Even though Southwest Airlines has been a fixture of Dallas Love Field for more than 46 years, our home airport’s history began more than half a century before. And today, our home airport celebrates its 100th birthday.
Love Field, dedicated on October 19, 1917, is named in honor of Army Pilot Lt. Moss Lee Love, who passed away in the early days of powered flight as the United States prepared to enter World War I. After serving as a training base during the first Great War, Love Field again served our nation during World War II. In fact, the largest squadron of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) served their nation at Love.
Scheduled airline service truly took off in 1929 when the first passenger terminal and hangars were opened. As the size of airliners grew along with the demand for commercial air service, larger terminals were constructed in 1938 and again in 1958.
Several years before Southwest Airlines took flight in 1971, the cities of Dallas and Ft. Worth agreed to construct what would become the DFW Regional (now DFW International) Airport in the center of the Metroplex. When it opened in 1974, all existing airline service—except Southwest—left Love Field for DFW. For the next 40 years, Love Field’s flight schedule remained limited due to the Wright Amendment, which greatly restricted service out of Love as a way to protect DFW, and the area’s focus on expanding service at DFW.
Following the repeal of the Wright Amendment in 2006, Southwest partnered with the City of Dallas for a project known as the Love Field Modernization Project, which prepared the airport for the more than seven million passengers and countless new flights that would begin when the prohibitions on nonstop flights were lifted on October 13, 2014.
Today, Southwest operates 180 flights a day and injects more than $9 billion of economic activity into North Texas. From its early days of Army training, to the world’s first moving walkways in an airport, Southwest Airlines is proud to call Dallas Love Field our home.