Erie International Airport
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Erie International Airport

Erie International Airport
Tom Ridge Field
ERI logo.png
Airport typePublic
OwnerErie Regional Airport Authority
ServesErie, Pennsylvania
LocationMillcreek Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Elevation AMSL732 ft / 223 m
Coordinates42°4?59?N 80°10?55?W / 42.08306°N 80.18194°W / 42.08306; -80.18194Coordinates: 42°4?59?N 80°10?55?W / 42.08306°N 80.18194°W / 42.08306; -80.18194
ERI is located in Pennsylvania
ERI is located in the United States
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2/20 3,508 1,069 Asphalt
6/24 8,420 2,566 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft Movements24,422

Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field (IATA: ERI, ICAO: KERI, FAA LID: ERI) is a public airport five miles (8 km) southwest of Erie, in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Airline service at Erie faces stiff competition from the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto airports, all within three hours of Erie by car. In 2004, Erie was the third-fastest-growing airport in the United States, and the fastest-growing airport in Pennsylvania.[1] It is 128 miles (206 km) from Pittsburgh, 111 miles (179 km) from the Canada-US border, 95 miles (153 km) from Cleveland, Ohio and 105 miles (169 km) from Buffalo, New York.

The airport is named for former Pennsylvania governor, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and Erie native Tom Ridge.



In 1924, Roger Griswold purchased 22.12 acres (9.0 ha) of land 6 miles (10 km) west of Erie at the intersection of West Lake and Asbury Roads for use as an airfield.[2] Soon after, a flight training school was based at the field. In 1927, as part of a nationwide tour by Charles Lindbergh after his transatlantic flight, Erie was selected as one of the cities where Lindbergh would make a brief stopover.[3] Griswold Field proved inadequate for the larger Spirit of St. Louis and an alternative site could not be located, so a flyover by Lindbergh had to suffice.

This showed the need for a proper airport and prompted the Erie City Council to consider establishing a municipal airport.[4] City Council was, initially, favoring a site -mile (0.8 km) east of Wesleyville for a municipal airport, but Lieutenant Jimmy Doolittle commented on the distance between it and the city; Doolittle noted that "you might as well take 40 minutes more and go on to Cleveland."[5] After recommendations made by Lindbergh to a Congressional committee that no airport less than 1 square mile (2.6 km2) be approved, the planning commission for Erie's airport began to reevaluate the site.[5]

Griswold Field officially closed in 1929 when Griswold moved to Long Island, but aircraft and the flight school continued to use it. That year two airfields were established: one on land next to the former Griswold Field, and another in Kearsarge that is now the site of the Millcreek Mall.

American Airlines[6] began the airport's airline service in June 1938; American remained until 1953 when Allegheny replaced it. Mohawk arrived in 1956 and Lake Central in 1956-57; Capital Airlines flights ended in 1960-61.

Prior to September 11, 2001 the airport was at its height with US Airways mainline jets to Pittsburgh and international service to Toronto.[7][8] After 9/11 US Airways replaced 737s and DC-9s with regional jets.[9] As air service rebounded in the mid-2000s, US Airways Express flew to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Charlotte; Northwest Airlink to Detroit; Continental Connection to Cleveland; and Delta Connection to Cincinnati and Atlanta. US Airways discontinued Charlotte flights in 2006. Delta Air Lines discontinued Atlanta flights on September 6, 2007. In early 2008 US Airways discontinued Pittsburgh flights.

On August 22, 2018, Derek Martin was named Executive Director of the airport.[10]

On February 24, 2020, non-stop service to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) on United Express was announced.[11] The service was made possible by a $292,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program.

On June 5, 2020, Delta announced it would indefinitely suspend service starting July 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12]

Current Operations

As of August 2019, American Eagle service is two flights daily to Charlotte and one flight daily to Chicago-O'Hare on the ERJ-145; Delta Connection had three flights daily to Detroit with CRJ-200 regional jets (currently suspended); and United Express has two flights daily to Chicago-O'Hare also with ERJ-145 or E-170 aircraft.[13]

Runway extension

The 1,920-foot (590 m) extension of runway 6/24 was opened on November 8, 2012.[14] The total cost of the project was $80.5 million, or approximately $5 million under budget.[15] Owing to a mild winter in 2011–2012 that did not hinder construction work, the extension was also completed two years ahead of schedule.[14]


FAA airport diagram of Erie International

Erie International/Tom Ridge Field covers 450 acres (182 ha) and has two runways:

  • Runway 2/20: 3,508 ft × 150 ft (1,069 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 6/24: 8,420 ft × 150 ft (2,566 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete

The airport has a passenger terminal building that opened in 1958 and has had several expansions and upgrades since its construction. The 1970s saw expansions to baggage claim facilities and later an office expansion for FAA office facilities on the second floor. A ticketing area on the western end of the terminal building was added in 1990. Upgrades to the lobby area and boarding gates and passenger boarding bridges followed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The first floor of the passenger terminal building, which houses the baggage claim, check in desks, rental car counters, cafe, TSA checkpoint, and boarding gate areas occupies approximately 43,200 square feet.[16]

In August 2019, the public waiting area and in-terminal restaurant were renovated. The entrance to the restaurant was reconfigured to provide airside access from the secure side of the terminal.[17]

The terminal has 7 gates, 3 with jetbridges for regional aircraft. Current regularly occupied gates are: Gate 1- United Express, Gate 7- American Eagle. Gate 5 was used by Delta Connection but service has been suspended.

Airlines and destinations

The last DC-9 to fly for US Air arriving at Erie International Airport


American Eagle Charlotte [18]
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles (begins December 17, 2020)[19] [20]

Destinations map


FedEx Feeder Cleveland, Indianapolis


Airline market share

Busiest airlines serving ERI (August 2019 - July 2020)[21]
Rank Carrier Passengers Share
1 SkyWest Airlines^ 53,000 36.99%
2 Piedmont Airlines* 47,000 32.84%
3 Trans States Airlines** (Ceased operations in April 2020) 22,430 15.36%
4 Air Wisconsin** 11,000 7.81%
5 Envoy Air* 6,000 4.34%
- Other* 3,880 2.66%

^ - Operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express. | * - Operates as American Eagle. | ** - Operates as United Express.

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from ERI (August 2019 - July 2020)[22]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Detroit, Michigan 27,260 Delta Connection (Flight Cut July 8, 2020)
3 Charlotte, North Carolina 23,520 American Eagle
3 Chicago, Illinois 22,410 United Express

Annual traffic

Annual enplaned passenger traffic at ERI, 1999 through 2019[23][24]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2019 106,720 - -
2018 95,136 2008 124,667
2017 85,580 2007 142,365
2016 87,568 2006 161,087
2015 88,953 2005 187,997
2014 97,063 2004 176,112
2013 109,520 2003 138,256
2012 109,185 2002 130,244
2011 112,749 2001 127,900
2010 127,184 2000 155,618
2009 121,164 1999 167,507

Ground transportation


The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority's Route 31 feature a stop at the airport.[25]

Car Rental

Avis Rent a Car System, Budget Rent a Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Hertz Corporation, and National Car Rental have car rental counters at the airport.[26]


Various local hotels, along with the locally owned Hansen's Errand Service and Rupp Limousine, provide shuttle services to and from the airport.[27]


Local drivers for Uber and Lyft provide ridesharing services to and from the airport and throughout the Erie area.[27]

Accidents and incidents

  • February 21, 1986: A USAir McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31, registration number N961VJ, operating as Flight 499 on a scheduled flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport, overran runway 24 during a tailwind landing. The aircraft struck a runway light and a fence and came to rest on a perimeter road. One passenger suffered minor injuries, while the other 17 passengers and 5 crew were uninjured; the aircraft was badly damaged and was written off. Unable to land on runway 6 due to inadequate visibility, the pilots instead chose to land on runway 24 due to more favorable visibility minimums, although the pavement was reported as wet and snowy and tailwind landings were not authorized under such conditions. The aircraft touched down past the displaced threshold at an excessive airspeed; braking on the snowy runway was poor and the pilots had manually deploy the spoilers. The crash was attributed to the pilot in command's improper decision-making and failure to perform a go-around; contributing factors were the adverse weather conditions, the improper touchdown point, and the displaced threshold.[28][29]
  • June 8, 2000: A Beechcraft BE-55 Baron, registration number N777K, lost engine power on approach after the pilot noticed that the left-hand fuel indicator was indicating an inadequate fuel supply, and he attempted to cross-feed the left-hand engine from the right-hand fuel tank. The aircraft was destroyed in the subsequent crash and post-crash fire; the pilot, who was the sole aircraft occupant, suffered minor injuries. The accident was attributed to fuel starvation caused by the pilot's fuel system mismanagement; a contributing factor was inadequate preflight fuel planning.[30]
  • August 13, 2005: A Piper PA-28-180, registration number N7534W, lost engine power on approach and struck trees during an attempted forced landing about 1 mile (1.6 km) short of runway 24, killing the pilot and 2 passengers; another passenger suffered serious injuries. The accident was attributed to fuel exhaustion caused by the pilot's inadequate preflight planning.[31]


  1. ^ Erie Times Article, Fastest Growing
  2. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 1.
  3. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 6.
  4. ^ Freeman 2014, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Freeman 2014, p. 11.
  6. ^ Federal Writers' Project 1938, p. 103.
  7. ^ Canadian 737 Parked at Terminal. Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ NTSB Accident Report involving a scheduled USAir flight from Toronto.
  9. ^ US Airways 737 at terminal. Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b McCormick 2013.
  15. ^ Myers, Valerie (November 19, 2015). "Final Erie runway extension cost: $80.5 million". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Flight schedules and notifications". American Airlines. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "U.S. and international route maps". United Airlines. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ "Erie, PA: Erie International/Tom Ridge Field (ERI)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "RITA - BTS - Transtats".
  23. ^ "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports - Previous Years".
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Routes". Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "Car Rentals". Erie International Airport. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Taxis and Shuttles". Erie International Airport. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report DCA86AA018". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ "ASN aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N961VJ Erie International Airport, PA (ERI)". Aviation Safety Network. July 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ "NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report IAD00LA049". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ "NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report NYC05LA134". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 2020.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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