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Thursday, 28 July 2011


The word “air-port” dates back to the 1780s when it meant a ventilation porthole in a ship.

The world's first airport opened in Croydon, South London in 1920, offering flights to Europe.

Heathrow Airport started in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrow west of London from which the airport takes its name. Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very big airfield started in 1944. Heathrow is now the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic.

The George Washington Air Junction was a proposed airport for Fairfax County, Virginia. in the 1930s. It was designed to be the world's largest airport, larger than those of New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Chicago, and Philadelphia combined.  It never opened, and the land was eventually seized.

New York City's LaGuardia Airport opened on December 2, 1939. The first flight, a TWA DC-3 from Chicago, landed at 12:02am.

LaGuardia is the busiest airport in the United States without any non-stop service to Europe.

The world's first duty-free shop was established at Shannon Airport in Ireland by Brendan O'Regan in 1947.

The first duty-free shop in the UK opened at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on November 17, 1959 with the slogan: ‘Buy as you Fly.’

A duty-free store, at Zürich Airport. By Coolcaesar at Wikipedia, 

During the opening ceremony of Ottawa international Airport’s new terminal in August 1959 a USAF F-104 Starfighter did a supersonic flypast. The resulting sonic boom shattered nearly all the glass in the airport and caused significant structural damage, delaying the opening for another year.

Rush's 1981 song "YYZ" was named after the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada, whose airport identifier code is YYZ. The intro of the song is YYZ in Morse code which can be heard by pilots flying towards the airport.

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam opened the first departure lounge for cattle on January 22, 1988. Food and drink were served to cows in transit.

Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport on February 6, 1998 to honor President Reagan.  It is the nearest commercial airport to the capital and serves the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.

Control tower and new terminal C. By Jonathunder - Wikipedia Commons

The Bolivian city of La Paz's airport is at an elevation of 13,323 feet.

The world’s smallest commercial runway is on the Caribbean island of Saba. It is only 400 metres long and is too short for jet airliners.

Denver International Airport, the largest in the US, is one and a half times the size of Manhattan.

San Francisco International Airport is supported by 267 columns which each rest on a steel ball bearing, allowing them to move 20 inches in any direction in an earthquake.

Pilots flying to Paro Airport in Bhutan have to maneuver between mountains, fly within feet of houses, and land on a narrow, 6,500-foot runway. It is so dangerous that only eight pilots are qualified enough to land there.

Each number on an airport runway tells you something about its position on the earth—namely, its degree from magnetic north.

When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.

Source Daily Express

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