Lehigh Valley Airport getting its own hotel

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority is moving forward with plans to locate a 125-room hotel on its property off Airport Road. 

The authority voted to sign a term sheet with developer HP&D to build and manage a Marriot Courtyard on airport property. 

Tom Stoudt, executive director of the LNAA, said the authority has been considering building its own hotel for a couple of decades, but became more serious about the plan after its 2019 master plan study showed a significant need for more hotel rooms in the area immediately surrounding the airport. 

“The study was pretty clear that there were not enough hotel rooms along the corridor,” Stoudt said. “Sometimes we have trouble finding enough rooms for snow removal crews.” 

He said the airlines that serve the airport also sometimes have difficulty finding rooms for staff that need to stay overnight. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the plan, Stoudt said last year the airport authority becan working with the developer to put together a hotel plan that would be beneficial both for the airport and the community. 

“The developer did its own independent analysis, and everyone came to the same conclusion. This is needed,” Stoudt said. 

With the latest approval, HP&D can now begin work on obtaining approvals from the township, Hanover Township, Lehigh County. 

Meanwhile, the airport authority will work on plans to approve a 40-year long-term lease for the land on which the hotel will be constructed and set an expected $3-per hotel night hotel privilege fee, which will go towards the airport’s revenue. 

The hotel itself will be owned and operated by the developer. 

With approvals in place construction should begin in spring of 2024 with operations beginning by late 2025. 

Air travel continues to rise at Lehigh Valley International Airport

After passenger traffic numbers surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, Lehigh Valley International Airport officials said they have maintained that positive momentum to start off 2023. 

In January, 66,391 passengers traveled through ABE. That’s the highest total for the month of January since 2004. 

“Demand for air travel remains high, and airlines have kept capacity levels steady for our passengers at ABE. We’re grateful that people keep choosing the comfort and convenience of your neighborhood airport,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority. 

Passenger traffic was up 33.3% over the prior year with 66,391 passengers in January of 2023 compared to 49,787 in January of 2022. 

Allegiant’s passenger traffic increased 57.7%, United jumped 39.4%, and American moved up 21.5%. Delta passenger traffic declined 10.5% from last January. 

Earlier this week, ABE announced the arrival of non-stop flights to Denver, Colorado aboard Allegiant Airlines starting on June 25. 

The TSA Checkpoint / Terminal Connector Project at ABE has surpassed the 80-percent mark for overall completion, with the opening expected later this year.  

Besides passengers, 22,694,663 pounds of air cargo was processed through Lehigh Valley International Airport in January. That’s an increase of 4.5% from January 2022. 


Allegiant announces Lehigh Valley to Denver flight

Travelers in the Lehigh Valley now have a new, easier way to get to Denver, Colorado. 

Allegiant has announced it will begin service from Lehigh Valley International Airport to Denver beginning in June. 

“We believe this will be a popular new route, offering visitors from the East Coast a chance to visit Colorado for summer vacations via Allegiant’s brand of affordable, nonstop service,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant senior vice president and chief revenue officer. “Denver is a gateway for all that Colorado has to offer – from the scenic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to the arts, culture and music on display in Denver.” 

The flights will begin June 15. 

“Known for its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Denver is an exciting vacation destination that will have plenty of interest from air travelers across the Lehigh Valley. Whether its skiing, hiking, Larimer Square, or the arts/culture district, there’s plenty of attractions and family activities in the Mile High City,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.  

“When Allegiant chose ABE as their 18th crew base, we spoke about the potential for more flight options and connectivity. Being able to offer this air service further west is really exciting for us. Allegiant’s commitment to the region continues to provide air travelers affordable options, and they remain a dependable partner that focuses on supporting impactful community initiatives.” 


2022 breaks pre-pandemic travel levels at LVIA

Passenger traffic at Lehigh Valley International Airport surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2022. 

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority is reporting that 912,256 passengers traveled through the airport in 2022,higher than the 911,970 travelers that used the airport in 2019. 

Thomas Stoudt, executive director of the airport authority said he expects 2023 will be a busy year at the airport. 

“Early indications from bookings and flight schedules had us all preparing for a busy year, and that’s certainly what happened. Post-pandemic passenger traffic returned to ABE sooner than industry forecasts,” said Stoudt. 

In 2022, travel was up significantly over 2021 levels. 

In 2022 912,256 travelers used the airport, up 21.2% over 2021 when 752,111 passengers traveled through LVIA. 

“2022 produced plenty of accomplishments for Airport staff and stakeholders. We served over ¼ of a million people during the busiest summer travel season in recent history, added Landline Bus Service through American Airlines and United Airlines (AA to Philadelphia, with UA to Newark), implemented a new system for passengers to check TSA Security Checkpoint Wait Times, and made significant progress on infrastructure improvements,” said Stoudt. 

It was also another record setting year for air cargo at ABE, with 237,945,266 pounds processed in 2022 – a 2.4% increase from 2021. 

“Our FAA-approved Airport Master Plan identified the need for additional air cargo capacity, and these numbers support the need to accelerate plans for development. The Airport Authority is currently working with Aviation Facilities Company (AFCO) to evaluate options,” said Stoudt. 

LVIA remains busy as summer travel season ends

The summer travel season may be over, but that didn’t slow down passenger traffic at Lehigh valley International Airport 

Th Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority said it had a 38.9% increase in passenger traffic in September over the prior year with 68,531 passengers traveling through the airport. 

 “Using pre-pandemic travel as the baseline, the airport surpassed September 2019 passenger traffic numbers – which was the highest since 2010 for this specific month.  It’s a great indication that demand continues to be strong, and people are choosing the convenience of ABE,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the LNAA. 

 Of the airlines servicing the airport, Allegiant’s traffic increased 65.5%, United jumped 67%, and American moved up 38%.  Delta passenger traffic declined 13% from last September. 

Stoudt said he doesn’t expect things to slow down.  

“Another hectic holiday season is projected for airports across the country.  We encourage air travelers to book their holiday flights as early as possible with ticket prices on the rise and airlines facing capacity challenges due to pilot and aircraft limitations,” he said. 

 Meanwhile, the TSA Checkpoint / Terminal Connector Project at ABE has surpassed the 60-percent mark for overall completion.   

The $32-million infrastructure project will create up to four passenger security screening lanes, improved vertical circulation equipment, shorter walking distances with separation of arriving and departing passengers as well as enhanced air purification. 

 “Construction crews recently poured the remaining floor of the future TSA Checkpoint area and the installation of new escalators and elevators are scheduled over the coming weeks,” said Ryan Meyer, director of planning and programming for LNAA. 


$850K in state funding boosts LVIA upgrade plans

Infrastructure upgrades at Lehigh Valley Internationa Airport have received a boost from $850,000 in funding that Pa. State Sen. Lisa, Boscola, D-Northampton, secured in the 2022-23 state budget. 

The money will be used to upgrade and rehabilitate the eight existing passenger boarding bridges at the airport. 

“There’s definitely operational stress on these necessary pieces of equipment, with the majority of the bridges over 25 years old,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA). “We are extremely grateful for the hard work of Senator Boscola to help the Airport continue to maintain its primary role of being an economic asset for the region,” said Stoudt. 

Part of the project includes converting the existing solid state PBB controls to industry standard Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) which will improve reliability and service capabilities while ensuring safe and efficient bridge operation during aircraft docking. 

“Lehigh Valley International Airport is a vital economic engine and asset with an impact that stretches well beyond our region – producing over $547 million of direct and in-direct revenue annually and being responsible for more than 5,000 area jobs,” Senator Boscola said. “This state investment will aid in making ABE an even more attractive airport for travelers and increase its economic impact on our region and Commonwealth.” 

The funding will also help the airport with the acquisition of PBB management software that provides real-time monitoring and diagnostic information on the status, performance, and potential issues with equipment. 

The airport authority is also hoping for a reduction of on-airport emissions through the replacement of electric Ground Power Units (GPU) and Pre-conditioned Air Units (PCAir) that provide electrical power and conditioned air to aircraft when using the PBB. 

Stoudt noted that the airport just experienced one of the busiest summer travel seasons in recent history. From June through August, 282,852 passengers used ABE. That’s compared to the 267,508 travelers at the Airport in the summer of 2021. 


LVIA reports strong summer travel season

Lehigh Valley International Airport saw a strong summer for travel, with the busiest vacation season in recent history. 

According to the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority, between June and August of this year, there were 282,852 passengers traveling through the airport, that compares to 267,508 that used the airport during the summer of 2021. 

The increase came after a surge in passenger traffic during April and May. 

“Extremely busy, that’s the best way to describe the last three months at your neighborhood airport. Indications of strong airline bookings and predictions by industry experts for heavy volumes of travelers taking to the skies certainly came to fruition,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director, LNAA. 

Allegiant increased 33.7%, American jumped 13.2%, and United moved up 6%. Delta passenger traffic declined 23% from last August. 

Now that it’s fall, the airport does expect a drop in traffic. 

“Typically, the next few months slow down which allows us to catch our breath before the holiday rush begins,” said Stoudt. 

Meanwhile, Stoudt said the TSA Checkpoint / Terminal Connector Project at the airport has passed the halfway mark towards completion.  

The $31-million infrastructure investments include up to four TSA security checkpoint screening lanes, improved vertical circulation equipment, shorter walking distances with separation of arriving and departing passengers, and enhanced air purification systems. 

“Everyone can see the pieces of the construction puzzle coming together. It really puts in perspective what the traveler is going to experience in 2023,” said Ryan Meyer, director of Planning and Programming, LNAA. 

Record July traffic, $6.9 million grant for LVIA

Plenty of good news at Lehigh Valley International Airport. 

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority has reported that its July passenger traffic was the highest on record. 

Last month 97,652 traveled through the airport, up .44% from July 2021 when 97,221 passengers used the airport. 

Allegiant reported a traffic jump of 9.9%, while United moved up 9.7%. Meanwhile, American remained flat and Delta sharply decreased 25.9% from last July. 

“We prepared for higher passenger volumes and ABE has certainly experienced that rush and steady flow of travelers as predicted by experts in the industry. It’s anticipated this activity will remain seasonally busy through Labor Day weekend. Airport staff have done a remarkable job of delivering the highest level of customer service,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the airport authority. 

It was also announced that Lehigh Valley International Airport is receiving $6.9 million in new infrastructure funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). This grant is an award from the Airport Improvement Program. 

This funding will be used to rehabilitate the airport’s runways, including improving runway lighting to ensure safe operations.  

With this latest funding, Lehigh Valley International Airport has received a total of $23.4 million in federal investments since the start of 2021. 

LVIA traffic at its highest for May since 2004

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority said early signs of momentum mean it will likely be a busy summer travel season at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) after May passenger traffic numbers eclipsed the number of travelers in from 2019. 

Last month, 83,502 passengers traveled through ABE, the highest total for May since 2004. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 76,400 travelers used the airport. 

Passenger traffic was up 16.7% over May of 2021 with 83,502 passengers compared to 71,512. 

“Industry experts created plenty of anticipation regarding the impending rise in passenger activity at airports across the country. We’ve used 2019 as our best measuring stick to gauge ABE passenger levels, and travel demand continues to climb in the market with summer vacation season poised for takeoff,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director, of the authority. 

Of the airlines serving the airport, Allegiant reported the largest passenger traffic increase of 43.5%, while United moved up 9.8%.  

Delta activity dropped 1.7% and American slightly decreased 6.4% vs. last May. 

The authority reported 16,650,920 pounds of air cargo was processed through Lehigh Valley International Airport in May. That’s a decrease of 8% from May 2021. 


Lehigh Valley airports receiving $6M in federal funding

Two Lehigh Valley airports are sharing more than $6 million in federal funding. 

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced that Lehigh Valley International Airport in Hanover Township, Lehigh County is receiving $4.6 million to rehabilitate its runway and runway lighting. 

Queen City Municipal Airport in Allentown is receiving $1.6 million to rehabilitate its runway and taxiway. 

Both of these projects are aimed at improving airport safety and improving the passenger experience. 

 “Pennsylvania’s airports connect us to each other and the rest of the world. Keeping them upgraded is important to improving air travel and supporting economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said Casey in a release. “I look forward to seeing the improvements these projects will make for Lehigh Valley International and Allentown Queen City Municipal and I will continue to bring infrastructure investments to the Lehigh Valley to support economic growth and development of the region.” 

On top of this funding, both airports received funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for Fiscal Year 2022. In December, Senator Casey announced that Lehigh Valley International received $3.6 million and Queen City received $295,000. 

Technology to help manage wait times at Lehigh Valley International Airport

The Veovo dashboard at Lehigh Valley International Airport PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority has partnered with a tech company to make wait times more predictable and travel less stressful at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). 

Tom Stoudt, executive director of the authority, said the new technology will come in handy as summer travel is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer. 

“Tensions certainly rise as travelers reach this point of their airport journey, and the mental clock starts counting down to their departure time,” he said.   

Partnering with Veovo, a technology company powering smart decision-making across airports, Lehigh Valley International Airport now has the capability to provide “real-time” information for passengers that improves decision-making for travelers, allows the Airport to efficiently handle increased passenger volume, and analyzes checkpoint throughput trends to help elevate the customer experience.   

Veovo’s Passenger Predictability solution combines 3D cameras and cloud analytics software to provide key performance indicators such as occupancy, predicted wait times, throughput, and processing times which are visualized on a web-based dashboard.   

ABE intends to share live and predicted wait times via displays, the Airport website and on social media platforms.   

“We’ll gain critical insight on passenger flow at our facility, which the Airport plans to share on a multitude of communication platforms,” said Glenn Kurcon, director of Information Systems & Technology for the airport authority. “Also, it can be used as a reconnaissance tool for planning your itinerary. For example, if you are departing on a Sunday morning flight, passengers can check the week before to see estimated wait times in their travel window,”  

Lehigh Valley International is joining major North American airports, including JFK, Newark, LaGuardia, and Cincinnati, that have adopted the Veovo flow and queue management system.   

“As travelers return to the skies, we are seeing that airports of all sizes are switching on to the power of real data and predictive insight to automate planning, improve real-time decision making, and deliver exceptional passenger experiences.  We are delighted to partner with Lehigh Valley International Airport to help make TSA security processing as smooth and efficient as possible,” said James Williamson, CEO at Veovo.   

The Veovo Intelligent Airport platform joins up data, advanced forecasting, and decision making across the airport.  With integrated flight, resource, and people flow management, operators and their partners can simplify collaboration, proactively flex to live events, assign people and assets more efficiently and deliver predictable journeys.     


Lehigh Valley International Airport reports continued travel growth

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority is expecting a strong return to pre-pandemic levels of travel at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). The resurgence continued in April by nearly meeting 2019 passenger traffic numbers of 83,560. 

Last month, the authority reported 82,321 passengers traveled through ABE, which is a 45.5% increase from April 2021. 

“During the past 14 months, ABE has experienced steady upticks in passenger traffic which certainly excites our staff and airline stakeholders. We’re preparing for what’s expected to be busiest summer travel season in recent history,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director of the airport authority. 

Allegiant reported the largest passenger traffic increase of 60.4%. Delta jumped 44.4%. United moved up 31.3%, and American finished 26.3% ahead of last April. 

A total of 15,385,108 pounds of air cargo was processed through Lehigh Valley International Airport in April. That’s a decrease of 20.7% from April 2021.