Friday, December 9, 2022

Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport Celebrates 50 Years

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JAMES CITY-Larry Waltrip, owner of the local airport Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport on Marclay Road, is inviting the public to a free open house event on Sunday, September 19 to commemorate its 50th Anniversary.

Waltrip, along with his parents and his brother, Timmy, first opened the airport on September 20, 1970. Festivities were postponed from last year due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport started out with just a small grass strip runway and has grown to include a restaurant, Charly’s Airport Restaurant, a pilot shop, and a flight school, Williamsburg Flight Center.

The airport is considered a major contributor to Virginia’s general aviation transportation network as a gateway to the Historic Triangle. Through the years, it’s hosted several United States Presidents and The Queen of England as well as numerous celebrities and astronauts.

“It doesn’t seem like fifty years to me,” Waltrip said. “When you are enjoying what you do and it doesn’t feel like you are working, it goes by fast without you even realizing it.”

Waltrip, who was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001 along with his late wife, Jean Waltrip,  is elated that his family could help neighbors and community members out by providing the space for local aviation travel. Charter planes often come in and out of the airport. Waltrip hopes to see more charter planes utilize his facilities.

“I am thankful that I could make people’s lives better with the opening of the airport,” he said. “We really are a hidden gem here. I couldn’t have done it alone. My wife, Jean, was also instrumental with this operation. There have been a lot of people involved with helping me run a first-class operation in this community.”

Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport’s 50th Anniversary celebration will be held rain or shine on September 19 from 11am to 4pm. The free event will include educational activities and exhibits, a presentation on the past and future of the airport, food and other vendors, and other fun activities like a paper plane competition, a flour air bombing competition, and, weather permitting, airplane rides. For more information, visit https://williamsburgjamestownairport.com/.

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