Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of Dallas/fort Worth International Airportby Representative Kenny Marchant
Posted on 2014-01-13
in the house of representatives
Monday, January 13, 2014
Mr. MARCHANT. Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to celebrate the
fortieth anniversary of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW),
which operated its first commercial flight on January 13, 1974. More
than a massive facility, DFW is an economic and development engine that
has transformed the course of North Texas in the past four decades.
Ground was broken for DFW on December 11, 1968, with Dallas Mayor J. Erik Johnson and Fort Worth Chamber President J. Lee Johnson III leading their respective cities in the joint venture. Four years prior, the Civil Aeronautics Board sought for the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to choose a site for a new airport to service them both. Ultimately, a space that lay seventeen miles from either city's core was chosen in an area covering parts of the cities of Coppell, Euless, Grapevine, and Irving.
DFW has a unique history in aviation. At a 1973 dedication ceremony one year before its general opening, it was the first airport in the U.S. to welcome the landing of a supersonic Concorde. Supersonic service between DFW and Europe was then inaugurated in 1979 with the parallel landings of two Concorde jets. American Airlines, today the largest airline in the world, made DFW its first hub in 1981 and invented the modern ``hub and spoke'' route system there in 1982. In 1989, Atlantis, piggybacking on a modified Boeing 747, made DFW the first commercial airport to host a shuttle landing.
The 1990s saw significant expansion, including the addition of a seventh runway in 1996 and the first of four runway extensions starting that same year. To this day, DFW is the only airport in the world with four paved serviceable runways longer than 4,000 meters. In 2005, the Skylink rail and the international Terminal D were added. DFW now hosts fifty-nine international destinations, twenty-five of which were added in the last three years; and its 11.1% growth rate in international traffic in 2012 (and even more in 2013) was double that of its U.S. peers.
DFW serves 200 destinations and is the fourth busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movement. It ranks eighth in passenger traffic at 60 million per year, or 164,000 per day. It is also the second-largest in the U.S. in terms of physical space, with approximately 18,000 acres (larger than the island of Manhattan). It moves 645,000 tons of cargo per year. Its parking spaces alone are staggering at 40,000. Ultimately, according to the University of North Texas, DFW airport is responsible for adding $31.6 billion to the economy annually and for 148,000 jobs. Even that is only part of the story.
The population of the Dallas/Fort Worth area has grown from 2.5 million to 6.7 million in the 40 years since DFW airport opened. This telling growth has come with a boom in the size and quality of life in the two namesake cities and also for numerous nearby suburban cities, many of which are in the 24th District of Texas. Several major corporations--including American Airlines, Fluor, Kimberly Clark, and Exxon Mobil, to name a few--located their headquarters in the area for the strategic and logistic boon that DFW offers from its prime position between the coasts. Manufacturing plants, entertainment venues, conferences, and businesses of all types have sprung up over the years as a result of the airport.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the 24th Congressional District of Texas, I ask all my distinguished colleagues to join me in celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, as well as the vibrancy that it has brought to the 24th District in which it sits, and in thanking the countless people of all trades, services, and professions who have made this economic engine possible.