History of Foundation of Chicago Airport

Chicago Midway International Airport (IATA: MDW, ICIAO: KMDW, FAA LID: MDW) was constructed in 1923 on a 320-acre plot and was initially named Chicago Air Park . The Board of Education initially owned the land the airport was built on. The name changed in 1927 to Chicago Municipal Airport after the city leased it in 1926. Initially, the airport was designed to serve airmail services. The first airmail flight at Chicago Municipal Airport arrived from Omaha, Nebraska in 1927. In 1928 the airport already owned twelve hangars and four runways that lit for night operations. In 1928, more than 40,000 passengers used the airport flying on 14,498 flights.

The first terminal at 62ndSt and the first administration buildings at the airport were built in 1931. By 1931 the number of passengers had increased to more than 100,000, and the Chicago Municipal Airport was named as the busiest airport in the world. Works Progress Administration funded construction at the airport by $1 million. In 1945 flights to Europe were initiated by American Overseas, TWA and Pan American Airlines. A new Airport Traffic Control Tower was built in 1948. 

The name of the airport changed again in 1949 after the Battle of Midway to Chicago Midway International Airport.  The same year Midway airport had 3,2 million passengers.

According to OAG in 1957, there were 414-weekday fixed-wing flights from Midway; 83 from American, 83 from United, 56 was from TWA, 40 by Capital, 35 by North Central, 28 from Delta, 27 from Eastern, 22 from Northwest, 19 from Ozark, 11 was from Braniff, 5 from Lake Central, and 5 from Trans-Canada. Besides, there were few flights per week from Air France, Lufthansa and REAL (of Brazil). Midway International Airport was running out of the room and could not handle the 707 and DC-8 jets that appeared in 1959. Chicago jet flights had to use O’Hare International Airport that opened up to airlines in 1955.

Reconstruction at the airport began in 1967 adding three new concourses with 28 gates and three ticket counters to the airport. The city government invested $10 million in renovation fund in 1968. The part of this fund went on the construction of Stevenson Expressway, an Interstate Highway in the US.

Midway International Airport was purchased from the Chicago Board of Education by Chicago City in 1982 for $16 million.

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