1920s - 1930s
The City of Philadelphia officially entered the field of air transportation in 1925 when it provided 125 acres of land (now part of the northeast corner of Philadelphia International Airport) for training aviators of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
In 1926, the City executed an agreement with Ludington Exhibition Company, the forerunner of Eastern Airlines, to operate the facility as the "Municipal Aviation Landing Field."
October 22, 1927 was an historic day for Philadelphia and its Airport as the Spirit of Saint Louis, piloted by Charles A. Lindbergh, touched down at Philadelphia Airport. The arrival in Philadelphia occurred during a tour of the United States following Lindbergh's historic solo flight from New York to Paris. During his visit, Lindbergh ceremoniously raised the American flag to dedicate what was then called Philadelphia Municipal Airport.
By this time, the adjoining 1,000-acre Hog Island site, which contained the giant emergency shipbuilding yards of World War I, had become derelict. In 1930, the City purchased Hog Island from the Federal Government for $3 million to provide for Airport expansion.
However, because of the Great Depression, the Airport project lay dormant until 1936. Actual construction of the building and landing field began in 1937, and the Airport was formally opened as Philadelphia Municipal Airport on June 20, 1940.
The four airlines then serving Philadelphia through Central Airport in nearby Camden, NJ (American, Eastern, TWA, and United) terminated their operations at that location.