- Construction crews at Denver International Airport have started work on a $1.5 billion gate expansion, the airport authority announced last week.
- The 39 new gates will increase gate capacity by 30% across three concourses during the next three years. The first four new gates will be ready to receive aircraft by 2020. The project also includes outdoor waiting areas, more retail and food options and charging stations.
- Two joint ventures will manage the work: Holder Construction and FCI Constructors Inc.; and Turner Construction and Flatiron Construction. HNTB Corp. and Jacobs Engineering Group were contracted for architectural and design services.
Jacobs Engineering and HNTB Corp. were each awarded a $65 million contract for the design and engineering of the 39 new gates in November of last year. The Denver City Council also awarded the joint venture of Holder-FCI a $655 million contract for pre-construction and new gate construction. Project officials said that small and disadvantaged businesses will perform up to 18% of the expansion's design work and up to 24% of construction.
The Denver gate expansion is just one element of the airport's $3.5 billion capital plan. In addition to those projects, Denver officials also awarded a $1.8 billion renovation and management contract to Spanish company Ferrovial for the $650 million renovation of the airport's Jeppesen Terminal and a $1.2 billion concession management agreement.
The addition of gates or the renovation of existing ones is almost always part of major airport projects. This is so that airports can handle more traffic but also so that they can accommodate bigger planes used for long-haul flights. The size of passenger aircraft is growing at a fast pace, making it tough for airports to keep up. In fact, Boeing this month received Federal Aviation Administration approval for a new 777x airplane design that will see folding wings reduce the projected wingspan of 235 feet to 212 feet.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, is currently underway with a $2.5 billion expansion, and, in addition to infrastructure and terminal construction, the project will ultimately see up to 47 gates added across five concourses.
Salt Lake City officials have also started construction on what they call a $3.6 billion renovation of the Salt Lake City airport. New terminals will offer more gates, and the project's design will allow for future gate expansion.
A new $1.1 billion, 800,000-square-foot concourse planned for Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii will also be able to handle newer, bigger planes with 12 to 14 wide-body gates.