Republic Airport was developed by Sherman Fairchild as the Fairchild Flying Field in East Farmingdale in late 1927 as his airplane and airplane engine factories and 10-acre flying field on Motor Avenue in South Farmingdale were inadequate to support the mass assembly line production he desired for his FC-2, Model 21, Model 41 and Model 71 airplanes. Fairchild's Faircam Realty, Inc. purchased property on the south side of Route 24-Conklin Street and had the Fairchild Flying Field's original layout plan prepared on November 3, 1927. Airplane manufacturing in Farmingdale originated with Lawrence Sperry in the village of Farmingdale in 1917 and continued in South Farmingdale from 1921 until his tragic death in December 1923.
During World War II, 1-19 was Republic's longest runway- stretching almost to Route 109. Conklin Street at Republic was closed to the public in January 1941 by the Suffolk County Highway Department to permit the construction of the massive Republic industrial complex. In 1942, Republic Aviation built a 900' "dogleg" around the factory after Ranger Engine had built in the Conklin Street roadbed. The "dogleg" allowed workers in carpools driving east access to the Southern State Parkway via New Highway. Conklin Street was re-opened to the public in 1965 when Republic was taken over by Fairchild Hiller. The cumbersome "dogleg" was ended in the late 1990's when the Republic factory complex was razed and Conklin Street was straightened.
In 1965, Fairchild Hiller Corporation acquired Republic Airport and sold it to Farmingdale Corporation. In December 1966, the airport became a general aviation airport. By March 1967, the airport was of interest to the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority as a means of meeting demands of aviation on Long Island. Recognizing the airport as an asset, Metropolitan Transportation Authority two years later acquired the airport at the cost of $25 Million.
The MTA installed an instrument landing system (ILS) on runway 14-32, built the Republic Airport Terminal building cooperated with the Federal Aviation Administration, which built the new 100' high control tower, convinced the US Government to transfer 94 acres to the airport in 1971, and purchased the 77-acre Lambert property on the north side of Route 109 and the Breslau Gardens property between New Highway and Route 109 in 1972.
After complaints that the MTA was not contributing taxes to local governments and questions about MTA deficits at Republic, ownership of the airport was transferred to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) by the New York State Legislature in April 1983.
Companies that have existed at the Airport:
The Fulton Truck Company was the earliest manufacturer at the airport
Years Active: 1916-1925
Sherman Fairchild chose the new location for his company after surveying the site by air.
Years Active: 1925 -1931
Sherman Fairchild started his engine company
Years Active: 1928 -1955
Leroy Grumman moved from Valley Stream To Farmingdale
Years Active (at the airport): 1932-1937
Alexander De Seversky founded a new aircraft company
Years Active 1935-1939
Seversky was dismissed from the company and the board of directors re-named it Republic Aviation
Years Active 1939-1965
Years Active 1965-1972
Fairchild Republic Corporation
Years Active 1972-1987
“New – LI Republic airports.” Google Sites. sites.google.com/site/lirepublicairporths/new
Republic Airport - Long Island's Executive Airport – History. www.republicairport.net/history.htm