Monday, June 14th, 2021
Armstrong Airport terminal dedicated
By Sydney Albert
Photo by Sydney Albert/The Daily Standard
Visitors to the Neil Armstrong Airport on Saturday were able to take rides on a yellow biplane.
NEW KNOXVILLE - Crowds gathered at the Neil Armstrong Airport Saturday to celebrate the dedication of the new terminal building, closing the chapter of a $1.6 million project.
The 4,700-square-foot building has been long awaited, and supporters of the airport and curious families alike visited to explore the new structure and get a glimpse of the planes on display.
The all-day event started off as a pancake breakfast in the morning and ended with the Fly Me to the Moon 5K at night, which allowed runners to make their way around the airport's taxiways and airstrip.
Many took to the skies, taking advantage of the biplane rides made available by the WACO Air Museum. With each landing and takeoff, some stopped their wandering to take in the miracle of flight - especially those with small children, who always seemed captivated by the sight.
Others perused the various planes on display, including the Learjet 28 Longhorn, which the airport's namesake and Wapakoneta's most famous resident once used to set world records. In 1979, Neil Armstrong and co-pilot Pete Reynolds set five world records for time climbing to an altitude and altitude reached while flying the Learjet prototype.
The plane became part of the Armstrong Air and Space Museum's collection last year, and about 140 people gathered at the airport in August to watch the craft's final flight. It is being kept at the airpot until a permanent exhibit is ready at the museum in Wapakoneta.
The terminal itself was a hub of activity, as people sought a glimpse of the long-awaited building. Visitors could enter into a large waiting area with plenty of windows to let in natural light - and to allow people to view planes arriving and taking off on the runway. The area had lounging furniture, and fliers could sit by a fireplace and watch TV in the colder months.
The building also includes a manager's office, a kitchen and vending area, restrooms, storage and utility rooms, an information technology room and a small pilot restroom and lounge.