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Page 11
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Introduction
Airport in those early years, without preserv-
ing those roadmaps, we will lose a part of avi-
ation history that will be gone forever.
Second, I wanted readers to glimpse the
can-do pioneer flying spirit of the 1960s.
A public school teacher and his wife,
Ray and Mary Harding, took one hundred
and thirteen acres of cow-trodden scru-
bland and turned it into a thriving local
airport that most who spent any time there in
the 1960s and 1970s remember as a family af-
fair. They hand built a tower and the attached
airplane hangars using telephone poles sunk
deep in the earth for columns. The rustic tow-
er was part observation deck, part home, and
part flight shack. This unassuming husband
and wife team transformed a wide sloping
plane of buffel grass and sandbur into a turf
and gravel runway. This was where pilots,
parachutists, and long-haired students of the
University of Texas Flying Club could gath-
er and create shared experiences, all for the
price of a few dollars. The airport never made
much money, yet what the Hardings lacked
in cash and conveniences, they made up
for with dogged determination, sweat, and
old-fashioned kindness. Their generos-
ity often included a lunchtime plate of fried
2007. Ron Henriksen, pilot, airport developer, and Chairman of the Board of Logix Communications,
is preflighting his Cessna before a flight. Photo courtesy David Hannah III.