Could the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport become a regional business hub in NC? Leaders hope so

Shown is the terminal at Laurinburg-Maxton Airport in Scotland County.

Courtesy photo | Seth Hatchell

As the United States ramped up its World War II efforts in the early 1940s, Fort Bragg grew to become the largest Army post in the country, accommodating 60,000 soldiers.

But lesser-known military training was taking place about 40 miles southwest of Fort Bragg, at what is now the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport. Up to 10,000 soldiers were stationed at the site, which became the largest glider pilot training base in the world, according to airport history.

At the time, the Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base in Scotland County operated much like a city, said Seth Hatchell, assistant director of the airport.

“They had a little movie theater out here,” he said. “They had their own chapel that actually still exists today.”

About 80 years later, the airport still caters to the military, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights, who parachute at the site…

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