Dfw Airport

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
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 607 ft / 185 m
Coordinates 32°53′49″N 097°02′17″W / 32.89694°N 97.03806°W / 32.89694; -97.03806Coordinates: 32°53′49″N 097°02′17″W / 32.89694°N 97.03806°W / 32.89694; -97.03806

Website www.dfwairport.com
FAA airport diagram
Location within Texas
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13L/31R 10,007 3,050 Concrete
13R/31L 11,155 3,400 Concrete
17C/35C 13,451 4,100 Concrete
17L/35R 11,302 3,445 Concrete
17R/35L 13,796 4,205 Concrete
18L/36R 14,534 4,430 Concrete
18R/36L 13,976 4,260 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 158 48 Concrete
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 57,832,495 (8th) (+1.6%)
Aircraft operations 646,803 (4th) (-.8%)
Economic impact (2012) $16.8 billion[1]
Social impact (2012) 157 thousand[1]
Sources: Airports Council International[2][3]

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

DFW, as of April 2013, is the world's 3rd busiest airport by aircraft movements.[4][3] In terms of passenger traffic, it is the eighth busiest airport in the world.[2] It is the largest hub for American Airlines. DFW Airport is considered to be an Airport City.

At 90 square kilometres (22,000 acres), [5] it is the largest airport in Texas, and the second largest in the United States, behind Denver International Airport. It is the tenth busiest international gateway in the United States, and second in Texas, following Houston Intercontinental.[6]

DFW has its own post office ZIP code, and public services, including its own police, fire protection, and emergency medical services. The United States Postal Service gave the airport its own city designation, DFW Airport, TX.[7] 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. 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.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport achieved a major milestone in 2013 by reaching 200 nonstop destinations, with the announcements of new service by American Eagle to Hermosillo and Zacatecas, Mexico. The new flights, which began in June 2013, gave DFW Airport a grand total of 200 destinations, including 52 international and 148 U.S. domestic destinations.

In surpassing 200 total destinations, DFW joined a select group of airports worldwide with that distinction, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, and Munich.[8]


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, with both fields being famous for their role in the events of November 22, 1963, before the assassination of President Kennedy. President Johnson took the oath of office on the tarmac at Love Field.[9]

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[10] with the help of American Airlines.

In 1953 Fort Worth transferred its commercial flights from Meacham Field to the new airport, which was 12 miles (19 km) 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' airport. 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 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 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 Aviation (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 DFW 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.[11] American established its first hub at DFW on June 11, 1981,[12] adding flights to London in 1982, and Tokyo in 1987.[13] 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 flights 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 7 hubs.

After the closing of Delta's hub in 2005 DFW offered incentives to Southwest Airlines to relocate its service to DFW from Love Field. Southwest, as in the past, chose to stay at Love Field. In 1989 the airport authority announced plans to rebuild the existing terminals and add two 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 feet (3,471 m) to their present length of 13,400 feet (4,084 m). The first, 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 4,000 metres (13,123 ft).

Terminal D, built for international flights, and Skylink, a modern bidirectional people mover system, opened in 2005.[15][16]

DFW was one of two airports in the US, the other being Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, to receive US troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan for rest and recuperation. This ended on March 14, 2012.[17]


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has five terminals totaling 161 gates. 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 initial four terminals were designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum and Brodsky, Hopf & Adler.[18]

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, later the American Airlines TrAAin) 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.[19] Skylink serves all five terminals at a considerably higher speed (up to 35 mph (56 km/h)), is bi-directional, and is located inside the secured area.[16]

DFW Airport is undergoing a $1.9 billion "Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program" (TRIP), which encompasses renovations of Terminals A, B, C and E. Work on the project began following the conclusion of Super Bowl XLV in February. Terminal A will be the first terminal to undergo these renovations.Gates A9-A26 were completed in April 2013, the whole terminal should be completed sometime in 2014, and the entire TRIP project should be complete by the end of 2017.[20]

Terminal A

American Airlines and its regional affiliate American Eagle have a large presence at Dallas/Fort Worth. The world's fourth 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, many American Eagle flights began moving to Terminal B. Before Terminal D was opened, American Eagle flights also used a satellite terminal (named Satellite Terminal A2) near Terminal A due to gate restraints. Passengers were taken to the satellite via shuttle buses from gate A6. Satellite Terminal A2 (Gates A2A–A2N) was abandoned in 2005 when American Eagle moved all flights to Terminals B and D.

Terminal A has 31 gates: A6–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 DFW in 1974. Braniff Airways was its main occupant until May 1982. An "Inter-Faith" Chapel near United's former gates commemorates the airline. American Eagle occupies 32 gates at Terminal B. AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines and US Airways (including the former America West Airlines) relocated to Terminal E in 2006. On December 13, 2009, United moved to Terminal E to join its new Alliance (and later Merger) partner – Continental. At that point American Eagle became the sole operator in Terminal B. Prior to the opening of Terminal D, all foreign flag carriers operated from this terminal.

Along with the TRIP improvements, a new 10-gate stinger concourse off of Terminal B will be constructed between gates B28 and B33 to accommodate future growth.[21]

Terminal B has 35 gates: B4–B30, and B33–B39.

Terminal C

American Airlines operates all the gates at Terminal C, originally called "Terminal 3E," for only domestic flights. A Hyatt Regency hotel is directly adjacent to this terminal.[22] A twin hotel building formerly stood across International Parkway, but was demolished for the construction of Terminal D.[23]

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

International Terminal D

International Terminal D is a 2,000,000 sq ft (186,000 m2) facility capable of handling 32,000 passengers daily or 11.7 million passengers annually. 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. The terminal was designed by HKS, HNTB and Corgan Associates, with Austin Commercial serving as Construction Manager at Risk, L.A. Fuess Partners, Campbell and Associates, and Walter P. Moore serving as structural engineers, and Friberg Associates, Inc., Carter/Burgess, LopezGarcia Group, and DFW Consulting Group serving as mechanical electrical and plumbing engineers.[24] It officially opened on July 23, 2005.[25]

The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel is directly connected to the terminal. Under the Airport Access Authorization to Commercial Establishments Beyond the Screen Checkpoint (AAACE) program, overnight guests at the hotel who are not flying can obtain a pass to enter the concourses to visit shops and restaurants, subject to screening by a law enforcement officer and an identity check against the government's no-fly list. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is the only other airport participating in this program.[26]

The 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. Delta branded the terminal "Easy Street" and marketed this term to passengers.[27] 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, was closed when Delta closed their DFW hub in 2005. The satellite terminal, reopened in 2012 and is currently being used by Spirit Airlines.[28] Terminal E is also connected to other terminals only by SkyLink and is lacking the walkways that link other terminals.

Terminal E has 35 gates: E2, E4–E18, E20–E38. It had a customs facilities that was 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. This terminal is used by all domestic airlines other than American Airlines. Air Canada Jazz and Westjet operate international flights out of Terminal E. These are Pre Custom Clearance flights from Canada. There were customs centers at Terminal E when it was a Delta hub.

On September 26, 2013, US Airways relocated from gates E35-E38 to the satellite terminal's gates E27-E30.

Airlines and destinations


Top destinations

Busiest International Routes Out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (2010)[29]
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 Cancun, Mexico 416,401 American, Sun Country
2 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 328,772 American, British Airways
3 Mexico City, Mexico 309,015 AeroMexico, American
4 Tokyo (Narita), Japan 265,058 American
5 Frankfurt, Germany 202,953 American, Lufthansa
6 Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 202,949 American
7 Toronto, Canada 178,554 Air Canada, American
8 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 168,553 American
9 Monterrey, Mexico 157,417 American
10 Los Cabos, Mexico 153,612 American
Busiest Domestic Routes from DFW (July 2012- June 2013)[30]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Los Angeles, CA 1,107,000 American, Spirit, United, Virgin America
2 Chicago, IL (ORD) 943,000 American, Spirit, United
3 Atlanta, GA 836,000 American, Delta, Spirit
4 Denver, CO 829,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
5 San Francisco, CA 717,000 American, United, Virgin America
6 New York LaGuardia Airport, NY 686,000 American, Delta, Spirit
7 Las Vegas, NV 631,000 American, Spirit
8 Austin, TX 602,000 American
9 San Antonio, TX 600,000 American
10 Phoenix, AZ 594,000 American, US Airways


With 578,906 tons of cargo handled in 2009, DFW was then the world's 29th busiest cargo airport.[31]

In 2010 DFW International Airport earned the distinction of "Best cargo airport in North America 2010" from Air Cargo World, the air freight's industry's leading publication.[32]

Today (in 2013), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport handles almost sixty-five percent of all aircraft cargo in Texas.[33] Asia accounts for half of all cargo and Europe accounts for 30% of the cargo at DFW.[33]

Cargo carriers

List of Cargo Carriers serving DFW:

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,[35] and travel at speeds up to 35 mph (56 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.[19]

  • Terminal Link connects all terminals with a shuttle bus system on the non-secure side.[36]

To and from airport

Nearby highways

The DFW Airport Area is served by the International Parkway (partially State Highway 97 Spur), which runs through the center of the airport, connecting to the Airport Freeway (State Highway 183) on the southern side of the airport and the John W. Carpenter Freeway (State Highway 114). The International Parkway continues north of State Highway 114 carrying the State Highway 121 designation for a short while until its interchange with the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (I-635), where State Highway 121 continues north as the Sam Rayburn Tollway.

Founders Plaza

DFW Founders Plaza
Type Observation Plaza
Location DFW Airport

32°55′07″N 97°03′32″W / 32.918705°N 97.05901°W / 32.918705; -97.05901 (DFW Founders Plaza)

Area 6 acres (24,000 m2)
Created 1995 (1995)
Operated by DFW Airport
Open All year
Website http://www.dfwairport.com/founders/index.php

In 1995 the airport opened Founders Plaza, an observation park dedicated to the founders of DFW Airport. The site offered a panoramic view on the south end of the airport and hosted several significant events including an employee memorial the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the airport’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2004.[37] As part of the perimeter taxiway project, Founders Plaza was closed in 2007 and moved to a new location surrounding a 50-foot (15 m)-tall beacon on the north side of the airport in 2008. The 6-acre (24,000 m2) plaza features a granite monument and sculpture, post-mounted binoculars, piped-in voices of air traffic controllers and shade pavilions. In 2010 a memorial honoring Delta Air Lines Flight 191 was dedicated at the plaza.[38]

Other facilities

The facility at 1639 West 23rd Street is located on the airport property and in the City of Grapevine.[39][40][41] Tenants include China Airlines,[42] Lufthansa Cargo,[43] and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.[44]

The DFW Airport Department of Public Safety provides the airport with its own police, fire protection, and emergency medical services.[1]

Accidents and incidents

Airport operations

The following occurred at the airfield itself, immediately after takeoff, during the final landing approach, and/or during an attempted go-around:

  • August 2, 1985: Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 on a Fort Lauderdale–Dallas/Fort Worth–Los Angeles route, crashed just north of DFW Airport after encountering a severe microburst on final approach; the crash killed 8 of 11 crew members, 128 of 152 passengers on board, and one person on the ground.
  • March 24, 1987: The pilot of a Metroflight Convair CV-580, registration number N73107, operating for American Eagle Airlines on a commuter flight bound for Longview, Texas, lost directional control during a crosswind takeoff. The left-hand wing and propeller struck the runway and the nose landing gear collapsed as the craft slid off the runway and onto an adjacent taxiway; 8 passengers and 3 crew aboard the airliner suffered minor or no injuries. The crash was attributed to the pilot's decision to disregard wind information and take off in weather conditions that exceeded the rated capabilities of the aircraft; the pilot's "overconfidence in [his/her] personal ability" was cited as a contributing factor in the accident report.[45][46]
  • May 21, 1988: An American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, registration number N136AA, operating as AA Flight 70 bound for Frankfurt, overran Runway 35L after automatic warning signals prompted the flight crew to attempt a rejected takeoff; the jetliner continued to accelerate for several seconds before slowing, and did not stop until it had run 1,100 feet (335 m) past the runway threshold, collapsing the nose landing gear. 2 crew were seriously injured and the remaining 12 crew and 240 passengers escaped safely; the aircraft was severely damaged and was written off. Investigators attributed the overrun to a shortcoming in the design standards that were used when the DC-10 was built; there had been no requirement to test whether partially worn (as opposed to brand-new) brake pads were capable of stopping the aircraft during a rejected takeoff, and 8 of the 10 worn pad sets on N136AA had failed.[47][48]
  • August 31, 1988: Delta Air Lines Flight 1141, a Boeing 727 bound to Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, crashed after takeoff from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, killing 2 of 7 crew members, and 12 of 101 passengers on board.
  • April 14, 1993: The pilot of American Airlines Flight 102, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, registration number N139AA, lost directional control during a crosswind landing in rainy conditions and caused the jetliner to slide off Runway 17L after arriving from Honolulu, Hawaii. The craft dug into deep mud alongside the runway, collapsing the nose landing gear and tearing off the left-hand engine and much of the left wing. A fire in the left-hand wheel well was rapidly extinguished by firefighters who arrived almost immediately from the nearby DFW/DPS Fire Station. 2 passengers suffered serious injuries while using the evacuation slides to escape from the steeply tilted fuselage; the remaining 187 passengers and all 13 crew evacuated in relative safety, but the aircraft was a total loss.[49][50][51]
  • May 23, 2001: The right main landing gear of an American Airlines Fokker 100, registration number N1419D, operating as AA Flight 1107, collapsed upon landing on Runway 17C after a scheduled flight from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. The pilot was able to maintain directional control and bring the aircraft to a stop on the runway. The incident was attributed to metal fatigue caused by a manufacturing flaw in the right main gear's outer cylinder; there were no serious injuries to the 88 passengers or 4 crew, but the aircraft was written off.[52][53]

Flights departing from or bound for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

The following did not occur near the airfield itself but involved flights originating from or bound for DFW International Airport:


External links

Dallas-Fort Worth portal
Aviation portal
  • ()
  • DFW Tower.com
  • QTVR tour of DFW airline operations tower
  • openNav: DFW / KDFW charts
  • PDF), effective July 24, 2014
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KDFW
    • ASN accident history for DFW
    • FlightAware live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KDFW
    • FAA current DFW delay information

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