Business View Magazine | April 2019

69 B arkley Regional Airport is located five miles west of Paducah, in McCracken County, Kentucky. The land on which the Airport sits is actually the site of the third airport that the city of Paducah has called home, though it is also the only one to have commercial interstate service. “The other two were quite small,” recounts Richard Roof, Barkley’s longtime Airport Manager. “The first one disappeared rather rapidly – there’s a mall sitting on it now. The second airport closed about eight or nine years after Barkley opened.” Barkley was originally built as a military air- field in 1941, thanks to the efforts of then Senator Alben Barkley, who convinced the Civil Aeronautics Authority and War Department to approve the founding of what would be called the Paducah-McCracken County Airport. “The Airport was initially constructed on 550 acres, bought by the city and the county during World War II, to serve as an auxiliary, standby facility for the Army Air Corps,” says Roof. “Nothing was ever based here.” In 1945, the U.S. Government deeded the land to the city of Paducah, and McCracken County, making it available for civil use. “General aviation began immediately,” Roof says. “The ground was improved and a fence was erected around the perimeter of the property. A hangar was built in 1946 (by the Kentucky Institute of Aeronautics). The first terminal building was a converted farmhouse that was on the property. The facility, initially, had two paved runways of 4,000 by 150 feet, and two grass runways, which were also close to 4,000 feet long. Grass runways have disappeared a long time ago AT A GLANCE BARKLEY REGIONAL AIRPORT WHAT: A general aviation and commercial airport WHERE: Paducah, Kentucky WEBSITE: