Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth , and is the busiest airport in Texas . In terms of aircraft movements, it is the third busiest airport in the world.
In terms of passenger traffic, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world transporting 59,064,360 passengers in 2005. In terms of land area, it is the largest airport in Texas , the second largest in the United States , and fourth largest in the world with a ground area larger than the island of Manhattan . It is the nation’s tenth busiest international gateway, behind Honolulu International Airport . Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was recently named as “The Best Cargo Airport in the World” according to the second edition of a survey.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport serves 129 domestic destinations and 36 international, and is the largest and main hub for American Airlines(800 daily departures), the world’s largest airline, and also the largest hub for American Eagle, the world’s largest regional airline. Eighty four percent of all flights at Dallas/Fort Worth are operated by American Airlines. Delta Airlines closed its Dallas/Fort Worth hub in February 2005 in an effort to cut costs. The airline shrank operations from 256 daily nonstop flights to 21.
Dallas/Fort Worth International 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, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is inside the city limits of four 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 on a rotating basis.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is connected by shuttle bus to a commuter rail station just south of the airport. The Trinity Railway Express line serves both downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth .
Dallas/Fort Worth International 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 became the only airport in the metropolitan area to offer long-haul commercial air passenger service on aircraft with more than 56 passenger seats.
Also in 1979, American Airlines moved its headquarters from New York to Fort Worth (adjacent to DFW on the former site of GSW). American began its first hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 1981, started flights to London in 1982, and started flights to Tokyo in 1987. Delta Airlines built up a domestic hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport during the same period, but announced its closure in 2004 in a restructuring of the airline to avoid bankruptcy. Today, Delta only flies from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to their three hubs plus Orlando and New York-LaGuardia.
After the closing of Delta’s hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport offered incentives to Southwest Airlines to relocate its hub to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Love Field. Southwest, as in the past, declined the offer, opting to remain at Love Field (DFW, in turn, opposes all efforts to expand Love Field operations). Additionally, the airport offered incentives to at least three other airlines to locate at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, all of whom declined as well.
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.
The four primary North-South runways (those closest to the terminals) were all lengthened from 11,388 ft (3471 m) to their current length of 13,400 ft (4084 m). The first of these, 17R/35L, was extended in 1996 (at the same time the new runway was constructed), and the other three (17C/35C, 18L/36R, and 18R/36L) were extended in 2005. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is now the only airport in the world with four serviceable paved runways longer than 4000 m.
A new international terminal (Terminal D) opened in July 2005.
A new people mover system, named Skylink, opened in Spring of 2005 and is the world’s largest high-speed airport train system. Totally automated, Skylink trains run every few minutes and travel at speeds approaching 50 mph. Skylink is double tracked, permitting bi-directional operations. The Skylink system was acquired from Bombardier Transportation and has been well-received by passengers. Skylink replaced the original Airtrans system (part of which was later referred to as American Airlines’ TrAAin system), which was notoriously slow and uni-directional (though it was a state-of-the-art automated system when the airport opened).
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport handles sixty percent of all air cargo in Texas . Asia and Europe account for over 75% of the cargo at the 25th busiest cargo airport in the world.
In a recent survey by Air Cargo World, Dallas/Fort Worth ranked as “The Best Cargo Airport in the World“.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has the highest number of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 operations in the world. It is the home of American Airlines, who operates 361 MD-80s.
Skylink, the airport’s train system, is the world’s largest high-speed airport train system. Totally automated, Skylink travels at speeds approaching 50 mph, and is also bi-directional. It opened in Summer 2005 as part of the airport’s Capital Development Program that included the International Terminal D project as well.