For all the nostalgia buffs out there, today is the 30th annivesary of the opening of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The airport was officially opened at midnight January 13, 1974 - the first flight was an American Airlines 727-100 from Little Rock, which touched down a few minutes after midnight.
Of course, that meant the end of major flight operations at Dallas Love Field, just about ten miles to the east. The final flight out of Love was a Braniff 727 to Minneapolis, which left just before midnight. The next morning, only Southwest Airlines was left at DAL
, although they relocated their operations from the north to the west concourse (former American gates).
Braniff took all 13 of its jetways from DAL
to the new airport, and hung them from the gates over the next few days (they had 24 gates in their new terminal, so 11 jetbridges were ordered new.) Most of those jetways can still be found at DFW
Terminal B (formerly 2W) - Braniff logos can still be seen on the control consoles as you board the aircraft.
Back then DFW
was quite different from its present setup - Terminal 2W (now Terminal B) was used exclusively by Braniff. Terminal 2E (now A) was occupied by Texas International, Ozark and Frontier. Terminal 3E (now C) was home to American and Eastern, and Terminal 4E (now E) was used by Delta and Continental (Southwest was to be housed here as well, had they been forced to move to DFW
Hard to believe DFW
is 30 years old - there are many in Dallas who view it as the most important event to occur in North Texas in the 20th century. It literally put Dallas/Fort Worth on the world map, and was the catalyst for its tremendous growth in the 1980s and 1990s (that continues today.)
I'd love to hear from anybody who was around back in 1974, when flights moved from little old Love Field to the giant, windswept "airport on the prairie."
Happy Birthday, DFW