Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA LID: CLE) is a public airport located nine miles (14 km) southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is the primary airport serving Northeast Ohio and is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Ohio. Hopkins is the 47th busiest airport in the United States by passenger number. It is also the only airport in Ohio that offers nonstop transatlantic flights to Europe. The metropolitan area is also served by Burke Lakefront Airport and by the Akron-Canton Regional Airport. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport together comprise the Cleveland Airport System, operated by the City of Cleveland's Department of Port Control.
The airport is of particular importance to the history of commercial air travel due to a number of first-in-the-world innovations that would eventually become standard around the globe. Founded in 1925, it was the first municipality-owned facility of its kind in the United States. It was the site of the first air traffic control tower, the first ground-to-air radio control system, and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930; and it was the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. It was also the first airport to employ a two-level terminal design separating arrivals from departures.
In 2018, Airports Council International ranked Hopkins Airport the most improved North American airport in the 2017 Airport Service Quality Survey.
In 2011 the airport had 188,286 aircraft operations, average 516 per day: 64% air taxi, 31% scheduled commercial, 4.5% general aviation and <1% military. 29 aircraft are based at this airport: 18 jet, 5 single engine, 6 multi-engine and 6 military.
There is no intercontinental service from Cleveland. However, WOW air and Icelandair both will begin service to and from Keflavík International Airport in May 2018, operating four and five flights per week, respectively. Additionally, Hopkins Airport Director Robert Kennedy in a recent interview mentioned that Cleveland was on a very short list for a flight to mainland Europe. He denied to name the carrier, but said again, that Cleveland was high on their list for expansion.  Furthermore, the president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Joe Roman, recently revealed that "an additional new line of direct service to the European mainland will be announced as the first such flight operating out of an Ohio airport. That flight will enable only a maximum two-stop flight to almost anywhere in the world, enabling more investment in Cleveland by many firms."
Previous, now-discontinued intercontinental service from Cleveland include:
Cleveland currently hosts no widebody passenger service. The current largest passenger aircraft that fly into Cleveland Hopkins include the following:
However, numerous widebody cargo aircraft currently operate in Cleveland, including:
The older parallel runway, Runway 6C/24C, was 7,096 x 150 ft. (2163 x 46 m). It has been decommissioned as a runway, its width narrowed, and it is now designated Taxiway C. "TAXI" in large yellow letters on each end is intended to discourage approaching aircraft using it as a runway.
Recently the thresholds of Runway 10/28 were moved 330 feet to the east, thus allowing for the addition of Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) at both ends. The usable runway length was not altered. During this project, some turnouts were rebuilt and the closed sections of 24L and the former 24C that intersected 10/28 were physically removed.
Cleveland Hopkins is home to both crew and maintenance bases for United Airlines. It also hosts crew and maintenance bases for ExpressJet, the latter of which services the Embraer ERJ 145 family of jets flown on behalf of United Express.
Cleveland Airmall, a unit of Fraport USA, develops and manages the retail and dining locations at the airport. Tenants include Johnston & Murphy, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum Store, Bar Symon, and Sunglass Hut.
The airport has two lounges: a United Club in Concourse C and an Airspace Lounge at the foot of Concourse B near the Main Terminal.
Cleveland Airport consists of one passenger terminal which is divided into four concourses:
|Air Canada Express||Toronto–Pearson|||
|Allegiant Air||Austin, Jacksonville (FL), Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Walton Beach, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans
|American Airlines||Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia|||
|American Eagle||Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National|||
|Apple Vacations||Seasonal charter: Punta Cana|||
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City (begins July 9, 2018)|||
|Delta Connection||Detroit, Hartford, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham
|Frontier Airlines||Cancún, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Tampa
Seasonal: Austin (begins April 9, 2018), Denver, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Seattle/Tacoma
|Icelandair||Reykjavík–Keflavík (begins May 16, 2018)|||
|JetBlue Airways||Boston, Fort Lauderdale|||
|Southwest Airlines||Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Nashville, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis
Seasonal: Fort Myers, New Orleans, Orlando
|Spirit Airlines||Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Orlando
Seasonal: Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, Tampa
|United Airlines||Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco
Seasonal: Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, San Juan (Start of season delayed due to hurricane Irma, will resume on December 22, 2018), Washington–Dulles
|United Express||Boston, Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Milwaukee (ends June 7, 2018), New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National
Seasonal: Charleston (SC)
|Vacation Express||Seasonal charter: Montego Bay, Punta Cana|||
|WOW air||Reykjavík–Keflavík (begins May 4, 2018)|||
|Domestic Destinations map|
|International Destinations map|
|Castle Aviation||Akron/Canton, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Hamilton, Morris County|
|FedEx Express||Buffalo, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark
|UPS Airlines||Chicago-Rockford, Louisville|
|1||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||427,990||American, United|
|2||Atlanta, Georgia||416,470||Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit|
|3||Orlando, Florida||224,940||Delta, Frontier, Spirit, United|
|4||Denver, Colorado||218,560||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|5||Charlotte, North Carolina||195,910||American, Frontier|
|6||Las Vegas, Nevada||190,130||Frontier, Southwest, Spirit|
|8||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||168,710||American, Spirit|
|9||New York–LaGuardia, New York||159,160||American, Delta, United|
|10||Boston, Massachusetts||150,570||JetBlue, Spirit, United|
Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at CLE, 1999 through 2017
|1||Toronto–Pearson, Canada||128,700 (2013) ||Air Canada Express|
|2||Cancún, Mexico||39,947 (2016) ||Frontier, United|
|3||Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||20,969 (2016)||Frontier|
Hopkins International Airport is connected to the Cleveland Rapid Transit system. Passengers can board Red Line trains at the airport's Rapid Transit station beneath the terminal. One-way fare to any station on the line is $2.50. During late night/early morning hours, service is provided by the # 22 Lorain bus from Hopkins to Downtown Cleveland. The airport also offers a dedicated taxi service of 75 vehicles.
In 1998, Hopkins moved rental car operations off the airport grounds to a new consolidated rental car facility. The facility has drawn mixed reviews from travelers because of its distance from the airport, inconsistent bus service and long bus rides, only partial canopy coverage for vehicles, and fees and taxes that are very high relative to those of other airports; the charges cover costs of not only operating the center but also supporting other local projects, such as the Cleveland Browns stadium.
From the postwar era until the mid-1980s, United Airlines maintained its eastern-most domestic hub at Cleveland. Beginning in 1985, United started the process of migrating its hub capacity to Washington–Dulles; this process was completed in 1987. The same year, Continental Airlines, which was then a separate carrier and lacked a Midwest hub, quickly moved into fill the void left by United, as did USAir, which was the dominant carrier at the airport from 1987 until the early 1990s. While USAir soon reduced its schedule from Cleveland, Continental substantially increased its hub capacity, becoming the airport's largest tenant and eventually accounting for upwards of 60 percent of passenger traffic. Continental and the airport both made substantial operational and capital investments in support of the airport; this included the construction of Concourse D in 1999 that accommodated Continental mainline and Continental Express flights.
On May 2, 2010, the Boards of Directors at Continental and United Airlines approved a stock-swap merger deal. The legal aspects of a full merger were completed on October 1, 2010. The Continental-United marriage only heightened simmering concerns within the greater Cleveland area about the potential effect on Cleveland air service; Continental's previous merger talks with Star Alliance founding partner United had been viewed in some circles as a serious threat to Continental's future at Hopkins. When the 2010 United/Continental tie-up was initially announced, it prompted Cleveland politicians to propose hearings to investigate the potential impact of the marriage on the community; these investigations ultimately had no effect on the companies' efforts to combine. There had been persistent worries that a post-merger United would reduce or eliminate direct service from Cleveland to a number of cities and instead route passengers through United's hubs in Chicago [315 miles (507 km) west by air] and Washington [217 miles (349 km) east by air]. On November 10, 2010, Continental CEO Jeff Smisek stated in a speech in Cleveland that "Cleveland needs to earn its hub status every day" and added that overall profitability would be the determining factor in whether the new United kept or shuttered the Cleveland hub operation. However, after the agreement was signed, passenger volume at Cleveland continued to decline.
On February 1, 2014, United's then-CEO Jeff Smisek announced that the airline would shut down its Cleveland hub the following June. "Our hub in Cleveland hasn't been profitable for over a decade, and has generated tens of millions of dollars of annual losses in recent years," Smisek stated in a letter to United employees. "We simply cannot continue to bear these losses." As of June 5, 2014, United Airlines effectively terminated its hub operation at CLE; United listed Cleveland as a "key airport" for the airline following the dehubbing, but that status was subsequently dropped.
After the announcement of United Airlines's departure in 2014, Cleveland saw greatly decreased flight operations, and by June 2014, United Airlines had cut more than 60% of its daily departures at the airport. United consolidated all of its flights in Concourse C and closed Concourse D, although it is required to continue to pay the airport $1,112,482 a month in rent for the facility until 2027.
In the aftermath of United Airlines' schedule reductions, Frontier Airlines significantly increased its flight options from the airport and declared Cleveland a focus city. Other low-cost airlines such as Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air also began new service to the airport, and existing airlines such as American, Delta, and Southwest increased their number of daily flights and destinations.
Despite the loss of the hub, United still has roughly 1,200 employees in Greater Cleveland as of 2017. Regional airline CommutAir, which flies exclusively on behalf of United Express, is also headquartered in nearby North Olmsted.
In May, 2015, the airport moved the pick-up and drop off location for most shuttles to the former limo lot, requiring most passengers to take two escalators underneath the former shuttle parking in the arrivals lane at the airport. Originally meant to be a temporary fix, the airport made the Ground Transportation Center a permanent fixture in May 2017. This angered many travelers that complained on various social media platforms, as well as local media outlets, garnering negative publicity for the airport's plans.
In May 2013, the airport razed its 2,600-space garage, replacing it with a 1,000 space surface lot for $24M. This in turn created a parking shortage, and daily lot closings when parking lots would become full. The airport's Twitter account became a daily update of parking closures at the airport. The airport converted the long time Short Term Garage to a so-called Smart Garage, and valet parking garage. The airport eliminated the long time free half-hour courtesy parking perk, and began to charge $3 for a half-hour.