HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lawmakers and city leaders are debating closing Brainard Airport in Hartford.

“There’s a lot of action that goes on down here, people just don’t know about it,” said Dr. Michael Teiger, president of the Hartford Brainard Airport Association.

Teiger said there are three active flight schools that put out almost 100 private pilots a year. They also train the technicians down at Connecticut Aero Tech.

Built more than 100 years ago, Brainard has seen the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. In this modern era of pilot and crew shortages, Teiger said now is not the time to shut it down.

“Right now there’s a big pilot shortage and because of that there are canceled flights, so it’s got a big impact. Take this airport and 100 pilots away a year is really a big deal. They can’t just pick up Brainard and say goodbye,” he said.

At the airport, they have about 60,000 takeoff and landings a year, and they bring in hundreds of planes from all over the country for maintenance.

“We think we certainly have a gem, as a matter of fact we are very fortunate that probably half of our customers come here from out of state,” said Barbara Rowley, vice president of VIP Avionics, Inc.

Her father-in-law started this company in 1975 with one tiny hanger and built it up over the years to now servicing hundreds of planes as well as the state police helicopter, LifeStar and civil air patrol from three states.

Brainard does its fair share of corporate flights as well.

“This week, this is the third time I fly… from Virginia to Ohio to Kentucky, I utilize this airport to be able to transport myself, my installers to projects,” said Juan Villamizar, owner of Reliable Flooring.

For the next couple of weeks, every Monday and Friday, they are bringing lawmakers and leaders through to show them first-hand exactly what goes on at the airport.