Hawkins Field Airport
Both the citizens of Jackson MS and the military use Hawkins Field Airport. The City of Jackson owns and operates it through the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority.
In 1928, 151 acres of farmland was bought for $53,500. The airport was named Davis Field after the farmer who formerly owned the land, and it was opened in late 1928. Delta Air Lines was the first carrier to fly in and out of Hawkins Field Airport.
The Works Progress Administration and Civil Conservation Corps added pavement and a terminal building in 1936, which significantly improved the physical structure. It was then named after city commissioner A.F. Hawkins in 1941.
The Dutch government-in-exile opened a flight school at Hawkins in 1941, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Civilians ran operations and training. Also, in 1941, the airport was renamed the Jackson Army Airfield and was used by the Army for flight training for the duration of World War Two. The Army Air Corps greatly expanded the airport with four paved runways, buildings, maintenance sheds, hangers, and barracks for troops. Streets and supporting utilities were added as well. The United States government wanted these improvements made in the least expensive method possible, so very little metal was utilized during construction. The base was self-sufficient, with hospitals and medical facilities. Well-equipped
The Jackson Army Air Base was administered by the Third Air Force starting in 1944, and flight training ended late in 1945. The United States Air Force quit using Hawkins Field in 1949, and it reverted to civilian use. Jet airplanes began flying into Hawkins Field Airport in 1963. Also, in 1963, the city annexed land east of town and built the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. Named Allen C. Thompson Field initially, it was one of the first airports to have parallel runways and is still considered modern.
In 1953, the Mississippi Air National Guard started a station at Hawkins Field for use by troops. Initially, they used RB-26 Invaders for photo reconnaissance missions. In 1957, six Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars were added to replace the old aircraft. The Air National Guard built a new base in 1961, but C-121s continued at Hawkins Field until 1964. The Mississippi National Guard still operates Black Hawk helicopters at Hawkins Field.
Hawkins Field Airport is contained on 602 acres of land with two runways in continuous operation. Two old World War Two runways have been retired and closed. The airport averages 92 planes daily with most being for general aviation. After 90 years, Hawkins Field Airport is still vital to the city of Jackson.