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KDAL

Dallas Love Field Airport

KDAL is a city-owned public airport and served as Dallas' main airport until 1974. It is the birthplace of Southwest Airlines, and also the location of the airline's corporate headquarters.

Airport history

On October 19, 1917, Dallas Love Field was commissioned as a training base for the U.S. Army Air Service. The airport is named in memory of Army Lieutenant Moss Lee Love, who died during flight training. Following World War I, Love Field continued to function as a military air base until it was purchased by the city of Dallas in 1927 for civilain use. The airfield's initial paved runways were finished in 1932 and commercial air service increased throughout the 1930s. During World War II, KDAL once again played an extensive role for the military and then saw immense growth as a passenger airport during the post-war boom. On October 6, 1940, Love Field's Lemmon Avenue Terminal Building opened on the airfield's east side. By 1965, the airport had added new terminals and a second parallel runway. In 1964, the FAA mandated that Dallas and Fort Worth reach an agreement to build a major airport that would serve the entire DFW Metroplex. It was then in 1974 that Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened, just as Love Field was having its busiest year to date (1973). The new airport was built as a way to end passenger service at Love Field. As a result, 1974 was Love Field's slowest year, causing the facility to open an ice rink and video arcade (known as The Love Entertainment Complex) to bring in revenue. With business so slow, it appeared as thought the airport was going to close, but it was saved by the founding of Southwest Airlines in 1971, who refused to move its operations to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. After much legal debate, the Wright Amendment was enacted, which restricted the passenger aircraft operations at Dallas Love Field to locations within Texas and neighboring Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The amendment was then allowed to expire on October 13, 2014. Soon after, Love Field experienced drastic passenger growth and today is the 31st-busiest airport in the country and busiest medium-hub airport, despite its federally mandated cap of 20 gates and barring of international travel. 2018 was the first year that Love Field exceeded 8 million enplaned passengers.

Airport location

Dallas Love Field is located in Dallas at the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Herb Kelleher Way. It sits just seven miles from downtown Dallas and is in close proximity to major highways I-35, the Dallas North Tollway and US-75 Central Expressway. 

Airport facts

● In 2021, Travel + Leisure voted KDAL one of its "Top 10 Domestic Airports" 

● Love Field has five full-service fixed-base operators that provide a wide scope of services including fueling, aircraft maintenance and repair, hangar rentals, and aircraft charters. 

● Of the 20 gates at KDAL, Southwest Airlines leases all but two of them (Alaska Airlines leases the remaining two).

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