Hudson Valley Regional Airport

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Hudson Valley Regional Airport
POU - FAA airport diagram.png
FAA airport diagram
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerDutchess County
ServesPoughkeepsie, New York
Elevation AMSL164 ft / 50 m
Coordinates41°37′36″N 073°53′03″W / 41.62667°N 73.88417°W / 41.62667; -73.88417
WebsitePOU Website
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6/24 5,001 1,524 Asphalt
15/33 2,744 836 Asphalt/Concrete
7/25 1,358 414 Turf/Dirt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations75,133
Based aircraft133

Hudson Valley Regional Airport (IATA: POU, ICAO: KPOU, FAA LID: POU), formerly known as Dutchess County Airport, is a county-owned public-use airport located on State Route 376 in the Town of Wappinger, Dutchess County, New York, United States, four miles (6 km) south of the central business district of Poughkeepsie.[1] It is sometimes called Poughkeepsie Airport, which gives it the code POU. The airport provides corporate and general aviation transportation services.

History[edit]

Hudson Valley Regional Airport was built by the United States Department of Commerce in the 1930s and was used for pilot training during World War II by the US Army Air Forces. Known as New Hackensack Field at the time for the nearby hamlet, it was used by students at the United States Military Academy and as an extension of military training conducted at Stewart Field. On June 17, 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill flew from Naval Air Station Anacostia to New Hackensack Field, where he was met by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had driven from his Hyde Park home.[2]

After the Second World War, the airport was turned over to the county for the sum of $1 and guarantees that it would remain open as part of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 by the War Assets Administration. It was then used for general aviation. IBM built a hangar and based its corporate aircraft and helicopters at the airport, including Gulfstream II jets in the 1970s–1980s. In the 1970s, Cessna built and ran a Cessna Citation maintenance facility on the airport grounds.

Scheduled air service[edit]

In the 1950s, scheduled air carrier service was provided at Dutchess County Airport by Colonial Airlines. Its service to POU in 1956 was a DC-3 aircraft from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, making an 11:50 am Monday-Friday flag stop en route to Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario in Canada, with intermediate stops at Albany, New York, and Burlington, Vermont.[3]

In the 1960s–1980s, the airport had commuter airline service by Command Airways, Colgan Airways,[4] Air North, and others. Command Airways, later known as American Eagle Airlines, maintained its hub, executive offices, and maintenance facilities at the airport. Command qualified the ATR 72 with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for U.S. flight operations at the airport. In September 1980, the airport opened its current 16,700 sq ft (1,551 m2) terminal building for airline passengers.[5]

When Stewart International Airport, which is located just across the Hudson River, started commercial operations in 1990, most commercial airline service ended at Dutchess County Airport. POU lost its last commercial service on August 12, 2001, when Continental Connection carrier CommutAir discontinued its flights to Burlington International Airport, Vermont.[5]

In his proposal of the 2017 County Budget, County Executive Marcus Molinaro changed the name of the airport to the Hudson Valley Regional Airport. This was approved by the Dutchess County Legislature in 2016.[6]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Aerial view of the airport in November 2008

Hudson Valley Regional Airport covers an area of 640 acres (260 ha) which contains three runways, two of which are paved. The main runway (6–24) is 5,001 by 100 feet (1,524 by 30 m) and is equipped with an ILS system to the northeast-facing runway along with a medium intensity approach light system with runway alignment lights. The crosswind runway (15–33) was originally 3,003 feet (915 m) long but is now shortened to 2,744 by 100 feet (836 by 30 m) due to displaced thresholds at both ends. A turf/dirt runway (7–25) measures 1,358 by 100 feet (414 by 30 m).[1]

A Flight Service Station was opened at the airport, but closed during the 1990s. In the 1970s, a control tower was constructed by the FAA, which currently operates it 14 hours per day.[5]

For the 12-month period ending April 30, 2014, the airport had 75,133 aircraft operations, an average of 206 per day: 99% general aviation, 1% air taxi, <1% military. At that time there were 133 aircraft based at this airport: 84% single-engine, 7% multi-engine, 8% helicopter, 2% military.[1]

There is currently one flight school that operates at the airport, Westfield Flight Academy, located in the main terminal. Richmor Aviation, previously located on the north side of the airport, left in 2013. Fixed Base Operator services have been provided by FlightLevel Dutchess, part of Flight Level Aviation, since August, 2015.[6][7]

In 2018, the FAA provided a $7.4 million grant to the airport for construction of a new building complex to house Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF) and snow removal equipment, along with administrative offices.[8] The project will replace the existing 40-year old structures built in the late 1970s.

The year before, the New York State Department of Transportation awarded Dutchess County $988,500 to fund 90% of the cost for renovations to the airport's terminal building. The improvements include second-floor accessibility, alterations for greater energy efficiency, and upgrades to the structure's exterior and signage.[9]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On January 26, 1972, a Mohawk Airlines Fairchild FH-227B with 42 passengers aboard on a flight from Albany to LaGuardia Airport in New York City was hijacked and diverted to Westchester County Airport. The hijacker permitted all of the passengers to disembark there while he negotiated his demand for $200,000 cash. After several hours on the ground with the hijacker holding a flight attendant at gunpoint, the airline met his demands and the crew then flew the airplane and hijacker to Dutchess County Airport, landing after 3 a.m. in the morning.[10][11] As the 45-year old hijacker attempted to flee the airport in a getaway car, he was killed instantly by a shotgun blast from an FBI agent .[12]
  • On March 16, 1976, an overweight Command Airways BE-99 commuter flight to New York City's JFK International Airport with 7 passengers and a crew of two failed to establish a positive rate of climb on takeoff in a snowstorm, crashing just beyond the runway east of Rt. 376. The pilot was injured and the airplane was destroyed in the post-impact fire.[13][14]
  • On the evening of September 24, 1982, an Aero Airways DC-8, bound for Stewart International Airport's 11,817 ft. (3,602m) Runway 27, mistakenly landed instead on the similarly aligned Runway 24 at Hudson Valley Regional Airport.[15] The heavy 4-engine jet airliner landed successfully on the much shorter 5,000 ft. runway, much to the astonishment of airport neighbors accustomed to seeing only small business jets and private aircraft there.

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
FedEx Express Hartford

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for POU (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2015-06-25
  2. ^ Gilbert, Martin (2005). Churchill and America. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 258. ISBN 9780743259927.
  3. ^ "Colonial Airlines". Official Guide of the Railways. New York: National Railway Publication Co. 88 (9): 56. February 1956.
  4. ^ Streng, Aileen (February 13, 2009). "Colgan rushes to Manassas after N.Y. plane crash". InsideNova.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  5. ^ a b c Pfeiffer, Mary Beth (December 13, 2009). "Airport use diving, but jobs, payroll generate millions". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  6. ^ a b "Hudson Valley Regional Airport (KPOU)". Dutchess County Government. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Dutchess NY". Flight Level Aviation. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "DOT funds airport improvements in Dutchess". Mid-Hudson News. June 7, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "Dutchess to renovate county airport terminal". Mid-Hudson News. January 21, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Charlton, Laura (January 27, 1972). "Hijacker with 3 Flees, then Lands and is Shot Dead". New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Database, Aviation Safety Network, January 26, 1972. Retrieved September 17, 2019
  12. ^ Koerner, Brendan I. (2013). The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking. New York: Crown. p. 90. ISBN 978-0307886101.
  13. ^ "Crash of a Beechcraft 99A Airliner in Poughkeepsie". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  14. ^ Database, Aviation Safety Network, March 16, 1976. Retrieved September 17, 2019
  15. ^ Hudson, Edward (October 13, 1982). "Jets Mistake Tiny Airport for Another". New York Times.

External links[edit]