Worcester’s airport dates back to 1925, and tops a hill 3-miles west of the town center. It has a contract control tower open 15-hrs per day, with 131 daily operations and 65 based aircraft. The airport property measures 1,000 acres.

The airport’s history includes passenger service by nearly two dozen past airlines (see the link below for a timeline). At its peak in 1989, the airport had 354,000 passenger boardings; that had dropped to 50,000 in 2009. This airport is a good example of the struggles small communities endure as major airlines concentrate their activities into major hubs, and abandon viable smaller markets. The result, as here, is a history of ‘visits’ by airlines such as Direct Air and Allegiant, which tend to happen only when federal subsidies make them happen.

Worcester was purchased by Massport in 2010. Worcester receives AIP funds from FAA. Most recently, those funds have been used to construct two EMAS systems at the ends of the 7,000′ runway, and to remove trees near the airport.

KORH Worcester Regional Airport
(1,000 acres) Worcester, MA

Four Nearby Instrument Airports:
[3B0] 12 SW ; [KFIT] 18 N ; [KGDM] 18 N ;
[1B6] 19 SE ;
(ave. distance: 17 nm)

Total Based Aircraft: 65
(59 single-props, 6 multi-props)

Operations & ATC:
(est. 131 ops/day (40% local) 15hr Contract tower)
FAA compiles ATADS data for this facility. Airport operations in 2012 were DOWN 24% vs. 2007 operations, and DOWN 64% from the peak year (1990).

FlightAware.com FlightStats.com

Airport Funding:
Four-year average AIP funding: $1,948,126 per year. Last AIP was Grant Sequence #47: $407,900 for “Acquire Snow Removal Equipment [Sweeper]”
— Average AIP Subsidy is $41 per operation.



Scrollable aerial view at bing.com. Click here to open a new window with a FullView Image.

  • 6-28-2013Tree cutting at Worcester airport accelerates
    …FAA has agreed to reimburse local officials $486K for tree removal done last winter. Local congressman Jim McGovern says the spending is needed to improve safety, before JetBlue begins Florida flights in November. Many local residents disagree, noting the trees have many environmental benefits. See the comments, which include some well-stated opposition to this excessive vegetation removal program.
  • 2-19-2013Outdoors: Birds being shot at Worcester Airport
    …An outdoors columnist .investigates reports that the airport is killing birds, some as small as barn swallows, snow buntings and killdeer. He discusses a permit, issued by state and federal officials, that authorizes the airport to eradicate up to 272 birds each year, from 13 listed species. All this for a very slow airport that historically has been a good place for local birders (the fields atop the bluff make for excellent bird habitat). Includes a link to a post with reports by birders.
  • 1-19-2012Worcester airport expansion plan due
    …Massport’s efforts to secure an FBO for Worcester.
  • 6-22-2010Massport, Worcester Airport Deal Completed
    …A complex agreement has been approved by both the Worcester city council and MassPort, shifting airport ownership Massport. $15M is being paid to Worcester, representing city capital expenditures and operating costs for the past seven years.
  • 6-1-2010Ailing airport seeking its niche
    …The opening paragraph: “When the Massachusetts Port Authority takes possession of Worcester Regional Airport from the City of Worcester on July 1, it will be inheriting a debt-ridden operation in need of improvement. Runways need repaving, the landing system doesn’t allow planes to land in the lowest levels of visibility, hangars are outdated, and the road to the 64-year-old airport winds through five miles of city streets….”
  • 6-1-2010Worcester Regional Airport Positioned for Take­Off
    …A 4-page report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau defining the terms for the proposed transfer of the airport property, from Worcester to MassPort.
  • 1-23-2007Surveys Won’t Save Worcester Airport
    …What appears to be a copy of a Bob Nemeth blog that gets into the details of extensive federally funded studies that failed to produce growth at Worcester Airport. (copy from AviationPros.com)
  • 10-19-2006Airport Master Plan
    …A blog post discussing the airport’s new master plan, and the process leading to its completion, at a cost of $600K. Includes air traffic forecasts of 161,000 operations in 2010, 215,372 in 2015, and 288,524 in 2020. The projections went way beyond reality; FAA’s ATADS showed actual operations ranged from 40,000 to 47,000 operations for all years from 2008 through 2012.
  • 8-23-2006Allegiant Air will leave Worcester
    …Less than a year after starting four weekly flights to Orlando, Allegiant announces they will depart.