An annual airshow at Chamblee’s Peachtree-DeKalb Airport has a lot to celebrate this year — 100 years’ worth of history, to be exact.
The 2017 Good Neighbor Day Airshow is set for Saturday, June 10 from noon to 5 p.m. on the airport grounds, 2000 Airport Rd. In addition to the annual aerial acrobatics and exhibitors, the event is set to honor the 100th anniversary of the airport, Camp Gordon and the Naval Air Station.
The site’s history dates back to 1917 when it served as the home for Camp Gordon, a World War I training base until 1922.
Around 1942, during World War II, it became home to the Naval Air Station where flight personnel from throughout the southeast were trained. In 1959, the airport was converted from military to civilian use and the county regained control.
Peachtree-DeKalb Airport Director Mario Evans said there will be a variety of items on display during the event that help tell the story of the past 100 years. These items will date back from around 1917 until present day and will include military uniforms, weapons, photos and more.
Storytellers who served in World War II will be on-hand to talk about their time spent at the Naval Air Station, Evans said.
“To be able to put this on for one day is great for aviation enthusiasts and for those who live around the community,” Evans said. “These kinds of shows are normally on the outskirts, but we are right here in metro Atlanta.”
Performers dazzling in the sky this year will include Team Aeroshell, Dixie Wing: Prowlers of the Pacific; Larry King; Greg Koontz; and the Lima Lima Flight Team.
Other attractions include plane and helicopter rides, live music and a kid’s area featuring a jump-n-slide, inflatables, face painting and more.
A number of food trucks will be on-site and more than 40 exhibitors will have booths setup offering information, wares and services of various kinds.
Evans, who has worked in various capacities at the airport for the past 17 years, said he has watched it grow tremendously into the executive airport it is today and the state’s second busiest airport.
“It has gone from your little mom-and-pop airport with small planes to an executive airport where our customers are on the corporate level,” he said. “That is due to Atlanta becoming what it is and our location just thrives. we are five minutes from Buckhead, five minutes from the perimeter center district and eight minutes from downtown Atlanta.”
Even as the airport site has grown, changed and been upgraded, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson said it has managed to retain some of the nostalgia which makes it unique.
“We are proud to have Peachtree-DeKalb Airport in Chamblee as it houses more than 125 tenants, many of whom have their corporate headquarters at or near the airport,” said Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson “[The Airport] brings people to our city who have made it a choice to have their operations run from the second busiest airport in the state.”
There is a bittersweet note amongst the celebration, however, as the show organizers plan to honor the life of pilot Greg Connell. Connell perished last year at the show after his plane crashed during a stunt routine.
“We will have a moment of silence this year due to Greg’s passing,” Evans said. “We loved Greg and Greg loved us, and he was a dear friend for me.”
Admission is free and parking is $10 per vehicle. MARTA bus 19 will also be departing from Decatur and Chamblee stations and wills top directly in front of the airport.
For more information, visit www.pdkairshow.com.