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History of the Lubbock Airport


Lubbock International Airport began as the Lubbock Municipal Airfield in 1929. The airport's first manager was aviation pioneer Clent Breedlove, who had been an army aviator and test pilot. Aviation grew steadily at the airport until World War II when it took a giant leap forward.

The United States Government's War Department took over the airport in 1942 and created the South Plains Army Airfield. This installation's mission was to train combat glider pilots. These combat gliders were designed to carry soldiers, small jeeps, cannons, or other supplies quickly and quietly into the heat of battle. These "silent wings" were used extensively in the D-Day invasion to free Europe and also in many Pacific Theater operations. The South Plains Army Airfield grew to be the largest glider training facility in the world.

After World War II, the airport was again operated by the City of Lubbock. Commercial airline service began on July 1, 1945 with a flight to Dallas operated by Braniff Airways. Pioneer Airlines, Continental Airlines, and Trans-Texas Airlines soon began serving Lubbock and a new terminal was built in 1950.

In 1966, Continental Airlines was the first to bring jet service to Lubbock and soon Braniff and Texas International added jets also. In 1976, a new passenger terminal was dedicated which was expanded to its present size in 1986.

Currently the airport is home to a number of general aviation service providers, freight airline operations, industrial parks, and four commercial passenger airlines.