Denver airport poised to accommodate increasing numbers of passengers

DENVER -- Whether for big business or tourism, people are coming to Colorado in droves.

Denver International Airport wants to be ready to accommodate everyone. Last year, a record  58 million people traveled through DIA.

Airport officials told FOX31 this year that number is expected to increase to more than 60 million.

DIA spokesman Heath Montgomery said “it's time to grow our facilities to meet that demand.”

The airport plans to add 39 new gates throughout all concourses to increase capacity by at least 35%.

“This is a direct result of the airlines coming to us and saying we want  to continue to grow here in Denver but we need the facilities to do it,” Montgomery said.

The expansion plan would run alongside the $1.8 billion Great Hall Project, a public-private partnership approved by the City of Denver in August.

Changes in security screening are among the improvements.

Passengers would pass through screening upstairs on level six (on the outer portions of the terminal) instead of the Great Hall floor on level five.

“You can walk directly to the train, you can enjoy the shops and restaurants that will be coming,” Montgomery said.

The goal is to have the gate expansion and Great Hall renovations complete by 2021.