History and Background of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

In 1927 Dallas proposed Fort Worth to have a shared airport, but Fort Worth rejected the proposal. Each city opened its airport – Love Field and Meacham Field . Love Field used to be the main airport in Dallas until 1974. Meacham Field, named after the former Forth Worth Mayor Henry C. Meacham opened in Fort Worth.

Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) declined to invest in separate Dallas and Fort Worth Airports, so the idea of joining two airports came back to life in 1961. The federal government ordered choosing a site for the airport. The selected location was between three towns – Euless, Irving, and Grapevine Texas. Cities purchased the land, and on December 11, 1968, the ground was broken on the airport. The construction of the airport lasted for five years and was presented to the public on September 20 of 1973.

The first landing at the airport was from Air France with its Concorde flying from Caracas to Paris; however, the field officially opened several months later when American Airlines flight 315 from Little Rock landed at the airport and the commercial service at the cost of$700 million began at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. By that time the airport had only four terminals – 2W, 2E, 3E, and 4E.

In the early years of airport’s operations, Braniff International Airways was the dominant airline at Dallas/Fort Worth International airport and had a hub at Terminal 2W with international flights to South America and Mexico starting from 1974, to London from 1978 and to Europe and Asia from 1979. When the Braniff had a hub at the airport, Dallas/Fort Worth, or DFW, was among only four airports in the country to have scheduled Concorde service.

American Airlines founded the first hub at the airport in 1981, andthree years later, the hub occupied most of Terminal 3E, and also a part of Terminal 2E. Through 1990s Delta’s hub held most of Terminal 4E, and around 1991 Delta had 35% market share at the airport. Delta closed its hubin 2004, redeployed aircraftto hubsin other parts of the US and cut down flights to 21 per day to avoid bankruptcy.

A new international terminal at the airport opened in 2005.

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