Business View Magazine Jan-2019

70 THE BILLINGS LO I N T E RNAT I ONA L A I R P MONTANA’S TRAILHEAD TO THE BIG SKY T he Billings Logan International Airport (BIL) is a commercial, cargo, and general avia- tion airport, built on a sandstone bluff, about 500 feet above, and two miles northwest of, downtown Billings,Montana.According to local legend, the first airplane flight took place in Billings on Memorial Day weekend in 1913,when a local dentist, Dr. Frank Bell, flew his Curtiss 0-X-5 from Billings to Park City and back, a distance of 40 miles. “Back in the 1920s,when flying was first becoming popular, there were little landing strips all over the valley and people were trying to come up with the best place to locate an airport,” explains Kevin Ploehn, Director of Aviation &Transit.“In 1927, the city purchased some land, the first 400 acres, for about $5,200.”Using horse drawn equipment, 1,820 feet of unpaved runway and a small administrative building were constructed on top of the Rimrocks overlooking the Yellowstone Valley and the Billings area.