Over the last 25 years, Denver International Airport has grown from 33.1 million annual passengers to more than 69 million passengers. Though passenger traffic in 2020 will be significantly lower than years past due to COVID-19, DEN has outgrown its facilities which were built for 50 million passengers. In response, DEN is making many improvements to accommodate the continued growth, including expanding and enhancing Concourse A-West, Concourse B-West and B-East, and Concourse C-East. This work also includes renewal to the existing infrastructure in each concourse.
Phase I: Gate Expansion
DEN is building 39 new concourse gates, increasing overall capacity at the airport by 30 %. The new gates will be added on all three concourses to allow DEN’s airlines an opportunity to grow and for DEN to accommodate new airlines, including international carriers. In May of 2018 DEN broke ground on Phase I of The Gate Expansion Program.
Phase II: Concourse Renewal
On May 18, 2020, DEN went before Denver City Council to request an amendment to the current program contract. DEN was approved for a $560 million-dollar contract amendment to update and renew existing facilities. The concourse renewal work was added to the program to allow DEN to make necessary improvements to aging airport facilities and spaces while passenger traffic is low due to COVID-19. This work will include improvements to existing restrooms, new carpeting, furniture, ceilings, updated wayfinding and will replace moving walkways and escalators. Renewal work for Phase II of this program with the additional funding approved by city council will begin last quarter of 2020.
Total Program Costs:
Expansion Phase I: $ 1.5 billion
Renewal Phase II: $560 million
The Gate Expansion and Concourse Renewal Program is part of DEN’s $3.5 billion Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which is funded through airport bonds. In 2018, DEN issued approximately $2.1 billion in bonds to fund the CIP. These funds are dedicated specifically to CIP projects and cannot be used for operations and maintenance of the airport.
The DEN Gate Expansion project broke ground in 2018. Construction on all expansion work is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2021 and gates will be airline operational in 2022. Phase II, Concourse Renewal will be complete in 2024.