City council green-lights final phase of Denver Airport’s Great Hall project

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Denver City Council has approved the final US$1.3bn phase of the Great Hall project at Denver International Airport (DEN).

This project is expected to increase the capacity of the terminal to at least 100 million annual passengers. With this approval, DEN will immediately begin work on the final phase by initiating design on key components. DEN plans to begin construction in late 2022, with completion expected between spring 2027 and summer 2028. Individual sections will open along the way.

The Great Hall’s completion phase will include an additional new security checkpoint with improved technology on the northeast side of Level 6. With the completion of this second checkpoint, both checkpoints on Level 5 will be relocated to Level 6. This will enable DEN to add more screening lanes ­– increasing capacity by more than 60% – and improve its domestic and international arrivals spaces on Level 5.

New check-in areas will be built at the south end of Level 6 for all airlines, not just United, Southwest and Frontier, to create more spacious ticketing areas. These modular spaces will provide greater flexibility for airline expansion and other changing needs in the future. Alongside this, the project will renovate restrooms and replace flooring, lighting, heating, cooling and fire protection systems and elevators/escalators. These improvements are expected to save DEN approximately US$200-250m in maintenance costs over 10 years.

These improvements to the Jeppesen Terminal will create 6,500 direct jobs, 500 indirect jobs, 1,300 induced jobs and an estimated 54,000 additional apprenticeship hours. Furthermore, training and job opportunities will be available from DEN’s Center of Excellence and Equity in Aviation, which will be constructed on Level 4 of the Westin Denver International Airport. The center will focus on under-represented young students in the hopes of developing a future skilled workforce.

Currently, phase two of the Great Hall project is under construction and will be completed by mid-2024; the new checkpoint in the northwest area of Level 6 will be completed in the first quarter of 2024. Hensel Phelps is the contractor for phases one and two and will be the contractor for the Great Hall completion. The first two phases will be constructed within the US$770m budget that was established at the start of the current Great Hall construction work.

Phil Washington, CEO at DEN, said, “We are grateful for the support of the Denver City Council and are excited and eager to get started on the final phase of this critical project. It is essential that we finish the full build-out of the terminal now so we can prepare DEN for the future. By investing in our airport, we will generate more flights, more local jobs, increased revenue for the region and more economic impact for our region.”

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