Piedmont Triad International Airport

Piedmont Triad International Airport (IATA: GSO, ICAO: KGSO, FAA LID: GSO) (commonly referred to as "PTI") is an airport located in unincorporated Guilford County, North Carolina, west of Greensboro, serving the Piedmont Triad region of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the entire Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina. The airport, located just off Bryan Boulevard, sits on a 3,770 acre (1,526 ha) campus and has 3 runways.[2] Piedmont Triad International airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI is owned and operated by the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.

Piedmont Triad International Airport
Piedmont Triad International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorPiedmont Triad Airport Authority
ServesGreensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina
LocationGuilford County, near Greensboro, North Carolina
Hub forFedEx Express[1]
Elevation AMSL926 ft / 282 m
Coordinates36°05′52″N 79°56′14″W / 36.09778°N 79.93722°W / 36.09778; -79.93722
Piedmont Triad International Airport is located in North Carolina
Piedmont Triad International Airport
Piedmont Triad International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5L/23R 9,000 2,743 Asphalt
5R/23L 10,001 3,048 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 6,380 1,945 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger Statistics (2019)2.138 million

This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year.[3]

A proposal to rename the airport to "Central North Carolina International Airport" passed in December 2017; the renaming was slated to become effective on January 1, 2018.[4] Due to public objections, however, the name change is on hold.[5]


Maynard Field, a predecessor of PTI Airport and one of the first commercial airports in the South, was dedicated on December 6, 1919, just west of Greensboro near Oak Ridge. With its two intersecting runways measuring 1,890 feet (580 m) and 1,249 feet (381 m), hangar space, and even an early day equivalent of a Fixed-Base Operator that made sure the torches were lit at dusk, Maynard Field was named to honor a young North Carolinian pilot named Lt. Belvin Maynard. By 1922 it had competition to the west with Miller Field in Winston-Salem, and Charles Field, a single airstrip that was used mainly for barnstorming, and for take-off drills and landings for the Charles family.

Piedmont Triad International Airport had its start in 1927 when the Tri-City Airport Commission selected 112 acres (45 ha) near the community of Friendship for an airport, and petitioned to become a stop along the congressionally authorized airmail route from New York to New Orleans. Racing pilot Captain Roscoe Turner referred to the current location of Piedmont Triad International Airport as "the best landing field in the south." Friendship, near Greensboro, was selected over neighboring Winston-Salem, which subsequently refused to contribute funds for airport construction and nullified the Tri-City Airport Authority collaborative effort.[6]

Greensboro and Guilford County jointly purchased the Friendship property from Paul C. and Helen G. Lindley, and named it Lindley Field in May 1927 with 12,000 people in attendance. The field then had no runways, no lights, no hangar, and no passenger station. Charles Lindbergh stopped at Lindley Field with the "Spirit of St. Louis" on his cross-country tour celebrating the advances of aviation on October 14, 1927. Regular mail service started in 1928.[7]

Pitcairn Aviation, Incorporated was given the contract to fly the airmail route, the second official airmail route in the United States, and Pitcairn Aviation made the first delivery of airmail in North Carolina on May 1, 1928. Sid Malloy, the pilot of the aircraft, landed with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail to be sent to Atlanta. After a brief closure during the Great Depression, the airport reopened on May 17, 1937 with two all-weather runways. In time, Pitcairn Aviation built a hangar; Greensboro built a passenger station; the United States government established a weather bureau; and the Department of Commerce set up a radio tower. Passenger service was inaugurated by Dixie Flying Service on November 6, 1930, with a route to Washington, D.C.. Pitcairn Aviation took over the route under its new name Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Air Lines.[6]

In July 1942 responsibility for the airport was given to the Greensboro-High Point Airport Authority, with representatives from Greensboro, High Point, and Guilford County. Shortly thereafter the Army Air Corps requisitioned the airport and its facilities for war use and airmail and passenger service was discontinued. The Corps lengthened the runways and built a new passenger terminal. Civilian service resumed after the war, though growth was moderate due to the success of nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.

A new passenger terminal opened in 1958, replacing the temporary facility that had served since World War II. The terminal was a modern glass paneled structure with a single pier. PTI was then served by Eastern, Piedmont, and Capital (which merged with United in 1961). The April 1957 Official Airline Guide showed departures each weekday by Eastern (17), Piedmont (9), and Capital (7).

During the 1970s the airport was renamed Greensboro-High Point Airport and then later Greensboro–High Point–Winston-Salem Regional Airport. Work on a new facility began in 1978 and the airport gained a greater prominence on the East Coast, offering passenger service from Delta Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines, United Airlines and Eastern Air Lines. Cargo carriers, including the postal service, textile manufacturers, and Federal Express–a new overnight letter and package delivery service–were shipping tons of freight each year. By 1975, airport officials began to plan for a new terminal. Piedmont Airlines announced its intention to consolidate its operations at Greensboro, but in the months that followed, opened a hub in Charlotte instead.

The new terminal complex was completed in 1982, designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills and AHM Architects.[8] The following year, the Marriott opened a $16 million, 300-room hotel on the airport property. The facility was renamed Piedmont Triad International Airport in 1987.

TIMCO Aviation Services (now Haeco Americas) opened its world headquarters at PTI in 1990, and grew into one of the world's largest independent aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers. In 1993, Continental Lite, established a hub at PTI, but by 1995 the hub lost its parent company, Continental Airlines $140 million and Continental ceased hub operations at PTI.[9] In 1998 FedEx Corporation announced its intentions to build a mid-Atlantic hub at PTI, one of only five FedEx hubs in the country. In addition to the hub, the project included the construction of a parallel, 9,000-foot runway.

Delta Connection carrier Comair built a maintenance hangar at PTI to perform work on their CRJ's in 2005. The airport also opened an expansion to the North Concourse, which added another 40,000 square feet to the terminal and brought the number of gates to 25. It also opened a 43,000 square-foot expansion to the main terminal to accommodate security gates at the north and south concourse.

FedEx opened its mid-Atlantic Hub at the Airport in 2003,[10] and in 2006, Honda Aircraft Company selected PTI as its global headquarters.[11]Allegiant Air began service to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport in late May 2007.

The airport completed a new 9,000-foot parallel runway in 2010. In 2011 PTI began a renovation project that included new furnishings, automated baggage handling, free wireless internet, charging stations for passenger devices, and interactive kiosks to guide passengers to ground transportation, lodging, and restaurants.

In July 2017 American Eagle announced non-stop service to Chicago–O'Hare International Airport. In September 2018 Spirit Airlines announced service to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.

Terminals and facilitiesEdit

Completed in 1982, the terminal building of Piedmont Triad International Airport currently has 26 passenger gates: 14 on the north concourse, and 12 on the south concourse. A 2006 expansion added another 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) to the terminal (at a cost of $5 million); a substantial part of this space was used to establish more permanent security checkpoints. Both concourses are the same size, despite the different gate numbers. There are two passenger accessible levels of the terminal. The top includes ticketing, security, boarding, and concession areas. The bottom floor houses baggage claim and ground transportation.

Previously an US Airways Club, American Airlines operated an Admirals Club across from Gate 45 in the south concourse. As of October 15, 2018, the Admirals Club permanently closed.[12]

As of March 30, 2019, the airport averages 246 aircraft operations per day: 37% general aviation, 33% air taxi, 28% scheduled commercial, and 2% military. There are currently 86 aircraft based at this airport: 67 single-engine, 11 multi-engine, and 8 jet.[13]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

The Air Traffic Control Tower/TRACON at Piedmont-Triad International Airport


Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Nashville[14]
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth [16]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [16]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [17]
Delta Connection Detroit, New York–LaGuardia [17]
Spirit Airlines Orlando [18]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles


Aeronaves TSM Laredo, Shreveport, Toledo, Windsor (ON)

Seasonal: Monterrey, Querétaro, Saltillo

Aloha Air Cargo Ontario, Tulsa
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Richmond
FedEx Express Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbia (SC), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Greenville/Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Jacksonville (FL), Louisville, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Tampa

Seasonal: Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Roanoke, Savannah, Toronto

FedEx Feeder Columbia (SC), Greenville/Spartanburg, Indianapolis

Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, New Bern, Wilmington (NC)

Freight Runners Express Milwaukee
Quest Diagnostics Aviation Chattanooga, Dekalb-Peachtree (GA), Gwinnett (GA), Knoxville, Manassas (VA), Tri-Cities
UPS Airlines Louisville, Orlando, Roanoke


Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from GSO
(August 2019 – July 2020)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 201,280 Delta
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 122,970 American
3 New York–LaGuardia, New York 61,330 American, Delta
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 53,110 American, United
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 47,370 American
6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 36,520 American
7 Newark, New Jersey 33,760 United
8 Detroit, Michigan 32,420 Delta
9 Washington–Dulles, Virginia 25,780 United
10 Miami, Florida 21,680 American

Fixed-base operators (FBOs)Edit

The following fixed-base operators are based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport:

  • Koury Aviation
  • Signature Flight Support

Future developmentsEdit

Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 taking off from Piedmont Triad International Airport bound for Atlanta

A significant investment is being made into the interstate highway network adjacent to the airport, which will result in easy access from industrial sites around the airport on Interstate highways leading north, south, east and west. Major highways such as I-40, I-85 and I-74 are already in place, with connectors under construction and coming on line in the near future. By 2019, the network will be complete, opening up numerous additional opportunities for industrial sites with immediate Interstate highway access.

There are currently 9 available sites on the airport campus ready for future development.

As part of the I-73 construction, a taxiway was built to allow approximately 400 acres of property north of Future I-73 to access the airport.[21]

Construction of a new Air Traffic Control tower began in April 2019 and is projected to be commissioned in 2022. This will feature a 180 foot tall Tower with a 550sqft Cab for Controllers. The base will be 15,650 square feet, and will house the new TRACON facility.[22]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On February 4, 1962, a USAF Douglas C-47 climbed to 150–200 feet after takeoff and fell to the left, cartwheeled and burned. All seven onboard perished.[23]
  • On August 2, 1989, Piedmont Airlines Flight 1489, a Boeing 737-400, en route to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport was diverted to Piedmont Triad International Airport on report of landing gear malfunction. Reports indicated a wheel chock was left in the wheel well the night before causing the failure to extend. The plane landed with one gear up.[24][25]
  • September 26, 1989, Wrangler Aviation (later Tradewinds Airlines and Sky Lease Cargo), a Canadair CL-44, en route to Greensboro from Rafael Hernández Airport, came within 30 feet of the airport terminal after the first officer failed to follow procedure for a missed approach.[26]
  • December 22, 1996, Airborne Express Flight 827, a Douglas DC-8-63F, departed Greensboro for a test flight and was intended to return to Greensboro. However, while performing a stall test, the crew accidentally caused the aircraft to enter a real stall and used an incorrect recovery technique. The aircraft crashed in Narrows, Virginia. All six people on board were killed.[27]
  • August 8, 2000 – Airtran Airways Flight 913, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 departing from Greensboro reported smoke in the flight deck. The smoke became very dense and restricted the crew's ability to see both the cockpit instruments and the visual references outside the airplane. The cabin crew noticed a smell of smoke, followed by a visual sighting of smoke and sparks in the area of the forward flight attendant jumpseat. The flight crew was able to identify the Greensboro airport and make a successful emergency landing. The airplane was immediately stopped, and an emergency evacuation was conducted on a taxiway.[28]
  • May 8, 2008 – N904FX[29] and N905FX,[30] two ATR-42-320s were written off after they suffered substantial damage at Piedmont Triad International Airport when the airport was hit by an EF2 tornado. Both aircraft were parked when they were struck by the tornado, one aircraft was blown into a ditch and the other was blown into a fence.[31][32]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "FedEx Express Mid-Atlantic Hub to Hire 400 New Workers". Aviation Pros. August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  2. ^ a b FAA Airport Form 5010 for GSO PDF, effective February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ AirportIQ 5010
  4. ^ "Greensboro mayor on board with PTIA renaming". News and Record. December 19, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Barron, Richard (January 23, 2018). "What's in a name? PTI is holding on to its handle — for now". News and Record. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. To 1980, A.D." Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980.
  7. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. "Greensboro, North Carolina: The County Seat of Guilford." Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955.
  8. ^ "Charles Hagenah Architects, Inc: Early Experience".
  9. ^ "Continental Is Dropping 'Lite' Service". The New York Times. April 14, 1995.
  10. ^ Craver, Richard (August 22, 2018). "FedEx hiring, expansion to begin Sept. 4 with eight new flights being added at its PTI airport hub". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Honda Aircraft Company to Establish World Headquarters and Production Facility in Greensboro, NC" (Press release). Greensboro, NC: Honda. February 9, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Bailey, Joanna (August 30, 2018). "American Is Closing 3 Admiral Club Lounges on October 15th". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  13. ^ "FAA Information effective 12 September 2019". airnav.com. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "Allegiant Announces Nine Nonstop Flights to Nashville". Williamson Source. January 17, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  15. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Where We Fly". Spirit Airlines. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  19. ^ "Timetable". Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  20. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats. Transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved on April 19, 2018.
  21. ^ NCDOT. "NCDOT: Future I-73". www.ncdot.gov. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  22. ^ Skantz, Kaley (June 7, 2019). "Federal Aviation Administration Breaks Ground for a New Air Traffic Control Tower at PTI". Piedmont Triad International Airport. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  23. ^ Accident description for 42-108992 at the Aviation Safety Network
  24. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 Photos". Archived from the original on November 3, 2012.
  25. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 news Feed".
  26. ^ "Wrangler Aviation Incident" (PDF).
  27. ^ "Uncontrolled Flight into Terrain, ABX Air (Airborne Express) Douglas DC-8-63, N827AX, Narrows, Virginia, December 22, 1996" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. July 15, 1997. NTSB/AAR-97/05. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Aviation Safety Network – Airtran Flight 913".
  29. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N904FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  30. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N905FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Aviation-safety.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  31. ^ Greensboro, NC Hit With F2 Tornado – JetPhotos.Net Forums – The Friendly Way to Fly. Forums.jetphotos.net. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  32. ^ "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United States of America > FedEx". Aviation-safety.net. November 28, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2010.

External linksEdit