Aviation in Kirksville, Missouri, started in 1924 just North of town, with a small grass strip owned by Roy B. “Cap” Dodson. The current facility, Kirksville Regional Airport, is located four miles south of Kirksville on the west side of US Highway 63 and serves the northeastern portion of the state. This current location was established in 1930 when the Federal Aviation Administration built an emergency landing strip on this site. The Airport has been an important part of Kirksville and Adair County since 1942 when it became one of the United States government’s Civil Pilots Training Program Centers and a War Training Service Center for the Army Air Corp during WWII.
The airport has been known by several different names, starting in 1971 as the Clarence Canon Memorial Airport. Congressman Clarence Canon, of Missouri’s ninth district, was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a long-time supporter of the Northeast Missouri area. He was instrumental in the expansion of the airport. In 1984 the airport was renamed, as it’s know today, as the Kirksville Regional Airport.
Kirksville has been a part of the Essential Air Service Program since the 1980s. The community is significantly isolated from alternative air service, with Kansas City being its nearest hub airport at 185 road miles. Because no major hubs are located within 100 miles of Kirksville, area businesses benefit from being able to transport important clients in and out of the City of Kirksville. In addition, students, faculty and staff of Truman State University and A.T. Still University of Osteopathic Medicine have a safe and quick alternative to driving to and from their hometowns. The catchment area for Kirksville Regional Airport includes the community of Kirksville, plus the counties of Adair, Knox, Macon, Putnam, Scotland, Schuyler, Shelby, and Sullivan. These represent a total population of more than 86,000.
The City understands the importance of modern infrastructure for efficient and safe aviation. For that reason significant investments have been made in the airport to ensure that Kirksville Regional Airport is fully equipped to support regional air service and corporate and business aviation.
The City of Kirksville also has an Airport and Transportation Commission (ATC) that supports Kirksville Regional Airport in air service development matters. The Commission is comprised of nine members, appointed by the Kirksville City Council. Commission membership includes concerned citizens, representatives from local businesses and educational institutions, and local government administrators. The mission of the Commission is to support Airport air service development efforts and to oversee Airport policies and regulations. Click here to view additional information on the ATC.
For more information about the Kirksville Regional Airport please contact 660.665.5020.