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DFW Airport’s Renovations Start To Take Shape With Renderings Of New Terminal

DFW Airport’s Renovations Start To Take Shape With Renderings Of New Terminal

Four years ago American Airlines and Dallas – Fort Worth airport came to agreement on terminal improvements that included piecemealing a new terminal F and refreshing terminal C for about $3.5 billion. This was put off during the pandemic.

Now it’s moving forward and renderings are available. They look great, and offer more detail around what the airport has planned.

New Terminal F Will Be Gorgeous But Inconvenient For Locals

Here’s where the new terminal will go:

The plan calls for a 15 gate terminal F. The long-term project is supposed to be 24 gates, so they’re only committing to part of it now.

  • The rest of Dallas – Fort Worth is built with local travelers in mind. There’s parking, check-in desks, and security at every terminal.
  • However there doesn’t appear to be any of that in terminal F. It looks built for connections, or long schlepps from another terminal for local passengers.
  • And it’s over $100 million per gate.

It looks like the money is going into a nice facility though.

There’s some dunking on the idea of glass jet bridges, as shown in this rendering. They are common in Europe, and some U.S. airports have them like Amarillo and Wichita. I’ve seen them used in extreme heat in the Mideast. The concept can be great – a wonderful view of the airport. But I frequently see the glass get very dirty. They’re outdoors and don’t get cleaned often! In Wichita it costs more to cool the bridges than operate them and that’ll certainly be the case at DFW in summertime.

50 Year Old Terminal C Goes From Ugly To Gorgeous?

Dilapidated terminal C, which was supposed to be renovated along with A, B and E as part of the airport’s previous TRIP program, will finally see renovations. In total the airport expects to spend nearly $3 billion expanding check-in areas, refreshing the terminal, and adding gates along with making changes to the roadways leading into the airport.

Before the pandemic the airport’s CEO suggested pouring billions into terminal C was a bad idea because you’d still have a 50 year old facility. The airport wanted to build a new terminal F, then tear down and replace terminal C.

But a refresh of the terminal was the most they could get American Airlines to sign off on. (Indeed, in 2019 they were only willing to spend $500 million on the renovation.)

Still, the renderings make the space look gorgeous – much more along the lines of DFW’s newest terminal D rather than their most refresh refresh project of the A terminal.

The airport expects about 78 million passengers in 2023, up from 75 million in 2019. They need to expand over the long term, and this lets them do it, but we don’t yet know what the project will entail in its entirety or when we’ll see it come to fruition. Projects take longer than you’d expect, even accounting for knowing that they take longer than you’d expect. Even in Texas.