HOUSTON — A century of aviation history — and the promise of a space-age future — were celebrated May 20, 2017, at the 100th anniversary special event at Ellington Airport.
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Aviation Director Mario Diaz were joined by mayors from the neighboring cities, local, state and federal elected officials, as well as military and NASA leaders for the family-friendly event at the airport. Approximately 1,500 aviation enthusiasts and community members from throughout Houston enjoyed food, live music, games and aircraft displays.
When it was established in 1917, few could imagine that the new military aviation training facility would transition into what we know of Ellington Airport today, a vital part of aviation that will enable Houston to take a lead role in the commercial space sector in the 21st century.
“Looking back, this airport has been a base of operations for not only military drills and search and rescue missions, but also for dealing with natural and man-made disasters like hurricanes and oil spills,” Mayor Turner said. “Now we look forward to Ellington’s next century as it becomes a Spaceport to provide launch support services to government and commercial space initiatives such as spacecraft manufacturing and testing, space tourism and launching telecommunication and GPS satellites. It’s exciting and an enormous economic benefit to Houston and the surrounding area; providing thousands of jobs and potentially billions of dollars in investment.”
Acquired by the City of Houston in 1984, Ellington Airport now supports the operations of the United States military, NASA, and a variety of general aviation tenants. The airport is home to the annual Wings Over Houston Airshow and is also the place where many of the astronauts from the world-renowned Johnson Space Center receive their ongoing space training.
And since June 2015, Ellington Airport became the nation's 10th commercial spaceport, promising continued growth and even more aviation history to celebrate in the future.
“For 100 years, Ellington Airport has been on the forefront of aviation innovation,” Aviation Director Diaz said, “from the first airplanes taking off and landing here in 1917 that were made of wood and canvas to the state-of-the-art space crafts that are now being made from high tech alloys and composites that will be launching from the new Spaceport we’re so proud and pleased to be building.”
For images from the celebration, please check this link.