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Downtown Airport

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Great shots! I like this airport, and the fact that planes can be seen descending over I-385 to land.

This airport also has great potential for increased traffic, given the renovations to the Expo Center and revitalization of the surrounding area.

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Just curious, I know this was the cities main airport prior to GSP opening. Did jets ever fly into this old airport, or was GSP opened prior to the "jet age"? Was the old airport only served by prop planes? Anyone have photos from the days when this was the cities main passenger terminal? A friend told me that Eastern Airlines had a route from Atlanta to Anderson to Greenville to Spartanburg to Charlotte. Can you imagine flying between Anderson and Greenville or Greenville and Spartanburg? So weird how the world has become a smaller place and distances have shortened. :)

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Did anyone a few years back see an Air Force C-130 and about a week later a C-17 doing touch and go's? I've also seen CRJ's from United Air Lines landing there, training and learning the Greenville area. It was right after ACA ditched United and Delta, and became FlyI. I guess we're special with 3 local airports. According to a family friend, years ago, I'm thinking late 1980's, there was either a MD88 or DC9 that made an emergency landing there. I know that the main runway can handle all of those aircraft, but not a fully loaded MD88, just an empty one. Although, I think that it would be cool if they extended the runway over Woods Lake/Airport Rd.

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Just curious, I know this was the cities main airport prior to GSP opening. Did jets ever fly into this old airport, or was GSP opened prior to the "jet age"? Was the old airport only served by prop planes? Anyone have photos from the days when this was the cities main passenger terminal? A friend told me that Eastern Airlines had a route from Atlanta to Anderson to Greenville to Spartanburg to Charlotte. Can you imagine flying between Anderson and Greenville or Greenville and Spartanburg? So weird how the world has become a smaller place and distances have shortened. :)

I don't think passenger jets ever operated there. The first jets did not operate out of GSP until about 1965-1966. That airport opened in 1962.

FYI Greenville Downtown Airport (formerly Greenville Municipal Airport) once had four runways. The longest (01-19) is 5,393 feet long. The other runway (10-28) is 4,000 feet long.

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Runway 01-19 at GMU (Greenville Downtown Airport) can handle most small to mid-sized jets today even though it's only 5,393 feet long. That said, I don't think a fully loaded and fuel passenger jet would attempt to take-off and land there especially with the longer runway at GSP nearby.

Jet engine perfornance has drastically improved in the last few years. For instance. last year a private 737 landed and departed the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA). Runway 05-23 there is 5,203 feet long.

Runway length today is predicated by two key factors: (1) weight of the aircraft and (2) density altitude. Heavier aircraft, particularly those fully fueled for overseas flights need a longer runway to take off. Density altitude

is defined as the effect of temperature and humidity and the actual altitude above sea level. Air is less dense the hotter, wetter, and higher it is above sea level. Therefore, airports at higher alitudes above sea level with a large number of overseas flights typically have longer runways. Denver International, for example, has five runways at 12,000 feet and one (the longest in North America) at 16,000 feet!

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^ Thanks for all the info Roads-scholar! I would love to have been an adult back in the "glory days" of air travel! Do you by any chance have any photos of Greenville Municipal before the days of GSP? Oh yeah, one other question, I read where GSP was called the "Jetport" when it first opened. Is that correct? How fun! :D

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I have even noticed that some middle-aged people still call it the jetport. That sounds funny to me, as I have always known it as an airport (Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, to be exact).

It is my understanding that some people used to sarcastically call it "GSP International" years before it truly became that. Evidently it has come a long way, and our upstate leaders deserve a lot of credit for that! :thumbsup:

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^ Thanks for all the info Roads-scholar! I would love to have been an adult back in the "glory days" of air travel! Do you by any chance have any photos of Greenville Municipal before the days of GSP? Oh yeah, one other question, I read where GSP was called the "Jetport" when it first opened. Is that correct? How fun! :D

Go to Ebay and search for "Greenville, South Carolina" and you will see a photo of the current terminal when it opened back in the 1950's.

GSP was called "jetport" when it first opened. Yours truly attended the grand opening in November, 1962. I have no recollection of that but my parents drove me over for the big event. As an aviation enthusiast and pilot

Both Greenville and Spartanburg had scheduled, though limited air service in the "glory days" of air travel. I'm not sure about Anderson though. Both municipal airports have interesting histories including participation in WW2 pilot training.

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I have even noticed that some middle-aged people still call it the jetport. That sounds funny to me, as I have always known it as an airport (Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, to be exact).

It is my understanding that some people used to sarcastically call it "GSP International" years before it truly became that. Evidently it has come a long way, and our upstate leaders deserve a lot of credit for that! :thumbsup:

Most people call it "GSP" ...which is what I have known it as my entire life. I recall the name change being a big deal. Moving from Jetport to International was a huge step.

Many people still refer to it sarcastically as GSP International because its not "really" and international airport. You still have to connect to Atlanta.

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That's true, I suppose it really isn't "international" (yet ;)). Aren't airports allowed to have that designation if they have a customs office on site (as GSP does)?

Technically, an "international" airport in the US has a customs facility on site. Whether the airport serves international passengers is irrelevant. However, some airports are very generous when they use "international airport" in their official names. I think GSP might fall into this category. While the airport has some cargo flights that orginate from international destinations and has a customs facility, it is really not an "international" airport!

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There are charter flights that come internationally, they use A7 or whatever gate is in the back, next to United. I know that the Carribean is a regular charter, along with rare European flights for Michelen and BMW. Just last year I saw a Delta 767 parked over at that gate, so I know that it does get used, just not scheduled.

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There are charter flights that come internationally, they use A7 or whatever gate is in the back, next to United. I know that the Carribean is a regular charter, along with rare European flights for Michelen and BMW. Just last year I saw a Delta 767 parked over at that gate, so I know that it does get used, just not scheduled.

^ Thats right. I've flown in myself nonstop on a charter Cayman to Greenville. We have customs on the lower level of the A Concourse. So yes, GSP is international. Do we have international "scheduled" service, obviously no and probably never (maybe Air Canada at some point). Being situated between US Airways Charlotte hub and Delta's Atlanta mega-hub, scheduled international carriers would never consider GSP.

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.

GSP was called "jetport" when it first opened. Yours truly attended the grand opening in November, 1962. I have no recollection of that but my parents drove me over for the big event. As an aviation enthusiast and pilot

I too attended the grand opening in 1962, I was 9 years old. There was a kite-flying contest held in an adjacent field. With literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of kites. My dad and I made ours from plastic drycleaner bags and sticks. Didn't really fly too well. They gave a prize for the highest flying kite, I didn't win. The opening of the jetport was a big deal at the time, the biggest event in Greenville since the war. I was born and lived in Greenville until I was 10 years old. It was a wonderful, happy time and place to grow up. I may yet live in Greenville again, perhaps in my old age, which isn't so far away anymore.

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.

I too attended the grand opening in 1962, I was 9 years old. There was a kite-flying contest held in an adjacent field. With literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of kites. My dad and I made ours from plastic drycleaner bags and sticks. Didn't really fly too well. They gave a prize for the highest flying kite, I didn't win. The opening of the jetport was a big deal at the time, the biggest event in Greenville since the war. I was born and lived in Greenville until I was 10 years old. It was a wonderful, happy time and place to grow up. I may yet live in Greenville again, perhaps in my old age, which isn't so far away anymore.

Thanks mcashlv. Great story. :thumbsup:

Welcome to UP! Where are you living now?

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When I was a kid growing up in Greenville my Dad would take me to the Downtown Airport to watch the planes takeoff and land. I like to think it was what led me to a career as an AF pilot. He would take me to the train station too, but I guess that didn't stick.

http://greenvilledowntownairport.com/GMUHistory.html

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