Syracuse Hancock International Airport

For the U.S. Air Force use of this facility, see Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.
Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Syracuse Regional Airport Authority
Operator Syracuse Department of Aviation
Serves Syracuse, New York
Location DeWitt / Salina / Cicero, Onondaga County, New York
Elevation AMSL 421 ft / 128 m
Coordinates 43°06′40″N 076°06′23″W / 43.11111°N 76.10639°W / 43.11111; -76.10639Coordinates: 43°06′40″N 076°06′23″W / 43.11111°N 76.10639°W / 43.11111; -76.10639

Location in New York/United States

Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 9,003 2,744 Asphalt
15/33 7,500 2,286 Asphalt
Statistics (2011, 2014)
Aircraft operations (2011) 72,113
Based aircraft (2011) 93
Passengers (2014) 1,951,370
Sources: FAA,[1] ACI.[2]

Syracuse Hancock International Airport (IATA: SYR, ICAO: KSYR, FAA LID: SYR) is a city owned, joint civil-military airport five miles northeast of downtown Syracuse, in Onondaga County, New York.[1] The airport is off Interstate 81 near Mattydale, New York. The main terminal complex is at the east end of Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a primary commercial service airport.[3] Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 1,105,143 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[4] 1,016,571 in 2009 and 1,024,505 in 2010.[5]


In 1927 Syracuse mayor Charles Hanna felt his city needed an airport. A location at Amboy in the town of Camillus, New York was purchased for $50,000, and by 1928, the "Syracuse City Airport at Amboy" was handling airmail. At the end of World War II the United States Army Air Corps leased their bomber base near Mattydale, New York to the city. On September 17, 1949 the Clarence E. Hancock Airport opened to the public using a renovated machine shop as a terminal, and replaced the airport at Amboy. The airport had three concrete runways, 5,500-foot (1,700 m) long and 300-foot (91 m) wide. American, Buffalo, Colonial and Robinson Airlines were the first airlines at the airport.

United Airlines Boeing 737 at SYR in 1993

In 2004 Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll created a television and internet campaign, Fly Syracuse,[6] hoping to lower fares and increase passenger traffic at the airport. The airport has since experienced growth thanks to the efforts of local business contributions toward the campaign.


The airport covers 2,000 acres (809 ha) at an elevation of 421 feet (128 m). It has two asphalt runways: 10/28 is 9,003 by 150 feet (2,744 x 46 m) and 15/33 is 7,500 by 150 feet (2,286 x 46 m).[1]

The east-west instrument runway (10-28) was extended from its original 5500 feet by the mid-1950s to 6863 feet and a few years later to 8000 feet. In 1958 the instrument landing system to runway 28 was augmented with a 3000 foot high-intensity approach lighting system. With the use of the Century series fighter aircraft by the Air Force, around 1960 the main east-west runway was extended again, to 9003 feet. The runway was strengthened in the early 1960s for the heavier Boeing 707. In the 1960s runway centerline lighting was added to the main runway and touchdown zone lighting on the runway 28 end.

Around the time of building the new terminal building, runway 6-24 was shortened to 3261 feet (to make room for the entrance road to the new terminal) and continued to be a general aviation runway into the 1970s, and was abandoned after that. Runway 14-32 was lengthened in the 1960s to 6000 feet. Another extension brought it to 6480 feet and sometime around 1980 to its present length of 7500 feet. The crosswind runway was renumbered from 14-32 to 15-33. An instrument landing system was added to runway 10 with medium intensity approach lighting with runway alignment indicator lights. Runway 15 got a medium intensity approach lighting system.[7]

In the year ending September 30, 2011 the airport had 72,113 aircraft operations, average 197 per day: 45% air taxi, 24% airline, 20% military, and 12% general aviation. 93 aircraft were then based at this airport: 55% single-engine, 26% military, 10% multi-engine, 8% jet, and 2% helicopter.[1]


An American Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-80 being deiced at Terminal B. In the background is a Northwest Airlines DC-9 parked at Terminal A.
FAA diagram of Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR)

Syracuse receives an average 124 inches (289.56 cm) of snow annually, most of any major city in the United States. On average, the airport is closed less than 24 hours annually due to snowfall. The airport has received the Balchen/Post Award for Excellence in the Performance of Snow and Ice Control eight times, most recently in 2012-2013.[8] Runway 28 allows for Category II Instrument Landing System (ILS).

Expansion and growth

C&S is providing professional design and construction inspection/observation services for the construction of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport terminal security and access improvement project, a 147,000-square-foot (13,700 m2) renovation design project with an estimated cost of $63 million. The most critical components of the project include: post check-in TSA baggage handling, improved passenger screening, and sustainability. This project is 100 percent funded by PFC's (Passenger Facility Charges) meaning that no tax dollars will be used to construct this project. For more information refer to[9] This project connects Terminal A to Terminal B. This allows all passengers to be screened at a centralized location, and then proceed to their gate from the center. There will also be new concessions and restaurants housed in the new area, as well as in the existing areas of Terminals A and B. This will hopefully create greater appeal for new airlines to fly into Syracuse. On May 15, 2013, the airport opened the new security area to passengers. As expected with anything new, there were some minor glitches; 40 passengers missed flights. They were reimbursed by the airport with $150 vouchers. On day 2, the airport processed 881 passengers through the new security checkpoint, and had zero problems. Before the new gate that houses the security checkpoint is an observatory for children to watch planes.[10]

Delaware North held the contract for the airport's terminal and concourse food options until October 11, 2013, when the airport authority awarded a fifteen-year contract to New York's Creative Food Group LLC; under Delaware North the airport's dining options had been criticized for not keeping up with the times and the dining area feeling more like a 'mall food court', as the airport previously had outlets like Sbarro and brands unknown to travelers like Dinosaur BBQ.[11] Creative plans (and currently has temporary kiosks open for) to add Dunkin' Donuts and Jamba Juice during the airport's modernization, along with a Johnny Rockets, and CNBC and New York Times-branded newsstands and bookstores operated by The Paradies Shops. The Saranac Pub, along with another bar based on the products of the local Middle Ages Brewing Company, will also be planned as part of the modernization, which should be completed by Thanksgiving 2014.[12]

On December 12, 2013 Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) announced that he had met with Delta CEO Richard Anderson. The purpose was to bring in new air service, and Schumer was successful. Delta's service to JFK from Hancock will be tripled from 1 daily trip to 3 daily trips beginning April 2014. In addition, extra flights to Minneapolis will be added, although the number was unspecified. Service to Atlanta will be served by larger aircraft, which will lead to an 8% seat capacity jump.

Airlines and destinations


Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson A
Allegiant Air Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
American Airlines Charlotte A
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Philadelphia, Washington–National A
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Delta Connection Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia B
JetBlue Airways New York–JFK, Orlando
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles B


FedEx Express Burlington (VT), Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Memphis
FedEx Feeder
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
UPS Airlines Albany, Buffalo, Hartford/Springfield, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Philadelphia, Roanoke


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from SYR (Sep 2014 – Aug 2015)[13]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 142,000 American, United
2 New York–JFK, New York 131,000 Delta, JetBlue
3 Atlanta, Georgia 129,000 Delta
4 Charlotte, North Carolina 99,000 American/US Airways
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 76,000 American/US Airways
6 Detroit, Michigan 66,000 Delta
7 Washington–National, D.C. 61,000 American/US Airways
8 New York–LaGuardia, New York 60,000 Delta
9 Washington–Dulles, D.C. 51,000 United
10 Orlando, Florida 41,000 JetBlue

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned) at SYR, 2001 through 2014[14]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 1,035,916
2009 1,024,227
2008 1,116,584
2007 1,184,162
2006 1,133,040
2015 1,000,722 2005 1,228,991
2014 998,900 2004 1,135,713
2013 1,000,466 2003 954,930
2012 988,347 2002 953,935
2011 999,880 2001 953,011

Flight schools

Syracuse Hancock International is home to Syracuse Flight School which replaced what was Waypoint Flight School.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 FAA Airport Master Record for SYR (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. 2010 North American final rankings Archived May 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. External link in |work= (help)
  4. "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. External link in |work= (help)
  5. "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. External link in |work= (help)
  6. "". Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  7. "KSYR - Syracuse Hancock International Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  8. "North East Chapter American Association of Airport Executives - The Balchen/Post Award". 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  9. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Dick Blume (2013-05-16). "Day Two: No delays at Syracuse airport security". Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  11. "Out With Sbarro and In With 'Dinosaur BBQ' at Syracuse Airport". Jaunted. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  12. "By changing dining choices, Hancock Airport officials hope to influence ticket prices". WSYR-TV. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  13. "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  14. Home / About Us / Airport Statistics / Passenger Traffic. Retrieved on Apr 2, 2015.
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