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Local History

The History of Ozark Airlines—New Documentary by OPT to Premiere

Ozarks Public Television, as part of its mission to explore and share the history of the Ozarks, will be premiering a new documentary next week featuring the history of one airline whose roots began in Springfield.  Brent Slane is with OPT and is co-producer of the film.

“I think folks will be surprised to learn what a long history Ozark Airlines has, and how it started in the Ozarks and progressed to St. Louis and continued for 30 plus years.  Folks will learn that it started in 1945 from the Springfield downtown airport,” Blane says.

Many people were interviewed for the documentary explains Slane, including former passengers, pilots, flight attendants, maintenance staff and lawyers associated with the airline.  Slane shares everyone was very invested in the company and considered themselves to be more like a family than a just a business.   

“That was something very obvious early on when we started talking to people—their faces would just glow when you started talking about Ozark Airlines and having those memories of what it was like to fly on those planes.  It’s just a really neat experience,” Slane shares.

Ozark Airlines was not just a regional carrier, but a viable domestic airline that flew to each coast. 

“Ozark was really at the forefront of a lot of different technologies and procedures that the airline industry adopted.  Whenever the merger with TWA occurred, many of the processes that Ozark had in place TWA adopted as well and transferred into their organization,” explains Slane.

The one-hour feature documentary will air Thursday, June the 25th at 8 p.m. on OPT.

OPT and KSMU are both part of Ozarks Public Broadcasting.