THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
One year ago today, we launched www.AirportHistory.org! The response to the site has been overwhelming. I’m proud to say that to date 60,000 people have visited the site since it launch! In addition, we have received numerous e-mails of support and enthusiasm from around the world.
A LONG TAKEOFF RUN
This website has been a long time coming. I have been fascinated with airports since I was four years old after taking a flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta in the summer of 1981. I remember the impressive terminal buildings, the beautifully dressed people and airport advertisements...all the colors of the runway and taxiway lights. I was mesmerized by it all.
After returning home, I started drawing airport layouts like crazy. Every few weeks I rented the movie “Airport” and watched it ten times in a row! In 1985, I bought my first book on airports: Major Airports of the World, written by Roy Allen. It's still my favorite book. I own 20 copies from different editions and languages!
A few years later I started collecting airport books, reports, brochures and photos, sending letters--and the first faxes--to airports around the world. This was the start of what would become one of the world's most prolific airport photo collections.
THE BIRTH OF AIRPORTHISTORY.ORG
Over the years, the idea surfaced to put my archive out there for people to enjoy. For a long time I felt that the interesting and colorful history of the world's airports had been hopelessly neglected, first and foremost by airports themselves, which often only had a small web page with bullet some points and a few grainy photos.
I decided to correct things myself. On July 1st, 2013, I registered the domain name www.airporthistory.org, after which I started a new round of collecting, this time being able to leverage my professional network.
With AirportHistory.org, we aim to create a central resource about the development history of the world's great airports. The emphasis is on showing captivating and rare images that show how airports have evolved through the decades.
The photo collections are accompanied by an accessible historical narrative focusing on providing interesting facts and stories about a given airport.
The focus is on infrastructure and architecture and how each airport tried to keep pace with ever-growing traffic as well as paradigm changes like the advent of the wide-body aircraft or the hub-and-spoke system.
Naturally, we have a fondness for the period 1960-1975, when exciting experiments in airport design took place. Airport planners and architects in that era couldn't fathom the future growth of air travel to what it is today, the rate of growth and changes to come.
The airports they built, although innovative for the time (e.g. DFW, JFK, CDG, FRA, etc.), quickly proved to be either too small or unsuitable for today's large-scale modern operations. Once considered visionary, some of these legendary airports are now among the most despised among the traveling public.
We have many exciting developments coming. As of now you can look forward to regular content coming out. We will continue our very popular series on airports such as New York Kennedy and Paris de Gaulle.
At the same time, we'll be starting series on airports such Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, the London airports, Dubai, Singapore Paya Lebar & Changi, Tokyo Narita, Melbourne and Sydney.
We will release never-seen-before photos of great airports that are not with us anymore, such as Denver Stapleton, Oslo Fornebu, and yes, of course, Hong Kong Kai Tak! And of course, we plan more stories about never-built airports and never-built expansion projects at existing airports.
Lastly, we’re planning many new photo specials as well as special themes, such as the evolution of airport shopping and eating as well as the history of airport lounges.
We are also preparing to open a web shop, where we will offer you the opportunity to own digital copies of fantastic vintage airport brochures, reports and photos.
For the longer term, we’re planning a series of high quality coffee table books on the history of the world’s great airports featuring many additional photos not seen on this website.
Do you want to stay posted on all of these developments?
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With a title inspired by the setting of the iconic 70s film "Airport", this blog is the ultimate destination for airport history fans.
Marnix (Max) Groot Founder of AirportHistory.org. Max is an airport development expert and historian.