When it opened in 1925, CLE was the first municipal airport in the country. Initially, the airport served as a stop for U.S. Air Mail planes making coast-to-coast flights. It quickly grew to become a major destination for personal and commercial aircraft. CLE also led the nation in implementing new airport technology. This includes the world’s first radio-equipped air traffic control tower and the nation’s first airfield lighting system. In the 30s and 40s, the airport was a draw to anyone who was anyone in aviation, with both Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh making routine visits. Also, from 1929 until 1949, CLE was the location for the National Air Races.
Today, CLE is Ohio’s busiest airport, serving more than 11 million passengers annually. It’s positioned within 500 miles of 43 percent of the U.S. population. And for Northeast Ohio travelers, the airport is close—just 12 miles away from downtown Cleveland. Travelers also have the option to take the rail to CLE, a connection that, when added in 1968, was another first in the country.
CLE’s modern-day innovations focus on customer service. The new AIRMALL, FlightView Screens, and communications using social media are making the airport first once again, but this time with travelers.