The Westchester County Airport was originally constructed on land purchased by Westchester County. However, World War II began, and the land set aside for the airport was appropriated by the United States Army.
In 1944, when the pressure for fighter planes to defend New York City from enemy attack had passed, the airport was returned to the County and opened for civilian use.
Although the airport opened in February 1945, it was three years before the first commercial flight took off from Westchester Airport.
Beginning in 1952, the United States Air National Guard maintained a base at the airport for reserve training and transportation missions. However, the military presence at the airport ended in 1983 when the unit moved to Stewart Airport.
Since then, the airport has been developed, with respect for the environment and the surrounding communities, as an economic development tool to enhance the attractiveness of Westchester as a place to live and do business.
In 2005, discount airlines came to the airport for the first time. This offered low cost transportation to recreational destinations in addition to the cities that had been the focus of business for commercial service until that time.
In 2011, approximately 1.9 million passengers passed through the main terminal on some 34,000 commercial flights, directly to and from business and recreational destinations throughout the United States.
As one of the most active business aviation facilities in the nation, the airport had approximately 73,000 corporate and charter operations in 2011. Total operations for that year were comprised of approximately 21 percent commercial aircraft operations, 45 percent corporate operations, and 34 percent light general aviation.