Key Events

Origins


In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Wiley R. Reynolds donated approximately 160 acres of property for an "aviation field" to the City of Jackson with runway construction being completed in 1928. In his presentation speech on June 3, 1928, Mr. Reynolds was quoted as saying, "Having been born and lived in Jackson my entire life, it is only natural that I should be interested in helping develop my home town. By deeding this property to the City of Jackson last December for an aviation field demonstrated my desire for Jackson to have one of the finest aviation fields in the state of Michigan."

1900s


July 27, 1911


The first airplane to be constructed and flown in Jackson was financed and flown by Fred Lewis of Pioneer Manufacturing. Fred commissioned Mr. Hatch and Mr. O'Brien to build a bi-wing airplane. Mr. Lewis flew this aircraft on July 27, 1911.

1920s


July 30, 1924


The first recorded airplane crash in Jackson County occurred when Oscar "Galloping" Gallup crashed in his airplane in Vandercook Lake. He received minor injuries.

June 3, 1928


W. R. Reynolds donated 160 acres to the City of Jackson for use as a municipal airport in 1927. The dedication ceremony was on June 3, 1928.


1928


The City of Jackson constructed two runways: the north-south runway was 1800 feet long and 150 feet wide; the east-west runway was 2600 feet long and 150 feet wide. Both runways were made of dirt.


1930s


1934


Construction of a new airport terminal building that housed the passenger terminal, airport manager's office, weather monitoring devices, and pilots' lounge. In its history, this building also served as a credit union, Consumers Energy Flight Department office, FAA offices, and today it is the Airport Administration Office. This was a civil works project.

1937


Construction of a municipal hangar of approximately 10,000 square feet in size with 100 feet wide doors was completed. The original cost of the hangar was $25,000. By way of contrast, a recent project to replace the original doors cost approximately $90,000. This was also a civil works project.

1940s


1940


According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the "First Jackson Girl" to fly solo under the local-Federal CAA pilot training course occurred in December 1940. The course was offered by the Jackson Junior College and the pilot was Aleta Grill.


1942


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed new runways (current alignment) as part of the war effort. The main runway was 4100 feet long and the cross wind runway was 3,500 feet long. These lacked the required safety areas at each end. A project in 2006 corrected these runway safety area deficiencies at an estimated cost of $33 million.

1948


American Airlines started passenger service at Reynolds Municipal Field.

1950s


1950


Approval by the City of Jackson and other governmental agencies to close Airport Road to permit a runway extension.

1960s


1960


Construction of a four-story air traffic control tower and a one-story airport terminal building was initiated.

1961


Air traffic control tower opens for business providing air traffic control services for the airport. The airport terminal building also opens for business.


1962


Runway 5-23 is extended to 5344 feet.


1970s


Early 1970s


There is much community discussion about the financial problems of the airport and the City's desire to have the townships contribute financially. Also, the first armed guards are required by the FAA to meet incoming and outgoing passenger flights.

1974-1976


The City and County jointly operate the airport.

1976


The airport is transferred from the City of Jackson to the County of Jackson.

1979


JCC purchases a building located at the airport and begins to offer flight instruction at the JCC Flight Center.


1980s


Passenger services to Jackson are halted. Simmons airlines were the last to offer services at JXN. Air traffic controllers strike nationwide and here at JXN.

1990s


FAA puts JXN on notice that the runway safety area (RSA) deficiencies must be corrected.

More Recent Years


2000


County of Jackson begins banking money for the local match portion of correcting the RSA deficiencies according to FAA standards.

2002


The Jackson County Airport begins the Environmental Assessment phases required prior to beginning construction to correct the RSA deficiencies.

2006


Environmental Assessment for the RSA project is completed and submitted to the FAA for approval.


2007


Construction on the first phase of the RSA project is scheduled to begin.

2008


The Jackson County Airport was honored to host Colonel Harry T. Stewart Jr., a Tuskegee Airman, on May 27, 2008. Click here to view his biography. Please refer to our Media tab to hear the speech given by Colonel Harry T. Stewart, Jr.

Runway 14-32 is reconstructed with 300 feet of safety area at each runway end. This project was funded by Federal, State and Local funds.

2009


Land and easement acquisition begins for the Runway 7-25 Safety Area Project. A total of 24 parcels and easements must be purchased to accommodate the new runway.

2011


A WWII bronze monument is donated by Bob Lazebnik of Jackson, MI. This statue is now located in Aviation Heritage Park near the front entrance of the airport. The over life sized monument is dedicated to WWII Army Air Corp pilots and is modeled after a small statue created in 1944 by Bob's brother, Jack Lazebnik a WWII Army Air Corp pilot himself.