90 years after takeoff, ABE is still flying high!
April 9, 2019
Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) celebrating opening in 1929
On April 9, 1929, the Allentown Airport Corporation received its ticket for takeoff – a charter from the Department of Commerce Bureau of Aviation.
Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) is celebrating it’s 90th Anniversary – still remaining one of the few U.S. airports providing air service and operating from its original location.
“It’s been an amazing journey for this Airport as it continues to be a jewel of the Lehigh Valley transportation structure and a strong economic asset for the region,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
Management of airport operations for the former Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Airport has remained under the control of the Airport Authority since August 1, 1946 – when it became the first Airport Authority in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
With an $18,000 price tag, the original 9,600 sq. ft. hangar constructed in August 1929 is still standing at ABE. Today, the Airport Authority is building a new 54,000 sq. ft. corporate / general aviation hangar expected to be completed this Fall with an approximate cost of $16 million.
Turning back the clock to highlight only a few of the memorable moments at ABE isn’t an easy task, but here are some to consider:
- November 4, 1929 – Amelia Earhart lands at the Allentown Airport (now ABE) during a cross-country flight.
- September 16, 1935 – United Airlines inaugural flight of commercial air service from Allentown. The hangar served as the terminal for passengers.
- October 28, 1960 – Presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy lands at ABE to speak to to 15,000 people.
- November 15, 1975 – New $11 million Terminal Complex dedicated.
- December 10, 1995 – New FAA Air Traffic Control Tower commissioned.
- November 14, 1997 – New $13.5 million, 33,000 sq. ft. Wilfred M. “Wiley” Post, Jr. concourse dedicated.
- 2000 & 2004 – Over 1,000,000 passengers travel through ABE.
- October 5, 2012 – A $15 million terminal expansion project completed.
- May 25, 2016 – ABE is one of only 7 airports in the U.S. to host Solar Impulse 2, an all solar-powered airplane during it’s around the world flight.
- February 12, 2019 – Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) announces its 13th nonstop destination with Allegiant providing service to Nashville.
“There is so much aviation history to reminisce about regarding ABE, we are very excited to share this achievement with our passengers, stakeholders, tenants, and the entire community throughout 2019,” said Stoudt.
Please share your memories and photos by emailing us at [email protected].