Guests traveling through Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) will interact with several organizations during their visits, usually without even knowing it. The City of Philadelphia’s Division of Aviation owns and operates PHL, but there are hundreds of organizations working together with the Division of Aviation to serve our passengers.
So Who Does What at PHL?
Division of Aviation: As owner of the airport, the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Aviation maintains the overall airport facility and property, such as the runways, sidewalks, roadways, terminals, baggage claims, restrooms, elevators and moving sidewalks. The Division of Aviation is responsible for airport utilities, new construction, signage, snow removal and landscaping. Division of Aviation staff also plan and promote initiatives, special events and exhibitions for the airport and working with onsite partners.
The airport’s Lost and Found, located in the Communications Center, handles items that are left behind in the common areas of the airport, like bathrooms and walkways
Airlines: PHL’s airline partners are responsible for the beginning and ending of our passengers’ airport journeys. Airlines handle check-ins, flight schedules, boarding, hold room waiting area upkeep, aircraft maintenance and baggage as well as wheelchairs and passenger mobility assistance and gate passes. Items left on aircraft or in airline-leased areas like boarding gates are handled by the airline.
Safety and Security: PHL is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Eastern Region. The FAA regulates civil aviation, including construction and operation of airports, air traffic management and the certification of personnel and aircraft. Air traffic control is responsible for the flow of aircraft into and out of airports. During severe weather, the FAA does not cancel flights, but will issue ground stops or ground delays and provides data to airlines that helps them determine if they can accept a delay, re-route a flight path around a storm or cancel a flight.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) operates seven checkpoints at PHL in Terminals A-East, A-West, B, C (TSA Pre-Check Only) , D/E and F. Agents are employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Checkpoint hours and staffing are determined by flight data provided by the airlines. The TSA also scans checked baggage before it is loaded onto planes.
Items left at security checkpoints are handled by TSA Lost and Found.
The Philadelphia Police Department’s Airport Police Division patrols the PHL footprint, both inside and outside of the terminals 24/7. Passengers can contact police by calling 911.
U.S. Customs and Border Protections agents are federal employees that screen passengers entering PHL from international flights and inspect cargo entering and leaving the U.S. via PHL. CBP officers also conduct interviews for the Global Entry trusted traveler program at its PHL office.
Philadelphia Fire Department Engine 78 and Medic 30 are located at PHL and assigned to respond to emergencies on the airfield, in the terminals and on the airport footprint, including on the nearby Delaware River. Passengers can ask airport staff or call 911 if assistance is needed. The Fire Department also operates the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Training Center (ARFF) at PHL, where firefighters who work at airports and aviation facilities along the East Coast received Federal Aviation Administration-mandated training.
Concessions: The PHL concessions program is managed by PHL Food & Shops. Currently 90 restaurants and retail merchants are open in every terminal every day. PHL Food & Shops oversees the OrderAtPHL.com mobile food order program, including At Your Gate food delivery.
Parking: The Philadelphia Parking Authority owns and operates the parking garages at the airport. Off-site parking is owned and managed by private companies.
Transportation: There are many ways to get to and from PHL. Ride app services, SEPTA Regional Rail and buses, hotel and rental car shuttles, taxis, and limos all offer transportation options for guests (look for Parkway staff at baggage claim information desks and the taxi stands for assistance with ground transportation).
USO: The Liberty USO is open to active duty service members, reservists, National Guard, dependent family members and retirees and their dependents. The facility offers a variety of amenities and is located on the secure side in Terminal E. For details, call 215-365-8889.