Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport

K. W. Scholter Field, Butler County Airport
Terminal Building
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerButler County Airport Authority
ServesButler, Pennsylvania
LocationPenn Township, Pennsylvania
Elevation AMSL1,248 ft / 380 m
Coordinates40°46′37″N 079°56′59″W / 40.77694°N 79.94972°W / 40.77694; -79.94972
WebsiteRegional Airport
Map
BTP
BTP
Location of airport in Pennsylvania / United States
BTP
BTP
BTP (the United States)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 4,801 1,463 Asphalt
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations62,685
Based aircraft132

Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport (IATA: BTP, ICAO: KBTP, FAA LID: BTP), also known as the Butler County Airport or K. W. Scholter Field, is a public airport 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the central business district of Butler, the county seat of Butler County, Pennsylvania, United States. The airport serves the northern suburbs of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It is owned by the Butler County Airport Authority.[1]

History

Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport, formerly Butler County Airport, opened as the Pittsburgh-Butler Airport[2][3] on September 27 and 28, 1929, with much fanfare and aircraft demonstrations.[3] The airport had three turf runways, one of which was later paved, and a turf runway closed. The remaining turf runway ran N/S. The airport was opened by Pennsylvania Aviation Industrial Corp. (PAIC) owned by George Hann, the Mellon interests and some others, who hoped to lure Pittsburgh traffic. During the Depression, the airport shut down for some years when there was little business. The two large hangars were used to store corn. John Graham came along in the 1930s and Kenny Sholter's help, cleaned out the hangars and got the airport running. It was renamed the Butler-Graham Airport.[2][4] During the war years Graham Aviation trained so may pilots under the Civilian Pilot Training Program that Piper Cubs had to be stored tilted up on their noses to fit them all in the hangars. For many years, Butler-Graham served as an alternate airport for TWA should the weather be down at Allegheny County Airport, the large commercial airport serving Pittsburgh. During its early years, the airport served as an important training area for potential pilots. One notable trainee was Amelia Earhart[3] who received her instrument flight certificate there while practicing for her solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.[5] It was also at the airport that Earhart had the long-range fuel tanks installed on her Lockheed Vega.[5] Another notable aviator was C.G. Taylor, who in 1935 moved his Taylorcraft Aircraft company to Butler.[5] His new planes were tested at the airport and his Taylorcraft B model was introduced here.[6] By the late 1990s, the airport was getting too small to handle the number of aircraft coming in so plans were made to extend the runway by 800 feet (240 m).[5] The extension of the single runway was completed in 2004.

The airport went through a name change in May 2016, going from the Butler County Airport to the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport.

On October 31, 2020 President Donald Trump held a rally at the airport during his second run as President in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Facilities and aircraft

Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport covers an area of 230 acres (93 ha) and contains one asphalt paved runway designated 8/26 which measures 4,801 by 100 feet (1,463 by 30 m). For the 12-month period ending February 27, 2007, the airport had 62,685 aircraft operations, an average of 171 per day: 98% general aviation, 2% air taxi and <1% military. There are 132 aircraft based at this airport: 72% single-engine, 23% multi-engine, 3% jet and 2% helicopter.[1]

High Flight Academy, a flight training school with recreational and career pilot programs, is located at this airport.

References

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for BTP PDF, effective 2007-10-25
  2. ^ a b Parisi, p. 37
  3. ^ a b c Brandberg and Clements, p. 97
  4. ^ An Historical Gazetteer of Butler County, Pennsylvania, p. 247
  5. ^ a b c d Biller, Ed (December 6, 2009). "Airport turns 80" Butler Eagle. Retrieved December 28, 2009
  6. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2VkbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FE0EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6655%2C1984544

Sources