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Air Force One at Olmsted Field / Harrisburg Airport International Airport

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (State Historical Landmark)


The Middletown Air Depot at Olmstead was the official location of the Air Force base. It then closed in 1969, and then became the Harrisburg International Airport (HIA). The facility is named in honor of 1st Lieutenant Robert Sanford Olmsted, U.S. Army Air Service, on March 11th, 1948. Olmsted was killed in a ballooning accident in the Netherlands. Lightning struck him down, resulting in his death. The Harrisburg International Airport was first opened in 1917 as the Middletown Air Depot. It was a supply and Maintenance location for Signal Corps Aircraft.

This is a view of Harrisburg International Airport.
Former president Bush is leaving Air Force One at Harrisburg International Airport.


The Harrisburg International Airport is located in the Pennsylvania capitol city. Before its current name, the Harrisburg International Airport was known as the Middletown Air Depot at Olmsted. It was the a U.S. Air Force base until 1969 when it officially closed. The federal government was the owner and operator of the Middletown Air Field as the Olmstead air Force Base from the years 1868 to 1966. There were many historical operations held at the base which included the maintenance, testing of aircraft and overhauling. Because of the facility operations done by Harrisburg International Airport and the Air Force Base, contamination occurred. The soil, groundwater and surface water now contained hazardous chemicals. The operations and maintenance are still ongoing, following the cleanup. This location was then taken off the Superfund programs NPL (National Priorities List) in 1997 because they had met the cleanup standards set.

Along with other people, the Harrisburg International Airport is the landing and leaving location of many important people in government including various presidents. The Harrisburg International Airport has been a major part of history that is still being used today. It was originally the site of a U.S. Army Signal Corps location that began in 1898. Military airplanes flew out of what became Olmsted Field in 1918 during WWI as part of the U.S. Army Air Service. In conclusion, the Harrisburg International Airport has been a part of our past, present and future. Many important events have occurred in this location and many important people have been involved with this airport.


  • "Search Superfund Site Information." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 28 Dec. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

  • "Harrisburg - International (Olmsted Field) (MDT / KMDT)." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017

  • "Harrisburg Air National Guard Base." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Mar. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

  • "Did You Know?" Harrisburg Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2017.

Picture Sources -



1 Terminal Dr
Middletown, PA 17057
  • Military History
  • Political and Diplomatic History
  • Railroads and Transportation
This location was created on 2017-03-25 by Kendra Herr, Elizabethtown Area High School; Instructed by Gerald Huesken.   It was last updated on 2017-03-30 by Gerald Huesken .

This entry has been viewed 1694 times within the past year


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