Erie International Airport

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Erie International Airport
Tom Ridge Field
ERI logo.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerErie Regional Airport Authority
ServesErie, Pennsylvania
LocationMillcreek Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Elevation AMSL732 ft / 223 m
Coordinates42°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
Location of airport in Pennsylvania
ERI is located in the United States
ERI (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2/20 3,508 1,069 Asphalt
6/24 8,420 2,566 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft Movements24,422

Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field (IATA: ERI, ICAO: KERI, FAA 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, Buffalo, and Toronto airports, all within three 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.[1] It is 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.

The airport is named for former Pennsylvania governor and Erie native Tom Ridge



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.[2] 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.[3] 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.

This event showed the need for a proper airport and prompted the Erie City Council to examine to possibility of establishing a municipal airport.[4] 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."[5] 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.[5]

Griswold Field officially closed in 1929 when Griswold moved to Long Island, but aircraft and the flight school continued to use it. That 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.

American Airlines.[6] began Port Erie Airport's first commercial passenger and airmail service in June 1938.

Prior to September 11, 2001 the airport was at its height with US Airways mainline jets to Pittsburgh and international service to Toronto.[7][8] After 9/11 US Airways replaced 737s and DC-9s with regional jets.[9] 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. 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.

On August 22, 2018, Derek Martin was named Executive Director of the airport.[10]

Current Operations[edit]

As of August 2019, American Eagle service is two flights daily to Charlotte and one flight daily to Chicago-O'Hare 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 ERJ-145 aircraft.[11] The airport is also looking into expanding United Airlines service to Washington-Dulles.[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

The airport has a passenger terminal building which opened in 1958 and has had several expansions and upgrades since its construction. The 1970s saw expansions to baggage claim facilities and later an office expansion for FAA office facilities on the second floor. A ticketing area on the western end of the terminal building was added in 1990. Upgrades to the lobby area and boarding gates and passenger boarding bridges followed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The first floor of the passenger terminal building which houses the baggage claim, check in desks, rental car counters, cafe, TSA checkpoint and boarding gate areas occupies approximately 43,200 square feet.[15]

In August 2019, the public waiting area and in-terminal restaurant were renovated. The entrance to the restaurant was reconfigured to provide airside access from the secure side of the terminal.[16]

The terminal has 7 gates, 3 with jetbridges for regional aircraft. Current regularly occupied gates are: Gate 1- United Express (Trans States), Gate 5- Delta Connection (Skywest), Gate 7- American Eagle (Piedmont/Envoy)

Airlines and destinations[edit]

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


American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare [17]
Delta Connection Detroit [18]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare [19]


FedEx Feeder Cleveland, Indianapolis


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from ERI (Sep 2017 – Aug 2018)[20]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Detroit, Michigan 39,020 Delta
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 27,500 United
3 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 23,250 American

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual enplaned passenger traffic at ERI, 1999 through 2018[21][22]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2018 95,136 2008 124,667
2017 85,580 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, arriving from Toronto Pearson International Airport, landed on snow-covered runway 24, and slid off the runway to rest over Asbury Road on the western perimeter of the airport.[23]
  • 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.[24]
  • On January 5, 2006, PSA Airlines flight 1355 had a tire on the left landing gear burst with no injuries.
  • On September 21, 2017, Delta Connection Flight 4906 en route from Detroit to Greater Rochester International Airport declared an emergency and landed at ERI due to an engine sensor indicating a reverse thruster was deployed. The aircraft landed without incident and the problem was traced to a faulty sensor.[25]


  1. ^ Erie Times Article, Fastest Growing
  2. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 1.
  3. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 6.
  4. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Freeman 2014, p. 11.
  6. ^ Federal Writers' Project 1938, p. 103.
  7. ^ Canadian 737 Parked at Terminal. Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ NTSB Accident Report involving a scheduled USAir flight from Toronto.
  9. ^ US Airways 737 at terminal. Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Myers, Valerie. "Erie airport officials lay groundwork for D.C. service". Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  13. ^ a b McCormick 2013.
  14. ^ Myers, Valerie (November 19, 2015). "Final Erie runway extension cost: $80.5 million". Erie Times-News. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". American Airlines. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Delta Worldwide Timetable" (PDF). Delta Air Lines. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "U.S. and international route maps". United Airlines. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "RITA - BTS - Transtats".
  21. ^ "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports - Previous Years".
  22. ^
  23. ^ NTSB Accident Report
  24. ^ NTSB Accident Report
  25. ^


External links[edit]