Response last updated by satguru on Feb 12 2017.
May 24 2012, 2:36 PM
Answer has 2 votes
WesleyCrusher Moderator 15 year member
Answer has 2 votes.
At first, the places where planes took off and landed were usually called airfields. Only the largest ones, organizing long distance and international air travel and cargo handling were called airports because they did fulfill the role of ports. Airbases are specifically for armed forces. In each case, the generic "-field" was replaced with a more specialized existing term. In German, the distinction is still being made - general aviation facilities are called "Flugplatz" (airfield) and only large, commercial facilities are "Flughafen" (airport).
(Source: from parallel German etymology)
May 24 2012, 3:39 PM
Answer has 1 vote
davejacobs 21 year member
Answer has 1 vote.
As commercial use of modern means of transport developed, trains started at stations, while buses and coaches also had stations. So after train station, bus station, why for aircraft did they not have air stations? I was on a boat tour of the Solent yesterday, and the (probably completely unreliable!) commentator explained that because the first commercial aircraft were flying-boats and used a base on Southampton Water, it became known as an air port.