Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
|Owner||City of Cleveland|
|Operator||Cleveland Airport System|
|Serves||Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|Location||Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|Focus city for||Frontier Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||791 ft / 241 m|
FAA airport diagram
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, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is the primary airport serving Northeast Ohio and is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Ohio. The metropolitan area is also served by Burke Lakefront Airport and by Akron-Canton Regional Airport. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport together comprise the Cleveland Airport System, operated by the City of Cleveland's Department of Port Control.
The airport is of particular importance to the history of commercial air travel due to a number of first-in-the-world innovations that would eventually become standard around the globe. Founded in 1925, it was the first municipality-owned facility of its kind in the United States. It was the site of the first air traffic control tower, the first ground-to-air radio control system, and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930; and it was the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. It was also the first airport to employ a two-level terminal design separating arrivals from departures.
Like many airports, Hopkins experienced a decline in passenger volume in the early years of the 21st century as a wave of airline mergers, increased fuel costs, and the Great Recession impacted commercial aviation. More recently, the airport has implemented a package of initiatives aimed at improving passenger experience, upgrading the airport facility, and negotiating additional air services. Improvements include upgrades to the restaurant and store concessions, 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 Statistics
- 5 Ground transportation
- 6 Accidents and incidents
- 7 Relationship with United and Continental
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 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 the only foreign-flag carrier that serves Cleveland on a regular basis.
- United offers service to and from Cancún. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection facility is used upon arrival.
- Frontier Airlines offers service to and from Cancún as well as seasonal service to and from Punta Cana. The CBP inspection facility is used upon arrival.
There is no intercontinental service from Cleveland. However, there have been several past short-lived attempts to establish intercontinental service from the airport since it was first granted authority to operate such 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-Charles de Gaulle on May 22, 2008, but then announced elimination of the service in December 2008. The service was never resurrected. 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.
- In 2014, Cleveland was considered (along with other cities like Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, Nashville, and St. Louis) for new service to London-Heathrow either on British Airways with a Boeing 787-8 or American Airlines' 757. This was likely due to the success British Airways had seen in its London-Austin service, which demonstrated the ability for mid-size U.S. markets to sustain nonstop service to Europe with the Boeing 787 after the economic downturn in 2008-2009, and with decreasing fuel prices.
During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, CLE had scheduled widebody service. However, with the airlines' trend in the 1990s of using smaller aircraft with increased frequency, all passenger wide-body services were discontinued. Scheduled service included:
- Air Canada: 747
- Eastern: A300
- United: 747, DC-10, 767,
- Delta: A310
- American: 767, DC-10
- Northwest: DC-10
- TWA: 767
- JAT Jugoslovenski Aero Transport: DC-10
- Pan Am: A310
For weather-related issues, United will sometimes divert EWR-bound international 767s and 777s into CLE; however, the only scheduled wide-body aircraft that serve CLE are freight carriers:
- FedEx: A300-600, A310
- UPS: MD-11, 767-300, A300-600
Airfield, facilities and concourses
- 6R/24L: 9,955 x 150 ft. (3,034 x 46 m) concrete
- 6L/24R: 9,000 x 150 ft. (2,743 x 46 m) concrete
- 10/28: 6,017 x 150 ft. (1,834 x 46 m) asphalt/concrete
The older parallel runway, Runway 6C/24C, was 7,096 x 150 ft. (2163 x 46 m). Several years ago it was decommissioned as a runway, its width narrowed, and it is now designated Taxiway C. "TAXI" in large yellow letters on each end is intended to discourage approaching aircraft using it as a runway.
Recently the thresholds of Runway 10/28 were moved 330 feet to the east, thus allowing for the addition of Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) at both ends. The usable runway length was not altered. During this project, some turnouts were rebuilt and the closed sections of 24L and the former 24C that intersected 10/28 were physically removed.
In 2011 the airport had 188,286 aircraft operations, average 516 per day: 64% air taxi, 31% scheduled commercial, 4.5% general aviation and <1% military. 29 aircraft are based at this airport: 18 jet, 5 single engine, 6 multi-engine and 6 military.
Since 2008, Airmall Cleveland (formerly 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 has two airport lounges. A United Club in Concourse C and an Airspace Lounge at the foot of Concourse B near the Main Terminal.
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 houses American Airlines, American Eagle, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, charters, 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 is home to Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, and Southwest Airlines.
- Concourse C (gates C1–C12, C14, and C16–C29) houses Air Canada Express, JetBlue and all 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 and Air Canada Jazz have since relocated their Cleveland operations to Concourse C. Beginning in 2016, United will lease 14 gates, C-16 through C-29, located at the far end of concourse C, through 2029 as The airline's use of several closer-in gates on the so-called "stem" of concourse C (C-3 through C-14, excluding C-4) expired at the end of 2015. American Airlines will move to Concourse C from Concourse A to five newly vacant gates in concourse C (gates C-3, C-5, C-7, C-9 and C-11).
- Concourse D (gates D2–D12, D14, D17, D21, D25, and D28) was constructed in 1999 at a cost of US$80 million and is a separate terminal connected to Concourse C by an underground walkway. Although capable of handling larger jets such as United's Boeing 737, it handled smaller 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. Concourse D is now vacant. On June 5, 2014, United closed its gates and consolidated all operations to Concourse C, but United has to continue to pay the airport $1,112,482 a month for Concourse D until 2027.
Airlines and destinations
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark|
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
|1||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||404,000||American, United|
|2||Atlanta, Georgia||365,000||Delta, Frontier, Spirit|
|3||Orlando, Florida||218,000||Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United|
|4||Denver, Colorado||214,000||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|6||Las Vegas, Nevada||196,000||Frontier, Southwest, Spirit|
|7||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||186,000||American, Spirit|
|8||Charlotte, North Carolina||177,000||American|
|9||New York–LaGuardia, New York||162,000||American, Delta, United|
|10||Newark, New Jersey||145,000||United|
|1||Toronto (Pearson), Canada||128,700||Air Canada Express|
|2||Cancún, Mexico||87,480||Frontier, United|
|3||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||33,240||Frontier|
Annual passenger traffic
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 $2.50. 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.
Accidents and incidents
- 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 due to poor conditions on the runway. There were no injuries to the 103 passengers and crews.
Relationship with United and 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–International, Denver–Stapleton (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 accommodated Continental mainline and Continental Express flights.
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 (507 km) west by air] and Washington [217 miles (349 km) east by air]. 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 decline.
On February 1, 2014, United's then-CEO Jeff Smisek announced that the airline would shut down its Cleveland hub the following June. "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 of June 5, 2014, United Airlines effectively terminated its hub operation at CLE; United listed Cleveland as a "key airport" for the airline following the dehubbing, but that status was subsequently dropped.
After the announcement of United Airlines's departure in 2014, Cleveland saw greatly decreased flight operations, and by June, 2014, United Airlines' had cut more than 60% of its daily departures at the airport. United moved its flights to the main terminal and mothballed the almost-new Concourse D, although it continues to pay the airport rent for the new facility. In the aftermath of United Airlines' schedule reductions, Frontier Airlines significantly increased its flight options from the airport and declared Cleveland a focus city. After the dehubbing of United Airlines, more low-cost airlines such as Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines came to Cleveland. As of 2015, enplanements at Hopkins were 60% of their peak during the time when the airport was a hub.
- Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY (March 21, 2014). "Frontier Airlines tabs Cleveland as newest focus city". USA TODAY.
- FAA Airport Master Record for CLE ( PDF), effective July 5, 2007
- "History". CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
- Airport History
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- Continental Airlines Concourse D – RPMI
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- Official site
- (PDF), effective February 2, 2017
- Resources for this airport:
- OPShots.net -CLE Spotters Site
- Master Plan