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Piedmont Triad International Airport

Piedmont Triad International Airport


GSO is located in North Carolina
Location of the Piedmont Triad International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Piedmont Triad Airport Authority
Serves Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Location Guilford County, near Greensboro, North Carolina
Elevation AMSL 926 ft / 282 m
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5L/23R 9,000 2,743 Asphalt
5R/23L 10,001 3,048 Asphalt/Concrete
14/32 6,380 1,945 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passenger Statistics (2013) 917,477

Piedmont Triad International Airport (ICAO: KGSOFAA LID: GSO) (commonly referred to as "PTI") is an airport located in the center of North Carolina just west of Greensboro, serving Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem as well as the entire Piedmont Triad Region in North Carolina. The airport, located just off Bryan Boulevard, sits on a 4,000 acre campus and has 3 runways. Piedmont Triad International airport is the third busiest airport in North Carolina averaging 280 takeoffs and landings each day. PTI is owned and operated by the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.


  • History 1
  • Terminals and facilities 2
  • Airlines and destinations 3
    • Passenger 3.1
    • Cargo 3.2
    • Top destinations 3.3
  • Fixed base operators (FBOs) 4
  • Future developments 5
  • Incidents and accidents 6
    • Incidents 6.1
    • Accidents 6.2
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


An antecedent of PTI Airport, one of the first commercial airports in the South, Maynard Field was dedicated on December 6, 1919, just west of Greensboro near Oak Ridge. With its two intersecting runways measuring 1,890 feet (580 m) and 1,249 feet (381 m), hangar space, and even an early day equivalent of a Fixed Base Operator that made sure the torches were lit at dusk, Maynard Field was named to honor a young North Carolinian pilot named Lt. Belvin Maynard. By 1922 it had competition to the west with Miller Field in Winston-Salem, and Charles Field, a single airstrip that was used mainly for barnstorming, and for take-off drills and landings for the Charles family.

Piedmont Triad International Airport had its start in 1927 when the Tri-City Airport Commission selected 112 acres (45 ha) near the community of Friendship for an airport, and petitioned to become a stop along the congressionally authorized airmail route from New York to New Orleans. Racing pilot Captain Roscoe Turner referred to the current location of Piedmont Triad International Airport as "the best landing field in the south." Friendship, near Greensboro, was selected over neighboring Winston-Salem, which subsequently refused to contribute funds for airport construction and nullified the Tri-City Airport Authority collaborative effort.[1]

Greensboro and Guilford County jointly purchased the Friendship property from Paul C. and Helen G. Lindley, and christened it Lindley Field in May 1927 with 12,000 people in attendance. The field then had no runways, no lights, no hangar, and no passenger station. Charles Lindbergh stopped at Lindley Field with the "Spirit of St. Louis" on his cross-country tour celebrating the advances of aviation on October 14, 1927. Regular mail service started in 1928.[2]

Pitcairn Aviation, Incorporated was given the contract to fly the airmail route, the second official airmail route in the United States, and Pitcairn Aviation made the first delivery of airmail in North Carolina on May 1, 1928. Sid Malloy, the pilot of the aircraft, landed with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail to be sent to Atlanta. After a brief closure during the Great Depression, the airport reopened on May 17, 1937 with two all-weather runways. In time, Pitcairn Aviation built a hangar; Greensboro built a passenger station; the United States government established a weather bureau; and the Department of Commerce set up a radio tower. Passenger service was inaugurated by Dixie Flying Service on November 6, 1930, with a route to Washington, D.C.. Pitcairn Aviation took over the route under its new name Eastern Air Transport, which later became Eastern Air Lines.[1]

In July 1942 responsibility for the airport was given to the Greensboro-High Point Airport Authority, with representatives from Greensboro, High Point, and the Guilford County. Shortly thereafter the Army Air Corps requisitioned the airport and its facilities for war use and airmail and passenger service was discontinued. The Corps lengthened the runways and built a new passenger terminal. Civilian service resumed after the war, though growth was moderate due to the success of nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.

1950's: The new passenger terminal opened in 1958, replacing the temporary facility that had served since World War II. The new terminal was a modern glass paneled structure with a single pier. PTI was then served by Eastern, Piedmont, and Capital (which merged with United in 1961); the April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 17 Eastern departures each weekday, nine Piedmont and 7 Capital.

1970's: By 1975 airport officials began to plan for a new terminal. Piedmont Airlines, which for years had served PTI and Smith Reynolds Airport in nearby Winston-Salem, announced its intention to consolidate its operations at Greensboro. In the months that followed, Piedmont Airlines instead opened a hub in Charlotte.

The airport was renamed Greensboro-High Point Airport and later Greensboro – High Point – Winston-Salem Regional Airport. Work on a new facility began in 1978.

The airport gained greater prominence on the East Coast offering passenger service from Delta, Piedmont, United and Eastern Airlines. Cargo carriers, including the postal service, textile manufacturers, and Federal Express- a new overnight letter and package delivery service- were shipping tons of freight each year.

1980's: The new terminal complex was completed in 1982, designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills and AHM Architects.[3] The following year, the Marriott opened a $16 million, 300-room hotel on the airport property. The facility was renamed Piedmont Triad International in 1987.

1990's: TIMCO Aviation Services opened its world headquarters at PTI. Over the following two decades, the company grew into one of the world's largest independent aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers.

In 1993, Continental Lite, an LCC brand established an unsuccessful hub at PTI. By 1995 the hub lost its parent company, Continental Airlines $140 million at which point, Gordon Bethune ordered that the hub be dismantled.[4] He remarked in his book, Worst to First that Continental Lite operated flights from "nowhere to nowhere" out of PTI.

In 1998 FedEx Corporation announced its intentions to build a mid-Atlantic hub at PTI, one of only five FedEx hubs in the country. In addition to the hub, the project included the construction of a parallel, 9,000-foot runway.

2005-2006: Delta Connection carrier Comair built a maintenance hangar at PTI to perform work on their CRJ's in 2005, bringing nearly 60 mechanics to Greensboro.

The airport opened an expansion to the North Concourse, which added another 40,000 square feet to the terminal and brought the number of gates to 25. The airport also opened a 43,000 square-foot expansion to the main terminal to accommodate security gates at the north and south concourse.

2007-2009: Honda Aircraft Company selected PTI as its global headquarters.

Allegiant Air began service to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport in late May 2007.

FedEx opened its mid-Atlantic Hub at the Airport, establishing PTI as a key link in the company's national overnight delivery system.

2010: The airport opened a 9,000-foot parallel runway.

2011: The airport began a major interior renovation project to provide passengers with a superior airport experience. The renovation included the installation of free wireless Internet and charging stations for passenger devices, and numerous interactive kiosks guiding passengers to ground transportation and nearby accommodations and restaurants.

2013: Frontier Airlines based in Denver, Colorado, began PTI's first flights to Denver. The airline announced non-stop service to Orlando Fla., and Denver.

2013: Dynamic Airways headquarters is opened at PTI.

Terminals and facilities

Completed in 1982, the terminal building of Piedmont Triad International Airport currently has 26 passenger gates: 14 on the north concourse, and 12 on the south concourse. A 2006 expansion added another 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) to the terminal (at a cost of $5 million), both concourses are the same size, despite the different gate numbers.

2011 marked the start of a large-scale airport renovation project that resulted in new furniture, free Wi-Fi, automated baggage handling, touch-screen kiosks and charging stations located under terminal seating for charging electronic devices.

American Airlines operates an Admirals Club across from Gate 45.[5]

Airlines and destinations


Destinations served nonstop from Piedmont Triad International Airport (as of October 12, 2013)
Airlines Destinations Concourse
Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater South
American Airlines Charlotte South
American Eagle Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National South
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit North
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, New York-LaGuardia North
Frontier Airlines Seasonal: Denver South
United Express Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles North


Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air
Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Juan
FedEx Express Aguadilla, Indianapolis, Memphis, San Juan
FedEx Feeder
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
New Bern, Wilmington (NC)
UPS Airlines Louisville, Roanoke

Top destinations

Top ten busiest domestic routes out of GSO
(August 2014 – July 2015)[6]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 243,000 Delta
2 Charlotte, NC 182,000 US Airways
3 Philadelphia, PA 64,000 US Airways
4 New York-LaGuardia, NY 63,000 American, Delta
5 Chicago O'Hare, IL 47,000 United
6 Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 40,000 American
7 Newark, NJ 39,000 United
8 Detroit, MI 38,000 Delta
9 Washington-Dulles, DC 29,000 United
10 Washington-National, DC 28,000 US Airways

Fixed base operators (FBOs)

The following fixed base operators are based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport:

  • Landmark Aviation

Future developments

Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 taking off from Piedmont Triad International Airport

A significant investment is being made into the interstate highway network adjacent to the airport, which will result in easy access from industrial sites around the airport on Interstate highways leading north, south, east and west. Major highways such as I-40, I-85 and I-74 are already in place, with connectors under construction and coming on line in the near future. By 2019, the network will be complete, opening up numerous additional opportunities for industrial sites with immediate Interstate highway access.

There are currently 9 available sites on the airport campus ready for future development.

Incidents and accidents


  • On August 2, 1989, Piedmont Airlines Flight 1489, a Boeing 737-400, en route to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport was diverted to Piedmont Triad International Airport on report of landing gear malfunction. Reports indicated a wheel chock was left in the wheel well the night before causing the failure to retract. The plane landed with one gear up.[7][8]
  • September 26, 1989, Wrangler Aviation (later Tradewinds Airlines and Sky Lease Cargo), a Canadair CL-44, en route to Greensboro from Rafael Hernández Airport, came within 30 feet of the airport terminal after the first officer failed to follow procedure for a missed approach.[9]
  • May 8, 2008 – N904FX[10] and N905FX,[11] two ATR-42-320s were written off after they suffered substantial damage at Piedmont Triad International Airport when the airport was hit by an EF2 tornado. Both aircraft were parked when they were struck by the tornado, one aircraft was blown into a ditch and the other was blown into a fence.[12][13]


  • August 8, 2000 – Airtran Airways Flight 913, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 departing from Greensboro reported smoke in the flight deck. The smoke became very dense and restricted the crew's ability to see both the cockpit instruments and the visual references outside the airplane. The cabin crew noticed a smell of smoke, followed by a visual sighting of smoke and sparks in the area of the forward flight attendant jumpseat. The flight crew was able to identify the Greensboro airport and make a successful emergency landing. The airplane was immediately stopped, and an emergency evacuation was conducted on a taxiway.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b Robinson, Blackwell P., and Alexander R. Stoesen. "The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, U.S.A. To 1980, A.D." Greensboro: The Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1980.
  2. ^ Arnett, Ethel Stephens. "Greensboro, North Carolina: The County Seat of Guilford." Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1955.
  3. ^ Greensboro Regional Airport – Charles Hagenah Architects, Inc
  4. ^
  5. ^ Club locations. US Airways. Retrieved on July 12, 2015.
  6. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats. Retrieved on September 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 Photos". 
  8. ^ "Piedmont Flight 1489 news Feed". 
  9. ^ "Wrangler Aviation Incident" (PDF). 
  10. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N904FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  11. ^ ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 N905FX Greensboro/High Point-Piedmont Triad International Airport, NC (GSO). Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Greensboro, NC Hit With F2 Tornado – JetPhotos.Net Forums – The Friendly Way to Fly. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  13. ^ "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United States of America > FedEx". November 28, 2004. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Aviation Safety Network > Airtran Flight 913". 

External links

  • Piedmont Triad International Airport (official site)
    • Construction Updates
  • Piedmont Triad International Airport – GSO PDF at North Carolina DOT airport guide
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective June 23, 2016
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for GSO, effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KGSO
    • ASN accident history for GSO
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KGSO
    • FAA current GSO delay information

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