HISTORY OF IWS
HISTORY OF WEST HOUSTON AIRPORT
In 1962, Stephen Cummings along with his partner, landowner and rice farmer, Willie Dopslauf, graded out the runway for a new airstrip known as Memorial Skyland. Stephen envisioned the future of the airport and set in motion the birth of what is now West Houston Airport.
In 1965, John Bridge and Willie teamed up to complete what Stephen had started and renamed the airport Lakeside because of the lake located on the east side of the runway.
John, who was a Mooney distributor and insurance executive, joined with Jack Landers and Adrian Kachel to develop the T-hangar complex and the White Hangar on the east side along with surfacing the existing graded runway.
The year was 1966 when Woody Lesikar, age 20, first landed at Lakeside Airport and found a job instructing for Frank Fennen, a local crop duster, with his flight school at Lakeside. After a brief interval, Frank sold his one-plane operation to Woody and this became the beginning of Woody's flight operations.
At 20 years old and without capital, Woody began Skyline Aviation, the flight school, rental and charter operation at Lakeside Airport. Cessna Aircraft gave Woody a $25,000 line of credit which at that time would buy three planes. Within a few years at age 26, Woody incorporated and purchased the Lakeside Airport from its then owners.
In 1984, with a new airline flying, the airport was renamed West Houston Airport (IWS) to help in promoting its location and facilitate advertising the airport to the general public.
Today, West Houston Airport is a vibrant community asset producing over three hundred direct and indirect jobs and providing more than $30,000,000 in annual airport related revenus from the many airport related businesses. With close to four hundred based aircraft and 150,000 annual operations, West Houston Airport is poised for the future. It's all about Location, Location, Location!
Thanks for the memories of the fifty years!
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