Kalamazoo|Battle Creek International Airport History

The inspiration of an airport in Kalamazoo began in 1925. In May of 1926, the City of Kalamazoo bought 383 acres of land near Portage and Kilgore Roads. Scheduled air service began between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids shortly thereafter, and the first regular air mail service started in July, 1928. In February 1929, the field was licensed as the first municipal airport in Michigan. It was named Lindbergh Field in honor of famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh.

In 1958 a new terminal was constructed to replace the old building that had housed passengers since the 1920’s. In 1961, an air traffic control tower and additional runways were built. Year after year, the number of passengers using the facility and the number of flights in and out of Kalamazoo continued to grow. The consistent growth necessitated a terminal expansion in 1979 and the building increased from 12,000 to 30,000 square feet.

In 1982, the Core Council decided that the City of Kalamazoo should no longer bear the full cost of operating the airport, and in 1984, the City transferred ownership to the County of Kalamazoo. The County recognized the need to increase service at the Kalamazoo County Airport. The terminal was completely renovated in 1989, with the addition of a new concourse, an enlarged boarding area, a new baggage claim area, and a ramp expansion. This expansive project doubled the size of the terminal, and passenger traffic grew from 200,000 per year to over 500,000 per year by 1993. In 1994, passenger volume dictated the need for a parking lot expansion, during which time, over 300 long-term spaces were added.

Today, the Kalamazoo|Battle Creek International Airport is served by 2 major airlines that fly hundreds of passengers each day to major hubs with worldwide connections. The airport is self-sufficient and has a significant economic impact on Southwest Michigan. The goal of the Kalamazoo|Battle Creek International Airport staff is to continue to provide a variety of safe, reliable commercial air transportation services to our customers and to adequately adapt and expand to meet their needs.