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History


KEY DATES:

    
1928: The aviation era arrives in Melbourne when a Pitcairn aircraft lands on a cow pasture north of the Kissimmee Highway and the field is designated a refueling site for the fledgling U.S. Postal Airmail service.

1929: A formal airport dedication ceremony is held during a weekend-long air meet. During the event, aviators from the All-American Air Meet and Exposition in Miami participate in exhibition flying and 10-mile races.

1933: The City of Melbourne acquires 160 acres west of Indian River Bluff for a new airport location.

1941-1945: The airport serves as Naval Air Station Melbourne during World War II, training top Navy and Marine pilots. It also housed 250 German POWs.

1947: Melbourne Airport is deeded to the city and operated as a municipal airport.

1952: The era of commercial air service begins in Melbourne with the arrival of Eastern Airlines.

1967: Ed Foster, a seminal figure in the airport’s modernization, begins his nearly 29-year tenure as director of the airport.

1967: The City of Melbourne creates the Melbourne Airport Authority, the agency now responsible for operating, maintaining and developing the airport.

1979: Mayor Harry Goode begins his first stint, lasting eight years, as a member of the authority.

1991: New terminal facilities are completed.

1993: Airport becomes Melbourne International Airport.

1995: A new, $35 million international terminal and air-freight facility, named after Foster, opens.

1996: Foster retires at age 80. Jim Johnson takes over as the airport’s Executive Director.

2004: Melbourne International celebrates its 75th anniversary.

2004: Mayor Harry Goode rejoins the Melbourne Airport Authority in November and continues to serve today.

2005: Richard A. Ennis, CPFO, is promoted to airport Executive Director.

2006: Melbourne International Airport receives $800,000 Small Community Air Service Development Grant in April from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

2008: Melbourne International Airport beats out competitors from across the United States to land Embraer’s North American assembly and showroom facility for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets.

2008: Delta Air Lines celebrates 25 years of service at Melbourne International Airport in November.

2009: Construction begins on Embraer’s new assembly plant and showroom.

2009: US Airways announces plans to return to MLB after a 12-year hiatus, starting with three daily flights to its Charlotte hub. Direct Air announces new service from MLB to Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Punta Gorda, Fla.

2009: Melbourne International Airport and the Florida Institute of Technology announce development of the Florida Tech Research Park, a 100-acre research park within the Airport Industrial Park. The 20-year partnership is aimed at fostering economic development and increasing the region’s high-tech competitiveness.

2010: US Airways resumes service to Melbourne International Airport.

2010: Kindred Hospital, a 60-bed, long-term, acute-care hospital, opens within the Airport Industrial Park.




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