WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — This Sunday, September 20th, marks a major milestone for the Williamsburg Airport: 50 years of aviation! Each flight that has landed has helped weave some pretty amazing stories into the already historic community.
When Larry Waltrip opened the Williamsburg Airport with his late wife Jean, 50 years ago, he had no idea it would become a pillar in the community.
“I think we’re one or two of very few privately owned public use airports left,” says Larry.
It’s a place where rock stars land, governors from across the country, even a president, have all stepped onto the tarmac. Even our own Chopper 10 enjoys visits to this airport where some of the best of the best have trained to take to the skies.
“David Brown, the astronaut, he learned to fly here. We’ve had like I said, 6 astronauts based here at the airport,” says Larry.
While a lot of very important people have landed at the Williamsburg Airport over the last 50 years, Larry is most proud of the local families who find their love of flight here
“Those parents that come out there that bring their children, that learn, they sit in an airplane, they learn how to fly, they get their license, they move on, they’re commercial pilots, they’re aviation pilots, they fly jets in the military.”
The Williamsburg Airport even has The Williamsburg Aviation Scholarship Program that helps up to 8 children per year fly and get their private license. It’s a program created by Larry and his wife, the first couple inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in Richmond.
This airport was truly built and operated on a foundation of love.
“We are here for the families and for the people. That’s the reason why we’re here.”
There is going to be a small, socially distanced, ceremony at the airport this Sunday to mark 50 years, but Larry says he is hopeful that in 2021 they will be able to have some larger events to truly celebrate 50 years.
In the meantime, if you would like to donate to the Williamsburg Airport Scholarship program, click here.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the beloved Charly’s Airport Restaurant. To learn more about this locals’ favorite, click here.