HIA Noise Program to Come to an End

(Middletown, PA – October 1, 2015)  At their monthly board meeting on September 30, the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) approved an updated Noise Exposure Map for Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) that is expected to end the airport’s voluntary land acquisition and relocation program.

“In 2005, SARAA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted a study to determine existing (2005) and future (2010) airport noise impacts on our surrounding communities,” explained Tim Edwards, executive director.  “Following FAA approval in 2006, a voluntary land acquisition and relocation program for portions of the boroughs of Middletown and Royalton began in 2008. Since then, 24 of the 47 eligible properties were voluntarily purchased by SARAA using FAA funds. Residents were then moved into similar dwellings outside of the noise impact area.  The total cost for the home acquisitions, relocation and moving costs, and ongoing maintenance of the remaining properties was $4.5 million.”  Homes were purchased as noise grant money was made available to SARAA from the FAA.

In 2014, the FAA required SARAA to conduct a new Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study to determine current (2015) and future (2020) noise conditions at HIA. The combination of changes in the fleet of aircraft that operate at HIA today compared to those that operated in 2005, and less flights per day due to airline mergers, has generated a decrease in noise levels in the area surrounding the airport.  The resulting changes to the Noise Exposure Map means that remaining homes within the original noise impact area previously eligible for voluntary acquisition, are no longer eligible for the program at this time.

Other Contracts Awarded

The SARAA board approved several other agreements and change orders at the meeting:

  1. Pennsy Supply, Inc. – twelve month lease of office space in building 208 at HIA, generating $8,304/year in revenue for SARAA.
  2. Shannon A. Smith (SAS) – Change order to contract for generator in Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Building to meet FAA Buy American Preference Provision in amount of $19,538.50
  3. Michael Baker Jr, Inc – Change order to HIA Runway Rehabilitation project to add Section 4(f) environmental evaluation required for removal of trees at Sunset Golf Course in amount of $239,199.42.
  4. USDA – Approved wildlife cooperative service agreement for all SARAA owned airports for wildlife surveys, control action, recommendations for mitigation action and habitat management for $25,231.67.

Chicago and Toronto are HIA’s most popular destinations

SARAA reported that 796,326 total passengers used HIA between January and August, 2015 – a decrease of about seven percent, when compared to the same time period in 2014.  Traffic declines were anticipated due to the loss of Frontier Airlines in April and merger related schedule changes by United and American/US Airways.  The top five 2015 domestic destinations for HIA travelers have been Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte and Dallas.  2015’s most popular international destinations have been Toronto, Cancun, Montreal, Vancouver and London.

Cargo tonnage at HIA is up two point nine percent year to date, compared to the same period in 2014 with over 32,000 tons of cargo landing at HIA in August.

Next SARAA Meeting October 28, 2015

The next SARAA Board meeting is scheduled for 8:00 am, Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in the David C. McIntosh board room at Harrisburg International Airport.


Five airlines serve Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) offering about 70 flights daily to 10 non-stop destinations.  The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) owns HIA, Capital City Airport in New Cumberland and both Franklin County and Gettysburg Regional Airports.  Incorporated in 1997, SARAA is a multi-municipal authority whose mission is to serve the region by providing high quality, efficient airports and promoting regional economic development.  Combined these four facilities handle about 90,000 aircraft operations and generate a total economic output of more than $990 million annually.