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Airport Buffalo (USA) - Niagara

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Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorNiagara Frontier Transportation Authority
ServesBuffalo metropolitan area, Golden Horseshoe
Location4200 Genesee Street
Town of Cheektowaga
Elevation AMSL728 ft / 222 m
Coordinates42°5626N 078°4356W / 42.94056°N 78.73222°W / 42.94056; -78.73222
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,829 2,691 Asphalt
14/32 7,161 2,183 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passengers5 million

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF, ICAO: KBUF, FAA LID: BUF) is in Cheektowaga,[2] New York. The airport serves Buffalo, New York and the southern Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario, Canada. It is the third-busiest airport in the state of New York and the busiest outside of the New York City metropolitan area. It is about 11 mi (18 km) east of Downtown Buffalo and 60 mi (97 km) southeast of Toronto (although driving distance is 106 mi (171 km)). The airport covers 1,000 acres (4 km²).[3]


Buffalo Municipal Airport (as it was then known) opened in 1926 on former farmland, making it one of the country's oldest public airports. The original airport included a small terminal building, one hangar, and four cinder runways, each 3,000 feet long by 100 feet wide. Passenger and mail service began in December 1927, with service to Cleveland. A WPA-built Art Deco v-shaped terminal with a large cylindrical tower began construction in 1938 and was completed in 1939. In 19401941 Curtiss Aeroplane Co. built a manufacturing hangar on the southeast side of the airport (current Buffalo Airport Center property). With the onset of World War II, the airport was expanded to facilitate aircraft manufacturing, test and acceptance flight activity, and airline flights. The airport had four paved runways:[4]

Runway Length (ft) Width (ft)
523 5,630 150
1331 (now 1432) 5,730 150
119 5,000 150
826 3,650 150

A new apron was added a few months later. Roadway and parkway improvements were made in the 1940s and 50s. Runways 119 and 826 were closed in the 1950s, and Runway 1331 was renamed Runway 1432.

The terminal's first expansion, to 11 gates, which tripled the terminal's square footage and added a restaurant, was built in 1955. In 1959, after being acquired by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), the name was changed to the Greater Buffalo International Airport. A 1961 renovation/expansion remodeled the main terminal building and built a new control tower and another concourse for American Airlines. The first scheduled jets were American and United 727s in 1965; Runway 523 was extended northeast from 5645 to 8100 feet later that year. A second terminal (the "West Terminal") was built in 1971 while it was hoped an all-new airport would be built in the near future. The West Terminal was built to last ten years and had nine gates.

Despite the addition of the West Terminal, the original terminal, the "East Terminal", received one more expansion in 1977. New ticket lobbies were built for American Airlines and United Airlines, the original 1938 building was turned into a baggage claim area and jetways were added for the first time. In 1982 two gates were added to the north/east end of the West Terminal, used by Eastern Air Lines. The landside of the West Terminal was also enlarged and the originally blue building was around that time repainted gray.

A large Curtiss-Wright plant once existed at the Airport. Built in 1942, the building was sold to Westinghouse in 1946 after the end of World War II. Westinghouse sold the facility to Buffalo developer Paul Snyder in 1985, who turned the building into the Buffalo Airport Center industrial park. The building was abandoned in 1991 and demolished in 1999 to allow Runway 14/32 to be lengthened. In 2006 the main runway was repaved and extended 750 feet (230 m), its first major upgrade since 1980 and the secondary runway was extended 1,000 feet (300 m).

In 2008 some local residents made a short-lived attempt to rename the airport to "Buffalo Tim Russert International Airport" after popular news commentator and a Buffalo native Tim Russert who had died that year.[5]

Current terminal

In 1991 it was decided a new terminal would make more sense than continued renovations. Construction of the new building designed by the Greater Buffalo International Airport (GBIA) Design Group, a joint venture composed of Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, CannonDesign, and William Nicholas Bodouva began in 1995 in between the two existing buildings.

The new $56 million terminal (at newly named Buffalo-Niagara International Airport) opened on November 3, 1997 with 15 gates. The old terminals were demolished immediately to allow expansion. The new building was expanded in 2001, increasing the number of gates to 24. The entire terminal has a total floor area of 462,256 square feet (42,945.0 m2).[6]


In late 2017 the terminal began an $80 million renovation and expansion with more than 54,000 square feet (5,000 m2) of new space as part of the airport's 2013 master plan.[6] The expansion will create secure walkways on the east and west side of the terminal for arriving passengers and relocate the central exit walkway to eliminate bottlenecks with departing passengers on the second floor. This will also create expanded curbside space for arriving and departing passengers. The renovation will also replace the baggage claim area's three flat plate baggage carousels with four sloped plate carousels, doubling the current capacity. Preparations began December 2018, with groundbreaking and major construction which began in February 2019.[7] The renovations are scheduled to be completed in 2021. As part of the master plan, this expansion allows for the future creation of a new pier south of the current east concourse.[6]



Buffalo Niagara International Airport is at elevation 727 feet (222 m) and has two runways.[8]

Number Length Width ILS Notes
5/23 8,829 feet (2,691 m) 150 feet (46 m) Cat. I (both directions) The main and longest runway at the airport, with Approach Lighting Systems (ALS) at each end.
14/32 7,161 feet (2,183 m) 150 feet (46 m) Cat. I (32[9] only) Runway 14 approach does not have ILS, nor ALS.
Emergency services

Buffalo Airport Fire Department is a career fire department. The BNIA CFR respond to all alarms of fire and EMS calls in the terminal complex and adjacent property. The BNIA CFR also respond off grounds occasionally for mutual aid requests. It was formerly Buffalo Fire Department Engine 7 (crash-fire-rescue unit) until 1981 and was transferred to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.[10] A new $11 million fire station was completed in 2017. The facility is off of Amhert Villa Road, triple the size of the old station and includes a training facility and other amenities.[11]

The BNIA ARFF has six pieces of apparatus:

  • 2005 Oshkosh Stryker Crash Tender (Dry Chemical, Water and Foam)
  • 1992 Oshkosh T-3000 Crash Tender (Water and Foam)
  • 2000 Oshkosh T-3000 Crash Tender (Water and Foam)
  • Heavy Rescue Unit (EMS and Spills)
  • Chief's Car
  • Pumper/Tender (Water and Foam)
Other facilities

Prior Aviation is the FBO for the airport. It provides private charter flights and other services, including fueling and ground handling, to many of the scheduled airlines that operate from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. It also provides aircraft maintenance service from its FAA approved repair station to airlines, corporate and general aviation customers. It is on the airport's north side.[12]


The airspace above Buffalo can be busy at times due to the arriving and departing flights of both Toronto Pearson International Airport and John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. Most of these flights are inbound or outbound from destinations in the United States, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. These aircraft are well above 10,000 feet and do not affect the air traffic of Buffalo.

Service history

The April 1957 OAG shows 96 weekday departures: 55 American, 28 Capital, 10 Mohawk and 3 Allegheny. Nonstops didn't reach past Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Chicago; Buffalo didn't get a nonstop beyond Chicago until Mohawk started Minneapolis in 1970. Continental tried Denver for a few months in 1987-88, American tried DFW a couple of times, and Northwest started Minneapolis in 1987 -- no others until Southwest started Phoenix and Las Vegas in October 2000.

When the federal government deregulated the airlines in 1978, Buffalo was served by four airlines: three "trunk carriers" (American Airlines, United Airlines, Eastern Air Lines) and one "local service carrier" (Allegheny Airlines). American and United used the East Terminal, and Allegheny and Eastern used the West Terminal.

During the "glory years" for mainline-sized jet service at U.S. medium-size airports in the 1970s and 1980s, Buffalo regularly hosted widebody passenger jets. American Airlines DC-10s flew to Chicago O'Hare International Airport and other points. Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011s and Airbus A300s flew to HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport. Eastern's flights often did 'tag-on' hops to Toronto Pearson International Airport due to legal restrictions on flights between the United States and Canada. Buffalo still hosts many mainline passenger jets, but scheduled flights are usually narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft. Today Buffalo hosts wide-body passenger flights which are charters for the Buffalo Bills or their National Football League opponents.

Shortly after Deregulation, American and United began reducing service at medium-sized Northeastern markets such as Buffalo. Many other airlines entered the Buffalo market and the 1980s saw a riot of new airline service as the industry began to take its post-deregulation shape. Most of these carriers did not survive the decade.

The most prominent new carrier at Buffalo was People Express Airlines, a low-fare carrier founded in 1981 with a hub at Newark International Airport. Buffalo, along with Norfolk, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio was one of the original three cities served by People from Newark. The airline grew rapidly into a major carrier and at its peak ran over 10 flights per day from Buffalo to Newark. Too-rapid growth including a purchase of the original Frontier Airlines led to People's demise in 1987. They were bought and assimilated by Continental Airlines.

Other carriers at Buffalo included:

In 19861987 the US airline industry went through a series of buyouts and mergers, and by the end of 1989 most domestic air service in the US was provided by six "legacy carriers." At the end of the 1980s, airlines at Buffalo were mostly this six and their regional affiliates: American, United, Continental, USAir, Northwest and Delta Air Lines. During the 1990s, with People Express vanquished, these carriers kept fares high and enplanements stagnant at Buffalo.

Low fare service

At the beginning of the 21st century Buffalo Niagara International Airport grew with the addition of low-cost carriers Southwest and JetBlue. Due to the "Southwest Effect", Buffalo Niagara International Airport exceeded the 5 million passenger mark in 2006. Previous estimates by the NFTA had projected 3.8 million passengers for 2006, and it would be 2020 before the 5 million passenger plateau would be reached.[13] Buffalo is the largest airport by passenger traffic in Upstate New York and now averages 4.55.5 million passengers per year. Another addition to the low cost carriers was Frontier, which began service from Buffalo in 2017. [14]

Canadian travelers

The proximity of Buffalo Niagara International Airport to the 9.2 million[15] residents of the Golden Horseshoe region (which includes the metropolitan areas of Greater Toronto and Hamilton) in Ontario makes it a very popular airport for Canadians traveling to U.S. destinations. Despite the existence of three international airports in the region that provide cross-border flights (Toronto Pearson International Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport), one in three passengers utilizing Buffalo are from Canada[16] and in 2012, 47 percent of all passengers were from Canada.[17] This is due to air fares for U.S. bound Canadian flights being generally higher due to added customs and immigration surcharges, the value difference of Canadian and U.S. currency, and other taxes and fees. Several passenger shuttle services operate from the airport to cities in Southern Ontario, and to Toronto-Pearson and Hamilton airports.

Airlines and destinations

On average there are over 100 flights per day, with nonstop service to 30 airports across the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.[18]

American Airlines Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare
Seasonal: Philadelphia
American Eagle ChicagoO'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, WashingtonNational
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia
Frontier Airlines Denver, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Raleigh/Durham
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New YorkJFK, Orlando
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, ChicagoMidway, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, PhoenixSky Harbor, Tampa
Seasonal: Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers
United Airlines ChicagoO'Hare
United Express ChicagoO'Hare, Newark, WashingtonDulles
Vacation Express Seasonal: Cancún

Note: Miami Air International provides service to Montreal, Punta Cana, and Cancún however these are charter service. Also Viva Aerobus provides service to Mexico City, occasionally.

Ameriflight Binghamton, Elmira, Plattsburgh
FedEx Express Syracuse, Indianapolis, Memphis, Ottawa
FedEx Feeder Jamestown
UPS Airlines Louisville, Philadelphia, Syracuse, Hartford


Total passengers
Year Total Passengers % Change
2002[19] 3,716,000
2003[19] 4,013,000 7.99%
2004[19] 4,348,000 8.35%
2005[19] 4,804,000 10.49%
2006[19] 4,983,000 3.73%
2007[19] 5,405,000 8.47%
2008[19] 5,461,000 1.04%
2009[19] 5,278,000 3.35%
2010[19] 5,194,000 1.59%
2011[19] 5,110,000 1.62%
2012[19] 5,145,000 0.68%
2013[19] 5,101,000 0.86%
2014[19] 4,720,000 7.47%
2015[19] 4,643,000 1.63%
2016[19] 4,606,000 0.79%
2017[19] 4,670,000 1.39%
2018[19] 5,014,000 7.37%
Top destinations
Busiest domestic routes from BUF (September 2018 August 2019)[19]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 New YorkJFK, New York 255,580 Delta, JetBlue
2 Orlando, Florida 234,440 Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest
3 ChicagoO'Hare, Illinois 207,190 American, United
4 Atlanta, Georgia 204,150 Delta
5 Baltimore, Maryland 192,790 Southwest
6 Boston, Massachusetts 146,830 Delta, JetBlue
7 Charlotte, North Carolina 128,900 American
8 ChicagoMidway, Illinois 120,750 Southwest
9 Detroit, Michigan 111,290 Delta
10 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 96,700 JetBlue, Southwest
Airline market share
Largest Airlines at BUF
(September 2018 - August 2019)
Rank Carrier Percentage Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 28.61% 1,415,000
2 JetBlue Airways 16.20% 802,000
3 Delta Airlines 11.55% 572,000
4 Endeavor Air* 7.09% 351,000
5 American Airlines 6.51% 322,000
- Other 30.03% 1,486,000

* Endeavor Air operates as Delta Connection.

Ground transportation


The airport is served by the Kensington Expressway (NY Route 33), which ends at the airport. Route 33 intersects with the New York State Thruway, Interstate I-90, about 1 mi (1.6 km) from the airport and then continues directly into downtown Buffalo with a total drive time of approximately 1015 minutes.


Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority provides service on routes 24B (Genesee), 47 (Youngs Road), 68 (George Urban Express) and 204 (Airport-Downtown Express). NFTA Metro Paratransit offers services to the airport for people with mobility issues, but pre-booking is required.

Greyhound Bus Lines, Greyhound Canada, and Megabus also provide transportation to and from the airport, with services to Toronto and New York City.[20]

Car hire and taxi

Many national car hire firms all have rental facilities on airport property. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National all are on-site. Various limos, taxis and shuttle buses have access to and from the airport.

Accidents and incidents

  • September 11, 1942 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk crashes into the Curtiss-Wright Plant 2 building on the corner of Genesee Street and Sugg Road (Holtz Road) in Cheektowaga. The plane entered the roof of the building landing near the tool crib, trapping several employees. 14 deaths and 33 injuries were reported along with many acts of heroism among fellow employees. The plane was reported to have been at 15,000 feet when fire started to consume the cockpit. The pilot tried in vain to save the plane but was forced to parachute to safety, landing near Walden Avenue and Union Road. The plane plunged to earth, landing back near the airport. It's said that the impact was so great that the engine was planted into the cement floor of the factory. A marker can be found in the Long Term parking lot of Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
  • January 21, 1954: American Airlines Flight 767, a Convair CV-240 crashed quickly after taking off from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The left engine failed causing the pilot to attempt a return to the airport. A successful wheels up landing was made southeast of the airport 200 yards south of 2478 George Urban Blvd. in Depew. No deaths and few injuries were reported.
  • On August 2, 1958 A Blue Angels jet flown by Lt. John R. Dewenter landed, wheels up at Buffalo Niagara International Airport after experiencing engine troubles during a show in Clarence. The Grumman F-11 Tiger landed on Runway 23 but exited airport property coming to rest in the intersection of Genesee Street and Dick Road, nearly hitting a gas station. Lt. Dewenter was uninjured and the plane was a total loss.
  • On June 12, 1972, American Airlines Flight 96, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 en route from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, suffered an explosive decompression from an improperly secured rear cargo door, and was forced to return to Detroit.
  • On December 16, 1972, a private Cessna 421 crashed into the homes at 116 and 121 Diane Drive in Cheektowaga, New York near the airport. The crash killed three on board and three on the ground, at least 4 people on the ground were injured.[21]
  • February 18, 1998 A twin engine Beechcraft chartered by Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey Ross, a candidate for governor, carrying McCaughey Ross and three staff, crashed on take-off, with minor injuries. An FAA investigation determined that soggy conditions at the airport likely prevented the aircraft from catching fire.[22]
  • February 12, 2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operating under contract with Continental Connection crashed into a home on Long Street in Clarence Center. The flight from Newark Liberty International Airport was only approximately 6 mi (9.7 km) away from the airport when it crashed. All 49 passengers and crew members on board the aircraft perished in the incident, along with one individual on the ground. Two others who were in the home at the time of the accident escaped alive. Minutes before the accident, the crew had reported "significant ice buildup" on the wings and the windshield and an NTSB official said that the aircraft had experienced "severe pitch-and-roll excursions" 40 seconds prior to the crash.[23] This was the first fatal accident of an airliner on US soil in almost 3 years after the crash of Comair Flight 5191. The crash was attributed to an aerodynamic stall caused by the crew's failure to monitor their airspeed.
  • August 14, 2014 N706GS a 2013 Piper PA-28 crashed upon take off from runway 23. The short flight reached an altitude of 200300 feet before landing on BNIA property and ending up in a premium parking lot southwest of The Terminal. The occupants: Bing Shen, 39, his six-year-old son and the pilot, a Certified Flight Instructor, Anastasiia Goldowsky, were treated and released from Erie County Medical Center. The flight was a plane for hire scheduled for an afternoon of sightseeing.
  • April 22, 2015 SkyWest Airlines Flight 5622, en route from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago to Bradley International Airport in Hartford made an emergency landing after one passenger reportedly lost consciousness.[24]
  • June 8, 2015 Mesa Airlines Flight 3796, a Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-700, operated by United Express, skidded off of Runway 32 into a grass area, due to high winds. The plane departed from Dulles International Airport. There were no injuries.[25]
  • February 13, 2019 United Airlines Flight 1442 to Newark Liberty International Airport struck a passenger jet bridge at Gate 9 while taxiing for takeoff. Strong winds and blowing snow were reported as the cause. There were no injuries among the 158 passengers on board.[26]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ https://www.wgrz.com/mobile/article/travel/bnia-celebrates-major-milestone/71-63d09d28-eb5f-454a-952b-ff4ff4ff7a61
  2. ^ "Cheektowaga CDP, New York Archived June 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  3. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for BUF (Form 5010 PDF), effective March 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Buffalo Niagara International Airport Interim Report No. 1 1999" (PDF). January 13, 1999.
  5. ^ "It's official: Road near stadium becomes Tim Russert Highway : The Buffalo News".
  6. ^ a b c "2013 Sustainable Master Plan | Buffalo Niagara International Airport". Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  7. ^ McCarthy, Robert J. (December 8, 2018). "Buffalo Niagara International Airport's $80 million upgrade ready to take off". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Buffalo Niagara International Airport | AirNav". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  9. ^ FAA
  10. ^ "Terms of agreement - stuntoffer.com". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011.
  11. ^ Herr, Jim (August 23, 2017). "State-of-the-art station for Buffalo airport firefighters". Cheektowaga Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Prior Aviation Service". Archived from the original on September 23, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  13. ^ "BNIA passenger count tops 5M". Buffalo Business First.
  14. ^ "Frontier Airlines launching service from Buffalo". WKBW. July 18, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "Data". mah.gov.on.ca.
  16. ^ "Hamilton Breaking News Hamilton's Online Newspaper". TheSpec.com.
  17. ^ "jetBlue first flight from BUF to LAX takes off".
  18. ^ "Buffalo Niagara International Airport".
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "RITA BTS Transtats".
  20. ^ "Buffalo International Airport Ground Transportation". Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  21. ^ "Federal Investigators Arrive to Probe Crash".
  22. ^ BETSY'S PLANE CRASH A CLOSE CALL, FEDS SAY, NY Daily News, March 6, 1998. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  23. ^ Matthew L. Wald and Al Baker (February 14, 2009). "Crew Reported 'Significant Ice Buildup' Before Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  24. ^ "Skywest plane makes emergency landing in Buffalo after passenger loses consciousness". April 22, 2015.
  25. ^ ABC News. "Plane Goes Off Runway at Buffalo Niagara International Airport; No Injuries Reported". ABC News.
  26. ^ Eileen Buckley (February 13, 2019). "No one hurt when plane slides into a passenger jet bridge". WBFO. Retrieved February 13, 2019.

External links

This article based on this article: Buffalo_Niagara_International_Airportexternal Link from the free encyclopedia Wikipediaexternal Link and work with the GNU Free Documentation License. In Wikipedia is this list of the authorsexternal Link.

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