Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
|Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport|
|Owner/Operator||Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties|
|Location||Avoca, Pennsylvania (Runway partly in Moosic, Pennsylvania)|
|Elevation AMSL||962 ft / 293 m|
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (IATA: AVP, ICAO: KAVP, FAA LID: AVP) is in Avoca, Pennsylvania, near the border of Luzerne County and Lackawanna County. It is located approximately 7 miles away from Scranton and 8 miles away from Wilkes-Barre. It is the fifth largest airport in Pennsylvania measured by passenger boarding and calls itself "your gateway to Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Pocono Mountains". This is the primary airport of Northeast/Northeast Central PA and of the Wyoming Valley.
The 1930s produced an air age in the local airport sense. The largest Northeastern Pennsylvania cities began to realize the need of a mile-wide airport the future would soon impose. This was the dawn of the age of mass air transportation. Despite the crippling depression and hard times affecting our single coal mining industry, a windfall multi-million dollar opportunity to plan and build a regional airport was presented at this time to Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties through their Public Works Administration.
To the credit of the two Counties’ boards of County Commissioners, it must be said that earliest site selection (Avoca), and their 1939 surveying of that location evidenced their sincere intent to cooperate, and their conviction as to the necessity of a modern “massive” airport to serve the entire multi-county region for economic survival.
In 1941, John B. McDade, Congressman Joseph M. McDade’s (his name bears the current Terminal Building) father and president of the Heidelberg Coal Co., donated 122 acres on which part of the Airport now sits. Most of the Airport land was previously owned by various coal companies. Many were less philanthropic than John McDade.
Many U.S. airfields built in the World War II era were motivated as much by military defense as they were by commercial aviation. The government funded construction of many airfields to develop a network that could be used by military planes if needed.
The diehard proponents of a large bi-county airport continued in their imaginative and progressive efforts in the early forties until late in 1944, when they succeeded in receiving a last minute commitment from the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics of the United States Department of Commerce, with the approval of a Board composed of the Secretary’s of Navy, War, and Commerce in designating as necessary for national defense a project for the development of the Airport at Avoca.
Early in 1945, more history was made in the form of the once arch-rival counties entering into legal agreement to co-sponsor and operate the Airport. During those delicate negotiations on site selection and the bi-county operation plan, it was agreed that Scranton, the larger city and alphabetical first and closest in mileage should have second billing in name, since Luzerne County had the largest population, thus: the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport was indelibly named.
The years 1945 through 1947 witnessed the amazing transformation of an utterly devastated and depression- ravaged coal-stripping and garbage-strewn landscape, up the hills above Avoca east of the Laurel Line tracks, into an extensive and beautiful man-made grassy plateau.
On June 1, 1947, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport was dedicated with fanfare. The debut commercial passenger service for the region was witnessed by hundred in attendance.
Colonial Airlines and American Airlines were the first two airlines at AVP. Within two years, Transcontinental and Western (April 1948), and All American Airlines (June 1949) were added. Colonial provided Montreal/Syracuse- Philadelphia/Washington and intermediate stop service; American provided Chicago/Buffalo-New York Service; T.W.A. provided Kansas City/Pittsburgh-Albany/Boston service; and All American provided a general interstate service and later a looping network to Newark, Atlantic City, Washington, and around again through Pennsylvania.
The first airline equipment here, used by all four carriers, was the DC-3, a 21-passenger airplane weighing about 25,000 pounds, which cruised anywhere between 155-165 mph.
The airport was granted "international" status in 1975 when cargo flights to Canada began.
Besides regional airline flights, the airport has had many celebrity visitors. Air Force One has landed with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama for fundraisers and campaign trips throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. A charter plane carrying Hillary Clinton used the airport during her presidential campaign in 2008. In August 2013, President Obama and Scranton native Vice President Joe Biden visited the region and after their campaign event Air Force One and Air Force Two departed.
A new control tower and TRACON facility opened on August 29, 2012 and was paid for with $18.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The old tower's view of the second runway had been blocked due to the construction of the new terminal. All 25 controllers stayed on to work in the new facility.
- Colonial Airlines (1947-1956, Merged with Eastern)
- American Airlines (1947-1964)
- TWA (1948-1966)
- All American Airlines
- Eastern Airlines (1956-1991, Bankruptcy)
The airport covers 905 acres (366 ha) and has two asphalt runways:
- 4/22 7,501 × 150 ft (2,286 × 46 m)
- 10/28 4,300 × 150 ft (1,311 × 46 m).
General aviation is serviced by the fixed base operator (FBO) Aviation Technologies.
Airlines and destinations
|Delta Air Lines||Seasonal: Atlanta|
|Delta Connection||Atlanta, Detroit|
|Regional Sky Airlines||Seasonal charter: Freeport (Bahamas) (begins September 19, 2015)|
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Newark|
|US Airways Express1||Charlotte, Philadelphia|
^1 All US Airways Express flights will be rebranded as American Eagle flights effective October 17, 2015.
|DHL Express operated by Ameriflight||Cincinnati|
|1||Philadelphia, PA||58,640||US Airways|
|2||Charlotte, NC||39,340||US Airways|
|5||Chicago, IL (ORD)||22,240||United|
- FAA Airport Master Record for AVP ( PDF), effective July 5, 2007
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport website
- HNTB – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
- Merger May Help Airport Boost Service timesleader. com
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (official site)
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport at Pennsylvania DOT Bureau of Aviation
- (PDF), effective July 23, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for AVP, effective July 23, 2015
- Resources for this airport: