Established in 1915 by the Stinson family siblings as a flying school and landing field, the airport’s identifier (SSF) is a legacy of the airport’s original function. Among the first women to obtain a pilot’s certificate, Katherine Stinson received notoriety as a record-setting exhibition pilot and was the first woman to perform the “loop-the-loop” maneuver. Along with sister Marjorie and their brother Eddie, Katherine Stinson also taught and helped run the pioneering aviation school.
By 1928, Texas Air Transport began its first air mail and passenger service into San Antonio, using Stinson Hangar 8, which still stands. The City converted the facility into a permanent municipal airport in the 1930s and later initiated a WPA project to build the airport’s iconic terminal building to accommodate new airlines including Braniff and Eastern Airlines.
In 1942, the Army Air Corps took over operations using Stinson as a training depot, serving as a base for groups including the 30th Air Depot Headquarter Squadron. Post-war peacetime brought the development of what is now San Antonio International Airport, where commercial airlines moved operations with Stinson available for the city’s general aviation needs.
The designated General Aviation Reliever airport to SAT, today Stinson is home to Fixed Base Operators, Palo Alto College’s aviation management school, the Texas Air Museum, SAPD and Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter details. Located along the historic Mission Trails and near the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River, Stinson Municipal Airport is the nation’s second oldest continuously operating airport. Pointing to the next century for Stinson Municipal Airport, a new air traffic control tower is slated to break ground in late 2014.