Situated on the northern end of North Carolina's Outer Banks, Elizabeth City has a strong aviation tradition. The Wright brothers used the "Harbor of Hospitality" as a final way station before traveling on to Kitty Hawk. This coastal town has been the center of United States Coast Guard Aviation since the establishment of the only Coast Guard-owned airport in 1939. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City began as an installation of six seaplanes operating off of the Pasquotank River. During World War II, the population ballooned to 8,000 assigned personnel. Post-war USCG Aviation expansion saw the addition of many maintenance functions that led to the creation of the Aviation Repair and Supply Base, the center of USCG Aviation maintenance. The base was expanded with a separate air station, the Aviation Technical Training Center, CG Aviation's schoolhouse, Support Center Elizabeth City, and Small Boat Station Elizabeth City. The mission of providing the finest aviation maintenance to Coast Guard Aviation and the highest level of service to mariners of the Virginia Capes and Outer Banks remains an integral part of the installation.