Airports: Growing with the Jets

AIRPORTS Growing with the Jets On Aug. 25, 1919, a converted wood-and-fabric World War I military plane took off from a Middlesex field outside London. With some newspapers, a few jars of Devonshire cream, a small consignment of leather, and a solitary passenger aboard, the flight inaugurated commercial air service between London and Paris. Today, near the same site, Heathrow Airport, already the largest outside the U.S., barely manages to keep pace with the mounting tide of skyway travelers.

Looking ahead to even more difficult days, when jumbo jets carrying as many...