As the 16th busiest airport in the United States, with an estimated 30.8 million passengers either boarding or de-boarding in 2010, Philadelphia iInternational Airport (KPHL) is filled with airport congestion and delayed depature and arrival times.
In 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a $5 billion airport improvement plan, for new passenger terminals, runway estensions, parking expansion, runway taxi safety and expansions and a host of other improvements presented by th City of Philadelphia, the owner and operator of KPHL. Both the FAA and KPHL beleive the improvements will go along way in resolving the congestion for both commercial airlines, cargo planes and the many Philadelphia private jets flying into the International Airport every day.
As a municipal airport, used by the military during World War II and into 1945, KPHL is an older American airport with runway layouts, terminals and parking lots that were built and designed for a different era in aviation. It was not until early 1945 that KPHL became an International airport. And now, with daily flights to Europe, the Mideast, Canada, the Caribbean, Asia and Latin America, for a total of 36 international destination points, 2.1 million international passengers traveled to or from Philadelphia International Airport.
Since Philadelphia is the headquarters of many large international and national corporations, such as Aramark, Cigna, Linclon Financial, Comcast and FMC and others, along with a host of major college such as Temple, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, Swarthmore, St. Joseph's, nearly 500,000 flights a year from commercial and cargo planes take place at the airport.
To avoid this congestion, many private jet charter Philadelphia-based companies offer quick and efficient services into or out of KPHL. Even some of the larger commercial airline carriers, such as U.S.Airways and Southwest Airlines, both with the largest mid-Atlantic passenger hubs at the Internationl Airport, now offer private jet KPHL services to corporate executives, professional athletes and owners of professional sports teams and to small groups going on vaction to Europe or South America.
Philadelphia is also home to many professional sports teams, the Phillies in major league baseball, the Eagles in professional football and the 76'ers in professional basketball and every weekend during the college football or basketball season, many fans, alumni, coaches, executives and players use jet charter Philadelphia-based companies to escape congestion at KPHL. Downtown Philadelphia is only seven miles from the airport and there are taxi and SEPTA transportation services, along with shuttle services operating at KPHL. Taxi service to downtown Philadelphia is around $29, while SEPTA transportation is around $7.
At Philadelphia International Airport, there is KPHL parking for around 19,000 vehicles in or under terminal buildings or outdoors in an economy parking lot. Oversized vehicles, such as mini-busess and over-the-road mobile homes and regular buses can be accomodated in some of the parking areas.
In the 1980's, U.S. Airways became the dominant carrrier at KPHL, when it shifted the majority of its hub operations from the Pittsburgh International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport. In 2004, Southwest Airlines began flights from KPHL and is now a major competitior of U.S. Airways in servicing major cities on the east coast and in the midwest. UPS has a major cargo terminal at KPHL and last year more than 444,000 tons of cargo and mail were flown in and out of KPHL.
The City of Philadelphia owns and operates KPHL airport, while the Philadlephia Parking Authority operates the garages and parking lots. Annually, KPHL pumps more than $14.4 billion into the Philadelphia regional economy and accounts for 141,000 jobs related to the airport operations and it it is one of Pennsylvania's economic engines.