Smith Reynolds Airport

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Smith Reynolds Airport
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Airport Commission of Forsyth County
Serves Greensboro & Winston-Salem
Location Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Elevation AMSL 969 ft / 295 m
Coordinates 36°08′01″N 80°13′19″W / 36.13361°N 80.22194°W / 36.13361; -80.22194Coordinates: 36°08′01″N 80°13′19″W / 36.13361°N 80.22194°W / 36.13361; -80.22194
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15/33 6,655 2,028 Asphalt
4/22 3,938 1,200 Asphalt

Smith Reynolds Airport (IATA: INTICAO: KINTFAA LID: INT) is a public airport located 3 miles (5 km) northeast of the city of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, North Carolina, USA. The airport has two runways, and is used primarily for general aviation and flight training, although some passenger operations take place there. In addition, it is home to the Winston-Salem air show, which is usually held in September, and draws about 20,000 spectators.

History[edit]

The question of an airmail route and an airport for Winston-Salem was decided in the 1920s when land west of Greensboro was selected over a Winston-Salem tract, and Winston-Salem withdrew from the Tri-city Airport Commission.

A portion of land positioned off Walkertown Avenue (present-day Liberty Street) was located and determined to be the perfect site for a new airport. Clint Miller pledged $17,000 for the development of facilities at the new airfield, so when the new Airport Corporation met for the first time, they decided the new airfield would be named Miller Municipal Airport. Reynolds Aviation would be the main activity at Miller Field for its first five years. There were commuter flights to New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and weekend taxi service to Wrightsville and Myrtle Beach. In 1932, when Dick Reynolds disbanded Reynolds Aviation, a group of local businessmen formed Camel City Flying Service. Camel City renovated the existing structures, strengthened field lights and installed a grandstand for aerial shows.

In 1933, the Civil Works Administration, a program developed by The New Deal, began extending each runway by 500 feet (150 m), lining the main hangar floors with concrete and relocating the field lighting system. Throughout the 1930s, Miller Airport was the recipient of many projects supported by the New Deal including a new administration building, a third runway, and a new field lighting system. The airport land was expanded to 170 acres (0.69 km2) and a fourth runway was added by 1938.

In 1940, Charles Norfleet, the president of the Airport Commission, contacted Eastern Air Lines, requesting them to begin servicing Miller Airport. When Eastern agreed to add Miller Airport to its north-south route network, Dick Reynolds and his sisters, trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, donated funds from the Foundation to further modernize and expand the airport. In 1942, Miller Municipal Airport was renamed and dedicated to Smith Reynolds, a pioneer in aviation before his untimely death at the age of 20.

From 1942 until 1945, Smith Reynolds Airport served as a training base for military pilots in addition to its commercial and private airline services.

Piedmont Airlines[edit]

Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989) was based at the airport.[3] Predecessor Camel City Flying Services had become Piedmont Aviation, Inc. in 1940 and spent the 1940s building a base in flight training and airline sales. The company grew to over 80 employees by 1947 when the federal Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) awarded Piedmont Airlines a temporary certificate for regional air service. The company split into two divisions in order to continue to operate the fixed base operations (FBO) services and also operate four scheduled passenger feeder line routes extending from Wilmington, NC to Cincinnati, Ohio, serving twenty-two airports with one of three of the original DC-3's affectionately known as the Pacemakers. According to the airline's July 1, 1948 system timetable, Piedmont was operating nonstop service from the airport to both Bristol, TN and nearby Greensboro-High Point, NC as well as direct, no change of plane service to Cincinnati, Lexington, Raleigh-Durham, Goldsboro, NC, New Bern, NC, Morehead City-Beaufort, NC and Wilmington, NC with all flights operated with Douglas DC-3 aircraft.[4]

By 1953 Piedmont Airlines employed over 680 people and grossed over $5.3 million in gross revenue by covering almost 3,000 miles (4,800 km) on its route system. In 1966, the airline was operating Fairchild F-27 turboprops and Martin 4-0-4 prop aircraft from Smith Reynolds Airport with fifteen departures every weekday with direct service to Asheville, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charleston, WV, Charlottesville, VA, Cincinnati, Fayetteville, NC, Kinston, NC, Knoxville, Louisville, Myrtle Beach, Newport News, Norfolk, Washington, DC, Wilmington and other destinations in the region.[5]

Piedmont then began operating Boeing 727-100 jetliners into the airport and in 1968 was flying nonstop jet service to Asheville and Roanoke as well as direct 727 flights to Atlanta, New York La Guardia Airport and Charlottesville. Fairchild Hiller FH-227B turboprops were also being operated at this time by the airline from INT.[6] By 1978, the airline was operating both Boeing 727 and Boeing 737-200 jets on flights from the airport in addition to NAMC YS-11 turboprops and had added direct jet service to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD) and nonstop jet flights to Washington National Airport (DCA).[7] In 1983, Piedmont was operating all flights from Smith Reynolds Airport with Boeing 737-200 jetliners with nonstop service to Atlanta and Washington D.C. as well as direct flights to Denver and Louisville with a total of four 737 departures a day at this time.[8]

Piedmont had grown into one of the nation's major airlines with an all-jet mainline fleet when it was acquired by and merged into USAir in 1989. Although Piedmont's largest operation in later years was located at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport which served as a major hub for the airline, they continued to maintain a significant presence at Smith Reynolds Airport. USAir (later US Airways which has since been merged into American Airlines) closed its INT crew base in 1991. Their heavy aircraft maintenance base was closed in September 1998, leaving only specialty maintenance shops, the last of which was closed in 2005. US Airways maintained its largest reservations center in Winston-Salem before merging with American.

Other prior airline service[edit]

Capital Airlines and Eastern Air Lines operated flights into Smith Reynolds Airport until 1961. The June 1, 1960 Eastern Air Lines system timetable listed nonstop flights to Washington National Airport and Charlotte as well as direct service between INT and New York La Guardia Airport, New York Newark Airport, Atlanta, Providence, RI, Richmond, VA, Atlantic City, NJ, Wilmington, NC and other destinations operated with Convair 440, Lockheed Constellation (L-1049 "Super-G" model) and Martin 4-0-4 prop aircraft.[9] According to its June 1, 1961 system timetable, Capital Airlines was serving the airport with British-manufactured Vickers Viscount four engine turboprops with nonstops to Asheville, NC and Richmond, VA and direct one stop service to Atlanta and Washington National Airport.[10] Capital and Eastern then ceased serving the airport and the only scheduled passenger airline flights were then operated by Piedmont and its successors. Nonstops operated by Piedmont may never have reached beyond Washington, DC and Atlanta. By 1984, the only scheduled air carrier flights were being operated by commuter turboprops to the nearby Piedmont hub at Charlotte (CLT). In 1989, USAir Express was operating seven flights a day between the airport and Charlotte with British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and Short 360 commuter turboprop aircraft.[11] By 1999, successor US Airways Express was operating only three flights a day between the airport and Charlotte with BAe Jetstream 31 commuter propjets.[12] US Airways Express commuter air carrier CCAir then ceased its code share service operated on behalf of US Airways to Charlotte in January 2000 and Winston-Salem has not had airline flights since then. The airport maintains high volume and income with general aviation and private business aircraft activity via Landmark Aviation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for INT (Form 5010 PDF)
  2. ^ Smith Reynolds Airport, official site
  3. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, July 1, 1948 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  4. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, July 1, 1948 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  5. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, April 24, 1966 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  6. ^ http://www.60sairlineantiques.net, Feb. 1, 1968 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  7. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1978 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  8. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 15, 1983 Piedmont Airlines system timetable
  9. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, June 1, 1960 Eastern Air Lines system timetable
  10. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, June 1, 1961 Capital Airlines system timetable
  11. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Charlotte - Winston-Salem flight schedules
  12. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Charlotte - Winston-Salem flight schedules

External links[edit]