On the cusp of the Great Depression, Denver mayor Benjamin Stapleton pushed for the development of the first city-operated airport. Denver Municipal Airport opened in 1929 with three hub airlines. While Stapleton would be honored to later have the airport named after him, by the mid-1980s, the name Stapleton had become synonymous with congestion, flight delays, and frequent closures when the snow moved in. To solve the problem, Denver mayor Federico Peña envisioned a massive new airport, but when Denver International Airport (DIA) opened in 1995, its three hub airlines had whittled away to just one, and critics warned of dire consequences. Yet the airport persevered, and today, with its iconic tent roof, six runways, and 53 square miles of land, it stands amongst the most beautiful and busiest airports in the world. This is the story of three airports and how they brought the city from cow town to boomtown.
About the Author
Jeffrey C. Price and Jeffrey S. Forrest are both pilots and professors at the Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science. Shahn G. Sederberg is a professional aviation photographer who has gathered a collection of aviation photography of all 74 public-use airports in Colorado from the ground and air.
Table of Contents
1 Aviation Comes to Colorado: The Origin of the Denver Airport 9
2 Stapleton International Airport: The Golden Age of Flight 39
3 We Said Hello, Goodbye: One Legacy Begins as another Ends 55
4 Building the Field of Dreams: If You Build It, Will They Come? 71
5 Denver International Airport: Proving the Critics Wrong Once Again 87
6 Everything's Changed: Air Travel Then and Now 111