In 1927, former World War I pilot, promoter and entrepreneur Parker Van Zandt launched the first commercial air tours of the Grand Canyon. In a meadow in northern Arizona, at a location called Red Butte, he created a runway and built a hangar, 4 support cottages and a main house, Casa Grande, which was considered as elegant as the famous El Tovar Lodge, hotel luxury hotel located on the edge of the Canyon and opened in 1905. His airline Scenic Airways was financed by some of the most influential American businessmen of the time, such as Henry Ford.
From 1931 onwards, the air tourism service operated from the South Bank under various names, with the exception of the years of World War II, from 1942 to 1945, during which leisure flights were suspended and the Red Butte Aerodrome served as a takeoff and landing point for military flights only. In 1951, civil aviation resumed its activities in Red Butte with the Hudgins brothers, and, from 1957, the airline service was renamed Grand Canyon Airlines, Inc.
WHY THIS PLACE
Take your guests to this location on the South Rim, which offers the widest and most beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, as this is where its walls are about 20 miles away from each other. Opt for a very special ceremony in front of this "gorge" that has been forming for millions of years.
• In January 1966, the original airport was closed, and it was replaced by the new Grand Canyon National Park Airport, built 13 miles to the northwest, in Tusayan.
• From the 1970s to 2005, this historic site was used for raising cattle and horses and for crops.
• As of 2005, the entire area of the airport (850 acres) became part of the US Forest Service, which leased the property to farmers.