Northwest Alabama Regional Airport is a public-use airport in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It located one nautical mile (2 km) east of the central business district of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The airport is owned by the counties of Colbert and Lauderdale. It is mostly used for general aviation, but is also served by one commercial airline subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 5,061 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 6,897 enplanements in 2009, and 8,680 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a non-primary commercial service airport (between 2,500 and 10,000 enplanements per year).
NORTHWEST ALABAMA REGIONAL AIRPORT HISTORY
The airport was opened in February 1940, however in 1942 it was taken over by the United States Army Air Forces as a World War II pilot training military airfield. It was assigned to the AAF Flying Training Command, Southeast Training Center (later Eastern Flying Training Command) as a basic (stage 2) pilot training airfield.
Instruction at the school consisted of teaching the cadets to fly in formation, fly by instruments or by aerial navigation, fly at night, and fly for long distances. Aviation Cadets who washed out of pilot training were usually sent to navigator or bombardier school. The initial aircraft complement numbered 24 Vultee BT-13 Valiant and BT-15 aircraft. The ten-week course consisted of 70 hours of flight training and 150 hours of ground training.
Pilot training at the airfield apparently ended on 30 May 1944, with the drawdown of AAFTC’s pilot training program. The airfield was returned to civil control at the end of the war.
NORTHWEST ALABAMA REGIONAL AIRPORT LOCATION
NORTHWEST ALABAMA REGIONAL AIRPORT FACTS
Elevation: 551 ft.
Runway length available: 11/29 6693×150 ft. :: 18/36 4000×100 ft.