Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Article

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Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.svg
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Terminal.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Cleveland
OperatorCleveland Airport System
Serves Cleveland
Location Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Focus city for Frontier Airlines
Elevation  AMSL791 ft / 241 m
Coordinates 41°24′42″N 081°50′59″W / 41.41167°N 81.84972°W / 41.41167; -81.84972

41°24′42″N 081°50′59″W / 41.41167°N 81.84972°W / 41.41167; -81.84972
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
CLE is located in Ohio
Location of airport in Ohio / United States
CLE is located in the 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 Increase [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 number. Hopkins is a focus city for Frontier Airlines. It offers non-stop passenger service to 54 destinations with 174 average daily departures, and is the only airport in Ohio that offers non-stop transatlantic flights to Europe. 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 Washington–Dulles. 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.

Continental—United 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]

North American international service

Intercontinental service

Icelandair offers seasonal service to and from Reykjavik May through October, five times weekly.

Former intercontinental service from Cleveland includes:

Largest Aircraft

The largest passenger aircraft that currently fly into Cleveland Hopkins include the following:

  • Atlas Air: B767-300 (NFL Charter) B747-400 (NFL charter)
  • Dynamic Airways (Swift Air): B767-200 (seasonal charter)
  • Delta Air Lines: 757-200 (Year-round sports charters)
  • Frontier: A321
  • Icelandair: B757-200, B737 MAX 8 (Seasonal flights May-Oct)
  • MLW Aviation: B757-200 (Dallas Mavericks charter)
  • United: B737-900ER, B777-300ER (seasonal MLB charter) B767-400 (Select charters), B757-300 (NFL charters)

Numerous widebody cargo aircraft currently operate in Cleveland Hopkins, including:

  • FedEx: A300, 757, 767 (holiday seasonal), MD-11 (holiday seasonal)
  • UPS Airlines: A300, 757 (holiday seasonal), 767, MD-11 (holiday seasonal)
  • Western Global Airlines: MD-11, 747-400F (seasonal)

Airfield, facilities, and terminal

Satellite view of the airport.
A former American Eagle counter at gate A3 in concourse A.
Hopkins airport is known for its fanciful giant "paper" airplane sculptures located in the underground walkway between Concourses C and D (now closed to the public).


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. [25] 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. [26]

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. [27]

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 A1–A3, A5-A12, A14) houses Allegiant Air, Frontier, Icelandair, 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 B1–B11) 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 C2–C11, C14, and C16–C29) 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 D2–D12, 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. [28] 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, [29] it exclusively handled smaller regional aircraft during its operation. Concourse D contains 12 jet bridge gates and 24 ramp loading positions. [29]

Airlines and destinations


Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson [30]
Allegiant Air Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota (begins April 4, 2019), [31] Savannah, St. Pete-Clearwater
Seasonal: Austin, Charleston (SC) (begins June 6, 2019), Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville (FL), Myrtle Beach, Nashville (begins May 16, 2019), [32] Norfolk (begins June 7, 2019), Orlando/Sanford
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia [34]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [34]
Apple Vacations Charter: Punta Cana
Seasonal charter: Cancún
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Salt Lake City
Delta Connection Boston (begins March 3, 2019), [37] Detroit, Hartford, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Orlando
Frontier Airlines Cancún, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Punta Cana, San Diego, Sarasota, Tampa
Seasonal: Austin, Charleston (SC) (begins May 2, 2019), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Raleigh/Durham, San Francisco (resumes April 30, 2019), Seattle/Tacoma, West Palm Beach
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík [39]
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale [40]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Tampa (begins March 9, 2019) [41]
Seasonal: Fort Myers, New Orleans
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Orlando
Seasonal: Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Tampa
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers
United Express Boston (ends March 7, 2019), [45] Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Fort Lauderdale (begins March 9, 2019), Fort Myers (begins March 9, 2019), Tampa (resumes March 9, 2019)
Vacation Express Seasonal charter: Freeport, Montego Bay, Punta Cana [46]

Destination maps


Castle Aviation Akron/Canton, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Hamilton
FedEx Express Columbus–Rickenbacker, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark
Seasonal: Buffalo, Flint, Rochester
FedEx Feeder Erie
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, Louisville
Seasonal: Philadelphia
Western Global Airlines Louisville


Top destinations

Ramp to former garage
Automated car counter in the parking garage
Busiest domestic routes from CLE (December 2017 – November 2018) [47]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 458,100 Delta, Southwest, Spirit
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 423,750 American, United
3 Denver, Colorado 225,870 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Orlando, Florida 217,020 Delta, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, United
5 Charlotte, North Carolina 195,080 American
6 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 186,840 Southwest
7 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 184,780 American, Spirit
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 184,710 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
9 New York–LaGuardia, New York 176,080 American, Delta, United
10 Boston, Massachusetts 147,850 JetBlue, Spirit, United
Busiest international routes from CLE
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Toronto–Pearson, Canada 79,883 (2017) [48] Air Canada Express
2 Keflavik, Iceland 57,860 (2018) Icelandair, WOW air
3 Cancún, Mexico 39,947 (2016) [49] Frontier, United
4 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 20,969 (2016) [50] Frontier, Dynamic International Airways

Annual passenger traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at CLE, 1999 through 2018 [51]
Year Passengers Change (%) Notes
1999 13,020,285 Steady Concourse D opens; Continental increases flights and destinations from CLE
2000 13,288,059 Increase 2.1%
2001 11,864,411 Decrease 10.7% September 11 terrorist attacks
2002 10,795,270 Decrease 9.0%
2003 10,555,387 Decrease 2.2%
2004 11,264,937 Increase 6.7%
2005 11,463,391 Increase 1.8%
2006 11,321,050 Decrease 1.2%
2007 11,459,390 Increase 1.2% Great Recession begins
2008 11,106,196 Decrease 3.1%
2009 9,715,604 Decrease 12.5%
2010 9,492,455 Decrease 2.3%
2011 9,176,824 Decrease 3.3%
2012 9,004,983 Decrease 1.9% Continental and United merger completes
2013 9,072,126 Increase 0.7%
2014 7,609,404 Decrease 16.1% United dehubs CLE; Concourse D closes; Frontier names CLE a focus city
2015 8,100,073 Increase 6.4% JetBlue and Spirit enter CLE
2016 8,422,676 Increase 4.0%
2017 9,140,445 Increase 8.5% Allegiant enters CLE
2018 [52] 9,642,729 Increase 5.5% Icelandair enters CLE; WOW air enters CLE and exits end of year

Ground transportation

Public transit

Cleveland RTA at the airport station
Airport welcome sign

The airport is connected to the Cleveland Rapid Transit system. Passengers can board Red Line trains at the airport's Rapid Transit station beneath the terminal. The one-way fare to any station on the line is $2.50. During late night and early morning hours, service is provided by the #22 Lorain bus from the airport to Downtown Cleveland. The airport also offers a dedicated taxi service of 110 vehicles. [53]

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. [54]
  • 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. [55]
  • 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.
  • 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 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. [56]
  • On February 18, 2007, at 3:14 pm, a Shuttle America Embraer 170 operating as Delta Connection flight 6448 from Atlanta skidded off snow-covered runway 28 and crashed through a fence. None of the 70 passengers and four crew on board were injured.

See also


 This article incorporates  public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^
  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. ^ "This Midwestern Airport Was Just Named 'Most Improved'". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  5. ^ Airport History Archived November 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  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?".
  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. ^ Bennett, Marcia (June 24, 1982). "Button-Box Band Tours Slovenia". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  20. ^ "1985/86: JAT Yugoslav Airlines Long-haul Network". Routes Online. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  21. ^ "From Aeroput to JAT Airways". JAT Airlines. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  22. ^ "Continental Airlines Launches First Ever Non-Stop Transatlantic Service Between Cleveland and London" (Press release). Continental Airlines. June 29, 1999.
  23. ^ Grant, Alison (December 3, 2009). "Continental Airlines Cancels Non-Stop Seasonal Flights From Cleveland to London". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  24. ^ "Continental: Cleveland-London nonstop is gone for good". USA Today. December 4, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
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  30. ^ "Flight Schedules". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  34. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  35. ^ "Cleveland, OH Flight Schedule". Apple Vacations. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  36. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Frontier". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  39. ^ "Flight Schedule". Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  40. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  41. ^ "Southwest extends schedule". August 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  42. ^ "Check Flight Schedules". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  43. ^ "Where We Fly". Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  44. ^ a b "United Map".
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Flight Schedule". Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  47. ^ "Cleveland, OH: Cleveland-Hopkins International (CLE)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Air carrier operational statistics". Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. January 2017. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  50. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= ( help)
  51. ^ "History". CLE Going Places - Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
  52. ^
  53. ^ "Taxis". Cleveland Airport System. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  54. ^ "Ship Crashes to Earth in Sight of Cleveland Airport". Evening Independent. May 25, 1938. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  55. ^
  56. ^ "N16571 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved January 21, 2012.

External links