The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) serves the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area, which includes areas of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. This major airport’s unique location straddling the Ohio-Kentucky state line leads many travelers to ask: Is the Cincinnati airport in Kentucky?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: No, the Cincinnati airport is not located in Kentucky. It is situated primarily in the state of Ohio, specifically in Hebron, Kentucky. However, it bears the name Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky because it serves both Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

In this in-depth article, we’ll take a close look at the airport’s location and geography, its history and ownership, the airport designation, and how it came to be called Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even though it’s mostly in Ohio.

Geographic Location of CVG Airport

CVG Airport Sits Primarily in Ohio

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is often associated with Kentucky due to its proximity to the state line. However, the airport is primarily located in Ohio. It is situated in Hebron, a city in Boone County, which is part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

CVG Airport is situated on an expansive land area of approximately 7,700 acres, making it one of the largest airports in the United States. It serves as a major hub for both passenger and cargo flights, connecting travelers to various domestic and international destinations.

The airport’s location in Ohio offers several advantages. It provides convenient access to the Cincinnati metro area, as well as neighboring regions in Ohio such as Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. This accessibility makes CVG Airport a popular choice for travelers in the tri-state area.

Location Relative to Cincinnati and Kentucky

While CVG Airport is primarily located in Ohio, its proximity to the Kentucky state line is worth mentioning. The airport is just a short distance away from the Kentucky cities of Covington and Newport, which are part of the greater Cincinnati area.

In fact, the airport’s name includes “Northern Kentucky” to reflect its connection to the region. This designation acknowledges the airport’s importance in serving not only Ohio but also Kentucky and Indiana, collectively known as the tri-state area.

Travelers from both Ohio and Kentucky can easily access CVG Airport via major highways and roadways, including Interstates 275 and 71. The airport’s strategic location makes it a convenient choice for residents and visitors from both states.

For more information about CVG Airport and its location, you can visit their official website

History and Ownership of Cincinnati Airport

Origins and Early Years

The origins of the Cincinnati Airport can be traced back to the early 1940s. In 1942, the airport was originally established as a military airfield known as the Greater Cincinnati Airport. It served as an important training base for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

After the war, the airport was converted into a civilian airport and opened to the public in 1947. Since then, it has undergone several expansions and upgrades to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

During its early years, the Cincinnati Airport faced various challenges and obstacles. It had to compete with other nearby airports for airline services and struggled to attract major airlines. However, with strategic marketing efforts and improvements in infrastructure, the airport gradually gained recognition and became an important aviation hub in the region.

Transfer to Kenton County

In 1972, the ownership of the Cincinnati Airport was transferred from the city of Cincinnati to Kenton County. This decision was made to ensure the long-term development and growth of the airport. With the transfer, the airport was officially renamed as the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

The transfer of ownership brought significant changes to the airport. Kenton County invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades and modernization projects, which improved the overall passenger experience and increased the airport’s capacity.

These improvements included the construction of new terminals, parking facilities, and runways, as well as the implementation of advanced security measures.

Under the ownership of Kenton County, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has become one of the busiest airports in the United States. It serves as a major hub for several major airlines, offering both domestic and international flights.

The airport has received numerous accolades for its efficiency, customer service, and amenities, making it a popular choice among travelers.

For more information about the history and ownership of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, you can visit their official website:

CVG Airport Designation and Naming

FAA Airport Code CVG

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is indeed located in Kentucky, despite its name including “Cincinnati.” The airport has its IATA code as CVG, which stands for Covington, a city in Kentucky where the airport is situated.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assigns unique three-letter codes to airports worldwide to ensure standardization and efficient communication among pilots, air traffic controllers, and other aviation personnel.

Dual Identity Reflects Regional Service Area

The dual identity of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport reflects its role as a regional transportation hub serving both Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky. The airport’s close proximity to Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River, makes it a convenient choice for travelers from both states.

The decision to incorporate “Cincinnati” in the airport’s name recognizes the significant influence and connection the city has on the region, while the reference to “Northern Kentucky” acknowledges the airport’s location within the state.

The inclusion of both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in the airport’s name also highlights the collaborative efforts between the two regions to enhance air travel accessibility and promote economic growth.

The airport serves as a vital gateway for business travelers, tourists, and cargo transportation, contributing to the local economy and fostering regional development.

For more information about the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, you can visit their official website

Airport Terminals and Facilities Span the State Line

When it comes to the Cincinnati Airport, it’s not surprising that there is some confusion about its location. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is indeed situated in Kentucky, but its reach extends into the neighboring state of Ohio as well.

This unique airport spans both sides of the state line, serving as a gateway to the Greater Cincinnati region.

Location of Terminals and Runways

The Cincinnati Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is located in Hebron, Kentucky, while Terminal 2 is situated in Erlanger, Kentucky. Both terminals offer a range of amenities and services to passengers, including dining options, lounges, and shops.

The runways that serve the airport are also primarily located in Kentucky.

However, it’s important to note that while the majority of the airport’s infrastructure is in Kentucky, a small portion of the airport’s runway system actually extends into Ohio. This makes the Cincinnati Airport unique, as it operates across state lines.

Other Airport Buildings in Both States

In addition to the terminals and runways, the Cincinnati Airport also has other buildings and facilities that are spread across both Kentucky and Ohio. These include administrative offices, cargo areas, maintenance facilities, and more.

The airport serves as a major transportation hub for the region, and its facilities are designed to accommodate the needs of both passengers and airlines.

As the Cincinnati Airport continues to grow and expand, it remains an important economic driver for both Kentucky and Ohio. Its strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities make it a key player in the aviation industry, attracting travelers from all over the world.

For more information about the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, you can visit their official website here.

Unique Position Straddling the Ohio-Kentucky Border

The Cincinnati Airport, also known as the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), is indeed located in Kentucky. However, its unique position straddles the border between Kentucky and Ohio, making it one of the few airports in the United States that occupies two states.

Rare for Major Airport to Occupy Two States

It is quite rare for a major airport to be situated in two states simultaneously. The Cincinnati Airport’s location is not only geographically interesting but also strategically beneficial. This placement allows the airport to serve a wider range of travelers from both Kentucky and Ohio, providing increased convenience and accessibility for both states’ residents.

Having an airport that spans across state lines presents various advantages. It facilitates partnerships and collaboration between the two states, creating opportunities for economic growth and development.

Additionally, it allows for joint investment in infrastructure and attracts businesses that benefit from a cross-border location.

Challenges of Bistate Location

While the unique position of the Cincinnati Airport offers numerous benefits, it also presents some challenges. The airport must navigate the different regulations and policies of both Kentucky and Ohio, which can sometimes cause complexities in operations and decision-making processes.

Furthermore, the airport’s location on the border can lead to confusion among travelers. Visitors may be uncertain about which state they are actually in when they arrive at the airport, which can create a slight inconvenience.

However, airport authorities have taken steps to ensure clear signage and information to minimize any confusion for passengers.


While the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is physically situated primarily within the borders of Ohio, its identity and mission are closely intertwined with Northern Kentucky. This major airport’s bistate location is quite uncommon and provides some unique opportunities and challenges.

But the bottom line is clear: despite its misleading name, CVG airport is not actually located in the state of Kentucky.

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