In 1927, American Airways leased about 100 acres of farmland in Big Flats to serve as an emergency airfield along its New York-Buffalo route. The airline spent $30,000 preparing two 2,700-foot-long sod runways. Dedication of the airfield took place on September 10 of that year with 4,000 spectators on a specially-built grandstand watching an air carnival with 25 “modern” airplanes. By the early 1930s, the runways were being used twice a day by express and passenger airplanes for ten-minute stopovers during refueling. People came to watch the tri-motor airplanes land and take off again.
|American Airways flight at the airport in Big Flats, June 25, 1933|
|Chemung County Airport, June 8, 1949|
|Mohawk Airlines planes at the Chemung County Airport, c. 1965|
The facilities at the airport were renovated and expanded again beginning in 1989. A new 60,000 square foot passenger terminal named for Glenn S. Banfield, the first manager of the airport when the county took over operation in 1944, was opened in 1991. The $6.8 million renovation also included an expanded baggage claim area and a larger departure lounge.
|Trophy presented to Glenn S. Banfield |
on January 17, 1991 commemorating the
dedication of the Elmira Corning Regional
Airport expansion in his honor