Museum History

Houston's Aviation History Timeline

1970

The year is 1970. The recently renamed Hobby Airport is a ghost town with a questionable future. General aviation continues to use the field, as do a variety of "corrosion corner" operators who fly anything from oil field equipment to cattle out of Hobby in once-proud propliners, like the Lockheed L1649 Starliner Constellation.

A San Antonio lawyer named Herb Kelleher has obtained Texas Railroad Commission approval to begin interstate passenger service from Hobby to Dallas and San Antonio using Lockheed L188 Electras, but is now defending a lawsuit brought by Braniff and Texas International to bar the new service.

1971:

Southwest Airlines begins service from Hobby Airport to Dallas and San Antonio using Boeing 737s, after winning the appeal of the lawsuit brought by Braniff International and Texas International before the US Supreme Court.

September 5, 1978:

The last tenants in the 1940 Air Terminal vacate and the building is abandoned. Unable to find new tenants for the 1940 Air Terminal, Hobby Airport manager James DeLong proposes demolishing the building to make room for potential ramp tenants.

DeLong is opposed by acting aviation director Bill Brackley and J.D. Reed, the Beechcraft dealer who has been a pillar of the Houston aviation community since the 1930s.

1978:

Republic Airlines begins service to Hobby Airport.