DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4419 posts, RR: 35 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1683 times:
Piedmont operated a hub at SYR from May 1986 until sometime after Piedmont was merged into USAIR in 1987. The hub was built by Empire Airlines, a regional carrier based in Utica and which operated Fokker F-28's and Swearingen Metros. Piedmont bought Empire in the spring of 1986 and merged the carriers together in May. In early April 1986, I flew on an Empire F-28 on an EWR-SYR-ROC flight, which a/c had already been painted in PI colors and had "Empire" stickers.
When Empire started building a hub at SYR shortly after Deregulation, the airport was a medium-size terminal handling about 1.5-1.9 million pax/yr. The terminal featured two 10-ish gate concourses attached to a central terminal with a zigzaggy roof similiar to MSP's.
Empire occupied the end four or five gates in the South Concourse, which they shared with People Express, Eastern, and Republic. As Empire built up, they took over all but RC's gate in South. American and People joined USAir, TWA, and Eastern in the North C. There were also some niche regionals like Wright at SYR at that time. By 1985, traffic had passed 4 million pax annually, and SYR officials were talking about building a parallel east-west runway on the north side of the airport. These plans were never realized.
About 1986, I think it was Piedmont post-Empire (anyone correct me if wrong) that built a seven or eight-gate extension to the South Concourse. At its peak, the hub handled about 70 jet flights, mostly F-28's but with some 737's mixed in. Empire ran a similar number of prop flights; I don't remember if PI kept the Metros. I don't remember if PI ran flights to CLT and DAY.
The hub served about every commercial airport in New York State and major and medium-size markets between Boston and Detroit E/W, and Montreal and Washington, DC N/S. Empire and then Piedmont provided badly-needed competition for USAir in the Northeast.
However, when consolidation mania hit, USAir and Piedmont merged. It was one of the stupidest merger mistakes of the Reagan Transportation Dept (which at that time had jurisdiction over mergers). When the five-year consent decree with the NY and WV attorneys general to maintain service elapsed in 1992, USAir decimated service at many airports that had been big PI/US airports. The 1990's era of delibrate capacity constriction and fare gouging in the region gradually settled in.
ScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1629 times:
That was very interested with the Piedmont Airlines and this is some long time ago and it is left from the old Piedmont Airlines. I was flew on Piedmont Airlines from FLL-MCO roundtrip was little boy as for me. If you would like to know about get me one of kind city was serve out of SYR, CLT, DAY, BOS, and etc. Thanks!
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4419 posts, RR: 35 Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1608 times:
According to the timetable map you shared (thank you!), USAir was still running Piedmont as a separate airline and operating the SYR hub as of June 1989. I don't remember PI surviving as a separate airline into 1990; does anyone know the precise date PI ceased to exist?
I remember that by 1988-89 PI and US were using each others' gates at ROC. It was really cool to see PI 727's at ROC; I had to wonder if US was already mixing the fleets, and maybe they were flying US routes. The only route on which PI had used mainline a/c from ROC before the Empire purchase was BWI with 732's and 733's.
Before the SYR South Concourse extension, there was already a big swath of empty apron off that concourse's end. Empire used that apron to park F-28s several deep in a row off the end of the concourse on one side of a painted walking corridor, and Metros on the other.
During the entire time the Empire/PI hub was there, the South Concourse had a second level one reached by escalator from the first-level connector to the ground-floor main terminal and its ticketing/ baggage lobbies. In the late summer and fall of 1985 SYR completed a similar second floor on top of the South Concourse for its airlines. This concourse had a second-level shortcut corridor to the baggage claim so that one didn't have to walk all the way back through the main terminal to get there.
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4419 posts, RR: 35 Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1396 times:
Arch....US customs for Canada-to-USA flights is done right in the airport in Canada. The passengers clear US Customs before they ever board their plane, and the flight arrives like any domestic US flight. This arrangement was in place by at least 1982, perhaps earlier. Anyone know exactly when the two countries reached this arrangement?
In the 1980's, SYR had an international arrivals hall complete with small baggage carousel, on the first floor of South Concourse, at the pre-extension end of the concourse. I don't know if it still has that hall. Presumably the UR and PI flights from Canada would not have used it.
Air Canada Jazz's flights from Toronto to Upstate NY today clear US customs at Pearson, and arrive in the USA like any domestic USA flight. At ROC, AC shares gate space w/ Star Alliance partner UA, probably does at SYR too.