The Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport is the only airport with scheduled airline service on the Delmarva Peninsula and therefore is the hub of air transportation for the whole region.
History: The airport was created at the onset of World War II as a public works project. Men with picks and shovels converted a farming area east of Salisbury into a Navy pilot training base. After the war ended in 1945, the airport was acquired by the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County, who developed it as a field for commercial aviation. The fledging Eastern Shore company, Chesapeake Airways, provided air passenger and freight service to Baltimore. In time other airlines took over the routes as airlines folded and merged. The service developed to 65 passenger airplanes making flights twice a day to Washington-Baltimore and New York.
In the meantime in Hagerstown, Maryland, Richard A. Henson was pioneering a concept of using smaller airplanes to carry passengers from smaller airports to major cities to link to larger airlines with bigger aircraft. His idea of "frequency" flights several times daily on smaller, less costly to operate aircraft worked well. Mr. Henson moved his commuter service to Salisbury in 1968 as Henson Airlines and continued to serve the hub and spoke airports of the East Coast.
In 1992 U.S. Airways purchased Henson Airlines and made it a part of its U.S. Airways Express system. The name was changed to Piedmont Airlines and the Salisbury operation grew to almost 400 employees, as it became the maintenance center for U.S. Airways Express commuter aircraft.
To contact US Airways/US Airways Express; the parent company of Piedmont Airlines:
Passenger Reservations 1-800-428-4322
Automated Customer Service and Flight Information 1-800-943-5436
Bay Land Aviation charter service (410) 749-0323
Wicomico Regional Airport on Airport Road off Mt. Hermon Road
U.S. Airways Express - Piedmont Airlines operates an average of 12 round trip flights a day from Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport to Philadelphia and Charolotte. Piedmont Airlines carries approximately 135,000 passengers a year through the airport, making it the second largest airport in the State.
The 26,000 square foot Richard A. Henson Terminal building was opened in 1990. It includes an airline ticketing and check-in area, 2 departure gates, 1 arrival gate, a baggage claim area, the Airport Café and Lounge and is surrounded by 6 acres of parking apron. The terminal also houses three automobile rental franchises, Avis, Hertz, and National. A plan for renovations to the terminal is being finalized.
The airport has a 7,000 foot instrument runway and 5,000 foot visual flight rules runway and supporting taxiway system. A new control tower opened in the Spring of 1999 with Federal Aviation Administration contracted controllers, improving airfield safety by providing air traffic and ground control. Over 110 private airplanes are housed at the airport in 67 private and 12 corporate hangars.
Airport Business Park
Several business have located at the airport including FedEx. Bayland Aviation provides charter air services. The Maryland State Police Medivac helicopter is also based here.
Freight trains still provide an important transportation link for the Delmarva Peninsula. Norfolk Southern has made major upgrades in the level of service and quality of track and equipment continue as the more aggressive Norfolk Southern attempts to lure more shipments away from the trucking industry. Perdue Farms has expanded its use of the railways with its new pelletized fertilizer being shipped to the Midwest by train from Seaford, Delaware. Scheduled passenger service is currently not available on the peninsula below Wilmington, Delaware.
Since Salisbury was a major steamboat service hub, Pennsylvania Railroad established a North-South line connecting to Wilmington, Philadelphia, and New York. The rail link was extended in 1884 to Cape Charles, Virginia and linked to ferry service to the Virginia mainland. A second railroad, the Baltimore, Chesapeake and Atlantic, crossed the through Wicomico County with a mid-peninsula line from Clairborne to Ocean City with a ferry link to Baltimore and Maryland's Western Shore. This service helped Ocean City develop into a major beach resort for Washington and Baltimore.
Bayrunner Shuttle is a great method of connecting to Amtrak railroad and airline service. BayRunner Shuttle now provides daily, scheduled, high quality transport services for airline passengers traveling from the Greater Salisbury service area to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. BayRunner Shuttle departs from the Downtown Transportation Center at 547 Riverside Drive, in downtown Salisbury. Located across from BB&T bank and next to St. Francis del Sales Catholic Church, easy to reach from all areas of the Delmarva Peninsula. So take the hassle out of getting to and from the airport, take BayRunner Shuttle or Make Your Reservation Here
Two major highways, U.S. 13 (north-south) and U.S. 50 (east-west) intersect in Salisbury making it the hub of vehicular traffic on the Delmarva Peninsula and linking the region to the great northeast industrial corridor. Salisbury is within overnight truck service to a third of the nation's population.
The Delmarva Peninsula has always served as an important transportation point between the northeast and southeast. The construction of more modern roads and the two major bridges across the Chesapeake Bay decreased the transportation time across the peninsula. The bridges, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on U.S. Highway 50 (opened in 1952) and the Bridge-Tunnel at Norfolk on U.S. Highway 13, have made Salisbury the hub of surface transportation.
The regional public transportation system, Shore Transit, is assisting residents to move more freely within the three counties of the Lower Shore. This organization has orchestrated the efforts of the three county transportation organizations and several other organizations with special grants to provide transportation for seniors, low income individuals, and people in need of rides to medical appointments. The transit system now provides interlinking bus routes throughout the lower four counties of Maryland with transfers into Delaware and Virginia's Eastern Shore. Salisbury also has a number of taxi cab companies, filling the transportation void for those in need.
Port of Salisbury: The Wicomico River has long been a transportation route from the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the river has a dredged 17-foot channel to allow barges to bring petroleum products, grain and aggregates