Press Kit

About Denver International Airport (DEN)

Since opening on Feb. 28, 1995, Denver International Airport (DEN) has become the world’s 19th-busiest airport and the sixth-busiest airport in the United States. With 58.3 million passengers in 2016, DEN is one of the busiest hubs in the world’s largest aviation market, the United States, and is Colorado’s primary economic engine, generating more than $26 billion in annual economic impact for the state (Source: Colorado Department of Transportation, 2013).

Room to Grow

DEN is one of the few major U.S. airports with room to expand its current facilities to accommodate future growth. Encompassing 53 square miles (137.8 square kilometers) of land, DEN is twice the size of Manhattan Island, and is larger than the city boundaries of Boston, Miami, or San Francisco. DEN is the largest airport site in North America and the second-largest in the world. The efficient layout of six non-intersecting runways allows for multiple simultaneous aircraft movements. DEN has capacity for six additional runways, another terminal, and two additional concourses. Denver’s Runway 16R/34L, which runs north-south and is 16,000 feet long, is the longest commercial runway in the United States.  It is one of the reasons DEN has received ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) certification to handle Airbus 380 operations.


DEN’s award-winning architecture and magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains create a unique atmosphere for travelers. Jeppesen Terminal’s internationally recognized peaked roof, designed by Fentress Bradburn Architects, is reflective of snow-capped mountains and evokes the early history of Colorado when Native American teepees were located across the Great Plains.

DEN Fast Facts

  • Provides $26.3 billion in annual economic impact
  • DEN is the 6th busiest airport in the U.S and the 19th busiest in the world by passenger count
  • In 2016, DEN served 58.3 million passengers, a DEN record
  • There are 1,500 average daily flights (2015) - About one flight per minute on average
  • DEN has the 3rd largest domestic network
  • Provides nonstop service to about 180 destinations worldwide including 19 international destinations in seven countries
  • 22 commercial airlines

Ownership and Employment

The airport is owned by the City and County of Denver and is operated by the Denver Department of Aviation. The $4.9 billion city investment in the design and construction of DEN was financed by a combination of airport bonds, federal aviation grants, and monies generated by Denver’s former airport, Stapleton International. Through early and steadfast planning, DEN has gained significant recognition for financial stability, and has been profitable every year since opening.

The Department of Aviation is an enterprise as defined by the Colorado Constitution. As an enterprise, DEN does not use any taxpayer dollars for its operation. Denver’s mayor appoints the CEO, who then serves as a member of the mayor’s cabinet and reports directly to the mayor. The Denver City Council, while having no authority over appointing the manager, has oversight of contracts and purchasing as prescribed by city rules. Approximately 35,000 people work at the airport, of which about 2,000 people are employed by the Department of Aviation.

Gate Areas

DEN currently has 107 gates with 42 apron load positions. Passengers access the gates via the A, B and C concourses. To reach the A Gates, passengers can choose to walk over a pedestrian bridge or take the passenger train. Access to B and C Gates is limited to the passenger train. 

  • A Gates: 1,900 feet (579 meters) long, 1,220,000 square feet (113,342 square meters)
  • B Gates: 3,300 feet (1,006 meters) long, 2,033,872 square feet (188,953 square meters)
  • C Gates: 1,900 feet (579 meters), 789,000 square feet (73,301 square meters)

In 2014, DEN completed construction on five new gates on the C Concourse. This $46 million expansion project added 39,000 square feet of space to the west end of the C Concourse, and added gates C23 through C27. All of these gates are occupied by Southwest Airlines.

Runways and Airfield

DEN currently has six runways – five measure 12,000 feet in length, and the sixth measures 16,000 feet – more than three miles long. The 16,000-foot runway (16R/34L) is the longest commercial runway in North America. Because of Denver’s high elevation and summer heat, this extra length often is needed for departures.

With 53 square miles (137.8 square kilometers) of land, DEN is one of the few major U.S. airports with room to expand its current facilities to accommodate future growth.  DEN has capacity for six additional runways, for a total of 12.

The airfield is divided between the east and west sides, and contains a total of about 6 million square yards of concrete among 15,000 individual concrete panels. The average panel size is about 20 square feet. The airport has a comprehensive airfield pavement management system that tracks the lifespan for each of these panels, resulting in the ability to replace individual panels rather than entire areas of the airfield at once.

Nonstop Destinations

DEN currently serves 19 international destinations in seven countries. Passengers can reach more than 170 destinations nonstop from DEN. Currently, 150 of these destinations are in the United States making DEN a major domestic hub for air transportation. Additionally this total makes DEN have the third largest domestic network in the U.S., with only Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare ahead of DEN. Additionally, Denver has service to 20 Federally-subsidized Essential Air Service (EAS) routes across the Western and Midwest U.S., making DEN the only air service option for these rural markets.

Colorado Destinations                          

Located near the geographic center of the United States, Denver International Airport is the only major hub airport within a 500-mile radius. As such, DEN serves as the gateway into Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West and has direct flights to 11 destinations in Colorado, including popular ski resorts, vacation and business destinations.

Recently Added Routes and Airlines                         

New destinations added at DEN since Jan. 1, 2016 include:

  • Vernal and Moab, Utah by Boutique Air in March
  • Richmond, Virginia by United in April
  • Munich, Germany by Lufthansa in May
  • Montreal, Canada by Air Canada in June
  • Buffalo, New York, Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia by Southwest in June
  • Salina, Kansas by Great Lakes in June
  • Monterrey, Mexico by Aeromexico in December

New carriers added at DEN since Jan. 1, 2016 include:

  • Virgin America in March
  • Sun Country in May
  • Elite Airways in July
  • PenAir in September
  • Allegiant in December

Commuter Rail

DEN now has a direct rail connection from downtown to the airport. The University of Colorado A Line, operated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) is changing how people experience and access the Mile High City. The rail line offers convenient access to reliable transportation that provides direct access to airline check-in, baggage check and security screening at the airport.

Westin Denver International Airport

The Westin Denver International Airport, which opened in 2015, is conveniently located just steps from the main Terminal. This new hotel and conference center provides a modern and convenient destination for global travelers with a range of world-class amenities. 

Centrally located within the continental United States, Denver provides easy access for travelers coast-to-coast. The University of Colorado A Line is the city's new commuter rail connecting passengers from the airport to downtown Denver in about 37 minutes. The hotel offers 37,500 square feet of conference space, 15 meeting rooms/board rooms, two ballrooms and an open-air plaza for arts and entertainment. Guests can also enjoy the indoor pool and fitness center, Westin Workout, overlooking the airport’s iconic tent roof and the Front Range.

The Westin was designed to resemble a bird in flight—its curved roof mimicking the concave shape of Jeppesen Terminal’s white peaked roof. From a traveler’s point of view, the Westin’s stunning architecture is surpassed only by its service and available amenities for guests.

For more information, you can call: (303) 317-1800; or visit the website:

Investing for Sustainability

One of DEN's strategic priorities is to invest for sustainability through the airport's operations. Environmental, financial and social sustainability are all top of mind in the airport's decision-making process. In 2004, DEN was the first commercial airport in the United States to design and implement an Environmental Management System encompassing the entire airport that was successfully certified to meet the requirements of the EMS international standard known as ISO 14001.

The EMS includes detailed environmental procedures and policies that guide all of the activities conducted on DEN’s 53-square-mile facility.  To maintain ISO 14001 certification, the EMS must also include continual improvement goals.  DEN’s EMS includes specific
objectives that go beyond environmental compliance in the areas of waste minimization, pollution prevention, and energy efficiency.  Each year, the airport develops programs and plans to achieve these aggressive targets.  The EMS is annually audited by a third party for its conformance to the international standard.  A full recertification audit of the entire system is conducted every three years.

DEN’s environmental management has established many firsts in the United States and internationally:

  • First airport in the United States to be accepted into the EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track Program (2006)
  • Received FAA Environmental Stewardship Award (2007)
  • Accepted into Colorado’s environmental leadership program as a Gold level member (2004)
  • DEN currently recycles or reuses 21 different types of materials, including approximately 75 percent of collected aircraft deicing fluids. (2015)

Recent Awards

Denver International Airport is consistently named a passenger favorite, and is the proud recipient of dozens of national and international awards for excellence, including these recent examples:

2016 Skytrax World Airport Awards
No. 1 Best Regional Airport in North America
No. 2 Best Domestic Airport (highest among U.S. airports)
No. 2 Best Airport in North America (highest among U.S. airports)
No. 3 World’s Best Regional Airports (highest among U.S. airports)
No. 3 Best Airport Staff in North America
No. 9 Best Airports Serving More Than 50 Million Passengers a Year (highest among U.S. airports)

2016 USA Today Reader’s Choice Travel Awards
Second-best airport for dining
Elway’s steakhouse named “Best Airport Local/Regional Dining”
Root Down is No. 4 “Best Airport Local/Regional Dining”
Modmarket is No. 3 “Best Airport Grab-And-Go Dining”

2015 "The 100 Best Fleets"
No. 45 Best Fleet

Most Effective Brand on Social Media

2015 Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Top 10 Airport for Healthy Eating Choices (#5)

2015 Federal Aviation Administration
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advocate and Partner Award

2015 Wefi
Fastest Wi-Fi out of the top seven busiest airports

2015 J.D. Power
Ranked No. 6 among large airports and No. 1 for airports with more than 50 million passengers

2016 Travel Weekly
Gold Magellan Award in the hospitality, overall business/conference resort/hotel category for the Westin Denver International Airport

Link to the b-roll package (1 GB) Hint: Right-click and choose download for best results!