History of Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport

1931 – The Birmingham Airport. The beginning.

American Airways, having learned of the construction immediately made arrangements to serve Birmingham and inaugurated service on May 31, 1931. (mail and passenger service). This is the same day of the ceremonial dedication of the original structure of the airport.


June 1986 — Birmingham Airport Authority Established

The Birmingham Airport Authority was established by the Birmingham City Council, beginning an era of continued growth and significant revitalization of Alabama’s largest commercial airport.

October 1988 — A New Milestone in Daily Flights

Thanks to the leadership of the Birmingham Airport Authority, the number of daily flights out of BHM increases to 65 (up from just 38 when the Authority was first established). The airport now serves 1.9 million annual passengers.

1993 — $50M Terminal Renovation Completed

As BHM marked the completion of a $50.4 million terminal renovation, flights were up to 77 departures per day, serving nearly 2.1 million passengers that year.

October 20, 1993 — The New Birmingham International Airport

After direct service was added to destinations in Mexico and Canada, the airport name was officially changed to Birmingham International Airport.

2000 — A New Record: 3 Million Passengers

The Birmingham Airport reached a peak in 2000 with 3,067,777 passengers served and 81 daily departures non-stop to 28 cities and direct to 48 cities.

2005 — After Tough Times, Another New Record

After the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, the airline industry was staggered. After several years of a dramatic decrease in air travel, BHM bounced back in 2005 and set a new record of 3.2 million passengers served.

July 16, 2008 — The New Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

In the summer of 2008, the Birmingham Airport Authority Board of Directors approved renaming the airport to The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, in order to honor the legacy of civil rights activist and Birmingham legend Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth

2011 – 2014 — The Terminal Modernization Project

In 2011, The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport broke ground on a bold new Terminal Modernization Project.  Three years later, the completed project gave us a beautiful new terminal that nearly doubled the airport’s footprint, but with minimal impact on our community and environment.

2016 – BHM Receives LEED Gold Certification for sustainability

BHM welcomes its first Transportation Network Commute (TNC) UBER. It continues to grow its green initiatives by installing Electric Ground Service Equipment Charging Stations for airline partners Delta and Southwest in partnership with Alabama Power.
In compliance with FAA regulation and popular passenger amenity, indoor service animal relief areas opened on Concourse C.

2018 – Present

In 2018, the QTA at Eastwood Manor’s land acquisition process begins and is completed by the end of July. In April, Frontier Airlines begins service to Denver, Orlando, and Philadelphia. BHM host the first State of the Airport event to update the community about the airport’s plans and upcoming projects. BHM adds electric car chargers to the parking deck for passengers to charge up during their travels. BHM passenger traffic begins a steady pace of growth.

In 2019, the Birmingham Airport Authority and KultureCity open the first sensory room in a domestic U.S. terminal on Concourse B. CLEAR launches at BHM. Via Airlines begins service before discontinuing service across the country. Passenger traffic grows with 3,090,604 passengers served. The Birmingham Airport Authority pays off its Series 2003A and 2007 revenue bonds.

In 2020, the Birmingham Airport Authority Board of Directors recently voted to restructure the outstanding debt of the Birmingham Airport Authority’s revenue bonds. This vital action will result in interest savings in excess of $33 million and will position the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport to be one of the most financially viable small hub airports in the country. This restructure will also give the airport the ability to be debt free in 2031 when the airport celebrates its centennial anniversary.