Smallest airport in the world!

Altoona Travel Blog

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So last night at work I asked some coworkers how early I should show up to the airport.. some said I don't know and one told me "well, they recommend 2 hours in advance"  I looked at him and said... I don't even show up 2 hours early to Pittsburgh International... there's no way I'm going to show up 2 hours early for Altoona!!!

So I went home and went to sleep.  The morning of the 11th I woke up at 7AM... well, I set my alarm for that early... my aim was to be out the door by 8AM.  I pushed snooze like always... and took a really quick shower and headed out the door with my bags in hand!  I needed to go to the post office and get some gas on the way to the airport.

  So I typed in my GPS go to Post office (this is my 3rd week here and yesterday I tried to go but I couldn't figure out how to get into the building... I saw the post trucks... but where's the door?)  So I drove and parked... see I've only been in this little town like I said for about 3 weeks.  And it never ceases to amaze me... I was told that it is a town that is 15 years behind the times from a customer who lives here but works in Washington; DC... he likes the solitude on the weekends.  But it really is in some ways... not like people are wearing leggings and feathering their hair but in the fact that to park in a parking lot in the downtown area it is only $1USD an hour and $5 USD for all day!!!  Yikes!!! I guess it's sort of like Omaha...
I wrote a blog about it... it's funny... my friends made fun of me cuz I was taking photo's of the sign!!!

But I got in the post office and let me tell you this staff woman was the nicest postal employee in the world... and I think most of them a douche bags!! I get some stamps... I mail my package and I head out on my way.  But as I was driving to the gas station... I saw a sign for a farmers market on the corner street... I thought... oh... that's cute... I'll have to remember it's there... then I saw a stage set up next to it with people sitting in seats infront of it for a memorial for 9-11... and then I saw something that made me laugh... there's an Ox roast for the memorial!!!  ha Ha Ha... only in Altoona!!!

I head to the gas station (which is at the grocery store Giant Eagle---they have this great thing that if you spend $50 on groceries then you get .

20 cents off per gallon of gas... and I was up to .60 cents off per gallon!!!) and I fill er up and head on my way with trusty GPS in hand.

So the smallest airport  I have ever been in is either Palm Springs or Erie International (which is only an international airport because it has a flight to London, Ontario, Canada)... they both had 3 gates and the smallest parking lot in the world.  To the point that the summer of 2002 (the summer after 9-11) I was dropping my friend off at Erie International in Pennsylvania and I didn't know what to do at the parking lot... they had a security guard... who I drove right past and he started chasing me down... who had to search your car?  My friend was like.

.. uhhh... you work at Pittsburgh airport for 4 years and you can't part in Erie... well, no it's too confusing cuz the rules aren't the same... well, the same thing was true for Altoona-Blair county airport. 

It's about 15 miles away from me and I'm following my GPS... it tells me to turn left onto a road which had a sign for the airport...but where's the airport? I drive for a bout a quarter of a mile and there it is... it has about 5 rows of parking and each row is about 12 cars back... the airport building its self is about the size of a Home Depot!!!  There was one gate... one counter for ticketing... one counter for car rental... and I looked up and I saw a sign that said "Observation Deck/Restaurant/Restrooms" so I headed up there.

The restaurant is something you'd see out of a 50's type of movie.

.. with the pies in the turning refrigerator and there was a place with bar stools.  The back wall was the observation deck with large windows... the tarmac of the airport isn't much bigger than the parking lot outside...

I head down stairs...after I buy a beverage to take on the plane with me... and see a little gift shop.  There is an older woman in there who was so cute!  I went in looking for a sweatshirt...it's 50 degrees F at the time... and she tells me there's none there but I'm not the first person to ask... she's thinking of getting some "Altoona" clothing now.  But she's informative on the history of the town and the famous "horse shoe curve" which is a section on the railroad system.  I'm going to write a review on it after I actually go there.

I head out to my gate and realize... dummy me... I haven't gone through security yet... they're going to take my drink... so I get out of line (there wasn't much of a line...just 12 people) and head back to the little store where I give the nice lady my drink because she was nice and as usual TSA is ignorant.

I head through and they take us to the tarmac where we see a Saab plane...not too sure the number... but there was only 16 rows going back and 2 seats per row!!!  As we start to taxi I had to laugh because the pilot was sure to inform us we were first for take off... which I thought was funny as there is no other gate there (well, there was a FedEx plane near by...but still)!!!

pinchora says:
Charlene: Thanx for the photo of the "real smallest airport"... that's funny!!!
Posted on: Sep 13, 2008
cmgervais says:
Altoona is not really that small by general aviation standards (but maybe it's one of the smaller COMMERCIAL airports?)...there are lots of tiny strips across the country.

Now HERE'S a small airport:

http://www.flighthumor.com/view_picture.php?id=72

Cheers! Charlene
Posted on: Sep 13, 2008
pinchora says:
well... I'm not entirely sure... Adrian did tell me that flagstaffs tarmac is all grass... so... maybe it's just the smallest on the eastern side of the rockies?
Posted on: Sep 13, 2008
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Altoona
photo by: diisha392