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Harrisburg International Airport

Harrisburg International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority
Serves Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Location Lower Swatara Township, Pennsylvania
Elevation AMSL 310 ft / 94 m
MDT is located in Pennsylvania
Location of airport in Pennsylvania
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 10,001 3,048 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft operations 53,951
Based aircraft 34
Sources: airport website[1] and FAA[2]

Harrisburg International Airport (ICAO: KMDTFAA LID: MDT) is a public airport in Lower Swatara Township, Pennsylvania,[3] nine miles (15 km) southeast of Harrisburg. It is owned by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority.[2]

The airport code MDT refers to Middletown, a suburb of Harrisburg. Planes landing at MDT from the south are often routed near Three Mile Island a few miles from the airport. The airport, frequently referred to as HIA, is the primary commercial airport in South Central Pennsylvania and is the third-busiest airport in Pennsylvania for passenger enplanements and cargo shipments behind Philadelphia International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.[4][5]


  • History 1
  • Facilities and aircraft 2
    • Ground transportation 2.1
  • Airlines and destinations 3
  • Statistics 4
  • Air cargo 5
  • Pennsylvania Air National Guard use 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Harrisburg International Airport has been serving south-central Pennsylvania for over 100 years.[6] Beginning in 1898, the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army was stationed here. This was followed by the first military airplanes landing in 1918 at what had become Olmsted Field of the fledgling U.S. Army Air Service.

The Middletown Air Depot (later Middletown Air Materiel Area) at Olmsted provided logistical and maintenance support of military aircraft until it closed in 1969. In 1968 airline flights moved from Capital City Airport to Harrisburg International Airport at the former Air Force Base. Architect William Pereira designed the new terminals, completed in 1973.

In 1998 the Commonwealth transferred ownership to the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA). The Authority board consists of community volunteers appointed to staggered, five-year terms by the elected officials from Cumberland, Dauphin, and York counties, the cities of Harrisburg and York, and Fairview and Lower Swatara townships.

About 1,400 people work in the system of Harrisburg International Airport.[7]

A new 360,000 square-foot terminal was completed in 2004. It cost $120 million and was designed by The Sheward Partnership.[8]

Facilities and aircraft

Harrisburg International Airport covers 680 acres (280 ha) at an elevation of 310 feet (94 m) above mean sea level. It has one asphalt runway, 13/31, 10,001 by 200 feet (3,048 by 61 m).[2]

Runway 13 has a CAT III approach allowing operations down to 600 feet (180 m) RVR (Runway Visual Range). The airport has a Surface Movement Guidance Control System (SMGCS) that allows aircraft and vehicle ground movements during reduced visibility (below 1,200 feet (370 m) RVR down to 600 feet (180 m) RVR).

In 2005 the airport had 71,190 aircraft operations, an average of 195 per day: 54% air taxi, 22% general aviation, 13% scheduled commercial and 12% military. 29 aircraft were then based at this airport: 17% single-engine, 28% multi-engine, 31% jet, 3% helicopter and 21% military.[2]

The terminal has 12 gates and is a pier finger lay out near the middle of the airfield, almost parallel to the runway.[9]

Ground transportation

Built in 2004, and attached to the new terminal building via a climate-controlled sky bridge, the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility (MMTF) is a four-story facility that handles all ground transportation. The top three levels have 2,504 parking places for Short-Term Hourly, Daily, and Long-Term public parking. The first level accommodates all limos, taxis, hotel shuttles, public and charter buses, plus the rental car ready/return lot.[10]

In the first floor lobby area are six rental car counters, restrooms, flight, and bus information displays, and a seating area. On the second floor of the lobby area, climate-controlled moving sidewalks connect to the aerial walkway to the terminal.[10]

Route 7 of the Capital Area Transit System runs to downtown Harrisburg and surrounding communities. The Middletown Amtrak Station, about 3 miles (5 km) east of the Terminal, has Amtrak service via the Keystone corridor. There had been a proposal to construct a new rail terminal adjacent to the MMTF, but the final location chosen for the new station is about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west, in Highspire, PA.[11]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Canada Express Toronto-Pearson C
Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater B
American Airlines Charlotte C
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Philadelphia C
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal Detroit
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit A
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare B
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles A


Top Ten Busiest domestic routes Out of Harrisburg International Airport
(August 2014 - July 2015)[12]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago, IL (ORD) 129,000 American, United
2 Charlotte, NC (CLT) 115,000 US Airways
3 Atlanta, GA (ATL) 97,000 Delta
4 Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 61,000 US Airways
5 Detroit, MI (DTW) 59,000 Delta
6 Washington/Dulles, VA (IAD) 51,000 United
7 Sanford, FL (SFB) 32,000 Allegiant
8 Orlando, FL (MCO) 22,000 Frontier
9 St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE) 17,000 Allegiant
10 Denver, CO (DEN) 10,000 Frontier

Air cargo

Harrisburg International Airport has freight-forwarding capability. The airport is next to I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-83, and I-81, allowing fast transfer of goods. Three major air cargo shippers maintain air service at the east end of the airport in an apron area next to the runway:[13]

Pennsylvania Air National Guard use

Despite the closure of Olmsted AFB in 1969, the US Air Force continues an Air National Guard presence at Harrisburg[14] in the form of Harrisburg Air National Guard Station and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 193rd Special Operations Wing (193 SOW), an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)-gained unit flying the EC-130 Commando Solo aircraft. The 193 SOW is the sole operator of this critical aircraft asset for the entire US Air Force and in 2001 transitioned from the EC-130E to the new EC-130J variant. The wing has seen extensive Federal service in recent years in support of Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Harrisburg International Airport remains an active touch and go practice runway for SAM 28000 and SAM 29000. These two planes carry the President. They are also known as Air Force One, the call which is adopted when the president is aboard either aircraft (or any other Air Force aircraft for that matter). The Air Force pilots use the custom VC-25's (Boeing 747s) to practice via touch and go at the airport. These practice runs are at random (for obvious security reasons), but they do tend to be seen about weekly. The Air Force uses MDT as the practice airport for a number of reasons: its runway is long enough for a loaded 747, relatively low traffic, close proximity to Andrews Air Force Base, and the presence of the Air National Guard at MDT.

See also


  1. ^ Harrisburg International Airport, official site
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for MDT (Form 5010 PDF), effective June 5, 2008
  3. ^ "Lower Swatara township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  4. ^ "Commercial Service Airports by State and Type of Carrier" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Airports Reporting All-Cargo Data for Calendar Year 2005" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2007. 
  6. ^ Harrisburg International Airport History
  7. ^ Airport Authority History SARAA, accessed February 14, 2010.
  8. ^ The Sheward Partnership – Harrisburg International Airport
  9. ^ FAA Airport Diagram for Harrisburg International (MDT) (PDF), effective May 26, 2016
  10. ^ a b Multi-Modal Transportation Facility SARAA, accessed February 12, 2010.
  11. ^ New Middletown Amtrak station site will be at Ann Street and Route 230
  12. ^ PA: Harrisburg International Olmsted Field&carrier=FACTS
  13. ^ Cargo operations at HIA Harrisburg International Airport, accessed March 4, 2010.
  14. ^ Burger, T.W. (June 21, 2010). "Pennsylvania Air National Guard unit called rescuers on wings". Harrisburg Patriot News. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 

External links

  • Harrisburg International Airport (official site)
  • Harrisburg International Airport at Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective May 26, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for MDT, effective May 26, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KMDT
    • ASN accident history for MDT
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KMDT
    • FAA current MDT delay information

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