DIA set for massive expansion as air traffic continues to climb

Our Colorado: 39 new gates to be built
Posted at 5:27 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 21:25:18-04

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DENVER — As Our Colorado sees congestion on the roads, it’s also gearing up for congestion in the airport terminal.

Denver International Airport is about to get bigger and busier, with 39 new gates to be built by Spring 2021. That's in addition to 108 gates already in use.

There will be new places to eat and drink — even spots to be outside in the fresh air.

The additions will be on all three concourses.

"More options, more markets, more frequencies to markets we currently serve. Denver is a growing hub for United Airlines," said Steve Jaquith, vice president of United’s Denver hub.

Unlike other airports across the country, DIA is in a good position to expand.  It has plenty of room for construction, and the fact that it's located in the center of the country makes it attractive to the airlines.

"We are the largest economic engine in the region. We generate $26 billion a year,” said airport CEO Kim Day.

"We're a job generator. We have over 30,000 people who actually have direct jobs here and another 150,000 indirect jobs in the community. Every flight we add, adds jobs," she said.

But there are concerns, including the fact airline business is cutthroat. Airlines have closed or slashed service at other big hubs. In addition, oil prices are unpredictable. 

DIA insists it's in a strong position for growth, noting it's the fastest growing hub for Southwest Airlines and is United's most profitable.

"Domestic growth is where you'll see a lot of our change, and a lot of additional flight activity that you will see," said Jaquith.