Louisville International Airport handled 10% of its annual private jet traffic in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby, representing 500 aircraft movements on the busiest day.
The airport, which is 3 miles (5km) away from the race track, usually only handles domestic passenger flights but because of its location is the third busiest cargo airport in the country. According to WingX figures, the airport usually welcomes a small number of private flights on a daily basis – averaging less than 20 departures on an average day.
Richard Thompson, president of Air Charter Service Americas said, “We always see exceptionally high demand for private jets at the beginning of May to the race, which is the highest attended horse race in the US.”
The 10 furlong (1¼ mile) race is dubbed the most exciting two minutes in sports and is worth US$1.86m to the winner.
“We analyzed the WingX figures over the course of the week Monday 30th April to Sunday 6th May 2018. There were a total of just over 1,500 private jet movements, making up 10% of the total annual figure for the airport,” added Thompson. “Most of the flights were short hops of less than an hour and a half, with the two most popular routes being out of and back into the New York airports of Teterboro and Westchester County.”