Philadelphia International Airport
- "Philadelphia Airport" redirects here. For other airports serving Philadelphia, see List of airports in the Philadelphia area. For the airport in Mississippi, see Philadelphia Municipal Airport.
|Philadelphia International Airport|
|IATA: PHL – ICAO: KPHL – FAA LID: PHL|
|Owner||City of Philadelphia|
|Operator||Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Division of Aviation|
|Location||Philadelphia / Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Elevation AMSL||36 ft / 11 m|
FAA airport diagram
|Source: Airports Council International
Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL, ICAO: KPHL, FAA LID: PHL), often referred to just by its airport code PHL, is a major airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and is the largest airport in the Delaware Valley region and in the state. The airport is the second largest hub and the primary international hub of US Airways and has service to destinations in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Most of the airport property is located in Philadelphia. The international terminal and the western end of the airfield are located in Tinicum Township, Delaware County.
- 1 History
- 2 Air traffic and rankings
- 3 Economic impact
- 4 Runway expansion
- 5 Ground transportation
- 6 Current airport improvement activity
- 7 Capacity Enhancement Program
- 8 Terminals
- 9 Airlines and destinations
- 10 Statistics
- 11 Incidents
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Starting in 1925 the Pennsylvania National Guard used the PHL site (known as Hog Island) as a training airfield. The site was dedicated as the "Philadelphia Municipal Airport" by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, but it had no proper terminal building until 1940; airlines used the airfield (at ) in nearby Camden, New Jersey. Once Philadelphia's terminal was completed (on the east side of the field) American, Eastern, TWA and United began flights.
In 1947 and 1950 the airport had runways 4, 9, 12 and 17, all of 5400 ft or less. In 1956 runway 9 was 7284 ft; in 1959 it was 9499 ft and runway 12 had been closed. Not much change occurred until the early 1970s, when runway 4 was closed and 9R opened with 10500 ft.
World War II use
Beginning in 1940 the Coatesville-based Rising Sun School of Aeronautics performed primary flight training at the airport under contract to the Air Corps. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, the I Fighter Command Philadelphia Fighter Wing provided air defense of the Delaware Valley area from the airport. Throughout the war, various fighter and bomber groups were organized and trained at Philadelphia airport and assigned to the Philadelphia Fighter Wing before being sent to advanced training airfields, or being deployed overseas. Known units assigned were the 33d, 327th, 58th, 355th and 358th Fighter Groups.
In June 1943 I Fighter Command transferred jurisdiction of the airport to the Air Technical Service Command (ATSC). ATSC established a sub-depot of the Middletown Air Depot at the airport. The 855th Army Air Forces Specialized Depot unit repaired and overhauled aircraft and returned them to active service, and the Army Air Forces Training Command established the Philco Training School on January 1, 1943 which trained personnel in radio repair and operations.
During 1945 the Air Force reduced its use of the airport and it was returned to civil control that September.
Philadelphia Municipal became Philadelphia International in 1945, when American Overseas Airlines began direct flights to Europe. (For a short time AOA's flights skipped the New York stop; that was probably Philadelphia's only international nonstop until a transatlantic nonstop started in 1964.) A new terminal opened in December 1953; the oldest parts of the present terminal complex (B and C) were built in the late '50s.
The April 1957 OAG shows 30 weekday departures on Eastern, 24 TWA, 24 United, 18 American, 16 National, 14 Capital, 6 Allegheny and 3 Delta. To Europe, five Pan Am DC-6Bs a week via Idlewild and Boston and two TWA 749As a week via Idlewild; one TWA flight continued to Ceylon. Eastern and National had nonstops to Miami, but aside from one TWA 1049G to LAX no nonstop flights reached west of the Mississippi.
The airport underwent a major expansion in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. Terminal B/C was completed in 1970, Terminal D was completed in 1973, and Terminal E was completed in 1977 as part of a $300 million modernization and expansion development. This project was designed by Arnold Thompson Associates, Inc. and Vincent G. Kling & Associates.
In the 1980s PHL hosted several hubs. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 allowed the regional carrier called Altair Airlines to create a small hub at PHL using Fokker F-28 jet aircraft. Altair began in 1967 with flights to smaller markets such as Rochester, New York, Hartford, Connecticut and to Florida until it ceased operations in November 1982. In the mid-1980s Eastern Air Lines opened a hub in Concourse C. The airline declined in the late 1980s and sold aircraft and gate leases to Chicago-based Midway Airlines. Midway operated its Philadelphia hub until it ceased operation in 1991—the same year Eastern liquidated. During the 1980s US Airways (then called USAir) built a hub at PHL.
US Airways became the dominant carrier at PHL during the 1980s and 1990s and shifted most of its hub operations from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in 2003. As of 2013[update], PHL served as US Airways' largest international hub. As of January 2013[update], the lease agreement underlying US Airways operations at PHL will expire at the end of June 2015.
In July 1999 the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) and several U.S. federal government agencies selected a proposed route for the connecting ramps from the northbound and southbound portions of Interstate 95 to the Terminal One complex, then under development; the agency attempted to avoid the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. However K/B Fund II, the owner of the International Plaza complex, formerly the Scott Paper headquarters Scott Plaza, objected to the proposed routing. K/B Fund II argued that the proposed routing would interfere with the International Plaza development. It entered a filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to challenge the proposed routing. In 2000 the airport attempted to acquire the complex for $90 million but Tinicum Township commissioners stopped the deal from going forward, citing concerns of a loss of tax revenue for the township and the Interboro School District which serves Tinicum, as well as noise pollution concerns.
In 2004 Southwest Airlines announced it would begin flights from PHL, challenging US Airways in some of its important East Coast and Midwest markets. It is now US Airways' largest competitor at the airport.
Today Philadelphia International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and among the fastest growing in the United States. Its status as a US Airways hub and the growth of Southwest Airlines and other low-cost carriers have helped passenger traffic to reach record levels. In 2004, a total of 28,507,420 passengers flew through Philadelphia, up 15.5% over 2003. In 2005, 31,502,855 passengers flew through PHL, marking a 10% increase since 2004. In 2006, 31,768,272 passengers travelled through PHL, a 0.9% increase.
Such growth has not come without difficulties. There are questions as to how much more passenger growth can occur. PHL's present terminal and runway layout are reaching full utilization and PHL remains the world's largest airport without an inground fueling system thus requiring fuel to be trucked to each airplane. These two factors have led to congestion and delays. Additionally, the airport's parking facilities have been severely taxed. Exhaustion of all 17,000 parking spaces at the airport has become a regular occurrence. However, airport officials have ambitious plans for terminal and runway expansion.
Southwest Airlines, the fasted growing airline for the several years after beginning service to PHL in 2004, worked with the city and the airport to expand and improve its facilities. Southwest recently built a joint ticket counter lobby for the D and E terminals, one large security check point for the two terminals, and additional concessions. A hammerhead expansion to the E concourse was finished in February 2010. However, Southwest subsequently ended nonstop service to PHL from most of its non-focus cities due to competition with US Airways. The January 2013 lease extension obtained by US Airways was contingent on a number of future enhancements, and the lease renewal provided some funding.
Air traffic and rankings
With 460,779 aircraft movements in 2010, Philadelphia International Airport ranks 12th busiest in the world in terms of aircraft movements. In 2010, 30,775,961 passengers passed through Philadelphia International Airport, a 0.3% increase compared to 2009.
Philadelphia International Airport is important to Philadelphia, its metropolitan region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth's Aviation Bureau reported in its Pennsylvania Air Service Monitor that the total economic impact made by the state's airports in 2004 was $22 billion. PHL alone accounted for $14 billion or 63% of total. The calculations include both direct spending and the multiplier effect of that spending throughout the state's economy.
As of 2005, there are two studies which deal with expanding runway capacity at PHL airport. The first is the Runway 17-35 Extension Project EIS which has completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement and broken ground. The plan is to extend runway 17-35 to length of 6,500 ft (2,000 m), extending it at both ends and incorporating the proper runway safety areas. The second study, the PHL Capacity Enhancement Program has a much larger scope and is considering more drastic ways to increase runway capacity at PHL. Manchester Airport's expansion plans for a second parallel runway involved working closely with PHL air traffic controllers to implement a training program due to similarities in runway configuration in which aircraft must taxi over an active runway. In an effort to alleviate existing and forecast delays, the City of Philadelphia will complete major improvements to increase airfield capacity at PHL. The Capacity Enhancement Program is estimated to cost over $5 billion and take 13 years largely due to the slow process of moving residents out of some 72 homes before major groundbreaking gets underway. The Runway 17-35 Extension Project will provide a short-term delay reduction. The major components of the entire project include:
- Extension of Runway 17-35;
- Extension of parallel Taxiways D and E;
- Construction of a High Speed Taxiway for Runway 35 landings exiting to Taxiway E;
- Construction of an Aircraft Holding Apron at Runway 35 end;
- Relocation of Airside Perimeter Service Roads at Runway 17 and Runway 35 ends;
- Installation of High Intensity Runway Lighting (HIRL) and Medium Intensity Taxiway Lighting (MITL);
- Modifications to airfield signs;
- Substantial relocation/modification of navigational aids (NAVAIDS):
- Demolition of existing Taxiways D2 and E2;
- Modifications to existing Economy Parking Lot;
- Re-designation of existing State Route (SR) 291 north of Airport (SR 291 had to be shifted from Industrial Highway to Bartram Avenue);
- Modifications to Bartram Avenue from the SR 291 intersection to Island Ave., SR 291 and I-95 ramps;
- Demolition of SR 291 at Runway 17 extension work area;
- Construction of Landside Service Road adjacent to I-95 right-of-way limit;
- Associated drainage, grading and utility relocations/modifications.
The first phase (IG), which allowed for the redesignation of Route 291, is complete. The remaining phases I, II and III are in progress.
U.S. Airways, the airport's largest tenant, warned the Federal government in a February 2012 10-K report that this expansion was unnecessary and the increased cost to the airlines may cause it to consolidate its operations at PHL into CLT and DCA, similar to its draw down at PIT.
Taxis charge a flat rate, currently $28.50 plus a fuel surcharge, for transportation from the airport to downtown Philadelphia. The Philadelphia International Airport has road access from an interchange with I-95, which heads north toward Center City Philadelphia and south into Delaware County. PA 291 heads northeast from the airport area and provides access to and from I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway).
SEPTA operates regional rail service between the airport and Center City Philadelphia via the Airport Line with stops at University City, Amtrak’s 30th Street, Suburban, and Market East Stations. The fare is $8 if purchased on board, or $6.50 if purchased at a station in center city. An unlimited ride day pass may be purchased either at a station or on board for $12 for all SEPTA services except to stations in New Jersey. SEPTA also operates various bus routes to the Airport: Route 37 (South Philadelphia to Eastwick and Chester Transportation Ctr via Philadelphia International Airport), Route 108 (69th Street Transportation Center to Philadelphia International Airport or UPS), and Route 115 (Delaware County Community College/Darby Transportation Center to Philadelphia International Airport). These are $2.25 or 1 token ($1.80; available at major El and Subway stops), with a transfer for $1.00; exact change is required. Check the SEPTA website for most up to date prices and schedules.
Rental cars are available through a number of companies; each operates a shuttle bus between its facility and the terminals.
As a benefit to students, local schools including The University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College and Saint Joseph's University traditionally operate transportation shuttles to the Airport during heavy travel periods such as Spring and Thanksgiving Breaks.
Current airport improvement activity
Current development at the airport includes a new multi-level building which will connect Terminals D and E, a 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) addition to the Terminal E concourse, a 9,000 sq ft (840 m2) connector building between Baggage Claims D and E, renovations to interior areas of the two terminals and the adjacent heating and cooling facility.
Phases 1A and 1B involved a new multi-level building connecting Terminals D and E. The first level houses a new baggage make-up area and will replaces the existing areas in each terminal. This area also contains an Explosive Detection System (EDS), to be operated by the TSA as part of an in-line baggage screening system. Level two houses a 14-lane passenger security screening area serving both terminals, and the third level houses Division of Aviation offices and with space for an airline club. The Phase 1A entailed site work, constructing building foundations, utility relocation and structural steel placement for the connector building. Work on Phase IB commenced in July 2007 with the completed building opening in February 2010.
Modifications within existing D and E buildings included 23 additional ticket counter positions with expanded areas for queuing and public circulation, new concessions and other tenant spaces. The Terminal E Concourse was expanded with the construction of a 2-level addition at the end of the concourse. Airline Operations space are at ground level while the second level provides hold rooms, passenger amenities and space for three new gates and four relocated gates. The bag claim buildings for Terminals D & E are connected with a one-story addition that contains two additional baggage carousels.
Capacity Enhancement Program
On December 30, 2010 a 13-year $5.2 billion project that will extend two existing runways, and add one new runway was passed by the FAA. The project will also create two new passenger terminals, the first terminal will be built where terminals A east & west, B, C, D, E, and F are currently located, and the second terminal will be built across from the current terminal complex. The project will also relocate the UPS facility, and redevelop cargo city, the cargo complex at PHL. Many of the enhancements which were agreed between the City of Philadelphia and US Airways as part of a lease extension for the carrier at PHL through mid-2015 are contained in the Capacity Enhancement Program.
Philadelphia International Airport has seven terminal buildings, which are divided into seven lettered concourses, which together contain 130 gates total. Terminals A East and A West, B, C, D, and E are all interconnected, and it is possible to travel through all of these airside. Terminal F, completed in 2003, is separate from these terminals but can be reached by airside shuttle buses between Terminal F and Terminal C using gate C16, an old US Airways Express gate and between Terminal F and Terminal A, at gate A1. There is a large shopping/dining area between Concourses B and C.
Ongoing construction at the airport will add new passenger facilities between Terminals D and E, connecting E to the rest of the Terminal complex.
Terminal A East
This terminal, originally the airport's international terminal, is now used primarily by domestic carriers, but also sometimes by US Airways for international flights. A-East is upgraded and well maintained, and recently received an upgrade to its baggage claim facilities.
Most of the gates in this terminal are equipped to handle international arrivals, and the passengers are led to the customs facility in terminal A-West. Upon completion of the merger between Northwest and Delta, the combined airline relocated its ticketing operations from Terminal A-East to Terminal E on January 19, 2010. However, passenger gates and baggage claim for the carrier is located in Terminal D.
Terminal A-East contains 13 gates: A-1 to A-13.
Terminal A West
One of the two newest terminal buildings at the airport, Concourse A West has a very modern and innovative design, made by Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville, and Kelly/Maiello. Opened in 2003 as the new international terminal, it is now home to all international flights (except Canada), and also some US Airways domestic flights. It offers a variety of international dining options.
International Arrivals (except from locations with Customs preclearance) are processed at the Terminal A West arrival building.
Terminal A-West contains 13 gates: A-14 to A-26.
Terminals B and C
Terminals B and C are the two main US Airways terminals. They were renovated at a cost of $135 million in 1998, which was designed by DPK&A Architects, LLP. They are connected by a shopping mall and food court named the Philadelphia Marketplace. Remodeling has begun in the gate areas, although these cosmetic changes will not solve the space problems at many of the gates. Overall, the facilities are fairly modern and dining options on the concourses are also available.
Terminal B contains 16 gates: B-1 to B-16, and Terminal C contains 15 gates: C-17 to C-31.
Terminal D and Terminal E were upgraded in late 2008 with a new concourse connecting the two terminals while providing combined ticketing, a variety of shops and restaurants and a link between Baggage Claims D and E. It is home to Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. This is similar to the connector between Terminals B and C. This terminal is connected to the shopping area of Terminals B/C through a post-security walkway. AirTran Airways relocated gate operations from Terminal D to Terminal E.
Terminal D contains 16 gates: D-1 to D-16.
Terminal E is home to Southwest Airlines, AirTran, Virgin America, and JetBlue Airways. Terminal E contains 17 gates: E-1 to E-17. Terminal E is also home to Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection ticketing and for Alaska Airlines ticketing. The departing gates for Delta Air Lines, Delta connection and Alaska Airlines are located in Concourse/Terminal "D"
Terminal F (Concourses 1, 2, and 3)
Terminal F is a regional terminal used by US Airways Express flights. It includes special jet bridges that allow passengers to board commuter planes without walking on the tarmac. Opened in 2001, Terminal F is the second newest terminal building at Philadelphia International. It was designed by Odell Associates, Inc. and The Sheward Partnership.
When Terminal F opened in 2001, it contained 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) of space for concessions.
Terminal F contains 39 gates: F-1 to F-39.
Airlines and destinations
Philadelphia International Airport serves a total of 124 non-stop destinations, including 111 year-round destinations and 13 seasonal destinations.
|1||Atlanta, GA||807,000||AirTran, Delta, US Airways|
|2||Chicago, IL (ORD)||678,000||American, United, US Airways|
|3||Orlando, FL||633,000||AirTran, Southwest, US Airways|
|4||Boston, MA||547,000||JetBlue, US Airways|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||472,000||American, Spirit, US Airways|
|6||Charlotte, NC||419,000||US Airways|
|7||San Francisco, CA||405,000||United, US Airways, Virgin America|
|8||Phoenix, AZ||396,000||Southwest, US Airways|
|9||Los Angeles, CA||385,000||United, US Airways, Virgin America|
|10||Las Vegas, NV||343,000||Southwest, Spirit, US Airways|