Denver International Airport, the nation's 5th-busiest, is about to become a massive construction zone for a multi-year project that will add 39 gates and move security screening out of the Great Hall in the main terminal.
The project will increase the airport's capacity to about 80 million passengers per year, up from the 50 it was designed for in 1995 and the 61 million who passed through last year. That includes adding 39 more gates, as well as expanding retail, and moving security.
The airport's Great Hall, seen above, was originally meant to be a calm and peaceful place for departing passengers, centered under the airport's iconic tent-like roof that's meant to evoke the Rocky Mountains. When security changed everywhere after 9/11, and as traffic expanded, it lost its original function; that will be restored when the work is finished in about five years.
Along with the construction, the airport will end up with an expanded and dedicated area for international flights, and automated security lines that will free agents for screening instead of returning stacks of plastic bins.