|Cleveland Hopkins International Airport|
|Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Control Tower.|
|IATA: CLE ICAO: KCLE FAA LID: CLE|
|Owner||City of Cleveland|
|Operator||City of Cleveland|
|Hub for||United Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||791 ft / 241 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration and CLE airport.|
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA LID: CLE) is a public airport located nine miles (14 km) southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The airport lies just within the city limits of Cleveland. It is the largest airport in the state of Ohio and as of 2009 is the 39th largest airport in North America.
The airport was founded in 1925, making it the first municipally owned airport in the United States. The airport has been the site of many other airport firsts: the first air traffic control tower, ground to air radio control and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930, and the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. The airport was named after its founder, former city manager William R. Hopkins, on his 82nd birthday in 1951.
In 2006, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport unveiled a new marketing and branding campaign. The slogan, "CLE Going Places", is said to depict the airport's pursuit of improving passengers' experience as they upgrade the airport facility and negotiate additional air services. Improvements include upgrades to the restaurant and store concessions program, taxi service, on-site parking, customer service areas, and the attraction of additional flights to new destinations with the airport's new air service development program.
There is presently no intercontinental service from Cleveland. However, there have been several past short-lived attempts to establish intercontinental service from the airport since the airport was first granted authority to receive intercontinental service in 1977.
The older parallel runway, formerly Runway 6C/24C, was 7,096 x 150 ft. (2163 x 46 m). It has been decommissioned as an active runway, its width narrowed, and is now designated as Taxiway C. The centerfield taxiway C has the word "TAXI" inscribed in large yellow letters on either end to ensure approaching aircraft do not mistakenly use it as a runway.
Recently completed was a project that moved both thresholds of Runway 10/28 330 feet to the east, thus allowing for the addition of EMAS (Engineered Materials Arresting System) at both ends. The usable runway length was not altered. As part of this project, some turnouts were rebuilt and the closed sections of 24L and the former 24C that intersected 10/28 were physically removed. Although not indicated on the latest FAA Airport Diagram, the closed section of 24R that lies north of 10/28 still exists, and has yet to be removed.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2007, the airport had 244,717 aircraft operations, an average of 670 per day: 65% air taxi, 29% scheduled commercial, 5% general aviation and <1% military. There are 44 aircraft based at this airport: 21 jet, 10 single engine, 7 multi-engine and 6 military aircraft.
Since 2008, BAA Cleveland has developed and managed retail and dining locations at the airport. A redevelopment project will add 76,000 square feet (7,100 m2) of new locations.
Cleveland Airport consists of one passenger terminal which is divided into four concourses:
|Air Canada Express operated by Jazz Air||Toronto-Pearson||C1|
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth||A|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Miami, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia||A|
|Apple Vacations operated by Frontier Airlines||Cancun, Punta Cana||A|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta||B|
|Delta Connection operated by Chautauqua Airlines||New York-LaGuardia||B|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Atlanta||B|
|Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines||Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia||B|
|Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines||Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul||B|
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Nashville
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando
|United Airlines||Boston, Cancun, Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston-Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan, Tampa
Seasonal: Miami, Philadelphia, Portland (OR) (begins June 6, 2013), San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma, West Palm Beach
|United Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines||Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Charlotte, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Washington-National||C, D|
|United Express operated by CommutAir||Baltimore, Buffalo, Columbus (OH), Dayton, Erie, Flint, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Madison, Pittsburgh, Rochester (NY), Syracuse, Toronto-Pearson, Washington-Dulles||D|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Albany, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Burlington (VT), Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Denver, Grand Rapids, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hartford, Houston-Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville, Madison, Manchester (NH), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal-Trudeau, Nashville, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Rochester (NY), St. Louis, Syracuse, Toronto-Pearson, Washington-Dulles, Washington-National
Seasonal: Charleston (SC) (begins June 29, 2013), Fort Myers, Jacksonville (FL), Miami, Nassau, Orlando, Tampa, Traverse City (begins June 29, 2013), West Palm Beach
|United Express operated by Republic Airlines||Washington-Dulles||C|
|United Express operated by Shuttle America||Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles||C|
|United Express operated by Silver Airways||Bradford, DuBois, Franklin, Jamestown, Parkersburg||D|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Fort Myers [begins August 27, 2013], Grand Rapids, Houston-Intercontinental, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New Orleans (begins May 7, 2013), Tampa [begins August 13, 2013], Washington-National, Washington-Dulles||C|
|United Express operated by Trans States Airlines||Boston, Burlington (VT), Chicago-O'Hare, Dayton, Grand Rapids, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hartford, Manchester (NH), Portland (ME), Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Louis, Washington-Dulles||C, D|
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Philadelphia||A|
|US Airways Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines||Philadelphia||A|
|US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines||Charlotte||A|
|US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines||Charlotte||A|
|US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines||Charlotte, Philadelphia||A|
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis|
|FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo||Erie|
|1||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)||354,000||American, United|
|2||Houston, TX (IAH)||215,000||United|
|3||Chicago, IL (Midway)||209,000||Southwest|
|4||Charlotte, NC||205,000||United, US Airways|
|5||Atlanta, GA||199,000||Delta, United|
|6||Baltimore, MD||169,000||Southwest, United|
|7||Las Vegas, NV||162,000||Southwest, United|
|9||New York, NY (LaGuardia)||143,000||American, Delta, United|
|10||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||137,000||American, United|
Hopkins International Airport is connected to the Cleveland Rapid Transit system. Passengers can board Red Line trains at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (RTA Rapid Transit station) airport terminal. During late night/early morning hours, service is provided by the # 22 Lorain bus from Hopkins to Downtown Cleveland. The airport also offers a dedicated taxi service of 75 vehicles.
In 1998, Hopkins moved rental car operations off the airport grounds to a new consolidated rental car facility. The facility has drawn mixed reviews from travelers because of its distance from the airport, inconsistent bus service and long bus rides, only partial canopy coverage for vehicles, and fees and taxes that are very high relative to those of other airports; the charges cover costs of not only operating the center but also supporting other local projects, such as the Cleveland Browns stadium.
|The neutrality of this article is disputed. (July 2012)|
|This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (July 2012)|
For many years in the postwar era, United Airlines had a strong presence in Cleveland. The former Continental Airlines (now merged with United Airlines as part of United Continental Holdings) began its efforts to establish hub in Cleveland in the late 1980s when United Airlines, then a separate carrier, dramatically reduced its operations in Cleveland and relocated most of its flights to Washington Dulles International Airport. At the time, Continental maintained hubs in Houston, Denver (later abandoned as a Continental hub, but now a United hub), Guam, and Newark (the latter as a result of Continental's 1987 acquisition of People Express Airlines) but lacked a hub in the Midwest. Continental increased its presence at Hopkins and became the airport's largest tenant, eventually handling as much as 60% of passenger traffic. Continental and Hopkins both made substantial investments in support of Continental's presence at the airport, including the 1999 construction of Concourse D, primarily to accommodate Continental Express flights.
However, the airport, Cleveland community, and Continental developed something of an uneasy relationship beginning in the late 1990s. In 2003, the tension became public when Continental then-CEO Gordon Bethune publicly scolded the Cleveland business community and encouraged business flyers to support Continental at Hopkins rather than to take cheaper fights from neighboring Akron-Canton Regional Airport, which at the time advertised itself as the "preferred alternative" to Hopkins and "a better way to go." Around this time, Akron-Canton Airport was undertaking an ambitious expansion in response to substantial increases in enplanements while Hopkins boardings declined. Shortly thereafter, Continental reduced the size of its board of directors by halving the number of representatives from the Cleveland area, began to more closely scrutinize local passenger traffic volume, and closed its four off-airport ticket offices in the Greater Cleveland area (while maintaining offices near its Houston and Newark hubs).
On September 14, 2007, Continental announced what was at the time called a "major expansion" at Hopkins that would have increased the hub's capacity by some 40% over a two-year period. The expansion would have entailed some 20 new destinations served primarily on regional aircraft, followed later by a dozen new destinations served on mainline aircraft. This expansion was expected to create 700 jobs, and the state of Ohio offered a $16 million incentive package to help bring the service increase to fruition. However, when record-high fuel prices forced Continental to cut capacity in the summer of 2008, the airline reduced its workforce, eliminated service between Cleveland and 24 cities (including 12 cities that were part of Phase I of its hub expansion program), and reduced the frequency of its flights to a number of others; the service cuts in Cleveland were deeper as a percentage of overall flight volume than concurrent cuts at Continental's Houston and Newark hubs. In March 2009, Continental indicated that it would continue to make capacity cuts in response to reduced demand for seats. Also in March 2009, Continental CEO Larry Kellner omitted Cleveland but referenced Newark and Houston when commenting on the carrier's strengths, stating, "We are strong in the Atlantic, we are strong in Latin America, we are strong in New York, we're strong in Houston."
On July 10, 2009, the US Department of Transportation approved Continental's membership in Star Alliance (it had been a member of SkyTeam with Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines) and most aspects of the code-share agreement it had requested with United and other Star Alliance members (e.g. Lufthansa). Then, on October 1, 2010, United and Continental officially completed the legal aspects of a full merger. The Continental-United marriage only heightened simmering concerns within the greater Cleveland area about the potential effect on Cleveland air service; Continental's previous merger talks with Star Alliance founding partner United had been viewed in some circles as a serious threat to Continental's future at Hopkins. When the 2010 United/Continental tie-up was initially announced, it prompted Cleveland politicians to propose hearings to investigate the potential impact of the marriage on the community; these investigations ultimately had no effect on the companies' efforts to combine.
There have been persistent worries that a post-merger United will reduce or eliminate direct service from Cleveland to a number of cities and instead route passengers through United's hubs in Chicago (315 miles west by air) and Washington (287 air miles east by air). In an article about the Continental-United merger, the Wall Street Journal reported on May 3, 2010, that "One city that could feel the pinch from the latest consolidation is Cleveland, a small Continental hub. Analysts say that a combined United-Continental could shift more connecting traffic to Chicago, United's largest hub. Delta has continued to scale back flights at its small Cincinnati hub since it acquired Northwest, which had hubs in nearby Memphis and Detroit."
In response to the concerns, the newly formed company, United Continental Holdings, Inc., signed a letter of agreement with Cleveland officials in October 2010 stipulating what service levels would be maintained at Hopkins for five years, but it has been criticized as weak, vague, and having loopholes that the airline can exploit if it chooses to reduce service before the agreement expires. For example, the agreement dictates a certain number of flights but does not stipulate the type of aircraft used to operate them, which would allow the company potentially to substitute mainline Boeing jets with propeller-driven aircraft such as the Saab 340 (with 34 seats) or the Beechcraft 1900 (with 19 seats). Moreover, the agreement hinges largely on United's profitability on routes to and from Cleveland, which might be subject to variation depending on how United assigns costs. Finally, the potential $20 million penalty for violating the agreement is a relatively minor amount for a company the size of United Continental Holdings, with 2010 revenue of $29 billion. Terms of the agreement are as follows:
For the first two years after the merger (i.e. until October 1, 2012):
During the remainder of the five year agreement (i.e. until October 1, 2015):
On November 10, 2010, Continental CEO Jeff Smisek stated in a speech in Cleveland that "Cleveland needs to earn its hub status every day" and added that overall profitability would be the determining factor in whether the new United kept or shuttered the Cleveland hub operation. However, after the agreement was signed, passenger volume at Cleveland continued to drop, and the Wall Street Journal noted on September 28, 2011 that "Cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are dealing with a deep retrenchment in flights, as airlines have cut costs in the wake of consolidation. Since 2005, the number of flights from Cleveland's Hopkins International airport are off 23%; Pittsburgh's are down 49% and St. Louis's are 36% lower."
At the beginning of 2012, and in contrast to pre-merger Continental's other hubs (EWR, IAH, GUM) or those of merger partner United Airlines (ORD, LAX, SFO, IAD, DEN, NRT), Continental's Cleveland operation had only a handful of flights to any international cities (all of them in Mexico and Canada), had not been able to sustain service from the airport to Europe or other trans-oceanic destinations, handled an overwhelming majority (81% as of May 2011[update]) of its traffic via Continental Express regional jet or propeller-driven/turboprop aircraft rather than mainline jets (e.g., in Continental's case, its Boeing jets), and did not fly to Cleveland with any twin-aisle, wide-body aircraft (e.g., in the case of Continental, its Boeing 767 or Boeing 777 planes).
As of late June 2012, United operated 175 daily flights from Cleveland, down from 210 flights operated collectively by United and Continental prior to their merger. United's 2012 schedule accounts for approximately 75% of flights at Hopkins. Also in the summer of 2012, United added six additional daily flights from Cleveland to its other hubs, and United executives expressed appreciation for the efforts of Cleveland's business community to support a Cleveland hub for the airline.
With the exception of Detroit, the cities closest to Cleveland have all lost airline hubs (note that many of these cities have decreased in population in the last few decades):
If United de-hubbed in Cleveland, it would not be the airline's first experience radically scaling back in a hub city; Continental abandoned its hub at Stapleton International Airport in Denver when Denver International Airport was built. It would also not have been the first time that Cleveland lost an airline hub; ironically, as mentioned previously, United maintained a substantial hub at Hopkins before relocating it to Washington Dulles International Airport in the late 1980s as Cleveland's prominence as a business center began a more precipitous decline.
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