Between Terminals C and D

​July 30, 2015 - December 13, 2015

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) opened in 1940 and was known then as Philadelphia Municipal Airport.  Approximately 40,000 passengers used the Airport that first year and there were just 4 carriers – American, Eastern, TWA, and United. At the time, the airlines primarily flew two-motor Douglas DC-3 21-passenger planes and the Airport charged no landing fees. A taxicab cost 75 cents per person and the bus fare was 10 cents.

Only 3 years later during World War II, military security forced the Airport to close. Commercial air service was restored in 1945. That same year, Philadelphia Municipal Airport was renamed Philadelphia International Airport with the start of transatlantic service.

In 1950, the Airport began construction on a new $15 million terminal building that was completed and dedicated on December 12, 1953. The Airport featured 2 “loading fingers” that are today Terminals B and C, a coffee shop, a main dining room with adjoining cocktail lounge, sandwich shop, soda fountain, downstairs bar, amusement arcade, and an observation deck.

In the 1950s, PHL served more than 1 million passengers each year. By 1960, passenger traffic had doubled to 2 million. Throughout the decades, the Airport has responded to the changing needs of the aviation industry with numerous expansion, improvement, and modernization projects. Today, there are 27 carriers that offer air service to 131 domestic and international destinations making PHL one of the busiest airports in the United States serving more than 30 million passengers a year. Like all major airports throughout the world, as commercial air service and passenger expectations continuously evolve so do the facilities and runways that support the dynamic aviation industry.

Visit for more information about the Airport’s history.

                     Philadelphia International Airport, 2011                                Philadelphia Municipal Airport, late 1940s