Airport Timeline

Lake Ridge Aero Park is a private use airport in Durham, NC. Located next to Falls Lake and just 11 nm north of Raleigh-Durham, the airfield’s history dates back to 1945.

1945 : Pharris Field

  • Dan K. Bryan converts farmland into two intersecting runways

  • Runway 6/24 2600 ft

  • Runway 14/32 3200 ft

  • Airport named Pharris Field after Dan Bryan’s wife

  • The Boy Brothers sold surplus WWII aircraft from the airfield including North American T-6s, Twin Beech and Stearman airplanes

  • Airfield was used by crop dusters and for glider operations

  • A racetrack was located on northeast end of Runway 6 where Linwood Roberts ran the motor grader

1948 : Bryan Field

1955 : Wilkins Field

  • Odell Wilkins, WWII Flight Instructor and A&P Mechanic, leases airport

  • Airport renamed to Wilkins Field

  • Wilkins Flying Service offers aircraft maintenance and flight instruction

  • In 1965, Odell Wilkins leaves Durham to join Eastern Airlines in Atlanta

1966 : Durham Skypark

  • Woody Woodall leases airport

  • Woodall Flying Service offers flight instruction, aircraft maintenance and avionics shop

  • Airport renamed Durham Skypark

  • Rented airport for $100 month

  • Property owned by Aviation Land and Development Company (WTVD Channel 11)

  • Field had been abandoned; runways so rough they were not driveable by car

  • Woody first lands at the field in a Piper Cherokee N4504R owned by Warren Wheeler(Warren had just joined Piedmont Airlines and was their first African American pilot)

  • Woodall Flying Services has 2-3 full time flight instructors / mechanics and 9 planes in the fleet including C150, C172, Skylane, Apache, Citabria, Tri-Pacer

  • Cessna Dealer / Cessna Pilot Center, 141 Flight School

  • Sold Esso fuel

  • 45 aircraft based at field

1976 : Lake Ridge Aero Park

  • Sterling Gann buys airport and adjacent land for residential development

  • Airport renamed Lake Ridge Aero Park

  • FAA Identifier W65


  • Falls Lake construction begins

  • Runway 6/24 closed due to housing development leaving one Runway 14/32

  • A section of the old Runway 6/24 is the taxiway near the hangars and windsock


  • Empire Aviation Flight School opens with one Cessna 150 before adding a Piper Cherokee, Cessna 172, and other aircraft to its fleet. Moves to Henderson-Oxford Airport (KHNZ) in 2009.


  • Airport sold to BRNJ, Inc. (Randy Smith, Bobby Fuller and Rick Fuller)


  • FAA Identifier changed from W65 to 8NC8

December 2020

  • Airport sold to Lake Ridge Aero, LLC (Paul Rovegno II & Daniel Rovegno)

  • The brother's host two Fly-In event's each year which take place in the Spring and Fall. The events are focused around introducing people to general aviation and expanding the network of pilots already within general aviation.