DENVER -- Denver International Airport is already the fifth-busiest airport in the country, and soon it could be even busier.
Tuesday, construction crews officially broke ground on the new gate expansion project, which will add 39 new gates by spring 2021.
The $1.5 billion project is expected to be a big economic driver.
“The airport has experienced a tremendous increase in passengers, setting yet another record over the past year with more than 61 million passengers," Mayor Michael Hancock said.
"This is Colorado’s No. 1 economic engine and we have worked hard to make it stronger by adding 11 new airlines, 13 new international destinations and 28 new domestic destinations since 2011.
"Today, the airport’s success is outgrowing the building and the enhanced capacity that comes with these new gates will allow for more flights, more destinations and more options for those traveling to and from Denver, all of which keeps Colorado’s economy strong."
The mayor says the more Denver is connected to the world, the more businesses will come here, the way Panasonic came after direct flights to Tokyo started.
Construction will take place at the end of each concourse and is not expected to affect travelers.
But when the construction is complete, passengers will notice new restaurants , concessions and outdoor patios.
Airport leaders say the new gates provide a chance for all of the airlines to grow and new airlines to come to Denver.
There will be 12 gates added to the west end of the A concourse, four at the west end of the B concourse, seven at the east end of the B concourse and 16 at the east end of the C concourse.AlertMe