Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport

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Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (logo).png
Ithaca Tompkins Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Tompkins County
Serves Ithaca, New York
Elevation AMSL 1,099 ft / 335 m
Coordinates 42°29′29″N 076°27′31″W / 42.49139°N 76.45861°W / 42.49139; -76.45861Coordinates: 42°29′29″N 076°27′31″W / 42.49139°N 76.45861°W / 42.49139; -76.45861
ITH is located in New York
Location in New York
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 6,977 2,127 Asphalt
15/33 2,018 615 Turf
Statistics (06/2014 - 06/2015)
Passengers 87,230
Aircraft operations 41,286
Based aircraft 57
Sources: FAA[1] and airport web site[2]
FAA diagram of Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH)

Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (IATA: ITH[3]ICAO: KITHFAA LID: ITH) is a county owned airport three miles northeast of Ithaca, the county seat and only city in Tompkins County, New York.[1] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service facility.[4] According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 103,501 passenger boardings (enplanements) in 2013.[5]


The original Ithaca Municipal Airport was west of downtown Ithaca, near the inlet of Cayuga Lake. Its single short runway, proximity to the Lehigh Valley freight yards on the south side, the Cayuga Lake marshes on the north side, and fog in the lake valley limited its growth. Cornell University opened the existing airport on East Hill in 1948 and transferred its ownership to the County in 1956. The former airport site is now Cass Park, including a hangar which was renovated in 1975 to house the Hangar Theatre.[6]

The original airport was the base where aviation pioneer Cecil Robinson began flying aerial photography missions. In 1945 shortly after the end of World War II, he created Robinson Airlines, basing its maintenance operations at the airport. The airline changed its name to Mohawk Airlines in 1952 and merged with Allegheny Airlines in 1972. Later the airport was served by Empire Airlines and Air North, the latter of which became Brockway Air, which merged into Piedmont Airlines. Allegheny, Piedmont, and Empire all eventually merged into US Airways.

Other carriers included Commuter Airlines, Mall Airways, Command Airways (later dba American Eagle), Ransome Airlines (also dba TW Express and United Express), and Continental Express.

In 1994 the runway was extended from 5,801 feet (1,768 m) to its present 6,977 feet (2,127 m) and a new, 33,000 square foot (3,000 m²) terminal building opened, replacing the cramped original building. The airport got its current name on March 20, 2001. Runway 32 has an instrument landing system approach and an associated medium intensity approach light system with runway alignment lights. Runway 14 has an instrument approach based on the VOR/DME at the airport. A short turf runway was commissioned parallel to the paved runway, but during the 1980s another turf runway oriented north-south was available to the west of the terminal building and was about 1,802 feet (549 m) long and 100 feet (30 m) wide.

Airline traffic peaked in 1990 at 226,813 passengers,[2] but by the end of the decade the small size of the market, proximity to Syracuse Hancock International Airport and other regional airports, and crowded airspace has led Trans World Airlines, United Airlines, and finally Continental Airlines to leave.

In late 2004, after negotiations with the County, Northwest Airlines agreed to add Northwest Airlink service to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which began May 2, 2005. US Airways nonstops to Pittsburgh, a focus city, resumed on November 9, 2005 but ended on April 1, 2006 due to low yield. Passenger traffic has improved with the additional service; the airport served about 140,000 passengers in 2004, increasing to around 170,000 in 2007.[2] On October 6, 2008, Continental Connection resumed service between Ithaca and Newark Liberty International Airport with four daily flights. In 2011, the airport served 242,493 passengers on three airlines.

In 2009 Regional Elite Airline Services took over ground handling duties from Mesaba Airlines for the Delta Connection flights to Detroit. As of November 2012, all ground handling for Delta and United Airlines will be by DAL Global Services.

Starting on March 24, 2012, US Airways Express ended all service between Ithaca and New York-LaGuardia as part of a slot-exchange deal with Delta.[7]

The 2013 Federal sequester did not result in the closure of the airport's control tower. The U.S. Department of Transportation restored the funding needed to support the continued operation of the Ithaca air traffic control tower. [8][9][10]


The airport covers 531 acres (215 ha) at an elevation of 1,099 feet (335 m). It has two runways: 14/32 is 6,977 by 150 feet (2,127 x 46 m) asphalt and 15/33 is 2,018 by 50 feet (615 x 15 m) turf.[1]

In 2011 the airport had 41,286 aircraft operations, average 113 per day: 77% general aviation, 23% air taxi, <1% military, and <1% airline. 57 aircraft were then based at the airport: 77% single-engine, 9% multi-engine, and 14% jet.[1]

For over 50 years, the airport has been home to the East Hill Flying Club which offers lessons and the use of seven small planes to its members.[11] It is also the home of Taughannock Aviation which provides business jet charter and management as well as being the fixed-base operator.[12]

Delta Connection uses the Bombardier CRJ200 to and from ITH. American Eagle uses Bombardier Dash 8 equipment to and from ITH. United Express also uses the Dash 8 to and from ITH.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
American Eagle Philadelphia
Delta Connection Detroit
United Express Newark


Busiest domestic routes from ITH
(January – December 2015)[13]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 32,680 American Eagle
2 Detroit, Michigan 27,340 Delta Connection
3 Newark, New Jersey 26,120 United Express
4 Washington, D.C. 40 N/A
5 Scranton, Pennsylvania 40 N/A
6 Richmond, Virginia 10 N/A
7 Baltimore, Maryland 10 N/A

Ground transportation[edit]


TCAT Route 32 travels to Cornell University and downtown Ithaca (Ithaca Commons) Monday through Friday,[14] On weekends similar service is on Route 72.[15] Both routes operate hourly, or more frequently, throughout most of the day.


Ithaca Dispatch (Cayuga, University, Yellow Cab) operates a taxi stand at the airport, although it may be necessary to call in advance, especially during peak hours. Fares to the airport are standardized.


External links[edit]