Minford Selected for Site of Airport
June 29, 1957 - Airport Opened for Service

Headline and text taken from September 26, 1999, issue of The Portsmouty Daily Times, p. 14, by Kenneth Hart.

From the 1920's to the 1950's, Raven Rock was the aviation center of Scioto County.

Many a youngster first experienced the thrill of flying on the long, broad grass runways which served single and some twin engine aircraft that delivered passengers and mail to the county.

Local and visiting aviators offered weekend spectators a breathtaking view of the local hills and valleys for as little as a dollar a ride.

But when the time came for the county to build its own airfield, Minford was selected over Raven Rock.

The constant threat of flooding and fog at the low-lying Raven Rock airstrip were among the factors in the county commission's decision to purchase land just south of Minford on Ohio 335 to construct a modern airport with a 3,500 foot runway.

The Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport opened on June 29, 1957 to much fanfare.

Shortly after the ribbon was cut, Lake Central Airlines was introduced as the airport's first commercial carrier.  The company offered rides to the public on an airliner dubbed "The City of Portsmouth" for $2.50 a head.

Lake Central had scheduled passenger service to and from Minford for several years, but comercial flights were eventually dropped due to intermittent use.

Some users also recalled that the airline was off schedule as much as it was on.

One person recounted a rather rotten experience in the book "A History of Scioto County, Ohio," published in 1986 by the Portsmouth Area Recognition Society.

This person had been expecting a shipment of fresh seafood from Maine.  But, according to the book, any plans he might had had for a sumptuous ocean feast came to a screeching halt with a phone call from the airport operator.

"If you still want this parcel, come and get it as fast as possible because it sure is stinking up the place."

The airport has received a number of improvements over the years, including the expansion of the runway to 5,000 feet and an upgrade of the lighting and beacon system.

Today, the airport served mostly private aircraft owners and business travelers, including local companies that charter planes for business trips.

Since the mid-1980's, the airport has been operated under contract by Chasteen Aviation, which provides flying lessons and charter flights, among other services.