The Mission and History of Springfield-Branson National Airport
The Springfield-Branson National Airport cultivates its connections to the community and the world in three different ways. For those who live here, it’s a source of local pride. For those flying anywhere, it’s the absolute easiest way to get there. And for those coming in from everywhere in the world, it makes a great and lasting impression.
About Springfield-Branson Airport
SGF is a publicly owned airport in Springfield, Missouri, 190 miles southwest of St. Louis and 150 miles southeast of Kansas City. For people in the Springfield-Branson region, nothing is easier or more direct than flying SGF. We offer competitive fares and nearly every major airport in the world is just one stop away. From the moment you arrive, the state-of-the art facility and thoughtful services are here to help you make your way to your plane conveniently and quickly. Plus, the SGF Community of knowledgeable staff, safety professionals and friendly local fliers will help you feel right at home. We look forward to traveling with you soon!
Fast Facts About SGF
- SGF is owned by the city of Springfield and is managed by an 11 member administrative board. Learn more about our organization.
- SGF is currently served by three branded airline systems, plus vacation carrier Allegiant Air. Learn more about our airlines.
- SGF’s four airlines currently provide SGF with daily service to 12 non-stop destinations.
- SGF features Art at the Airport with regional fine art exhibits rotating regularly and displayed throughout the terminal.
- SGF is one of the country’s few airports with a blog. Explore the SGF Voyager for curated travel guides, airport insights and updates unique to Springfield-Branson.
- SGF is also home to Pinkley, the official resident ‘mingo whose airport antics are sure to make you smile.
A Brief History of SGF
- 1916: The earliest recorded flight in Springfield is in the fall at the old fairgrounds near Phelps Grove Park.
- 1925: McCluer Flying Field opens on East Division Street. Privately owned, it serves as Springfield’s only airport until 1945.
- 1928: The City of Springfield purchases McCluer Flying Field and changes the name to Springfield Park and Airport.
- 1929: Commercial air service comes to Springfield. Service is provided by American Airlines, Transcontinental and Western, and several other small carriers.
- 1929–1942: As planes get bigger, the airport’s short, unpaved runways make it difficult to expand commercial air service. The Great Depression leaves few funds for improvements and commercial service disappears.
- 1942–1945: World War II brings plane loads of wounded men to the airport en route to O’Reilly General Army Hospital. The airport is barely able to cope with the large military planes and it becomes obvious that Springfield needs a new airport.
- 1942: In October, Springfield voters approve a $350,000 bond issue to build a new airport.
- 1944: Work begins on the new airport, located seven miles northwest of the city.
- 1945: In March, voters approve $150,000 in bonds to complete the airport. On July 2 the new airport opens for business. It’s called Springfield-Greene County Airport, but the name soon changes when the city and county disagree over airport finances. The city assumes full control and the airport becomes Springfield Municipal Airport.
- 1946: American Airlines brings commercial service back to Springfield early in the year.
- March 20, 1955: at 10:36pm American Airlines flight 711 circles to land at Springfield and crashes more than a mile north of the airport. 11 of 32 passengers die along with the stewardess and copilot. It’s Springfield’s first and only crash involving a commercial airliner. A federal investigation concludes that the pilots misjudged their altitude.
- 1960: Springfield voters approve a $600,000 bond issue to build a new terminal.
- 1964: The new terminal opens in October.
- 1964–2006: During the last quarter of the 20th century, passenger numbers grow steadily. The terminal is expanded several times. Growth in passenger numbers accelerates, culminating in 2005 when the number of passengers leaps 23% over the previous year.
- May 2006: The airport breaks ground for a new terminal.
- May 2009: The airport celebrates its first scheduled service to the West Coast with Allegiant Air service to Los Angeles.
- May 6, 2009: The airport opens the new Midfield Terminal. December 31, 2014: 2014 is the fourth busiest year in airport history. Total passenger count for the year: 846,324.
- December 31, 2017: 2017 went down as the busiest year in the history of the airport with a record 993,129 total passengers — just 6,000 short of the 1-million passenger benchmark.
- 2018: 2018 went down as the first year in history that 1-million passengers used the airport.