Fitting name for airport

It has been a destination for thousands of airplanes. It hosts the Fly-In Breakfast each second Sunday of July. It also – believe it or not – held a sports car race in June for seven years in the late 1950s and early ’60s.

This weekend, a ceremony and plaque dedication was held to pay tribute to the man who almost single-handedly built the airport in Sheridan. County legislators had made it official earlier this year: the airport would be named the John J. Nalbone Sr. Field.

“In the 1950s, the city of Dunkirk appointed John custodian of the Dunkirk Airport,” said County Executive Vince Horrigan. “While there, his duties included helping transient aircraft that required services and repairs. In 1960, due to increased interest in corporations flying into Dunkirk, the city entered into a joint agreement for him to move his operation from Werle to the municipal airport. Thus started Dunkirk Aviation, which John managed until 1985, when the county assumed control. He became a fixed-base operator then and earned grants for the airport during his tenure.”

Nalbone retired from the airport in 1991, but continued flying until 2008. He would die at 93 in 2011.

His work and efforts will now forever be remembered by those who visit and land at the airport. High honors indeed.