• February

    15

    2024

Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Spotlight: Charles D. Stevens

Charles D. Stevens *Charles D. Stevens*
Inducted: 2006
Richmond, Virginia

Inducted in 2006, Charles Stevens began his aviation career as a line boy in 1939 at Washington Hoover Airport. Stevens obtained his pilots license in 1940. In June 1941 he went to work at the new Washington National Airport and was assigned to the Central Tower to work in air traffic control, where he had the honor of clearing to land the first scheduled air carrier into the new airport. During World War II Stevens was transferred to Dallas-Fort Worth and also to Amarillo to serve as Chief of Air Traffic Control. In 1945 Stevens transferred to Richmond International Airport as a controller and was promoted to Chief Controller in 1946. Stevens’ keen observation and understanding of the needs of different types of air traffic made his constant drive for improved procedures and new equipment above average in effectiveness. The many improvements and services facilitated by Stevens at Richard E. Byrd Airport, later Richmond International Airport, included early radar, VOR, multiple ILS, separation of user radio frequencies, familiarization of pilots with FAA procedures, “Operation Raincheck” and many others.

Obituary:

STEVENS, Charles D., 97, of Henrico, died Monday, February 17, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Harriet Keith Stevens; and is survived by his son, Brian K. Stevens; and his grandson, Benjamin P. Stevens. Charlie was a pioneer Air Traffic Controller, and served as Chief Controller at Richard E. Byrd Airport, later Richmond International Airport, from 1946 until his retirement in 1976. He was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006. Burial services will be private.

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