Logan International Airport - History


Originally called Boston Airport, Logan opened on September 8, 1923, and was used primarily by the Massachusetts Air Guard and the Army Air Corps. At that time, it was known as Jeffery Field. The first scheduled commercial passenger flights were initiated by Colonial Air Transport between Boston and New York City in 1927.

Until around 1950 the airline terminal was at 42.367N 71.0275W; on the 1946 topo map the airfield extended less than 5000 ft east from there (the east end of the field was at 42.361N 71.012W NAD83). During the 1940s the airport added 1,800 acres (730 ha) of landfill in Boston Harbor, taken from the former Governors, Noddle's and Apple Islands. In 1943 the state renamed the airport as General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport after a Spanish-American War officer from South Boston. In 1952 the airport became the first in the United States with an indirect rapid transit connection.

The December 1950 diagram shows a familiar layout: 7,000 ft (2,100 m) runway 4L, 10000-ft 4R, 7000-ft 9 and 7650-ft 33. The March 1947 shows 7,000 ft (2,100 m) runway 4 (future 4L) in use, with runways 9 and 33 under construction; a different runway 33 ran 6,700 ft (2,000 m) northwestward from the present intersection of 4R and 9, and runway 25 ran 4,000 ft (1,200 m) southwest from the present intersection of 4L and 33.

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 49 weekday departures on American, 31 Eastern, 25 Northeast, 8 United, 7 TWA domestic, 6 National, 6 Mohawk, 2 TCA and one Provincetown-Boston. In addition TWA had nine departures a week to or from the Atlantic, Pan Am had 18, Air France 8, BOAC 4 and LAI 4.

The era of the jumbo jet began at Logan during the summer of 1970 when Pan Am inaugurated daily Boeing 747 service to London Heathrow Airport. In 2012 non-stop flights to London are scheduled by British Airways, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Virgin Atlantic.

When Terminal E opened in 1974 it was the second largest international arrivals facility in the United States. Since that time the number of international travelers using Logan has tripled. International long-haul travel has been the fastest growing market sector at Logan. Increased passenger traffic led the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) to embark on a major airport renewal project called the "Logan Modernization Project" from 1994 to 2006. The project included a new parking garage, a new hotel, moving walkways, terminal expansions and improvements, and a two-tiered roadway system that separates arrival from departure road traffic.

Massport's relationship with neighboring communities has been strained since the mid-1960s, when the agency took control of a parcel of residential land and popular fishing area near the northwest side of the airfield. This project was undertaken to extend Runway 15R/33L, which later became Logan's longest runway. Residents of the neighborhood, known as Wood Island, were bought out of their homes and forced to relocate. Public opposition came to a head when residents lay down in the streets to block bulldozers and supply trucks from reaching the intended construction zone.

Runway 14/32 opened on November 23, 2006, Logan's first major runway addition in more than forty years. It was proposed in 1973 but was delayed in the courts.

In April 2007 the FAA approved construction of a center field taxiway long-sought by Massport. The 9,300-foot (2,830 m) taxiway is between, and parallel to, Runways 4R/22L and 4L/22R. News of the project angered neighboring residents. In 2009 the taxiway opened ahead of schedule and under budget. To ensure the taxiway is not mistaken for a runway, "TAXI" is written in large yellow letters at each end.

A scene from the 2006 film The Departed was filmed at Logan, inside the connector bridge between Terminal E and the Central Parking Garage. Terminal C and several United Airlines aircraft can be seen in the background. Parts of the Delta Air Lines 2007 "Anthem" commercial were filmed in Terminal A as well as the connector bridge between Terminal A and Central Parking.

In October 2009 US Airways announced that the airline would close its Boston crew base in May 2010. The airline cited an "operations realignment" as the reason for the closure. Over 400 employees were transferred or terminated.

Logan last had service to Asia in 2001, when Korean Air discontinued service to Seoul, South Korea. Boston also had previous service to Asia with El Al to Tel Aviv. In 2008, Massport announced that Hainan Airlines had formally applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China for approval to operate daily non-stop passenger flights between Boston and Beijing using Boeing 787 aircraft, but the service never started. In May 2011 Japan Airlines announced its first Boeing 787 route, Tokyo Narita to Boston, beginning four times weekly on April 22, 2012 and becoming daily on June 1, 2012. American Airlines will codeshare on the route.

The Airbus A380 first landed at Logan Airport for compatibility checks in February 2010. The airplane was also transporting a submarine back to its manufacturer for later use in the search for Air France Flight 447. No regular A380 service has started. However, talks have been high for Air France commencing service if Logan modifies for service. Logan Airport has since served as a diversion for A380 flights, particularly for Air France.

By 2012 JetBlue Airways became a major operator at Logan Airport.

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