National Aviation Week 2010

This week (August 15-21) is National Aviation Week.

Celebrated annually during the week of Orville Wright’s birthday, the goal is a week of education, awareness and celebration of all things aviation.

Aerial view of the airport, 1962

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

The Tri-Cities Regional Airport was originally opened as McKellar Field, in dedication of Senator Kenneth McKellar, an avid supporter of aviation in Tennessee.

The airport began as a collaborative, cost-sharing effort between Johnson City, Bristol, Kingsport and Sullivan County to build a regional airport that would serve the aviation needs of the area, as the smaller airfields in each city were no longer practical.

Dedication exercises of the Tri-Cities Airport, November 5, 1937.

A Tri-City Airport Commission was formed to develop and operate the airport. The commission was made up of representatives from Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City and Sullivan County. In 1935, plans were put into motion to construct the new airport.

Airport, 1946

The airport was dedicated as McKellar Field on November 5, 1937. The new airport had two small runways, a terminal building and an aircraft hangar that was completed at an estimated cost of $800,000.

American Airlines Ticket Counter at Tri-Cities Airport, 1946

For more information on the history of the Tri-Cities Regional Airport visit the archives and check out the Airport’s website.

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