BNA Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary!
The Nashville International Airport (BNA) has been propelling Nashville since its opening in June 1937. 2012 marked the airport's 75th anniversary.
Originally constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the airport was named Berry Field in honor of Colonel Harry S. Berry, state administrator of the WPA. The three-letter identifier, BNA, stands for Berry Field Nashville. In 1937, the new airport consisted of a terminal building, two hangars, two concrete runways and a flashing beacon. American and Eastern airlines were the first air carriers to serve Nashville, and within the year, 189,000 passengers had used the facilities.
BNA’s opening festivities included a parade of planes downtown and a sky parade over Nashville, plus an aviation banquet, aviation ball, and even a simulated “bombing” of Nashville by the 105th Aero Squadron. An excited crowd of 40,000 attended the opening!
Additional opening ceremonies featured parachute jumps, wing-walking and refueling demonstrations, and a mile-high double wedding in an American Airlines plane.
In a Nashville Banner newspaper article dated June 13, 1937, the WPA declared, “the field in Nashville is regarded as a model for the nation.” BNA has been propelling Nashville forward ever since.
Today, nearly 10 million passengers travel through the airport per year. BNA has an average of 392 daily arriving and departing flights traveling to 70 locations (49 non-stop) in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Jamaica. BNA's terminal is now more than 1 million square feet and includes about 50 shops and restaurants. BNA was one of the first commercial airports to have a master plan and is now one of 12 airports in the country participating in the FAA’s Sustainable Master Plan Pilot program, making sustainability a core objective in airport planning.
BNA makes it a priority to be involved in the community in many ways, including being active in Metro Nashville Public Schools through the PENCIL Partner program, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program and partnering with the Red Cross Lifesaver Camp since 2005.