Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
Pennsylvania: Allentown Area
© 2002, © 2012 by Paul Freeman. Revised 2/25/12.
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Bedinsky Airfield (revised 2/25/12) - Kutztown Airport (revised 2/25/12) - New Hanover Airport (revised 3/27/11)
Rich Airport / Buckwood Airport / Bethlehem Easton Airport (revised 7/12/09) - Trexlertown Airport (revised 2/25/12)
Bedinsky Airfield, Mahanoy City, PA
40.8 North / 76.11 West (Northwest of Philadelphia, PA)
An 8/27/58 aerial view of Bedinsky Airfield (from Penn Pilot).
This private airfield was evidently established at some point between 1954-58,
as it was not yet depicted on the 1954 USGS topo map,
nor depicted on the 1958 NY Sectional Chart.
The earliest depiction of Bedinsky Airfield which has been located was an 8/27/58 aerial view (from Penn Pilot).
It depicted Bedinsky as consisting of a single paved northeast/southeast runway.
There were not any buildings at the site, but there was a clearing on the southwest side.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of Bedinsky Airfield which has been located was on the 1965 NY Sectional Chart.
It depicted Bedinsky as a private airfield with a 4,000' unpaved runway.
Note that Interstate 81 did not yet exist.
The 1967 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe) continued to depict Bedinsky as a private airfield with a 4,000' unpaved runway.
Interestingly, it showed that the still-under-construction Interstate 81 had its southwestern terminus right next to the airfield.
The 1969 USGS topo map depicted Bedinsky Airfield
as having 2 unpaved runways, with a single small building to the northeast of the runway intersection.
An 8/12/71 aerial view (from Penn Pilot) showed that Bedinsky had evidently gained 2 more paved runways at some point between 1958-71,
but one of them subsequently had a hangar situated over it.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Bedinsky Airfield
was on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
It depicted Bedinsky as a private airfield with a 4,000' unpaved runway.
The 1987 USGS topo map depicted Bedinsky Airfield
as having 2 unpaved runways, with a single small building to the northeast of the runway intersection.
The last photo which has been located of the Bedinsky hangar was a 4/1/04 aerial view.
Although still standing, it appeared to be missing roof panels.
The Bedinsky hangar was removed within the next year,
as it was no longer depicted in a 5/10/05 aerial photo.
A circa 2005-2011 aerial view looking east at the remains of Bedinsky Airfield.
A 5/28/08 aerial view looking east at the remains of Bedinsky Airfield.
Bedinsky Airfield was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1975-2011,
as it was no longer listed among active airfields as of 2011.
The site of Bedinsky Airfield is located east of the intersection of Interstate 81 & Burma Road.
Thanks to Gary Bopp for pointing out this airfield.
Trexlertown Airport, Trexlertown, PA
40.55 North / 75.59 West (Northwest of Philadelphia, PA)
A circa 1945-46 picture of the construction of the Trexlertown Airport hangar (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood Christ recalled, “Either late 1944 or early 1945, my parents [started] an airport at Fogelsville.
After no more than a year, my father discovered a better site for an airport a mile east of the main intersection of Routes 222 & 100 near the center of Trexlertown.
On a 42-acre tract, my father started the process of converting farm land into a grass-covered airfield.
Besides turning portions of plowed fields into 2 relatively smooth grass runways,
he also had to chop down small trees that grew along the western property line at what became the west end of the main runway.
Sometime during 1945 or 1946, construction began on the airport hangar & office.”
The earliest depiction of Trexlertown Airport which has been located
was a circa 1945-46 picture of the construction of the Trexlertown Airport hangar (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood recalled, “I estimate that this image was taken from a spot about 20' south of Route 222 looking southwest.
As seen here, the north wall of the hangar has been completed with installed windows (they had metal frames).
To the left behind & the front half of the car, rises the east wall of what would become the first office / ground school classroom / residence.
The 2 men standing above & behind the car actually are leaning on part of the hangar’s south wall that rises only half its finished height.
The parapet-like structures seen at the hangar corners were constructed to stabilize the sliding hangar doors when they were opened.”
Elwood reported that his father “established Christ’s Aviation Service.
The Trexlertown Airport had 2 runways.
The main one ran west-northwest to east-southeast, the minor runway ran north-northeast to south-southwest.
The areas off the runways was leased out to local farmers who planted alfalfa.
Apparently the hangar was a checkerboard [roof] possibly as early as its construction about 1946.
I have fond memories of the Trexlertown Airport, and can remember flying with my Dad to Braden Field at Easton & the Kutztown Airport.
Some of our longer trips were to Asbury Park, New Jersey, and to Montauk Point at the tip of Long Island.
My Dad owned a Piper Tri Pacer & 2 Piper J-3 Cubs.”
A circa 1947-48 photo of a Piper J-3 Cub on skis at Trexlertown Airport (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood recalled, “This image looks northward from the southeast corner of the hangar/office,
past the snack bar (right edge) toward the old bank barn on the north side of Route 222.
The tall trees in the background stand on either side of Route 222.
Sarah Christ can be seen at the left edge of the picture.
My father owned 2 Cubs. This is the one whose registration number ended in 'N'. The second one’s registration number ended in 'H'.”
Elwood continued, “Sometime within about 5 years of the construction of the hangar / office structures,
a one-story snack bar, about 20' square with a hipped-roofed, was built to the east of the hangar (just off the left edge of the image).”
A circa 1947-50 photo of the Trexlertown Airport Restaurant / Snack Bar (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood observed, “This view looks southeast from a point about 20 or so feet south of Route 222.
The hangar is located off the right edge of this image.
I recall my Mom saying this snack bar was built to make additional money feeding visitors to the airport.”
A circa 1950-54 photo of “Warren Christ, Aviator”, at Trexlertown Airport in front of a Piper Clipper (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood related, “This is my favorite photograph of Pop.
I believe this image was taken a short distance south of the main hangar looking southwest.”
Elwood Christ recalled, “By the mid 1950s, my father realized that there was not a large influx of people wanting to learn to fly,
so he built an automotive garage onto the hangar where he established a Gulf Gasoline franchise.
About 1950-1955 or so, a one-story, concrete-block, side-gabled garage building was constructed onto the entire length of hangar’s north wall.
The left window opening, then, was turned into a doorway.
The level of the garage office area was almost about a foot higher than the hangar’s floor.
The gas pumps were installed just off the right edge of the image.
The space between the hangar & the camera position became part of the driveway onto the site.”
A December 1953 photo (courtesy of Elwood Christ) of Santa being flown on a Bell 47 helicopter elaborately modified into his “sleigh”, seen at Trexlertown Airport.
Trexlertown's checkerboard-roofed hangar was visible in the background.
Elwood recalled, “I suspect this image was taken Christmas 1953, for my mother, brother & I can be seen in the background.
The image was taken south of the main hangar looking north.
The ever-present bank barn on the north side of Route 222 is seen at upper-right image edge.
The large trees that lined Rt. 222 sprout above the copter’s tail section.
The 1-story, shed-roofed structure behind the front part of the helicopter was built about 1946-1947,
the same time as the main hangar, seen here with a checkerboard color scheme on the roof.
I suspect the 1-story structure’s original use was that of airport office & ground school classroom.”
The earliest map depiction of Trexlertown Airport which has been located
was on the 1957 USGS topo map (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
It depicted 2 perpendicular unpaved runways, labeled simply as “Airfield”.
Elwood Christ recalled of the Trexlertown Airport snack bar, “This enterprise ceased sometime before 1958. I do not recall it being open.”
A 10/24/58 aerial view (from Penn Pilot) depicted Trexlertown Airport as having 2 grass runways, with a checkerboard-roofed hangar on the northwest side.
Elwood Christ observed, “The runways are clearly seen.
The main runway is oriented east/west, while the secondary strip runs NNE/SSW.
The west end of the grass main runway broadens out to form a rectangular taxi area from the buildings.
The white dots that appear along the main runway, I believe are runway lights that Pop had installed, though not all of them are visible.
The other areas of this 42-acre tract were leased out to a local farmer. I always remember them being planted in alfalfa.
The long light-colored structure toward the northwest corner of the airport property is a T-hangar that I believe could hold about 6-7 small aircraft.
During the early 1950s, as people wanted to store their planes at Trexlertown, the main hangar filled up, thus the need for the T-hangar.
They were made out of corrugated metal sheets attached to a steel frame.
The structure with the checkerboard paint scheme is the main hangar, and attached to its north side is the service station garage.
Attached to the hangar’s south side are the old office & the Christ family home.
The lighter circle seen below the hangar complex is a macadam area around the aviation fuel pump,
while the light rectangle above the hangar is the concrete pad marking the location of the service station gas pumps.
Just right of the the hangar complex is the snack bar structure, which by this time was used for storage.”
A December 1959 – January 1960 photo (courtesy of Elwood Christ)
in front of the main hangar at Trexlertown Airport, looking east-northeast towards the intersection of present-day Route 222 & Lower Macungie Road,
of Elwood Christ & Warren Christ in front of a ski-equipped Piper Cub NC6003H at a snowy Trexletown Airport.
Elwood recalled, “My favorite picture of my father & I.
Following a 6 inch snowfall, Pop & I went for a plane ride. This image, I think, was taken after that flight.
The picture was shot in front of the main hangar looking northeasterly toward the tenant house.
I think this is the last of the 3 aircraft my father owned to be sold.”
Elwood Christ recalled, “One of the Cubs my father owned (NCC-6003H), was re-acquired by the Piper Aircraft Corporation about 1960,
and is, or was, on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
Toward the early 1960s my father installed runway lights at Trexlertown.
I recall walking down the field & checking underneath the cones to chase the field mice nesting there.”
The last photo which has been located showing aircraft at Trexlertown Airport was a 1962 aerial photo,
which depicted 2 single-engine aircraft parked near the hangar.
The last photo which has been located showing Trexlertown Airport while still in operation
was a circa 1963 photo of the Christ Aviation buildings & hangars in the snow (courtesy of Elwood Christ).
Elwood recalled, “The view looks off Route 222 toward the southeast at the western-most driveway entrance to the service station.
From left toward right we see the service station addition.
Near the photo’s center is the west side of the main hangar. Very rarely do I remember this set of doors being opened.
The T-hangar is off the right edge of the image.”
Elwood Christ recalled, “About or shortly after the [above 1963 photo], signs of the changing demographics became evident.
Allentown had been growing & more & more people, who worked there, did not want to reside there; they looked for housing in the suburbs.
During the 15 years after the end of World War II, among some of the farms,
private homes sprung up on parcels sold by the farmers along Route 222 & side roads.
Then during the early 1960s, a developer purchased some farmland next to the airport on the south side of Church Lane.
There the developer, Michael Gatti, president of Mann Homes Inc, purchased farmland
on which he started the 'Ancient Oak' housing development during the summer of 1963.
Within 2 years, several of the development’s residents complained of some of the low-flying planes landing on the secondary runway.
At the northern end of that runway, the trees along Route 222 had grown so high,
that it was nigh impossible for some of the more modern aircraft with longer takeoff runs to clear them.
There was one non-fatal crash. I recall a newspaper image of a Cessna 150 or 172, nose down on Route 222.
During a takeoff run, the landing gears must have caught the trees.”
The last map depiction of Trexlertown Airport which has been located was on the 1964 USGS topo map.
It depicted Trexlertown as having 2 unpaved runways, with 2 small buildings on the northwest side.
Elwood continued, “By the mid-1960s, the father was completely out of the flight training business,
and the people who based their planes at the Trexlertown Airport had either died or moved to other fields.
We still had a few planes land, but that became rare.
The property was sold about 1965.”
According to Elwood Christ, Trexlertown Airport closed in 1966.
Elwood Christ continued, “After the sale of the airport to a developer, I believe named Pincus, my father continued to live on the site.
One of the disappointing events, though, for Pop was that the developer who purchased the airport grounds had died.
As his estate was probated, I suspect Pop was permitted to reside here.
What disappointed my Dad, when the estate sold the property to a new developer, the selling price was twice what my father had received.”
A 7/18/71 aerial photo showed that a north/south path had been cut across the runways, which otherwise remained intact.
The hangar remained standing, but no planes were visible.
A November 1972 photo (courtesy of Elwood Christ) showed that all of the airport buildings had been removed,
with the site leveled in preparation for new construction.
A 10/22/74 photo (courtesy of Elwood Christ) showed that the new Trexler Mall was up & running,
leaving no trace of the former airport.
A 8/30/10 aerial view depicted no remaining trace of the former Trexlertown Airport.
Elwood Christ reported in 2010, “The field was located on the ground that today is the home of apartment buildings,
a mall, a McDonald’s and Friendly's Restaurants and the Trexlertown Post Office.
The tract is bounded on the north by Route 222 (Hamilton Boulevard),
on the northeast by Lower Macungie Road, on the south by Church Lane, and on the west by another shopping center.”
Kutztown Airport (N31), Kutztown, PA
40.5 North / 75.79 West (Northwest of Philadelphia, PA)
The 1956 USGS topo map depicted Kutztown Airport as having 2 unpaved runways.
This small general aviation airport was established in May 1945,
according to a plaque placed at the airport in May 1995.
However, Kutztown Airport's 2009 FAA Airport/Facility Directory listing gives an establishment date of October 1945.
The earliest photo which has been located of Kutztown Airport was a 1951 aerial view.
It showed the field as having 2 grass runways, with several T-hangars & 1 single-engine light plane on the northwest side.
The 1956 USGS topo map depicted Kutztown Airport as having 2 unpaved runways.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of Kutztown Airport which has been located
was on the 1957 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
It depicted Kutztown as having a 2,600' unpaved runway.
An October 16, 1958 aerial view (from Penn Pilot) depicted Kutztown Airport as having 2 grass runways,
with several T-hangars & 1 single-engine light plane on the northwest side.
A 1962 aerial view depicted Kutztown in pretty much the same configuration as the 1958 photo.
A total of 11 light aircraft were visible on the field.
Kutztown had gained a paved runway at some point between 1958-71,
as a July 18, 1971 aerial photo showed the field as having a paved northwest/southeast runway & a grass crosswind strip.
The 1994 USGS topo map depicted Kutztown Airport as having 2 unpaved runways,
even thought the primary runway had been paved for over 23 years at that point.
An undated photo of a plaque placed at Kutztown Airport in May 1995,
commemorating the airport's 50th anniversary.
A circa 2006 aerial view looking south at the Sikorsky S-76 medevac helicopter
parked within a tight ring of Jersey walls on the north end of Kutztown Airport,
with gliders & single-engine aircraft parked on either side of the runway.
An April 2004 aerial view showed 4 gliders & 9 single-engine aircraft at Kutztown Airport.
A 11/23/07 photo by Daniel Berek of a Lehigh County Medical Center Sikorsky S-76 in front of the Kutztown Soaring School hangar.
An undated photo from a 2008 article looking south as a Civil Air Patrol towplane pulls a glider along Kutztown's Runway 17.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Kutztown Airport
was on the November 2008 NY Sectional Chart.
Unfortunately a Notice To Airmen was published for Kutztown Airport in August 2008 that services & fuel were no longer available.
In a 10/6/08 letter to Maxatawny Township regarding the Kutztown Airport,
attorney Joseph A. O'Keefe wrote that his clients have no interest in keeping it open.
The letter does not name the owners, but Berks County records identify them as Nicholas Prikis & Sophie Pittas.
According to the letter: Airport operator Earl Binder's month-to-month lease is terminated,
and the owners are beginning the Federal Aviation Administration process of closing the airport.
Owners anticipate that no planes will be allowed to land at Kutztown Airport after 1/31/09.
Lehigh Valley Hospital has been instructed to remove its MedEvac helicopter within 30 days.
Construction of a shopping center is anticipated on the property.
The owners have agreements for the land totaling more than $14.5 million,
and they would expect to be paid that much by Maxatawny if the township would decide to condemn the land for its own use.
An article entitled “Kutztown Airport to close; site may become shopping center” by Michelle Park
appeared in the 10/10/08 issue of the Reading Eagle.
It said, “The Kutztown Airport will close, according to an 10/6 letter sent to Maxatawny Township on behalf of the owners,
identified in county records as Nicholas Prikis & Sophie Pittas.
The owners have no interest in allowing the 63-year-old airport on Kutztown Road to operate beyond the end of this year,
attorney Joseph O'Keefe of Kutztown wrote.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires a 30-day window to close an airstrip, he explained.
It's anticipated that planes will not be allowed to land at the airport after 1/31/09.”
The article continued, “There are pending agreements for the property totaling more than $14.5 million, the letter states,
and it's anticipated that a shopping center will be built on the 70-acre site.
Maxatawny supervisors discussed the letter at a township meeting Wednesday night.
Attempts to reach O'Keefe & Prikis for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.
Rumors that the small airport outside Kutztown would close have circulated for years,
and they increased recently when a flight school there shut & auctioned its contents.
Township officials said they'll be sorry to see the airport close.”
"I'm saddened because it's been a part of the community for 50 or 60 years," Supervisor Allen Leiby said.
"I'm not in favor of it becoming a shopping center."
Maxatawny resident Marc Nadeau & his wife, Theresa, have operated the Kutztown Skydiving Center at the airport for 6 years.
"I just wish that the landowner understood aviation & had an appreciation for aviation," Marc Nadeau said.
"This is a place to live the dreams of flight.
I'm sure everybody has dreamt of flying."
The article continued, “As of Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration, which requires 30-day notice before an airport can close,
had not been notified of a Kutztown Airport closure, FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said.
O'Keefe wrote the letter in opposition to a proposed zoning ordinance that would restrict the property to use as an airport
unless the township granted a conditional-use permit for another purpose.
The property is zoned as a mix of commercial & light-industrial use.
O'Keefe contends that by rezoning the parcel, the township would essentially be taking control of the land by regulation.
Maxatawny Township Solicitor Jill E. Nagy disputed that contention, however,
saying a shopping center would require a conditional-use permit under existing & proposed zoning.
According to O'Keefe, the airport has operated at a loss for more than 25 years.
In his letter, he notes that the township or other parties could have offered to buy the property to preserve it, but that didn't happen.”
The article continued, “News that Lehigh Valley Hospital has 30 days
to remove its medical helicopter from Kutztown Airport surprised hospital officials Thursday.
The deadline was mentioned in an 10/6/08 letter Kutztown attorney Joseph O'Keefe sent Maxatawny Township on behalf of the airport owners.
Brian Downs, spokesman for the Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network,
said hospital officials were aware that the airport could close but that they had not been informed of specifics.
The MedEvac 1 station based at the Kutztown Airport is the hospital's only station in Berks County.
The helicopter responds to medical emergencies, flying seriously ill or injured victims to the hospital near Allentown.
If the hospital is forced to remove its helicopter from the Kutztown Airport,
officials would evaluate other possible helicopter pad sites in Berks County, Downs said.”
A Notice To Airmen was published for Kutztown Airport in December 2008 that the airport was closed to transient aircraft.
Marlin Fausey reported in 2008, “What a shame this airport is closing.
General Aviation loses another great destination. Like we need another Mall?”
A pre-2009 aerial view looking south along Kutztown's Runway 17,
showing the pronounced hump along the runway.
According to its 2009 listing in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory,
Kutztown Airport was owned by Kutztown Enterprises, with the manager listed as Earl Binder.
The field was said to have a 2,460 asphalt Runway 17/35 & a 2,221' turf Runway 10/28.
A total of 40 aircraft were based on the field, including 4 gliders & 11 ultralights.
The field was said to conduct an average of 121 takeoffs or landings per day.
Jim Gratton reported in 2009, “The Fixed-Base Operator was auctioned off last fall.
They have been trying to kill the place off for years
and the allegation now is they are going to be putting a mall in it's place (a mall!, in this economy).
The airport had a thriving FBO that did glider training & gave rides in a beautiful red Stearman biplane.
There is a restaurant on the field that you could park your aircraft directly in front of.
The airport was long known for it's tricky runway, with 2 very large dips which caught your attention upon arrival.
Also, parachute ops were standard operating procedure adjacent to the pattern, adding to the excitement of any arrival there.
Sad to see another one go.”
An October 18, 2009 photo by Jim Scott looking northeast along Kutztown's runway, showing the prominent closed-runway symboles.
Jim reported, “Further steps have been taken to permanently close the airport,
although it took all summer, crews finally crossed out the runway & painted-over the numbers.
A med-evac helicopter service is still working at the main hangar, and the grass fields & crosswind runway were mowed all summer.
The handful of runway lights still were turned on each evening until recently.
The local CAP group camped out & did glider flights this summer too.
The economics of developing the land have been somewhat hindered because of the recession,
but the local state university will surely draw money & bulldozers eventually.”
Kutztown Airport is located south of the intersection of Kutztown Road & Luckenhill Road.
Thanks to Jim Gratton for pointing out the closure of this airport.
New Hanover Airport, New Hanover, PA
40.3 North / 75.59 West (Northwest of Philadelphia, PA)
New Hanover Airport, as depicted on the May 1943 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Note that the airport was located right under the western boundary of the wartime "Vital Defense Area" that extended to the coast.
This small general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1942-43,
as it was not depicted at all on the March 1942 NY Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest depiction of the New Hanover Airport which has been located
was on the May 1943 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted New Hanover as a commercial/municipal airport.
The April 1944 U.S. Army & Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
described New Hanover as a civilian airport having a 2,500' unpaved runway.
According to Hobbly, New Hanover Airport “was used to train WW2 pilots.”
The 1945 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)
depicted New Hanover as a commercial/municipal airport.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described New Hanover Airport
as a 58 acre irregularly-shaped property within which were 2 sod runways, measuring 2,450' northwest/southeast & 2,000' east/west.
The field was said to have 6 hangars, the largest being a 90' x 68' concrete & wood structure,
and to be privately owned & operated.
The 1950 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)
depicted New Hanover Airport as having a 2,100' unpaved runway.
The 1957 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)
depicted New Hanover Airport as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.
The earliest photo which has been located of the New Hanover Airport was an October 4, 1957 aerial view (from Penn Pilot).
It depicted New Hanover as having a single northwest/southeast grass runways,
with several buildings & 2 light aircraft visible parked on the east side of the field.
The 1958 NY Sectional Chart, 1960 NY Sectional Chart, and 1965 NY Sectional Chart
all depicted New Hanover Airport as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.
An 8/6/71 aerial photo depicted New Hanover as having 2 grass runways,
with at least 2 light aircraft visible parked on the east side of the field.
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the New Hanover Airport
was on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
It depicted New Hanover Airport as having a 2,000' unpaved runway,
and indicated that parachuting operations were conducted.
The 1986 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted New Hanover Airport
as having a 2,455' turf Runway 13/31 & a 1,490' turf Runway 11/29.
The field was said to conduct ultralight aircraft operations,
and parachuting within a 2 mile radius.
According to Timothy Miller, “New Hanover Airport was once the home of United Parachute Club
and the 'Herd Boogie' (a skydiving festival).
I jumped there several times throughout my skydiving career, and had many good times there.
I remember it as a very active airport for skydiving, with Twin Otters,
King Airs, and a Skyvan being there at various times.”
Dan Morris recalled, “New Hanover Airport - I flew from this airport.
A large skydive operation operated from the airport in the 1990s up until closing.”
The 1992 USGS topo map depicted New Hanover Airport as having 2 unpaved runways,
with several buildings (hangars?) on the northeast side of the field.
According to Hobbly, New Hanover Airport “was in use until the 1990s.”
As seen in the 1999 USGS aerial photo,
at least 2 light single-engine aircraft were visible on the northeast side of the New Hanover Airport.
Timothy Miller reported in 2006, “The airport was closed several years ago.
The [skydiving] club was moved to northern PA.
The site was sold to a land developer.”
According to Dan Morris, “It closed due to the owning family selling the property.
The New Hanover Airport evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1999-2001,
as a circa 2001 aerial photo showed that no planes were visible on the field anymore,
although the runways remained intact.
A circa 2001-2005 aerial photo looking north at the former hangar of the New Hanover Airport,
obviously in a state of abandonment.
A 7/25/07 photo of the buildings at the site of New Hanover Airport.
The site of the New Hanover Airport is located on the west corner of Swamp Pike & North Charlotte Street.
Rich Airport / Buckwood Airport / Bethlehem Easton Airport, Bethlehem, PA
40.65 North / 75.3 West (Northwest of Philadelphia, PA)
“Rich” Airport, as depicted on the May 1944 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Photo of the airfield while open has not been located.
This small general aviation airport was located in between the towns of Bethlehem & Easton.
Rich Airport was evidently established at some point between 1943-43,
as it was not yet depicted at all on the November 1943 NY Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest depiction of Rich Airport which has been located
was on the May 1944 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted “Rich” as an auxiliary field.
At some point between 1944-45, the airport was evidently renamed “Buckwood Airport”,
as that is how it was listed in the 1945 Haire Publishing Company Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It was evidently renamed after its owner, operator, and manager - Buck Woodward.
The field was described as a “class 1” airport, consisting of 75 acres,
within which were 3 sod runways, with the longest being a 2,700' northeast/southwest strip.
The field was said to have a 90' x 45' hangar,
and to offer repairs, charter, storage, training, and fuel.
No airfield in Bethlehem or Easton was listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
The November 1945 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
depicted Buckwood as a commercial/municipal airport.
The 1947 USGS topo map depicted the airfield as Buckwood.
The airport was evidently renamed “Bethlehem-Easton” Airport at some point between 1947-49,
as that is how it was labeled on the January 1949 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It was depicted as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.
The 1957 USGS topo map depicted the airfield as having 2 unpaved runways,
but it was labeled simply as “Airfield”.
The earliest photo which has been located of the Bethlehem-Easton Airport was an October 16, 1958 aerial view (from Penn Pilot).
It depicted the field as having 2 grass runways,
with several buildings & 1 light aircraft visible on the north side of the field.
A 1962 aerial view depicted Bethlehem-Easton in pretty much the same configuration as the 1958 photo.
A total of 3 light aircraft were visible on the field, including one on the east/west runway.
The 1962 AOPA Airport Directory described Bethlehem-Easton as having 2 sod runways:
2,641' Runway 9/27 & 2,330' Runway 4/22.
The field was said to offer fuel, repairs, hangars, tiedowns, and charter.
The operator was listed as Eugene Trigiani (a Cessna dealer).
According to Tom Beamer, “Gene Trigiani was the Bethlehem Steel Chief Pilot.”
The 1965 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
depicted Bethlehem Easton Airport as having 2 turf runways: 2,230' Runway 5/23 & 2,220' Runway 9/27.
A few buildings were depicted on the north side of the field.
The manager was listed as Roger Laviolette.
The 1966 AOPA Airport Directory (according to Tom Beamer) Bethlehem-Easton as having 2 runways:
2,330' Runway 5/23 & 2,200' Runway 9/27.
The operator was listed as Lehigh Aircraft.
According to Tom Beamer, Lehigh Aircraft had been
the Fixed Base Operator at nearby Allentown Bethlehem Easton Airport.
The last chart depiction of Bethelem Easton Airport which has been located
was on the 1967 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
It depicted the field as having a 2,200' unpaved runway.
A local resident recalled, “There were 2 prominent metal arched hangars
along the road (Freemansburg Avenue) when you drove by the site.
I can remember seeing aircraft parked there when I was young (1960s).
I also remember stories of skydiving there.”
Tom Beamer recalled, “I learned to fly, and began my career as an instructor, at Skyport;
we sent our students to Braden's for their long X-C,
when Braden's was paved they would no longer prop our Champs so we began sending them to Bethlehem-Easton instead,
this probably occurred in 1967-68.
I believe Bethlehem-Easton closed shortly thereafter.”
The Bethlehem Easton Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1967-69,
as it was no longer depicted at all on the 1969 USGS topo map.
A July 15, 1971 aerial photo did not show any obvious signs of current use of the Bethlehem Easton Airport.
The former grass runways were no longer evident, although the overall area remained clear.
The hangars on the north side of the field remained intact,
but there was no sign of any aircraft.
Tom Beamer recalled of Bethlehem Easton Airport, “It was reopened by Bill Shannon
by the time I moved to Bethlehem in 1972 & the runways could have been realigned.
By the 1970s there was only one runway.
The last owner was Bill Shannon & he kept it open as a private airport after the noted closure date.
There was some Skydiving there in the 1970s.”
But the Bethlehem Easton Airport was evidently closed (again) before 1975,
as it was no longer depicted at all on the 1975 NY Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
or subsequent charts.
A local resident recalled, “The site was apparently used for agriculture after it closed
and what looks like a silo & another building were added next to the hangars.”
An April 1993 aerial photo (courtesy of a local resident) of the northeast corner of the Bethlehem Easton Airport site,
before it was developed with housing, with the 2 metal arched-roof hangars visible at the top-center of the photo.
The building to the left may have been the former airport administration building.
Tom Beamer recalled, “The Administration / Shop building & hangar were still standing about 10 years ago .”
As seen in the 1999 USGS aerial photo,
the faint outline of both the former east/west & northeast/southwest runways at the site of the former Bethlehem Easton Airport were still recognizable.
The former administration / shop building & hangar had been removed at some point between 1993-99.
Tom Beamer reported in 2005, “The Administration / Shop building & hangar...
have been removed for a housing development.”
The site of Bethlehem Easton Airport is located south of the intersection of Freemansburg Avenue & North Wagner Drive.
Thanks to Kevin Peterson for pointing out this airfield.
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