Syracuse Hancock International Airport
|Owner||Syracuse Regional Airport Authority|
|Operator||Syracuse Department of Aviation|
|Serves||Syracuse, New York, U.S.|
|Location||DeWitt / Salina / Cicero, Onondaga County, New York|
|Elevation AMSL||421 ft / 128 m|
|Statistics (2017, 2018)|
Syracuse Hancock International Airport (IATA: SYR, ICAO: KSYR, FAA LID: SYR) is a joint civil-military airport five miles northeast of downtown Syracuse, in Onondaga County, New York, and 65 miles (100 km) south of Watertown. The airport is off Interstate 81, near Mattydale, New York. The main terminal complex is at the east end of Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard. The airport's territory extends into the Towns of DeWitt, Cicero, and Salina.
In 1927 Syracuse mayor Charles Hanna felt his city needed an airport. Land at Amboy in the town of Camillus, New York was purchased for $50,000, and by 1928, the "Syracuse City Airport at Amboy" was handling airmail. At the end of World War II the United States Army Air Corps leased their bomber base near Mattydale, New York to the city. On September 17, 1949 the Clarence E. Hancock Airport opened to the public using a renovated machine shop as a terminal, and replaced the airport at Amboy. The airport had three concrete runways, 5,500 feet (1,700 m) long and 300 feet (91 m) wide.
American, Buffalo, Colonial and Robinson Airlines were the first airlines at the airport. The April 1957 OAG shows 50 weekday departures: 30 on American, eight on Eastern and 12 on Mohawk. Nonstops didn't reach west past Buffalo or south past New York; Syracuse didn't get a Chicago nonstop until 1967. In the mid-1970s the airport was dominated by Mohawk's successor Allegheny Airlines, with some competition from Eastern and American.
During this time Syracuse experienced massive growth and had to expand many times to handle the augment in passengers, this led to Syracuse being the 2nd largest Upstate NY airport (Second to Buffalo) however they did have more departures than any other Upstate City. This led them to have 3.17 million passengers (the highest number of passengers for Syracuse).
Utica-based Empire Airlines emerged as a regional competitor to Allegheny's successor USAir by the early 1980s. Empire planned to move its headquarters to Syracuse, but these plans were cancelled when Piedmont Airlines acquired Empire in 1986. After a legal battle with the city, Piedmont agreed to maintain a hub operation at the airport and advance funds for construction of a new terminal concourse. USAir acquired Piedmont in 1989, becoming the airport's dominant carrier, but dismantled the Syracuse hub in the 1990s, leading to the closure of several gates.
In 2004 Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll created a television and internet campaign, Fly Syracuse, hoping to lower fares and increase passenger traffic at the airport. The airport has since experienced growth thanks to the efforts of local business contributions toward the campaign.
The biggest aircraft ever to visit Syracuse was in 1996 when an AN-124 of Antonov Airlines flew a cargo flight from Vienna. A British Airways's Concorde made a scheduled landing on September 27, 1986. On July 6, 2018 a charter flight on a United Airlines Boeing 747-400 visited SYR from Alexandria, this was not the first time Syracuse had gotten a 747. On June 19, 2017, a Delta Airlines A330-300 flying LAX to JFK was diverted to Syracuse because of weather. On June 20, 2019 a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 diverted from Newark to Syracuse due to weather. Syracuse is also a diversion city for American Airlines domestic flights bound for Philadelphia, usually operated by a Boeing 737 or Airbus A321, and United Airlines domestic flights to Newark (737-800s, 757-200s, and A320s). Syracuse also has gotten L1011s operated by Eastern & DC-10s operated by American in the 70's & 80's.
The largest aircraft that currently serves Syracuse is the Boeing 757-200 Or Boeing 767-300 operated by Fedex Express and UPS. The largest passenger aircraft to serve Syracuse is the Airbus A321 operated by American Airlines and Frontier Airlines , American Airlines and United Airlines will occasionally sub in a 737-800 or 737-900 during peak travel seasons to Charlotte and Chicago, respectively. Syracuse is occasionally visited by a KC-10 or a C-17 Globemaster III of the U.S. Air Force.
Currently, the longest non-stop flight from Syracuse is Denver, operated by SkyWest Airlines, on behalf of United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. Before that it was Las Vegas which began in August 2003 and was served by Transmeridian Airlines until January 2004. TransMeridian also had Service to San Juan via Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, and Orlando which were served until TransMeridian went bankrupt in 2005. After the Las Vegas service ended and TransMeridian went bankrupt, American Eagle Airlines started service to Dallas in August 2005 on a two-cabin Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-700 but ended the service in February 2006.
Syracuse has no scheduled international service other than diversions and Wheels Up charters. The last international flight took off in October 2018 bound for Toronto. This was the second time Air Canada discontinued service to Syracuse (the first being in 2002). Reason for them ending service a second time was due to the retirement of Air Canada Express/Air Georgian's Beech-1900D; the aircraft type used on the route. The replacement aircraft would've put too much capacity on the route. Rochester, NY and Harrisburg, PA were also discontinued at this time due to the same reason.
The east-west instrument runway (10-28) was extended from its original 5,500 feet by the mid-1950s to 6,863 feet and about 1958 to 8,000 feet. In 1958 the instrument landing system to runway 28 was augmented with a 3,000-foot high-intensity-approach lighting system. With the use of the Century series fighter aircraft by the Air Force, around 1960 the main east-west runway was extended again, to 9,005 feet. The runway was strengthened in the early 1960s for the heavier Boeing 707. In the 1960s runway centerline lighting was added to the main runway and touchdown zone lighting on the runway 28 end.
Around the time of building the new terminal building, runway 6-24 was shortened to 3,261 feet (to make room for the entrance road to the new terminal) and continued to be a general aviation runway into the 1970s, and was later abandoned. Runway 14-32 was lengthened in the 1960s to 6,000 feet. Another extension brought it to 6,480 feet and sometime around 1980 to its present length of 7,500 feet. The crosswind runway was renumbered from 14-32 to 15-33. An instrument landing system was added to runway 10 with medium-intensity-approach lighting with runway alignment indicator lights. Runway 15 got a medium-intensity-approach lighting system.
In the year ending August 31, 2017, the airport had 69,087 aircraft operations, average 189 per day: 30% air taxi, 29% airline, 11% military, and 30% general aviation. 43 aircraft were then based at this airport: 27 single-engine, 8 multi-engine, 5 jet, and 3 helicopter.
Syracuse receives an average 124 inches (3,100 mm) of snow annually, most of any major city in the United States. On average, the airport is closed less than 24 hours annually due to snowfall. The airport has received the Balchen/Post Award for Excellence in the Performance of Snow and Ice Control eight times, most recently in 2012-2013. Runway 28 allows for Category II instrument landing system (ILS).
C&S provided professional design and construction inspection/observation services for the construction of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport terminal security and access improvement project, a 147,000-square-foot (13,700 m2) renovation design project with an estimated cost of $63 million. The most critical components of the project included: post check-in TSA baggage handling, improved passenger screening, and sustainability. This project was 100% funded by PFC's (Passenger Facility Charges) meaning that no tax dollars will be used to construct this project. This project connects Terminal A to Terminal B and allows all passengers to be screened at a centralized location. New concessions and restaurants were added in the area, as well as in the existing areas of Terminals A and B. On May 15, 2013, the airport opened the new security area to passengers. As expected with anything new, there were some minor glitches; 40 passengers missed flights. They were reimbursed by the airport with $150 vouchers. The next day, the airport processed 881 passengers through the new security checkpoint, and had zero problems. Before the new gate that houses the security checkpoint is an observatory for children to watch planes.
Delaware North held the contract for the airport's terminal and concourse food options until October 11, 2013, when the airport authority awarded a fifteen-year contract to New York's Creative Food Group LLC; under Delaware North the airport's dining options had been criticized for not keeping up with the times and the dining area feeling more like a 'mall food court', as the airport previously had outlets like Sbarro and brands unknown to travelers like Dinosaur BBQ. Creative plans (and currently has temporary kiosks open for) to add Dunkin' Donuts and Jamba Juice during the airport's modernization, along with a Johnny Rockets, and CNBC and New York Times-branded newsstands and bookstores operated by The Paradies Shops. The Saranac Pub, along with another bar based on the products of the local Middle Ages Brewing Company, will also be planned as part of the modernization, which were completed around Thanksgiving 2014.
On December 12, 2013 Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) announced that he had met with Delta CEO Richard Anderson. The purpose was to bring in new air service, and Schumer was successful. Delta's service to JFK from Hancock will be tripled from one daily trip to three daily trips beginning April 2014. In addition, extra flights to Minneapolis will be added, although the number was unspecified. Service to Atlanta will be served by larger aircraft, which will lead to an 8% seat capacity jump.
On April 6, 2018, Low-Cost Carrier Frontier Airlines announced new low fare, non-stop flights from Syracuse International Airport. Beginning in July, the airline introduced the only nonstop service to Denver and Raleigh/Durham; Beginning in August, Frontier also added non-stop service to Chicago - O'Hare and Orlando. The airline revealed the destinations at an event with airport officials. To celebrate the introduction of these flights Frontier was offering special intro one-way fares as low as $29.
United Airlines announced in 2019 that it would begin offering new daily service between Denver and Syracuse Hancock International Airport on June 6. The flight is now operated by two-cabin E-175 regional aircraft.
In November 2018, $62 million renovation efforts were completed on Syracuse's terminal. Renovations included larger windows and higher ceilings allowing more natural light, a brand new flight museum highlighting the history of aviation both locally and globally, renovated passenger bridges connecting the terminal to the parking garage, as well as more "modern" airline check-in areas. The project took approximately eight months to complete.
In June 2020, the airport closed off their main runway to undergo a $9 million taxiway reconfiguration. The goal of the project was to eliminate hotspots where traffic had difficulties exiting the runway. Several taxiways on the left side of runway 10 were completely demolished, and two exits replaced them to make it easier for traffic to vacate the runway. The project was completed in late September.
In February 2021 the airport announced the addition of a limited service Matte Black Lounge in Concourse A, the service is to run from February 25 to March 6.
In March 2021 the airport announced a multi-month "rehabilitation" project on runway 10/28. Which would repave the runway and add new signage and lighting. The project is to run from April 28, 2021 to September 28, 2021 and for most of the time the airport's secondary runway (15/33) will be used. 
On April 29, 2021 the airport announced new American Airlines service to Dallas/Fort Worth beginning August 17. The route will be served daily on an Embraer 175 with a two-cabin configuration. 
In 2021, Southwest Airlines entered the Syracuse market for the first time after the airport offered waive $1.5 million in fees and agreed to offer $150,000 in marketing assistance. Syracuse had been the only upstate New York airport not served by Southwest.
|Allegiant Air|| Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Orlando/Sanford, Sarasota, St. Petersburg/Clearwater|
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, Punta Gorda (FL)
| Boston, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Washington-National |
Seasonal: Miami (begins November 6, 2021)
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|||
|Delta Connection||Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul (resumes April 11, 2022), New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia|||
|Frontier Airlines|| Miami (begins November 1, 2021), Orlando|
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Fort Myers, Tampa
|JetBlue||Boston (resumes November 20, 2021), New York-JFK, Orlando|||
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore (begins November 14, 2021), Orlando (begins November 20, 2021)|||
|United Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles|||
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Newark, Washington-Dulles|
|Burlington, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Memphis, Rochester|
|Quest Diagnostics||Elmira, Rochester, Worcester|
|UPS Airlines|| Albany, Buffalo, Detroit, Hartford, Louisville, Philadelphia, Roanoke |
Seasonal: Boston, Manchester, Ontario
|Wiggins Airways/Ameriflight||Plattsburgh, Massena, Potsdam|
In addition to these carriers SYR will occasionally be visited by a Cessna 208 of Castle Aviation.
|1||Charlotte, North Carolina||89,670||American|
|2||Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois||88,980||American, Frontier, United|
|6||Orlando, Florida||36,270||Frontier, JetBlue|
|7||New York-JFK, New York||34,580||Delta, JetBlue|
|9||Newark, New Jersey||21,900||United|
Syracuse Hancock International is home to Syracuse Flight School, formerly known as Waypoint Flight School.
The Syracuse Flying Club, based out of the Signature Flight Support FBO, offers flight training.