Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

Coordinates: 42°55′57″N 071°26′08″W / 42.9325°N 71.43556°W / 42.9325; -71.43556

Manchester • Boston Regional Airport
MHT logo.png
Manchester Airport, 11 Apr 1998.jpg
Air photo taken 11 April 1998
MHT is located in New Hampshire
Location of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Airport type Public
Owner City of Manchester
Serves Manchester, New Hampshire
Hub for Wiggins Airways
Elevation AMSL 266 ft / 81 m
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 9,250 2,819 Asphalt
6/24 7,650 2,332 Asphalt
Statistics (2007, 2010)
Aircraft operations (2007) 93,138
Based aircraft (2007) 100
Passengers (2010) 2,814,125
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (IATA: MHTICAO: KMHTFAA LID: MHT), commonly referred to simply as "Manchester Airport," is a public airport located three miles (5 km) south of the central business district of Manchester, New Hampshire[1] on the county line of Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. The airport lies in two communities, Manchester and Londonderry.

Founded in 1927, it first moved more than 1 million passengers in a year in 1997. It handled 3.72 million passengers in 2008, down from its all-time high of 4.33 million in 2005. Still, it remains New England's fourth-largest airport in passenger volume, following Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, and T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, in that descending order.

The facility was known as Manchester Airport until April 18, 2006, when it added "Boston Regional" to advertise its proximity to Boston, about 50 miles (80 km) to the south.

Certified for Cat III B Instrument Landing operations, the airport has a reputation for never surrendering to bad weather. The airport has closed only once, when the national airspace was shut down for two days following September 11, 2001, and all American airports were required to close as well.[2]

It is home to the New Hampshire Aviation Museum, which is built around an Art Deco control tower and terminal first opened in 1938.



Municipalities within the Boston Metropolitan Area, in partnership with their state governments in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, decided to make this airport and T.F. Green Airport alternatives to Logan International Airport in order to avoid having to build a new airport.

Manchester-Boston is New England's third-largest cargo airport. Only Connecticut's Bradley International Airport, which is a hub for UPS Airlines, and Logan Airport exceed it in terms of cargo handled. In 2005, the airport processed 150 million pounds of freight. Most of this was carried aboard aircraft flown by FedEx, UPS, and DHL. All three serve Manchester with large, cargo-specific jets, including the Airbus A300, DC-10, and MD-11 by FedEx and UPS.

UPS uses Manchester to 'feed' the rest of northern New England by contracting with Wiggins Airways,[3] which flies smaller prop-driven planes to places like Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Presque Isle, Rutland and other communities. To handle this 'regional sort,' UPS built a sorting facility where packages coming in from the company's Louisville hub are redistributed to trucks or to the Wiggins feeder aircraft. FedEx previously used Manchester as a regional sorting station as well, but now supports the northern New England destinations via direct flights from Memphis to Portland, Maine and Burlington, Vermont. A contract with the U.S. Postal Service fills the FedEx jets (coming from hubs in Memphis and Indianapolis) with mail in addition to the typical assortment of express and overnight packages. DHL used to operate a 727-200 on a Wilmington-Allentown-Manchester-Wilmington routing, but that service has since ceased.

Traffic and statistics

Manchester Airport covers an area of 1,500 acres (610 ha) which contains two asphalt paved runways: 17/35 measuring 9,250 x 150 ft (2,819 x 46 m) and 6/24 measuring 7,650 x 150 ft (2,332 x 46 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending January 31, 2007, the airport had 93,138 aircraft operations, an average of 255 per day: 41% scheduled commercial, 31% air taxi, 27% general aviation and 1% military. There are 100 aircraft based at this airport: 75% single engine, 15% multi-engine and 10% jet aircraft.[1]

Busiest Domestic Routes from Manchester (August 2010 - July 2011)[4]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Maryland Baltimore, Maryland 276,000 Southwest
2 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 206,000 Southwest, US Airways
3 Florida Orlando, Florida 128,000 Southwest
4 Illinois Chicago (Midway), Illinois 109,000 Southwest
5 Florida Tampa, Florida 87,000 Southwest
6 Michigan Detroit, Michigan 82,000 Delta
7 Washington, D.C. Washington (National), D.C. 56,000 US Airways
8 Illinois Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois 54,000 United
9 Georgia (U.S. state) Atlanta, Georgia 53,000 Delta
10 New Jersey Newark, New Jersey 47,000 Continental


FAA diagram of Manchester Airport

The Manchester airport was founded in June 1927, when the city's Board of Mayor and Aldermen put $15,000 towards the project. By October, a board of aviation had been founded and ground was broken at an 84-acre (34 ha) site near Pine Island Pond. It took only a month for two 1,800-foot (550 m) runways to be constructed. After the formation of Northeast Airways at the site in 1933, the first passenger terminal was built.

The current Manchester airport began to take shape as a joint civil-military facility in the 1960s. In 1961, an $850,000 terminal opened. In 1966, the Air Force removed its remaining forces and closed Grenier AFB, leaving the airport open for expansion. In 1978 the airfield was renamed Manchester Airport.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the airport was served by Northeast Airlines with the CV-240, DC-9, and FH-227. Delta Air Lines absorbed Northeast in 1972 and continued to serve the airport with the DC-9 until 1978, then 727-200s until 1980 when it discontinued service at Manchester. In the mid 1980s, airlines once again started offering jet service out of Manchester. United Airlines inaugurated service at Manchester in 1983 with two daily flights to Chicago's O'Hare Airport. This was part of their 50 States campaign, which positioned United Airlines as the only carrier to serve all 50 states with mainline service. The Boeing 727 and Boeing 737 were initially used on the Chicago flights, which would often make intermediate stops in cities like Providence; Albany and Syracuse; and Burlington, to pick up or drop off passengers. Manchester was also a 'tag-on' for United flights heading from Bangor and Portland, Maine to Chicago, but the carrier no longer serves either city with mainline aircraft.

In the early 1990s, United Airlines began flights between Manchester and Washington Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. But creation of a north-south hub at Dulles didn't work for United, and heavy competition in this market led to a quick exit. The Boeing 737 was used for this short-lived service, which comprised about four daily circuits between the two airports. US Airways started service at Manchester in early 1986, by connecting their hubs at Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The carrier used the DC-9, BAC 111 and Boeing 737-200 aircraft. Both carriers expanded service at Manchester over the years with bigger planes and more flights. United Airlines now runs a strict nonstop schedule to and from Chicago with no intermediate stops or tag-ons. The Boeing 757 has been used by both United Airlines and US Airways at Manchester, which stands as the largest passenger-carrying plane to serve the airport in scheduled service. The Airbus A320 series of aircraft is also commonly used by United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and (occasionally) by US Airways. In April 2010 Delta Air Lines will enhance service to Manchester. Delta will drop its daily CRJ-700 service to Atlanta and replace the aircraft with a MD-88 with seating for 144. Delta will also switch all its Delta Connection service to Detroit with mainline service on DC-9's. Delta and Southwest will be the only airlines serving Manchester with all mainline jets, Southwest with the Boeing 737.


In 1992, a long-term expansion and improvement plan started to take shape. Two years after beginning, a new 158,000-square-foot (14,700 m2) terminal opened, providing ample room for larger jets. The airport continued to expand, opening a new parking garage and parking lots in the next years, as well as working to reconstruct the runways and taxiways. In 1998, these expansions paid off, with MetroJet, Northwest Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all beginning service. The airport has prospered from "the Southwest Effect", in which competing airlines increase service and decrease fares to compete with the low cost carrier. Throughout the 1990s, Manchester Airport outpaced almost every other similarly-sized airport in terms of passenger growth. In 2003, runway 17/35 was extended from 7,001 feet (2,134 m) to 9,250 feet (2,820 m), allowing non-stop service to Las Vegas.

In April 2006, the aldermen of the city of Manchester voted to change the name of the airport to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in an effort to increase its visibility to travelers around the country.[5]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Continental Connection operated by CommutAir Newark
Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Cleveland, Newark
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Connection operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Detroit
Delta Connection operated by Chautauqua Airlines Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection operated by Compass Airlines Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines Detroit
Southwest Airlines Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Denver, Las Vegas [ends January 7 2012, Orlando, Philadelphia [ends January 7], Phoenix, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale [begins January 7]
United Express operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Washington-Dulles
United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Chicago O'Hare, Washington-Dulles
United Express operated by GoJet Airlines Chicago-O'Hare
United Express operated by Mesa Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles
United Express operated by Trans States Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland [begins December 15], Washington-Dulles
US Airways Charlotte, Philadelphia
US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin Philadelphia
US Airways Express operated by Mesaba Airlines New York-LaGuardia
US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines Philadelphia, Washington-National
Seasonal: Charlotte

Air cargo operators

Airlines Destinations
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Buffalo
Seasonal: Hartford
UPS Airlines Hartford, Louisville, Philadelphia, Syracuse
Wiggins Airways Bangor, Barre/Montpelier, Burlington, Hartford, Hartford-Brainard, Portland (ME), Presque Isle, Rockland, Rutland, Waterville

Airport access

Manchester Shuttle

From November 13, 2006, to June 30, 2008, the airport operated a shuttle bus — free to ticketed passengers — that ran every two hours, 24 hours a day, to the Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn, Massachusetts (45 minutes), on to the Sullivan Square subway station in Boston (75 minutes), and back to the airport via Woburn.[6] The free service shut down after a private company, Flight Line Inc., began operating a paid service along similar routes on July 1, 2008. Flight Line offers hourly service between the airport, several points in northern Massachusetts and the city of Boston for $39 each way. Reservations are required.[7]

Greyhound Lines

Greyhound lines offers three trips daily from Manchester Airport on its Boston-Montreal service. Buses serve Concord, Hanover, White River Junction, Montpelier, Burlington, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and Montreal when going northbound. They serve Boston South Station and Logan International Airport on the southbound trips.

Local bus service

The Manchester Transit Authority provides hourly bus service between the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport passenger terminal and downtown Manchester.

Highway access

In 2007, construction began on the Manchester Airport Access Road, an expressway connection from the F.E. Everett Turnpike.[8] Before this project, access to the airport was limited to local roads off Interstate 293 / NH Route 101. The access road opened on November 10, 2011, connecting the airport and Route 3A in Litchfield with the Everett Turnpike and U.S. Route 3 in Bedford.[9]

MBTA commuter rail

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has proposed to extend the Lowell Line of its commuter rail system to Manchester, including Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. However, this only remains a proposal, and no funds have yet been allocated for the project.

Law enforcement / security

The Londonderry Police Department is responsible for law enforcement and security operations at the airport terminal. The Rockingham County Sheriff's Department was responsible for law enforcement operations at the airport until 2006 when the Londonderry Police Department was awarded the new security contract.


External links

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