History | Kent State University

History

KENT STATE AIRPORT HISTORY
Year Event

1917

Kent State University Airport's history predates that of Cleveland-Hopkins, Akron Fulton, and Akron-Canton Airports.

Farm of Rev. Edward J. Smith believed to have been used as a landing field.

1920

Ohio Flying School & Transport Co. opens flying field offering rides and instructions. Firm goes out of business in 1921

During the 1920s and early 1930s, such notable flyers as Brig. Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, Maj. Eddie Rickenbacker, French war ace Capt. Charles Nungesser, Clarence Chamberlin, and Eddie Stinson flew from what becomes known as Stow Field.

1927

Hugh C. Robbins forms Robbins Flying Service. A fire destroyed the only existing hangar in 1929 but Robbins rebuilt. The Depression ends the business in 1932.

1932

Stow Flying Field incorporated, backed by Allen T. Simmons. Another hangar fire destroys then hangar in 1933 ending his business.

1939

Rudy Van Devere purchased Stow Field

1942

Kent State University purchased the airport from Rudy Van Devere with the exception of a single parcel which contained the airport hangar facilities.

Stow Field renamed Kent State University Airport.

1945

Large Army surplus Quonset hangar was purchased and later constructed in 1946.

1947

The present Aerospace Technology program was started during the 1947 school year.

1953

Kent State University purchased the remaining parcels and facilities from Van Devere

1964

Airfield named Andrew W. Paton Airport in honor of the professor who taught the University's first aviation technology course in 1947 and advocated for the airport and a University flight training program.

1965

North-South runway paved; airport lighting installed; fuel farm installed with apron extension

1966

A 14 unit "T" Hangar was constructed

1978

FAA antenna / transmitter installed on University Library roof

1981

Albert Beckwith installs office trailer for use by Commercial Aviation Corp.

1982

Constructed North end of the North-South parallel taxiway.

1983

Constructed South end of the North-South parallel taxiway. Constructed Southern runway extension (60').

1984

Main hangar reskinned; repaired flooring, doors, walls, and electrical

1985

Visual Approach Slope Indicators (VASI) landing guidance system installed.

1987

North-South runway extended from 3065' to 3950'.

1988

Extended runway to 4,000 ft; corrected runway drainage problems and installed runway lighting on extension.

1989

Aircraft parking ramp/apron expanded to 120' by 360'. Constructed final 50' section of North-South runway making it 4,000' in length.

1999

Airport runway, taxiway, ramp/apron resurfaced.

2006

Kent State achieved Council on Aviation Accreditation of all four of its bachelor degree programs- aeronautical studies, aeronautical systems engineering technology, aviation management, and flight technology.

2007

Kent State received FAA authorization for the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative Program.

2010

Kent State Precision Flight Team awarded Loening trophy, presented annually to the outstanding all around collegiate aviation program in the nation.

2011

Kent State received accreditation reaffirmation of all four bachelor degree programs, and air traffic control program achieved initial Council on Aviation Accreditation.

2012

Kent State named as a member of a team of universities to lead a new FAA Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS).

2015

Kent State University completes a Sustainable Master Plan and outlines 20 year plan for the airport

Airport recieved grant for improved Snow and Ice control equipment

2016

Runway 1-19 pavement and markings rehabilitated

2017

Full parallel taxiway, apron, and compass calibration pad pavement and markings are rehabilitated

Airport is awarded as Ohio Aviation Association (OAA) Airport of the Year

Airport is honored as Animal Hero of the Year by the Humane Society of Summit County for Props-4-Paws program