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Airport Cleveland (USA) - Hopkins

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Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Cleveland
OperatorCleveland Airport System
LocationCleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Focus city forFrontier Airlines
Elevation AMSL791 ft / 241 m
Coordinates41°2442N 081°5059W / 41.41167°N 81.84972°W / 41.41167; -81.84972Coordinates: 41°2442N 081°5059W / 41.41167°N 81.84972°W / 41.41167; -81.84972

FAA airport diagram
Location of airport in Ohio / United States
CLE (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6L/24R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
6R/24L 9,956 3,034 Concrete
10/28 6,018 1,834 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft operations119,268
Total passengers9,642,729[1]
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[2] and CLE airport.[3]

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA LID: CLE) is a public airport located in Cleveland, Ohio, nine miles (14 km) southwest of the downtown area and adjacent to the Glenn Research Center, one of NASA's ten major field centers.[2] It is the primary airport serving Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, the largest and busiest airport in Ohio, and the 43rd busiest airport in the United States by passenger numbers. Hopkins is a focus city for Frontier Airlines. It offers non-stop passenger service to 54 destinations with 174 average daily departures. Cleveland Hopkins is operated by the Cleveland Department of Port Control, which also includes Burke Lakefront Airport located downtown.

In 2018, Airports Council International ranked Cleveland Hopkins the most improved North American airport in the 2017 Airport Service Quality Survey.[4]


Cleveland Hopkins is of particular importance to the history of commercial air travel due to a number of first-in-the-world innovations that would eventually become the global standard. Founded in 1925, it was the first municipality-owned facility of its kind in the United States.[5] It was the site of the first air traffic control tower, the first ground-to-air radio control system, and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930; and it was the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. It was also the first airport to employ a two-level terminal design separating arrivals from departures. The airport was named after its founder, former city manager William R. Hopkins, on his 82nd birthday in 1951.

First closure of United hub and establishment of Continental hub

United Airlines established its eastern-most domestic hub in Cleveland after World War II, which it maintained until the mid-1980s, when it closed its Cleveland hub and moved capacity to a new hub at WashingtonDulles. Following the closure of the United hub, Continental Airlines (which at the time was a separate carrier and lacked a Midwest hub) responded by adding capacity to Cleveland, as did USAir, which was the dominant carrier at the airport from 1987 until the early 1990s.[6] While USAir soon reduced its schedule from Cleveland, Continental substantially increased its hub capacity, becoming the airport's largest tenant and eventually accounting for upwards of 60 percent of passenger traffic. Continental and the airport both made substantial operational and capital investments in the airport's infrastructure. In 1992, the airport completed a $50 million renovation of Concourse C, which housed all of Continental's flights. The renovation included the installation of a continuous skylight, a Continental President's Club lounge, and a new Baggage Claim area.[7] In 1999, the airport completed an $80 million expansion that included the construction of the new Concourse D (now closed), which was built to accommodate Continental Express and Continental Connection flights.

ContinentalUnited merger and second closure of United hub

In 2010, Continental and United Airlines announced that they would merge operations.[8] The merger prompted concerns that a post-merger United would reduce or close its hub in Cleveland and instead route passengers through the new United's nearby hubs at O'Hare Airport in Chicago and Dulles Airport in Washington.[9][10] 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 closed the Cleveland hub.[11]

United continued to reduce its capacity in Cleveland following the merger, which already had been substantially reduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.[12] On February 1, 2014, United announced that the airline would shut down its Cleveland hub, stating as justification that the airline's hub at Cleveland "hasn't been profitable for over a decade." [13] By June 5, 2014, United Airlines effectively terminated its hub operation at the airport, reducing its daily departures by more than 60%.[14] United also closed Concourse D and consolidated all of its remaining operations in Concourse C, although it is required to continue to pay the airport $1,112,482 a month in rent for the facility until 2027.[15]

Post-hub history

The airport initially experienced a sharp decline in passenger counts following the closure of United's hub in 2014. Several other airlines, however, increased their service to Cleveland in subsequent years. Frontier Airlines significantly increased its service to the airport and declared Cleveland a focus city.[16] Other low-cost airlines such as Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air began new service to the airport as well, and existing airlines such as American, Delta, and Southwest also increased their number of daily flights and destinations. As a result, by 2017 the airport's passenger count exceeded levels achieved during the last full year that United maintained a hub in Cleveland.

Despite the closure of its hub, as of 2017 United still maintained roughly 1,200 employees in Greater Cleveland, including a flight attendant and pilot base as well as maintenance facilities.[17] United also remains the largest carrier at Hopkins, serving 17 destinations with close to 60 peak day departures. ExpressJet Airlines which operates on behalf of United Express maintains an operating base in Cleveland, where more than 50 Embraer ERJ-145s are based. Regional airline CommutAir, which flies exclusively on behalf of United Express, is headquartered in nearby North Olmsted.[18]

Operational history

In the year ending July 31, 2018, Cleveland Hopkins had 124,927 total aircraft operations, averaging 342 per day. 65% of aircraft operations were scheduled commercial, 29% were air taxi, 6% were general aviation and <1% were military. 52 aircraft are based at the airport, including 32 jet, 3 single engine, 7 multi-engine, and 10 military aircraft.[2]

Airfield, facilities, and terminal


Cleveland Hopkins covers an area of 1,717 acres (695 ha) and has three runways:[2]

  • 6R/24L: 9,956 x 150 ft. (3,034 x 46 m) concrete
  • 6L/24R: 9,000 x 150 ft. (2,743 x 46 m) concrete
  • 10/28: 6,018 x 150 ft. (1,834 x 46 m) asphalt/concrete

The older parallel runway, Runway 6C/24C, was 7,096 x 150 ft. (2163 x 46 m). It has been decommissioned as a runway, its width narrowed, and it is now designated Taxiway C. The word "TAXI" is written in large yellow letters on each end of the taxiway to discourage approaching aircraft from using it as a runway.


Cleveland Hopkins is home to both crew and maintenance bases for United Airlines.[19] It also hosts crew and maintenance bases for ExpressJet, the latter of which services the Embraer ERJ 145 family of jets flown on behalf of United Express.[20]

The airport is also home to one of five kitchens operated by airline catering company Chelsea Food Services, a subsidiary of United Airlines.

Cleveland Airmall, a unit of Fraport USA, manages the retail and dining locations at the airport. Tenants include Johnston & Murphy, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum Store, Bar Symon, and Sunglass Hut.[21]

The airport has two lounges: a United Club in Concourse C and an Airspace Lounge near the entrance to Concourse B in the Main Terminal.

Passenger Terminal

Cleveland Hopkins consists of one two-level passenger terminal, which was completed in 1978, and renovated in 2016. This replaced the original jet-age terminal dedicated in April 1956. There are four concourses, three of which are currently in use:

  • Concourse A (gates A1A3, A5-A12, A14) houses Allegiant Air, Frontier, Spirit, charters, and all international arrivals. Delta Air Lines also uses it for overflow parking and sports charters. It also houses the airport's Federal Inspection Services (FIS) customs and border protection facility. Originally known as "North Concourse", it was opened in 1957 and rebuilt in 1978-79.
  • Concourse B (gates B1B11) houses Delta and Southwest. It was built in 1954 as the first extension pier to the airport, and was rebuilt and expanded from 1982 until January 1983.
  • Concourse C (gates C2C11, C14, and C16C29) houses Air Canada Express, American, JetBlue and all United services, except for international arrivals which are handled in Concourse A. Originally known as "South Concourse", it opened in 1969 and was renovated in 1992.
  • Concourse D (gates D2D12, D14, D17, D21, D25, and D28) has been vacant since June 5, 2014, when United closed its gates and consolidated all operations to Concourse C.[22] Built in 1999, it is a separate terminal connected to Concourse C by an underground walkway. Although capable of handling larger jets such as the Boeing 737,[23] it exclusively handled smaller regional aircraft during its operation. Concourse D contains 12 jet bridge gates and 24 ramp loading positions.[23]

Airlines and destinations

Air Canada Express TorontoPearson [24]
Allegiant Air Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville (FL), Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Norfolk, Orlando/Sanford
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia [26]
American Eagle Charlotte, ChicagoO'Hare, Miami, New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia, Philadelphia, WashingtonNational [26]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City [27]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New YorkJFK, New YorkLaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Orlando
Frontier Airlines Cancún, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, PhoenixSky Harbor, Punta Cana, Sarasota, Tampa
Seasonal: Austin, Charleston (SC), Fort Lauderdale (resumes October 10, 2019),[28] Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami (resumes October 10, 2019),[28] Raleigh/Durham, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, West Palm Beach
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale [30]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, ChicagoMidway, DallasLove (begins October 6, 2019),[31] Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, PhoenixSky Harbor, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale (begins November 23, 2019),[32] Fort Myers
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Orlando
Seasonal: Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Tampa
United Airlines ChicagoO'Hare, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, HoustonIntercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, WashingtonDulles
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Myers
United Express ChicagoO'Hare, Fort Myers, HoustonIntercontinental, New YorkLaGuardia, Newark, WashingtonDulles, WashingtonNational
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Fort Lauderdale, Orlando (begins November 9, 2019), Tampa
Destination maps
Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, ColumbusRickenbacker, Hamilton
FedEx Express ColumbusRickenbacker, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark
Seasonal: Buffalo, Flint, Rochester
FedEx Feeder Erie
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, Louisville
Seasonal: Philadelphia
Western Global Airlines Louisville


Top destinations
Busiest domestic routes from CLE (July 2018 June 2019)[36]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 459,530 Delta, Southwest, Spirit
2 ChicagoO'Hare, Illinois 410,440 American, United
3 Denver, Colorado 258,930 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Orlando, Florida 243,330 Delta, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, United
5 Charlotte, North Carolina 192,720 American
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 185,060 American, Spirit
7 Las Vegas, Nevada 183,090 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
8 New YorkLaGuardia, New York 182,240 American, Delta, United
9 ChicagoMidway, Illinois 177,470 Southwest
10 Boston, Massachusetts 155,620 Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, United
Busiest international routes from CLE
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 TorontoPearson, Canada 79,883 (2017)[37] Air Canada Express
2 Keflavik, Iceland 57,860 (2018) Icelandair, WOW air
3 Cancún, Mexico 39,947 (2016)[38] Frontier, United
4 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 20,969 (2016)[39] Frontier, Dynamic International Airways
Annual passenger traffic
Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at CLE, 1999 through 2018[40]
Year Passengers Change (%) Notes
1999 13,020,285 Concourse D opens; Continental increases flights and destinations from CLE
2000 13,288,059 2.1%
2001 11,864,411 10.7% September 11 terrorist attacks
2002 10,795,270 9.0%
2003 10,555,387 2.2%
2004 11,264,937 6.7%
2005 11,463,391 1.8%
2006 11,321,050 1.2%
2007 11,459,390 1.2% Great Recession begins
2008 11,106,196 3.1%
2009 9,715,604 12.5%
2010 9,492,455 2.3%
2011 9,176,824 3.3%
2012 9,004,983 1.9% Continental and United merger completes
2013 9,072,126 0.7%
2014 7,609,404 16.1% United dehubs CLE; Concourse D closes; Frontier names CLE a focus city
2015 8,100,073 6.4% JetBlue and Spirit enter CLE
2016 8,422,676 4.0%
2017 9,140,445 8.5% Allegiant enters CLE
2018[1] 9,642,729 5.5% Icelandair and WOW air enter Cleveland market; both exit end of year
2019[1] 5,730,976 (through July) 4.7%

Ground transportation

Public transit

The airport is connected to the Cleveland Rapid Transit system with the Red Line Rapid Transit station beneath the terminal. The airport has a dedicated taxi service of 110 vehicles.[41]

Rental cars

Rental car operations are located at a consolidated rental car facility off the airport property. Shuttle services are provided between the airport and the facility.

Accidents and incidents

  • On May 24, 1938, a United Air Lines twin-engined prop flying from Newark to Chicago via Cleveland crashed on approach to Hopkins killing all seven passengers and three crew members on board.[42]
  • On August 27, 1971, a Chicago & Southern Airlines Volpar Turboliner with 2 occupants on board suffered a loss of power on the no.1 engine shortly after takeoff, it stalled and crashed killing 1 crewmember of the 2 on board.[43]
  • On January 4, 1985, an armed 42-year-old Cleveland woman named Oranette Mays hijacked Pan Am flight 558, a Boeing 727 scheduled to fly from Cleveland to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport. During the boarding process for the flight in Cleveland, Mays shot her way onto the plane, shooting and injuring a USAir employee who tried to stop her in the process. Mays then commandeered the plane, took 7 hostages (including an 8-month-old baby), and demanded to be taken to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a 6-hour stand-off, a SWAT team made up of Cleveland police and FBI agents stormed the plane. Mays and an officer were shot before police were able to arrest Mays.[44]
  • On February 17, 1991, a Ryan International Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15, a cargo flight bound for Indianapolis International Airport stalled and crashed after takeoff from CLE due to wing contamination. While the DC-9 was on the ground for 35 minutes, there was no de-icing service on the aircraft and blowing snow accumulated on the wings, causing a stall and loss of control on take-off. Both occupants were killed.[45]
  • On December 15, 1992, a Mohican Air Service Volpar Turboliner II on a ferry flight crashed after its initial climb, the sole occupant was killed. Improper installation of the elevator during recent maintenance on the aircraft was the probable cause.[46]
  • On January 6, 2003, a Continental Express Embraer ERJ-145LR overran the runway upon landing from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT. The airplane continued beyond the departure end, on the extended runway centerline, and struck the ILS runway 6 localizer antenna. It came to rest with the nose about 600 feet (180 m) beyond the end of the runway. The nose landing gear had collapsed rearward and deformed the forward pressure bulkhead.[47]


Ground Transportation Center

In May 2015, the airport moved the pick-up and drop off location for most shuttles to the former limo lot, requiring most passengers to take two escalators underneath the former shuttle parking in the arrivals lane at the airport. Originally meant to be a temporary fix, the airport made the Ground Transportation Center a permanent fixture in May 2017. This angered many travelers, who complained on various social media platforms, as well as local media outlets, garnering negative publicity for the airport's plans.[48]


In May 2013, the airport demolished its aging, 2,600-space Long Term Garage, replacing it with a 1,000 space surface lot for $24M.[49] This in turn created a parking shortage, and daily lot closings when parking lots would become full. The airport's Twitter account became a daily update of parking closures at the airport. The airport converted the Short Term Garage to a so-called Smart Garage, and valet parking garage. The airport eliminated its free half-hour courtesy parking perk, and began to charge $3 for a half-hour.[50]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Facts & Figures | Cleveland Hopkins Airport". Clevelandairport.com. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for CLE (Form 5010 PDF), effective July 5, 2007
  3. ^ "History". CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
  4. ^ https://plus.google.com/+travelandleisure/posts. "This Midwestern Airport Was Just Named 'Most Improved'". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Airport History". Archived from the original on November 19, 2012.
  6. ^ "US Air Wants Mini-Hub in Cleveland". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 23, 1987. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  7. ^ "Continental Airlines Concourse C". Robert P. Madison International. Archived from the original on July 8, 2004. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  8. ^ Smisek, Jeffrey A. (October 1, 2010). "What Does the Merger Mean for You". Continental Airlines. Archived from the original on October 3, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  9. ^ O'Donnell, Paul (June 19, 2008). "Continental, United Agree to Link Airline Networks". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  10. ^ Koenig, David (April 7, 2009). "DOT Plans to OK Continental Joining Star Alliance". USA Today. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  11. ^ Miller, Jay (November 10, 2010). "United Airlines CEO Smisek Says Cleveland Must 'Earn Its Hub Status Every Day'". Crain's Cleveland Business. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  12. ^ Ramsey, Mike (September 28, 2011). "Airline Mergers Leave Airports Off the Radar". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  13. ^ "Excite News - United Airlines drops Cleveland as hub airport".
  14. ^ "Frontier Airlines continues push from Cleveland as Dulles fires up. Now for?: US ULCCs Part 2".
  15. ^ "What will become of Concourse D after United Airlines cuts regional flights at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?". cleveland.com.
  16. ^ Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY (March 21, 2014). "Frontier Airlines tabs Cleveland as newest focus city". USA TODAY.
  17. ^ "United Airlines commemorates 90 years of ups and downs in Cleveland (photos)".
  18. ^ "Regional airline adding new headquarters to existing North Olmsted operation".
  19. ^ "United Technical Operations". www.unitedtechops.com.
  20. ^ "Fact sheet". expressjet.com.
  21. ^ "CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport". CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
  22. ^ "United vacating Cleveland airport concourse". The Washingtion Times.
  23. ^ a b "Continental Airlines Unveils State-of-the-Art Aviation Facility in Cleveland" (Press release). Continental. May 13, 1999. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  24. ^ "Flight Schedules". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  25. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Frontier Airlines Announces 9 New Routes, Including a Major Expansion in Las Vegas". News.flyfrontier.com. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  29. ^ "Frontier". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  31. ^ "Southwest Airlines Newsroom". Swamedia.com. March 15, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  32. ^ Glaser, Susan (June 3, 2019). "Southwest Airlines adds limited, holiday flights between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale". cleveland.com.
  33. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  34. ^ "Where We Fly". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  35. ^ a b "United Map". Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  36. ^ "Cleveland, OH: Cleveland-Hopkins International (CLE)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  37. ^ Glaser, Susan (April 22, 2018). "Why Cleveland Hopkins airport has more passengers, lower fares despite fewer destinations". cleveland.com.
  38. ^ "Air carrier operational statistics". Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. January 2017. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  39. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ "History". CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
  41. ^ "Taxis". Cleveland Airport System. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  42. ^ "Ship Crashes to Earth in Sight of Cleveland Airport". Evening Independent. May 25, 1938. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  43. ^ Accident description for N351V at the Aviation Safety Network
  44. ^ "SWAT Team Storms Jetliner in Cleveland : Woman Holding Four Hostages Is Wounded; One Officer Injured". Los Angeles Times. January 5, 1985.
  45. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  46. ^ Accident description for N706M at the Aviation Safety Network
  47. ^ "N16571 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  48. ^ "Travelers are unhappy with new Cleveland Hopkins International Airport shuttle stops".
  49. ^ "Cleveland Hopkins alters parking plans to keep option of expanding garage (photos)".
  50. ^ "Cleveland Hopkins airport opens new overflow parking lot with garage nearing capacity".

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

External links

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