Media Tips & FAQs

Media Tips & FAQs

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) personnel will provide members of the media with all possible cooperation at both facilities. During emergency operations, news media coverage will be accommodated as public safety permits.

When coming to the airport for non-emergency purposes, please contact the Media Relations Office at 216.265.6164 between 8:00AM and 5:00PM (EST). After 5:00PM, please call 216.857.1857. When media coverage involves a specific airline, please contact that airline directly.

All media vehicles must be marked and parked in the live hook-up area or in CLE short-term parking. Any unattended vehicles parked on the roadways will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense in accordance with airport security policies.

Representatives of the media are required to display affiliate identification at all times. 

Routine Media Access & Procedures

CLE welcomes media coverage and therefore provides as much media access to the airport as is possible within the parameters of the airport’s security restrictions, which are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

Under normal security conditions, media partners have access to all public areas of the airport. Public areas include portions of the terminal, baggage claim, and parking garages open to the public. It is recommended, as a courtesy, that media representatives contact the Communications Manager prior to coming to the airport.

Please note that media must observe restricted filming around checkpoint areas as determined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Further, each airline has its own policy concerning media coverage—it is recommended that media contact the corporate office of that airline or agency to obtain media information.

Live News Reports

Live news reports are permitted at CLE, but should be limited to the mult box areas located directly across from the Southwest and United Airlines ticket counters on the ticketing level of the main terminal. Additionally, one mult box is located on the baggage claim level, across from Carousels 4 and 6. Broadcast vans and all other news vehicles should be parked in the designated live hook-up area. Proper media identification should be displayed on vehicles at all times. Any other parking locations will be considered only upon prior approval, which can be requested through the Airport’s Media Relations Office.

Access to Airfield / Ramp Areas

In consideration of the extremely busy nature of airport operations and the understandable emphasis on airline safety and security, access to restricted areas of the airport and airfield including all ramp areas, is provided only under limited circumstances.

Special Modifications During Heightened Security Conditions

When enhanced security procedures are mandated by either the FAA or TSA, there may be certain additional restrictions on media access. Those restrictions will remain in effect until modified by the issuing agency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who owns and operates the airport?

The City of Cleveland owns and operates Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL). Both airports comprise the Cleveland Airport System. The airports are operated in accordance with all FAA regulations.

How many people work at the airport?

There are approximately 9,000 on-airport jobs. The Cleveland Airport System directly employs approximately 400 employees at the airports.

How is the airport funded?

The Cleveland Airport System is an enterprise fund of the City of Cleveland, meaning that it is a self-sustaining operation. As such, all revenues earned by the airport must be spend solely for airport purposes. No local tax dollars are used to fund any projects or operations at the airport. The airport is funded by non-aviation related revenues (i.e., concessions and parking), aviation revenues (i.e., rents and landing fees), and federal grants. The airport has an annual operating budget of approximately $129 million.

How often does bad weather close the airport?

CLE rarely closes due to inclement weather conditions, in large part due to the efforts of the supurb snow removal team. During February 2005 (the worst winter in Cleveland history), CLE had the best on-time departure rate of any airport located in the continental United States. Passengers are always advised to contact their airline in the event of inclement weather.

When was the airport established?

CLE began operations in July of 1925 as the first municipal airport in the United States. The airport was officially named Cleveland Hopkins Airport after founder William R. Hopkins on his 82nd birthday, July 26, 1951. In 1964, CLE received its current name of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, reflecting international aspirations and operations to Canada since 1946.

Who provides security at the screening checkpoints at CLE?

As with other airports in the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is mandated to provide security at the checkpoints. CLE is served by a Cleveland Police Department detail that is responsible for public safety throughout the airport.

How to Fly an Ultra-Low Cost Airline

CLE is one of very few airports our size in the USA with service from all three ultra-low cost airlines (Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit).  These carriers are each a bit different in the markets they fly and the frequencies of their flights.  What they all have in-common which separates them from legacy (Air Canada, American, Delta, United) and low-cost airlines (JetBlue, Southwest) is that they un-bundle their product.  That is to say they sell the fare and each aspect of travel ala carte or separately.  These ala carte fees, also known as ancillary charges give the travel consumer the opportunity to buy only what they want whether it be a confirmed seat assignment, a carry-on bag, a checked bag or even travel insurance.  To really take advantage of the price value of the ULCC airlines it is highly recommended to buy these ancillary charges on the airline’s website in advance of your departure even if you buy your ticket at the airport days or months before your travel day.  If you were to wait to buy a carry-on bag for instance until you arrive the airport for travel it is more expensive at the check-in counter and much more expensive at the gate.