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This Day in Machesney History -- February 11, 1930

Northwest Airways traffic managers C. G. Chatwick and Lucious Lobdell, visited Machesney Airport yesterday. The two men determined that they believe Rockford may one day be one of the most important air centers in the country. 

The airport facilities in Chicago were congested and are not adequate for larger aircraft. Rockford located outside of the city was believed to be a logical place to help ease that congestion.

Context: Northwest Air
ways was looking to add Rockford as "flag" stop with the hopes it becoming a regular line stop on their Minneapolis to Chicago line. A "flag" stop meant that passing Northwest aircraft would fly low over the Machesney Airport while flying their route. If there was a passenger or cargo that needed to be picked up, Fred Machesney or his staff would literally flag down the passing aircraft to return to the field for a landing. Machesney and the Chamber of Commerce were making numerous improvements to the field at this time to improve night lighting and adding a beacon tower to help guide aircraft. The purpose of these improvements was to bring in the air mail which the Chamber hoped would boost the air-mindedness of the city as well as the local industry.

The city was also set to vote on a new tax that if approved would transfer ownership of the Airport from Machesney to the Park District. This would allow the city to apply for government funding to improve the airport. Machesney would be kept on as airport manager and retain rights to all revenue associated with airport facilities' such as fuel, maintenance, and a restaurant. 


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