We are Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) at Bloomington-Normal, serving the Central Illinois region! You may also know us by our airport code, BMI.
Our airport code is BMI, but our friends call us CIRA! The airport industry is chock-full of acronyms, and airport names are just one example.
So, what’s the difference between “CIRA” and “BMI,” you ask? CIRA stands for Central Illinois Regional Airport. That’s the official name under which we do business, and it’s the name on our signs, letterhead and business cards. But in aviation speak, we’re known as BMI, which is the IATA airport code (another acronym! — it stands for International Air Transport Association) used by pilots, aircraft controllers and other aviation professionals to quickly and easily distinguish us from other airports around the world. The letters B, M and I are derived from our location in Bloomington — a city whose name contains all three letters of our IATA airport code.
When booking your flights online, you can enter BMI to quickly tell the booking engine you want to fly to or from the premiere airport in the Central Illinois region!
Our history spans back to the late 1920s when our airport began as a private airfield. In 1934, CIRA came into existence with the dedication of a new airfield — the result of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program to fund recovery efforts during the depression era. CIRA has seen a lot of change since those early years, including plenty of remodels, renovations, new airlines and destinations, and changes in technology.
CIRA now has three major airlines serving six cities with connections world-wide! CIRA is operated by the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority. Want to know more about CIRA? Check out our Airport Statistics or our News page for more fun facts!
CIRA isn’t just about commercial flights and private aircraft — it’s also busy with cargo flight operations, including FedEx air cargo, which began operating at CIRA in 2015. FedEx flight operations at CIRA means expanded FedEx capacity and service in our region, more jobs in Central Illinois, and more dollars injected into our community — a win-win-win scenario!