Here’s to airport’s quiet future
June 19, 2012
It was with a mildly suppressed chuckle that we noted the name of the aviation exhibit in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Minden-Tahoe Airport.
“Our Battle Born Airport” was definitely a play on the state’s motto. But exhibit coordinator Laurie Hickey was happy to point out that the airport’s history has been contentious.
The airport was founded back in 1942, when the U.S. proposed building Minden-Tahoe and a slough of other airports along the West Coast in preparation for invasion.
While patriotic by any standards, the expansion of the airport proposed in 1943 was anything but a done deal.
In the 1950s, the airport provided commercial service to Nevada’s capital. In the 1960s, soaring discovered the Sierra Wave and Minden’s proximity to it. That prompted a whole other conflict between powered flight and the gliders using the airport.
By the 1980s, residents concerned by proposals to run regular jet service passed limitations on the weight the airport could handle. Those laws remained on the books in one form or another for 22 years. The election where they were repealed was hard fought and close.
After 70 years, Minden-Tahoe Airport has been through a handful of names, and served many flyers in the Carson Valley.
Efforts are being made to restore some of the things that made Minden-Tahoe Airport special without the drama that made it historical.
Here’s hoping that 70 years from now, historians look back on the airport’s history as one of quiet success.