June 10, 1949
Commercial flights began at the newly opened Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, a facility that had previously been used to train wartime pilots. The city of Tuscaloosa acquired the airport after World War II, and Southern Airways was the first to fly commercial passengers. The peak years for the airport were in the 1970s with service provided to and from Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans. By the 1980s, many passengers in the area, however, were using the Birmingham airport. Today, the airport known as TCL serves at least 10 surrounding counties as well as the University of Alabama and Mercedes-Benz International, making it an economic driver in West Alabama. It also is the venue for the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.