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Denver International Airport Celebrates 2023 Milestones


DENVER – Dec. 28, 2023 – The year flew by, and Denver International Airport (DEN) is ready to take off into 2024. DEN is looking back on a year marked by accomplishments, milestones and opportunities. Among the most notable (in no particular order):

DEN’s Air Service Network

July 2023 ranked as the busiest month of passenger traffic ever for DEN. The nearly 7.3M passengers served during July eclipsed the previous top monthly total set in July 2019 by more than 553,000 passengers.

In August, DEN announced new nonstop service between DEN and Dublin beginning May 17, 2024 – the first-ever service from DEN to Ireland – with a brand-new carrier to DEN, Aer Lingus!
On October 29, United inaugurated new nonstop service between DEN and San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first-ever service between the two cities. San Juan long ranked as the largest domestic market without nonstop service from Denver, with demand levels reaching nearly 200 travelers per day.

In September, DEN announced a new airline offering new nonstop service between DEN and Monterrey, Mexico beginning January 25, 2024 via Viva Aerobus.

On March 4, 2023, United Airlines resumed daily nonstop flights to Tokyo/Narita (NRT) after a nearly three-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. June 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of United’s DEN-NRT service, DEN’s first and only nonstop connection to Asia.

New domestic destinations started in 2023:

  • Lehigh Valley, Penn. (Allegiant)
  • Bellingham, Wash. (Southwest)
  • Dayton, Ohio (United)
  • Greensboro, N.C. (United)
  • Lexington, Ky. (United)

Great Hall Progress As we near the end of 2023, DEN is putting the finishing touches on the new Level 6 West Security Checkpoint, which is scheduled to officially open on Feb. 6, 2024. This will be the first of two new state-of-the-art security checkpoints that will consist of 17 screening lanes with advanced technology. The East Security Checkpoint will be complete by the end of 2025.

Additionally, this year:

  • The corridor just west of the Level 5 North Security Checkpoint was completed and opened back up to the public. This area includes new spaces for airport tenants and partners like TSA and Money Exchange.
  • The escalators that take passengers between Levels 4 and 5 near baggage claim 17 reopened this fall with new flooring, ceiling and signage.
  • The areas near Doors 500, 502 and 504 were refreshed with new flooring and ceiling tiles and new flooring was installed at the elevator lobby near Door 606.

All of this work is leading up to the on-time and on-budget completion of Phase 2 early next year.

Completion Phase

While the focal point of 2023 has been the West Security Checkpoint, the Great Hall Program is still making great progress on the Completion Phase which includes the build out of the East Security Checkpoint. Throughout the year, crews have completed most of the demolition of the existing space in the northeast corner of Level 6 and began utility work and framing for the second new security checkpoint. Only one year ago, this space still housed airline ticket counters and it is now gutted and well underway to being transformed into another state-of-the-art checkpoint, which will open by the end of 2025.

Center of Equity and Excellence in Aviation Groundbreaking

The Center of Equity in Excellence (CEEA) in Aviation held a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 13 to mark a historic moment in DEN’s commitment to inclusivity and ensuring a talented and sustainable future workforce. The CEEA facility is being constructed within 66,000 square feet of space on Level 4 of the Hotel and Transit Center, easily accessible to the RTD A-Line commuter rail to downtown Denver. The Hall of Equity within the CEEA facility will accommodate 300 people for training and educational purposes. Adjacent lecture halls and training rooms will accommodate another 200-300 people. Construction will take approximately two years to complete.

New Food and Lounge Options

Several new dining options have been added to DEN’s portfolio of restaurants and shops. In June, Miami-based Half Moon Empanadas opened its first location outside of Florida on Concourse B. In July, DEN welcomedThe House of LR&C by Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ciara, located on Concourse C. DEN has also had many kiosks and travel conveniences open as well, including Fly Fly Baby and High Dune- on Concourse B, as well as Sugarphoria, Black Canyon & Longs Peak – on Concourse C. Lastly, DEN opened the Plaza Premium Lounge on Concourse A. In partnership with Capital One, the lounge is the third Plaza Premium Lounge to open in the United States. More local and popular shops and restaurants are coming to DEN in 2024.

Our Green Mission

DEN is making strides to become one of the greenest airports in the world. Earlier this year, DEN fleet operations was recognized for its sustainable management as the number three fleet in North America by the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). The annual ranking recognizes peak-performing operations and honors enhanced practices making a positive impact on the environment and improvements within the fleet industry.

Approximately 26% of DEN’s vehicle fleet is powered with alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and its fleet management division currently provides CNG testing services to about 300 vehicles operated by tenant airlines.

This summer, DEN completed the capping of 64 oil and gas wells across airport property as part of a $12.5 million program that includes decommissioning all of DEN’s 38 tank battery locations.
The closure of the wells will allow DEN to grow and move forward in a way that’s conscientious, sustainable, and smart while avoiding the risk of methane leaks and other related pollutants, while conserving water, resources and energy.

New AGTS Cars

This month, DEN announced the arrival of the first new train car from manufacturer Alstom as DEN begins upgrading its train that carries passengers between the Terminal and Concourses A, B and C. An additional 25 train cars are expected to arrive in Denver throughout 2024, with the first vehicles carrying passengers by the summer travel rush.

Growing our Infrastructure

On Sept. 26, DEN cut the ribbon on Taxiway EE and was joined by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. This is the largest airport safety project funded by the FAA- almost $51 million. The project addresses an FAA “Hot Spot” – a location on an airport movement area with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion. Project addresses safety – DEN’s highest priority and increases the efficiency of its airfield by 10%.

DEN Revenue Bonds

In November, the City and County of Denver on behalf of DEN announced the successful refunding of $628 million of its 2013A and 2013B subordinate airport revenue bonds. The refinancing will save DEN more than $46 million over the next 20 years. The bond sale was met with strong investor demand, achieving an oversubscription of more than seven times, a testament to DEN’s strong credit ratings of AA-/Aa3 on its Senior Lien bonds and A+/A1 on its Subordinate Lien bonds by three major credit rating agencies – the highest combined ratings in the history of DEN. The pricing activity was led by Ramirez & Company and represented the largest bond transaction in DEN’s history that was led by a Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE). The City received over $4.4 billion in orders from over 70 investors. The transaction closed on November 22, 2023.

DEN Economic Impact

In July of this year, DEN announced an updated Economic Impact Report for the airport. An outside consultant led a 15-month economic impact study quantifying the economic impact of DEN on Colorado’s economy. The result of the study indicates the airport has contributed over $36.4 billon to the state of Colorado’s economy and supported over 220,000 jobs.

The study also looks ahead to what the economic impact will be over the implementation of DEN’s Vision 100 strategic plan. In 2032, or sooner, when Vision 100 projects are expected to be complete and passenger levels are anticipated to exceed 100 million annual passengers, DEN would support 447,386 jobs with a total economic impact of $71.3 billion. This near doubling of economic impact from 2021 to 2032 and the separate quantified impact of implementation of the Vision 100 infrastructure program demonstrates the tremendous power of DEN as a regional and statewide economic generator.

Outstanding Operations

DEN completed its annual facility and operations inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and certification inspectors found no discrepancies with DEN’s compliance under 14 CFR Part 139 regulations. This is the third year in a row and the sixth time in seven years that DEN has passed the annual certification inspection with zero findings.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

DEN welcomed four new Airport Customer Experience Specialists (ACES). These on-the-ground employees work directly to improve the customer experience through walking the terminal and concourses to examine the condition of various airport amenities and areas and ensure quick resolution of issues.

DEN partnered with CLEAR to introduce the DEN Reserve program and help passengers save time at airport security. DEN Reserve is a free service that allows all passengers to reserve a dedicated time slot through DEN’s Bridge TSA Security Checkpoint for their party – giving them a more predictable and seamless travel experience.

In partnership with Live at Jacks Entertainment, DEN hosted the JetSet Jamz Concert Series. The six-week, FREE, summer concert series featured local and national jazz and R&B acts like After 7, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Dotsero, the Mary Louise Lee Band, and more.

DEN launched DEN Travel Assist, brought to you by SkySquad, a new program designed to help travelers navigate DEN efficiently and with ease.

The new site launched in November. The website is ADA WCAG 2.1 compliant and integrated the former jobs and business sites to create a seamless experience for our passengers, job seekers and partners.

DEN is proud to serve our passengers and community and thanks them for their support and patronage this year. Happy New Year from everyone at Denver International Airport!

Keep up with DEN happenings in 2024 and click here to sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!