History of Harding Field Display at BTR
In the summer of 1939, the East Baton Rouge Parish began studying sites for a new airport to replace the downtown airport on Goodwood Avenue. The site of the current Baton Rouge Metro Airport (BTR) was chosen, but before construction was complete, the U.S. Army expressed an interest in leasing the airport in December of 1940. The war in Europe had been underway for over a year, and the Army Air Force had few airfields in the South and was poorly equipped in the event the U.S was drawn into the war. The Baton Rouge location had excellent potential as a new airfield. It was in a good location to defend the numerous refineries located on the Mississippi River, and construction was already underway. The airport was subsequently leased to the U.S. Government for use as an Army Airbase and the army engineers came in to oversee the construction.
Simply called the Baton Rouge Army Airfield initially, the airport was officially named "Harding Field" on January 22nd, 1942. The name selected was to honor Lieutenant William Harding, a distinguished pilot and Olympian from Shreveport, Louisiana, who was killed in a plane crash during war games in August of 1936. William Wadley Harding was born in Shreveport on September 23rd, 1910, but his family later moved to California.
The History of Harding Field display at BTR honors Army Air Corps Pilot William Harding, for whom Harding Field was named, as well as the thousands of men and women who trained and served at the base. The display is still a work in progress. We are completing a video about Harding Field, and pursuing additional photos and artifacts to display. If you have any photos, artifacts, or just good stories about Harding Field, please contact us. We can return photos after scanning them, and any artifacts will be "on loan" to the exhibit. We would particularly like to interview anyone who worked or served at the base. You can contact us at info@flybtr.com or call 225-355-0333. 

January 27, 2016, In This Issue
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Not to Drone on, but...
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones as they are often called, are increasingly available online and on store shelves. Community-based guidelines require recreational operators to give notice for flights within 5 statute miles of an airport. Notice must be given to the airport operator or air traffic control tower, if the airport has a tower. Prospective operators-from consumers to businesses-want to fly and fly safely, but many don't realize that, just because you can easily acquire a UAS, doesn't mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose. "Know Before You Fly" is an educational campaign that provides prospective users with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly. 

Learn more at  Know Before You Fly.  

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