For the first time, the Dallas and Fort Worth symphonies joined for a performance at the debut of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport's international Terminal D on Monday night.
The symphony performance and gala event Monday kicked off a three-week countdown to Terminal D's July 6 opening.
More than 1,000 people sat in the ticketing area of the new terminal to listen to the symphony performance.
At the end of a global, five-year obstacle course that included war, terrorism, disease in the Far East, national security scares and teetering airline empires, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has built its fifth terminal.
To Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man performed Monday by the Fort Worth and Dallas symphonies, D/FW officials kicked off a three-week countdown to the July 6 opening of Terminal D, which consolidates the airport's international operations.
Airport officials targeted international travel in the 1990s as the most lucrative market to tap during the next 30 years, and in August 2000 they began building toward Monday's debut of an international terminal.
But they did not predict the tumultuous times ahead. Now a potential repeal of the Wright Amendment -- the legislative linchpin that helped spur D/FW's growth -- looms.
In spite of it all, it's time to celebrate, said D/FW Chief Executive Officer Jeff Fegan.
"This is, for me, the most exciting day I've experienced at D/FW Airport," he said.
Clay Paslay, the facility's executive vice president of airport development and the man most responsible for D/FW's $2.8 billion expansion, including Terminal D, called the last five years a "great journey."
With only a quick rehearsal Monday evening, the combined Dallas and Fort Worth symphonies heralded Terminal D's debut. On June 25, the public will get a chance to see Terminal D before it opens.
The combined symphonies symbolized the regional cooperation required, past and present, to make D/FW thrive, said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and Dallas Mayor Laura Miller.
In The Know
As many as 45,000 North Texans are expected to attend "Texas Day" at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, giving the local public an opportunity to see Terminal D before it opens.
The event is scheduled for noon to 8 p.m. June 25 and includes a walking tour of the terminal. Free admission and parking are available online at (http://www.dfwairport.com) www.dfwairport.com.
Local artists with works in the terminal will attend, as well as members of community and travel organizations.
Visitors will not be required to pass through federal security. They will be allowed to see the Skylink stations in Terminal D but not allowed to board for security reasons.
To print a free ticket:
Go to (http://www.dfwairport.com) and click on the Texas Day link.
Enter an e-mail address. Visitors can download one ticket per e-mail address. One ticket will covers the occupants of one vehicle.
Time slots for your visit will be offered in one-hour increments for crowd control purposes.
Event updates will be sent to the submitted e-mail address.
Your ticket also allows you to leave the airport parking area for free, however it will not activate TollTag lanes.