Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
|Cleveland Hopkins International Airport|
|Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Control Tower.|
|IATA: CLE – ICAO: KCLE – FAA LID: CLE|
|Owner||City of Cleveland|
|Operator||Cleveland Airport System|
|Hub for||United Airlines (second closure on June 5th, 2014)
(first closure in 1987)
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||791 ft / 241 m|
FAA airport diagram
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration and CLE airport.|
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA LID: CLE) is a public airport located nine miles (14 km) southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The airport lies just within the city limits of Cleveland. It is the largest airport in the state of Ohio.
The airport was founded in 1925, making it the first municipally owned airport in the United States. The airport has been the site of many other airport firsts: the first air traffic control tower, ground to air radio control and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930, and the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. The airport was named after its founder, former city manager William R. Hopkins, on his 82nd birthday in 1951.
The airport will have been the second smallest hub out of the ten hubs operated by United Airlines (busier only than Guam) and its regional carriers, connecting passengers to destinations across North America. However On February 1, 2014, CEO Jeff Smisek sent out a letter to employees and it was confirmed the next day that United Airlines will gradually wind down their hub operations at CLE through June 2014. Smisek cited the hub as being unprofitable as the main reason for bringing it down. CLE fell victim to United's hub dumping not once, but twice—the first occurring in the 1980s; the latest de-hubbing occurred despite the Ohio Attorney General's effort to negotiate a U$D 20 million fine if United CLE exited early or improperly.
In 2006, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport unveiled a new marketing and branding campaign. The slogan, "CLE Going Places", is said to depict the airport's pursuit of improving passengers' experience as they upgrade the airport facility and negotiate additional air services. Improvements include upgrades to the restaurant and store concessions program, taxi service, on-site parking, customer service areas, and the attraction of additional flights to new destinations with the airport's new air service development program.
- 1 Operational history
- 2 Airfield, facilities and concourses
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Ground transportation
- 5 Incidents and accidents
- 6 Relationship with United, Continental and United Continental
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
North American International Service
- Air Canada offers daily non-stop flights to Toronto via its regional affiliate, Air Canada Express (Jazz). Air Canada is currently the only foreign-flag carrier to serve Cleveland on a regular basis.
- United offers service to Cancún which uses the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection facility upon arrival. United also offers several daily flights to Toronto and Montréal, both of which will be discontinued pursuant to United's de-hubbing of CLE.
- Frontier Airlines offers international service to Cancún and Punta Cana in partnership with Apple Vacations.
There is presently no intercontinental service from Cleveland. However, there have been several past short-lived attempts to establish intercontinental service from the airport since the airport was first granted authority to receive intercontinental service in 1977.
- Circa 1982–1986, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated once-weekly non-stop flights to Ljubljana, continuing on to Belgrade.
- From 1988 to 1992, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated once-weekly service to Belgrade, the largest city in what was then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Upon the break-up of Yugoslavia and UN sanctions that followed, JAT service was suspended, leaving Cleveland without transatlantic, non-stop flights for nearly eight years until Continental Airlines began flights to London in 1999.
- Continental Airlines began offering seasonal nonstop flights from Hopkins to London Gatwick Airport in 1999. This service continued for several summers, and in 2009, Continental switched to Heathrow Airport instead of Gatwick because of the airline's new access to Heathrow as part of the EU–U.S. Open Skies Agreement. However, this service was cancelled permanently following the summer of 2009. Continental utilized a 757-200 for this route.
- Continental launched a new route between Cleveland and Paris, France on May 22, 2008, but then announced elimination of the service in December 2008. The service has not been resurrected in subsequent summers. Continental had exited the SkyTeam Alliance, which included Air France. Because of the exit from SkyTeam, the incentive for Continental passengers in Cleveland to connect in Paris disappeared.
Former Widebody Service
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)|
During the 1970s and 1980s, CLE did have scheduled widebody service. However, with the airlines' trend in the 1990s of using smaller aircraft with increased frequency, all passenger widebody service was discontinued. Former scheduled service included:
- Eastern: A300-100
- United: DC-10, 767
- Delta A310
- American: 767, DC-10
- Northwest: DC-10
- TWA: 767
- JAT Jugoslovenski Aero Transport: DC-10 (to Ljubljana, Slovenia and Belgrade, Serbia (former Yugoslavia))
For weather-related issues, United would sometimes divert EWR-bound international 767s and 777s into CLE; however, the only scheduled widebody aircraft that serve CLE are freight carriers:
- FedEx: A300-600
- UPS: MD-11, 767-200/300
Airfield, facilities and concourses
- Runway 6R/24L: 9,955 x 150 ft. (3,034 x 46 m), concrete
- Runway 6L/24R: 9,000 x 150 ft. (2,743 x 46 m), concrete
- Runway 10/28: 6,017 x 150 ft. (1,834 x 46 m), asphalt and concrete
The older parallel runway, formerly Runway 6C/24C, was 7,096 x 150 ft. (2163 x 46 m). Several years ago it was decommissioned as an active runway, its width narrowed, and is now designated as Taxiway C. It has the word "TAXI" inscribed in large yellow letters on each end to ensure approaching aircraft do not mistakenly use it as a runway.
Recently completed was a project that moved both thresholds of Runway 10/28 330 feet to the east, thus allowing for the addition of EMAS (Engineered Materials Arresting System) at both ends. The usable runway length was not altered. As part of this project, some turnouts were rebuilt and the closed sections of 24L and the former 24C that intersected 10/28 were physically removed.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 188,286 aircraft operations, an average of 516 per day: 64% air taxi, 31% scheduled commercial, 4.5% general aviation and <1% military. There are 29 aircraft based at this airport: 18 jet, 5 single engine, 6 multi-engine and 6 military aircraft.
Since 2008, BAA Cleveland has developed and managed retail and dining locations at the airport. A redevelopment project will add 76,000 square feet (7,100 m2) of new locations.
Cleveland Airport consists of one passenger terminal which is divided into four concourses:
- Concourse A (gates A1–A12, A14), originally known as "North Concourse", was the first of the airport's original two concourses and was designed by Outcalt & Guenther and built in 1962 and rebuilt in 1978. During a short period from 1987 until the early 1990s, USAir held the majority of gates in this concourse from which it was the dominant carrier at the airport. It currently houses American, American Eagle, US Airways, US Airways Express, Frontier Airlines, and all international arrivals.
- Concourse B (gates B1–B11) was the first extension pier to the airport and was designed by Outcalt & Guenther and built in 1966. The concourse was rebuilt and expanded from 1982 until January 1983. This project was designed by Richard L. Bowen and Associates Inc. and built by Seuffert Construction Company, Inc. It currently is home to Delta, Delta Connection, and Southwest Airlines.
- Concourse C (gates C1–C12, C14, and C16–C29) houses all mainline United Airlines services, except for international arrivals which are handled in Concourse A instead. The concourse (being the third-oldest one) was designed by Joint venture of The Outcalt Guenther Partners and Dyer Watson Spieth and was originally known as "South Concourse" when it opened in 1968. Until 1985, it was one of the main hub operations for United Airlines (pre–Continental Airlines merger). United slowly cut flights from Hopkins as it built a new hub at Washington Dulles International Airport. By 1987, United had closed its hub at Hopkins and moved its operations to the B Concourse. Continental Airlines quickly established a hub in Cleveland to fill the void left by United. The concourse was renovated in 1992 at a cost of US$50 million. This project, designed by Robert P. Madison International, Inc. included the installation of a continuous skylight, a Presidents Club, and a new Baggage Claim area. However, after the merger of Continental and United, as well as Continental joining the Star Alliance, United has since relocated their Cleveland operations to Concourse C. Air Canada Jazz moved to Concourse C before relocating to Concourse D on October 29, 2013. Concourse C once again became the hub operations for United Airlines after the merger with Continental.
- Concourse D (gates D2–D12, D14, D17, D21, D25, and D28) was constructed in 1999 at a cost of $80 million and is a separate terminal connected to the main terminal by an underground walkway. Although capable of handling larger jets such as United's Boeing 737, it currently handles regional aircraft exclusively, for United Express and Air Canada Jazz. Concourse D contains 12 jet bridge gates and 24 ramp loading positions. It was designed by KCF/SHG and Robert P. Madison International, Inc. United announced that it will be vacating its 16 gates on Concourse D and consolidating all operations to Concourse C on June 5, 2014.
Airlines and destinations
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis|
|FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo||Erie|
|1||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)||359,000||American, United|
|2||Charlotte, NC||236,000||United, US Airways|
|3||Chicago, IL (Midway)||209,000||Southwest|
|4||Atlanta, GA||208,000||Delta, United|
|5||Houston, TX (IAH)||188,000||United|
|6||Baltimore, MD||165,000||Southwest, United|
|8||New York, NY (LaGuardia)||153,000||American, Delta, United|
|9||Denver, CO||143,000||Frontier, United|
|10||Philadelphia, PA||142,000||United, US Airways|
|4||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||16,289|
Hopkins International Airport is connected to the Cleveland Rapid Transit system. Passengers can board Red Line trains at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (RTA Rapid Transit station) airport terminal. One-way fare to any station on the line is $2.25. During late night/early morning hours, service is provided by the # 22 Lorain bus from Hopkins to Downtown Cleveland. The airport also offers a dedicated taxi service of 75 vehicles.
In 1998, Hopkins moved rental car operations off the airport grounds to a new consolidated rental car facility. The facility has drawn mixed reviews from travelers because of its distance from the airport, inconsistent bus service and long bus rides, only partial canopy coverage for vehicles, and fees and taxes that are very high relative to those of other airports; the charges cover costs of not only operating the center but also supporting other local projects, such as the Cleveland Browns stadium.
Incidents and accidents
- In 1938 a United Air Lines twin-engined prop flying from Newark to Chicago via Cleveland crashed on approach to Hopkins killing all seven passengers and three crew members on board.
- In 1971 Jane Fonda was arrested by police at the airport for being belligerent and obstructing public safety because she refused to go through security screening. After an increase in aviation related skyjackings, the FAA had in 1969 ordered all airports to use metal detectors.
- Hundreds of thousands of earthworms crawled onto the longest runway at Cleveland's Hopkins Airport in September 1972. It created so great a safety hazard that the strip had to be closed for 30 minutes. Workmen used a motorized broom to sweep them away. Four jet pilots complained that the worms caused poor braking. Officials said heavy rains apparently brought the worms to the surface on ground surrounding the runway.
- On January 4, 1985 Pan Am flight 558, a Boeing 727, was scheduled to fly from Cleveland to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport. While still on the ground at Cleveland, the aircraft was hijacked and the hijacker demanded to be taken to South America. The plane was stormed by Cleveland police and the hijacker arrested. The duration of the hijacking was less than one day.
- On January 6, 2003, a Continental Express Embraer ERJ-145LR overran the runway upon landing from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT. After touchdown, the flight crew was unable to stop the airplane on the runway. The airplane continued beyond the departure end, on extended runway centerline, and struck the ILS runway 6 localizer antenna. It came to rest with the nose about 600 feet (180 m) beyond the end of the runway. The nose landing gear had collapsed rearward and deformed the forward pressure bulkhead.
- On April 27, 2006 police officers confronted a man at the United Airlines ticket counter. The man fired a handgun, critically wounding a patrolman, but another officer shot and killed the attacker.
- On February 18, 2007, at 3:14 pm, a Shuttle America Embraer 170 operating as Delta Connection flight 6448 from Atlanta skidded off snow-covered runway 28 and crashed through a fence. None of the 70 passengers and four crew on board were injured.
- On January 10, 2010, the airport lost power for more than seven hours after a transformer exploded at about 6:50 am. All power inside the terminals was lost and air traffic was halted; however the control tower, runways, and taxiways remained lit, powered by backup generators. About 800 people were affected by the loss of power, and most flights didn't resume until 3:00 pm. According to a spokesperson, the transformer exploded due to a buildup of road salt, causing corrosion.
- On December 9, 2012, a shooting occurred at approximately 11:28 am in the Riveredge employee parking lot. A male was pronounced dead at the scene while a female was pronounced dead at MetroHealth hospital.
- On February 22, 2013, a Boeing 737 operating as United Airlines flight 1639, skidded off the taxiway after landing. There were no injuries to the 103 passengers and crews.
Relationship with United, Continental and United Continental
From the postwar era until the mid-1980s, United Airlines maintained its eastern-most domestic hub at CLE. Beginning in 1985, United started the process of migrating its CLE hub capacity to Washington-Dulles; this process was completed in 1987. The same year, Continental Airlines, which was then a separate carrier and lacked a Midwest hub, quickly moved into fill the void left by United. This gave the then Continental hubs in five markets: Houston, Denver (subsequently dehubbed), Newark (per its acquisition of People Express in 1987), Guam and Cleveland.
Continental increased its hub capacity at Hopkins, becoming the airport's largest tenant and eventually accounting for upwards of 60 percent of passenger traffic. Continental and Hopkins both made substantial operational and capital investments in support of CLE; this included the construction of Concourse D in 1999 that provided accommodations for Continental Express flights.
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (July 2012)|
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (July 2012)|
The airport, Cleveland community, and Continental developed something of an uneasy relationship beginning in the late 1990s. In 2003, the tension became public when Continental then-CEO Gordon Bethune publicly scolded the Cleveland business community and encouraged business flyers to support Continental at Hopkins rather than to take cheaper fights from neighboring Akron-Canton Regional Airport, which at the time advertised itself as the "preferred alternative" to Hopkins and "a better way to go." Around this time, Akron-Canton Airport was undertaking an ambitious expansion in response to substantial increases in enplanements while Hopkins boardings declined. Shortly thereafter, Continental reduced the size of its board of directors by halving the number of representatives from the Cleveland area, began to more closely scrutinize local passenger traffic volume, and closed its four off-airport ticket offices in the Greater Cleveland area (while maintaining offices near its Houston and Newark hubs).
On September 14, 2007, Continental announced what was at the time called a "major expansion" at Hopkins that would have increased the hub's capacity by some 40% over a two-year period. The expansion would have entailed some 20 new destinations served primarily on regional aircraft, followed later by a dozen new destinations served on mainline aircraft. This expansion was expected to create 700 jobs, and the state of Ohio offered a $16 million incentive package to help bring the service increase to fruition. However, when record-high fuel prices forced Continental to cut capacity in the summer of 2008, the airline reduced its workforce, eliminated service between Cleveland and 24 cities (including 12 cities that were part of Phase I of its hub expansion program), and reduced the frequency of its flights to a number of others; the service cuts in Cleveland were deeper as a percentage of overall flight volume than concurrent cuts at Continental's Houston and Newark hubs. In March 2009, Continental indicated that it would continue to make capacity cuts in response to reduced demand for seats. Also in March 2009, Continental CEO Larry Kellner omitted Cleveland but referenced Newark and Houston when commenting on the carrier's strengths, stating, "We are strong in the Atlantic, we are strong in Latin America, we are strong in New York, we're strong in Houston." On July 10, 2009, the US Department of Transportation approved Continental's membership in Star Alliance (it had been a member of SkyTeam with Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines) and most aspects of the code-share agreement it had requested with United and other Star Alliance members (e.g. Lufthansa).
United acquires Continental
On May 2, 2010, the Boards of Directors at Continental and United Airlines approved a stock-swap merger deal. The legal aspects of a full merger were completed on October 1, 2010. The Continental-United marriage only heightened simmering concerns within the greater Cleveland area about the potential effect on Cleveland air service; Continental's previous merger talks with Star Alliance founding partner United had been viewed in some circles as a serious threat to Continental's future at Hopkins. When the 2010 United/Continental tie-up was initially announced, it prompted Cleveland politicians to propose hearings to investigate the potential impact of the marriage on the community; these investigations ultimately had no effect on the companies' efforts to combine.
There had been persistent worries that a post-merger United would reduce or eliminate direct service from Cleveland to a number of cities and instead route passengers through United's hubs in Chicago (315 miles west by air) and Washington (287 air miles east by air). In an article about the Continental-United merger, the Wall Street Journal reported on May 3, 2010, that "One city that could feel the pinch from the latest consolidation is Cleveland, a small Continental hub. Analysts say that a combined United-Continental could shift more connecting traffic to Chicago, United's largest hub. Delta has continued to scale back flights at its small Cincinnati hub since it acquired Northwest, which had hubs in nearby Memphis and Detroit."
Uncertainty and hub protection
In mid-September 2010 and with uncertainty looming, Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray and Cleveland officials secured a letter of agreement with newly formed company, United Continental Holdings, that specified what service levels must be maintained at Hopkins for five years. The agreement stipulated a $20 million monetary penalty, including a potential lawsuit, if the agreement was broken. The agreement was criticized as and having loopholes that United could exploit if it chose to reduce service before the agreement expired. A former Continental executive and aviation consultant, said "Ohio should be lauded for getting the airlines to strike any kind of a deal at all." Another former Continental executive observed that the "airlines have basically worked out a formula that says if demand and profitability is not what we expect it to be going forward, we have the ability to curtail our flights."" In other words, the agreement dictated how many flights, but it did not dictate variables such as: available seat miles, deployment of mainline jets with high seating capacity versus commuter turboprops with low seating capacity. The agreement allowed for United to use its own cost allocation metrics to assess profitability on routes to and from Cleveland.
Terms of the agreement were as follows:
For the first two years after the merger (i.e. until October 1, 2012):
- The new United must maintain at least 90 percent, or 170, of the 189 average daily departures that the two airlines had at Cleveland Hopkins in the year before their combination.
During the remainder of the five year agreement (i.e. until October 1, 2015):
- United's average daily departure obligation decreases to 67 percent of pre-merger strength—or 127 departures—in the event that "segment profitability" at Hopkins is more than 15 percent worse than the network as a whole, with annual losses in Cleveland of more than $25 million.
- If segment profitability is more than $40 million in the red during the second year, minimum departures in year three can fall to 45 percent of pre-merger levels, or 85 average daily departures. The minimum in years four and five can fall to 14 percent of pre-merger departures, or 26 departures a day.
- If United's Cleveland operations lose more than $40 million in years three or four, then the 14 percent rule applies.
- If the Cleveland operations are losing money and more than 25 percent worse than United's network as a whole, United can walk away from the agreement entirely and can cut service as deeply as it deems necessary.
On November 10, 2010, Continental CEO Jeff Smisek stated in a speech in Cleveland that "Cleveland needs to earn its hub status every day" and added that overall profitability would be the determining factor in whether the new United kept or shuttered the Cleveland hub operation. However, after the agreement was signed, passenger volume at Cleveland continued to drop, and the Wall Street Journal noted on September 28, 2011 that "Cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are dealing with a deep retrenchment in flights, as airlines have cut costs in the wake of consolidation. Since 2005, the number of flights from Cleveland's Hopkins International airport are off 23%; Pittsburgh's are down 49% and St. Louis's are 36% lower."
At the beginning of 2012, and in contrast to pre-merger Continental's other hubs (EWR, IAH, GUM) or those of merger partner United Airlines (ORD, LAX, SFO, IAD, DEN, NRT), Continental's Cleveland operation had limited service to foreign lands, except flights to Mexico and Canada. Continental's operation could sustain neither services across the pond, nor that of wide-body jets, and a majority of services (81% as of May 2011[update]) were flown on Continental Express regional jet or turboprop aircraft.
As of late June 2012, United operated 175 daily flights from Cleveland, down from 210 flights operated collectively by United and Continental prior to their merger. United's 2012 schedule accounted for approximately 75% of flights at Hopkins. Also in the summer of 2012, United added six additional daily flights from Cleveland to its other hubs, and United executives expressed appreciation for the efforts of Cleveland's business community to support a Cleveland hub for the airline.
With the exception of Detroit and Chicago, the cities closest to Cleveland have all lost airline hubs (note that many of these cities have decreased in population in the last few decades):
- the former US Airways hub at Pittsburgh International Airport (104 miles)
- the former America West Airlines and Skybus hubs at Port Columbus International Airport (112 miles)
- the former Piedmont Airlines hub at Dayton International Airport (163 miles)
- the Delta Air Lines hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which has seen a substantial reduction in flight volume and has as a result shut down an entire terminal. (221 miles)
- the former American Trans Air hub at Indianapolis International Airport (260 miles)
- the former TWA and American Airlines hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (486 miles)
- the former Delta hub at Memphis International Airport (623 miles)
On February 1, 2014, United CEO Jeff Smisek announced that the airline would shutter its Cleveland hub. "Our hub in Cleveland hasn't been profitable for over a decade, and has generated tens of millions of dollars of annual losses in recent years," Smisek stated in a letter to United employees. "We simply cannot continue to bear these losses."
As noted, the pre-merger United and the former Continental Airlines have dismantled hubs before. Continental abandoned its hub at Denver-Stapleton in Denver when Denver International was built, and United maintained a substantial hub at Hopkins before relocating it to Washington-Dulles in the late 1980s. United's decision to de-hub Hopkins gives Cleveland the distinction of being the only U.S. airport to be "de-hubbed" twice by the same airline.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.|
- Official site
- (PDF), effective April 3, 2014
- Resources for this airport:
- OPShots.net -CLE Spotters Site
- Master Plan