Services on the East and West Ports
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has designated the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport as a small hub airport. The FAA controlled Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) operates 24 hours, 7 days a week to accommodate air traffic on three runways (17R-35L, 17L-35R and 8-26). See the FAA Chart Supplement for additional airfield information.

General Aviation
There are several providers to meet the needs of general aviation pilots. See the current directory for more information about available services.

Air cargo plays an important role in the economic development of our region.





History of the Airfield

Lubbock International Airport began as the Lubbock Municipal Airfield in 1929. The airport's first manager was aviation pioneer Clint Breedlove, who had been an army aviator and test pilot. Aviation grew steadily at the airport until World War II when it took a giant leap forward.

The United States Government's War Department took over the airport in 1942 and created the South Plains Army Airfield. This installation's mission was to train combat glider pilots. These combat gliders were designed to carry soldiers, small jeeps, cannons, or other supplies quickly and quietly into the heat of battle. These "silent wings" were used extensively in the D-Day invasion to free Europe and also in many Pacific Theater operations. The South Plains Army Airfield grew to be the largest glider training facility in the world. 

After World War II, the airport was again operated by the City of Lubbock. Commercial airline service began on July 1, 1945 with a flight to Dallas operated by Braniff Airways. Pioneer Airlines, Continental Airlines, and Trans-Texas Airlines soon began serving Lubbock and a new terminal was built in 1950.

In 1966, Continental Airlines was the first to bring jet service to Lubbock and soon Braniff and Texas International added jets also. In 1976, a new passenger terminal was dedicated which was expanded to its present size in 1986.

Currently the airport is home to a number of general aviation service providers, freight airline operations, industrial parks, and several commercial passenger airlines.

1937, Clint Breedlove, early Lubbock Municipal Airport Manage
1937: Clint Breedlove (at left) was an early Lubbock Municipal Airport Manager. He is shown leaning on a Waco S airplane. Photo courtesy of the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University.