In 1928, two Santa Fe Railway employees became so intrigued with aviation that they took it upon themselves to lease a parcel of land and build an airport for Albuquerque. Within one year, Charles Lindbergh chose Albuquerque to be a stop on the nation's first commercial transcontinental air route between Los Angeles and New York. A north-south air route between Denver and El Paso with a stop in Albuquerque was soon established, making the city a crossroads for air service in the Southwest. Using funds from a Works Progress Administration grant, the city then constructed its own airfield, and the Albuquerque Municipal Airport opened in 1939. Since then, this airport--now the Albuquerque International Sunport--has been an air transportation hub for the state of New Mexico and for the Southwest United States, now handling more than five million passengers per year. The development of the Sunport as well as the route structure and aircraft of each and every commercial airline that has served Albuquerque is featured.
Fred De Guio is a private pilot and commercial aviation historian with more than 55 years exposure at the Sunport. He has kept record of the routes flown by the airlines and taken hundreds of photographs on-site. Many more historic images have been obtained from the Albuquerque Museum and other photographers.