Fast-growing traffic at Denver International Airport has led airport officials, already working on a 26-gate expansion, to go back to city officials for approval to raise the ante to 39 new gates.
The original airport terminals, designed to allow ready expansion, were built in the early 1990s to handle 50 million passengers a year. Last year it handled 58 million, and they just keep coming. Both smaller carriers and the airport's Big Three (United, Southwest and Frontier) are begging for more gate space.
If approved, the new $1.5 billion expansion would be finished by 2021, and be able to handle 80 million passengers. The airport and private companies are also planning to spend $1.8 billion on a major overhaul of the existing terminal. A hearing today will help determine whether the plans can go ahead.