By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) – Plans are moving forward to add nearly 40 new gates to Denver International Airport.
The Denver City Council approved a set of contracts that will start the $1.5 billion project. The gates are expected to be completed in 2021.
“Denver is growing exponentially and so is air service, so it’s time for Denver International Airport to grow as well,” said Heath Montgomery with DIA.
Plans aren’t finalized but the C Concourse could see the largest improvement with 16 new gates. The A concourse could see 12 new gates.
The airlines asked for the expansion, showing signs that Southwest plans to continue to expand services around Denver.
The A Concourse expansion could include larger gates to handle increased international traffic.
“Ultimately our goal is to be able to accommodate a wide variety of aircraft from many different airlines,” said Montgomery. “We’re certainly seeing our international traffic grow year after year. In fact, last year was one of our best years ever, and this year we’re expecting to see more than 60 million total passengers.”
When expansion is completed, the airport could handle up to 85 million passengers each year.
DIA officials say the airport’s original design allows for easy expansion to the east and west of the current concourses, but this project could put the airport at capacity.
Any future growth would require an entirely new terminal.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.