Jul 15 : 12:00AM
Everyone expects airports to report delays in the winter months, but people often forget that summer weather can wreak havoc on travel plans too! Did you know that 70% of flight delays are caused by bad weather? And it doesn’t have to be weather happening at your airport, it could be weather happening between points A and B. Summer weather can actually be worse than winter weather because the storms sneak up quickly, giving airlines less time to prepare. Winter storms tend to take more time to develop, allowing for more preparation.
Thunderstorms can be very tricky for pilots; the key is for the pilots and the air traffic controllers to work together. Sometimes planes are re-routed 20 miles or more, just to avoid thunderstorms or bad weather. The most dangerous part of the storm is their ability to cause microbursts or downdrafts, which are unpredictable. A downdraft is a vertical movement of air that can resemble tornado like damage. And don’t forget about hail and turbulence, the two biggest hazards to aircraft during a storm.
All of these factors play a role in summer weather delays at airports. If you learn that weather may cause your flight to be delayed or cancelled, get in line at the ticket counter and get on the phone with the airline. This will maximize your chances of rebooking your flight and hopefully minimize the disruption to your schedule. You can also check out social media, as some airlines are using platforms like Twitter to rebook flights and give additional customer service information.
Tags: Harrisburg International airport, MDT, summer travel, thunder storms, weather
Jul 3 : 12:00AM
Summer vacation season is upon us and many of you are getting ready to dust of the suitcases and start the packing process. Our friends at AAA Central Penn have put together a number of packing tips to help ease the daunting task of what and how to pack. Here are some of the tips put together by their Travel Store staff:
1. Know your airlines baggage policy! Each airline has its own baggage policy with size and weight limitations. It’s
important to be aware of such policies so you aren’t surprised when you get to the ticket counter.
2. Make a packing list. Start making a list a few weeks in advance, this way you less likely to forget something if you plan
3. Pick a basic color scheme such as black, white, and red or khaki, black, and white. Then you can mix and match your
clothing and layer.
4. Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothing such as boots, sneakers, sweaters, or jackets.
5. Place all other heavy items at the bottom of your suitcase so when you stand up your luggage everything falls to the
bottom. These items may include shoes, a toiletry bag, or a hair dryer.
6. Place a cardboard divider between the heavy items on the bottom and your top layer with clothing. This serves as a
divider and easy access to the bottom layer.
7. Roll up all knit items such as sleepwear, workout clothes, t-shirts, and sweatpants.
8. Keep all valuables in your carry-on. These items may include your wallet, phone, keys, camera, jewelry, and medication.
9. Always follow the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Only liquids less
than 3.4 ounces, in a 1-quart zip lock bag per person are allowed in carry-on luggage/bags. If you are traveling for an
extended amount of time, it’s best to place those liquids in your checked luggage.
10. Pack patience! When traveling there are things that often “pop-up” unexpectedly, always best to pack patience and a
sense of humor!
AAA Central Penn also has a great packing checklist which is a great place to start!
Tags: air travel, luggage, summer travel, travel tips
Capital City Airport to Host the Oldest Historic Air Race
Jun 11 : 12:00AM
New Cumberland, PA — Capital City Airport in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania will be the terminus, or final stop, of this year’s Air Race Classic (ARC) which spans over 2,338 nautical miles.
The 2014 Air Race Classic will be held June 16–19. Racers will zoom through ten intermediate stops in four days enroute from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, California in the quest for the fastest time.
This year’s ARC will have fifty-two teams and over one hundred female pilots compete for the championship title in the transcontinental air race. Follow the ARC teams at https://www.facebook.com/AirRaceClassic or https://twitter.com/2014ARC.
The race is an annual, all-female pilot air race in which pilot’s race against their own best speed in the small airplane of their choice. Racers will undergo briefings, flight planning, and a fly by study prior to take off. Additionally, the aircraft must be “stock” models (no experimental) and have their handicap speed identified with a check pilot. Many of the pilots race not only for the experience, but compete to refine their flight skills as the route changes each year in order to keep the race challenging.
The Air Race Classic carries on the long tradition of women’s air racing that dates back to 1929. Air racing became popular in the 1920’s, but women pilots were forbidden to race against the men in that era, so the women started their own.
The race attracts competitors of all ages around the world. In 2013, pilots from Kosovo, Japan and Italy joined US pilots in the ultimate four day air race challenge. Collegiate teams make up nearly 20% of each year’s racers.
The race begins Monday, June 16, precisely at 8 A.M. and airplanes will take off every 30 seconds. There are 9 predetermined stops as the pilots make their way along the way eastward, where high speed low timing passes are permitted.
Once at the terminus, Capital City Airport, scores will be determined by a panel of judges and timers, and the winner will be announced at the gala Awards Banquet Saturday evening, June 21.
The Air Race Classic, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to: encouraging and educating current and future women pilots, increasing public awareness of general aviation, demonstrating women's roles in aviation, and presenting and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation.
Tags: aircraft, avgeek, Capital City Airport, community, female travel, training
Frontier's Nonstop Denver Service Returns
Apr 21 : 12:00AM
On April 30th, 2014 Frontier Airlines will resume nonstop service from Harrisburg to Denver four times per week. Denver has quickly become the 4th most popular destination at MDT. Visit Denver, The Convention and Visitors Bureau published a great list of attractions for families to help in planning a Denver visit. Here is the their list and for more information visit www.denver.org.
Top 10: Family Attractions in Denver
The Best of the Mile High City for the Young - and the Young at Heart Families will find no shortage of fun for all ages in Denver, with zoos, theme parks, interactive museums, dinosaurs and much more.
Denver Zoo, located in City Park, spans over 75 acres and is home to over 4,000 animals including rare amur leopards, okapi, black rhinoceros, elephants, vampire bats, orangutan, Komodo dragons and more. Children and families love the Zoo, thanks to special children's workshops, summer camps, Family Book Club, and the Bunk with the Beasts overnight adventure. www.denverzoo.org
DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
Exciting minds of all ages, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science lets kids explore fossils and dinosaurs, the mysteries of space at Gates Planetarium (it's out of this world!), Egyptian mummies, the riddles of the human body at Expedition Health, and a slew of other hands-on exhibits. www.dmns.org
CHILDRENS MUSEUM OF DENVER
Educational, creative and fully interactive, this engaging museum for the younger set is chock-block with myriad exhibits, playscapes, and hands-on activities. Kids can shop in a makeshift grocery store and even play the part of the cashier, or brush up on their science quotient in the brand new Bubble laboratory. www.cmdenver.org
ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK
Roller coaster groupies, Ferris wheel fans and aficionados of rides that spin, twist and twirl will find all that and more at this urbanized theme park, a catchall of thrills, spills and chills spanning 70 acres. With more than 45 rides, plus a 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, arcades and the StarToon Studios, a kiddie area with pint-sized fun, there's something here for just about everyone. www.elitchgardens.com
America's largest family water park features over 40 aquatic attractions on 67 beautifully landscaped acres, including two giant wave pools, white-water rapids, speed slides, the Big Top Family Fun Zone, Wally World for tots and much more. www.waterworldcolorado.com
Oceanic inspiration comes in all guises at this visually intoxicating aquarium, but the main draw is the 500 species of fish and marine life swimming in more than one million gallons of water. The exhibits, which traverse through a coral lagoon, Indonesian rainforests, North American wilderness, Sumatran tiger habitats, shipwrecks and wharfs, are engaging and exotic. Kids can feed the stingrays, swim with the sharks, pan for gold, become a marine biologist for a day, or even spend the night in the aquarium.www.aquariumrestaurants.com/downtownaquariumdenver
BUTTERFLY PAVILION & INSECT CENTER
Located in Westminster, a 15-minute drive from downtown Denver, this stand-alone insect zoo is the perfect indoor refuge in which to interact with live invertebrates fluttering around a lush rainforest, or to hold Rosie, a Chilean Rose Hair tarantula, in the palm of your hand. The Wings Over the Tropics conservatory is home to more than 1,200 flitting butterflies, moths and skippers, shipped from farms as far away as Kenya and Ecuador. www.butterflies.org
DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS
Art and science unite in the gardens' spectacular 23-acre site, offering an unforgettable experience for the whole family, as well as a living laboratory for education and plant conservation programs. The new Mordecai Children's Garden offers a place to play, explore and discover. Young naturalists will have the opportunity to learn unique characteristics of plants living in the Rooftop Alpine Garden, discover how plants and animals live together on Marmot Mountain, race pinecones down Springmelt Stream, and hunt for bugs in the Glorious Grasslands and observe aquatic life at Pipsqueak Pond. www.botanicgardens.org
Learn about prehistoric Colorado residents at Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, where visitors can touch the bones of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus at the site where important dinosaur discoveries were made in the late 1800s. See how Iguanadons walked by viewing real dinosaur footprints forever preserved in the sandstone. www.dinoridge.org
COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM
Lose track of time year-round at our Depot Museum and 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, and our garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable. Special events and train rides behind a vintage steam locomotive throughout the year. www.crrm.org
Information provided by Visit Denver, The Convention and Visitors Bureau
Tags: Denver, family vacation, Harrisburg International airport, kids, MDT, planning, siteseeing
Mar 20 : 12:00AM
Here at the airport we are very happy to say goodbye to Old Man Winter and welcome all spring has to offer. This winter has been like no other. But we are proud to say that our crew of winter weather warriors kept our airport fully operational all winter long. Here is winter by the numbers:
· 31,750 gallons of liquid deicer used on the airfield
· 19,147 gallons of diesel fuel used in snow equipment
· 12,000 pounds of solid deicer used on the airfield
· 5,218 hours of time put on snow equipment
· 4,902 hours of overtime worked during snow removal
· 388 tons of road salt and anti-skid used on land side
· 43.2 inches of snow received at MDT as of 2/28/14
· 19 tons of sand used on airfield
· 12 cutting edges replaced on plows
· An average of 1.9 inches of snow fell per hour
· Heaviest snowfall day: February 13
Needless to say we will not be complaining when the heat and humidity are upon us, all we have to do is check this list!
Tags: airport, bad weather, employees, equipment, Harrisburg International airport, MDT, winter
Old Terminal Update
Mar 12 : 12:00AM
If you’ve been to the airport recently you would certainly have noticed that things are starting to look a little different. The old terminal, a constant reminder of the past, is quickly disappearing to make way for the future.
We’ve gotten many questions over the past few months as to “what will become of the space” or “why couldn’t you re-purpose the space.” All of which are valid questions.
Following the events of 9/11, the cost to renovated and expand what is now the old terminal building where not cost effective. Since that time, the airport authority has worked with a number of real estate and economic development agencies to find a new use for the space. However, its location adjacent to an active airfield, airline mergers and bankruptcies, increasing energy costs and the worldwide economic recession all contributed to making the re-use of the facility difficult. So over the past two years the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come up with a demolition and potential site plan for development. Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve received:
What will it become?
The airport will construct a snow equipment storage building on a portion of the property; however, the bulk of the property becomes available for aviation related development. Aviation related development could include items like a hangar, a repair and maintenance operation, fixed based operator, etc. To assist with these efforts, in December 2013, the old terminal building location was deemed a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ). This means a business that chooses to build or re-locate to this space will have various levels of tax abatement through 2024. The KOZ application was sponsored by the Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority and the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation in cooperation with the Middletown Area School District, the Steelton-Highspire School District, Lower Swatara Township and the Boroughs of Middletown and Highspire.
What is happening with the demolition materials?
Since late December, the contractor has removed and disposed of universal wastes such as fluorescent light bulbs, mercury switches, oils from elevators, fuel lines from an emergency generator, and closed a deep aquifer well. Two-200 ton chillers and five gas fired boilers from a mechanical room have also been removed. All materials and equipment have been disposed in compliance with current environmental rules and regulations. Materials being recycled include the copper telecommunications cables and over 360 tons of steel from throughout the building. The contractor will also recycle crushed concrete from the terminal and reuse it to backfill the excavation site.
What can we expect to see when the building is removed?
Once the building is removed and the site is backfilled, the contractor leave behind a level area of approximately 5 acres covered with asphalt. The surrounding areas will be landscaped and adorned with planters and benches for plane spotting until further development begins. All of this should be completed by fall 2014.
How much will the project cost?
The total cost of the project is $1.8 million. The project is funded by grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Aviation, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and SARAA.
Make sure you follow our progress on our Facebook page and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. Better yet, mark your calendar for Saturday, August 23rd for our 2014 HIA Open House. You and your family will be able to see the site for yourself while getting hands on experience with a wide variety of aircraft and airport equipment.
Tags: airport, equipment, FAA, Harrisburg International airport, SARAA, terminal
HIA Tips for First Time Fliers
Feb 12 : 12:00AM
So you’re ready for your first flight at HIA! Here are some helpful tips to get you to the plane and in the air with ease.
Before coming to the airport—check in with the airline within 24 hours of our departure time to confirm that your flight time and flight number are accurate.
Air Canada 800.247.2262
US Airways 800.428.4322
Be sure to have your airline confirmation and a form of ID, such as a driver’s license for domestic flights or a passport for international travel.
Directions—The address for Bing, MapQuest or Google Maps is: One Terminal Drive, Middletown, PA 17057. The address when using GPS is 510 Airport Drive, Middletown, PA 17057.
Parking—Most travelers will be using the exit from 283 East or West to get to the Airport Connector Road. When you reach the Welcome to Harrisburg International Airport sign, the road will split off into two different directions.
Stay in the left lane if you are:
Returning a Rental Car
Parking in Short-term Garage Parking
Or if you are being dropped off curbside
Stay in the right lane if you are:
Using Long-term/Economy Parking
The cost of short-term or Garage parking is $2.20 per hour or $20.00 for daily use up to 24 hours. The long-term or Economy parking is $8.50 a day up to 24 hours. When using the Economy parking lot, the shuttle bus runs 24 hours a day, approximately every 10-15 minutes. The bus stops at each of the eight designated shelters throughout the parking lot. The bus will drop you off and pick you up curbside just in front of the terminal. The shuttle drivers can help you with your luggage as you get on and off the bus if you ask for assistance.
When utilizing the parking garage, proceed to the 2nd level and walk across the sky bridge into the terminal. If you have returned a rental car, proceed across the street to the terminal.
Checking-In—We recommend checking in for a flight 75-90 minutes prior to your departure time. Each of the airlines has their own check-in counters. A scale is available for your use opposite these counters to check luggage weight before you get in line.
When you get to the airline ticket counter, you will need to have your confirmation; identification and luggage (if applicable) ready to be placed on the scale and tagged for your destination. The airline representative will give you your boarding pass and assign you a seat, if needed.
If you do not have a bag that needs checked; Delta, US Airways, United and American have self-check-in kiosks for you to use to print out your boarding pass.
Security Checkpoint—After you have checked in, you will proceed to the security checkpoint located on the second floor of the airport. Have your boarding pass and ID out for the agent to scan. You can put your ID away after it has been scanned. You will not be required to show it to anyone else, but you will need your boarding pass handy to access your seat.
Any liquids, gels, aerosols you have with you in your carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less or will be disposed of at security. Failure to comply with this TSA rule will slow down the checkpoint process. For a full list of what is acceptable for carry-on luggage, please access the TSA site at www.tsa.gov.
Next, you will place your belongings into a bin to go through the screening equipment. Place your coat, shoes, belt, lap top (removed from case), electronics, purse, change, etc. into a bin and place on the conveyor belt. Your belongings will meet up with you on the other side. A TSA agent will then ask you to walk through the body scanner. You can then pick up your belongings and proceed to your designated gate.
Gates—After you have successfully navigated the security checkpoint and gather all of your belongings, check your boarding pass to see if you are using Gate A, B or C and proceed to the gate.
Take a deep breath, exhale, you’ve successfully navigated the airport and are ready to board your first flight from Harrisburg International Airport.
Tags: airport, checkpoint, customer information, Harrisburg International airport, tips
What to Do When Your Flight is Cancelled
Feb 6 : 12:00AM
Central Pennsylvania has seen its fair share of winter weather in 2014 crippling ground and air transportation. The airport receives numerous inquiries concerning flight status during these storms. It is important to remember that the airport itself does not make the decision to delay or cancel flights. Each individual airline determines what will happen to a flight. It is the airport’s responsibility to maintain a clear runway as well as the roads that lead in and out of the campus. The airport staff, known as our MDT Weather Warriors, has done an outstanding job at clearing the runway, tarmac and roadways in and around MDT this winter season to keep the airport open. However, in some instances the airlines have chosen to cancel flights. Here are some important tips to remember if your flight is cancelled due to weather.
Cancellation Policy—Know what your airlines cancellation policy is concerning weather and what you can expect, if anything, in compensation.
Communication Lines—If you have arrived at the airport and find that your flight is delayed you will more than likely find yourself waiting in line. While you wait, it’s best to call the airline. This will maximize your chances at rebooking. You can also check alternative forms of communication like social media. Some airlines are using social media, like Twitter, to rebook flights and give additional customer service.
Precautionary Measures—If poor weather has been forecasted, it is important to check your flight status before you leave home. Many airlines allow you to sign up for flight alerts, which you can receive via email or a text message. Alerts are sent for delays, flight changes or even cancellations.
Stay Positive—Just like traveling during the holiday season, it is important to pack patience. Weather can affect every form of transportation, so it’s important to remember that patience and a calm demeanor will be appreciated.
Safe Travels to all!
Tags: bad weather, cancelled, communication, Harrisburg International airport, HIA, MDT, preparedness, travel tips, weather
MDT Weather Warriors
Jan 15 : 12:00AM
Winter weather has come early to Central Pennsylvania this year. The MDT Weather Warriors have been working overtime to make sure airport operations are fully functional. The ultimate decision as to whether or not a flight is delayed or cancelled is determined by each airline individually. Many factors go into making that decision, but one factor they need not worry about is whether or not the runway is clear. The MDT Weather Warriors work round the clock to make sure everything is clear and most importantly safe.
Each member of the team is specially trained to operate the various pieces of equipment. The equipment to clear the airside of the airport is valued at $6.5 million dollars. Needless to say training is especially important in maintaining the longevity of the equipment.
The airport has several weather warrior teams; air side, land side and support. All of which must work together to combat a storm. It is not uncommon for staff to “live” at the airport until the storm has passed, sacrificing personal time and family time. It is not an easy or glamorous job but one that is at the heart of any airport operation and certainly the heart of MDT.
Plowing the full length and width of the runway is equivalent to 31.5 miles of a single lane roadway. This team practices months in advance to get the best formation to combat snow. Quite often you will see them take a staggered formation for more efficiency. The equipment is also laying special airport-safe chemicals at an average cost of $190,000 per storm. There are three chemicals you will see used at an airport: Liquid Anti-Ice, Dry Deicer, and Runway Sand. Liquid Anti-Ice is for pre-treatment and close attention is paid to weather forecasts before this chemical is distributed. It is not designed to melt snow or ice, but used similarly to spraying a cookie sheet before baking. The Dry Deicer is used to melt through snow and ice. Lastly, runway sand is used in similar ways to road cinders. This helps provide traction for airport equipment and for landing purposes.
Winter months are extremely busy for any airport. MDT is no exception, but we know that our Weather Warriors are ready to go whenever Old Man Winter rears his ugly head.
Tags: air travel, equipment, MDT, preparedness, weather, winter
Exploring Cumberland Valley History
Jan 9 : 12:00AM
To continue our spotlight on local tourism, we share with you a recent visit taken by one of our marketing personnel, Cheryl W., to the Cumberland Valley area.
The Cumberland Valley is centrally located in the middle of the most visited region in Pennsylvania. A good place to start your journey is the Cumberland Valley Visitors Center. Here you will find maps and brochures to plan your trip. If you are a history buff, walk around the corner to the Cumberland County Historical Society. This award winning museum contains 18 galleries including items from The Carlisle Indian School and military memorabilia from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. The Historical Society also houses the Hamilton Library and Photo Archives. This is a great starting point to search your genealogy and ancestry, since the Cumberland Valley was a gateway for most settlers traveling through the area.
The Carlisle Barracks is the second oldest Army post in the United States. George Washington and 14,000 men stayed here on their way to western Pennsylvania to halt the Whiskey Rebellion of 1774. The post was settled more than 250 years ago and has historical buildings dating back as far as 1777. The oldest building was a storage facility for explosive material during the American Revolutionary War. Construction of the Carlisle Iron Works Furnace and the Pine Grove Iron Furnace began during this time to produce cannons for the war. The Cumberland Valley was a major contributor of supplies, food, weapons and of course soldiers. The Carlisle Barracks became the headquarters for these supplies.
Some buildings at the post had to be rebuilt, having been burned by the Confederates in 1863. Confederate forces fought against the Pennsylvania militia as they tried to make their way to Harrisburg. Damage to the old courthouse in Carlisle was caused by artillery fire. Confederate troops got as far north as Mechanicsburg before being called upon to go to Gettysburg.
Control of the Carlisle Barracks was passed from the War Department to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1879. The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was founded as the first off reservation government boarding school for Native American children. The school provided an education of English, vocational skills, academics and physical fitness to more than 12,000 Native American students. Its most famous graduate was gold medal Olympian, Jim Thorpe, the only athlete to ever win both the pentathlon and the decathlon. Coached by Glenn “Pop” Warner, Jim Thorpe also excelled in professional football as well as baseball and basketball. When the school closed 39 years later, the War Department regained control of the post.
For the next 3 decades, the Carlisle Barracks served as a medical school and rehab hospital during World War I and World War II. It has been home to the U S Army War College since 1951.
Take a short drive to continue on with your tour at the US Army Heritage and Education Center. Upon entry into this interactive and interpretive facility, your first stop will be the information desk to pick up your “dog tag”. You will use your dog tag, as you experience Army life as your soldier did, while walking throughout the Soldier Experience Gallery. The gallery highlights the history of the US Army from the Spanish American War to current missions of the Global War on Terror. As you make your way through the gallery, you can test your skills in marksmanship at the digital shooting range.
Travel on to exhibits of the Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection, China Relief Expedition and World Wars I and II featuring a real tank. Next you will try to parachute into Normandy as you participate in the D Day Invasion and then experience a night attack during the Korean War. Move on to the Vietnam War as you learn about helicopter pilot missions and then on to Desert Storm and finally the Global War on Terror.
The library and archives research facility is located in Ridgeway Hall at the US Army Heritage & Education Center. Over 14 million items, including a large collection of Civil War photos, are located here. The archives are carefully cataloged and organized and kept in a state of the art temperature controlled, fire controlled, water controlled environment.
An exhibit on America’s last five-star General Omar Nelson Bradley is also on display. Memorabilia of the General included in this collection is his invitation to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, duck call, sword and sheath, golf trophies, ice bucket and lighter.
The Army Heritage Trail is the outdoor portion of the museum covering one mile around the grounds. The trail highlights various periods in US Army history with large full scale exhibits. These interactive exhibits include a Civil War encampment, a World War I trench system, artillery, a Cobra helicopter and a Sherman tank.
The Cumberland Valley Visitors Center, The Cumberland County Historical Society, The Carlisle Barracks and The US Army Heritage and Education Center are all free to the public.
Have you recently been to any of these local destinations? Where is your favorite place to visit in the Cumberland Valley?
Tags: armed service, attractions, blog, family travel, history, museums, siteseeing, state parks, tourism