Dallas Love Field Airport has a history as bright as its future. The United States Army first established the iconic airport on Oct. 19, 1917 with only a few hangars and a grass landing strip. Now, almost 100 years later, Love Field serves three airline carriers, sees thousands of passengers per day, has a one-of-a-kind art program and provides unmatched service in the heart of Dallas.
In the 1940s through 1960s, Love Field developed into a commercial travel hub, became Southwest Airlines headquarters and saw extreme growth with new terminals, ticket counters and concourses. Once air travel shifted to DFW international Airport in the 1970s, the City of Dallas found a new purpose for the once hustling and bustling airport and opened an ice-skating rink in the formerly packed terminal lobby. Can you imagine ice-skating through Love Field today?
The original purpose of Love Field may have shifted with the opening of DFW International Airport, but Southwest continued to operate as an intrastate airline, servicing all major Texas cities. It wasn’t until 1979 that Southwest began operating outside of Texas, but with the Wright Amendment, travel was still restricted to only bordering states – Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico. In the following decades the states that Southwest could serve would grow, and many carriers would serve Love Field at various times. The Airport saw tremendous upgrades including a new air traffic control tower, replacement of the original red Terminal façade to the current metallic look, larger security check points and the construction of a multi-level parking garage, what is now known as Parking Garage A.
The Love Field Modernization Program (LFMP) was created in 2009 to accommodate the expected increase in traffic as a result of the release of the Wright Amendment on Oct. 13, 2014, which allows nonstop flights from Love Field across the U.S. LFMP is a joint effort by the City of Dallas and Southwest Airlines to expand and transform Dallas Love Field Airport into a convenient, modern airport for travelers.
Since it’s beginning, LFMP has made tremendous progress. In 2014 the Airport opened 20 new gates, expanded the main lobby space and baggage claim area, as well as opened a new ticketing/check-in hall. This first phase also doubled the amount of airport concessionaires and now offers a wide variety and impressive selection to satisfy any travelers’ needs.
The next phase of LFMP was developed in 2015 and focuses on improving and expanding parking at Love Field to accommodate for the increased traffic. Garage C will provide approximately 5,300 new parking spaces and is anticipated to open in 2018. Throughout the construction of Garage C, travelers may utilize The Love Connection Remote Parking, a temporary remote parking lot that provides travelers with a seamless and economical parking option. For more information on Parking Garage C, click here.
Another important aspect of LFMP is the Love Field Art Program. Public art has been a part of Love Field since the early 1960s and has continued to flourish ever since. In 2009, the Love Field Art Program was created to coincide with the LFMP renovations. As part of the program, 11 new works were commissioned and placed in high profile locations throughout the airport. In addition to 15 permanent art pieces, traveling exhibitions are also brought to the airport on a regular basis. To learn more about the Art Program, click here.