PNE - History

The United States Army begins construction of a base of Air Corps Operations on 545 acres in the Northeast section of Philadelphia. Construction was never completed and the United States Government turned the facility over to the City of Philadelphia in 1944. The City then began the job of finishing the facility for civilian commercial operations.

Due to the closing of Philadelphia Municipal Airport, now known as Philadelphia International Airport, the City of Philadelphia was without air service from December 1943 to June 1945. Commercial air service was restored to Philadelphia with the opening of Philadelphia Northeast Airport in June 1945.

By City Ordinance, Philadelphia Northeast Airport is redesignated as North Philadelphia Airport.

North Philadelphia Airport ranks 21st in the nation in airfreight tonnage handled.

North Philadelphia Airport opens its new $93,000 fire station. Designated Engine 18, the new fire unit consists of 33 firefighters, one pumper truck and one jeep.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the predecessor to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) takes over operation of the North Philadelphia Airport Control Tower. From the opening of the Airport in 1945 until 1957, the control tower was operated by City of Philadelphia personnel.. The transfer of responsibility from the City to the CAA saves the City $30,000 annually in personnel salaries.

North Philadelphia Airport handles more than 75,000 landings and takeoffs.

Due to the construction of Horn and Hardart on Blue Grass Road and Whitman Chocolates on Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard, Runway 10-28 is abandoned and decommissioned. Runway 6-24 is extended from 5000 feet to 7000 feet of usable runway.

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North Philadelphia Airport handles more than 173,000 landings and takeoffs.

In September 1973, Allegheny Commuter, serviced by Ransome Airlines, begins regional commuter service from North Philadelphia Airport. The Airport also increases its Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting service to include one additional water and foam fire truck. The station is now designated Engine 76.

City Ordinance is amended changing the name of North Philadelphia Airport to Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

Augusta Aviation Corporation opens its Northeast Service Center at northeast Philadelphia Airport. The center is located in the North Philadelphia Aviation Center (NORPAC) located at Red Lion & Norcom Roads.

Augusta Aviation Corporation announces the relocation of its North American headquarters from Bucks County to Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

Northeast Philadelphia Airport, without commuter flights since the mid 1980's, relinquishes its Federal Aviation Administration, Part 139 Certification. Relinquishing this certificate results in the closing of the fire station and the firefighters of Engine 76 are reassigned to other Philadelphia Fire Department companies.

Trans World Express (TWE) announces service from Philadelphia to John F. Kennedy Airport and nine East Coast and Midwest cities. Northeast Philadelphia Airport is designated as the administrative and training base for TWE.

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Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) establishes the Northeast Philadelphia Airport Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is made up of community civic leaders and chaired by City Councilman Brian O'Neill. The council's chief role is to inform and involve the community in the planning and development of PNE.

TWE, a commuter service owned by TWA and servicing Philadelphia International Airport , announces it will cease operations on November 6, 1995. Northeast Philadelphia Airport, which provided hanger and office space for maintenance and flight training, loses one of its prime tenants.

Northeast Philadelphia Airport handles 201,568 total operations.

The Airport enters into a lease/purchase agreement with Liberty Properties, Inc. for the development of approximately 95 acres. A portion of the site is being developed for a 1,000,000 square foot distribution facility for TJX Companies, Inc. Along with the development, TJX anticipates creating approximately 1100 jobs.

Comcast-Spectacor and the Airport enter into a long-term lease agreement for approximately 12 acres of land for the construction of two indoor ice hockey rinks. Designated the Polonia Bank Flyers Skate Zone, the facility will be devoted to promoting ice skating in the Philadelphia community.

Atlantic Aviation relocates offices and operations to the renovated mail terminal building.

The Division of Aviation relocates administrative, security and operations offices to the building formerly occupied by Quaker City Institute of Aviation.

Taxiway D is commissioned on September 7, 2001. The taxiway connects Runway 6-24 with Taxiway L, allowing aircraft landing on Runway 24 to exit the landing strip without crossing Runway 15-33.

The Polonia Bank Flyers Skate Zone opens on Norcom Road in September 2001.

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Quaker City Institute of Aviation, an airframe and power plant school, constructed a building housing administrative offices and classrooms on 4.1 acres of land at the corner of Grant Avenue and Academy Road. Quaker changes its name to Aviation Institute of Maintenance.

A memorial Butterfly Garden is completed. The Airport collaborated with the Compassionate Friends of Northeast Philadelphia to construct the garden.

Phase I of the perimeter path project begins along a 1.4 mile stretch of Grant Avenue, Academy and Red Lion Road. 


ACE/INA, an insurance company headquartered in Philadelphia, completes construction of a corporate hangar.

Agusta Aerospace completes its first production facility for its Kiola helicopter. The facility brings an additional 100 jobs to the community.

Phase 2 of the perimeter path project is completed along Red Lion and part of Decatur Road.

The Airport opened Taxiway E, connecting Taxiway F to the approach end of Runway 6, and opened another portion of Taxiway D, connecting Taxiway L to the approach end of Runway 15. The new and added taxiways allow aircraft to use the full length of the runways without having to "back taxi."

The Airport's new vehicle storage and maintenance building was completed.

Washington Savings Bank constructed a branch along with its headquarters on the corner of Comly and Norcom roads.

Taxiway C was commissioned, giving Runway 15-33 a full-length taxiway on the east side of the landing strip. The new taxiway will improve traffic flow and reduce runway crossings.

Wawa opened a store and 6-fuel pump gas station on Grant Avenue and Blue Grass Road.

Phase 3 of the perimeter path project was completed along a portion of Decatur Road, Comly Road and Norcom Road.

Agusta completed construction of a second production plant consisting of a 50,000 square foot facility and a 60,000 square foot warehouse. The addition of the new plant produced more jobs, bringing the total number of Agusta employees to 500.  

Construction was completed on Phase IV of the Airport's Perimeter Path along Norcom Road from the Washington Savings Bank to the entrance of Southwark Metal on Red Lion Road.
Augusta Aerospace Corporation opened a fuel farm for its helicopters. The company's workforce also grew to more than 500 employees.
The rehabilitation of Taxiways Alpha and Lima was completed, extending the pavement life of these taxiways for another 20 years.
VASI (Visual Approach Slope Indicators) landing aids were upgraded to newer PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicators) landing aids and all hold short markings were upgraded to newer enhanced hold short markings.
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance broke ground on an additional training facility in order to meet its demand of student mechanics. The new training facility will double the size of the institute's current building.
August Aerospace Corporation's workforce grew to more than 600 employees.


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