Lawrence County Airpark
|Lawrence County Airpark|
|Owner||Lawrence County Board of Commissioners|
|Serves||Chesapeake, Ohio / Huntington, West Virginia|
|Elevation AMSL||568 ft / 173 m|
Lawrence County Airpark (IATA: HTW, ICAO: KHTW, FAA LID: HTW) is a public use airport two miles west of Chesapeake, a village in Lawrence County, Ohio. It is publicly owned by Lawrence County Board of Commissioners. The airport is across the Ohio River from Huntington, West Virginia.
Lawrence County Airpark, originally Huntington Airport, was established in 1929. In June of that year John Paul Riddle of the Cincinnati-based Embry-Riddle Company completed negotiations for the establishment of an airport for the cities of the Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia tri-state area. The company sought to expand their growing air mail and passenger routes east, via the Ohio River valley. The Embry-Riddle Company put up $100,000 dollars, with another $25,000 contributed by the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, $25,000 from the Huntington Bridge Company, and $25,000 from a local aviation booster club. The club enrolled 250 members, charging a membership fee of $100. This money was used to fund the airport project. The land was purchased primarily from a Mr. Joe L. Wilson, partner in the Huntington Bridge Company, who had used the land for farmland.
Development began in June, but was slowed due to rain. Eventually several houses and a barn were removed, though two structures were initially left intact on the north side of the field for use as office and flight crew facilities. The new Huntington-Ironton-Chesapeake Airport opened on August 31, 1929, with a 3,600 feet (1,097 m) east-west sod landing strip (current site of runway 8/26) and a north-south strip 2,500 feet (762 m) in length (partially still in use as the airfield's only taxiway). The opening fell on Labor Day weekend, and massive celebrations were planned. About 45,000 people attended the opening events through the weekend, which included aerial stunts and rides ($10 each). Ten planes, owned by the Embry-Riddle Company were stationed at the field, including several Wacos. A Ford Tri-Motor was on display for opening day. There was a raffle for a free flight to Cincinnati's Lunken Field, and a folded-wing aircraft carrying local government and civic leaders Taxied across the bridge, led a parade around Huntington, West Virginia, then returned to the airport, extended its wings, and took them on an aerial tour.
At the time of opening, the Embry-Riddle Company was to run the field and FBO. The company opened a flight school; Embry-Riddle closed its flight school and withdrew service the next year, after disputes with the Huntington Chamber of Commerce over the building of a hangar facility.
The 1930s were marked by attempts to establish passenger and mail service to the H-I-C Airport. 1932 and 1936 saw short attempts by American Airlines to set up service; in 1938, regular service began. This was in part due to an agreement to lengthen and pave the main runway. As part of this deal, land was purchased for a 1,000-foot runway extension to the west in 1937, but in 1939-41 the runway was 3000 ft long. Air service lasted until April, 1945, when American closed their weather office and stopped mail and passenger services. The airline had been stopping at H-I-C when weight conditions allowed - in 1945 the runway was too short for AA's DC-3s to take off fully loaded. The runway had deteriorated markedly by 1945, and had still not been extended. This resulted in the 1947 creation of a Huntington Airport Authority to establish Tri-State Airport (HTS) in Wayne County, West Virginia, which opened in 1952-53.
There is one FBO, Attitude Aviation. They have 3 C-172 Skyhawks and one Beechcraft Bonanza available for rent, as well as maintenance and repair facilities, 100LL fuel, oil, and charts and supplies for sale in addition to flight instruction. There is a jump zone, Tri-State Skydivers. They operate a modified C-182, have instructors and parachutes available for rent, and operate most weekends throughout the year.
In the year ending June 12, 2007 the airport had 41,910 aircraft operations, average 114 per day: 98% general aviation and 1% air taxi, and <1% military. 34 aircraft were then based at the airport: 88% single-engine, 6% multi-engine and 6% ultralight.
- FAA Airport Master Record for HTW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 27 August 2009.
- Accident history for HTW at Aviation Safety Network
- Herald Dispatch, microfilm, 1929-1953.
- Attitude Aviation, the airport's fixed-base operator
- Aerial photo as of 29 April 1995 from USGS The National Map
- Resources for this airport: