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History

History graciosuly researched and permission for use granted by: Deb Kinerdkiner@pennlive.com


Capital City Airport, originally called Harrisburg State Airport, was dedicated on Aug. 16, 1930.

According to a story written for The Sunday Patriot-News and dated Sept. 4, 1955, Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, a technical adviser for Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc., flew in on Oct. 23, 1930 and on Oct. 25. He was greeted by more than 5,000 people each day.

“Two days later TWA began regular mail and passenger service. On April 20, 1931, the airline instituted their first coast-to-coast service spanning the continent in 24 hours.” According to the story, the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the effort to build the airport. Eight hundred people subscribed $252,000 in a public sale of stock to finance the original construction.

Gallery: Capital City Airport

The Capital Landing Field Company was created by the chamber to purchase the land – 214 acres of adjoining farms and the lease of another 79 acres. Central Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the facility on Aug. 29, 1929. The main runway was 3,000 feet long, 500 feet wide with a cross runway of 2,500 feet. The hangar was steel, brick and concrete.

When TWA began coast-to-coast service it also instituted night air mail. The Northrop single engine plane with an open cockpit left Newark at 9:45 p.m. and arrived here at 11:30 p.m. According to The Sunday Patriot-News, hundreds of people came to the airport every night to see the plane arrive and depart.

Later, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania bought the airport. With money from the Works Progress Administration and the state, the airport was enlarged. The state took formal possession on Jan. 28, 1936. In June of that year, new runways were laid out and a new hangar and administration building were built.

The state named the facility the Harrisburg-York State Airport.

Capital Landing Field Company was dissolved Nov. 27, 1936.

“During World War II an air squadron was located at the airport and the federal government built barracks to the rear of the administration building. Subsequently a brick hangar was built for the use of the Pennsylvania Air Guard and its headquarters and some of its training is maintained there.”

Today, Capital City Airport is owned by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, which also owns Harrisburg International Airport.