‘Airport’ centers on the story of a commercial airline that departs from Chicago with 58 passengers and crew members on board. An unstable man with a bomb gets on the plane and demands the airline transfer a hefty amount to his bank, or he will detonate the bomb. Now, everyone must work together to keep themselves safe as they deal with the grave problem at hand, which could potentially lead to their demise.
The 1970 thriller drama movie is based on the eponymous novel by Arthur Hailey and has spawned several sequels. It is helmed by George Seaton, who skillfully uses all the resources available and convinces the audience that the story is unfolding on an airplane and terminal, but is that really the case? If you wish to know how he and his team accomplished such a remarkable backdrop in that era and where they filmed ‘Airport,’ we’ve got you covered!
Airport Filming Locations
‘Airport’ was filmed in Minnesota and California, specifically in Minneapolis and Los Angeles County. The principal photography for the Burt Lancaster starter commenced on January 31, 1969, and the team wrapped up in June of the same year. Minnesota and California are renowned for their vibrant arts and cultural scenes and boast numerous theatres, art galleries, and museums. Now, let’s briefly look at these locations in detail.
Minneapolis served as the primary production spot for ‘Airport’ due to its beautiful winters, well-developed transportation systems, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Here, the filming unit lensed several portions of the movie at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, surrounded by several suburban cities like Richfield, Mendota Heights, Bloomington, and Eagan.
Most sequences were shot on the terminal and the field, and artificial snow was used to enhance the aesthetics further. If you ever visit Minneapolis, check out the popular filming locations like The Grain Belt Brewery, Lake Harriet, The IDS Center, and The Stone Arch Bridge. Other movies filmed at the busiest airport in the Upper Midwest are ‘Fargo’ and ‘360.’
Los Angeles County, California
The cast and crew of ‘Airport’ also traveled to Los Angeles County for shooting purposes. Specifically, they utilized the premises of Universal Studios Hollywood, one of the oldest studios in Universal City, which is an unincorporated community in San Fernando Valley. The production team skillfully built the set at Stage 28 for Boeing 707, a four-engine commercial airliner popular in the 1960s and 1970s. For ‘Airport 1975,’ they joined it with the 747’s interior. After that, these set-ups were used in multiple projects until they were removed entirely in 2002.
Universal Studios Hollywood is located at 100 Universal City Plaza and has hosted the production of numerous memorable movies like ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘War Of The Worlds.’ The most populous county in the US, Los Angeles County, has a diverse landscape that provides filmmakers with plenty of backdrops to shoot their projects. Some famous filming sites in the region are Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, Malibu Beach, and Rodeo Drive.
Read More: Is Airport (1970) Based on a True Story?