“Everything you need over Missoula”
Missoula has a rich and fascinating aviation history, dating back to the early 1900's when the previous airport, Hale Field, was located on the other side of town. Aviation enthusiasts and savvy businessmen at the time recognized the need for a newer and bigger airport with plenty of room to grow, and how such a facility could put Missoula on the map. In 1938, President Roosevelt authorized funding for the construction of the new Missoula County Airport near an undeveloped prairie northwest of Missoula. Upon its completion in 1941, the 1300 acre airfield boasted some of the longest runways in the region, capable of handling just about any aircraft in operation at the time. The first passenger terminal was constructed in the mid-1950's, and in 1961, a new air traffic control tower began providing ATC services to aircraft flying in and out of the Missoula valley. In 1968, the Missoula County Airport was officially christened "Johnson-Bell Field", a tribute to local aviator Bob Johnson, and Missoula businessman Harry Bell, two of the early pioneers who were instrumental in bringing the new airport to Western Montana. Today, Missoula International Airport has grown into the facility these two men envisioned all those decades ago. Each day, thousands of people from all over the US and abroad pass through our doors, mail and cargo planes transport letters and packages to and from destinations all over the world, and gleaming corporate jets arrive every day carrying business leaders and entrepreneurs who recognize Missoula to be an exceptional place in which to live, work, and raise their families. What does tomorrow hold? In order to provide the best aviation services to travelers, MSO is looking to the future. The most recent Master Plan Update recognizes the potential need for additional services and facilities, including expanded public parking, a larger passenger terminal capable of accommodating additional aircraft, new approach lighting systems and instrument procedures to allow for even better all-weather capabilities, and the preservation of land for both aviation and non-aviation development, as well as a potential third runway when the need arises.
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Missoula International Airport
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