Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Wilkes-Barre--Scranton International Airport (logo).png
KAVP pano.jpg
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorLuzerne and Lackawanna Counties
ServesScranton-Wilkes-Barre-Wyoming Valley
LocationPittston Township, Pennsylvania
Elevation AMSL962 ft / 293 m
Coordinates41°20?18?N 075°43?24?W / 41.33833°N 75.72333°W / 41.33833; -75.72333
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is located in Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is located in the United States
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4/22 7,501 2,286 Asphalt
10/28 4,300 1,311 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations59,233
Based aircraft45
Total Passengers531,854

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (IATA: AVP, ICAO: KAVP, FAA LID: AVP) is mostly in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania, and spans the border between Luzerne County and Lackawanna County. It is owned and operated by the two counties; it is about 7 miles from Scranton and 8 miles from Wilkes-Barre. It is the fifth largest airport in Pennsylvania by passenger count and calls itself "your gateway to Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Pocono Mountains".[3]


In the 1930s, cities in Northeast Pennsylvania began to see the need for an airport. Despite the depression and hard times affecting the coal mining industry, a windfall multimillion-dollar opportunity to build an airport was presented to Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties through their Public Works Administration. It became apparent that a modern airport would be needed for the economic survival of the region. The site in Avoca was first surveyed in 1939 by the County Commissioners boards of both counties.

In 1941, John B. McDade, father of Congressman Joseph M. McDade(whose name is on the current terminal building) and president of the Heidelberg Coal Co., donated 122 acres on which part of the airport now sits. Most of the land was previously owned by various coal companies.

Many U.S. airfields built in the World War II era were motivated as much by military defense as they were by civil aviation. The government funded construction of many airfields to develop a network that could be used by the military.

The proponents of a large bi-county airport continued their 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 Secretaries of Navy, War, and Commerce, designating the project as necessary for national defense.

In early 1945, the two counties entered into a legal agreement to co-sponsor and operate the airport. During the negotiations of 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 named.

Construction of the airport took place from 1945 to June 1, 1947, when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport was dedicated.

Colonial Airlines and American Airlines were the first airlines at AVP (this three-letter code derives from its location near Avoca, Pennsylvania). In April 1948 Transcontinental & Western Air (later TWA) arrived, and All American Airways (later Allegheny Airlines) in June 1949. Colonial flew Montreal/Syracuse- Philadelphia/Washington with stops; American flew to Chicago/Buffalo-New York; TWA flew Kansas City/Pittsburgh-Albany/Boston; and All American had general interstate service and later a looping network to Newark, Atlantic City, Washington, and around again through Pennsylvania. Each airline started with DC-3s. The April 1957 OAG shows 32 departures a day: 14 Allegheny, 12 Eastern, 4 TWA, and 2 American. The first jets were Eastern 727s, in the May 1969 OAG; in March 1969 the longest runway was the 5200-ft runway 4, which grew to 6450 feet by 1972.

The airport became "international" in 1975 when cargo flights to Canada began.

The airport has had many celebrity visitors. Air Force One has landed with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump for fundraisers and campaign trips.[4] A charter plane carrying Hillary Clinton used the airport during her presidential campaign in 2008.[5] In August 2013, President Obama and 10 year Scranton-native Vice President Joe Biden visited the region for a campaign event.[6] President Donald Trump visited the airport in 2020[when?] and held a campaign rally on the tarmac.[]

In May 2006 the airport completed an 80 million dollar new terminal and garage. The terminal, designed by HNTB, has jetways, a larger waiting area, more gates and a shopping and dining area.[7]

A new control tower and TRACON facility opened on August 29, 2012 and was paid for with $13.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[8] The old tower's view of the second runway had been blocked by the new terminal. All 25 controllers stayed to work in the new facility.[9]

On May 18, 2017 demolition began on the former airport terminal.[10]

The old terminal was demolished in early 2018. The site will be a cell phone parking lot and parking for airport staff.[11]

Former carriers

United Airlines Newark Flights

United Airlines announced several schedule changes; on October 3, 2018 the airport stopped connecting passengers through the Newark airport as they shifted the flights to Washington-Dulles beginning on October 4, 2018. For years, the flights from AVP to EWR were scheduled to depart around 1PM, and towards the end of 2016, it was changed to a 6PM departure. Numbers dropped dramatically as connections were very limited and flights were delayed constantly due to air traffic control. AVP was the last regional airport in Pennsylvania to have flights to EWR; Pittsburgh International Airport is currently the only airport in Pennsylvania that offers flights to Newark.[16]

Air Show

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport was the host of an air show between 1983 and 2000. The show was temporarily suspended due to construction of a new terminal; however, it was expected to return after construction was completed.[17] Later that year, reports said the planned renovations to the airport would leave no room for the air show. In early 2017, The Bi-County Airport Board unanimously approved hosting the Northeastern Pennsylvania Air Show at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport from August 12-13, 2017.[18] The show, back after a 17-year absence, featured several acts:

o U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team

o U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Team

o F-22 Raptor Demo team

o U.S. Navy F/A-18 TacDemo Team

It was announced that the airshow would return in 2020, where the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at the airshow August 22 and 23, 2020.


AVP terminal

The airport covers 910 acres (368 ha) and has two asphalt runways:[1]

  • 4/22 7,501 × 150 ft (2,286 × 46 m)
  • 10/28 4,300 × 150 ft (1,311 × 46 m).[1]

General aviation uses the fixed-base operator (FBO) Aviation Technologies.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The Bureau of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a property located on airport grounds. The property is located on the FBO side of the airport near the hangars. This U.S. Customs Service office serves as a facilities and crossings for Harrisburg's port of entry.

Customs Location at AVP


The airport has no scheduled international service, but it has a location to process international flights, on the lower level near Gates 1 & 2, where the airport can isolate international passengers from domestic. With advance notice, the airport can process scheduled international flights or flights that have diverted to AVP.[19]


The airport has one passenger terminal with 8 gates. Gates 1 and 2 are on the lower level; Gates 3 through 8 are on the second floor.

Gate assignments:

Gate 7 is used for charter flights and diversions. Gates 1 & 2 were used by American Eagle & United Express for their turboprops. Since they switched to jets, these two gates are not used daily. Jets are parked here if all the other gates are being used or for diversions.

Airlines and destinations

A Continental Connection plane at the new terminal




Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from AVP
(August 2019 - July 2020) [22]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Charlotte, NC 62,770 American
2 Chicago-O'Hare, IL 40,530 American, United
3 Philadelphia, PA 25,010 American
4 Detroit, MI 23,190 Delta
5 Atlanta, GA 18,820 Delta
6 Dulles, VA (Washington, DC) 17,550 United

Annual traffic

Traffic by calendar year[23]
Year Passengers Change Year Passengers Change
2001 375,508 -- 2011 464,560 Increase 7.05%
2002 404,201 Increase 7.64% 2012 445,593 Decrease 4.08%
2003 362,719 Decrease 10.26% 2013 433,137 Decrease 2.80%
2004 401,164 Increase 10.60% 2014 427,920 Decrease 1.20%
2005 439,189 Increase 9.48% 2015 439,128 Increase 2.62%
2006 422,608 Decrease 3.78% 2016 462,999 Increase 5.44%
2007 438,895 Increase 3.85% 2017 531,854 Increase 14.87%
2008 443,804 Increase 1.12% 2018 527,928 Decrease 0.74%
2009 413,001 Decrease 6.94% 2019 590,044 Increase 11.77%
2010 433,972 Increase 5.08%

Ground transportation


The airport has direct access to I-81 via Exit 178. The Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 476) can also be accessed from I-81 Southbound via Exit 175.


The Luzerne County Transportation Authority offers route number 17 from the airport to Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and points en route.

Car Rentals, TNCs and Taxi Service

The following rental car companies provided their services at Wilkes-Barre: Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National. With regards to Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs, Uber and Lyft have specific pick-up locations in front of the Terminal Building, on the arrivals side. Taxi service is provided by Burgit's City Taxi, Call-a-Car Taxi and McCarthy Flowered Cabs.

Accidents and incidents

AVP is a popular location for diversions.

  • On April 20, 1985 AF ser. No. 62-4496, a USAF CT-39A experienced brake failure on landing at the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport, killing all five passengers and crew aboard, including General Jerome F. O'Malley, Commander, Tactical Air Command, and his wife.[24][25]
  • On May 21, 2000, Bear Creek Township was the site of a crash of an Executive Airlines chartered Jetstream 31, it crashed while attempting to land at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. As described by the BBC, the crash occurred in a "wooded area" of the township, near the intersection of Bear Creek Boulevard (PA-Route 115) and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The accident killed the pilot and all 19 passengers. NTSB investigation ruled that the crash was probably due to low fuel. The incident spurred an FBI investigation and made news across the globe. Passenger safety in the aviation field became a major issue of the 2000 U.S. presidential election.[26]
  • On January 7, 2011 Delta Air Lines flight #4061 returned to the airport when the pilot realized, after takeoff, that the nose gear would not retract.[27]
  • On November 1, 2013 U.S. Airways Express flight #4394 from Philadelphia International Airport to Albany International Airport made an emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit. 12 passengers and 3 crew members were on board and no injuries were reported.[28]
  • On February 25, 2014 a US Airways flight from New England to Philadelphia was diverted when cockpit lights indicated a mechanical issue. 42 passengers and three crew members were on board, and no injury were reported during the emergency landing.[29]
  • On April 1, 2016 a Virgin America Airbus A320 landed at AVP due to high winds and bad weather in the New York area. The plane took off from LAX and was scheduled to John F. Kennedy International Airport.[30]
  • On September 6, 2016 a United Airlines flight made an emergency landing after the pilot reported a fuel imbalance.[31]
  • On February 26, 2017 an American Eagle flight #4858 from AVP to Philadelphia International Airport returned to AVP after a landing gear failure. There were no injuries reported.[32]
  • On July 11, 2017, a private plane traveling from Morristown, NJ to Philadelphia, PA made an emergency landing at AVP due to a landing gear failure. According to news outlets, "They tested the landing gear, flew in front of the tower, and the tower advised them it was not locking in place so the pilot made the decision to land on our runway, which he did successfully," Airport President Carl Beardsley said. The airport was closed for about an hour and a half while crews cleared the scene. No injuries were reported. A Delta flight had to be rerouted due to the airport closure.[33]
  • On February 7, 2019 a Porter Airlines flight made an emergency landing in AVP due to engine failure. All 34 passengers aboard and four crew members were safe. The aircraft stayed in AVP for repairs, while the company sent another aircraft to resume the flight. The Q400 took off from Newark and was heading to Toronto Island Airport. [34]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for AVP PDF, effective July 5, 2007
  2. ^ "Statistics". transtats.bts.gov.
  3. ^ "AVP - Wilkes Barre Scranton International Airport". AVP.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ writer), by kyle wind (staff. "President and vice president both visiting Scranton creates extra security challenge".
  7. ^ "HNTB - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport". Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Supplemental Success Stories" (PDF). casey.senate.gov.
  9. ^ Merger May Help Airport Boost Service Archived March 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine timesleader. com
  10. ^ "Old Airport Terminal To Come Down". WNEP.com. May 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport to Add New Parking Lot". September 21, 2017.
  12. ^ Michael McNarney
  13. ^ "Hooters Air Announces Cancellation of Service in Selected Cities." Hooters Air.
  14. ^ Company, Allegiant Travel (April 17, 2012). "Allegiant Announces Nonstop, Low-Cost Flights Between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Orlando".
  15. ^ "Airport director: Allegiant exit offers new opportunities - Times Leader". timesleader.com. August 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "United adjusts Newark domestic network from Oct 2018". Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "Air show set for Aug. 12-13 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport - Times Leader". timesleader.com.
  18. ^ Deabill, Eric (March 23, 2017). "Air show returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport".
  19. ^ "Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - 1109 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection". www.cbp.gov.
  20. ^ "Wiggins #7450 ? 15-Feb-2018 ? KAVP - KMDT ? FlightAware". FlightAware.
  21. ^ "Welcome to Wiggins!". www.wiggins-air.com.
  22. ^ "OST_R - BTS - Transtats". www.transtats.bts.gov.
  23. ^ "Passengers All Carriers - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wilkes Barre Scranton International". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ Casey, Aloysius G.; Casey, Patrick A. (2007). Velocity : speed with direction : the professional career of Gen Jerome F. O'Malley. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press. pp. 247-253. ISBN 978-1585661695.
  25. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident North American CT-39A-1-NO Sabreliner 62-4496 Wilkes-Barre International Airport, PA (AVP)". aviation-safety.net.
  26. ^ "CNN Transcript - WorldView: NTSB Begins Investigation Into Charter Plane Crash in Pennsylvania Which Killed All 19 Onboard - May 21, 2000". www.cnn.com.
  27. ^ Writer), BY JOSH MROZINSKI (Staff. "Bad nose gear forces plane's return to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport".
  28. ^ "Plane Makes Emergency Landing at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport". November 1, 2013.
  29. ^ "Diverted Jet Makes Emergency Landing at Airport". February 25, 2014.
  30. ^ Brittany Lovette (April 1, 2016). "Bad Weather Diverts Virgin America Flight". WNEP.com. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ "Emergency Landing at AVP". September 6, 2016.
  32. ^ WRITER, BY JON O'CONNELL, STAFF. "Flight from AVP returned due to landing gear malfunction".
  33. ^ "Plane Makes Emergency Landing at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport". July 11, 2017.
  34. ^ Rachel Hoops (February 7, 2019). "Plane heading to Toronto makes emergency landing at AVP". Pahomepage.com. Retrieved 2019.

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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