The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will celebrate a milestone on Nov. 1: The opening of a new 56,000-square-foot terminal.
Here’s a look back at some of the other big moments in the airport’s history, as well as how McChesney Field has changed over the years.
Did you know?
▪ The airport opened in 1939 and was run by the military until after World War II.
▪ After the war, Southwest Airlines started passenger service in December 1946.
▪ The airport has hosted politicians of all political stripes: Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson stopped at SLO County airport in 1956. Republican icon Ronald Reagan visited often as California’s governor in the 1960s. Author-turned-politician Gore Vidal visited in 1982.
▪ The airport expanded and trained pilots during World War II and now hosts air shows that feature the 1940s aircraft.
▪ It was once home to a San Luis Obispo-founded airline, Swift Aire.
▪ In the 1960s, the airport was used so infrequently that it could be shut down for hours at a time to run road races.
In photos: A history of San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport
Visit www.sanluisobispo.com/photos-from-the-vault to see old photos and read selected archives.