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Piedmont Triad International Airport
IATA: GSOICAO: KGSOFAA: GSO
Summary
Operator Piedmont Triad Airport Authority
Serves Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Location Greensboro, North Carolina
Elevation AMSL 926 ft / 282.2 m
Coordinates 36°05′52″N 79°56′14″W / 36.09778°N 79.93722°W / 36.09778; -79.93722
Website http://www.flyfrompti.com/
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5L/23R 9,000 2,743 Asphalt
5R/23L 10,001 3,048 Asphalt
14/32 6,300 1,945 Asphalt

Piedmont Triad International Airport (IATA: GSOICAO: KGSOFAA LID: GSO) (commonly referred to as "PTIA" or just "PTI") is an airport just west of Greensboro, serving Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem in North Carolina. The airport has 3 runways, the third opened January 27, 2010 for traffic.[1] The airport is located just off Bryan Boulevard.

Contents

History

An antecedent of PTI Airport, one of the first commercial airports in the South, Maynard Field was dedicated on December 6, 1919, in an area just west of Greensboro near the community of 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) of land near the community of Friendship for an airport, and filed a petition to become a stop along the congressionally authorized airmail route from New York to New Orleans. 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.[2]

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. No runways, no lights, no hangar, and no passenger station existed at the time. 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 was established in 1928.[3]

Pitcairn Aviation, Incorporated was given the contract to fly the authorized airmail route; recognized as the second official airmail route in the United States, and the first designated airmail stop in North Carolina. 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, DC. Pitcairn Aviation took over the route under its new name Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Air Lines.[2]

In July, 1942, responsibility for the airport was given to the Greensboro-High Point Airport Authority, with appointed 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 improved the facility by lengthening the runways and constructing a new passenger terminal. Civilian service resumed at the close of the war, though growth was moderated due to the success of nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.

Greensboro-High Point Regional Airport opened its new passenger terminal in 1958, replacing the temporary facility that had served the airport since World War II. The new terminal was a modern glass paneled structure with a single enclosed pier, along which aircraft parked. At the time of the terminal's opening, Greensboro was served by Eastern, Piedmont, and Capital (which merged with United in 1961.)

By 1975, airport officials began to plan for construction of a new terminal. Piedmont Airlines, which for years had served both GSO and Smith Reynolds Airport in nearby Winston-Salem, announced its intention to consolidate its operations at Greensboro Regional Airport. It became apparent that 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. The name was later changed to Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point Regional Airport.

Work on the new (and current) facility began in 1978. The new airport terminal and concourse complex was completed in 1982 and the facility was renamed Piedmont Triad International in 1987.

In the mid-1990s, Continental Airlines developed a hub operation at the airport (its fifth largest), largely to support its new Continental Lite low-fare product. By 1995, then incoming 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, Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in late May 2007.

Skybus 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

Completed in 1982, the terminal building of Piedmont Triad International Airport currently has 25 passenger gates: 11 on the south concourse, and 14 on the north concourse. Since the latest expansion, 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.[4]

Airlines and destinations

Destinations served from Piedmont Triad International Airport (as of June 2009)
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater North
American Eagle Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami South
Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark North
Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky North
Delta Connection operated by Comair Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Detroit North
Delta Connection operated by Freedom Airlines Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Detroit North
Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines Detroit, Memphis North
United Express operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Chicago-O'Hare [begins April 10], Washington-Dulles [begins April 10] South
United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Chicago-O'Hare [begins April 10] South
United Express operated by GoJet Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles [begins April 3] South
United Express operated by Trans States Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles South
US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-Reagan South
US Airways Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines Charlotte , New York-LaGuardia, Washington-Reagan, South
US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines Charlotte South
US Airways Express operated by Piedmont Airlines Charlotte South
US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines Charlotte South
US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines Charlotte, Philadelphia South
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Cargo operators

FedEx A310 and A300 cargo aircraft fly daily from Memphis and Indianapolis to Piedmont.

Fixed Base Operators (FBOs)

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

Future Developments

A FedEx DC-10

FedEx Mid-Atlantic hub

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, NC.

A third runway was built to accommodate the hub operation,[1] parallel to one of the current ones. The 2009 opening date was pushed back considerably, amid complaints of noise from homeowners in the area, since most of the FedEx flights are expected to take place at night.[citation needed] The 9000-foot 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.[5]

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 160 employees. FedEx cited the bad economy for the massive reduction in the hub's future operations[6].

The hub building opened on June 2, 2009, but only opened with the same amount of employees and flights as the old sorting facilty. FedEx gave no timeline as to when the hub will be operating at hub level.[7]

Hondajet headquarters and manufacturing facility

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.[8] Production is projected to begin in 2010.

Other Future Development

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 still working on getting more money from the FAA to fund a new control tower . These projects are hoped to be partly completed by the end of the year. [5]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b PTIA Greensboro Airport Construction Projects
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. "Greensboro, North Carolina: The County Seat of Guilford." Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955.
  4. ^ http://www.usairways.com/awa/Content/traveltools/club/locations.aspx
  5. ^ a b Patterson, Donald W. (2010-01-27). "New runway at PTI could fuel growth". News & Record. http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/01/27/article/new_runway_at_pti_could_fuel_growth. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  6. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28393486/
  7. ^ "FedEx hub starts work". Winston-Salem Journal. 2009-06-02. http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/jun/02/fedex-hub-starts-work/business/. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  8. ^ Honda Motor Company (February 9, 2007). Honda Aircraft Company to Establish World Headquarters and Production Facility in Greensboro, North Carolina. Press release.

External links


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