From taildraggers to light twins - We are 31 nm SW of Peoria (KPIA) on a lighted E-W field with 2235 feet of the smoothest sod you’ll ever land on. EAA meetings are held on-field the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 PM.
2015 Pancake Breakfast Fly-In
The ninth Annual Harvey Tapscott Memorial Fly-In a great success.
Forty-or-so aircraft descended for breakfast on Saturday, September 5. Light warm winds from the south kept temperatures comfortable while the flight line and kitchen crews were kept quite busy.
Insulated T-hangers are available with electric doors, good lighting, concrete floors, with electricity included. Contact Kent Johnson at 309-696-4836 for information. A modern conference room and fully-equipped modern kitchen adjoin the office with refreshments available for purchase.
EAA Chapter On-Field
An enthusiastic EAA chapter claims Havana Regional as its home. Members are grass-roots fliers, aircraft builders and restorers, and airport volunteers, who are also fortunate to have a number of active spouses. Havana EAA Chapter 1420 also hosts an annual fly-in pancake breakfast, set this year for June 22.
This friendly social group also enjoys newcomers and visitors, encouraging new members. In addition to hosting the annual fly-in, there is a Christmas party, several movie-and-pizza nights a year, occasional friends-and-family breakfasts, and at least one chilly-weather chili luncheon.
Among the chapter members are two flight instructors, a technical counselor, flight advisor, and a career A/P mechanic.
For information, contact Mike Perkins at 217-725-0628.
Between 2000 and 2006, the airport was rescued by dedicated volunteers from Petersburg and Havana who had a vision of making it a down-home flying field, a community showcase, and a fun place just to hang out. There is a community center located at the airport with a full kitchen and large-tabled conference room.
In 2006, a modern eight-hanger building with electric doors was completed using local, state, and federal funding. It immediately filled with aircraft. The same year, EAA volunteers finished an interior renovation consisting of a modern conference room and a fully-equipped kitchen.
2007 Class B Airport of the Year
In 2007, the Illinois Aviation Division announced the Havana as the 2007 Class B Airport of the Year (for runways less than 4000 feet). We have 2235 feet of the smoothest sod this side of the Mississippi. However, check NOTAMS for water.
The renovated facility is used by community groups including Havana EAA Chapter 1420. Young Eagles flights are given one to two times a year.
An Interesting Past
In the 1950’s, what is now the airport grounds had been the National Bureau of Standards’ Long Branch Field Station where acres of antenna arrays were used for planetary radar astronomy employing pulsed transmissions of up to six million watts. This kind of radar astronomy wasn’t exactly an airplane-friendly technology, so the facility was surrounded by a 5nm radius restricted area. In fact, the equipment operated so hot that the main building wasn’t equipped with any kind of heating system. After the experiments had been concluded, the equipment was removed and the land and two buildings were donated to the city of Havana by the U.S. Government for the explicit use as an airport. It soon became the Havana Regional Airport.
A small FBO grew there in the mid 1980’s with eight to ten aircraft tied down. But after experiencing wind damage a few years later, the airport slowly fell into a state of disarray.
Harvey Tapscott and Tom Galassi of nearby Petersburg rediscovered the airport in the early 2000’s. On their own, using their own funds, they began to reclaim the airport from nature. Trees were cut, roofs were patched, raccoons were relocated, runway was groomed, and the buildings renovated inside and out. More volunteers arrived.
Soon the Illinois Division of Aeronautics took notice of the progress. In 2007, the airport was awarded the Class B Airport of the Year by the state of Illinois Department of Aviation.
The airport received tremendous cooperation from Scott Williams and Kent Johnson of the Havana Regional Port District. With an influx of state and federal funds—it perked right up. Harvey Tapscott served as airport manager from 2006—2010, with Tom Galassi as his assistant. Today airport board chairman Kent Johnson acts as airport manager.
Last updated September 7, 2015
Havana EAA Chapter 1420
and the Havana Regional Airport, Illinois - 9I0