The history of aviation in Ashland is well established, dating back to the early 1920's. Several airfields were utilized in the Ashland area during the early years of aviation. In the late 1940's an airstrip developed by Sumner Parker, a local pilot, was leased to the City of Ashland for use as a public airport. The Sumner Parker site was located approximately 3 miles from Downtown Ashland and was found to be well suited for aircraft operations. The City continued to lease the property and make improvements to the airfield into the 1960's. In 1963, based on growing community support, the City began to evaluate future development needs of the airport. After establishing an airport committee, a feasibility study was conducted to determine the best location for a local airport. The Sumner Field site was found to be the most feasible, and the City Council authorized negotiations for purchase of the property surrounding the airstrip. Federal approval of the site was received in 1964, and acquisition of the property was completed shortly thereafter. The airport was renamed Ashland Municipal Airport - Sumner Parker Field. A number of major airport improvements have occurred at Ashland Municipal Airport since it became a publicly owned facility. In 1968, the runway was paved and lighted; an aircraft parking apron was constructed, and an airport administrative building was completed shortly thereafter. Since the initial development, the runway has been widened to 75 feet, and a 200 foot displaced threshold was added to Runway 30, and the parallel taxiway was extended 660 feet to the end of Runway 12. Other improvements include extension of the Runway 12 overrun (safety area); expanded apron and tie-down areas; improvements to vehicle parking and access roadways; construction of a maintenance facility; and various landscaping projects.
Ashland Municipal Airport is owned and operated by the City of Ashland, under the Department of Public Works. A nine-member appointed Airport Commission oversees the operations of the Airport. Skinner Aviation the Airports Fixed Base Operator is responsible for administering tie-downs and hangar rents, fuel flowage fees etc., through an operating lease with the City.