Piedmont Triad International Airport
|Piedmont Triad International Airport|
|IATA: GSO – ICAO: KGSO – FAA LID: GSO
|Owner||Piedmont Triad Airport Authority|
|Serves||Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
|Location||Friendship Township, Guilford County, near Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Elevation AMSL||926 ft / 282 m|
|Passenger enplanements (2011)||1,432,648|
Piedmont Triad International Airport (IATA: GSO, ICAO: KGSO, FAA LID: GSO) (commonly referred to as "PTIA" or just "PTI") is an airport just west of Greensboro, serving Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the entire Piedmont Triad Region in North Carolina. The airport has 3 runways; the third opened January 27, 2010 for increased traffic. The airport is located just off Bryan Boulevard. Piedmont Triad International airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. Republic Airlines, operating as US Airways Express also maintains a pilot and flight attendant base at the airport.
An antecedent of PTI Airport, one of the first commercial airports in the South, Maynard Field was dedicated on December 6, 1919, just west of Greensboro near Oak Ridge. With its two intersecting runways measuring 1,890 feet (580 m) and 1,249 feet (381 m), hangar space, and even an early day equivalent of a Fixed Base Operator that made sure the torches were lit at dusk, Maynard Field was named to honor a young North Carolinian pilot named Lt. Belvin Maynard. By 1922 it had competition to the west with Miller Field in Winston-Salem, and Charles Field, a single airstrip that was used mainly for barnstorming, and to drill take-offs and landings for the Charles family.
Piedmont Triad International Airport had its start in 1927 when the Tri-City Airport Commission selected 112 acres (45 ha) near the community of Friendship for an airport, and petitioned to become a stop along the congressionally authorized airmail route from New York to New Orleans. Racing pilot Captain Roscoe Turner referred to the current location of Piedmont Triad International Airport as "the best landing field in the south." Friendship, near Greensboro, was selected over neighboring Winston-Salem, which subsequently denied contributing funds for airport construction and nullified the Tri-City Airport Authority collaborative effort.
Greensboro and Guilford County jointly purchased the Friendship property from Paul C. and Helen G. Lindley, and christened it Lindley Field in May 1927 with 12,000 people in attendance. The field then had no runways, no lights, no hangar, and no passenger station. Charles Lindbergh stopped at Lindley Field with the "Spirit of St. Louis" on his cross-country tour celebrating the advances of aviation on October 14, 1927. Regular mail service started in 1928.
Pitcairn Aviation, Incorporated was given the contract to fly the airmail route, the second official airmail route in the United States, and Pitcairn Aviation made the first delivery of airmail in North Carolina on May 1, 1928. Sid Malloy, the pilot of the aircraft, landed with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail to be sent to Atlanta. After a brief closure during the Great Depression the airport reopened on May 17, 1937 with two all-weather runways. In time, Pitcairn Aviation built a hangar; Greensboro built a passenger station; the United States government established a weather bureau; and the Department of Commerce set up a radio tower. Passenger service was inaugurated by Dixie Flying Service on November 6, 1930, with a route to Washington, D.C.. Pitcairn Aviation took over the route under its new name Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Air Lines.
In July 1942 responsibility for the airport was given to the Greensboro-High Point Airport Authority, with representatives from Greensboro, High Point, and the Sedgefield community. Shortly thereafter the Army Air Corps requisitioned the airport and its facilities for war use and airmail and passenger service was discontinued. The Corps lengthened the runways and built a new passenger terminal. Civilian service resumed after the war, though growth was moderate due to the success of nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.
The new passenger terminal opened in 1958, replacing the temporary facility that had served since World War II. The new terminal was a modern glass paneled structure with a single pier. GSO was then served by Eastern, Piedmont, and Capital (which merged with United in 1961); the April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 17 Eastern departures each weekday, nine Piedmont and seven Capital.
By 1975 airport officials began to plan for a new terminal. Piedmont Airlines, which for years had served GSO and Smith Reynolds Airport in nearby Winston-Salem, announced its intention to consolidate its operations at Greensboro, so a larger facility would be needed. In the months that followed, Piedmont Airlines instead opened a hub in Charlotte.
The airport was renamed Greensboro-High Point Airport and later Greensboro - High Point - Winston-Salem Regional Airport.
Work on the new (and current) facility began in 1978. The new terminal complex was completed in 1982, designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills and AHM Architects. The facility was renamed Piedmont Triad International in 1987.
In the mid-1990s Continental Airlines developed a hub at the airport (its fifth largest), largely to support its new Continental Lite low-fare product. By 1995 new CEO Gordon Bethune cancelled the Continental Lite program and closed the airline's Greensboro hub.
Also in the mid-1990s, start-up carrier Eastwind Airlines began serving PTI. The airline served a number of cities, including Trenton (NJ) and Orlando. Eastwind's headquarters was moved to Greensboro shortly before that company's collapse in 1999.
Independence Air began service into Greensboro when the airline started up with service to Washington Dulles International Airport. It operated out of the North Concourse before folding in 2006. Allegiant Air began service to Orlando Sanford International Airport, Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in late May 2007.
Skybus Airlines began service to Port Columbus International Airport as well in May 2007. Skybus announced that Greensboro would become its second base. Service launched in January 2008, but ended on April 4, 2008, following the shut-down of Skybus.
Terminals and facilities 
Completed in 1982, the terminal building of Piedmont Triad International Airport currently has 30 passenger gates: 16 on the south concourse, and 14 on the north concourse. Since the latest expansion[when?], which added another 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) to the terminal (at a cost of $5 million), both concourses have the same size, despite the different gate numbers.
Airlines and destinations 
Top Destinations 
|2||Charlotte, NC||179,000||US Airways|
|3||Philadelphia, PA||97,000||US Airways|
|4||New York-LaGuardia, NY||89,000||US Airways|
|5||Chicago O’Hare, IL||68,000||United|
|8||Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||46,000||American|
|10||Washington-Reagan, DC||38,000||US Airways|
Cargo operators 
The Cargo Terminals have expanded in the last 13 years.
|ABX Air||Baltimore, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, San Juan|
|Air Cargo Carriers||Myrtle Beach|
|Contract Air Cargo||Pontiac|
|FedEx Express||Aguadilla, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Newark, Norfolk, Boston, St Louis|
|FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo||New Bern, Wilmington (NC), Roanoke|
|SkyLease Cargo (was Tradewinds Airlines)||unscheduled Miami, Lima, Peru|
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, Roanoke|
Fixed base operators (FBOs) 
The following fixed base operators are based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport:
- Landmark Aviation (formerly Piedmont Hawthorne)
- Atlantic Aero
- Cessna Citation Service Center
- TIMCO (Triad International Maintenance Company)
Future developments 
FedEx Mid-Atlantic hub 
FedEx Express opened the hub building at Piedmont Triad International Airport in June 2009. Greensboro was chosen for its new Mid-Atlantic hub in 1998 over competing proposals from airports in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg and Kinston, North Carolina.
A third runway was built to accommodate the hub operation, parallel to one of the existing ones. The 9,000-foot (2,700 m) Runway 5L-23R opened January 27, 2010 after six years and $150 million in spending, giving the airport the ability to have takeoffs and landings at the same time on two different runways.
In December 2008, FedEx Express said that it would open the hub on time in June 2009, but it will operate at nowhere near capacity. FedEx had planned for up to 1,500 workers for the hub but will open it with only its already existing 160 employees.
The hub building opened on June 2, 2009, but only opened with the same amount of employees and flights as the old sorting facility. FedEx gave no timeline as to when the hub will be operating at hub level.
Hondajet headquarters and manufacturing facility 
The Honda Aircraft Company established a research and development facility at the airport in 2000. The HA-420 HondaJet very light jet was designed and flight tested at PTIA. In February 2007, the company announced plans to locate its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility at the airport as well. Production is projected to begin in 2010.
Other future development 
The airport has plans to build a viewing area so the public can watch planes take off and land. It may be constructed along Bryan Boulevard, Burgess Road or Old Oak Ridge Road. PTI is in line for a new control tower that will cost roughly $25 million dollars and take eight years to complete. The 88-foot control tower has become a problem with the opening of the new 9,000-foot runway in 2009. The FAA predicts the tower will be designed beginning in 2014 and completed by 2019.
Incidents and accidents 
- On August 2, 1989, Piedmont Airlines Flight 1489, a Boeing 737-400, en route to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport was diverted to Piedmont Triad International Airport on report of landing gear malfunction. Reports indicated a wheel chock was left in the wheel well the night before causing the failure to retract. The plane landed with one gear up.
- September 26, 1989, Wrangler Aviation (later Tradewinds Airlines and Sky Lease Cargo), a Canadair CL-44, en route to Greensboro from Rafael Hernández Airport, came within 30 feet of the airport terminal after the first officer failed to follow procedure for a missed approach.
- May 8, 2008 – N904FX and N905FX, two ATR-42-320s were written off after they suffered substantial damage at Piedmont Triad International Airport when the airport was hit by an EF2 tornado. Both aircraft were parked when they were struck by the tornado, one aircraft was blown into a ditch and the other was blown into a fence.
- August 8, 2000 - Airtran Airways Flight 913, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 departing from Greensboro reported smoke in the flight deck. The smoke became very dense and restricted the crew's ability to see both the cockpit instruments and the visual references outside the airplane. The cabin crew noticed a smell of smoke, followed by a visual sighting of smoke and sparks in the area of the forward flight attendant jumpseat. The flight crew was able to identify the Greensboro airport and make a successful emergency landing. The airplane was immediately stopped, and an emergency evacuation was conducted on a taxiway.
- December 13, 1994, American Eagle Flight 3379 operated by AMR's regional airline Flagship Airlines, a Jetstream 31 was on a regularly scheduled service of Raleigh-Durham International Airport-Piedmont Triad International Airport-Raleigh-Durham International Airport when it crashed into a wooded area about 4 miles SW of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the vicinity of Morrisville, NC. Of the 20 onboard (18 passengers and 2 crewmembers) 15 were killed while the 5 survivors received serious injuries. The probable cause of the crash was the pilot not following proper procedure when it came to an engine failure situation.
See also 
- Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport
- North Carolina World War II Army Airfields
- PTIA Greensboro Airport Construction Projects
- Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. To 1980, A.D." Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980.
- Arnett, Ethel Stephens. "Greensboro, North Carolina: The County Seat of Guilford." Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955.
- Greensboro Regional Airport - Charles Hagenah Architects, Inc
- Patterson, Donald W. (2010-01-27). "New runway at PTI could fuel growth". News & Record. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
- "FedEx’s Greensboro, N.C., hub opens on smaller scale Read more: AP: FedEx’s Greensboro, N.C., hub opens on smaller scale | Memphis Business Journal". Memphis Business Journal. June 1, 2009.
- "FedEx hub starts work". Winston-Salem Journal. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-02-02.[dead link]
- Honda Motor Company (February 9, 2007). Honda Aircraft Company to Establish World Headquarters and Production Facility in Greensboro, North Carolina. Press release.
- Barron, Richard (18 April 2011). "PTI in line for taller air tower". News& Record. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Piedmont Flight 1489 Photos".
- "Piedmont Flight 1489 news Feed".
- "Wrangler Aviation Incident".
- "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United States of America > FedEx". Aviation-safety.net. November 28, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- "Aviation Safety Network > Airtran Flight 913".
- "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32 N918AE Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU)". Aviation-safety.net. 1994-12-13. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- [dead link]
- Piedmont Triad International Airport (official site)
- PDF at North Carolina DOT airport guide
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for GSO, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: