It named the airfield Chatham Field and used it until the end of World War II as a bomber base and crew training base for B-24 bombers as well as fighter aircraft.

The first Savannah Municipal Airport was opened on September 20, 1929, with the inauguration of air service between New York City and Miami by Eastern Air Express.

In 1932, a city resolution named the airport Hunter Field. Army Air Corps proposed to take over Hunter Field if a war started.

Three 3,600-foot runways were constructed running north–south, east–west, and northeast–southwest.

In 1942, before the completion of this new airfield, the U. Army Air Corps decided to take over the new facility and start additional construction to carry out its mission.

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This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. In 2017, Savannah/Hilton Head International handled a record 2,462,881 commercial airline passengers (1,228,761 enplanements and 1,234,120 deplanements), a 12 percent increase over 2016.