulator labs, classroom space, and vehicle storage/maintenance labs for automotive students. Nearby, an aviation test cell facility provides space for Aviation Technologies students to test piston- and turbine-powered aircraft engines.

An air traffic control tower operates daily from 7am to 9pm, and an ASOS weather facility operates on a 24-hour basis.

Economic impact

Southern Illinois Airport makes a substantial contribution to the local economy.

Based upon a study commissioned by the Illinois Aeronautics Division[citation needed], the airport contributes more than $13.8 million in direct and indirect benefits to the region on an annual basis. Today the airport employs more than 175 full and part-time employees with an annual payroll exceeding $3.3 million. Yearly expenditures in the local area by the airport and seven businesses located here are more than $2.5 million. The authors used a conservative multiplier of 1.7 to result in a total annual impact exceeding $13.8 million.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for MDH PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective 29 July 2010.
  2. ^ National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2015–2019: Appendix A: Part 2 (PDF, 1.04 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. Updated 15 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b 2012 Airport Inventory Report State of Illinois Department of Transportation Aviation Division.