PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A ribbon cutting Thursday morning at Philadelphia International Airport ushered in a new era for travel in the region.
It's the latest in a massive multi-billion dollar plan to improve PHL.
Runway 27L is now 12,000 feet in length.
Airport officials say it accommodates larger planes that generally fly more international routes to land and take off from Philadelphia.
The $200-million project took five years to complete and was fraught with controversy from the very beginning.
Initially, the city planned to make way for the expansion by relocating hundreds of people living in 72 homes.
But the homes, which are located in Tinicum Township, were later deemed safe thanks to an agreement between the township and Philadelphia city officials
As a result of the new runway, American Airlines just announced direct service flights to Africa, with plans for Asia to be next.
Philadelphia International Airport unveils runway expansion
PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT