History of the Atkinson Municipal Airport
The Pittsburg Airport Company was founded in January 1928 by L.M. “Tommy” Atkinson, pilot and former mayor of Pittsburg. The first site, built on 73.44 acres, was located 1 1/4 miles west of Broadway Avenue (US 69 Highway) on Atkinson Road. The site was purchased by the City of Pittsburg in January 1934.
Following the death of Atkinson in an airplane accident exactly one month later, the airport was officially named Atkinson Municipal Airport.
In 1944, an additional 337.47 acres were acquired and the construction of a paved runway was initiated. During World War II, the U.S. Army conducted pilot training for large troop carrier gliders at the Atkinson Municipal Airport. The Army used as many as 400 aircraft for this training program, which triggered additional development. Airport developments included new runways; the extension and widening of existing runways, taxiways, and apron expansion; as well as the construction of a common hangar.
In 1949, a 40-foot-by-70-foot terminal building was constructed, and eventually Ozark Airlines was attracted to the city. The airline served Pittsburg with scheduled flights from 1957 to 1962, at which time scheduled passenger service ceased at the Atkinson Municipal Airport.
In subsequent years, a combination of federal and local airport projects have been completed, including the addition of public and private aircraft hangars, an apron expansion, the installation of various navigational aids, and general airfield maintenance and improvements.