Lehigh Valley International Airport
|Lehigh Valley International Airport|
|Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), 2005|
|IATA: ABE – ICAO: KABE – FAA LID: ABE|
|Owner/Operator||Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||393 ft / 120 m|
|Sources: airport website and FAA|
Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE, FAA LID: ABE) (formerly Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton International Airport) is a public airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
It is owned and operated by the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. In 2012, 723,556 people used the airport. For 2012 the FAA has categorized ABE airport as a "nonhub" which is defined as an airport having more than 10,000 but less than 0.05% of the annual passenger boardings of all the commercial service airports in the USA. In previous years the FAA characterized the airport as a "small hub".
In recent years, Lehigh Valley International Airport has encountered stiff competition from Philadelphia International Airport (75 driving miles) and Newark Liberty International Airport (80 driving miles). These airports offer a greater selection of flights and sometimes lower fares. This was exacerbated by the completion of the Pennsylvania extension of Interstate 78 in 1990, allowing a faster drive to Newark; and the opening of Interstate 476 in 1991 made it easier to reach Interstate 95 near Philadelphia. Competition increased in 2013: Frontier Airlines is starting non-stops to ten cities from nearby Trenton-Mercer Airport.
Lehigh Valley International Airport opened in 1929 and is one of the very few in the nation that still serves its community from its original location. Scheduled airline service began on September 16, 1935 by United Airlines Boeing 247s. The airport hangar served as the passenger terminal; the first terminal building at the airport was built in 1938 as a Works Projects Administration (WPA) project.
During World War II the U. S. Navy V-5 flight training program was conducted at the airport in conjunction with ground training held at Muhlenberg College. In addition, Headquarters of Group 312 of the Civil Air Patrol was at Allentown-Bethlehem Airport. One of its activities was to provide a courier service for cargo defense plants. Allentown CAP pilots also patrolled the Atlantic coastline, and was active in recruiting young men for the air cadet program of the Army Air Force.
By January 1944 work on a new runway was completed and a Class A United States Weather Bureau station had been installed. About 1,000 Naval Aviation Cadets had been trained during 1943, and a large increase in the amount of civilian and military air traffic had occurred. In late July, the War Production Board approved the construction of a second story addition to the administration building. The building housed the Lehigh Aircraft Company, the weather bureau station, the Civil Aeronautic communications station, and the office and waiting room of United Air Lines. In August, the V-5 flight training program ended when the Navy decided to move all flight training to naval air bases under Navy pilots.
In April 1946 the Lehigh Airport Authority was created to own and manage the airport. The October 1946 C&GS diagram shows four runways forming an asterisk: runway 1 was 2680 ft long, 6 was 4000 ft, 9 was 3800 ft and 14 was 3100 ft.
A new passenger terminal began construction in 1948 and was finished in 1950. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (ABE) airport, as it was now called, had flights on United, Trans World Airlines (TWA), and Colonial airlines. DC-4s and DC-6s appeared with the addition of a 5,000 ft runway; Eastern and Allegheny Airlines arrived in the 1950s. In 1960 Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy made campaign stops at ABE.
Construction began on the present terminal in 1973 and the project, designed by Wallace & Watson, was completed in 1976.
The most recent ABE Main Terminal Renovations were done in two phases.
- Phase I (April 2009). Cost: $7,253,235; PENNDOT grant amount: $3,000,000; general contractor: Lobar, Inc. (Dillsburg, PA); architect: Breslin, Ridyard, Fadero Architects (Allentown, PA); square footage of the Phase I project: 24,000 sq.ft., 7,000 sq.ft. of which is new space.
- Phase II (November 2010). Cost: approximately $7,225,000; PENNDOT grant amount: $3,500,000; general contractor: E.R. Stuebner Construction, Inc. (Reading, PA); architect: Breslin, Ridyard, Fadero Architects (Allentown, PA); square footage of renovated space: 33,600 sq.ft.
Facilities and aircraft
Lehigh Valley International Airport covers 2,629 acres (1,063.9 ha) at an elevation of 393 feet (120 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 6/24, 7,600 by 150 feet (2,316 x 46 m) and 13/31, 5,797 by 150 feet (1,767 x 46 m).
The airport website says in 2012 the airport had 100,048 aircraft operations. Itinerant Operations include 30,914 general aviation, 17,241 Regional Airlines, 4,249 Major Airlines and 608 military. 47,036 were by local aircraft.
Dining and Shopping
Lehigh Valley International Airport contains a number of restaurants: one Subway restaurant, in the airside terminal, a restaurant called the L.A. Cafe on the landside terminal, and a snack bar restaurant on the airside terminal. It has 1 Hudson News gift shop, in the airside terminal.
Airlines and destinations
Airlines with scheduled passenger service to non-stop destinations:
|Allegiant Air||Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
|Delta Connection operated by Endeavor Air||Atlanta, Detroit|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Atlanta|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Chicago-O'Hare|
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Philadelphia|
|US Airways Express operated by Piedmont Airlines||Philadelphia|
|US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines||Charlotte|
|US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines||Charlotte|
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Charlotte, NC||Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)||45,560|
|2||Atlanta, GA||Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL)||43,780|
|3||Chicago, IL||Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)||40,020|
|4||Sanford, FL||Orlando Sanford International (SFB)||39,370|
|5||Detroit, MI||Detroit Metro Wayne County (DTW)||38,150|
|6||Philadelphia, PA||Philadelphia International (PHL)||34,050|
|Less than daily||7||St. Petersburg, FL||St. Petersburg-Clearwater International (PIE)||21,390|
|Discontinued||8||Orlando, FL||Orlando International (MCO)||18,310|
|Discontinued||9||Washington, DC||Washington Dulles International (IAD)||13,590|
|Seasonal||10||Myrtle Beach, SC||Myrtle Beach International (MYR)||8,080|
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis
Seasonal: Manchester (NH)
On November 16, 2008 US Airways Flight 4551, a US Airways Express deHavilland Dash-8 turboprop operated by Piedmont Airlines, took off from Lehigh Valley International Airport at 8:20am heading to Philadelphia International Airport, had to make an emergency landing. The flight crew indicated that the front nose gear had not come down, and the plane had to make a flyover the runway for confirmation. Of 35 passengers and 3 crew, there were no injuries.
On June 27, 2009 Allegiant Air Flight 746, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft made an emergency landing after flames were observed coming from the aircraft's left engine. The flight was bound for Orlando Sanford International Airport. During takeoff one of the aircraft's tires had shredded and a piece was sucked into the engine, causing it to fail and momentarily catch on fire. The airliner landed safely minutes later with no injuries reported.
- Lehigh Valley International Airport, official website
- FAA Airport Master Record for ABE ( PDF), effective 2008-06-05
- "FAA Airport Categories".
- "The A-B-E Airport". Modern Steel Construction (New York: American Institute of Steel Construction) 15 (3): 6–7. 1975. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
- "Lehigh Valley International Airport Files Phase I and II 6102666001". Retrieved Dec 25, 2012.
- "LVIA to offer flights to Myrtle Beach". The Morning Call (Allentown, PA). March 9, 2012.
- "Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, PA: Lehigh Valley International (ABE)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Sep 2013. Retrieved Sep 24, 2013.
- "Plane makes emergency landing at Lehigh Valley International Airport".
- Allentown 1762–1987 A 225-Year History, Volume Two, 1921–1987. Mahlon H. Hellerich, editor, Lehigh County Historical Society, 1987.
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ABE, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: