|Bradley International Airport|
|IATA: BDL – ICAO: KBDL – FAA LID: BDL
– WMO: 72508
|Owner||Connecticut Airport Authority|
|Operator||Connecticut Airport Authority|
|Serves||Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts|
|Location||Windsor Locks, Hartford County, Connecticut|
|Elevation AMSL||173 ft / 53 m|
Bradley International Airport (IATA: BDL, ICAO: KBDL, FAA LID: BDL) is a civil/military airport in Windsor Locks on the border with East Granby and Suffield, in Hartford County, Connecticut. Owned and operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority, it is the second-largest airport in New England.
The airport is about halfway between Hartford and Springfield. It is Connecticut's busiest commercial airport with 350 daily operations, and the second-busiest airport in New England after Boston's Logan International Airport. The four largest carriers at Bradley International Airport are Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and US Airways with market shares of 28%, 15%, 11%, and 10% respectively. As a dual-use military facility with the U.S. Air Force, the airport is also home to Bradley Air National Guard Base and the 103d Airlift Wing (103 AW) of the Connecticut Air National Guard.
In 2008 Bradley was the 55th busiest airport in the United States by number of passengers enplaned. Bradley is branded as the "Gateway to New England" and is also home to the New England Air Museum.
Bradley has its origins in the 1940 acquisition of 1,700 acres (690 ha) of land in Windsor Locks by the State of Connecticut. In 1941 this land was turned over to the U.S. Army, as the country began its preparations for the impending war.
The airfield was named after 24-year-old Lt. Eugene M. Bradley of Antlers, Oklahoma, assigned to the 64th Pursuit Squadron, who died when his P-40 crashed during a dogfight training drill on August 21, 1941.
The airfield began civil use in 1947 as Bradley International Airport. Its first commercial flight was Eastern Air Lines flight 624. International cargo operations at the airport also began that year. Bradley eventually replaced the older, smaller Hartford-Brainard Airport as Hartford's primary airport.
In 1948 the federal government deeded the Airport to the State of Connecticut for public and commercial use.
In 1950 Bradley International Airport exceeded the 100,000-passenger mark, handling 108,348 passengers.
In 1952 the Murphy Terminal opened. Later dubbed Terminal B, the terminal was the oldest passenger terminal in the US when it closed in 2010.
The April 1957 OAG shows 39 weekday departures: 14 American, 14 Eastern, 9 United and 2 Northeast. Nonstops never reached west of Chicago or south of Washington until Eastern and Northeast began Miami in 1967. Nonstops to Los Angeles and Atlanta started in 1968.
In 1960 Bradley handled 500,238 passengers.
In 1976 an experimental monorail was completed to link the terminal to a parking lot seven-tenths of a mile away. The "people mover" cost US$4 million, and was anticipated to cost $250 thousand annually to operate. Due to the high anticipated operating cost the monorail was never put in service and was dismantled in 1984 to make room for a new terminal building. The retired vehicles from the system are now on display at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT.
In 1979 a tornado ripped through Windsor Locks, wreaking destruction along the eastern portions of the airport. The New England Air Museum sustained some of the worst damage. It reopened in 1982.
In 2001 construction began on a new parking garage. When completed, the garage could not immediately be used. The September 11, 2001 attacks led to regulations requiring parking structures to be set back farther from the tarmac. After opening, for several weeks every vehicle had to be individually inspected, severely reducing its value. Bradley eventually received a waiver for normal operation of the garage from the Department of Homeland Security.
2001 also saw the commencement of the Terminal Improvement Project to expand Terminal A with a new concourse, construct a new International Arrivals Building, and centralize passenger screening. The airport expansion was part of a larger project to enhance the reputation of the Hartford metropolitan area as a destination for business and vacation travel. The new East Concourse, designed by HNTB, opened in September 2002.
In December 2002, a new International Arrivals Building opened west of Terminal B. This structure houses the Federal Inspection Station and has one jetway for deboarding aircraft. Two government agencies support the facility; U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The FIS Terminal can process more than 300 passengers per hour from aircraft as large as a Boeing 747. This facility cost approximately $7.7 million, which included the building and site work, funded through the Bradley Improvement Fund. Currently the International Arrivals Building is utilized by Delta Air Lines and Frontier Airlines (Apple Vacations) for their seasonal service to Cancun, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. All international arrivals except for those from airports with customs preclearance are processed through the IAB. International departures will be handled from the existing terminal complex.
In July 2007, Northwest Airlines began nonstop service from Bradley to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, the airline normally flew a Boeing 757-200 but more than once substituted a slightly larger 757-300, these 757 variants became the largest scheduled passenger aircraft to fly out of Bradley. It was Bradley's only overseas flight. The flight ended in 2009. Currently, Bradley does not have any scheduled overseas passenger service.
On October 2–3, 2007, the Airbus A380 visited Bradley on its world tour, stopping in Hartford to showcase the aircraft to Connecticut workers for Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand, both divisions of United Technologies, which helped build the GP7000 TurboFan engines, which is an option to power the aircraft. Bradley Airport is one of only 68 airports worldwide large enough to accommodate the A380. No carriers provide regular A380 service to Bradley, but the airport occasionally is a diversion airfield for JFK-bound A380s.
On October 7, 2008, Embraer, an aerospace company based in Brazil, selected Bradley as its service center for the Northeastern United States. An $11 million project was begun with support from teams of the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Connecticut's Economic and Community Development. The center is intended to be a full maintenance and repair facility for its line of business jets, and is expected to employ up to 60 aircraft technicians. The facility was temporarily closed ten months after opening due to economic conditions, reopening on February 28, 2011.
On June 22, 2012, the Connecticut Airport Authority board approved the hiring of Kevin A. Dillon as the Executive Director for the Connecticut Airport Authority including Bradley International Airport. Executive Director Dillon plans to continue the development of airport facilities, as well as the establishment of new routes.
Bradley International Airport covers 2,432 acres (984 ha) at an elevation of 173 feet (53 m). It has three asphalt runways: 6/24 is 9,510 by 200 feet (2,899 x 61 m); 15/33 is 6,847 by 150 feet (2,087 x 46 m); 1/19 is 4,268 by 100 feet (1,301 x 30 m).
In the year ending June 30, 2011 the airport had 107,404 aircraft operations, average 294 per day: 52% airline, 27% air taxi, 17% general aviation, and 3% military. 56 aircraft were then based at this airport: 52% jet, 30% military, 12% multi-engine, 4% helicopter, and 2% single-engine.
Terminal A has two concourses: the East Concourse (Gates 1–12) hosts Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, while the West Concourse (Gates 20–30) hosts American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
Terminal B, the 1952 Murphy Terminal, was closed to passenger use on April 15, 2010. The structure continues to host RON (Remain OverNight) aircraft. Plans call for the eventual replacement of the Murphy Terminal with a new 19-gate Terminal B.
All international arrivals (except flights with customs preclearance) are handled at the International Arrivals Building, located to the west of Terminal B. This building was formerly used by Northwest Airlines between 2007 and 2009 when they offered non-stop flights from Bradley to Amsterdam. Today, Delta is the sole operator using the IAB.
|Air Canada Express||Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson||East|
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami||West|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Pittsburgh (begins March 2, 2015)||West|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Cancún, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul||East|
|Delta Connection||Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Atlanta, Orlando
|JetBlue Airways||Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Juan, Tampa, Washington-National, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Fort Myers
|Southwest Airlines||Atlanta (ends April 7, 2015), Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Fort Myers, Las Vegas, West Palm Beach
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles||West|
|US Airways||Charlotte, Philadelphia||West|
|US Airways Express||Charlotte, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (ends March 1, 2015), Washington-National||West|
|1||Atlanta, Georgia||370,000||Southwest, Delta|
|3||Charlotte, North Carolina||245,000||US Airways|
|4||Orlando, Florida||233,000||Delta, JetBlue, Southwest|
|5||Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois||208,000||American, United|
|7||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||127,000||JetBlue, Southwest|
|8||Tampa, Florida||127,000||JetBlue, Southwest|
|9||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||125,000||US Airways|
|10||Washington (Reagan), D.C.||122,000||JetBlue, US Airways|
|ABX Air||Seasonal: Cincinnati, Rochester (NY)|
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark
Seasonal: Buffalo, Columbus-Rickenbacker, Harrisburg, Manchester (NH), Newburgh, Syracuse, Washington-Dulles
|FedEx Feeder operated by Wiggins Airways||Bridgeport, Long Island/Islip, Newark, Manchester (NH), Portland (ME)|
|Southern Air||Cincinnati, New York-JFK, Rochester (NY)|
|UPS Airlines||Albany, Chicago-Rockford, Louisville, Newark, Philadelphia, Providence
Seasonal: Boston, Buffalo, Chicago O'Hare, Columbia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Des Moines, Harrisburg, Manchester (NH), New York-JFK, Ontario (CA), Spokane, Syracuse
|Flight Express, Inc.||Portsmouth-Pease|
In addition to the regular cargo services described above, Bradley is occasionally visited by Antonov An-124 aircraft operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines, Polet Airlines and Antonov Airlines, transporting heavy cargo, such as Sikorsky helicopters or Pratt & Whitney engines internationally.
On July 3, 2012 the Connecticut Department of Transportation released an Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Evaluation, detailing a proposal to replace the now-vacant Terminal B.
The replacement proposal calls for:
The proposal calls for a three-phase construction program:
Actual completion dates could vary due to funding and demand.
Amtrak trains serve both the nearby Windsor Locks and Windsor stations. The New Haven–Hartford–Springfield commuter rail line, which is expected to begin service in 2016, will increase the speed, frequency and reliability of trains along the corridor. Presently, 12 trains serve Windsor Locks station daily. This is expected to increase to 32 in 2016 and 70 by 2020. Plans call for every train at Windsor Locks Station to be met by a shuttle bus connection directly to and from the terminal. Officials have discussed plans to construct a fixed rail link to the airport.
Connecticut Transit route 34 provides local service connecting Bradley with Windsor and Hartford. Route 30 (the "Bradley Flyer") provides express service to downtown Hartford.
Bradley has also been identified as one of the last remaining tracts of grassland in Connecticut suitable for a few endangered species of birds, including the Upland Sandpiper, the Horned Lark, and the Grasshopper Sparrow.
Bradley's fatal accident occurred during a simulated aerial dogfight with Frank Mears, commander of the 64th Pursuit Squadron. The plane Bradley was flying spun out of control as he went into a sharp turn at about 5,000 feet. Stunned witnesses saw the plane spiral slowly into a grove of trees. Soon a column of smoke arose. They theorize that the young pilot blacked out from the gravitational forces felt during such a sharp aerial turn.