Photo credit: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
The oldest airport in America still in operation is College Park Airport, located in College Park, Maryland. It was established in 1909 by the Wright Brothers! It is considered, not only America's oldest airport, but the world's oldest continuously operated airport according to Guinness World Records. College Park Airport is also confirmed as the world's oldest continually operating airport by the US National Park Service. It was the site of many important aviation milestones, including the first military aviation training, the first postal air delivery, and the first controlled helicopter flight. Known as the "Field of Firsts", it is the site of many significant aviation firsts.
College Park Airport is a public-use airport. Originally used for military aviation training, the airport became a hub for pioneering aviators who used it as a base for experimentation and innovation in aviation technology. The Airport is owned by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). M-NCPPC purchased the airport in 1973 as one of the gateway airports to Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County.
In order to keep this historic airport operational, the M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County must abide by certain laws, regulations, and Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements. Maryland Regulation 11.03.05.03 requires that every 4-8 years, trees in designated areas near the College Park Airport must be trimmed. Trees above a certain height are considered airport hazards.
Today, College Park Airport is primarily used for general aviation and flight training. It features a 2,600-foot runway and supports a variety of aircraft, including single and multi-engine planes, helicopters, and gliders. The airport is also home to a museum that showcases the history of aviation at College Park, including artifacts, photographs, and exhibits on the pioneering aviators who flew from the airport. In its present day status, College Park Airport serves as a convenient modern day facility, meeting the everyday needs of general aviation pilots in the DC-metropolitan area. Conveniently located within walking distance to the Metro Rail system, CGS continues to be a prime option for general aviation pilots visiting Washington, DC.
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