Palm Beach International Airport

Palm Beach International Airport is operated by Palm Beach County's Department of Airports and serves as the primary airport for the city of West Palm Beach, Florida. This public airport also acts as the main airport for a majority of Palm Beach County, serving Wellington, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, as well as Boca Raton. It is also one of the major airports in the Miami metropolitan area.

Airport history

Originally known as Morrison Field, the airport began operating in 1936, with the inaugural flight performed by a New York-bound Eastern Air Lines DC-2 that same year. At the start of 1937, Palm Beach Aero Corporation obtained a five-year lease for a hangar site and fixed base operational privileges. Then, World War II caused the United States to quietly begin a massive defense build-up, which included the conversion of Morrison Field for military purposes by the U.S. Army Air Corps. The air field was activated for military use in 1941, causing scheduled commercial service and private planes to be relocated to the new Lantana Airport. Then, in 1948, The Board of County Commissioners voted to officially change the name from Morrison Field to Palm Beach International Airport. The airport once again operated as a civilian airport until 1951, when the Korean War caused the Air Force to reactivate Morrison Air Force Base. Once again, civilian operations and the passenger terminal were relocated to the south side of the field. In 1960, the land that PBIA sits on was officially transferred to the ownership of Palm Beach County. Plans for expansion began in 1965. A $4 million bond issue funded the construction of the maintenance terminal and surrounding facilities. On October 29, 1966, the main terminal at PBIA was dedicated. Federal officials later built a new air traffic control tower at the facility. In 1974, Delta Air Lines constructed the airport's second main terminal. On October 23, 1988, the David McCampbell Terminal, named for World War II Medal of Honor recipient and Palm Beach County resident David McCampbell, was officially dedicated. 


Airport location

PBI is located two and a half miles west of downtown West Palm Beach and just three and a half miles west of Palm Beach. The airport sits adjacent to I-95 and is easily accessible from anywhere in Palm Beach County. Boca Raton is approximately 20 miles south and Jupiter is only 15 miles north. 

Airport facts

● It is the third busiest airport in the Miami metropolitan area, behind Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. 

● The Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office (PBSO) maintains its air division from a hangar at the southwest corner of the airport. 

● PBI has won many awards, including being named "The 7th Best Airport in the World" in Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2020.

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