Alabama's role in aviation began in 1935 when the Alabama Legislature adopted Act 493. The Aeronautics Commission was established by Act 493 and it then consisted of seven members, with five appointed by the Governor for staggered terms of four years. The remaining two were statutory members, who served by virtue of their appointments as Directors of the Alabama Departments of Public Safety and Transportation.
In 1945, the Aeronautics Commission was enlarged and changed to the Alabama Department of Aeronautics. Under this reorganization, the Aeronautics Department was defined as consisting of the Department, the Director of Aeronautics, who is the Executive Officer, and the staff. The Department was given general supervision over all phases of aeronautics within the State of Alabama. Funding for the Department's operations was secured when the Legislature adopted the Aviation Gasoline Tax Allocation Act (Act 367). Act 367 dedicated all aviation gas taxes to aviation related purposes; therefore the operations of the Department are not a burden on the general taxpayers of the state.
In May 2000, the Alabama Department of Aeronautics merged with the Alabama Department of Transportation. The Aeronautics Commission remained intact and now serves in an advisory capacity to the Transportation Director.
To serve the local airport operators and general public by assuring that aviation fuel taxes are spent on projects and research that will preserve and enhance Alabama's air transportation system. Ensuring the long-term safety and efficiency of Alabama's airports is essential to the state's transportation system.