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Reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1871-1971).

photo: air


Walter Wieland Founder of Brainerd Airport

The Brainerd Airport traces its history back to 1947 when; at the urging of Walter Wieland, the city council adopted an ordinance setting up an air p o r commission.

An application was then made for federal aid. Money from local, state and federal sources was used and in 1948, the airport was completed.

In the early going the airport's future was quite precarious as few passengers and a small amount of freight threatened it.

However, things picked up and today the airport, renamed Walter Wieland Field in honor of its founder, is a going concern.

Helping to make it that is North Central Airlines, formerly known as the Wisconsin Central, which started flying into Brainerd in 1948.

The first aircraft from the concern to land here was a 10-passenger Lockheed 10A.

The first service offered was one round trip per day, providing weather conditions were right.

By the mid 1950s North Central was a well used facility with as many as 302 passengers per month using the service in the summer.

This has continued to grow and during August of last year, 1,907 passengers made use of the airlines.

During the winter month North Central has four flights per day at Brainerd -- two north-bound and two south-bound. During the summer this is doubled.

Brainerd's airport also contains the offices of Airmotive Enterprises. This firm offers charter plane service all over the country.

Flying lessons are also given.

Another of the firm's jobs is to fly power line patrol for the Minnesota Power and Light company.

The Civil Air Patrol also has a base at the airport. The airport site consists of about 1,475 acres.

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