Williamsport Regional Airport

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Williamsport Regional Airport
Williamsport Regional Airport logo.png
IPT as seen from aircraft
Terminal building
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Williamsport Municipal
Airport Authority
Serves Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Elevation AMSL 528 ft / 161 m
Coordinates 41°14′30″N 076°55′18″W / 41.24167°N 76.92167°W / 41.24167; -76.92167Coordinates: 41°14′30″N 076°55′18″W / 41.24167°N 76.92167°W / 41.24167; -76.92167
Map
IPT is located in Pennsylvania
IPT
IPT
IPT is located in the US
IPT
IPT
Location of airport in PA / United States
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 6,825 2,080 Asphalt
12/30 4,273 1,302 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft operations 23,777 Increase
Based aircraft 51
Passengers 39,995 Increase

Williamsport Regional Airport (IATA: IPT[2]ICAO: KIPTFAA LID: IPT) is the primary public towered commercial airport that serves Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area with a population of about 200,000. The airport serves about 40,000 passengers annually.

The airport is located five miles east of Williamsport, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. It is owned by the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority.[1] The airport consists of two runways 9/27 and 12/30 both being Asphalt surfaced. One airline operates flights using Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, also FedEx Feeder fly routes out of Williamsport Regional Airport. Williamsport Regional Airport is a full service commercial aviation service facility serving north central Pennsylvania since 1929. The airport is home to Energy Aviation LLC that provides general aviation services and is the operator of its special terminal, commonly known in aviation parlance as a Fixed Base Operator (FBO).

Federal Aviation Administration reported 23,901 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[3] 19,834 in 2009 and 22,519 in 2010 at the airport.[4] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).[5]

History[edit]

IPT from the air.jpg

In 1928 the Williamsport Civil Aviation Authority was looking for a location to build a commercial aviation airport near Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The airport company, with help from the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Williamsport, sold hundreds of shares of stock at $100 each until it had raised about $75,000, enough to buy 161 acres of a family farm in Montoursville. Then in late 1928, with approval from state and federal government officials, the airport company was granted a Charter.[6]

On April 25, 1993, Thomas L. Knauff set an FAI world record flying a glider on an out-and-return course of 1,646.68 km (1,023.20 mi), releasing from tow over this airport, then flying along the Appalachian Mountains to Corryton, Tennessee, and returning for a landing 10 hours later. This world record stood for almost 20 years, and was only recently broken in Argentina, but is still a national record.[7]

TWA and United dropped IPT in 1965-66, leaving Allegheny Airlines. For a year or two 1974-75 Allegheny flew BAC One-Elevens and Douglas DC-9-30s Pittsburgh to Williamsport; few or no jets at IPT since then. Scheduled flights were reduced in the 1980s, 1990s, and in 2004 when US Airways' regional turboprop affiliate ended flights to Pittsburgh International Airport. As of June 2016, American Eagle typically has 3 flights a day to Philadelphia.

In 2009 the Airport authority as well as city leaders announced a $3 million budget to do minor renovation to the existing terminal, update tax-exempt and runway lighting and widen taxiways. The project was completed in the fall of 2011.

The Williamsport Regional Association of Pilots holds a Fly-In every June. From 1996 to 2013 Williamsport Regional Airport held an Air Show and Ballonfest at the airport. Drawing large numbers from the area. Some of the most well-known aircraft to arrive at the airport are the following: B-17, 193d Special Operations Wing's EJ-130J and the EC-130 Commando Solo

On May 14, the airport held an open house and airshow on the grounds. One of the aircraft that was at the show was the "Spirit of Freedom" Douglas C-54 Skymaster used in the Berlin Blockade (or Berlin Airlift). Also an Ex-FedEx Express Boeing 727 now an aircraft classroom for Pennsylvania College of Technology, and a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Douglas SBD Dauntless and many more.

Continued growth[edit]

As of June 2017, the airport had four airlines, two of which were seasonal charter and two main passenger airlines. Allegiant Airlines fly seasonal flights to IPT with its Boeing 757-200 aircraft the largest passenger plane the airport has seen. And Sun Country Airlines fly Boeing 737-800s sparsely throughout the summer months.

Expansion[edit]

In 2016, the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority began the bidding process for building a new $15.9 million terminal which they plan to open by the end of 2017.[8] Also a grant of $798,000 dollars was given to the airport which installed a new glide slope system, access road and repainted airfield taxiway and runway lines.

After a short delay in the approval process in April 2017 contracts were awarded to local construction companies to complete the project. The new terminal will be built alongside the existing terminal and will feature a jet bridge to load passengers. Then the old terminal will be torn down for more parking opportunities. The build is scheduled to begin the first week in July and will take an estimated 14 to 16 months to complete.

Facilities and Aircraft[edit]

Facilities[edit]

The airport covers 535 acres (217 ha) at an elevation of 528 feet (161 m). It has two asphalt runways: 9/27 is 6,825 by 150 feet (2,080 by 46 m), and runway 12/30 is 4,273 by 150 feet (1,302 by 46 m).

In 2016 the airport had 33,019 aircraft movements an average of 90 per day: 70% general aviation, 19% air taxi, 9% airline and 2% military. And of the 51 based aircraft 32 are single engine, 10 are multi-engine, 7 jet engine and 2 helicopter.

The airport has one terminal built in 1947 where all commercial flights arrive and depart. Also, the airport is home to Energy Aviation a fixed-base operator. There are multiple aircraft hangers and the headquarters to Life Flight air ambulance service. The airport is also home to Pennsylvania College of Technology Air Mechanics and Aerospace building.

Aircraft[edit]

General aviation aircraft at Energy Aviation (a FBO) at IPT

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations
American Eagle Philadelphia
Sawdust Airlines Seasonal: Altoona, Naples, Philadelphia, State College

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Cargo Carriers Seasonal: Harrisburg
AirNet Express Seasonal: Columbus (OH)
FedEx Feeder
Operated by Wiggins Airways
Harrisburg
Seasonal: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilmington
FedEx Feeder
Operated by Mountain Air Cargo
Harrisburg
Seasonal: State College

Statistics[edit]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest Routes from Williamsport Regional Airport
(March 2016 – April 2017)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Philadelphia, PA 38,197 American, Sawdust
2 State College, PA 1,019 Sawdust
3 Naples, FL 401 Sawdust
4 Altoona, PA 336 Sawdust
5 Pittsburgh,PA <50 Multiple charters

Passenger[edit]

Year Passengers
2009 29,753
2010 33,457
2011 31,401
2012 37,949
2013 35,194
2014 35,645
2015 37,886
2016 39,119
2017 N/A

Military use[edit]

IPT is not designated as a military airport as it doesn't have any military aircraft or Pennsylvania Air National Guard based on premise. However the PA Air National Guard and Air Force use the airport for some training exercises over the course of the year. Mostly from Harrisburg, Fort Indiantown Gap or the air reserve station in Pittsburgh they mostly perform TGL maneuvers and re-fueling stops do to its low commercial traffic and up to date facilities.

At times United States Air Force's Lockheed C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster and AC-130 Gunship have performed TGL's at IPT from multiple air bases on the East coast.

Incidents And Accidents[edit]

  • On December 1, 1959 Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 a Maartin 2-0-2 crashed into a mountain on approach about 1.3 miles outside of South Williamsport Pennsylvania killing all but one of the 26 passengers and crew on board making it the deadliest air disaster in Pennsylvnia State history, until USAir Flight 427. The accident was caused by low cloud ceiling and foggy conditions causing the pilots to not know where they were flying. There were two contributing factors in the crash: after the investigation the FAA found that the airline or pilots never should have taken off, but did because they were already delayed and wanted to try to make up for lost time. The second factor was determined to be Pilot Error because the pilots did not realize their altitude.
  • On April 4, 1991 a Sunbell Aviation Helicopters Bell 412 collided Mid-Air with a Piper Aerostar which was flying from Williamsport to Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The Piper was carrying United States Senator of Pennsylvania H. John Heinz III when it collided over Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. All aboard both aircraft, as well as two children at the school, were killed. The helicopter had been dispatched to investigate a problem with the landing gear of Heinz's plane. While moving in for a closer look, the helicopter collided with the plane, causing both aircraft to lose control and crash. The subsequent NTSB investigation attributed the cause of the crash to poor judgment by the pilots of the two aircraft involved.
  • On December 22, 2015 at 8:45 a.m. a Porter Airlines flight with 66 on board was diverted to Williamsport Regional Airport due to reports of thick smoke in the cockpit and cabin. The flight from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport had to make an emergency landing in Williamsport. Two crew members were taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center to be checked out due to smoke inhalation. The sixty six passengers were taken to the terminal to be cleared by customs and then were able to leave airport grounds. The next day Porter Airlines brought a new Dash 8 400 to continue the passengers to Washington D.C.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]