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Westside (Hi)story - Cannon Airport

Westside (Hi)story - Cannon Airport

(picutred above) Amelia Earhart on a visit to Charlotte (presumably at the Cannon Airport)

Many Charlotteans are not aware that the first airport in Charlotte was in fact located in FreeMoreWest. Charlotte has been home to 3 major airports since the Cannon Airport was first located at the corner of Ashley Road & Lindbergh Street.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, “Prior to the building of Douglas Airport, flights in & out of Charlotte were rare. The Queen City’s only airfield was Charlotte Airport (later known as Cannon airport), a small private venture operated by Johnny Crowell, a famed Charlotte aviator. Although this landing strip was christened amid much fanfare as an airmail stop on 4/1/30, with passenger service from Eastern Air Transport (later Eastern Airlines) following a few months later, the field was only open on weekends, for air shows, and war-pilot training.”

A 1935 Map of Charlotte by the city's Chamber of Commerce shows the airport having 4 runways and 2 hangars. The airport became a bit outdated with it's closed-in location and gravel runways. When additional airlines discussed coming to Charlotte, it was decided that Cannon was no longer the most efficient option. The airport later closed between 1948 and 1960.

No traces of the former airport remain in FreeMoreWest. Freedom Mall replaced the northern portion of the Cannon Airport, as shown by a 1978 USGS aerial photo.

For more information and additional images, please visit:

Interested in more FreeMoreWest history? Hear stories from local journalists, scholars and civic leaders as they rediscover our historic neighborhood: Let There Be Light: Exploring How Charlotte’s Historic West End is Shaping a New South.

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