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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner City of Dallas

City of Fort Worth

Operator DFW Airport Board
Serves Dallas / Fort Worth
Location Coppell, Euless, Grapevine, and Irving
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 607 ft / 185 m
Coordinates 32°53′49″N 097°02′17″W / 32.89694°N 97.03806°W / 32.89694; -97.03806
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13L/31R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
13R/31L 9,301 2,835 Concrete
17C/35C 13,401 4,085 Concrete
17L/35R 8,500 2,591 Concrete
17R/35L 13,401 4,085 Concrete
18L/36R 13,400 4,084 Concrete
18R/36L 13,400 4,084 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 158 48 Concrete
Statistics (2007)
Passengers 59,784,876
Aircraft operations 685,491
Sources: Airports Council International[1]
Diagram of DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFWICAO: KDFWFAA LID: DFW) is located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth,[2] and is the busiest airport in the U.S. state of Texas.

With 638,782 aircraft movements in 2009,[3] it is the third busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements. In terms of passenger traffic, it is the eighth busiest airport in the world transporting 56,030,457 passengers[1] in 2009. In terms of land area, at 18,076 acres (7,315 ha),[4] it is the largest airport in Texas, the second largest in the United States, behind Denver International Airport, and third largest in the world. It is the ninth busiest international gateway in the United States, and second in Texas, behind George Bush Intercontinental Airport.[5] It has the most non-intersecting runways with 7. Only Chicago O'Hare International Airport comes close with 7 intersecting runways.[citation needed] In 2006 the airport was named the "Best Cargo Airport in the World" according to the second edition of a survey.[6][7]

The airport, within the incorporated cities of Coppell,[8] Euless,[9] Grapevine,[10] and Irving,[11] serves 138 domestic destinations and 38 international, and is the largest and main hub for American Airlines (745 daily flights), and also the largest hub for American Eagle. Eighty five percent of all flights at Dallas/Fort Worth are operated by American Airlines. Delta Air Lines eliminated its Dallas/Fort Worth hub in February 2005 in an effort to cut costs and avoid direct competition with American. The airline shrank operations from 256 daily nonstop flights to 21.

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, ZIP Code, and Public Services. The United States Postal Service gave the airport its own city designation, DFW Airport, TX.[12] The members of the airport's Board of Directors are appointed by the "owner cities" of Dallas and Fort Worth. The airport is inside the city limits of four 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.



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. Both airports had scheduled airline service.

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 1942. After World War II, Fort Worth annexed the site and developed it into Amon Carter Field[13] with the help of American Airlines.

Fort Worth transferred its commercial flights from Meacham Field to the new airport in 1953, which was just now 12 miles from Dallas Love Field.

In 1960, Fort Worth purchased Amon Carter Field and renamed it Greater Southwest International Airport GSW in an attempt to compete with Dallas' more successful airport. However, GSW's traffic continued to decline relative to Dallas 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 GSW. 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 that they would unilaterally choose a site if both cities could not come to an agreement on a site, officials from the two cities finally agreed on a location for a new regional airport that was north of the abandoned GSW 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 BAC/Sud (now BAE Systems and Aerospatiale) Concorde in the United States occurred at DFW Airport in 1973 to commemorate the airport's completion. Concorde later served DFW from 1979-1980 in a cooperative agreement between Braniff Airways, British Airways, and Air France. Braniff ended the service due to low load factors. Braniff was the largest airline to open D/FW in 1974 with a full semicircular terminal designated 2W ( now Terminal B) devoted to its operations. Other airlines, like American Airlines, only had half a terminal or less. DFW Airport opened for commercial service on January 13, 1974. The original name was Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport. The name change to Dallas/Fort Worth International did not occur until 1985. 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.[citation needed] American began its first hub at DFW in 1981, started flights to London in 1982, and started flights to Tokyo in 1987.[citation needed] American Airlines finished moving its headquarters from Grand Prairie, Texas to a building in Fort Worth located near DFW Airport on January 17, 1983; the airline began leasing the facility from the airport, which owns the facility.[14] Braniff International already had International service to South America and Mexico in 1974, London in 1978 and Europe and Asia in 1979. Delta Air Lines built up a hub at DFW during the same period but announced closure in 2004 in a restructuring of the airline to avoid bankruptcy. Today, Delta only flies from DFW to its 4 hubs.

Aerial view of DFW

After the closing of Delta's hub in 2005, DFW Airport offered incentives to Southwest Airlines to relocate its hub to DFW from Love Field. Southwest, like in the past, chose to stay at Love Field. In 1989, the airport authority announced plans to rebuild the existing terminals and construct 2 new runways. After an environmental impact study was released the following year, the cities of Irving, Euless, and Grapevine sued the airport over its extension plans, a battle that was finally decided (in favor of the airport) by the US Supreme Court in 1994. The seventh runway opened in 1996. The 4 primary North-South runways (those closest to the terminals) were all lengthened from 11,388 ft (3471m) 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. DFW is now the only airport in the world with 4 serviceable paved runways longer than 4000m.

Terminal D, built for international service operations, and Skylink, a modern people mover system, opened in 2005.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

DFW American Airlines departure

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has five terminals. The airport is designed with expansion in mind, and can theoretically accommodate up to thirteen terminals totaling 260 gates, although this level of expansion is unlikely to be reached in the foreseeable future.

The terminals at DFW are semicircular (except for the newest terminal, Terminal D, which is a "square U" shape) and built around the airport's central north-south arterial road, Spur 97, also known as "International Parkway." 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. Terminals A, C, and E (from north to south) are on the east side of the airport, while Terminals B and D (from north to south) are on the west side.

DFW's terminals are designed to minimize the distance between a passenger's car and airplane as well as reduce traffic around terminals. A consequence of this layout is that connecting passengers had to walk extremely long distances between gates (in order to walk from one end of the semicircular concourse to the other, one must walk the entire length; there were no shortcuts between the ends). The original people mover train (Airtrans APM) which opened with the airport was notoriously slow (17 mph (27 km/h)), uni-directional (running only in a counter-clockwise direction), and was located outside the secured area (thus requiring travelers to go through the security process again). It was replaced by SkyLink in April 2005 after serving approximately 250 million passengers.[15] Skylink serves all five terminals at a considerably higher speed, is bi-directional, and is located inside the secured area.

It was reported on August 31, 2009 that DFW Airport officials plan to have four airport terminals revamped. Terminals A, B, C and E are in the plans to receive an estimated $3 billion revamp that would take until 2017 to complete.[citation needed]

DFW and local Metroplex officials are also actively seeking additional passenger service. Emirates, EVA Air, Air India and Virgin America are a few of the target airlines.


Terminal A

American Airlines and its regional affiliate American Eagle have a large presence at Dallas/Fort Worth. The world's second largest airline, in terms of passengers transported, operates its largest hub at DFW. The two airlines operate at four of the five terminals at the airport. Terminal A, previously called "Terminal 2E" when the airport was first opened, is fully occupied by American Airlines for domestic flights. Prior to the opening of Terminal D, Terminal A operated most of AA's international flights at the airport. During the late 1990s, a significant number of American Eagle flights moved to Terminal B. Also in the late 1990s, American Eagle built a Satellite Terminal (Named Satellite Terminal A2) due to the lack of aircraft gates. It was located near Terminal A and was only accessible via shuttle buses. Satellite Terminal A2 (Gates A2A-A2N) was abandoned in 2005 when American Eagle moved all operations to Terminals B and D. However there are plans underway to redevelop the aging Terminal into a world class hub larger and more exclusive than international Terminal D into becoming American Airlines exclusive Central Terminal.

Terminal A has 31 gates: A9-A26, A28-A29, A33-A39

Terminal B

This terminal was originally called "Terminal 2W" when the airport first opened. It was formerly occupied by Braniff International Airways which was the largest carrier to open D/FW in 1974. Braniff Airways was its main occupant until May 1982. An "Inter-Faith" Chapel near United's former gates commemorate the airline. American Eagle occupies 32 gates at Terminal B. Midwest Airlines, US Airways, and United Airlines relocated to Terminal E in July 2006. That all changed on December 13, 2009 when United moved to Terminal E to join its new Alliance partner - Continental. At that point AA is now the sole operator in Terminals A, B, and C. Prior to the opening of Terminal D, all non-AA international flights operated from this terminal.

Terminal B has 35 gates: B3-B30, B33-B39

Terminal C

American Airlines operates all the gates at Terminal C, originally called "Terminal 3E" for only domestic flights.

Terminal C has 31 gates: C2-C4, C6-C8, C10-C12, C14-C17, C19-C22, C24-C33, C35-C37, C39

International Terminal D

International Terminal D designed by HKS, HNTB and Corgan Associates, with Austin Commercial serving as Construction Manager at Risk opened in July 2005. The new terminal is a 2,000,000 sq ft (186,000 m2) facility capable of handling 32,000 passengers daily or 11.7 million passengers annually, with 29 gates and an integrated 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW [1] Hotel. The terminal features 200 ticketing positions and a federal inspection facility capable of processing 2,800 passengers per hour. The concession areas consist of 100,000 sq ft (9,290 m2) of retail, including many dining and retail options. Stores include Mont Blanc, La Bodega Wines, Brookstone, L'Occitane and many others.

A Hyatt hotel is directly connected to the terminal. Additionally, overnight guests at the hotel who are not flying can obtain a pass to enter the concourses to visit shops and restaurants. Called the Airport Access Authorization to Commercial Establishments Beyond the Screen Checkpoint (AAACE), registered guests must undergo thorough background checks to pass through security. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is the only other airport participating in this program.[16]

International Terminal D

The new eight-level parking garage has over 8,100 parking spaces and uses a Smart Technology System that lets guests know which floors are full. Air-conditioned skybridges with moving walkways and elevators connect the garage to the terminal, and an arrivals canopy roof shields pedestrians from inclement weather as they enter and exit the terminal.

Terminal D has 29 gates: D6-D8, D10-D12, D14-D18, D20-D25, D27-D31, D33-D34, D36-D40

Terminal E

Terminal E, originally called Terminal 4E, was occupied primarily by Delta Air Lines until Delta closed its hub in 2005 and retained only flights to its other hubs. Terminal E is distinctive in that it has a satellite terminal connected by an underground walkway. The satellite, previously used by Delta and later used by Delta Connection carriers, is currently unused. Terminal E is also connected to other terminals only by Skylink and is lacking the walkways that link other terminals.

Terminal E has 26 gates: E2, E4-E18, E20-E21, E31-E38. It has customs facilities that were used when Delta operated flights to Frankfurt in the early 1990s, and when Air France and Aeroméxico used to serve DFW before the International Terminal D was constructed. In the 2000s, SkyTeam partner airlines Continental and Northwest moved to gates adjacent to Delta.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Canada Jazz Toronto-Pearson D
AirTran Airways Atlanta, Baltimore [seasonal], Milwaukee [begins April 6], Orlando E
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma E
American Airlines Albuquerque, Anchorage [seasonal], Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham (AL), Boston, Burbank, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Colorado Springs, Columbus (OH), Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Eagle/Vail [seasonal], El Paso, Fayetteville (AR), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fresno, Gunnison/Crested Butte [seasonal], Hartford/Springfield, Hayden/Steamboat Springs [seasonal], Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson Hole [seasonal], Jacksonville, Kahului, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, McAllen, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montrose [seasonal], Nashville, New Orleans, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario (CA), Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Richmond, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington-Dulles, Washington-Reagan, West Palm Beach, Wichita A, C, D
American Airlines Acapulco [seasonal], Belize City, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Calgary, Cancún, Caracas, Cozumel, Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo [seasonal], Liberia (Costa Rica), London-Heathrow, Madrid, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Monterrey, Montréal-Trudeau, Nassau, Panama City, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Providenciales [seasonal], Puerto Vallarta, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo, San Salvador [begins June 10], Santiago de Chile, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver D
American Eagle Abilene, Alexandria, Amarillo, Asheville [seasonal; begins April 6], Augusta (GA) [begins June 10], Baton Rouge, Bloomington/Normal, Brownsville, Cedar Rapids, Champaign/Urbana, Charleston (SC), Chattanooga, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Cleveland, College Station, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Corpus Christi, Dayton, Des Moines, Evansville, Fayetteville (AR), Fayetteville (NC) [begins June 10], Fort Smith, Fort Walton Beach, Fort Wayne, Grand Junction, Grand Rapids, Greensboro (NC), Greenville (SC), Gulfport/Biloxi, Houston-Hobby, Jackson, Killeen, Knoxville, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Laredo, Lawton, Lexington, Little Rock, Longview, Louisville, Lubbock, Madison, Manhattan (KS), Midland-Odessa, Milwaukee, Mobile, Moline/Quad Cities, Monroe, Montgomery, Montrose [seasonal], Myrtle Beach [seasonal; begins April 6][17], Pensacola, Peoria, Pittsburgh [ends April 5], Rapid City (SD) [begins April 6], Roswell, San Angelo, Santa Fe, Savannah, Shreveport, Sioux Falls [begins April 6], Springfield (MO), Tallahassee, Texarkana, Tulsa, Tyler, Wichita Falls B
American Eagle Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Guadalajara, León, San Luis Potosí, Torreón/Gómez Palacio D
American Eagle operated by Executive Airlines Amarillo, Fort Smith, Killeen, Lawton, Midland/Odessa, San Angelo, Shreveport, Tyler, Waco, Wichita Falls B
British Airways London-Heathrow D
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark E
Continental Express operated by Chautauqua Airlines Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental E
Continental Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental E
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul E
Delta Connection operated by Comair Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, New York-JFK E
Delta Connection operated by Mesaba Airlines Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul E
Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines Memphis E
Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines Salt Lake City E
Frontier Airlines Denver E
KLM Amsterdam D
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon D
Lufthansa Frankfurt D
Mexicana Mexico City D
Midwest Airlines operated by Republic Airlines Milwaukee E
Sun Country Airlines Cancún, Cozumel [seasonal], Laughlin [seasonal], Minneapolis/St. Paul D
TACA San Salvador D
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, San Francisco E
United Express operated by Shuttle America Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Washington-Dulles E
United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines Chicago O'Hare, Denver, Los Angeles E
US Airways Charlotte, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Phoenix E
US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines Charlotte E
US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines Philadelphia, Washington-Reagan E


With 660,465 tonnes of cargo handled in 2008, DFW is the world's 28th busiest cargo airport[citation needed]. 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 28th busiest cargo airport in the world.[citation needed]

In a recent survey by Air Cargo World, Dallas/Fort Worth ranked as "The Best Cargo Airport in the World". Frankfurt International Airport came in second, while Hong Kong International Airport and the world's busiest cargo airport, Memphis International Airport, tied for third. [2]

Cargo carriers

Ground Transportation

Within airport

  • The current people mover system, named Skylink, opened on May 21, 2005 and is the world's largest high-speed airport train system. Totally automated, Skylink trains run every two minutes[18], and travel at speeds up to 35–37 mph (56–60 km/h). Skylink is double-tracked, permitting bi-directional operations. The Skylink system was acquired from Bombardier Transportation and connects all terminals on the secure side.

Skylink replaced the original Airtrans system (part of which was later operated as American Airlines' TrAAin System), a state-of-the-art people mover at the time of the airport's opening. It served the airport for 31 years from 1974–2005 and transported a quarter of a billion passengers between DFW's four terminals and employee facilities, logging a total of 97,000,000 miles (156,000,000 km) on its fleet. Over time, its top speed of 17 mph (27 km/h) and uni-directional guideway made it impractical for connecting passenger transfers. The system was decommissioned soon after Skylink opened as a modern replacement; the old guideways were left in place throughout the airport.

  • Terminal Link connects all terminals with a shuttle bus system on the non-secure side.

To and from airport

Accidents and incidents

Accidents and incidents involving flights with a DFW connection


External links

Coordinates: 32°53′45″N 97°2′25″W / 32.89583°N 97.04028°W / 32.89583; -97.04028


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