The Savannah IAP (ANG) installation occupies 239 acres of leased land in the southeast and northeast quadrants of the Savannah IAP in Chatham County Georgia, approximately seven miles northwest of the city of Savannah. It is home to two organizations, the 165th Airlift Wing (AW) and the Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC). The mission of the 165th AW is to provide tactical and strategic air transport for airborne forces, equipment, and supplies. The unit currently flies C-130H aircraft. The mission of the CRTC is to provide combat aircrew training for Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation. Savannah IAP (ANG) has 145 buildings totaling approximately 672,000 square feet. These include 27 transient housing, 23 services, 70 industrial, and 25 administrative facilities. The completion of two new buildings now under construction (Building 1930, Supply administrative/warehouse facility and Building 1400, Aerospace Ground Equipment and Nondestructive Inspection facility) will add 63,800 square feet by the end of FY 2001. These new buildings will replace existing facilities and will not require any increase in base personnel. Current base population is 310 personnel. This number surges to 1000 personnel during ANG drill weekends that occur once each month.
The Savannah International Airport terminal is just 20 minutes away from Historic Savannah, 45 minutes away from Hilton Head Island, and less than 2 hours away from the Golden Isles and Charleston.
The first Savannah Municipal Airport opened on 20 September 1929 with the inauguration of air service between New York City and Miami by Eastern Air Express. In 1932 a city resolution names the airport Hunter Field. A trolley car was used as the first terminal at Hunter Field in the mid 1930's. In 1940 the U.S. Army Air Corps proposed a complete takeover of Hunter Field if a war started. While the commercial airlines continued to land at Hunter Field, a decision was made to construct a second Municipal Airport in response to the increased military presence.
The City of Savannah acquired a 600 acre tract in the vicinity of Cherokee Hill, one of the highest elevations in the county, and construction of a new airfield commenced under a WPA project. Three runways were constructed running N-S, E-W, and NE-SW; each 3,600 feet long. In 1942, before the completion of this new airfield, the U.S. Army Air Corps found it necessary to take over the new facility and start additional construction to carry out their mission. They named the airfield Chatham Field and it was used until the end of World War II as a bomber base and crew training base for B-24's and fighter aircraft.
In 1948 Chatham Army Airfield was turned over to the Georgia Air National Guard and the name is changed to Travis Field. In 1949 the City of Savannah received quit claim deed to Travis Field, and in 1950 the airport was moved from Hunter Field to Travis Field. The first commercial flight from Travis was made by Delta Flight 371 with eight passengers to Atlanta. A new terminal was completed in 1960 and served as the passenger terminal until 1994 [this terminal is now referred to as the Charter Terminal and is available for lease].
The new 275,000 sq. ft. Terminal opened in May 1994 with 8 gates (expandable to 19 gates). The project included new roads, a new aircraft taxiway and parking apron, stormwater ponds, landscaping and a new interchange at I-95 for entry into the Airport (Exit 18-A) at mile marker 104. Total costs for the project was $68.5 million and was completed one month ahead of schedule and underbudget.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign New Castle County Airport Air Guard Station (AGS), DE by distributing the 166th Airlift Wing's (AW) eight C-130H aircraft to the 165th AW (ANG), Savannah IAP (four aircraft) and the 145th AW (ANG), Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (IAP) AGS, NC (four aircraft). Savannah (77) was selected to receive aircraft because of its higher military value ranking and avoiding conversion training costs that would be required at other facilities.
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