Believing the city's success was linked to its transportation system, Dallas leaders made early efforts to secure a future within the burgeoning field of aviation. Oak Cliff resident Frank McCarroll made his first flight in 1903. In 1910, he and the Dallas Chamber of Commerce organized a state fair air show and attracted thousands of viewers.
In 1917, during World War I, the city secured an agreement with the War Department to provide a military flying school for the army to lease. The Army Signal Corps named the field "Love Field" in honor of Lt. Moss Lee Love (1879-1913), an army aviation fatality. A festival at Love Field marked the war's end in 1918, and the army decommissioned the flying school in 1920. The city of Dallas leased space to pilots and, in 1922, the Curtiss Flying School and Curtiss Aeroplane Co. opened at the field. In 1923, the army returned to provide weather and radio service to pilots. The airport attracted U.S. air mail route service in the mid-1920s; air mail carriers were the first national air service companies, and many developed into the major air carriers of the late 20th century. Over the years, notable pilots made stops here, including Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. During World War II, the 5th Ferrying Group based operations here, along with a contingent of the Women Air Force
Service Pilots (WASP) and a large Lockheed modification center.
As Love Field developed, so did aircraft technology and services, and major carriers established offices at its facilities. In 1973, a larger airport opened with most air traffic moving there; Love Field almost closed. Today, though, Love Field has grown into a significant facility and one of the busiest commercial and general aviation airports in the United States. It remains a valuable Dallas asset, serving passengers, corporate clients and maintenance business. It is an important reminder of the city's early aviation efforts.