Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Missing image

DFW from the air
Type of airport commercial
Run by City of Dallas, City of Fort Worth
Opened January 13, 1974
Cities Euless, Grapevine, and Irving, Texas, United States
Coordinates Template:Coor dms
Direction Length Surface
(ft) (m)
17L/35R 8,500 2,591 Paved
17R/35L 13,402 4,085 Paved
17C/35C 11,391 3,472 Paved
18L/36R 13,398 4,084 Paved
18R/36L 11,391 3,472 Paved
Number of passengers 60,488,713
Comments on this test infobox

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Template:Airport codes, located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, is the busiest airport in Texas and third busiest airport in the world in terms of operations. In terms of passenger traffic, it is the sixth busiest airport in world. In terms of land area, it is the largest airport in Texas, the second largest in the United States, and third largest in the world, with a larger ground area than the island of Manhattan. The airport is the main hub for American Airlines, the world's largest airline.

The airport is often referred to by its IATA airport code, "DFW." It is operated in many ways like a small city. It has its own post office and its own ZIP Code. The members of the airport's Board of Directors are appointed by the "owner cities" of Dallas and Fort Worth. However, the airport is inside the city limits of three other suburban cities, a situation that has led to legal battles over jurisdiction (see below). To help ensure future harmony with its neighbors, the DFW Airport Board includes a non-voting member -- a representative chosen from the airport's neighbors (Irving, Euless, Grapevine, and Coppell) on a rotating basis.

DFW is connected by commuter rail with both downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth via the Trinity Railway Express.



As early as 1927, before the area had an airport, Dallas proposed a joint airport with Fort Worth. Fort Worth declined the offer, and thus the two cities opened their own airports, Love Field and Meacham Field. Airlines offered service at both airports.

In 1940, the Civil Aeronautics Administration earmarked $1.9 million for the construction of a Dallas-Fort Worth regional airport. American Airlines and Braniff Airways struck a deal with the city of Arlington to build an airport there, but the governments of Dallas and Fort Worth disagreed over its construction, and the project was abandoned in 1943. After World War II, Fort Worth annexed the site and developed it into Amon Carter Field with the help of American Airlines. Fort Worth transferred its commercial flights from Meacham Field to the new airport in 1953, which was now just 12 miles from Dallas Love Field. In 1960, Fort Worth purchased Amon Carter Field and renamed it Greater Southwest International Airport in an attempt to compete with Dallas' more successful airport. However, GSIA's traffic continued to decline relative to Love Field: by the mid-1960s, Fort Worth was getting 1% of Texas air traffic while Dallas was getting 49%, which led to the virtual abandonment of GSIA.

The joint airport proposal was revisited in 1961 after the FAA refused to invest any more money in separate Dallas and Fort Worth airports. Although the Fort Worth airport was eventually abandoned, Dallas Love Field became congested and had no more room to expand. Following an order from the federal government in 1964, officials from the two cities finally agreed on a location for a new regional airport that was north of the abandoned GSIA and almost perfectly equidistant from the two city centers. The land was purchased by both cities in 1966, and construction began in 1969.

The first landing of a supersonic concorde in the United States occurred at DFW Airport in 1973 to commemorate the airport's completion.

DFW Airport opened for commercial service on January 13, 1974. At the time, it was the largest and costliest airport in the world. Following the Wright Amendment of 1979, which banned long-distance flights from Love Field, DFW's traffic skyrocketed. (See Love Field article for a description and history of the Wright Amendment.) In 1978, American Airlines moved its headquarters from New York to Fort Worth (adjacent to DFW on the former site of GSIA). American began its first hub at DFW in 1981, started flights to London in 1982, and started flights to Tokyo in 1987. Delta Air Lines built up a domestic hub at DFW during the same period, but announced its closure in 2004 in a restructuring of the airline to avoid bankruptcy.

In 1989, DFW Airport was the first commercial airport to host a space shuttle landing.

Also in 1989, the airport authority announced plans to rebuild the existing terminals and construct two new runways. After an environmental impact study was released the following year, the cities of Irving, Euless, and Grapevine sued the airport over its expansion plans, a battle that was finally decided (in favor of the airport) by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994. The seventh runway opened in 1996, and is said to have decreased air congestion throughout the United States by approximately 18 to 22 percent.

A new international terminal and a new people mover system are currently under construction and will open in 2005. When it is completed, the Skylink people mover will be the world's largest high-speed airport train system.

Disasters at DFW

Disasters involving DFW

Missing image
FAA diagram of DFW, with old terminal numbers


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has four terminals and a fifth under construction. The airport is designed to be expandable and can theoretically accommodate up to thirteen terminals totalling 260 gates, although this level of expansion is unlikely to be reached in the foreseeable future.

The terminals at DFW are semicircular and built around the airport's central north-south arterial road, Texas Highway 121. Until the late 1990s, they were designated by a number (2 being northernmost, 4 being southernmost) and a letter suffix ("E" for East, "W" for West). This system was later scrapped, and the terminals are now lettered from A to E.

DFW's terminals are designed to minimize the distance between a passenger's car and airplane: a consequence of this layout is that connecting passengers have to walk extremely long distances between gates. American Airlines operates a people mover system called the "TrAAin" between Terminals A, B, and C, which helps to speed up connections: however, the system is now aging and operates at noticeably low speeds. The train was replaced by the "Skylink" in April 2005, which runs all five terminals at a considerably higher speed. It is also the world's largest high-speed airport train system.

Terminal A (former Terminal 2E)

  • American Airlines Gates A9 - A39 (Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Belize, Birmingham, Boston, Buenos Aires, Burbank, Calgary, Cancun, Caracas, Charlotte, Chicago Midway, Chicago O'Hare, Colorado Springs, Columbus, Cozumel, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fresno, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston Bush, Huntsville/Decatur, Indianapolis, Ixtapa, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville, Kahului, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Leon/Guanajuato, Lima, London Gatwick, London Heathrow (via Chicago), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madrid, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterrey, Montreal, Nashville, Nassau, Newark, New Orleans, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Norfolk, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, Paris de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, Providence, Puerto Vallarta, Raleigh/Durham, Reno, Richmond, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose CA, San Jose Cabo, San Jose CR, San Juan, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis, Tampa, Tokyo Narita, Toronto, Tucson, Tulsa, Vail/Eagle, Vancouver, Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan, West Palm Beach, Wichita, Zurich)
  • American Eagle Gates A2A - A2N, A3 - A4 (Abilene, Amarillo, Baton Rouge, Buffalo, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chihuahua, Cincinnati, Cleveland, College Station, Columbus, Corpus Christi, Dayton, Des Moines, Detroit, Evansville, Fayetteville AR, Fort Smith, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Gulfport/Biloxi - starts Oct. 30 2005, Houston Bush, Houston Hobby, Huntsville/Decatur, Jackson/Vicksburg, Kileen, Knoxville, Laredo, Lawton, Lexington, Little Rock, Longview, Louisville, Lubbock, Madison, Memphis, Midland/Odessa, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mission, Moline, Monterrey, Nassau, Oklahoma City, Peoria, Rochester MN, Rochester NY, San Angelo, San Salvador, Santa Barbara, Savannah, Shreveport, Springfield MO, Syracuse, Texarkana, Toledo, Torreon, Traverse City, Tulsa, Tyler, Waco, Wichita, Wichita Falls)
  • Grupo Taca Gate A16 (Guatemala)

Terminal B (former Terminal 2W)

Terminal C (former Terminal 3E)

Terminal D

  • Under construction: will handle DFW's international flights. Scheduled to open in summer 2005. The terminal will have 23 gates and an integrated 298-room Hyatt Hotel.

Terminal E (former Terminal 4E)

DFW passenger paging number, DFW International Airport: +1 972 574 2233

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