County court began airport feasibility study in response to business requests.
Court okayed action on airport.
Deferred further action until next term.
A/P construction assured by $168K federal grant.
Land acquired 2 miles east of town square. $96K for 162 acres.
with a grant from the federal government, Sumner County built an airport on this spot. It had a 3500 foot runway and one hangar. For the next fifteen years, the airport existed in a period of what might best be called “benign neglect.” Traffic at the airport increased and businesses began to make more use of the airport, but the general citizenry of the county remained unaware of the growing importance of this asset.
A runway of 3,600 feet by 75 feet wide was built along hangar for maintenance with a lean-to built adjacent as an office. Gallatin Flying Service chartered with Harold Chamber as F.B.O. Principal reason for the airport construction was to attract industry to Sumner County.
3500 ft. lighted runway and two 2000 gallon avgas tanks installed (7 based aircraft). Harold Chambers conducting flight instruction.
Chambers incorporated as Gallatin Flying Service, Inc. (12 based A/C, including one multi-engine). Harold Chambers was the Manager, President & Flight Instructor, and remained so until he sold the company in 1987 to d’Accord Company.
There were approximately 11 single engine aircraft based at the airport, 1 multi-engine, approximately 6 operations per month. The F.B.O. was a Piper dealer.
In 1968, Judge Bethel Brown and several forward-looking members of the County Court decided to appoint a commission of citizens who were knowledgeable about aviation and who were interested in furthering its growth in the county to advise the Sumner County Court about its airport. Over the next several years, this Sumner
County Airport Commission, under the leadership of the late J. 0. Templeton, was able to secure almost a million dollars in improvements to the physical facilities at the airport. These included an extension of the runway to over 5,000 feet, the addition of a 10 unit T-hangar, and the expansion of the parking ramp.
The airport had a Skymaster that was used for business. I didn’t know much about the operation until I started to work in August, 1966. At that time there were 11 single engine planes and the one multi-engine Skymaster based here. The airport sold 80 octane and 100 octane fuel, 2000 gallon capacity for each type fuel. There were approximately 600 operations per month. Population of Gallatin was approximately 8000. I only worked part time for the next three years. The business became a Piper aircraft dealer. This was not a satisfactory dealership for several reasons that do not contribute to this outline.
Maintenance hangar and full-length lean-to constructed.
The airport continued to grow. The VA Program made possible flight instruction beginning with student up to instructor level. The F.B.O became a Cessna dealer.
was a boom time for the airport. The VA program was certified for business. We were able to take a student from Private to Multi-Engine and then Instructor.
We had become a Cessna Aircraft Dealer. You could obtain an aircraft for a signature and a good job.