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History
  History
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NOTE: Click on any of the photos to view a larger image in a new window.

1927

The same year Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic, the City of Colorado Springs started in the airport business when it purchased 640 acres of grassland seven miles east of the city for $17,500. The acres purchased consisted of two relatively short gravel runways. An additional $16,000 was spent to provide lighting for the field.

Photo of the 1925 Municipal Airshow at Colorado Springs
1925 Municipal Airshow

1929

In 1929, the Colorado Springs Airport complex consisted of two short gravel runways with lights, two hangers and a small combined administration residence and lounge building. The southwestern-style administration residence and lounge building, known as the "Spanish House," was built by the City of Colorado Springs for $8,000. During those years, the people running the airport figured they were pretty busy if they served a half dozen customers a month.

LATE 1930s

Two northbound and two southbound flights were available out of Colorado Springs. The route went from El Paso, Texas to Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, then back again. Carriers serving the Colorado Springs Airport included such long-forgotten names as Wyoming Air Express Service, Western Air Service and Pikes Peak Air Service. Passenger traffic remained light through the 1930s - the airport handled only 35 passengers in 1938 - and it was not until after World War II that air travel caught on in a big way.


1940s

The first municipal terminal was built in 1940s for $19,874 and was built in an Art Deco/Art Modern style of glazed ceramic tile. The building served only briefly as the terminal for the Colorado Springs Airport. In the very year that it was completed, the field became a military airfield during the tense months immediately proceeding U.S. entry into World War II. Today, this building serves as the Peterson Air Force Base Museum.

The war years brought dramatic changes to the Colorado Springs Airport. The War Services Administration took over operations and began training pilots to fly P-38s and other military aircraft. When the war ended, the airport reverted back to the City of Colorado Springs control except for the north end of the property, which became Peterson Air Force Base in 1948.

1940 Aerial photo of the Colorado Springs Airport showing the original 1929 terminal

1942 Colorado Springs Airport
terminal building

1966

After sharing facilities with the military for a quarter century, the City of Colorado Springs built a new terminal on the west side of the runways. This terminal was expanded several times in the 1970s and 80s, barely keeping pace with the growing number of passengers and flights. Improvements to the aviation facilities at the Colorado Springs Airport continued throughout the 1980s.

1966 Colorado Springs Airport terminal
building under construction

1991

By this time, the Colorado Springs Airport claimed three modern, 150 foot-wide runways ranging from 8,268 to 13,500 feet in length. The longer runway made it possible for planes to take off at the airport's 6,183-foot elevation with increased allowable weight, improving their range and the airlines' profitability. Even though the airport had become more airplane friendly, something had to be done about the crowded, outdated terminal. Colorado Springs' voters approved a bond issue for construction of a new airport terminal in 1991. Construction began the following year.

Aerial of the Colorado Springs Airport in 1993

TODAY

The existing three-level, 280,000-square-foot, 16-gate facility opened on October 22, 1994, on time and under budget. More than 50,000 proud citizens turned out to celebrate the grand opening for this $140 million facility.

Colorado Springs Airport existing
terminal building

Front of the Colorado Springs Airport
terminal building

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