ST. CHARLES COUNTY’S SMARTT
FIELD AIRPORT BRANCHING OUT WITH
Smartt Field Airport, located in northeast St. Charles
County, Missouri, has come a long way since it first opened
in 1942 as a Naval training facility.
The airport is home to more than 150 private planes
and three fixed base operators (FBOs): St. Charles Flying
Service, Skylink Aviation and the Commemorative Air
Force (CAF)–Missouri Wing. Other tenants include the
Experimental Aircraft Association, Spirit of St. Louis Chapter
32, and Ozark Airlines Silver Swallows Alumni Association. A
locally based, national aerospace company also is a tenant
at Smartt Field.
While the airport has existed for nearly 75 years, many
residents — especially those relatively new to the county —
are not aware the airport exists. Airport staff began thinking
“outside the box” to come up with non-traditional activities
and events that would introduce non-aviation members
of the public to the airport and educate them on what the
facility has to offer.
Ideas generated by airport staff that have increased the
visibility of the airport to the neighboring public include:
UTOFTHE BOX BY DENNIS WISS, A.A.E.
OPEN HOUSE AND PUMPKIN DROP
For the past three years, the county has hosted an Open
House and Pumpkin Drop to kick off the fall season. On-site
FBOs participate and offer visitors an opportunity to tour
the facility, view CAF aircraft, civilian and military aircraft,
and take plane rides. Those joining in the Pumpkin Drop
are challenged to throw a pumpkin from a plane and hit a
ground target. In 2016, nearly 500 attended this event, and
it continues to grow each year.
NOT JUST A TYPICAL SMALL AIRPORT
The airport’s Ozark Room, named after the airline that
was headquartered in St. Louis from 1950 to 1986, has a
patio and barbecue area with views of the Grafton Bluffs
on the Mississippi River, as well as the runways and airport
activities. The venue is rented for weddings, receptions and
The CAF also rents out its hangar for events, allowing
visitors to enjoy festivities surrounded by historic