Alexandria Airport


When I made the important decision to move east, I started my research of the closest airport I could find, near where I had decided to live. It was a trade-off between commute to work and commute to airport. I came across several references to a Beacon hill airport on the internet, although, I couldn’t find any references to it on a sectional chart.

Image courtesy of Abandoned Airports

Once I relocated, the hard truth was out: the nearest airport with a flight school was going to be an hour away. A lot has changed in the DC area since 9/11 when many airports have closed. The airspace is highly restrictive especially for one who has relocated from California, where an airport is a mere hands throw away, and blue, unrestricted skies beckon with open arms all year round!

I recently came across this website, dedicated to abandoned airports, and with a little time at hand, I curiously perused the site for abandoned airports in Virginia. And lo and behold, under the Southeastern Fairfax County section, I noted the elusive, Beacon Field. In use between 1920s and 1959, it is now replaced by the Beach Hill Mall.

It is fascinating to note that there were four airports in Southeastern Fairfax County, that coexisted together for some period! It is even more interesting to note that one of these four airports is Alexandria Airport. Established in 1925-26 with a single runway, by the 1940s it had four runways and was listed as Naval Air Facility, Hybla Valley.

The airport closed around 1957, after almost 32 years in service. It is now replaced by the Hybla Valley School, Apartments and Condominiums.

Image courtesy of Abandoned Airports

I had subconsciously wondered at the street names in my neighborhood: Lockheed Boulevard, Piper Lane, Grumman Place, Stinson Road, Convair Road, Fairchild Road, Lindberg Drive, and Northrup Place.

Now I know: once upon a time, there was a busy airport here. Ashburn Flying Service was one of the best in the mid atlantic. There was flight instruction, scenic rides, aerial photography and more. And maybe, once upon a time, a runway graced the space that is my home.

Although the airport long ceased to exist, its memory remains today.

Links:

Abandoned Airports

7 thoughts on “Alexandria Airport

  1. Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser January 3, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    And to add there are still sod field landing strips/airports in the great Northeast still in operation for VFR flying!

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  2. John M January 4, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    The airspace restrictions continue to grow. As of a few days ago, the FAA banned flying RC model airplanes anywhere within 30 miles of Washington DC.

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    • flynthings January 5, 2016 / 11:48 pm

      True… Somehow there needs to be a balance in all this 🙂

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  3. milliethom January 4, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    A little reseach can tell us so much about the past. Four abandoned airports in one county sounds a lot to me – but I’m no expert on airport location or reasons why they are eventually closed down. Presumably they just weren’t needed any more…or were outdated? I suppose there could be several reasons. Were all four closed in the late 50s?

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    • flynthings January 4, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      I think it varied between late 1940s and 1960s. County wise it was more than four, but it appears there were four of them rather close to each other in Alexandria, and definitely too many. It appears there were different reasons for the closure of each. I suspect also, as the city expanded, the airports were abandoned to allow development.

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom January 4, 2016 / 9:58 pm

        Yes, your guess sounds very plausible. Thanks for explaining. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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