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  • The facade of today's terminal was updated in 2007.

    Construction Through the Decades

    From the first site plan (above) drawn by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1940 to the airport's current multi-year program to enhance operational safety on the airfield and improve the efficiency of aircraft movement, Blue Grass Airport is committed to continuous improvement, safety and superior customer service.

    These historical photos show changes in Blue Grass Airport throughout the years. Grading and paving farm land across U.S. 60 from Keeneland Race Course were the first physical changes to establish the airport. The original terminal building was occupied in early 1946 despite still being under construction due to wartime material shortages. When completed, it was state of the art.

    A new beacon was installed atop the original tower in 1965. The present-day FAA air traffic control tower was constructed in 1968 under the board leadership of Dr. George Gumbert. The 1975 groundbreaking for a new terminal signaled expansion and modernization. Throughout the construction, Blue Grass Airport operated without delays as it built this 70,000 square foot facility, nearly five times the size of the original terminal.

    Airport runways typically require resurfacing every 10-15 years. The photo below shows the monumental task of resurfacing Runway 4-22 in 2006, which was accomplished through precise planning and contractors working around the clock, thus limiting main runway closure to only 48 hours. Approximately 120 trucks hauled 33,000 tons of asphalt to resurface this 7,000-by-150-foot runway.

    Much of Blue Grass Airport's success can be attributed to its commitment to ongoing improvement and the spirit of collaboration.

    "The accomplishment of [an] airport is the big story of 1940 for Lexington. If the spirit of 'all hands on deck' and 'now, altogether' can continue to prevail there is no telling what may be achieved in the year that is just ahead."

    Lexington Leader, 1940