North Carolina - New Hanover County Airports

Airport Name

At / Near Town

Type

FAA LID

Year
Opened

Year
Closed

Comments

1) Bluethenthal Field

Wilmington

Defunct

-

1928

c.1955
By May of 1927, J.L. Becton, civil engineer, began to stake out the new airfield – to include two runways, one 1700 x 230 feet, and the other 1750 x 230 feet. The first landing on the new airfield was made in 1927 by Warren Pennington who flew down from Rocky Mount in an American Eagle airplane. On May 30, 1928, Memorial Day, the field was named Bluethenthal Field in memory of Arthur Bluethenthal, first Wilmingtonian and second North Carolinian to be killed in WWI. The airport’s steady growth and improvement began in 1929 when Coastal Plains Airways began operations. During World War II, the airfield was used by the United States Army Air Forces Third Air Force for antisubmarine patrols and training using P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft. The Army expanded the airfield with three new 7,000-foot runways, and after the war, deeded the site back to New Hanover County at no cost. Piedmont Airlines began commercial flights to Wilmington in February 1948, and used Wilmington as one of its initial crew bases. In the 1950s the airport became known as the New Hanover County Airport. In 1988 the airport added "International" to become known as New Hanover County International Airport. On December 17, 1997 the New Hanover County Airport Authority changed the name to Wilmington International Airport.

2) Fort Fisher Army Air Field

Fort Fisher,
Kure Beach

Defunct
Military

-

1940

1945
In late December 1940, Camp Davis Army Air Field (above) was built several miles to the north in Onslow County as an Army anti-aircraft artillery training facility. The Fort Fisher property was used as the main target range for Camp Davis and the installation was given the name Fort Fisher Army Air Field. In 1944, the anti-aircraft training facility was transferred to another base and Camp Davis and Fort Fisher AAF were closed. At the time of its closure, Fort Fisher AAF had grown to include an 80-seat cafeteria, a 350-bed hospital and dental clinic, and covered an area of several hundred acres.

3) New Hanover County Airport,
New Hanover County Int'l Airport

Wilmington

Defunct

-

1955,
1988

1988,
1997
Was Bluethenthal Field. In the 1950s, the Bluethenthal Airport became known as the New Hanover County Airport. In 1988, the airport added "International" to become known as New Hanover County International Airport. On December 17, 1997 the New Hanover County Airport Authority changed the name to Wilmington International Airport, see below.

4) Pilot's Ridge Airport

Carolina Beach

Private

03NC

1983

-
Per AirNav - activated 9/1983. Owned and operated by Pilot's Ridge Home Owners Association.

5) Wilmington Army Air Field

Wilmington

Defunct
Military

-

1941

1945
Was Bluethenthal Field, see above. On December 8th, 1941, the Army Air Corps moved onto the civilian Bluethenthal Field and remained for the duration of the war. At its height, the airport offered a complete bomber command station and facility support including a hospital and administrative offices. The Army expanded the airfield with three new 7,000-foot runways. During World War II, the airfield was used by the U. S. Army Air Force Third Air Force for anti-submarine patrols and training using P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft. After the war, the federal government declared Bluethenthal Field surplus property, and under the Surplus Property Act of 1944 the facility was deeded to the county at no cost to New Hanover County. Bluethenthal Airport resumed operations soon thereafter, see above.

6) Wilmington International Airport

Wilmington

Primary

ILM

1997

-
Was New Hanover County International Airport, see above. On December 17, 1997 the New Hanover County Airport Authority changed the name of the New Hanover County International Airport to Wilmington International Airport.


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