Tweed Airport Timeline
John Meigs, a Yale tutor, built and launched two hot air balloons. The first was launched in April from the New Haven Green and landed atop a nearby house owned by another Yale tutor, James Pierpont. The second balloon was launched in May from the same site, but its landing was not as smooth as that of its predecessor. Although these flights were unmanned, they marked the beginning of a local interest in air travel.
Spring of 1908
The late John “Jack” Tweed claimed that the first airplane to be sighted in the area was a Curtiss Pusher piloted by Lincoln Beachey over Yale Field.
Spring of 1912
The first actual landing in New Haven was at Yale Field. Canadian A.J. McCurd brought down the Wright biplane he was piloting. Both Beachey and McCurd were pioneer aviators whose exhibitions at Yale Field served to spark curiosity in aviation in the Elm City.
Mayor David E. Fitzgerald established a commission to foster interest in aviation and select sites for development of an airport. The purchase of 220 acres of land for $65,000 was secured by an option in the name of the city, with the purchase price paid by Messrs. Hook and Thomas M. Steele to prevent outside speculation. The parcel was purchased from one individual and was situated on the New Haven-East Haven boundary, a fact which would take on considerable importance over the years.
The nation’s first seaplane meet was staged in New Haven, planned and directed by Tweed.
November 11, 1929
Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new airport. Mayor Thomas H. Tulley and Governor John H. Trumbull officially started construction with a gold and silver spade, air-delivered to them by Ed Sherman who parachuted from a New Haven-manufactured Viking “Kitty Hawk” piloted by Jack Tweed.
September 29, 1931
Opening Day. Official dedication of the New Haven Municipal Airport.
November 10, 1933
The first scheduled airline to operate out of the airport was Li-Con Airways, Inc., of Islip, Long Island, New York, which initiated service on and stopped their operations in July 1934.
Fall of 1934
American Airlines began operation of both passenger service and the first Air Mail and Air Express services out of New Haven. Even at that early date, American Airlines route system covered almost the entire country.
When ground transportation in large parts of southern Connecticut was crippled by the floods, the emergency value of the airport was dramatically underlined. Badly-needed medical and other emergency supplies were flown in and dispatched via helicopter to the stricken areas.
June 25, 1961
The New Haven Municipal Airport was renamed Tweed-New Haven Airport in honor of Jack Tweed at a rededication attended by 30,000 people.
Pilgrim Airlines, a pioneer in commuter air service, inaugurated flights from New Haven to New York’s Kennedy International Airport which continued until 1985. US Airways, the heir to Pilgrim Airlines, continues to operate several scheduled flights daily to and from Tweed New Haven Airport.
December 1, 1969
The first control tower opened on top of the old terminal building.
A new control tower was commissioned, and the ILS (Instrument Landing System), a precision landing system, has been in operation on Runway 02 since March 1972.
Jet service to Chicago was inaugurated by Air Wisconsin, using the super quiet BAe-146 aircraft. It was at this time that one of the strictest noise ordinances in the country was implemented.
Spring of 1987
New Haven Airways was again sold and the name changed to Charisma Aviation. They continued to operate in the Viking hangar and two other hangers until the end of 1989. A new operation on the East Haven side of the airport, under the name of Robinson Aviation, offers fixed base operator services to corporate and general aviation, along with charter flights and flight training schools.
New Terminal opens
Spring of 1997
Tweed-New Haven Airport Authority created
July 1, 1998
AFCO AvPORTS hired to manage the airport on behalf of the Airport Authority.
Alleghany Airlines end service to Washington National Airport.
Commair begins service under the flag of Delta Airlines.
After filing for bankruptcy Delta service ends at Tweed New Haven Airport.