Piedmont Triad International Airport

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For the airport in Greensboro, Alabama, see Greensboro Municipal Airport.
Piedmont Triad International Airport
Piedmont Triad International Airport Logo.jpg


GSO is located in North Carolina
Location of the Piedmont Triad International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Piedmont Triad Airport Authority
Serves Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Guilford County, near Greensboro, North Carolina

Elevation AMSL 926 ft / 282 m
Coordinates 36°05′52″N 79°56′14″W / 36.09778°N 79.93722°W / 36.09778; -79.93722
Website FlyFromPTI.com
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5L/23R 9,000 2,743 Asphalt
5R/23L 10,001 3,048 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 6,380 1,945 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passenger Statistics (2013) 917,477

Piedmont Triad International Airport (IATA: GSOICAO: KGSOFAA LID: GSO) (commonly referred to as "PTI") is an airport just west of Greensboro, serving Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the entire Piedmont Triad Region in North Carolina. The airport has 3 runways; the third opened January 27, 2010 for increased traffic.[2] The airport is located just off Bryan Boulevard. Piedmont Triad International airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. Republic Airlines, operating as US Airways Express also maintains a pilot and flight attendant base at the airport.


An antecedent of PTI Airport, one of the first commercial airports in the South, Maynard Field was dedicated on December 6, 1919, just west of Greensboro near Oak Ridge. With its two intersecting runways measuring 1,890 feet (580 m) and 1,249 feet (381 m), hangar space, and even an early day equivalent of a Fixed Base Operator that made sure the torches were lit at dusk, Maynard Field was named to honor a young North Carolinian pilot named Lt. Belvin Maynard. By 1922 it had competition to the west with Miller Field in Winston-Salem, and Charles Field, a single airstrip that was used mainly for barnstorming, and to drill take-offs and landings for the Charles family.

Piedmont Triad International Airport had its start in 1927 when the Tri-City Airport Commission selected 112 acres (45 ha) near the community of Friendship for an airport, and petitioned to become a stop along the congressionally authorized airmail route from New York to New Orleans. Racing pilot Captain Roscoe Turner referred to the current location of Piedmont Triad International Airport as "the best landing field in the south." Friendship, near Greensboro, was selected over neighboring Winston-Salem, which subsequently denied contributing funds for airport construction and nullified the Tri-City Airport Authority collaborative effort.[3]

Greensboro and Guilford County jointly purchased the Friendship property from Paul C. and Helen G. Lindley, and christened it Lindley Field in May 1927 with 12,000 people in attendance. The field then had no runways, no lights, no hangar, and no passenger station. Charles Lindbergh stopped at Lindley Field with the "Spirit of St. Louis" on his cross-country tour celebrating the advances of aviation on October 14, 1927. Regular mail service started in 1928.[4]

Pitcairn Aviation, Incorporated was given the contract to fly the airmail route, the second official airmail route in the United States, and Pitcairn Aviation made the first delivery of airmail in North Carolina on May 1, 1928. Sid Malloy, the pilot of the aircraft, landed with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail to be sent to Atlanta. After a brief closure during the Great Depression the airport reopened on May 17, 1937 with two all-weather runways. In time, Pitcairn Aviation built a hangar; Greensboro built a passenger station; the United States government established a weather bureau; and the Department of Commerce set up a radio tower. Passenger service was inaugurated by Dixie Flying Service on November 6, 1930, with a route to Washington, D.C.. Pitcairn Aviation took over the route under its new name Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Air Lines.[3]

In July 1942 responsibility for the airport was given to the Greensboro-High Point Airport Authority, with representatives from Greensboro, High Point, and the Sedgefield community. Shortly thereafter the Army Air Corps requisitioned the airport and its facilities for war use and airmail and passenger service was discontinued. The Corps lengthened the runways and built a new passenger terminal. Civilian service resumed after the war, though growth was moderate due to the success of nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.

The new passenger terminal opened in 1958, replacing the temporary facility that had served since World War II. The new terminal was a modern glass paneled structure with a single pier. GSO was then served by Eastern, Piedmont, and Capital (which merged with United in 1961); the April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 17 Eastern departures each weekday, nine Piedmont and seven Capital.

By 1975 airport officials began to plan for a new terminal. Piedmont Airlines, which for years had served GSO and Smith Reynolds Airport in nearby Winston-Salem, announced its intention to consolidate its operations at Greensboro, so a larger facility would be needed. In the months that followed, Piedmont Airlines instead opened a hub in Charlotte.

The airport was renamed Greensboro-High Point Airport and later Greensboro – High Point – Winston-Salem Regional Airport.

Work on the new (and current) facility began in 1978. The new terminal complex was completed in 1982, designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills and AHM Architects.[5] The facility was renamed Piedmont Triad International in 1987.

In the mid-1990s Continental Airlines developed a hub at the airport (its fifth largest), largely to support its new Continental Lite low-fare product. By 1995 new CEO Gordon Bethune cancelled the Continental Lite program and closed the airline's Greensboro hub.

Also in the mid-1990s, start-up carrier Eastwind Airlines began serving PTI. The airline served a number of cities, including Trenton (NJ) and Orlando. Eastwind's headquarters was moved to Greensboro shortly before that company's collapse in 1999.

Delta Connection carrier Comair built a maintenance hangar at PTI to perform work on their CRJ's in 2005, bringing nearly 60 mechanics to Greensboro.

Independence Air began service into Greensboro when the airline started up with service to Washington Dulles International Airport. It operated out of the North Concourse before folding in 2006.

Allegiant Air began service to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport in late May 2007. Non-stop service to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport resumed in 2013.

Skybus Airlines began service to Port Columbus International Airport as well in May 2007. Skybus announced that Greensboro would become its second base. Service launched in January 2008, but ended on April 4, 2008, following the shut-down of Skybus.

Terminals and facilities[edit]

Completed in 1982, the terminal building of Piedmont Triad International Airport currently has 30 passenger gates: 16 on the south concourse, and 14 on the north concourse. Since the latest expansion[when?], which added another 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) to the terminal (at a cost of $5 million), both concourses have the same size, despite the different gate numbers.

US Airways operates a US Airways Club across from Gate 45.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Destinations served nonstop from Piedmont Triad International Airport (as of October 12, 2013)

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater South
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia South
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK (begins October 20 2015)
Seasonal Detroit
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, New York-LaGuardia North
Frontier Airlines Seasonal: Denver South
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark (All to begin August 30, 2015) North
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles North
US Airways
operated by American Airlines
Charlotte South
US Airways Express Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National South

Top destinations[edit]

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of GSO
(Mar 2014 – Feb 2015)[7]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 239,000 Delta
2 Charlotte, NC 184,000 US Airways
3 Philadelphia, PA 66,000 US Airways
4 New York-LaGuardia, NY 63,000 American, Delta
4 Chicago O'Hare, IL 45,000 United
6 Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 40,000 American
7 Detroit, MI 38,000 Delta
9 Newark, NJ 36,000 United
8 Washington-Dulles, DC 35,000 United
10 Washington-National, DC 29,000 US Airways

Cargo operators[edit]

Airlines Destinations
ABX Air Baltimore, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, San Juan
Air Cargo Carriers Myrtle Beach
Contract Air Cargo Pontiac
FedEx Express Aguadilla, Indianapolis, Memphis, San Juan
FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo New Bern, Wilmington (NC)
Sky Lease Cargo Miami, Lima, Peru
UPS Airlines Louisville, Roanoke

Fixed base operators (FBOs)[edit]

The following fixed base operators are based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport:

  • Atlantic Aero
  • Cessna Citation
  • Landmark Aviation
  • Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO)

Future developments[edit]

Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 taking off from Piedmont Triad International Airport

FedEx Mid-Atlantic hub[edit]

FedEx Express opened the hub building at Piedmont Triad International Airport in June 2009. Greensboro was chosen for its new Mid-Atlantic hub in 1998 over competing proposals from airports in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg and Kinston, North Carolina.

A third runway was built to accommodate the hub operation,[2] parallel to one of the existing ones. The 9,000-foot (2,700 m) Runway 5L-23R opened January 27, 2010 after six years and $150 million in spending, giving the airport the ability to have takeoffs and landings at the same time on two different runways.[8]

In December 2008, FedEx Express said that it would open the hub on time in June 2009, but it will operate at nowhere near capacity. FedEx had planned for up to 1,500 workers for the hub but will open it with only its already existing 160 employees.[9]

The hub building opened on June 2, 2009, but only opened with the same amount of employees and flights as the old sorting facility. FedEx gave no timeline as to when the hub will be operating at hub level.[10]

Hondajet headquarters and manufacturing facility[edit]

The Honda Aircraft Company established a research and development facility at the airport in 2000. The HA-420 HondaJet very light jet was designed and flight tested at PTIA. In February 2007, the company announced plans to locate its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility at the airport as well.[11] Production is projected to begin in 2010.

Other future development[edit]

The airport has plans to build a viewing area so the public can watch planes take off and land. It may be constructed along Bryan Boulevard, Burgess Road or Old Oak Ridge Road. PTI is in line for a new control tower that will cost roughly $25 million and take eight years to complete. The 88-foot control tower has become a problem with the opening of the new 9,000-foot runway in 2009. The FAA predicts the tower will be designed beginning in 2014 and completed by 2019.[12]

Incidents and accidents[edit]



  • August 8, 2000 – Airtran Airways Flight 913, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 departing from Greensboro reported smoke in the flight deck. The smoke became very dense and restricted the crew's ability to see both the cockpit instruments and the visual references outside the airplane. The cabin crew noticed a smell of smoke, followed by a visual sighting of smoke and sparks in the area of the forward flight attendant jumpseat. The flight crew was able to identify the Greensboro airport and make a successful emergency landing. The airplane was immediately stopped, and an emergency evacuation was conducted on a taxiway.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://flyfrompti.com/wp-content/uploads/december-2011-pax.pdf
  2. ^ a b PTIA Greensboro Airport Construction Projects
  3. ^ a b Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. To 1980, A.D." Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980.
  4. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. "Greensboro, North Carolina: The County Seat of Guilford." Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955.
  5. ^ Greensboro Regional Airport – Charles Hagenah Architects, Inc
  6. ^ Club locations. US Airways. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  7. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats. Transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved on September 17, 2014.
  8. ^ Patterson, Donald W. (January 27, 2010). "New runway at PTI could fuel growth". News & Record. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ "FedEx's Greensboro, N.C., hub opens on smaller scale Read more: AP: FedEx’s Greensboro, N.C., hub opens on smaller scale | Memphis Business Journal". Memphis Business Journal. June 1, 2009. 
  10. ^ "FedEx hub starts work". Winston-Salem Journal. June 2, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ Honda Motor Company (February 9, 2007). Honda Aircraft Company to Establish World Headquarters and Production Facility in Greensboro, North Carolina. Press release.
  12. ^ Barron, Richard (April 18, 2011). "PTI in line for taller air tower". News& Record. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 Photos". 
  14. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 news Feed". 
  15. ^ "Wrangler Aviation Incident" (PDF). 
  16. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N904FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  17. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N905FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  18. ^ Greensboro, NC Hit With F2 Tornado – JetPhotos.Net Forums – The Friendly Way to Fly. Forums.jetphotos.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  19. ^ "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United States of America > FedEx". Aviation-safety.net. November 28, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Aviation Safety Network > Airtran Flight 913". 
  21. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32 N918AE Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU)". Aviation-safety.net. December 13, 1994. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]