DOTHAN REGIONAL AIRPORT HISTORY AND INFORMATION
The Dothan Regional Airport opened to commercial activity on February 15, 1965. It is one of the finest aviation facilities in the State of Alabama. It is something for which we can all be proud. It has taken hard work on the part of many dedicated citizens to develop the Dothan Regional Airport into the outstanding facility which it is today. The present Dothan Regional Airport had its beginning in 1941 with the construction of Napier Field as part of an expanding United States Army Air Corps project to train additional personnel to meet the needs of World War II.
Napier Field was named in honor of Major Edward L. Napier of Union Springs, Alabama. Major Napier was one of the Army's first flight surgeons and was killed in a plane crash at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. The first aircraft began operating on the field on October 1, 1941. On December 20, 1941, the first group of British cadets arrived for training. The first American cadets graduated on July 3, 1942 (42-F). In late May 1945, officers from the Mexican Army began P-40 training at Napier Field. The Army deactivated the field on October 31, 1945.
The airfield and its improvements were subsequently made available to the City of Dothan and Houston County under an Agreement in 1946 which was jointly accepted at that time. The airport lands lay dormant for a period of time and Houston County later turned its share of Napier Field to the City. The Dothan Houston County Airport Authority was formed and eventually, the aviation activities of the City of Dothan were transferred to Napier Field. The airport facilities have since been progressively expanded to offer the citizens of southeastern Alabama a first-class aviation center.
The Dothan Regional Airport, located approximately 7 miles northwest of Dothan's central business district, is situated in Dale County and within the city limits of Dothan. The airport is well situated to meet the air transportation needs of Dale, Henry and Houston Counties, the City of Dothan and other nearby communities such as Abbeville and Headland, Enterprise, Ft. Rucker, Ozark, Midland City as well as our neighbors in northern Florida and southwestern Georgia. The Dothan Regional Airport serves the air transportation needs of an area which includes southeastern Alabama, northern Florida, and southwestern Georgia.
The Dothan Regional Airport consists of 1200 acres of land, a 8500' all weather runway, a 5000' secondary runway, a 27,000 square foot terminal building, buildings occupied by Pemco World Air Services, FlightSafety International, Airspeed Avaiation and Flightline of Dothan as well as numerous other buildings, firefighting equipment and all the modern navigational facilities needed to operate all types of aircraft in all types of weather in and out of the Dothan area.
The Dothan Regional Airport is owned and operated by the Dothan-Houston County Airport Authority, Inc. The Authority consists of four members. One member is appointed by the City Commission, one member is appointed by the Houston County Commission, one member is jointly appointed by the City and the County and the fourth member is appointed by the Dale County Commission. Members are appointed for a term of four years. Terms run in such a manner that each year one member's term expires. Authority members serve without compensation. Currently serving on the Authority are Dick Bell, Chairman, Jonathan Stuckey, Charles Nailen and Hayne Hollis. Art Morris is the Airport Director.
The Dothan Regional Airport is self-supporting. No tax dollars go to operating the Dothan Regional Airport. Many other airports receive city and county tax dollars to sustain their operations. The Dothan Regional Airport generates its revenue from the users of the airport. There are approximately twenty businesses or agencies which conduct their activities at the airport. They pay rent, landing fees, and other charges for using the facility. The rates have been negotiated over the years to insure they are advantageous to the airport as well as to the user. The solid financial condition enjoyed by the Dothan Regional Airport can be credited to the dedicated efforts of past members of the authority who took seriously the public trust given them.
The Airport Authority has invested several hundred thousand dollars of its own money and Federal grant money in resurfacing runways and taxiways, purchasing new safety equipment, and making security improvements in the past few years. Additional industrial property was acquired to provide long term income to the Airport Authority and to attract new industry to our community. The industrial park opened in 1993. Numerous other improvements have been made since 1986. For example, the north side of the airport was opened for development with the construction of a mile long access road and an additional 4,800 feet of security fence.
The Dothan Regional Airport is a busy airport in terms of takeoffs and landings when you include military aircraft. This is due primarily to the large number of aircraft from Ft. Rucker which use the airport for training purposes. Approximately 100,000 aircraft operations took place at the Dothan Regional Airport in 1999.
Dothan was originally served by Eastern Airlines which was later replaced by Southern Airlines. Southern Airlines merged with North Central Airlines and Hughes Airwest to form Republic Airlines in 1979. Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Southeast Airlines commenced operations in Dothan in October 1982. Southeast was bought out by Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1983. Republic Airlines ceased their operations in Dothan in April 1985. Eastern Metro Express came to Dothan in June 1985 and ceased operations with the demise of Eastern Airlines on January 17, 1991. Northwest Airlink began service to Dothan in September 1987 with six flights per day to Memphis. Northwest Airlink became a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines in the late 1990's and terminated service to Dothan on March 3, 2001. Dothan is presently served by Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines serves the Dothan Regional Airport, providing a number of daily departures and arrivals for the local population base. Four flights are departing and arriving at the Dothan Regional Airport each day, providing connections through Atlanta to points throughout the United States.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, with three to five flights per day to Atlanta, offers the traveler excellent regional airline service and convenience. ASA provides swift, relaxing, convenient and affordable air transportation. ASA/Delta operates the CRJ-200 jet (50 passenger) aircraft in the Dothan market. ASA,a wholly owned subsidiary of Skywest Airlines and a connection partner with Delta Airlines, offers a minimum connection time in Atlanta to your ASA/Delta flights with special low through-fares and Frequent Flyer Program.