president of airport affairs. “We initiated service
at Chicago Midway International Airport in 1985
with just seven daily flights to St. Louis. Today, our
operation at Midway is the largest in the Southwest
system with 234 daily departures to 58 cities.”
Though its origin dates back to the Roaring
Twenties, Midway doesn’t look its age either.
Investments made over the last 10 years have given
Midway a bright, modern look and feel. Some of the
major enhancements include a complete terminal
makeover, an expansion of the airport’s award-winning concessions, artwork and exhibits, and a
new rental car facility that opened in March 2013.
The airport’s flourishing activity is the latest
chapter in a long and storied history that has seen
its ups and downs. Midway once held the title
of “world’s busiest airport.” Chicago’s Municipal
Airport (as it was known before being renamed
in 1949 in honor of the World War II Battle of
Midway) opened in 1927 and quickly became the
world’s busiest by 1929. It retained this title for 11
years, but lost it in 1960 to O’Hare International.
As O’Hare grew, most of Midway’s commercial
service declined as airlines switched operations to
Chicago’s northwest side hub. In the ’60s and ’70s,
general aviation flights continued at Midway, but
it was a long way from its “world’s busiest” days.
With airline deregulation in 1978, Midway was
reborn. In 1979, a new airline — Midway Airlines
— began service from the airport with flights to
Kansas City, Detroit and Cleveland. In 1985, a
new low-cost carrier named Southwest began
operations at Midway. A major, $1 billion terminal
redevelopment program at Midway in the early
2000s revitalized the airport. The new terminal
program replaced the 50-year-old terminal with
new facilities — terminal, roadway and parking
lots — capable of meeting the airport’s demand
well into the future.
Today, Midway International is succeeding
like never before, and the airport is expected to
continue to play a key role in Chicago’s plans to
become one of the top five U.S. destinations for
leisure and business travel. A
Erin O’Donnell is managing deputy commissioner,
Chicago Midway International. She may be reached at
Notes: Total US Enplanements in 2012 estimated based on T-100 data; includes thru passengers and excludes nonrevenue passengers
MDW Enplanements reflect actuals.
All figures are calendar year.
Source: FDO T T-100 Database (Total US Enplanements); MDW Comprehensive Annual Finanical Report (2012 and 2008)
Prepared by: Ricondo & Associates, Inc. July 2013
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 To
MDW Enplanement Growth vs Total US
Total U.S. Enplanements MDW Enplanements
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total U.S. Enplanement Growth MDW Enplanement Growth
Notes: Total U.S. enplanements
in 2012 estimated based on
T-100 data; includes through
passengers and excludes nonrevenue passengers.
Enplanements reflect actuals.
All figures are calendar year.
Source: FDOT T-100 Database
(Total U.S. Enplanements); MDW
Comprehensive Annual Finanical
Report (2012 and 2008)
Prepared by: Ricondo &
Associates, Inc. July 2013.
MDW ENPLANEMENT GROWTH VS TOTAL US