Lehigh Valley International Airport is located in the Hanover Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, US.
It was formerly known as Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton International Airport.
Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) is the owner and operator of the airport.
The public airport was recognised as a non-hub primary commercial service facility in the updated National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017-21 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
It plays a vital role in the air transportation network in Pennsylvania and acts as a gateway to international destinations.
Airport authorities have formulated a new master plan to meet passenger demand. The expansion project has started with the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new hangar at the airport in August 2018.
Lehigh Valley International Airport background and existing facilities
Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) was officially opened in 1929 and started operations in 1935. The hangar was initially used for passenger movements and a new passenger terminal was built in 1938.
The airport was used as a training facility by the US Navy during the Second World War. The existing terminal was constructed between 1973 and 1976.
Lehigh Valley airport is built on a 2,278-acre area and features a passenger terminal, two runways, hangars, a control tower, and parking spaces. It also features nine gates dedicated for passenger services and six spaces to accommodate cargo aircraft.
The terminal has been renovated twice, in 2009 and 2010, and currently has a built-up area of 33,600ft².
The two runways in the airport are asphalt-surfaced and designated as 6/24 and 13/31. Runway 6/24 measures 2,316m-long and 46m-wide. It has a load-bearing capacity of 49t. Runway 13/31 has a length of 1,768m and width of 46m with a load-bearing capacity of 35t.
Lehigh Valley International Airport masterplan
The latest masterplan devised by LNAA is aimed at meeting the forecasted demand and offering an improved travel experience to passengers. The 25-year master plan is expected to address future demand until 2040.
Multiple renovation and expansion projects will be carried out under the master plan, which will be implemented in four phases.
Lehigh Valley airport has witnessed significant growth in recent years in terms of aircraft and cargo movements.
It saw 72,600 passenger movements in June 2018, which is an 18.9% rise compared to 61,044 in June 2017.
The consistent upward trend in demand forced airport authorities to formulate an extensive master plan to enhance the airport’s capacity and features.
Lehigh Valley International Airport expansion project details
Construction of a new hangar has been started as part of the expansion project. It will be the biggest hangar at the Lehigh Valley airport to date. Numbered Hangar 11, it will be a 54,000ft² facility designed to accommodate a wide range of general aviation aircraft.
The hangar is estimated to cost $16.3m, which includes $6m that is being sourced through a grant from the Bureau of Aviation of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Large business aircraft such as Gulfstream 650 that have wingspan more than 100ft will be housed at the new hangar.
The first phase of the master plan will be executed from 2018-23. It will involve reconstruction of runway 6/24, expansion of the cargo area, landside improvements, parking facilities, fixed-base operator building construction, and enhancement of security checkpoint features.
Phase two will be implemented between 2024-28 and will include expansion of the terminal international arrival facility, in addition to the construction of a new cargo facility and two 200ft × 200ft hangars.
The third phase is planned from 2029-40 and will involve the extension of the two runways, as well as an aircraft rescue and fire-fighting building.
The last phase of the development includes construction of a new runway, three 200ft × 200ft hangars, and a terminal concourse extension.
LNAA has selected Grace Industries, an energy and civil infrastructure services provider based in Bath, as the general contractor for the hangar development project. Electrical works involved with the project will be carried out by Boro Construction.
Guy M Cooper has been selected to provide plumbing services, while Shannon A Smith will offer heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.