Ron Gatewood – 2018 Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee
Ronald L. Gatewood, Colonel USMC (Retired) From 1964 to 1991, Ron Gatewood served in the United
States Marine Corps as a Naval aviator, retiring as a Colonel. Following his final assignment at the Pentagon, Ron settled in Warrenton, Virginia, and has remained a resident of Fauquier County for the last 35 years.
After his retirement from the military, Ron established several aviation-related businesses, including SkyWorld Aviation, Tracey Corporation and Midland Development Corporation, and managed the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (W66). He was instrumental in transforming the small country airport into a robust aviation hub.
Through his entrepreneurial spirit, keen business sense and vision, Ron used SkyWorld Aviation to provide services in aviation maintenance and management.
Through Tracey Corporation, Ron was able to manage the day-to-day operations, airport infrastructure, and fixed-base operations (such as selling fuel and maintaining the County-owned hangars at W66).
Early on, Ron also realized the need for a flight school at W66, helping to prepare local student pilots seeking to earn their Private Pilot, Instrument and Multi-Engine certifi cations. In 1999, Ron founded Midland Development Corporation, which greatly expanded W66’s hangar facilities by building three sets of T hangars. The availability of these hangars attracted additional aircraft owners. He was also instrumental in securing the funding to upgrade Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, making it an IFR-rated airfield with a 5,000 foot runway, and leading to its re-designation from W66 to KHWY.
Ron has demonstrated an unmatched spirit of service to the local aviation community in Fauquier County. He has volunteered his time and pilot skills through AirServ International, a Virginia-based global disaster relief organization. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Aviation Business Association. And he has been the standard bearer for the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society for the Warrenton Chapter.