Erie International Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Erie International Airport
Tom Ridge Field
ERI logo.png
Airport type Public
Owner Erie Regional Airport Authority
Serves Erie, Pennsylvania
Location Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Elevation AMSL 732 ft / 223 m
Coordinates 42°4′59″N 80°10′55″W / 42.08306°N 80.18194°W / 42.08306; -80.18194Coordinates: 42°4′59″N 80°10′55″W / 42.08306°N 80.18194°W / 42.08306; -80.18194
ERI is located in Pennsylvania
ERI is located in the US
Location of airport in Pennsylvania / United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2/20 3,508 1,069 Asphalt
6/24 8,420 2,566 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2015)
Passenger enplanements 88,953 Decrease 8.4%[1]

Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field (IATA: ERIICAO: KERIFAA LID: ERI) is a public airport five miles (8 km) southwest of Erie, in Erie County. Airline service at Erie faces stiff competition from the Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo airports, all within two hours of Erie by car. In 2004 Erie was the third fastest growing airport in the United States, and the fastest growing airport in Pennsylvania.[2] It is also 128 miles (206 km) from Pittsburgh, 111 miles (179 km) from the Canada–US border, 95 miles (153 km) from Cleveland, Ohio and 105 miles (169 km) from Buffalo, New York.



In 1924, Roger Griswold purchased 22.12 acres (9.0 ha) of land 6 miles (10 km) west of Erie at the intersection of West Lake and Asbury Roads for use as an airfield.[3] Soon after, a flight training school was based at the field. In 1927, as part of a nationwide tour by Charles Lindbergh after his transatlantic flight, Erie was selected as one of the cities where Lindbergh would make a brief stopover.[4] However, as Griswold Field proved inadequate for the larger Spirit of St. Louis to land and an alternative site could not be located, a flyover by Lindbergh had to suffice. The affair illuminated the need for a proper airport and prompted the Erie City Council to examine to possibility of establishing a municipal airport.[5] City Council was, initially, favoring a site 12-mile (0.8 km) east of Wesleyville for a municipal airport; however, Lieutenant Jimmy Doolittle commented on the distance between it and the city; Dolittle noted that "you might as well take 40 minutes more and go on to Cleveland."[6] After recommendations made by Lindbergh to a Congressional committee that no airport less than 1 square mile (2.6 km2) be approved, the planning commission for Erie's airport began to reevaluate the site they chose.[6]

Griswold Field closed, officially, in 1929 when Griswold moved to Long Island, but continued to be used by aircraft and by the flight school. That same year two airfields were established: one on land adjacent to the former Griswold Field, and another in Kearsarge that is now the site of the Millcreek Mall.

The first commercial passenger and airmail service out of Port Erie Airport was inaugurated in June 1938 by American Airlines.[7]

Prior to September 11, 2001 the airport was at its height with US Airways mainline jets to Pittsburgh and international service to Toronto.[8][9] After 9/11 US Airways replaced 737s and DC-9s with regional jets.[10] As air service rebounded in the mid-2000s, US Airways Express flew to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Charlotte; Northwest Airlink to Detroit; Continental Connection to Cleveland; and Delta Connection to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Current Operations[edit]

The airport is reportedly looking to expand service to New York (Newark) and other cities.[11] US Airways discontinued Charlotte flights in 2006. Delta Air Lines discontinued Atlanta flights on September 6, 2007. In early 2008 US Airways discontinued Pittsburgh flights. As of November 2017, American Eagle service is two flights daily to Philadelphia on the ERJ-145; Delta Connection has three flights daily to Detroit with CRJ-200 regional jets; and United Express has two flights daily to Chicago-O'Hare also with CRJ-200.[12]

Runway extension[edit]

The 1,920-foot (590 m) extension of runway 6/24 was opened on November 8, 2012.[13] The total cost of the project was $80.5 million, or approximately $5 million under budget.[14] Owing to a mild winter in 2011–2012 that did not hinder construction work, the extension was also completed two years ahead of schedule.[13]


FAA airport diagram of Erie International

Erie International/Tom Ridge Field covers 450 acres (182 ha) and has two runways:

  • Runway 2/20: 3,508 ft × 150 ft (1,069 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 6/24: 8,420 ft × 150 ft (2,566 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The last DC-9 to fly for US Air arriving at Erie International Airport


Airlines Destinations Notes
American Eagle Philadelphia [15]
Delta Connection Detroit [16]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare [17]


Airlines Destinations
FedEx Feeder
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
Cleveland, Indianapolis


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from ERI (Aug 2016 – Jul 2017)[18]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Detroit, Michigan 42,380 Delta
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 27,000 United
3 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 17,460 American
4 Cleveland, Ohio 2,670 Other

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual enplaned passenger traffic at ERI, 1999 through 2016[19][20]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2008 124,667
2007 142,365
2016 87,568 2006 161,087
2015 88,953 2005 187,997
2014 97,063 2004 176,112
2013 109,520 2003 138,256
2012 109,185 2002 130,244
2011 112,749 2001 127,900
2010 127,184 2000 155,618
2009 121,164 1999 167,507

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxis can reach the airport. Two Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority bus routes stop at the airport. Avis Rent a Car System, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Hertz Corporation, and National Car Rental have car rental counters.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • In 1986 USAir Flight 499, a DC-9, from Toronto Pearson landed on snow-covered runway 24, and slid off the runway to rest over Asbury Road on the western perimeter of the airport.[21]
  • In 1984, a Spirit Airlines chartered flight, a DC-9 carrying a football team, landed in snowy conditions on a soft patch of land next to the runway.[22]



External links[edit]