We all know quite a bit about aircraft, but how much do we know about the airports all those wonderful planes fly to? I grew up in Michigan, flying into and out of Detroit. Here’s a brief history of KDTW, a place many IF pilots will become familiar with once Global is released.
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (Metro) was officially dedicated in 1930. Originally known as Wayne County Airport, it hosted the Air National Guard until 1945. Pan Am (1954) and BOAC (1956) were the first major airlines to serve the airport. Using DC-7s, Detroit was a stop on routes connecting Chicago with Montreal, London and Frankfurt. American, Northwest and Delta soon followed, helping to further expand the reach of the airport.
Pan Am and American began offering 707 jet service to Detroit in 1960. Republic had a large base of operations there in 1984, and a merger with Northwest in 1986 expanded the hub. Nonstop 747 service to Tokyo started the following year.
In 2002, the $1.2 billion, 122-gate McNamara Terminal opened, now Delta’s second largest hub, and major gateway to Asia and Europe. Royal Jordanian was the first airline to bring the 787 Dreamliner to Detroit in 2014. And in recent news, Delta announced it will begin using the A350 on flights to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing later this year.
With 16 scheduled airlines serving over 140 destinations and close to 35 million passengers per year, KDTW ranks as the 18th busiest airport in the US and 46th in the world. Leave a comment or share some interesting facts about this amazing airport.