Approximately 40,000 passengers were transported in the Airport's first year of operation. The airlines primarily flew two-motor Douglas DC-3 21-passenger planes, including sleepers. During World War II, military security forced the closing of the Airport (1943). Commercial air service was not restored until June 26, 1945, with the dedication of the $3.5 million Northeast Philadelphia Airport.
Later in 1945, Philadelphia Municipal Airport became Philadelphia International Airport when American Overseas Airlines inaugurated transatlantic service at the facility.
Virtually every major means of transportation is found within the borders of the Airport, including railways, waterways, and highways. There are even pipelines for the transmission of oil from ocean vessels docked at the adjoining Delaware River across Airport premises to nearby refineries.
Construction was started in 1950 on a new $15 million terminal building, which was completed and dedicated on December 15, 1953.