DENVER (CBS4)- A massive plan to turn the land surrounding the Denver International Airport into a city is moving forward.
The plan calls for the city to include businesses, industry and agriculture. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is a major supporter of the proposal.
“This is the airport and its surrounding partners leveraging their most valuable asset- land!” said Hancock.
Thursday, 50 major corporate sponsors and more than 60 exhibitors gathered at the Airport Cities World Conference in downtown Denver.
“You can fit LAX, O’Hare, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Atlanta’s Hartfield Airports within the land area of DIA, all together,” said Hancock.
Denver’s vision of Airport City 30 to 50 years from now calls for centers for aerospace technology and renewable energy, agricultural development for growing food and then shipping it via air and a major hub for civilian and military aviation.
Dallas-Ft. Worth is already touting its own airport city but their airport is already surrounded by the city, making easy access to Airport City Denver crucial.
“Highway infrastructure has been proven over time to not last forever and you’ve got to move people through some kind of mass transit system,” said Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport Development Director John Terrell.
Denver is slated to begin construction on direct rail service that will link the airport with downtown Denver.
“Today it’s a $22 billion economic impact but we’re only scratching the surface. This should clearly be a $100 billion economic impact,” said Hancock.
Hancock would like to turn the entire 22 mile corridor between DIA and downtown Denver into a “Corridor of Opportunity.”