Syracuse Hancock International Airport

Syracuse Hancock International Airport (IATA: SYR, ICAO: KSYR, FAA LID: SYR) is a joint civil-military airport five miles (8 km) northeast of downtown Syracuse, New York, and 65 miles (100 km) south of Watertown.[1] Operated by the Syracuse Department of Aviation, it is located off Interstate 81, near Mattydale. The main terminal complex is at the east end of Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard. Half of the airport is located within the Town of DeWitt, with portions in the towns of Salina and Cicero.

Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Syracuse Hancock International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerSyracuse Regional Airport Authority
OperatorSyracuse Department of Aviation
ServesSyracuse, New York, U.S.
LocationDeWitt / Salina / Cicero, Onondaga County, New York
Elevation AMSL421 ft / 128 m
Coordinates43°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
FAA diagram
FAA diagram
SYR is located in New York
SYR is located in the United States
SYR (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 9,003 2,744 Asphalt
15/33 7,500 2,286 Asphalt
Statistics (2017, 2018)
Aircraft operations (2017)69,087
Based aircraft (2017)43
Passengers (2018)2,315,933
Sources: FAA,[1] ACI.[2]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a primary commercial service airport.[3]


In 1927, Syracuse mayor Charles Hanna felt his city needed an airport. Land in the Amboy section of the nearby town of Camillus was purchased for $50,000, and by 1928, the "Syracuse City Airport at Amboy" was handling airmail.

With the start of World War II, the airport was pressed into service as a flight training center for the Army Air Forces. By 1942, it had become apparent that Amboy Airport was not large enough to handle military needs. As a replacement, the AAF opened Syracuse Army Air Base in Mattydale. At the end of World War II the AAF leased the base to the city. On September 17, 1949, the Clarence E. Hancock Airport (named for the area's Congressman) opened to the public using a renovated machine shop as a terminal, and replaced the airport at Amboy.[4] The airport had three concrete runways, 5,500 feet (1,700 m) long and 300 feet (91 m) wide.

American, Buffalo, Colonial and Robinson Airlines were the first airlines at the airport. The April 1957 OAG shows 50 weekday departures: 30 on American, eight on Eastern and 12 on Mohawk. Nonstops didn't reach west past Buffalo or south past New York; Syracuse didn't get a Chicago nonstop until 1967. In the mid-1970s the airport was dominated by Mohawk's successor Allegheny Airlines, with some competition from Eastern and American.[5]

During this time Syracuse experienced massive growth and had to expand many times to handle additional passengers, this led to Syracuse becoming the second largest airport in Upstate New York by passenger volume and the largest by number of flights.[6] At its height, 3.17 million passengers passed through the airport.[7]

Utica-based Empire Airlines emerged as a regional competitor to Allegheny's successor USAir by the early 1980s.[8][9] Empire planned to move its headquarters to Syracuse, but these plans were cancelled when Piedmont Airlines acquired Empire in 1986.[10] After a legal battle with the city, Piedmont agreed to maintain a hub operation at the airport and advance funds for construction of a new terminal concourse.[11] USAir acquired Piedmont in 1989, becoming the airport's dominant carrier, but dismantled the Syracuse hub in the 1990s, leading to the closure of several gates.[12][better source needed]

FedEx 757-200F similar to the one that serves Syracuse
UPS 767-300ERF

The largest aircraft ever to visit Syracuse was in 1996 when an AN-124 of Antonov Airlines flew a cargo flight from Vienna. A British Airways Concorde made a scheduled landing at the airport on September 27, 1986.[13]

The airport has a cargo facility served by Fedex Express and UPS.

A Beechcraft 1900 similar to the type Air Canada used to serve Syracuse

Syracuse presently has no scheduled international service. It has seen commercial service to Canada at various times in its history,[14] most recently in October 2018.[15]


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 × 46 m) and 15/33 is 7,500 by 150 feet (2,286 × 46 m).[1]

The east–west instrument runway (10-28) was extended from its original 5,500 feet by the mid-1950s to 6,863 feet and about 1958 to 8,000 feet. In 1958 the instrument landing system to runway 28 was augmented with a 3,000-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 9,005 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. In the summer months of 2020, the east–west runway 10-28 was resurfaced except for the end of 10 which includes the touchdown zone of 28, as this portion intersects runway 15/33 and would make construction difficult due to air traffic.

Around the time of building the new terminal building, runway 6-24 was shortened to 3,261 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 later abandoned. Runway 14-32 was lengthened in the 1960s to 6,000 feet. Another extension brought it to 6,480 feet and sometime around 1980 to its present length of 7,500 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.[16]

In the year ending August 31, 2017, the airport had 69,087 aircraft operations, average 189 per day: 30% air taxi, 29% airline, 11% military, and 30% general aviation. 43 aircraft were then based at this airport: 27 single-engine, 8 multi-engine, 5 jet, and 3 helicopter.[1]


Syracuse receives an average 124 inches (3,100 mm) 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.[17] Runway 28 allows for Category II instrument landing system (ILS).

Expansion and growthEdit

An American Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-80 being de-iced at Terminal B. In the background is a Northwest Airlines DC-9 parked at Terminal A.

C&S provided 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 included: post check-in TSA baggage handling, improved passenger screening, and sustainability. This project was 100% funded by PFC's (Passenger Facility Charges) meaning that no tax dollars will be used to construct this project.[18] This project connects Terminal A to Terminal B and allows all passengers to be screened at a centralized location. New concessions and restaurants were added in the area, as well as in the existing areas of Terminals A and B. 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. The next day, 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.[19]

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.[20] 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 were completed around Thanksgiving 2014.[21]

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 was tripled from one daily trip to three daily trips beginning April 2014. This flight currently is operated on the Bombardier/Mitsubishi CRJ-900. 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. Delta flights to ATL are currently operated on the Airbus A320.

On April 6, 2018, Low-Cost Carrier Frontier Airlines announced new low fare, non-stop flights from Syracuse International Airport. Beginning in July, the airline introduced the only nonstop service to Denver and Raleigh/Durham; Beginning in August, Frontier also added non-stop service to Chicago – O’Hare and Orlando. The airline revealed the destinations at an event with airport officials. To celebrate the introduction of these flights Frontier was offering special intro one-way fares as low as $29. Frontier now flies to many cities from Syracuse including Tampa, Denver, Fort Myers, Orlando, Raleigh Durham, and Miami.

United Airlines announced in 2019 that it would begin offering new daily service between Denver and Syracuse Hancock International Airport on June 6. The flight was originally operated on the single aisle Embraer E175 regional jet, but is now operated on the Airbus A319 and A320.

In November 2018, $62 million renovation efforts were completed on Syracuse's terminal. Renovations included larger windows and higher ceilings allowing more natural light, a brand new flight museum highlighting the history of aviation both locally and globally, renovated passenger bridges connecting the terminal to the parking garage, as well as more "modern" airline check-in areas. The project took approximately eight months to complete.

In June 2020, the airport closed off their main runway to undergo a $9 million taxiway reconfiguration. The goal of the project was to eliminate hotspots where traffic had difficulties exiting the runway. Several taxiways on the left side of runway 10 were completely demolished, and two exits replaced them to make it easier for traffic to vacate the runway. The project was completed in late September.

In February 2021, the airport announced the addition of a limited service Matte Black Lounge in Concourse A, the service is to run from February 25 to March 6.[22]

In March 2021, the airport announced a multi-month “rehabilitation” project on runway 10/28. Which would repave the runway and add new signage and lighting. The project is to run from April 28, 2021, to September 28, 2021, and for most of the time the airport's secondary runway (15/33) will be used.[23]

On April 29, 2021, the airport announced new American Airlines service to Dallas/Fort Worth beginning August 17. The route will be served daily on an Airbus A319 with a two-cabin configuration.[24]

In 2021, Southwest Airlines entered the Syracuse market for the first time after the airport offered waive $1.5 million in fees and agreed to offer $150,000 in marketing assistance.[25] Syracuse had been the only major upstate New York airport not served by Southwest. Southwest Airlines first announced service to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport which is flown on the 737-700, 737-800, and 737 MAX 8 aircraft. At the same time, Southwest announced service to Orlando MCO every Saturday. Southwest has since expanded their network out of SYR with the seasonal addition of Tampa International Airport.

On March 8, 2022, Breeze Airways announced two new routes from Syracuse to Charleston, South Carolina and Las Vegas, both starting on June 10. They are twice weekly on the airline's new Airbus A220-300 aircraft.[26]

On April 3, 2022, Delta Connection announced that it would not be resuming the nonstop flight to Minneapolis.

Airlines and destinationsEdit


Allegiant Air Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Orlando/Sanford, Sarasota, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach, Punta Gorda (FL)
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth
Seasonal: Washington–National
American Eagle Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Philadelphia, Washington–National
Seasonal: Miami
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Las Vegas,[26] Tampa (begins November 19, 2022)[30] [31]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta [32]
Delta Connection Detroit, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia
Frontier Airlines Orlando
Seasonal: Denver, Raleigh/Durham
JetBlue Boston, New York–JFK, Orlando [34]
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Orlando
Seasonal: Tampa
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver
Seasonal: Newark, Washington–Dulles
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles


FedEx Express Burlington, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Memphis, Rochester
Quest Diagnostics Elmira, Rochester, Worcester, Reading, Boston
UPS Airlines Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, Louisville, Philadelphia, Roanoke
Seasonal: Boston, Manchester, Gary, Ontario
Wiggins Airways/Ameriflight/Freight Runners Express Plattsburgh, Massena, Potsdam

In addition to these carriers SYR will occasionally be visited by a Cessna 208 of Castle Aviation.


Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from SYR (May 2021 – April 2022)[36]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1   Charlotte, North Carolina 141,720 American
2   Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 128,740 American, United
3   Atlanta, Georgia 119,130 Delta
4   Orlando, Florida 74,730 Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest
5   New York–JFK, New York 68,290 Delta, JetBlue
6   Detroit, Michigan 67,780 Delta
7   Washington–Dulles, D.C. 60,340 United
8   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 54,650 American
9   Washington–National, D.C 47,350 American
10   New York–LaGuardia, New York 33,190 Delta

Annual trafficEdit

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned) at SYR, 2001 through 2021[37]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2021 852,641
2020 445,213 2010 1,035,916
2019 1,293,353 2009 1,024,227
2018 1,156,458 2008 1,116,584
2017 1,038,308 2007 1,184,162
2016 999,158 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 schoolsEdit

Syracuse Hancock International is home to Syracuse Flight School, formerly known as Waypoint Flight School.

The Syracuse Flying Club, based out of the MillionAir FBO, offers flight training.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for SYR PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "2010 North American final rankings". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "About Syracuse Airport: Hancock Field - History". Syracuse City Department of Aviation. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  5. ^ "SYR75p1". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  6. ^ Berman, Dave (1987-02-23). "Air Travel Soars - Expansion Could Further Lift Hancock". The Post Standard. Syracuse, New York, USA. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  7. ^ Berman, Dave (1988-02-08). "Hancock Officials Say Rapid Growth Warrants Expansion". The Post Standard. Syracuse, New York, USA. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  8. ^ "SYRintro". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  9. ^ "SYR85intro". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  10. ^ "DECONTROL AIDED EMPIRE AIR". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  11. ^ "Piedmont, Syracuse sign agreement". UPI. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  12. ^ "Syracuse Hancock Intl Airport". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  13. ^ "Supersonic Concorde lands at Hancock Airport in 1986". syracuse. 2016-09-28. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  14. ^ Berman, Dave (1989-02-06). "Air Traffic Dips Slightly in '88 - Terminal Renovations Scheduled". The Post Standard. Syracuse, New York, USA. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  15. ^ "Air Canada / Air Georgian ends Beechcraft 1900 service in late-Oct 2018". 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  16. ^ "KSYR – Syracuse Hancock International Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  17. ^ "North East Chapter American Association of Airport Executives – The Balchen/Post Award". 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  18. ^ "Renovation of SYR". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Dick Blume (2013-05-16). "Day Two: No delays at Syracuse airport security". Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  20. ^ "Out With Sbarro and In With 'Dinosaur BBQ' at Syracuse Airport". Jaunted. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  21. ^ "By changing dining choices, Hancock Airport officials hope to influence ticket prices". WSYR-TV. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Matte Black Lounges to Launch Special Offering at SYR". 23 February 2021.
  23. ^ "SYR Gears up for Increase in Spring Break Travelers". 24 March 2021.
  24. ^ "American Airlines Announces Nonstop Service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport". 29 April 2021.
  25. ^ Inside the pitch to bring Southwest Airlines to Syracuse: $1M in incentives, research, lobbying
  26. ^ a b "Breeze Airways announces 2 new direct flights from Syracuse".
  27. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  28. ^ "Allegiant Air".
  29. ^ a b "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Breeze Airways".
  32. ^ a b "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Frontier". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  34. ^ "JetBlue Airlines Timetable". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  35. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  36. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  37. ^ "Passenger Traffic – Syracuse Hancock International Airport".

External linksEdit