1916: the earliest recorded flight in Springfield is in the fall at the old fairgrounds near Phelps Grove Park.

 

1925: McCluer Flying Field opens on East Division Street. Privately owned, it serves as Springfield’s only airport until 1945.

 

1928: the City of Springfield purchases McCluer Flying Field and changes the name to Springfield Park and Airport.

 

1929: commercial air service comes to Springfield. Service is provided by American Airlines, Transcontinental and Western, and several other small carriers.

 

1929–1942: as planes get bigger, the airport’s short, unpaved runways make it difficult to expand commercial air service. The Great Depression leaves few funds for improvements and commercial service disappears.

 

1942–1945: World War II brings plane loads of wounded men to the airport en route to O’Reilly General Army Hospital. The airport is barely able to cope with the large military planes and it becomes obvious that Springfield needs a new airport.

 

1942: in October Springfield voters approve a $350,000 bond issue to build a new airport.

 

1944: work begins on the new airport, located seven miles northwest of the city.

 

1945: in March voters approve $150,000 in bonds to complete the airport. On July 2 the new airport opens for business. It’s called Springfield-Greene County Airport but the name soon changes when the city and county disagree over airport finances. The city assumes full control and the airport becomes Springfield Municipal Airport.

 

1946: American Airlines brings commercial service back to Springfield early in the year.

 

March 20, 1955: at 10:36pm American Airlines flight 711 circles to land at Springfield and crashes more than a mile north of the airport. 11 of 32 passengers die along with the stewardess and copilot. It’s Springfield’s first and only crash involving a commercial airliner. A federal investigation concludes that the pilots misjudged their altitude.

 

1960: Springfield voters approve a $600,000 bond issue to build a new terminal.

 

1964: new terminal opens in October.

 

1964–2006: during the last quarter of the 20th Century passenger numbers grow steadily. The terminal is added on to several times. Growth in passenger numbers accelerates, culminating in 2005 when the number of passengers leaps 23% over the previous year.

 

May 2006: the airport breaks ground for a new terminal.

 

May 2009: The airport celebrates its first scheduled service to the West Coast with Allegiant Air service to Los Angeles.

 

May 6, 2009: The airport opens the new Midfield Terminal.