Old Airports, New Names

We took my mother-in-law over to see her sister-in-law who has a winter residence in Haines City. On the way home, we took a route that brought us near the Lakeland Airport.

I started thinking about the Lakeland and Orlando airports. Lakeland recently changed the name of their airport to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. What a mouthful! To me, the airport will always be Drane Field.

As with many airports throughout Florida, the military constructed Drane Field in the early 1940s for the intention of training pilots for the war. Drane Field served as an auxiliary base to what was then known as MacDill Field, which would later become MacDill Air Force Base.

Over in Orlando, the smaller of the two airports is Orlando Executive. Locals remember when the airport, located near downtown Orlando, carried the name Herndon Field.

Just south of Herndon, or Exec as some pilots now call it, is Orlando International. Orlando International once was a full-fledged Air Force Base known as McCoy Air Force Base. It served as a Strategic Air Command facility and was also one of the primary staging areas for the Cuban missile crisis.

To me, these airports will always be known in my heart as the old airports. They will always carry the old names, rather than the new.

 -30-

©2010 J. Clark

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