Hazleton Regional Airport – Hazleton, Pennsylvania

June 27, 2024

Hazleton Regional Airport

Soaring to New Heights in Service and Growth


Transforming into a premier aviation hub with strategic developments and exceptional service

Hazleton Regional Airport, a critical hub in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, functions primarily as a general aviation (GA) facility. Under the skilled management of Dave Chronowski, the airport manager, the airport provides essential services to various aircraft, from piston-engine planes to jet and turbine-engine aircraft.

“We’re a general aviation airport,” says Chronowski, emphasizing their non-commercial airline operations. “Our primary service is 135 operations and part 91 operations. We also have a GA community of piston engine aircraft and base customers with jet and turbine engines. Seventy-five percent of our business is tied to the three industrial parks here.”

The airport’s single runway, known as 10/28, stretches 5,001 feet and is grooved for optimal performance. This adaptable facility caters to a wide range of aircraft, from a Gulfstream 650 to a Cessna 152, showcasing its readiness to meet diverse aviation needs. Chronowski takes pride in this versatility, providing a strong reassurance to potential clients and aviation enthusiasts about the airport’s ability to handle any challenge.

Infrastructure Enhancements and Future Plans

Mayor Jeff Cusat

The Hazleton Regional Airport is not content with its current status but is actively enhancing its infrastructure to meet growing demands and improve services. Chronowski outlines the extensive improvements underway and in the pipeline.

“We’ve just added to our multitasking equipment for runway cleaning and snow removal,” says the airport manager. This addition is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency during harsh winter conditions. Another significant project recently completed is the installation of a wildlife fence, which was finished last April.

Current projects include a comprehensive apron rehabilitation, slated to begin May 13th. “We’re rehabbing our entire ramp area in front of the terminal, replacing all tie-downs, and remarking the apron,” Chronowski explains. In June, the FAA will start replacing the airport’s lighting system, including the MAUWS (Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System), ensuring improved visibility and safety for incoming and outgoing flights.

One of the more technical projects is the overhaul of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) localizer. “They’re replacing a wooden structure with a metal one and updating all antennas,” says Chronowski. This upgrade will enhance the reliability of the ILS, which serves as a backup to the GPS approach system, crucial for safe landings in low-visibility conditions.

The airport has plans for a significant fuel farm project in October. This involves replacing jet fuel pumps and motors, updating automatic shutoff systems, and cleaning and calibrating the tanks. “We have a 16,000 square foot hangar recently built that accommodates a wide range of aircraft, from Gulfstream G5s to Cessna 152s,” he notes. While the current hangar space is nearly full, there are plans for future expansion, with land cleared and ready for new hangar construction.

“We aim to build more hangars,” Chronowski adds, reflecting the airport’s readiness to support the increasing demand for corporate and general aviation aircraft. The airport is also a full-service Fixed Base Operator (FBO), offering comprehensive services, including de-icing, ground power units, lavatory service, catering, and linens. This full-service status enhances the airport’s attractiveness to a broader range of aviation clients.

The airport’s fuel supply is robust, with three jet fuel trucks and an aviation gasoline truck. “We have a 5,000-gallon truck and two 3,000-gallon Jet A trucks, plus a 750-gallon Avgas truck,” details Chronowski, ensuring they can meet the fuel needs of various aircraft.

Chronowski also highlights the presence of a medevac helicopter based at the airport. “Lehigh Valley Hospital operates a first responder LifeFlight operation here,” he says, emphasizing the airport’s role in critical emergency services. Additionally, the airport hosts Global Mix, a maintenance and avionics shop, and a certified flight examiner, providing essential services for the aviation community.

Leasing Opportunities and Economic Development

The Hazleton Regional Airport is a hub for aviation and a catalyst for economic growth, attracting numerous businesses and fostering regional development. Chronowski elaborates on the variety of companies utilizing the airport and the potential for further land leasing, illustrating the airport’s integral role in the local economy.

“We have major companies like Niagara Bottling Company and Coca-Cola flying in here regularly,” he says. Companies such as Multi-Plastics and In Steel also frequent the airport, supporting the bustling industrial parks nearby. “Eagle Rock Resorts is one of our main customers, visiting every four to five weeks,” he adds, highlighting the airport’s appeal to diverse industries.

The region’s vibrant coal industry also relies heavily on the airport for transportation needs. “We get a lot of activity from the coal industry, with several companies flying in regularly,” Chronowski explains. Beyond industrial use, the airport serves leisure travelers under Part 135 operations, catering to local customers seeking to reach various destinations.

Economic Drivers and Housing Initiatives

The airport’s influence extends into the city’s broader economic strategies, with Jeff Cusat, Mayor of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, outlining ambitious plans for development and housing to boost the municipality’s growth.

“We’re currently working with three developers to add industrial parks within the city limits,” says the mayor. Although the airport technically lies within Hazle Township, these new parks will be integral to the city’s economic expansion. The focus, however, isn’t solely on industrial growth. Housing initiatives are also at the forefront of the city’s agenda.

“We created a ten-year program for new residential constructions, offering tax abatements,” Mayor Cusat reveals. This program is designed to attract more residents by providing financial incentives for building single homes, townhomes, and apartment buildings. Joseph Zeller, the Director of Community and Economic Development, interjects to emphasize that this program extends even to individual plots, ensuring widespread opportunities for growth.

These efforts are not without reason. “The population increased by 24.9% according to the 2020 census,” Mayor Cusat proudly states. This substantial growth makes Hazleton the fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania, a trend the city aims to continue. “We believe our actual population is closer to 40,000, despite the census recording 24,996,” he adds, suggesting that the city is poised for further expansion.

Tourism and Accessibility

Hazleton Regional Airport supports the local economy through industrial and corporate aviation and plays a significant role in boosting tourism in the region. The airport’s strategic location and comprehensive amenities make it an ideal gateway for tourists visiting various attractions.

Chronowski expounds, “We’re not far from the Poconos and only about two hours from New York City. Philadelphia is about an hour and a half away.” This prime location makes Hazleton an attractive entry point for tourists. Mayor Cusat adds, “We’ve got the NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway and the Bloomsburg Fair, one of Pennsylvania’s biggest fairs.”

Accessibility is a crucial advantage of Hazleton Regional Airport. “Our airport is just half a mile from Interstate 81 and two miles from Interstate 80,” says Mayor Cusat, emphasizing the ease of access for travelers. This proximity to significant highways enhances the convenience for visitors, whether they are arriving for leisure or business purposes.


Comprehensive Services for Visitors

While the airport’s infrastructure supports tourism, the services provided ensure a seamless experience for visitors. “Enterprise Rent-A-Car services the airport, and they pick up and drop off vehicles right here, so no one has to go off-site to get a car,” Chronowski explains. This convenience is crucial for tourists looking to explore the region without hassle.

The airport’s full-service FBO status includes high-speed internet, enabling pilots and travelers to plan their routes efficiently. “We also offer corporate rates at local hotels for visitors staying in the city and surrounding areas,” says Chronowski. These partnerships with local businesses ensure that tourists can access comfortable and affordable accommodations.

A recently renovated pilot lounge provides a comfortable space for pilots to rest during long trips. “We have amenities like sleeping quarters where pilots can relax and recharge,” Chronowski notes. Additionally, the airport features a conference room, accommodating business travelers who may need to conduct meetings upon arrival.

As Chronowski adds, attractions such as the Mohegan Sun Casino further bolster tourism in the region. “The casino is a popular destination, and it’s not too far from the airport,” he says. The casino and other venues like the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds and the Mohegan Sun Arena host concerts, trade shows, and conferences, drawing visitors from far and wide.

Future Outlook and Priorities

As Hazleton Regional Airport looks ahead, the emphasis is firmly on growth, improvement, and providing top-tier services. Chronowski underscores the airport’s efforts to offer big-city services in a more intimate, accessible setting.

“We’re offering large city service in a small venue,” he says. “We have nearly 100 years of combined aviation experience among our staff, ensuring that customers receive expert care.” This wealth of experience translates into high-quality service, a crucial factor in attracting and retaining clientele.

Growing and developing the airport remains Chronowski’s primary focus. “We want to continue to grow the airport, develop it, and maximize our capabilities with hangar space,” he states. This includes welcoming new corporate customers while ensuring current tenants are well supported, with fair fuel prices and excellent accommodation. The ongoing and upcoming infrastructure projects, from runway and taxiway renovations to expanded hangar facilities, are pivotal in this effort. “We’re continuing to invest in this airport to make it the best it can be,” Chronowski adds, expressing enthusiasm for its trajectory.

Mayor Cusat also highlights the airport’s importance in meeting both business and recreational needs. “Our top priority is updating the airport and adding additional hangars to fit the largest aircraft,” he says. This is crucial for accommodating the influx of businesses while serving the recreational planes that frequent the airport. He notes the region’s appeal, mentioning, “There are five or six ski lodges all within a half-hour,” adding to the variety of attractions accessible via Hazleton.

The future of Hazleton Regional Airport looks promising, with a strong emphasis on growth, development, and providing unparalleled service. The airport is poised to continue serving as a vital hub for the local community and visiting aviators through strategic investments and a customer-focused approach.


Hazleton Regional Airport

What: General Aviation Airport provides comprehensive services and strategic infrastructure upgrades

Where: Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Website: https://www.hazletonfbo.com/default.htm


Berkheimer Tax Innovations, Inc. – https://www.hab-inc.com/

Greater Hazleton CAN DO – www.hazletoncando.com

CAN DO, Inc. is a private, non-profit economic development organization serving the Greater Hazleton region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. For nearly 70 years, CAN DO has worked to improve the quality of life in the Greater Hazleton Area through the creation and retention of a full range of employment opportunities. Through the development of the organization’s four business/industrial parks, CAN DO has assisted in the attraction of over 30,000 high-quality jobs across the region.

Strategically located just miles from the intersection of Interstates 80 and 81, the organization’s parks are home to over 100 industries including everyday household names such as Amazon, American Eagle, Cargill, Hershey, Little Leaf Farms, and Niagara Bottling – Just to name a few.

With an organizational focus extending beyond real estate development, CAN DO offers services to promote economic activity and job creation, including business financing, small business and entrepreneurial consulting, and workforce development solutions. These efforts ensure that both emerging entrepreneurs and established homegrown businesses receive the support needed to thrive in today’s world.

CAN DO is proud to work with community partners such as the City of Hazleton to build a future where the region remains a vibrant hub of economic activity, innovation, and opportunity.

Elliott Greenleaf & Dean, P.C. – www.elliottgreenleaf.com

Visit Luzerne County – https://www.visitluzernecounty.com/

A&H Equipment Co. – www.ahequipment.com

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