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Two construction projects will impact traffic to and from Denver International Airport (DEN) this week.

Inbound Peña Blvd. lanes (heading to DEN) between Tower Rd. & the RTD bridge will be restored to their pre-existing, permanent alignment. A right inbound lane closure will be in effect from approximately 8 p.m. on May 28 to 4 a.m. on May 29. Additionally, crews will replace a damaged overhead electronic message board sign on May 28 and 29 on outbound Peña Blvd. (leaving DEN). Work is expected to start around 10 p.m. on May 28 and finish around 4 a.m. on May 29, and again around 10 p.m. on May 29 to 4 a.m. on May 30. At approximately 1 a.m., between Tower Road and E 56th Avenue, a slow rolling closure of Peña Boulevard traffic will be implemented for less than 10 minutes. Speeds will be significantly reduced. Crews will be transporting and setting bridge girders on E-470 over outbound Peña Blvd. (leaving DEN) between 11 p.m. on May 30 until 6 a.m. on May 31. Between Jackson Gap Street and E-470, approximately once every hour, slow, rolling closures of Peña will be implemented for approximately seven minutes. Speeds will be significantly reduced during this time.

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Denver International Airport Reflects on 2016

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DENVER – Dec. 30, 2016 – As 2016 comes to a close, Denver International Airport (DEN) is reflecting on a year filled with milestones and major achievements.

Here are the top accomplishments, milestones and memories from DEN in 2016:

Record passenger traffic and revenue

In 2015, DEN set a new record for passenger traffic with more than 54 million travelers. This year, DEN expects to shatter that record with around 58 million passengers or so by the time the final numbers are in. Overall, the airport saw about 8 percent growth this year, which is an impressive figure driven in large part by additional airline capacity, new airlines and new destinations. This summer was particularly busy, setting nine of the top 10 busiest days in the airport’s history in July. The airport also set a new record for the single busiest day, ever, with 188,486 passengers on Nov. 27. And, having those additional people also means that airport concessions revenue is also expected to be at an all-time high again in 2016 as sales are projected to end the year around $370 million – an 8-10 percent increase over 2015. The airport does not receive taxpayer money from the city’s General Fund, making these sales critical to the airport’s operation and maintenance.

Transit Center, rail line connects downtown Denver to DEN, Westin Denver International Airport

The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) new University of Colorado A Line began service on April 22, 2016, taking passengers from DEN to Denver Union Station in about 37 minutes and completing a longtime vision for rail service to the airport. The opening of the rail line also signaled the opening of the airport’s Transit Center at the base of the stunning Westin Denver International Airport, which completed its first full year of operation in 2016. The Westin has exceeded its original revenue projections and expects to end the year with about $43 million in gross revenue. The hotel, which its unique position at the end of the Jeppesen Terminal at an airport located in the center of the United States, has proven to be a big draw among business events and conferences across the country. And, the Westin has already been recognized with some of the top awards among the travel, hospitality and engineering industries.

Events at DEN comes to the plaza

With last year’s opening of the 82,000-square-foot open-air plaza outside the Westin Denver International Airport came a new opportunity to showcase Denver arts, events and entertainment like never before. “Events at DEN” brings those opportunities to life though an ongoing series of public events that is bringing family friendly entertainment, activities, music, movies and more to the plaza. This year’s lineup was already jam packed with free events, including: an ice skating rink on the plaza; a Denver-themed putt-putt course; movie screenings via the “Film on the Fly” series; a holiday market; the return of DEN’s Beer Flights beer garden and more. The plaza connects the terminal to the hotel and is covered by a canopy, providing both covered and uncovered areas for activities. The plaza is located pre-security, is open to the public and is accessible just steps from the new University of Colorado A Line station at DEN, or a short walk from the airport parking garages.

DEN receives national award for snow operations

DEN was recognized as being among the best in the world when it comes to removing and managing snow at the airport. The Balchen/Post award, which for 40 years has recognized airports for outstanding snow and ice removal teams that result in safe operations, was awarded to DEN this year by the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). The award is based on a wide range of criteria for work, including: snow and ice control plans; equipment readiness; personnel training; overall safety awareness; timely communication with airlines, the public and other airport stakeholders; storm cleanup; and the effectiveness of snow and ice control plans on runways and other surfaces. DEN was named the winner in the category of large commercial airports with more than 200,000 operations annually. From the 2010 to 2015 snow seasons, DEN received an average of 50.6 inches of snow each season. As of Dec. 28, DEN has received a total of 11.4 inches of snow during the 2016-2017 snow season.

DEN receives a perfect inspection score

In October, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave DEN a perfect score on its annual inspection. The “Part 139” inspection is conducted by the FAA and reviews airport operations as part of the annual airport certification process. Airport Operating Certificates are issued by the FAA and serve to ensure safety in air transportation by requiring airports to meet certain operational and safety standards and provide things such as firefighting and rescue equipment. Federal inspectors found no discrepancies between DEN operations and FAA operating standards – something the airport is very proud of as it puts passenger safety first.

New air service brings DEN closer to the world

Air service development is what connects Denver to the world in new and exciting ways. And this year saw even more milestones. Denver added five new airlines in 2016: Virgin America, Allegiant, Sun Country Airlines, PenAir and Elite Airways, adding even more airline choices for passengers. Our airline partners also added three new international destinations: Air Canada to Montreal, Canada; AeroMexico and Volaris to Monterrey, Mexico; and Lufthansa to Munich, Germany. Airlines also added nine new domestic destinations and added new competition in eight domestic markets, growing Denver’s already robust domestic connectivity. And, we celebrated several major airline anniversaries, including 15 years of partnership with Lufthansa and jetBlue at DEN, 10 years of Southwest Airlines at DEN and 35 years of continued service by American Airlines in the Mile High City. And, the airport hosted the 2016 Airports Council International-North America JumpStart Air Service Development Conference in June, bringing representatives from airlines and airports from around the world to Denver.

DEN has gone to the dogs

Last year, DEN launched its Canine Airport Therapy Squad, or CATS program with 28 certified and trained therapy dogs to roam the concourses and help put a smile on travelers’ faces. This fall, DEN doubled the size of the program to 60 CATS. These four-legged companions are a huge hit with passengers from around the world. And, DEN recently opened three new pet relief areas on each of the concourses. These rooms provide a clean, convenient place for traveling pets to do their business on the go. All of this added up to the American Kennel Club naming DEN the top airport in the country for people traveling with dogs.

DEN plugs into serious upgrades

DEN knows that passengers today are more connected than ever, which is why we added 10,000 new electrical plug-in points this year for passengers to charge up personal devices throughout the airport. This project created a place to charge up in virtually every public seating area on the concourses. But what good is a charged phone or tablet without great internet service? That’s why the airport has invested in serious hardware upgrades throughout the facility. Last year, an independent study concluded that DEN had the fastest Wi-Fi out of the country’s busiest airports, with average speeds around 5 Mbps. This year, passengers are routinely reporting speeds over 100 Mbps as we continue to ramp up the blazing fast – and hassle free – Wi-Fi service for our passengers.

Investing for sustainability

DEN continues to be a leader in the field of airport sustainability, and was recognized for the 13th consecutive year as a gold leader within the State of Colorado’s Environmental Leadership Program. This year saw several other sustainability highlights, including the launch of a highly successful food donation program that redirects unsold food from airport concessions to Metro Caring for distribution to people in need. So far, that program has donated more than 40,000 pounds of food to Denver-area families. The airport was also recognized for the second year by the international Airports Carbon Accreditation program, which works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from airport operations. DEN also expanded its recycling and composting programs, which helped increase the amount of waste diverted from landfills to more than 2,300 tons – the highest levels in the airport’s history.

Ready for growth

DEN added 1,800 new garage parking spaces with the October opening of the fourth parking garage located on the east side of Jeppesen Terminal. This project began in early 2015 and greatly expanded the number of parking spaces available in the airport’s popular garages. The project also added 10 new electric vehicle charging stations, bringing to 36 the number of charging stations located in the garages. At the same time, the airport completed construction of four new international gates to accommodate the growing number of international flights available nonstop from Denver. DEN’s newest fire station, Station 35, also saw substantial completion this year. The structure, located near Pena Boulevard and Jackson Gap Road, will be the airport’s fifth fire station when it officially opens early next year.

New concessions expand passenger options

DEN completed the largest transformation of its duty-free shopping options ever this year with the opening of two new duty-free/duty-paid stores. Denver Duty Free includes a 2,315-square-foot shop in the center of the A Concourse and a 2,328-square-foot shop on the mezzanine level of the B Concourse. A third location on Concourse C, branded as Kiehl’s and Urban Decay, also opened this year. Kiehl’s and Urban Decay are initially duty-paid specialty retail stores, but could become a third duty-free/duty-paid location later on. DEN also saw the opening of SkyMarket, an exciting new concept on the B Concourse that offers a unique lineup of healthy food and beverages, personal care products and artisan specialty retail products. Another big passengerpleasing addition was the opening of Chick-fil-A on the B Concourse this fall, followed by Subway in the Jeppesen Terminal.

Great Hall kicks off pre-development

This summer, DEN signed a pre-development agreement with Great Hall Partners – led by Ferrovial Airports, Saunders Construction and Loop Capital – to design needed improvements to the Jeppesen Terminal while also moving the TSA checkpoints out of the terminal’s Great Hall area. The Great Hall project aims to embrace a new, modern airport experience through three main areas of improvement: consolidating the airline ticket counters and consolidating and relocating the TSA screening areas to level 6; modifying the baggage handling system in and under the terminal to support the relocated ticket counters; and redesigning the shopping, dining, and overall passenger experiences available in the terminal. The Denver City Council in August approved a pre-development phase of work which will outline the full scope of the final project. Those details will be finalized next year. Meanwhile, DEN continues to work with TSA to develop a new kind of security screening experience that will help streamline passenger movements and enhance security.

DEN Real Estate plans for the future

At 53 square miles, DEN is the largest commercial airport in North America and can double its current runways and passenger capacity in the decades to come. DEN Real Estate is a program that will help define the commercial land uses for areas of the airport’s property that won’t be needed for future aviation uses. This year, the airport began drafting a general land-use plan that will help guide future decisions. And, the very first commercial development as part of this program – the new Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company operations hub at 61st Avenue and Peña Boulevard – opened this fall. DEN is already working in partnership with Panasonic on several innovation projects, including LED lighting, solar-covered parking at the Peña Station A Line rail stop, and an innovative new welcome sign for the airport.

Peak Performance saves time, money

DEN knows that even little changes can add up to a big impact on our airport and our community, which is why the airport is always looking for new and creative ways to save time, money and energy. This year, the airport’s Peak Performance team developed new improvements that have helped passengers with wayfinding to the parking lots, faster processing of lost and found items, and more efficient preventative maintenance scheduling for airport vehicles. The airport also conducted a review of staffing needs during snow events and adjusted assignments based on areas with the greatest needs and hired additional seasonal employees. A newly formed snow administrative team is also constantly reviewing process improvements and best practices for staff training and equipment management. And, the airport now turns off runway lights when they aren’t being used, saving 3,024 kilowatt hours of electricity and 2 tons of CO2 emissions every night we turn off the lights.

Skytrax rankings put DEN at the top of the pack

Travelers from around the world this year voted DEN No. 9 on the list of the world’s best large airports – making DEN the only U.S. airport to make this prestigious top-10 list. The 2016 Skytrax World Airport Awards are voted on by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. The awards are based on 13.25 million airport survey questionnaires completed by 106 different nationalities of airline customers during the survey period. DEN received several other important distinctions, including:

  • 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)

DEN thanks our passengers and community for their support and patronage this year. Happy New Year from everyone at Denver International Airport.


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 www.FlyDenver.com, 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!