Valley International Airport
|Valley International Airport|
|USGS 1995 orthophoto|
|IATA: HRL – ICAO: KHRL – FAA LID: HRL|
|Owner||City of Harlingen|
|Elevation AMSL||36 ft / 11 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Valley International Airport (IATA: HRL, ICAO: KHRL, FAA LID: HRL) is a city owned, public use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of Harlingen, a city in Cameron County, Texas, United States. Also known as Rio Grande Valley International Airport, it is the second busiest commercial airport in the Rio Grande Valley in terms of passengers.
It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 417,557 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 367,269 enplanements in 2009, and 373,438 in 2010.
After the airport's closure by the military, it was turned over to the local government and the facilities were converted to civilian use as Valley International Airport after Hurricane Beulah significantly flooded the original Harlingen civilian airport in 1967.
Facilities and aircraft
Valley International Airport covers an area of 2,428 acres (983 ha) at an elevation of 36 feet (11 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways with asphalt surfaces: 17R/35L is 8,301 by 150 feet (2,530 x 46 m); 13/31 is 7,257 by 150 feet (2,212 x 46 m); 17L/35R is 5,949 by 150 feet (1,813 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 43,731 aircraft operations, an average of 119 per day: 36% general aviation, 34% military, 22% scheduled commercial, and 8% air taxi. At that time there were 32 aircraft based at this airport: 88% single-engine, 9% multi-engine, and 3% jet.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service at this airport:
|Delta Air Lines||Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (begins December 21, 2013)|
|Southwest Airlines||Austin, Dallas-Love, Houston-Hobby, San Antonio|
|Sun Country Airlines||Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Houston-Intercontinental|
|4||San Antonio, TX||29,000||Southwest|
|6||Minneapolis, MN||16,000||Sun Country|
|8||Las Vegas, NV||1,000||Southwest|
|10||El Paso, TX||1,000||Southwest|
- The airport features seven gates, though only three are operational year-round (two by Southwest and one by United); an additional gate is operated seasonally by Sun Country Airlines.
- The airport is divided into two halves after security, right and left. United and Southwest dominate the right half, leaving the left half nearly abandoned and empty of concessions, especially when Sun Country is not providing passenger service. Continental previously had gates on the left half, though after American's departure, Continental took over American's Gate 7.
- Valley International Airport is the home of Cameron County's first Starbucks (operated by HMSHost), located in the main terminal prior to the security check-point.
- The airport was among the first in the area to offer free Wi-Fi service.
- Quizno's is located on the concourse, along with The Paradies Shops, PSAir Pub, and Tropics Cafe.
- A parking lot shuttle and a shuttle to South Padre Island are available.
On April 2, 2012, a United Airlines, Flight 4128, made an emergency landing at Corpus Christi due to unknown reason when it suffered damage to its front landing gear and also experienced a flat tire. The flight originated in Harlingen and was heading to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. There were 37 passengers on board, and there were no injuries. The aircraft was an Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet operated by ExpressJet.
- Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport (BRO) - Brownsville, Texas (20 miles)
- McAllen-Miller International Airport (MFE) - McAllen, Texas (40 miles)
- FAA Airport Master Record for HRL ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- Valley International Airport, official site
- Valley International (HRL) at Texas DOT airport directory
- Aerial image as of January 1995 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective December 12, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for HRL, effective December 12, 2013
- Resources for this airport: