Timeline of Commercial Aviation

1908
First passenger flight: Wilbur Wright takes an employee along for a ride

1909
Army Airfield established at College Park, Md., by Wilbur Wright, making it the longest continuously operating airport in the world today

1910
Orville Wright opens the first commercial flight school in Montgomery, Ala.

1911
Burgess Co. becomes the first licensed commercial aircraft manufacturer

1913
Silas Christofferson carries passengers by hydroplane between San Francisco and Oakland harbors

1918
National Air Mail service inaugurated

1919
KLM begins operation, making it the oldest carrier in the world still operating under its original name

1920
Sydney Airport opens for commercial service

1920
Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport opens for commercial service

1920
International air service is offered by Aeromarine West Indies Airways between Key West, Fla., and Havana, Cuba

1922
First permanent airport and commercial terminal used solely for commercial flights opens at Flughafen Devau near Konigsberg, East Prussia

1922
Aeromarine Airways of Cleveland, Ohio, is established as the first airline ticketing agency

1923
First transcontinental non-stop flight

1926
Congress adopts the Air Commerce Act of 1926, which authorized the Secretary of Commerce to designate air routes, develop air navigation systems, and license pilots and aircraft

1926
Deutsche Luft Hansa (now known as Lufthansa) begins scheduled service in Germany

1926
First flight lands at Candler Field, today's busiest U.S. airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

1929
Pan American Airlines inaugurates its first passenger flight from Miami to San Juan by way of Belize and Managua

1930
First female flight attendant, Ellen Church, is hired by Boeing Air Transport (now United Airlines)

1933
United Airlines begins flying coast to coast with a Boeing 247 flight lasting nearly 20 hours

1935
Boeing designs the 307 Stratoliner, the first commercial aircraft with a pressurized cabin

1935
Amelia Earhart dedicates the Newark Airport Administration Building, North America's first commercial airline terminal

1936
Pan American inaugurates passenger flights across the Pacific Ocean

1939
Pan American begins transatlantic passenger service

1939
New York Municipal Airport opens, later renamed LaGuardia Airport after New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who refused to deplane at Newark, N.J., because his ticket read "New York"

1940s
Many commercial airlines and airports go offline to commercial traffic to support World War II military efforts

1950
Transatlantic route is the world's most traveled air route

1952
De Havilland Comet becomes the world's first commercial jet airliner

1958
Pan American initiates its New York to London route with the Boeing 707

1958
Today's second busiest airport internationally, Beijing Capital International Airport, opens

1959
American Airlines offers first domestic jetliner flights with routes from New York to Los Angeles

1962
Attorney General Robert Kennedy swears in the first FAA peace officers, who act as air marshals on requested flights

1967
The modern-day FAA is established as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation

1973
The first female airline pilot, Emily Warner, flies as second officer for Frontier Airlines

1976
Concorde jet flies first supersonic passenger flight

1978
Airline Deregulation Act is signed into law, removing government control over fares, routes and market entry

1979
First frequent flier program introduced

1980
Almost half of total flights worldwide took place in the U.S.

1981
11,400 air traffic controllers are fired by President Reagan after walking off the job on strike when labor negotiations fail

1993
First ticketless travel becomes available

1995
Boeing produces twin-engine 777, the first aircraft produced via computer-aided design and engineering

1995
First airline tickets are sold via the Internet

1998
Smoking is banned on all domestic flights

1999
First web-based passenger check-in and online boarding passes

2001
Transportation Security Administration established in response to September 11 attacks

2007
Airbus A380 enters commercial service capable of carrying 850 passengers

2009
Transportation Security Administration formally accepts airport scanners as the primary method of pre-flight screening

2009
Branson Airport opens; designed by Burns & McDonnell, it is the only privately owned and operated commercial service airport in the U.S.

2011
Airbus announces signing of the largest aircraft deal in history based on aircraft ordered: 200 planes ordered by AirAsia

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