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Herlong Recreational Airport History
Herlong Recreational Airport was initially opened as a training field for student pilots preparing for military operations in World War II. The field was used for touch-and-go operations by Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS) JAX pilots. At the end of the war, Herlong became home to recreational flyers and was even envisioned as a potential passenger airport serving the city’s western frontier.
On November 19, 1946, the United States Navy turned Herlong Field property over to the City of Jacksonville. Herlong Airport was named in honor of Dr. M. B. Herlong, a Jacksonville City Commission Chairman and State Senator who served through the 1930’s. In the mid-1960’s, the City turned over ownership of the Airport to what was then known as the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT). In 2001, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority was created by the State Legislature to own and operate public airports in Duval County (JAX, Craig, Cecil Field and Herlong).
Today, Herlong Airport is Jacksonville’s premier recreational and sport flying location, as it helps limit General Aviation activities at Jacksonville International Airport. With new bulk hangars, office spaces and T-Hangars, Herlong continues to be part of the Jacksonville Airport System’s diverse development. In 2001, it was the recipient of the Florida Department of Transportation’s General Aviation Airport of the Year award.