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Historic New Mexico Aerodrome Being Restored

 

Curtiss Jennys
An organization is working to re-create the airport where Curtiss Jennys flew in 1916.

October 4, 2012 - Almost a century after its founding and 35 years after it was closed, the First Aero Squadron Aerodrome and Columbus Airport are undergoing a rebirth in Columbus, New Mexico.

This Saturday, October 6, about 2,600 feet of Runway 8/26 of what was once Columbus Municipal is being reopened as a first phase of an ambitious initiative; the First Aero Squadron Foundation plans to create a memorial to the early Army airmen (1916-1917) who were ordered by Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing to fly their Curtiss JN-3s to aid in the hunt for Pancho Villa - who had raided the Village of Columbus a few days earlier.

The project will include an interactive museum and flightline reminiscent of the times, with a modern airport to serve GA. Located in South Luna County, this initiative is being funded entirely by private donations. First Aero Squadron Foundation members initially secured 60 acres of the historic properties and has since acquired a small portion of additional property; erected informational signs in the village; launched educational programs through a speakers bureau; had the site surveyed; and hired a contractor to remove brush and regrade the hard gravel runway.

According to the organization, additional fundraising will be required to complete the dream and restore what it calls "the cradle of American airpower." For more information about the project and the history behind it, visit the FASF website.

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