Denver International Airport broke ground Tuesday on a $1.5 billion expansion project to add 39 new gates across all three concourses by spring 2021.
The gates will be added to the end of each concourse, "providing all of DEN's airlines an opportunity to vgrow and for DEN to accommodate new airlines, including international carriers," a news release says. Gate capacity will be increased by 30 percent.
The new gates will be built in the following areas:
- A-West - 12 gates.
- B-West - 4 gates.
- B-East - 7 narrow-body gates.
- C-East - 16 gates.
The new gates in Concourse B-West are expected to open first, in 2020.
"The new gates are one of several major projects in our $3.5 billion five-year capital improvement program that will prepare DEN for the future," airport CEO Kim Day said in the release. "We will not only increase capacity, but we will add more passenger amenities including food and shopping, charging stations and even outdoor space where you can enjoy Colorado's beautiful weather and scenery."
A surge in passengers at DIA last year made the airport the fifth-busiest in the country, The Denver Post reported.
Work will begin in late June or July on a wide-scale terminal renovation that is part of a separate, $1.8 billion public-private partnership deal, The Post reported. Great Hall Partners will consolidate ticketing areas, move security screening to the upper level and construct new main-floor concession spaces that will be privately managed for decades.
DIA officials also are ordering more cars for the underground train that ferries passengers from the terminal to the concourses, The Post reported.
"The airport has experienced a tremendous increase in passengers, setting yet another record over the past year with more than 61 million passengers," Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said in the release. "This is Colorado's No. 1 economic engine and we have worked hard to make it stronger by adding 11 new airlines, 13 new international destinations and 28 new domestic destinations since 2011. Today, the airport's success is outgrowing the building and the enhanced capacity that comes with these new gates will allow for more flights, more destinations and more options for those traveling to and from Denver, all of which keeps Colorado's economy strong."