PHL Philadelphia International Airport

The History:

Northeast Philadelphia Airport, as it is presently known, originally opened in the 1930’s as the Northeast Airport – a grass field with no paved runways. During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corps intended to develop the site as an airbase but later abandoned the project. The property was turned over to the City of Philadelphia in 1944 and reopened as an airport in 1945. The name was changed to North Philadelphia Airport in 1948, then changed again in 1980 to the present Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

Today, PNE occupies 1,150 acres in the northeast section of the City of Philadelphia, and serves as a reliever airport for general aviation and corporate flight operations. It has two runways and averages 215 based aircraft, dominated by single engine aircraft, as well as twins, jets, turboprops and helicopters. Two fixed-base operators provide fuel, major aircraft repair, hangar rental, aircraft rental and charter, flight instruction, and aircraft sales. While PNE plays an important role in Philadelphia’s regional aviation needs, many aspects of PNE are dated and in need of repair and improvement, including security fencing, access roads and parking areas.

The Project:

As part of the ongoing Capital Development Program (CDP), $1.1 million has been allocated to PNE for needed improvements to the airfield and exterior infrastructure of the airport. The work, which began in October 2018 with target completion date of April 2019, includes the following priority projects:

Security Fencing:
  • The current fencing along Academy Road is nearly 25 years old and in need of replacement. The new black vinyl coated fence is 8-feet high with 1-foot of barbed wire, and will have snow fencing attached to the first 4 feet. The snow fence is designed to catch blowing snow that has typically caused winter closures to the adjacent Academy Road.
  • In an effort to keep deer and other wildlife – a nuisance for airports – off the airfield, a new security fence will be constructed on the northeast part of the airfield. This fence will separate a creek from the airfield where deer currently enter the airport by walking up the creek.
Access Roads and Parking Areas:
  • Pavement on the airport access road and in the two main free public lots on the southwest entrance are cracking and showing signs of distress. Milling and paving the areas will lower maintenance and create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Other related work includes paving an access road to the main electrical substation, which currently has no road, as well as adding in additional Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking spaces.
  • The parking area for maintenance trucks is currently unpaved, causing the area to become muddy during winter and rainy conditions. The addition of a 15,000 square foot area of pavement will allow maintenance workers to park their vehicles on asphalt, instead of what is now grass and mud.
Building and Sign Demolition:

Includes removal of an old sign stand/base and small building – both of which are now unused and considered an eyesore. This small improvement will make for a more enjoyable employee and customer experience in this highly trafficked area of the airport.

The Result:

These critical improvements to the airfield and infrastructure will improve safety and allow PNE to provide a better experience for customers and employees who are using the airport and parking at the facility.

The Contractors:

Bencardino Excavating

Suggested Photos:

Provided by John Brewer – if not sufficient, can photography by PHL photographer – and includes:

  • Newly paved access road and parking areas (customer and maintenance)
  • New fencing