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Denver's Development Delayed

When Denver International Airport (DEN) opened it was a unique airport and in many ways, still is. Despite difficulties prior to going into use, the airport has become a place to connect with family, friends and loved ones as well as the people and cultures around the world. Unlike many US airports it has just one terminal, albeit a very large one, which not only handles ever-increasing numbers of travellers but also numerous events year round. In doing so, DEN has become the state of Colorado’s primary economic engine, generating more than $26 billion a year for the local economy, employing over 30,000 workers and supporting another 155,000 indirect jobs. But that economic engine is aging and is experiencing growth that has surpassed the capacity of the now nearly 25-year old facility. In fact, passenger traffic has also grown exponentially in recent years, from 52.8 million passengers in 2011, to 64.5 million in 2018– an increase of 22 percent. Additionally, international passenger traffic has increased a staggering 76.4 percent since 2011.

Above left: DEN's passenger bridge

United(right) and Southwest are major operators at DEN

In order to keep things running smoothly, DEN has continued to invest in the airport’s infrastructure and that has included the Great Hall redevelopment project. The Great Hall is the central part of the terminal, most noted for its roof, which represents the peaks of the nearby Rocky Mountains.

When first opened it was a spacious area through which both passengers and other visitors could pass freely. Since then however, increased security requirements, among other things, has affected its use and it now can get crowded at peak times. Consequently a redevelopment project was initiated.