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Mid Delta Regional Airport is a public airport located five miles (8 km) northeast of the city of Greenvillemarker in Washington Countymarker, Mississippimarker, USAmarker. The airport has two runways. It is mostly used for general aviation, but is also served by one commercial airline. Service is subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.

Overview

Mid Delta Regional Airport is the only commercial airport located in the Delta.Located approximately three miles north of Greenville, MDRA is situated on 2,000 acres of land, with a sizable portion in the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone. A controlled airfield, MDRA has a control tower which is manned from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week.

MDRA has two runways, the primary being 18L/36R. This runway is composed of an asphalt surface 150 feet wide by 8,001 feet long. It is a precision approach runway with an Instrument landing System (ILS), medium approach lighting system with rails, (MALSR) approach lights and High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRLs). A parallel runway, 18R/36L is a non-precision runways with a width of 150 feet and length of 7,019 feet with Medium Intensity Runway Lights, (MIRL). The runways are connected by six taxiways. Ramp space is abundant., with 2.66 million square feet of concrete ramp area, there is room to meet any need.

Airline

History

In February 1940, a United States Army Air Corps site selection board picked Greenville, Mississippi, as the location of a training center for the Second Aviation Initiative. By mid-June construction at the 2,000 acre, 140 building site was in full progress. The Air Corps activated Greenville Army Airfield in August 1940, only two months after construction commenced. The first planes arrived on 5 November, and the training of pilots began.

The Army Air Forces Pilot Training School (Basic) conducted contract flying training until inactivated in Mar 1945. The airfield was reactivated on 5 June 1945 and was transferred to Air Technical Service Command, becoming a sub-base of Brookley Army Airfieldmarker, Alabamamarker. ATSC used Greenville as a storage depot for returning Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators. During the summer, C-47s returning from Europe were also sent to Greenville for storage. Aircraft operations at the base consisted mostly of test flights, and flying stored aircraft to reclamation facilities. Storage of other types of aircraft began after the end of the war in September, with all the stored aircraft moved out by the end of June 1946. Greenville Army Airfield was inactivated on 22 July 1946 and turned over to the War Assets Administration for disposal.

The airfield was operated as a civilian airport in the late 1940s, however to handle increased pilot requirements for the Korean War, the United States Air Force Air Training Command activated the former World War II airfield as Greenville Air Base, on 1 December 1950 to be used as stations for contract flying schools. However, contract flying squadrons were not established until 1951 when the 3300th Flying Training Squadron was activated.

ATC activated Graham Air Basemarker Floridamarker in January 1953 to replace Greenville Air Base as a contract pirmary pilot training School. Greenville was redesignated as Greenville Air Force Base and became a full, Air Training Command basic single-engine pilot training school, with the 3505th Pilot Training Wing (Basic, Single-Engine) as its operational training unit. Instruction was begun in April 1953 flying T-28 Trojans. The wing was upgraded to jet trainers in 1955 when T-33 Shooting Stars arrived.

On 1 December 1960, pilot training at Greenville AFB was discontinued and the 3505th Pilot Training Wing was inactivated. The T-33s were sent to the new Consolidated Pilot Training school at Craig AFBmarker, Alabamamarker. Air Training Command initially wanted to close the base, however, owing to political pressure, several technical training courses were transferred to the base and the facility became a Technical Training Center for ATC. Between November 1960 and mid-1961, Greenville received six personnel courses from Lackland AFBmarker, Texasmarker and two fire protection courses from Lowry AFBmarker, Coloradomarker under the new 3505th Technical Training Wing. In 1962, several medical courses were also reassigned to Greenville from Lowry.

In December 1963, Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara announced that Greenville AFB would be closed in 1965 as part of budgetary reductions. During 1964, activities at Greenville AFB began to be phased down, initially by downgrading the 3505th to group status and moving medical courses to Gunter AFSmarker, Alabamamarker; personnel courses moved to Amarillo AFBmarker, Texasmarker and firefighting courses to Chanute AFBmarker, Illinoismarker. On 1 April 1964, the 3505th TTG was inactivated. Greenville AFB was placed in caretaker status, being assigned as a sub-base to Keesler AFBmarker. De-militarization activities were commenced and the military part of the airport was returned to full civilian control on 27 December 1966.

References

  • Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942-2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC


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