Albany International Airport
|Albany International Airport|
|FAA airport diagram|
|IATA: ALB – ICAO: KALB – FAA LID: ALB
|Owner||Albany County Airport Authority|
|Serves||Albany, New York|
|Location||Colonie, New York|
|Focus city for||Cape Air|
|Elevation AMSL||285 ft / 87 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration, ACI|
Albany International Airport (IATA: ALB, ICAO: KALB, FAA LID: ALB) is a public use airport located six nautical miles (11 km) northwest of the central business district of Albany, in Albany County, New York, United States. It is owned by the Albany County Airport Authority.
It is an airport of entry serving Albany and located in the town of Colonie. It was built on the site of the Shaker settlement about 6 miles (10 km) north of Albany and stretching north to the hamlet of Verdoy. The airport is the seat of a class C airspace.
Albany International Airport can accept most aircraft. In the past, most airlines operated mainline aircraft to ALB. The biggest aircraft that flew into ALB was Air Force One (Boeing 747), which has made four appearances: one in 1994, 2009, 2011, and again in 2012. Additionally, the C-5 Galaxy has landed for training, for cargo during Hurricane Katrina, and for the transportation of President Obama's motorcade on September 20 and 21, 2009. An Air Canada Airbus A340-300 (which has seating for 286 passengers) made an unscheduled arrival on December 21, 2007. Also, on August 10, 2012, a United Airlines Boeing 767-400 flight from Munich, Germany was diverted to Albany due to bad weather conditions at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey where the flight was expected to land.
Many times a week, UPS runs a 757-200 in from their Hartford, CT hub for cargo. FedEx Airlines brings the Boeing 757-200 to the airport about 5 times a week for cargo. Today, about half of the planes that depart and land in ALB are regional aircraft. Airlines that operate mainline aircraft are Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. The largest passenger aircraft to fly into ALB daily is the Boeing 737-800 operated by Southwest Airlines with seating for 175 passengers.
Albany International was the first, and remains the oldest, municipal airport in the United States. In 1908 the airstrip was located on a former polo field on Loudonville Road, three miles (5 km) north of the city in the town of Colonie. In 1909, the airport was moved to Westerlo Island, which is in the city of Albany, but at that time was in the town of Bethlehem; the airport was named at this time. The airport was named after Teddy Roosevelt's son, Quentin, a fighter pilot during World War I. A $10,000 prize was established for sustained flight between Albany and New York City; Glen Curtiss achieved this feat on May 29, 1910. Other early pioneers of aviation that stopped at this early field were Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and James Doolittle.
Mayor John Boyd Thacher II once said "a city without the foresight to build an airport for the new traffic may soon be left behind in the race for competition". He therefore decided to build in 1928 a new modern airport on the Shaker site near Albany-Shaker Road in Colonie, not far from the original polo fields used as the first site of the municipal airport. The Shakers not only sold the land used but also loaned the use of tractors and tools.
The early Albany Airport was often closed and threatened with closure which prompted repeated improvements in the late 1930s and 1940s. The airport was closed from January 1939 until December 1940, when it reopened to traffic during daylight hours only, and then with no restrictions since January 1942. The airport has not been closed (other than for weather related reasons and emergency landings) since.
The airport up until 1960 had been jointly owned and managed by the city and county of Albany. It was in 1960 that Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd ended the city's stake.
In 1962, a new terminal building was opened. There was a landside building that contained ticket counters, a coffee shop, and baggage claim on the first floor, and a restaurant, offices and viewing area on the second floor. A single-story boarding concourse extended outwards from this building. In 1968, this concourse was widened to allow more concessions and boarding space. The terminal was expanded again in 1979, with the addition of a new two-story building attached diagonally to the northwest. It contained boarding gates for Allegheny Airlines on the second floor, and baggage carousels on the first floor.
The Albany County Airport Authority was created by the county in 1993 with a 40 year lease to operate the airport in 1996. A new terminal was begun on May 16, 1996, officially opening June 1998. It was designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills and Stracher-Roth-Gilmore, and it was built around the existing terminal, most of which was demolished upon its completion. Only the 1979 extension remains from the old terminal building.
Service history 
At the time of US Airline Deregulation in 1978, most of Albany's service was provided by two "trunk carriers" (American Airlines and Eastern Air Lines) and one "local service carrier" (Allegheny Airlines, which renamed itself USAir in 1979). After Deregulation, many new airlines expanded to Albany. Most did not survive the tumultuous 1980's.
Airlines that served Albany after Deregulation include (but are not limited to):
- Braniff International Airways, which added Albany as part of an unsuccessful large expansion in 1979. Albany was the only Upstate New York market served by this colorful and storied Dallas-based airline, which shut down in 1982.
- Empire Airlines (1976-1985), a regional carrier based in Utica, opened a hub at Syracuse Hancock International Airport after Deregulation and operated flights from Albany and numerous destinations in the Northeast with a fleet of large regional jets and turboprop aircraft.
- Mall Airways, a commuter carrier, ran a hub at Albany in the 1980s with small turboprop aircraft, and operated flights around the Northeast and into Canada.
- Peoplexpress Airlines, a low-cost carrier founded in 1981 with a hub at Newark International Airport. People grew quickly into a major carrier, but some bad decisions led to its downfall and purchase by Continental Airlines in 1986. Continental's Continental Express and Continental Connection affiliates served Albany until they merged with United in 2010.
- Piedmont Airlines, a pre-deregulation local service carrier based in North Carolina, expanded to the Northeast with a hub at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. They served Albany from this hub. They also bought Empire in 1985 and merged them into itself. In 1987, Piedmont was bought by USAir who wanted to eliminate the unwelcome new competition. Piedmont Airlines, now a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways and operates under the name US Airways Express, provides US Airways with all ground handling services at Albany International Airport. Piedmont Airlines still operates flights in and out of Albany International Airport, but its aircraft are branded with the US Airways Express logo.
- Republic Airlines (1979-1986), an airline formed from the merger of three pre-Deregulation local service carriers, added service from Albany to their Detroit hub in 1984. They were bought by Northwest Airlines in 1987; Northwest was bought by Delta Air Lines in 2008 and took over their operations in 2009.
- United Airlines, which had long served Rochester and Buffalo, added Albany and Syracuse in 1982. United and its affiliates serve Albany today.
During 1986-1987, the airline industry consolidated through a series of mergers, so that after 1989 the US airline industry was dominated by a group of six "legacy carriers:" American, United, Delta, Northwest, USAir, and Continental. All of them served Albany themselves or by their regional affiliates. During the 1990s, Albany and other Upstate markets enjoyed little low-fare service, and the legacy carriers mostly kept fares high. Southwest Airlines' entry into Albany in 2000 ushered in a new era of low fare service at the airport.
Recent history 
- Albany International Airport is receiving $5.9 million in federal stimulus money to benefit the effort to remove a water tower which is considered an obstruction by the FAA for incoming aircraft on the runway 28 approach.
- American Eagle ended service to ALB on November 1, 2008. Originally ALB had service by American Airlines, but that ended after 9/11.
- Albany International Airport is one of only 4 airports in the world using dual jet bridges (one bridge for the back, one for the front). However, only Southwest Airlines uses them, and not on all flights.
- US Airways used to have major operations at Albany, including its own hangar, MetroJet services to Orlando and Baltimore, and dozens of mainline flights a day. These services were cut down when US Airways went bankrupt in the period after the 9/11 attacks.
- Construction has recently been completed on the 1,300-foot (400 m) runway extension for runway 1/19. The runway now measures 8,500 feet (2,600 m).
- With the January 2006 shutdown of Independence Air, the airport is in further discussions with Frontier Airlines to expand service to the airport.
- In the past ALB had been serviced by Delta Express flying to Orlando and Tampa, MetroJet flying to Orlando and Baltimore. In those airlines' final years of operation, when they flew alongside Southwest Airlines, Albany had up to eight flights to Orlando.
- ALB has become a focus city for Cape Air flying to Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena, and Boston.
- Albany currently faces high domestic air fare prices due to Southwest and US Airways, which make up a large portion of the operations at the airport. ALB has an agreement with Delta Air Lines to fly larger aircraft to and from Atlanta. The increase in operations paired with an increase demand is projected to allow the fares at ALB to decrease.
- In 2001, ALB completed a glycol waste-to-energy plant which treats de-icing fluid. This system removes 99.99% of glycol pollutants, and allows direct discharge into a nearby creek. The plant generates more power than it consumes, and saves the airport over $750,000 per year in sewage fees.
- In February 2011, the Albany County Airport Authority announced that they would be meeting with at least five airlines, some that don't currently serve Albany, about the rising fares and declining service at the Albany International Airport. Albany fares increased by 14.24 percent over 12 months to the third period of 2010 to $384.15. The percentage increase was the 19th greatest of the 100 major airports tracked in the DOT study. The airport also noted that the airport has seen a net loss of four daily flights over the past year, although there are promising signs with Delta Air Lines increasing mainline service to Atlanta International Airport on McDonnell Douglas MD-88 jets; as well as Cape Air's three new non-stop flights between Albany and Boston that began in March on the airline's Cessna 402s.
- In March 2011, Albany International Airport CEO John O'Donnell said that the airport was considering adding an incentives program to increase business at the airport. According to O'Donnell the program would offer significant incentives" for airlines to add service. A couple of the airports on the list of possible new destinations are Los Angeles, Denver, Fort Myers, Houston, and possible seasonal service to Myrtle Beach and Cancun.
- Airport CEO John O’Donnell announced in late March that he is confident that Southwest Airlines will start offering non-stop service to Atlanta in late 2011 following its merger with AirTran Airways that is scheduled to close in the second quarter of this year.
- In July 2011, Albany International Airport began to seek a $1.25 million grant to attract new destinations and airlines. Albany Airport is hoping that this grant will add nonstop service to Houston, Texas, as well as many other destinations.
- As of August 5, Albany International Airport is receiving $500,000 from local Capital Region businesses to add flights and airlines.
- In September 2011, the Albany International Airport received $750,000 in a federal grant that will be used to provide a revenue guarantee to an airline that will provide non-stop service to Houston, Texas, Denver, Colorado or Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
- It was officially announced that November 16, 2011 would be the final day of service between Watertown and Albany. The service offered by Cape Air will be replaced by American Eagle, on 44-seat regional jets to Chicago-O'Hare. This will not affect Albany's service to Odgensburg and Massena.
CommutAir hub 
In early 2001, CommutAir started to invest in an Albany hub. The hub was to connect smaller cities with bigger cities with Continental Express and mainline. At its peak CommutAir served Allentown, Bangor, Binghamton, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington, Elmira, Portland, Harrisburg, Nantucket, Scranton, La Guardia, Islip, Hartford, White Plains, Manchester, Providence, Syracuse, Rochester, Lake Placid, Montreal, Ottawa, and Plattsburgh. The hub was closed down in late 2005 to shift operations to Cleveland. A few of the markets did do well. The hub was served by Beechcraft 1900s operated by CommutAir for Continental Connection. Currently, CommutAir operates 2 flights from Albany to its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport for United Express.
Concourse A 
Concourse A was opened in 1968. Prior to the opening of a much more modern Concourse B in June 1998, all gates in Concourse A were occupied by US Airways. Pre-merger United Airlines flights and Cape Air are the only two airlines in Concourse A. Other previous airlines at Concourse A include American Airlines, American Eagle, Northwest Airlines (before their merger with Delta Air Lines) and Continental Airlines (before their move to Concourse C). United, following its merger with Continental added gate A4, and following the transfer of flights to/from Newark and Cleveland to Concourse A, United also added gate A3, giving United control of gates A3-A6.
Concourse B 
US Airways and Delta Air Lines currently share the concourse, with Delta having three gates (B5, B7, B8) and US Airways having three (B9, B10, B11). Air Canada flights to Toronto are handled by US Airways and operate out of their gates. Concourse B's amenities include a Paradies Shop, Hudson Valley Wine Bar, Starbucks and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen. Gates B1, B2, B4 (lower level) and B6 are currently not in regular use (B3 boarding area has been blocked and is currently used as office space).
Concourse C 
Concourse C was opened in June 1998 as part of the airport's $184 million renovation project. Concourse C has three gates, all being used by Southwest Airlines. Gate C1 was formerly used by Continental Airlines. Concourse C has two Paradies Shops, a business center, an interfaith prayer room and a Brioche Doree.
Concourse D 
There have been discussions between the Town of Colonie and The Albany Airport Board regarding the construction of a new concourse. The concourse will be built to satisfy the needs of a growing US Airways and Southwest, and will also become an international concourse with immigration and customs facilities. Southwest only has two gates for their operations which some have said is not enough, considering that Southwest has over a 40% market share with only 10% of the gates. At times, aircraft have to wait until one of the two gates open up or passengers have to deplane on the tarmac via airstairs. Proponents of the new concourse contend that it would also be useful to attract new airlines to ALB. The proposed concourse would have approximately 10 gates. However, there is insufficient space for the new facility on airport property at this time.
Airlines and destinations 
Top Destinations 
|2||Charlotte, NC||105,440||US Airways|
|6||Philadelphia, PA||83,770||US Airways|
|Airline||Percent of Total Enplanements in 2011|
Cargo carriers 
|Air Cargo Carriers|
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, Hartford|
Ground transportation 
Albany International Airport has direct access to I-87 and New York State Route 7 via Albany-Shaker Road, a 3.3-mile four-lane boulevard. The New York State Department of Transportation is currently in the developing stages of the Exit 3 Project. The Exit 3 Project will eventually provide better access to Albany International Airport and improve Exit 4. The airport is served by major car rental companies as well as by local taxi and limousine services.
The closest rail station to Albany Airport is Schenectady Amtrak Station in Downtown Schenectady at 10 miles from the airport. For more rail options, Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak Station is 14 miles away and has more routes.
There are currently few sidewalks connecting the terminal to nearby hotels or other destinations. However, the New York State Department of Transportation has proposed installing pedestrian and bicycle facilities along Albany Shaker Road during an upcoming interchange project. This will connect the airport to hotels and businesses along Wolf Road.
Incidents and accidents 
On September 16, 1953: American Airlines Flight 723, a Convair 240, was flying Boston-Springfield-Albany-Syracuse-Rochester-Buffalo-Detroit-Chicago when it crashed and caught fire after flying into a series of radio towers in a fog while descending for landing. All 28 occupants on board (25 passengers and 3 crew) were killed.
On March 3, 1972, Mohawk Airlines Flight 405, a Fairchild Hiller FH-227 crashed into a house in Albany, New York on approach to Albany County Airport. The crew had difficulty getting the cruise lock to disengage in one of the engines. While the crew attempted to deal with the problem, the aircraft crashed short of the airfield, killing 16 of the 48 people in the aircraft and one person on the ground. The lone surviving crew member was a stewardess, Sandra Quinn.
See also 
- FAA Airport Master Record for ALB ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 29 July 2010.
- 2010 North American final rankings[dead link]
- "Customs at ALB". Albany International Airport. Archived from the original on 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- "Albany Airspace". SkyVector.com. Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- SRG Architects - Albany International Airport
- "Albany Airport History". Albany County Airport Authority. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
- Cathy Woodruff (2009-04-04). "Water tower work gets Federal boost". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- "Airport Begins Construction of Major Runway Extension". Albany International Airport. 2004-07-14. Archived from the original on 2006-11-17.
- Eric Durr (2006-01-13). "Airport solid financially but needs more carriers". The Business Review (Albany, New York: American City Business Journals, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- Tom Gibson (2002-09-30). "Let the Bugs Do the Work". Progressive Engineer. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
- Eric Anderson (2011-02-08). "Trends worry airport board". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Eric Anderson (2011-03-11). "A lure for expanded air service". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- "Albany to benefit from Southwest, AirTran merger". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- Pam Allen (2011-07-20). "Albany Airport seeks 125m grant". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Pam Allen (2011-08-05). "Albany International Airport attracts $500K in private funding to add flights - The Business Review". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Michael Cignoli (2011-09-28). "Albany Airport gets $750,000 grant to recruit new airlines, flights". The Saratogian. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- Eric Anderson (2011-10-06). "Air service between Albany, Watertown to end". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- "Architecture+, Petersen Group picked for $1.8M airport terminal project". The Business Review (Albany, New York: American City Business Journals, Inc.). 2006-01-13. Retrieved 2004-10-19.
- New York State Department of Transportation (2011-10-11). "I-87, Exits 3/4 Access Improvements". Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- Record 19530916-0 at Aviation Safety Net
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Albany International Airport|
- Albany International Airport, official site
- PDF at New York State DOT airport directory
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ALB, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: