Erie International Airport
|Erie International Airport
Tom Ridge Field
|Owner||Erie Regional Airport Authority|
|Location||Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Elevation AMSL||732 ft / 223 m|
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 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. 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. 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. 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. City Council was, initially, favoring a site 1⁄2-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." 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.
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.
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Prior to September 11, 2001 the airport was at its height with US Airways mainline jets to Pittsburgh and international service to Toronto. After 9/11 US Airways replaced 737s and DC-9s with regional jets. 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.
The airport is reportedly looking to expand service to New York and other cities. 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 January 2010 US Airways Express service is three flights daily to Philadelphia; Delta Connection has five flights daily to Detroit; and United Express has two flights daily to Chicago-O'Hare.
Erie International is in an expansion program: expanding runway 6/24, establishing a relationship with an airport in Germany to create a cargo bridge, and attracting new airlines to more destinations. About 200,000 people used the airport in 2006, down 14% due to airlines cutting back on seats. The number of passengers did increase by 16.1% in 2010 from 2009.
The 1,920-foot (590 m) extension of runway 6/24 was opened on November 8, 2012. The total cost of the project was $80.5 million, or approximately $5 million under budget. Owing to a mild winter in 2011–2012 that did not hinder construction work, the extension was also completed two years ahead of schedule.
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
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
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
- 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.
- 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.
- "Calendar Year 2015 Revenue Enplanements at Commercial Service Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- Erie Times Article, Fastest Growing
- Freeman 2014, p. 1.
- Freeman 2014, p. 6.
- Freeman 2014, p. 9.
- Freeman 2014, p. 11.
- Federal Writers' Project 1938, p. 103.
- Canadian 737 Parked at Terminal.
- NTSB Accident Report involving a scheduled USAir flight from Toronto.
- US Airways 737 at terminal.
- Photos showing airlines at airport
- , Erie Airport Press Release.
- McCormick 2013.
- Myers, Valerie (Nov 19, 2015). "Final Erie runway extension cost: $80.5 million". Erie Times-News. Retrieved Feb 9, 2017.
- "Flight schedules and notifications". American Airlines. Retrieved Jan 7, 2017.
- "Delta Worldwide Timetable" (PDF). Delta Air Lines. Retrieved Mar 26, 2017.
- "U.S. and international route maps". United Airlines. Retrieved Mar 26, 2017.
- NTSB Accident Report
- NTSB Accident Report
- Federal Writers' Project (1938). Erie, A Guide to the City and County. Philadelphia: William Penn Association. OCLC 5429724.
- Freeman, Sabina Shields (2014). From Griswold Field to Erie International. Fairview, Pennsylvania: Hi Flight Press.
- McCormick, Carroll (Jan–Feb 2013). "Runway to Prosperity". Airports International. Key Publishing. 46 (1): 34–36. Retrieved Feb 1, 2017.
- Airport Master Record (FAA Form 5010), also available as a printable form (PDF)
- Erie International Airport
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation: Erie International Airport
- (PDF), effective March 2, 2017