Albany International Airport – Take the Ride

Located six miles northwest of Albany, this international airport covers 1,000 acres of land and is owned by the ACAA (Albany County Airport Authority). Albany International Airport has come a long way in establishing itself as a significant air center for New York and the Capital Region.

Every year, it reaches a new benchmark in the field of aviation, and only three years ago, it witnessed a 3.6% increase in the total number of passengers handled. However, there’s a lot more to this underrated airport than what facts and figures can display. Here’s everything and more you need to know about the fourth largest airport in New York State.

History of Albany International Airport

Not many people know that this airport was the first and oldest municipal airport in the US. When the mayor of the time, John Boyd Thacher II, noticed the region’s growing need to have an airport to facilitate air traffic, he established its foundation on the Shaker site. The spot was extremely close to the polo fields which were once used as the primary site for the municipal airport.

In the early years of its existence, Albany Airport was often at the receiving end of threats mainly because of a lack of facilities. When the authorities finally opened their eyes to the locals’ complaints, they took steps to improve the facilities throughout the late 1930s and 1940s.

However, a major improvement the airport underwent was the opening of a new terminal building in 1962. This building had a viewing area, offices, a restaurant on the second floor, and a huge ticket counter and baggage claim on the first floor. Six years later, the space was further widened to facilitate a larger boarding space and more concessions.

The Busiest Domestic Routes

While there are a number of cities that should make it to the list, here are the top ten domestic destinations that flights out of Albany International Airport depart to:

  • Baltimore
  • Charlotte
  • Atlanta
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Washington
  • Newark

Commercial Airline Services the Airport Houses

  • American Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Allegiant Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • JetBlue

Environmental Initiatives Taken By the Airport

Not many airports worldwide acknowledge the need for environmentally friendly technology. Albany International Airport is certainly not one of them. Not only is it recognized for developing cost-effective aircraft management deicing fluids, but it has also installed a Storm Water Recovery and Treatment Facility.

The latter aims to use microorganisms to digest propylene glycol in a way that it stays under detection limits. The methane gas produced as a result is reused to warm the fluid and fasten its processing. The same gas is also employed to keep the treatment facility warm.

Tips to Make Flying In and Out of the Airport Easier

The rule of thumb is to arrive at least 90 minutes before the flight departs. It can take a significant amount of time for people to undergo security checks at various checkpoints. Make sure to arrive even earlier for morning flights or flights during peak travel periods.

Even though there is a TSA pre-check line for certain participants, it’s best to factor in the time you will need to pass through checkpoints. Passengers can also make use of skycap service, but the only downside is that it’s just available for Delta. While the airport is open 24/7, skycap isn’t. Make sure to call ahead to confirm the availability of this service.

Where to Stay Near the Airport

The closest hotel to the airport is none other than the Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel. You can easily get there by the complimentary 24/7 shuttle or car since it’s just a mile away. While it has been in business for around 50 years, it has only recently been renovated.

Currently, it has an on-site restaurant and a beautiful indoor courtyard. The next best option after the Desmond Hotel is Microtel Inn. Just three miles from the airport, it’s a convenient choice for travelers on a budget.

Expansion Projects Over the Years

About four years ago, Albany International Airport underwent a modernization project that took two years to complete. The project included a car parking garage, food courts, waiting areas, restrooms, and renovated escalators.

Thanks to the stated additions, the terminal was connected to the garage by a pedestrian bridge. Furthermore, due to the same project, many technological improvements were also implemented. Some of them were energy-efficient lighting, better internet connectivity, and solar panels.

One of the most notable expansions of the past is the new terminal which was added in 1998. It was done primarily to facilitate Southwest airlines since they were known for their competitive airline fares. When the issue of parking erupted, a new garage was also added in 1999 that accommodated more than 800 cars.

Albany International Airport Parking Guide

For short-term parking, head over to the first floor of the parking garage, behind the parking garage, or opposite the terminal. Fortunately, the first 30 minutes of your time here will be free.  

For long-term parking, head over to the lot behind the parking garage. However, you will have to pay a certain amount to be there.

For lower rates, you can park your car in Lot E, where the daily maximum isn’t more than $6. However, from here, you may have to take the airport shuttle to get to the terminal.

Wrapping Up!

Traveling by plane can sometimes be a stressful task. From undergoing various checkpoints to taking care of the time factor, there’s a lot one needs to keep in mind to board a flight successfully. Albany International Airport is one of the few airports that facilitate you in the best possible way. With facilities at every corner, your time at the airport will have the least amount of stress involved. While it’s also a very busy airport, it’s comparatively less crowded than its counterparts, JFK and Newark.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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