Airport History

Smith Reynolds Airport History

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Back in 1927, city officials learned that Winston-Salem was a scheduled stop for Charles Lindbergh and the "Spirit of St. Louis" during a cross-country tour to celebrate advances in aviation. Although there was an existing grass strip airfield within Winston-Salem at the time, officials felt that an improved airfield would be better suited to accommodate the greatest aviator of the time. As such, a portion of land located approximately 4 miles north of downtown Winston-Salem was identified as an ideal site for a paved airport facility. A contribution of $17,000 was made by Clint Miller to develop the new airport; as a result, the airport corporation named the new airport Miller Municipal Airport. From 1927 to 1933 Reynolds Aviation, one of the airport's most active users, provided commuter flights to New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Baltimore with weekend taxi service to Wrightsville and Myrtle Beaches.

In 1933, The New Deal developed a program known as the Civil Works Administration. This administration began extending each runway by 500 feet, added concrete floors to hangars, and relocated the airfield lighting system. Additional projects that occurred during the 1930's included a new administration building, a third runway, and a new airfield lighting system. By 1938, additional property was acquired and a new fourth runway was constructed. In 1940, Eastern Airlines agreed to add Winston-Salem to its North-South route. In support of Eastern's action, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation donated funds to further modernize and expand the airport for additional commercial service. In 1942, Miller Municipal Airport was renamed the Smith Reynolds Airport in honor of the foundation responsible for its many contributions.

In 1949, the Forsyth County Airport Commission was established to oversee the daily operation and development of the airport. From 1942 through 1945, the airport served as a training base for military pilots but continued its commercial and private airline service. In 1947, the Civil Aeronautics Board awarded Piedmont Aviation a temporary certificate for regional air service of four feeder line routes with DC-3 aircraft. The routes extended from Wilmington, North Carolina to Cincinnati, Ohio and serviced twenty-two additional airports throughout the U.S. During the span of 1957 through 1960, a fire station and ATCT were constructed, an approach lighting system was installed, and the terminal building was further expanded.

By 1963, the airport witnessed a resounding 129,313 annual operations which made Smith Reynolds the most active airport within the state and the 85th most active in the entire country. During the late sixties and early seventies, the airport experienced steady regional airline service and witnessed flourishing general aviation activity. From 1978 to 1992, the Airport Commission of Forsyth County continued to maintain and improve its facilities by completing several projects such as: new fencing, terminal improvements, and pavement strengthening.

During the 1990s, commercial enplanements continued to decline from 23,000 in 1990 to 7,000 in 1999. In the year 2000, USAir, the airport's only remaining commercial carrier, terminated service at INT. Since the completion of the 1995 master plan, the ACFC has orchestrated several projects to improve and expand the airport. One notable project includes the construction of a general aviation tie-down apron (south apron) which is located west of Runway 15/33 near the end of Runway 33. The apron has an attached automobile parking area located to the west that was constructed for use by travelers. Another notable project includes the recent overlay of Runway 15/33 which occurred in 2008. In 2010, the airport finished constructing an Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) near the approach end of Runway 33 to allow the runway to comply with FAA safety standards.



2010 to Present

Pacing Toward a Fall - 2010

Hearing to Examine Pace - 2010

Pace is Put Under Court - 2010

All Eyes to the Sky - 2010

Pace Didn't Report 2009 Earnings to SSA - 2010

Local officials have high hopes for Smith Reynolds - 2010

Pace vs. Justice - 2010

Pace airlines criminal case may advance - 2010

Charter service returns - 2010

Bankruptcy judge OKs sale of Pace Airlines assets - 2010

Smith Reynolds plight easing with new airport deals - 2010

Aid on incentatives sought from Forsyth board - 2011

NS Aviation to expand at airport - 2011

Forsyth commisioners approve plan for North State Aviation - 2011

Aviation firm to bring 300 jobs to Winston Salem - 2011

Dynamic Airways gets FAA jet approval -2011

Ex-Pace Workers still grasping for closure - 2011

NS Aviation wins contract with United - 2012

Airport gets improvement funds - 2012

Hearing for Pace Airlines co-owner Postponed - 2012

A spectacle in the sky - 2012

Smith Reynolds seeks contractor for $2 million in taxiway repairs - 2013

2013 Pace Airlines saga ends after four years

Landmark Aviation Wants Reynolds hanger - 2013

Airport board votes to fight tower closure - 2013

Smith Reynolds files appeal to keep tower - 2013

RjR plans to lease out corporate hangar at Smith Reynolds - 2013

Ledger a window into airport's past - 2013

Without spending a dime W-S sirport gains a hangar - 2014

Flying High- Flight Instructor Retired Pilot recieves FAA Pilot Award - 2014

Bill gives funding to towers at Smith Reynolds Airport - 2014

North State Aviation takes much of airport - 2014

Triad Bracing for Snow - Smith Reynolds Crew (front page) - 2015

Triad Bracing for Snow - Smith Reynolds Crew (page 2) - 2015

On A Higher Plane - Business Journal Cover Story - 2015

Board Debates Airport Relief - 2016

County, Legislators to Discuss Airport - 2016

Stormwater Fees Up For Discussion - 2016

Airport Runoff Fees Top Issues - 2016

Clark Floats Airport Alternative Plan - 2016

City Panel Endorses Airport Deal - 2016

Council Pack Plenty in Meeting - 2016

Aviation Business Journal - NATA Industry Excellence Awards - 2016

An Airfield and an Aviator - The Story of Winston-Salem's Maynard Field - 2016

Forsyth Tech Aviation Campus - 2016

Panel Outlines Seven Projects To Make Airport Better - 2016

Winston-Salem Journal Opinion: Aviation Campus - 2016

County Plan Could Solve Dispute Near Airport - 2016

Airport Commission Letter to the Editor - 2016

Pre-Christmas Flight / Santa Fly-In - 2016

Job Fair

Triad Airport Left with $1M Hole

Laid-Off North State Aviation Workers Get Help


2000 to 2010

Winston Airport looks for Airline - 2000

Can We Compete? - 2001

Airport Residents Struggle to find Common Ground - 2002

Timco Lease - 2002

Flight - 2003

Wright fly-in promise to give stste, Trade wings - 2003

A piece of history - 2006

Airport asks to shoot deer - 2006

Smith Reynolds gets new director - 2006

Airshow Chalenge to be in Winston Salem this weekend - 2006

Piedmont Flight of the Pacemaker - 2006

A Caring Airling - 2007

Airport operation laid over - 2007

Wings of Freedom - 2007

Taking flight The history of Smith Reynolds Airport - 2008

A c-17 airlifter was on display at the 2005 Winston Salem Air Show - 2009

Pace having payroll problem - 2009

Airport work is probed - 2009

Airport director, parts ways - 2009

Pace Buckles - 2009

Pace faces second probe - 2009

A once bustiling airport tries to find its place in a new era - 2009

Airport panel gets $654,000 to pay Mainline - 2009

Empty promises were fuel for Pace - 2009

Sound and Fury - 2009

Residents, airport in tug-of-war - 2009

Pace employees detail grievances - 2009


1990 to 2000

Succerssor to Jihnston is Named - 1991

A HIgh-Flying Day - 1993

Airline Veterans Branch Out - 1993

Fly-Byes: 3 Time Champ to Retire after Airshow - 1994

New Flyer: Air Star Applies to Run Charters - 1994

Leisure Air Problems 'systemic', FAA says - 1994

Flights of Fancy - 1995

The Quest to Build a Great Airport in Winston Salem - 1996

Airport on Hunt for New Carrier - 2000

Mayor would love to Land Airport Panel Seat - 2000


1980 to 1990

3 Contracts Are Awarded For Work at Airport Here - 1980

Sunbird Flies From Winston - 1980

Airlines Will Build Training Center - 1981

Planning for the Future - 1981

Airport Use Highest Ever - 1982

The Sentinel - 1983

The Sentinel - 1984

Piedmont Aviation Planes New Facilities ar City Airport - 1984

Local Flying Club Asks Airport For Permission to Build Hanger - 1984

Airline May Announce Plan - 1985

Three New Flights at Piedmont Airlines - 1985

People Express Fares to rise in March I - 1985

American Airlines: Its Official - 1985

American Airlines Will fly Out of Regional Airport - 1985

Airport Panel Picks Manager for Airport - 1985

Morgan Named Interim manager of Airport by Forsyth Commision - 1985

Rankin leaving as Airport Manager - 1985

Manager Quits Job at Smith Reynolds - 1985

Plans to End Subsides May Jepardize Flights - 1985

County May help Oversee Regional Airport: Bill may Hurt City Airport, Critics say - 1985

Airport to Hold 2nd Aviation Day - 1985

Trade Walk: Piedmont is going to use Sunbird - 1985

Legislation Stirring Up Fears About Future of Airport - 1985

Airport to Hold Aviation Day - 1985

Bill Won't Rob Winston-Salem Airport, Official Says - 1985

The Airport Issue - 1985

More on the Airport - 1985

Loss of Jet Service - 1985

Piedmont, American Airlines Investigated - 1985

Healthy Airport is Panals Goal - 1985

Sunbird will stay with City: Sunbird - 1985

Board Makes Haste to OK Runway Work - 1985

Smith Reynolds may Get Grant - 1985

Aviation Day - 1985

Airport Confident it Will Find a Replacement for Piedmont - 1987

Bill Doesn't Fly with Airport Officials - 1987

Airports look ahead - 1988


1970 to 1980

1960 to 1970

Smith Reynolds Airport Ranked 85th in Nation - 1964

Goldwater Jet Makes Airport History Here - 1964

Film Makers Like Airport Here - 1965

Airport Here to Be Used in Aviation Business Film - 1965

Airport Busiest In State - 1965

High Point Pilot Brings Crop-Duster Down Safely - 1966

New York Flights to Begin - 1966

New York Flights to Begin - 1966

Reynolds Gets 4-jet Planes - 1967

Piedmont Readies jetliner To Inaugurate New Survice - 1967

Piedmont to Buy More 737 Jetliners - 1968

Reynolds gets 4-Jet Plane/Piedmont Readies Jetliner to Inagurate New Service - 1967

Airport TRaffic Skyrocketing - 1968

New Arrival at Piedmont - 1968

Piedmont Aviation Will Move Into It's New Building Today - 1968

1969 Plane Lands Minus Wheel

Piedmont Wins Suit Over Jet - 1969

President Carter Lands at Smith Reynolds Airport for his trip to Wake Forest - 1970


1950 to 1960

The Federal Airport Program Should Be Extended - 1959


1940 to 1950

The Quest to Build a Great Airport in Winston-Salem - 1942

A Sketch of Smith Reynolds Airport: Charles E. Norfleet - 1942