Harrisburg International Airport

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For the military use of the airport, see Harrisburg Air National Guard Base.
Harrisburg International Airport
Harrisburg International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority
Serves Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Location Lower Swatara Township, Pennsylvania
Elevation AMSL 310 ft / 94 m
Coordinates 40°11′35″N 076°45′48″W / 40.19306°N 76.76333°W / 40.19306; -76.76333Coordinates: 40°11′35″N 076°45′48″W / 40.19306°N 76.76333°W / 40.19306; -76.76333
Website www.FlyHIA.com
A diagram of the terminals, runways, and taxiways at MDT.
FAA airport diagram
MDT is located in Pennsylvania
MDT is located in the US
Location of airport in Pennsylvania/United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 10,001 3,048 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft operations 47,289
Based aircraft 26
Passengers 1,173,938
Sources: HIA Airport[1] and the FAA.[2]

Harrisburg International Airport (IATA: MDTICAO: KMDTFAA LID: MDT) is a public airport in Lower Swatara Township, Pennsylvania,[3] nine miles (15 km) southeast of Harrisburg. It is owned by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority.[4]

The airport code MDT refers to Middletown, a suburb of Harrisburg which is the airport's mailing address. Planes landing at MDT from the south are often routed near Three Mile Island a few miles from the airport. The airport, frequently referred to as HIA, is the primary commercial airport in South Central Pennsylvania and is the third-busiest airport in Pennsylvania for passenger enplanements and cargo shipments behind Philadelphia International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.[5][6]


Harrisburg International Airport has been serving south-central Pennsylvania for over 100 years.[7] Beginning in 1898, the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army was stationed here. This was followed by the first military airplanes landing in 1918 at what had become Olmsted Field of the fledgling U.S. Army Air Service.

The Middletown Air Depot (later Middletown Air Materiel Area) at Olmsted provided logistical and maintenance support of military aircraft until it closed in 1969. In 1968 airline flights moved from Capital City Airport to Harrisburg International Airport at the former Air Force Base. Architect William Pereira designed the new terminals, completed in 1973.

In 1998 the Commonwealth transferred ownership to the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA). The Authority board consists of community volunteers appointed to staggered, five-year terms by the elected officials from Cumberland, Dauphin, and York counties, the cities of Harrisburg and York, and Fairview and Lower Swatara townships.

About 1,400 people work in the system of Harrisburg International Airport.[8]

A new 360,000 square-foot terminal was completed in 2004. It cost $120 million and was designed by The Sheward Partnership.[9]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Harrisburg International Airport covers 680 acres (280 ha) at an elevation of 310 feet (94 m) above mean sea level. It has one asphalt runway, 13/31, 10,001 by 200 feet (3,048 by 61 m).[4]

Runway 13 has a CAT III approach allowing operations down to 600 feet (180 m) RVR (Runway Visual Range). The airport has a Surface Movement Guidance Control System (SMGCS) that allows aircraft and vehicle ground movements during reduced visibility (below 1,200 feet (370 m) RVR down to 600 feet (180 m) RVR).

The airfield also boasts a 140 foot control tower and associated approach control manned and operated by FAA air traffic controllers. These men and women of vast knowledge and skill keep the blue skies of central Pennsylvania safe from potential aerial conflicts.

In 2005 the airport had 71,190 aircraft operations, an average of 195 per day: 54% air taxi, 22% general aviation, 13% scheduled commercial and 12% military. 29 aircraft were then based at this airport: 17% single-engine, 28% multi-engine, 31% jet, 3% helicopter and 21% military.[4]

The terminal has 12 gates and is a pier finger lay out near the middle of the airfield, almost parallel to the runway.[10]

Ground transportation[edit]

Built in 2004, and attached to the new terminal building via a climate-controlled sky bridge, the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility (MMTF) is a four-story facility that handles all ground transportation. The top three levels have 2,504 parking places for Short-Term Hourly, Daily, and Long-Term public parking. The first level accommodates all limos, taxis, hotel shuttles, public and charter buses, plus the rental car ready/return lot.[11]

In the first floor lobby area are six rental car counters, restrooms, flight, and bus information displays, and a seating area. On the second floor of the lobby area, climate-controlled moving sidewalks connect to the aerial walkway to the terminal.[11]

Route 7 of the Capital Area Transit System runs to downtown Harrisburg and surrounding communities. The Middletown Amtrak Station, about 3 miles (5 km) east of the Terminal, has Amtrak service via the Keystone corridor. There had been a proposal to construct a new rail terminal adjacent to the MMTF, but the final location chosen for the new station is about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west, in Highspire, PA.[12]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Canada Express Toronto-Pearson B
Allegiant Air Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
American Airlines Charlotte C
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Philadelphia C
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection Detroit
Seasonal: Atlanta
Southern Airways Express Pittsburgh (begins October 30, 2016)[13] TBD
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare B
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Washington–Dulles B


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from MDT (Jan – Dec 2015)[14]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 124,000 American, United
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 108,000 American, US Airways
3 Atlanta, Georgia 101,000 Delta
4 Detroit, Michigan 61,000 Delta
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 60,000 American, US Airways
6 Washington–Dulles, D.C. 52,000 United
7 Orlando/Sanford, Florida 34,000 Allegiant
8 St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 17,000 Allegiant
9 Orlando, Florida 11,000 Frontier
10 Boston, Massachusetts 6,000 American

Annual traffic[edit]

Traffic by calendar year[15]
Passengers Change from previous year Cargo
2013 1,294,632 108,688,000
2014 1,289,487 Decrease 0.39% 97,843,600
2015 1,173,938 Decrease 8.96% 102,802,000

Air cargo[edit]

Harrisburg International Airport has freight-forwarding capability. The airport is next to I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-83, and I-81, allowing fast transfer of goods. Three major air cargo shippers maintain air service at the east end of the airport in an apron area next to the runway:[16]

Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlas Air
DHL Express
operated by Air Cargo Carriers
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Hartford
FedEx Feeder
operated by Wiggins Airways
Newark, Williamsport
UPS Airlines Louisville, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Hartford

Pennsylvania Air National Guard use[edit]

Shield of the United States Air Force Special Operations Command.svg
Air National Guard.png

Despite the closure of Olmsted AFB in 1969, the US Air Force continues an Air National Guard presence at Harrisburg[17] in the form of Harrisburg Air National Guard Station and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 193rd Special Operations Wing (193 SOW), an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)-gained unit flying the EC-130 Commando Solo aircraft. The 193 SOW is the sole operator of this critical aircraft asset for the entire US Air Force and in 2001 transitioned from the EC-130E to the new EC-130J variant. The wing has seen extensive Federal service in recent years in support of Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Harrisburg International Airport remains an active touch and go practice runway for SAM 28000 and SAM 29000. These two planes carry the President. They are also known as Air Force One, the call which is adopted when the president is aboard either aircraft (or any other Air Force aircraft for that matter). The Air Force pilots use the custom VC-25's (Boeing 747s) to practice via touch and go at the airport. These practice runs are at random (for obvious security reasons), but they do tend to be seen about weekly. The Air Force uses MDT as the practice airport for a number of reasons: its runway is long enough for a loaded 747, relatively low traffic, close proximity to Andrews Air Force Base, and the presence of the Air National Guard at MDT.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Passenger and Operational Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  2. ^ AirportIQ 5010 http://www.gcr1.com/5010web/airport.cfm?Site=mdt. Retrieved 19 February 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Lower Swatara township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for MDT (Form 5010 PDF), effective June 5, 2008
  5. ^ "Commercial Service Airports by State and Type of Carrier" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Airports Reporting All-Cargo Data for Calendar Year 2005" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. 
  7. ^ Harrisburg International Airport History
  8. ^ Airport Authority History SARAA, accessed February 14, 2010.
  9. ^ The Sheward Partnership – Harrisburg International Airport
  10. ^ FAA Airport Diagram for Harrisburg International (MDT) (PDF), effective October 13, 2016
  11. ^ a b Multi-Modal Transportation Facility SARAA, accessed February 12, 2010.
  12. ^ New Middletown Amtrak station site will be at Ann Street and Route 230
  13. ^ http://www.cpbj.com/article/20160802/CPBJ01/160809943/new-air-service-to-link-hia-pittsburgh
  14. ^ http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=MDT&Airport_Name=Harrisburg, PA: Harrisburg International Olmsted Field&carrier=FACTS
  15. ^ "Stats". Harrisburg International Airport. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Cargo operations at HIA Harrisburg International Airport, accessed March 4, 2010.
  17. ^ Burger, T.W. (June 21, 2010). "Pennsylvania Air National Guard unit called rescuers on wings". Harrisburg Patriot News. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 

External links[edit]