Northeast Philadelphia Airport originally opened in the 1930s as Northeast Airport – a grass field with no paved runways. During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corps intended to develop the site as an airbase, but later abandoned the project. The property was turned over to the City of Philadelphia in 1944 and reopened as an airport in 1945. Today PNE, which occupies 1,150 acres in Northeast Philadelphia, has two fixed-base operators that provide fuel, major aircraft repair, hangar rental, aircraft rental and charter flight instruction and aircraft sales.
While PNE plays an important role in Philadelphia’s regional aviation needs, many aspects of the airport were dated and in need of repair and improvement. As part of the upgrades, $1.1 million was allocated for priority projects, like a new eight-foot high black vinyl coated fence with snow fencing to catch the blowing snow that has typically caused winter closures to the adjacent Academy Road, and a security fence on the northeastern section of the airfield to keep deer and other wildlife off.
Other improvements included paving an access road to the main electrical substation (which didn’t have a road), adding more Americans with Disabilities Act parking spaces and removing an unused sign stand/base and small building, both of which were considered eyesores.