11:48 AM

DFW International Airport Hosts Send-Off Festivities For Fort Worth Mayor, Sister Cities Delegation Departing For Mbabane, Swaziland, Africa

International Outreach Reflected in Growing Interest in International Travel, Rising Passenger Traffic Figures

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (March 14, 2005) - DFW International Airport today hosted a send-off event for the Fort Worth Sister Cities International delegation headed to Mbabane, Swaziland, Africa. The two cities are joining as official Sister Cities in a signing during the visit. The tour is the culmination of Fort Worth’s 5-year-long search for a sister city in Africa. 

“It’s an honor to represent the City of Fort Worth and our citizens in the international arena,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, a DFW Board Member. “When the Mbabane delegation visited our city last summer, we showed them the best that Fort Worth has to offer. They have promised us an unforgettable visit to their city.” 

“This is an exciting event and one that I have worked for several years to attain,” said Fort Worth Councilman Ralph McCloud. “It will be a proud day for our citizens and one that members of this delegation will remember for the rest of their lives.” 

The send off program is another in a series of celebrations leading to the opening of the new International Terminal D at DFW Airport this summer. International Terminal D is a 2-million-square-foot facility and will house all of DFW Airport’s international traffic when it opens in summer 2005. The $1.2 billion facility has 29 gates and features state-ofthe-art security and passenger amenities. 

 “Organizations like Fort Worth Sister Cities encourage people to travel and learn more about people from around the world,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO DFW International Airport. “With the opening of the new International Terminal D, we anticipate increased international traffic. DFW Airport is the perfect spot to launch an international discovery.” 

DFW’s international passenger traffic increased by 14.7 percent in 2004, from 4.4 million passengers in 2003 to more than 5 million last year. The increase was the first time in 4 years DFW has seen a rise in international passenger traffic, sparked by a wave of new international service. 

Last month American Airlines announced new flights from DFW to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which will begin in June 2005. In 2004, DFW hosted new service to Buenos Aires, Nassau, Bahamas, and three locations in Mexico including Cozumel, Torreón and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Additional service to various destinations in Mexico such as Cancun, Los Cabos, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Aguascalientes aided in the overall growth in international travel. 

The Mbabane delegation from Fort Worth numbers 52 strong and includes the aforementioned Mayor Moncrief and Mayor Pro Tem McCloud, along with City Council members Becky Haskins, Donovan Wheatfall and Jim Lane. Also traveling with the delegation are Sister Cities President Barclay Berdan, Sister Cities Executive Director Mae Ferguson and Sister Cities Mbabane Committee Chairwoman Reba Henry. 

The Mbabane send-off event included a demonstration of African drumming, as well a Fort Worth Zoo display of animals native to Africa, including a serval cat and a spring hare. The traveling party will transfer planes in New York City on their way to the southern part of Africa. 

Mbabane, Swaziland will become Fort Worth’s seventh sister city. Fort Worth’s other sister cities are: Reggio Emilia, Italy; Nagaoka, Japan; Trier, Germany; Bandung, Indonesia; Budapest, Hungary; and Toluca, Mexico. For more information on Fort Worth Sister Cities International, go to www.fwsistercities.org

Editors: Mbabane is prounounced “buh-bonnie”.

To arrange interviews, contact Ken Capps, Vice President, Public Affairs at 972-574- 8080 or kcapps@dfwairport.com.