Philadelphia International Airport
- "Philadelphia Airport" redirects here. For other airports serving Philadelphia, see List of airports in the Philadelphia area. For the airport in Mississippi, see Philadelphia Municipal Airport.
|Philadelphia International Airport|
|IATA: PHL – ICAO: KPHL – FAA LID: PHL
– WMO: 72408
|Owner||City of Philadelphia|
|Operator||Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Division of Aviation|
|Location||Philadelphia / Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||36 ft / 11 m|
FAA airport diagram
Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL, ICAO: KPHL, FAA LID: PHL), often referred to just by its IATA code PHL, is a major airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, and is the largest airport in the Delaware Valley region and in the state. The airport is a major international hub for American Airlines' merger partner US Airways, UPS Airlines and is a focus city for Frontier Airlines. The airport has service to destinations in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Most of the airport property is located in Philadelphia proper. The international terminal and the western end of the airfield are located in Tinicum Township, Delaware County.
- 1 History
- 2 Air traffic and rankings
- 3 Economic impact
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Airlines and destinations
- 6 Statistics
- 7 Ground transportation
- 8 Incidents and accidents
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Starting in 1925 the Pennsylvania National Guard used the PHL site (known as Hog Island) as a training airfield. The site was dedicated as the "Philadelphia Municipal Airport" by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, but it had no proper terminal building until 1940; airlines used the airfield (at ) in nearby Camden, New Jersey. Once Philadelphia's terminal was completed (on the east side of the field) American, Eastern, TWA and United began flights.
In 1947 and 1950 the airport had runways 4, 9, 12 and 17, all of 5400 ft or less. In 1956 runway 9 was 7284 ft; in 1959 it was 9499 ft and runway 12 was closed. Not much change occurred until the early 1970s, when runway 4 was closed and 9R opened with 10500 ft.
World War II use
Beginning in 1940 the Coatesville-based Rising Sun School of Aeronautics performed primary flight training at the airport under contract to the Air Corps. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, the I Fighter Command Philadelphia Fighter Wing provided air defense of the Delaware Valley area from the airport. Throughout the war, various fighter and bomber groups were organized and trained at Philadelphia airport and assigned to the Philadelphia Fighter Wing before being sent to advanced training airfields or being deployed overseas. Known units assigned were the 33d, 327th, 58th, 355th and 358th Fighter Groups.
In June 1943 I Fighter Command transferred jurisdiction of the airport to the Air Technical Service Command (ATSC). ATSC established a sub-depot of the Middletown Air Depot at the airport. The 855th Army Air Forces Specialized Depot unit repaired and overhauled aircraft and returned them to active service, and the Army Air Forces Training Command established the Philco Training School on January 1, 1943 which trained personnel in radio repair and operations.
During 1945 the Air Force reduced its use of the airport and it was returned to civil control that September.
Philadelphia Municipal became Philadelphia International in 1945, when American Overseas Airlines began direct flights to Europe. (For a short time AOA's flights skipped the New York stop; that was probably Philadelphia's only international nonstop until Pan Am tried nonstops to Europe in 1961.) A new terminal opened in December 1953; the oldest parts of the present terminal complex (B and C) were built in the late '50s.
The April 1957 OAG shows 30 weekday departures on Eastern, 24 TWA, 24 United, 18 American, 16 National, 14 Capital, 6 Allegheny and 3 Delta. To Europe, five Pan Am DC-6Bs a week via Idlewild and Boston and two TWA 749As a week via Idlewild; one TWA flight continued to Ceylon. Eastern and National had nonstops to Miami, but the TWA 1049G to LAX (started 1956) was the only nonstop beyond Chicago.
Terminal B/C modernization was completed in 1970, Terminal D opened in 1973 and Terminal E in 1977; the $300 million expansion was designed by Arnold Thompson Associates, Inc. and Vincent G. Kling & Associates.
In the 1980s PHL hosted several hubs. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 allowed regional carrier Altair Airlines to create a small hub at PHL using Fokker F-28s. Altair began in 1967 with flights to cities such as Rochester, New York, Hartford, Connecticut and to Florida until it ceased operations in November 1982. In the mid-1980s Eastern Air Lines opened a hub in Concourse C. The airline declined in the late 1980s and sold aircraft and gate leases to Chicago-based Midway Airlines. Midway operated its Philadelphia hub until it ceased operation in 1991. During the 1980s US Airways (then called USAir) built a hub at PHL.
US Airways became the dominant carrier at PHL during the 1980s and 1990s and shifted most of its hub operations from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in 2003. As of 2013[update] PHL was US Airways' largest international hub. As of January 2013[update], the lease agreement underlying US Airways operations at PHL will expire at the end of June 2015.
In July 1999 the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) and several U.S. federal government agencies selected a route for the connecting ramps from the northbound and southbound portions of Interstate 95 to the Terminal One complex, then under development; the agency tried to avoid the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. However K/B Fund II, the owner of the International Plaza complex, formerly the Scott Paper headquarters Scott Plaza, objected to the proposed routing. K/B Fund II argued that the proposed routing would interfere with the International Plaza development. It entered a filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to challenge the proposed routing. In 2000 the airport attempted to acquire the complex for $90 million but Tinicum Township commissioners stopped the deal from going forward, citing concerns of a loss of tax revenue for the township and the Interboro School District which serves Tinicum, as well as noise pollution concerns.
In 2004 Southwest Airlines began flights from PHL, challenging US Airways in some of its important East Coast and Midwest markets. It is now US Airways' largest competitor at the airport.
Today Philadelphia International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and among the fastest growing in the United States. Its status as a US Airways hub and the growth of Southwest Airlines and other low-cost carriers have helped passenger traffic to reach record levels. In 2004, a total of 28,507,420 passengers flew through Philadelphia, up 15.5% over 2003. In 2005, 31,502,855 passengers flew through PHL, marking a 10% increase since 2004. In 2006, 31,768,272 passengers travelled through PHL, a 0.9% increase.
Such growth has not come without difficulties. There are questions as to how much more passenger growth can occur. The airport's present terminal and runway layout are reaching full utilization and PHL remains the world's largest airport without an inground fueling system thus requiring fuel to be trucked to each airplane. These two factors have led to congestion and delays. Additionally, the airport's parking facilities have been severely taxed. Exhaustion of all 17,000 parking spaces at the airport has become a regular occurrence. However, airport officials have ambitious plans for terminal and runway expansion.
Completed in May 2009, the Runway 17-35 Extension Project extended runway 17–35 to a length of 6,500 ft (2,000 m), extending it at both ends and incorporating the proper runway safety areas. Other changes made with the Runway 17–35 Extension Project included additional taxiways and aprons, relocation of perimeter service roads, and modifications to nearby public roads.
The Capacity Enhancement Program has a much larger scope and is considering more drastic ways to increase runway capacity. On December 30, 2010, a 13-year $5.2 billion project that would have extended the two main runways and added one new runway was passed by the FAA. The project would also create two new passenger terminals, the first terminal will be built where the current terminal complex is located and the second terminal will be built across from the current terminal complex. The project was also going to relocate the UPS facility and redevelop cargo city, the cargo complex at PHL. The redesigned UPS facility would have required demolition of several houses of nearby Tinicum Township. But after much resistance by the residents of those homes, an agreement was made to keep the homes and expand the airport elsewhere. The new project will now cost $6.4 billion.
Southwest Airlines, the fastest growing airline for several years after beginning service to PHL in 2004, worked with the city and the airport to expand and improve its facilities. Southwest recently built a joint ticket counter lobby for the D and E terminals, one large security check point for the two terminals and additional concessions. A hammerhead expansion to the E concourse was finished in February 2010. However, Southwest subsequently ended nonstop service to PHL from most of its non-focus cities due to competition with US Airways. The January 2013 lease extension obtained by US Airways was contingent on a number of future enhancements, and the lease renewal provided some funding.
Air traffic and rankings
With 432,884 aircraft movements in 2013, Philadelphia International Airport ranks 15th busiest in the world in terms of aircraft movements. In 2010, 30,775,961 passengers passed through Philadelphia International Airport, a 0.3% increase compared to 2009.
Philadelphia International Airport is important to Philadelphia, its metropolitan region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth's Aviation Bureau reported in its Pennsylvania Air Service Monitor that the total economic impact made by the state's airports in 2004 was $22 billion. PHL alone accounted for $14 billion or 63% of total. The calculations include both direct spending and the multiplier effect of that spending throughout the state's economy.
Philadelphia International Airport has seven terminal buildings, which are divided into seven lettered concourses, which together contain 124 gates total. Terminals A East and A West, B, C, D and E are all interconnected and it is possible to travel through all of these airside. Terminal F, completed in 2003, is separate from these terminals but can be reached by airside shuttle buses between Terminal F and Terminal C using gate C16, an old US Airways Express gate and between Terminal F and Terminal A, at gate A1. There is a large shopping/dining area between Concourses B and C. There are no luggage storage facilities at the airport. As part of Philadelphia International Airport's US$6.4 billion expansion plans, an automated people mover is expected to be built between 2015 and 2019 to move passengers between terminals.
Terminal A West
One of the two newest terminal buildings at the airport, Concourse A West has a very modern and innovative design, made by Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville and Kelly/Maiello. Opened in 2003 as the new international terminal, it is now home to British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and American Airlines (Former US Airways; domestic and international). It offers a variety of international dining options.
International Arrivals (except from locations with Customs preclearance) are processed at the Terminal A West arrival building.
Terminal A-West contains 13 gates: A14 to A26.
Terminal A East
This terminal, originally the airport's international terminal, is now used by American Airlines (premerger flights, and former U.S. Airways domestic and international flights), Frontier (international arrivals) and Spirit. A-East is well maintained and recently received an upgrade to its baggage claim facilities. Most of the gates in this terminal are equipped to handle international arrivals and the passengers are led to the customs facility in terminal A-West. It opened in 1990. The security entrance was significantly enlarged in 2012.
Terminal A-East contains 11 gates: A2 to A13 (except A5; The US Airways Express shuttle bus stop is designated A1).
Terminals B and C
Terminals B and C are the two main US Airways terminals. They were renovated at a cost of $135 million in 1998, which was designed by DPK&A Architects, LLP. They are connected by a shopping mall and food court named the Philadelphia Marketplace. Remodeling has begun in the gate areas, although these cosmetic changes will not solve the space problems at many of the gates. Overall, the facilities are fairly modern and dining options on the concourses are also available. They are the oldest terminals and opened in 1953.
Terminal B contains 15 gates: B1 to B16 (except B12) and Terminal C contains 15 gates: C17 to C31.
Terminal D and Terminal E were upgraded in late 2008 with a new concourse connecting the two terminals while providing combined security, a variety of shops and restaurants and a link between Baggage Claims D and E. It originally opened in 1973. This is the inverse of the connector between Terminals B and C, which comprises a combined ticket hall but separate security facilities. Terminal D is home to Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. This terminal is connected to the shopping area of Terminals B/C through a post-security walkway.
Terminal D contains 16 gates: D1 to D16.
Terminal E is home to Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Terminal E is also home to Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection ticketing. The departing gates for Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection are located in Concourse D. It opened in 1977.
Terminal E contains 17 gates: E1 to E17.
Terminal F (Concourses 1, 2, and 3)
Terminal F is a regional terminal used by American Eagle flights. It includes special jet bridges that allow passengers to board regional jets without walking on the tarmac. Opened in 2001, Terminal F is the second newest terminal building at Philadelphia International. It was designed by Odell Associates, Inc. and The Sheward Partnership.
When Terminal F opened in 2001, it contained 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) of space for concessions.
Terminal F contains 37 gates: F1 to F39 (except F8; The US Airways Express shuttle bus stop is designated F10; Flights at the remote stands use F16R).
Airlines and destinations
As of summer 2014, Philadelphia International Airport serves a total of 130 non-stop destinations, including 38 international destinations in 20 countries throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.
^1 All international arrivals are handled at Terminal A.
^2 All US Airways flights will be rebranded as American Airlines effective October 17, 2015.
^3 All US Airways Express flights will be rebranded as American Eagle flights effective October 17, 2015.
operated by ABX Air
operated by Southern Air
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis|
|UPS Airlines||Albany (NY), Albany (GA), Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago-O'Hare, Cologne/Bonn, Columbia (SC), Des Moines, Detroit, East Midlands, Harrisburg, Hartford, London-Stansted, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rockford, San José (CA), St. Petersburg/Clearwater|
Top domestic destinations
|1||Atlanta, GA||842,000||Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, US Airways|
|2||Orlando, FL||673,000||Frontier, Southwest, US Airways|
|3||Chicago, IL (ORD)||648,000||American, Frontier, Spirit, United, US Airways|
|4||Boston, MA||648,000||JetBlue, US Airways|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||521,000||American, Spirit, US Airways|
|6||Charlotte, NC||427,000||Frontier, US Airways|
|7||Phoenix, AZ||403,000||Southwest, US Airways|
|8||Miami, FL||358,000||American, Frontier, US Airways|
|9||Las Vegas, NV||357,000||Southwest, Spirit, US Airways|
|10||San Francisco, CA||343,000||United, US Airways|
Top international destinations
|1||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||371,439||British Airways, US Airways|
|2||Frankfurt, Germany||295,217||Lufthansa, US Airways|
|3||Cancún, Mexico||288,737||Frontier, US Airways|
|4||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||209,456||Frontier, US Airways|
|5||Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France||172,981||Delta Air Lines, US Airways|
|6||Toronto (Pearson), Canada||167,048||Air Canada, US Airways|
|7||Montego Bay, Jamaica||155,595||US Airways|
|8||Rome (Fiumicino), Italy||153,489||US Airways|
|9||Tel Aviv, Israel||151,409||US Airways|
|10||Manchester, United Kingdom||142,729||US Airways|
|11||Munich, Germany||140,093||US Airways|
|12||Montreal, Canada||137,397||US Airways|
|13||Madrid (Barajas), Spain||135,830||US Airways|
|14||Dublin, Ireland||125,870||US Airways|
|15||Doha, Qatar||114,942||Qatar Airways|
SEPTA, the area's transportation authority, operates regional rail service between the airport and Center City Philadelphia via the Airport Line with stops at University City, Amtrak's 30th Street, Suburban and Jefferson stations. The fare is $8 if purchased on board, or $6.50 if purchased at a station in Center City. An unlimited ride day pass may be purchased either at a station or on board for $12 for all SEPTA services except to stations in New Jersey.
The Philadelphia International Airport has road access from an interchange with I-95, which heads north toward Center City Philadelphia and south into Delaware County. PA 291 heads northeast from the airport area and provides access to and from I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway). Rental cars are available through a number of companies; each operates a shuttle bus between its facility and the terminals. As part of the airport's expansion plan, the airport plans to construct a consolidated rental car facility. Taxis charge a flat rate, currently $28.50 plus a fuel surcharge, for transportation from the airport to downtown Philadelphia.
SEPTA also operates various bus routes to the airport: Route 37 (serving South Philadelphia and Chester Transportation Center), Route 108 (serving 69th Street Transportation Center and the UPS air hub), and Route 115 (serving Delaware County Community College and Darby Transportation Center). Bus fare is $2.25 or 1 token ($1.80; available at major subway stops), with a transfer for $1.00.
As a benefit to students, local schools including The University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Swarthmore College, Haverford College and Saint Joseph's University traditionally operate transportation shuttles to the airport during heavy travel periods such as spring and Thanksgiving breaks.
Incidents and accidents
- On January 14, 1951 National Airlines Flight 84 crashed upon landing at Philadelphia from Newark. The aircraft skidded off the runway, crashed through a fence and came to rest in a ditch. During the incident, the left wing broke off, rupturing the gas tanks and setting the plane on fire. There were seven fatalities in all. Frankie Housley, the lone stewardess on Flight 84, led ten passengers to safety but lost her life trying to save an infant.
- On July 19, 1989 United Airlines Flight 232 was scheduled to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport after flying from Denver to Chicago. During the flight the Douglas DC-10 suffered an uncontained failure of its number 2 engine. Shrapnel was hurled from the engine with enough force to penetrate the hydraulic lines of all three of the aircraft's hydraulic systems. The hydraulic fluid from each system rapidly leaked from the aircraft, resulting in the inability of the crew to move the flight control surfaces. Only the thrust levers for the two remaining engines remained workable, so the crew had limited control by using thrust modulation (symmetric thrust for pitch, differential thrust for yaw/roll). The aircraft eventually broke up during an emergency landing on the runway at Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 of its 285 passengers and one of the 11 crew members. One additional passenger died of his injuries 31 days after the crash.
- On Tuesday, February 7, 2006, a UPS Douglas DC-8 cargo plane suffered an in-flight cargo fire and made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport after filling with smoke. There were no injuries other than smoke inhalation affecting the crew, but the plane burned on the ground for hours into the night, though most of the cargo survived, the aircraft was a total loss, with multiple holes burned through the roof skin. According to the NTSB, the firefighting crew did not have adequate training on using their skin-piercing extinguishing equipment and not knowing how to open the main cargo door, attempted to force the handle and broke the latch, rendering the door unopenable. There were also difficulties in obtaining the cargo manifest to determine what if any hazardous materials were on board, due to confusion about protocol. However, despite these failings, the airport staff, including the firefighting staff, managed the incident successfully without injury or major disruption of the airport. The NTSB suspected lithium ion batteries were the source of ignition and made recommendations for more stringent rules and restrictions on their air transport, especially on passenger aircraft (unlike this one). For a cause of the incident, the NTSB focused on the delayed indication of fire by the required onboard fire detection system and criticized the standards to which such systems are tested, noting that the tests use an empty cargo hold and do not represent the real-world performance of the detection systems with the hold full of cargo, which significantly changes the flow patterns of hot air and smoke. The crew and air traffic control personnel were found to have behaved properly (with minor exceptions) and not to be at fault for the incident or its outcome.
- On March 13, 2014, US Airways Flight 1702, an Airbus A320 operating a scheduled flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had its nose gear collapse and aborted takeoff. No one was injured. Passengers were evacuated by emergency slide and through exits on the wings.
- Airports Council International – Traffic Movements 2010 FINAL
- Aviation Activity Reports – December 2010
- Airports Council International Final statistics for 2005 traffic movements
- USAF Historical Research Agency Document Search, Philadelphia Municipal Airport
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Maurer, Maurer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0-89201-097-5
- PHL History – 1960's–1970's
- "Not the Master Planner". Engineering News-Record (McGraw-Hill) 195 (14): 15. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Blumenthal, Jeff (January 22, 2013). "US Airways Renews Lease at Philadelphia International Airport, Eyes Improvements". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- Klimkiewicz, Joann. "New Airport Terminal Runs Into Legal Fight A Court Challenge By A Property Owner Could Delay The Opening Of Us Airways' $325 Million Terminal One." Philadelphia Inquirer. April 28, 2000. Retrieved on August 22, 2013.
- Klimkiewicz, Joann. "Airport Is Denied Purchase Of Land Phila. International Wants To Expand. Tinicum Fears Noise Pollution And The Loss Of Tax Revenues." Philadelphia Inquirer. February 23, 2000. Retrieved on August 22, 2013.
- "Passenger Traffic 2004 FINAL". Airports Council International. Archived from aci.aero the original on January 3, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2005.
- "Airport Continues to Attract Record Numbers of Passengers" (Press release). Philadelphia Airport System. August 15, 2005. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2005.
- "Passenger Traffic 2006 FINAL". Airports Council International. July 18, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- Gelbart, Marcia (June 29, 2005). "Southwest Fuels Takeoff of Income From Parking". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Runway 17–35 Extension Project EIS
- Capacity Enhancement Program EIS
- Tinicum crying foul on new airport runway
- Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Eastern Region; Gallo, Carmine (December 2010). "Record of Decision for Capacity Enhancement Program at Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" (PDF) (PDF). Philadelphia Airport System. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- Agreement for PHL Airport expansion reached, Tinicum homes to remain
- "Terminal E Has a Brand New Look at Philadelphia International Airport" (Press release). Philadelphia Airport System. February 16, 2010. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- Philadelphia International Airport's Economic Impact Estimated at $14 Billion; Figure Accounts for 63% of Statewide Air Service Impact. | Goliath Business News
- Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates: Projects: U.S. Airways International Terminal One
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL/KPHL), PA – Airport Technology
- Belden, Tom (April 2, 1998). "Us Airways, Phila. Agree on Adding Two Terminals Overseas, Commuter Flights The Focus of A$400 Million Plan". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Philadelphia International Airport – Press Release
- "Philadelphia, PA Flight Schedule". Apple Vacations flight information. The Coryn Group II. 2011.
- http://marketing.spirit.com/traveldeals/air.php?s=2049&mw=1. Retrieved February 17, 2015. Missing or empty
- "Spirit Airlines Announces New Nonstop Service To Two More Cities". September 30, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- RITA | BTS | Transtats
- "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics Report". Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- Activity Reports. Retrieved on Mar 28, 2015.
- Metro Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Map) (19th ed.). 1"=2000'. ADC Map. 2006. ISBN 978-0-87530-777-0.
- Taxis & Trains, Philadelphia Airport System.
- "Fire Forces UPS Plane to Make Emergency Landing". CNN. February 8, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "Inflight Cargo Fire United Parcel Service Company Flight 1307 McDonnell Douglas CS-8-71F, N748UP". National Transportation Safety Board. February 7, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
Media related to Philadelphia International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Philadelphia International Airport (official web site)
- FAA Airport Master Record for PHL ( PDF)
- Wings Over Philadelphia – Abundant Information Regarding PHL
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation: Philadelphia International Airport
- Food and Shops at PHL
- PHL-Citizens Aviation Watch
- (PDF), effective July 23, 2015
- Resources for this airport: