The present airport was opened on 19 April 1927, after two years of construction. Deutsche Luft Hansaopened routes to Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Geneva. At the beginning of World War II civil use of the airport ceased in September 1939 and the airfield was used by the military.
After the end of the war the airport reopened for civil use in 1948. With the area under British administration, the first flights were operated by British European Airways to RAF Northolt.
In 1950, the main runway was extended to 2475 metres. In 1964 planning began for the construction of a new terminal, with capacity for 1.4 million passengers, and in 1969 the main runway was further lengthened to 3000 metres.
Today Düsseldorf is the third largest airport in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich; it handled 24.5 million passengers in 2017. It is a hub for Eurowings and a focus city for several more airlines. The airport has three passenger terminals and two runways and can handle wide-body aircraft up to the Airbus A380.