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Aesthetics[ edit ] The Teflon-coated fiberglass roof of Denver International Airport resembles the Rocky Mountains The Jeppesen Terminal's internationally recognized peaked roof, designed by Fentress Bradburn Architects , resembles snow-capped mountains and evokes the early history of Colorado when Native American teepees were located across the Great Plains. The catenary steel cable system, similar to the Brooklyn Bridge design supports the fabric roof. DIA is also known for a pedestrian bridge connecting the terminal to Concourse A that allows travelers to view planes taxiing beneath them and has views of the Rocky Mountains to the West and the high plains to the East. Art[ edit ] Both during construction and after opening, DIA has set aside a portion of its construction and operation budgets for art. Gargoyles hiding in suitcases are present above exit doors from baggage claims. The corridor from the main terminal and Concourse A usually contains additional temporary exhibits. Finally, a number of different public art works are present in the underground train that links the main terminal with concourses. The 32 feet 9. Blue Mustang was completed by others, and unveiled at the airport on February 11, The airport also features a bronze statue of astronaut, Congressman-elect and Denver native Jack Swigert. Swigert, who flew on Apollo 13 as Command Module Pilot, was elected to the House of Representatives in , but died of cancer before he was sworn in. The statue is dressed in an A7L pressure suit , and is posed holding a gold -plated helmet. It is a duplicate of a statue placed at the United States Capitol in The airport opening was originally scheduled for October 31, , with a single system for all three concourses. Issues with the system delayed the opening to February 28, , with separate systems for each concourse and varying degrees of automation. Incoming flights on the airport's B Concourse made very limited use of the system, and only United, DIA's dominant airline, used it for outgoing flights. With four train stations and thirty-one vehicles, it moves passengers between the main terminal and the three concourses via an underground rail system. This system is not part of the commuter rail system between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. The solar farm consists of more than 9, solar panels that follow the sun to maximize efficient energy production and generate more than 3. Owned and run by a specialist independent energy company, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, its annual output amounts to around 50 percent of the electricity required to operate the train system that runs between the airport's terminal and gate areas. The power array will reportedly reduce CO2 emissions by 5, metric tons per year. Solar IV The airport added its fourth solar power array in June The free service is provided by the airport directly and is no longer ad-supported. The land was transferred from Adams County to Denver after a vote,  increasing the city's size by 50 percent and bifurcating the western portion of the neighboring county. All freeway traffic accessing the airport from central Denver leaves the city and passes through Aurora for just shy of 2 miles, making the airport a practical exclave. Similarly, the A Line rail service connecting the airport with downtown Denver has two intervening stations in Aurora. Two years later, Mayor Wellington Webb inherited the megaproject , scheduled to open on October 29, Delays caused by poor planning and repeated design changes due to changing requirements from United Airlines caused Mayor Webb to push opening day back, first to December , then to March By September , delays due to a millwright strike and other events meant opening day was pushed back again, to May 15, In April , the city invited reporters to observe the first test of the new automated baggage system. Reporters were treated to scenes of clothing and other personal effects scattered beneath the system's tracks, while the actuators that moved luggage from belt to belt would often toss the luggage right off the system instead. The mayor cancelled the planned May 15 opening. The baggage system continued to be a maintenance hassle and was finally terminated in September ,  with traditional baggage handlers manually handling cargo and passenger luggage. On September 25, , the airport hosted a fly-in that drew several hundred general aviation aircraft, providing pilots with a unique opportunity to operate in and out of the new airport, and to wander around on foot looking at the ground-side facilities—including the baggage system, which was still under testing. FAA controllers also took advantage of the event to test procedures, and to check for holes in radio coverage as planes taxied around and among the buildings. The city's department of aviation has continuously owned this site even after Stapleton closed. After the airport's runways were completed but before it opened, the airport used the codes IATA: KDEN as its codes from Stapleton when the latter airport closed. During the blizzard of March 17—19, , the weight of heavy snow tore a hole in the terminal's white fabric roof. Several thousand people were stranded at DIA. The airport was closed for more than 45 hours, stranding thousands. On November 19, the first part of a Hotel and Transit Center , the hotel, opened adjacent to the Jeppesen Terminal. Design and expandability[ edit ] Denver International Airport's signature roofline as seen from the interior. Denver has traditionally been home to one of the busier airports in the nation because of its location. At times, Stapleton was a hub for three or four airlines. The main reasons that justified the construction of the new DIA included the fact that gate space was severely limited at Stapleton, and the Stapleton runways were unable to deal efficiently with Denver's weather and wind patterns, causing nationwide travel disruption. Fentress Architects is currently at work on the modernization of LAX. This was achieved by designing an easily expandable midfield terminal and concourses, creating one of the most efficient airfields in the world. This layout allows independent flow of aircraft to and from each runway without any queuing or overlap with other runways, as well as allowing air traffic patterns to be adjusted to avoid crosswinds, regardless of wind direction. Additional runways can be added as needed, up to a maximum of 12 runways. The midfield concourses allow passengers to be screened in a central location efficiently and then transported via the underground people mover to three different passenger concourses. Unlike Hartsfield—Jackson Atlanta International Airport upon which the midfield design was based, Concourses B and C are not connected by any kind of walkway; they are only accessible via train. The taxiways at Denver have been positioned so that each of the midfield concourses can expand significantly before reaching the taxiways. Concourse B, used by United Airlines , is longer than the other two concourses, and after the addition of four gates to its west end in , it will be at or near its maximum possible length. Once this expansion is exhausted, space has been reserved for four future Concourses: D and E by extending the train and East and West to be connected via walkways to the Jeppesen Terminal. All international flights requiring customs and immigration services currently fly into Concourse A. Currently twelve gates are used for international flights. Eight of these are north facing gates on Concourse A equipped to divert incoming passengers to a hallway that connects to the upper level of the air bridge and enters Customs and Immigration in the north side of the Jeppesen Terminal. In , four of the south facing gates on Concourse A were retro-fitted with access to a new sterile hallway which leads upstairs and merges with the hallway from the other eight original gates. See Concourse A below. As part of the original design of the airport the city specified passenger volume "triggers" that would lead to a redevelopment of the master plan and possible new construction to make sure the airport is able to meet Denver's needs. As part of the master plan update, the airport announced selection of Parsons Corporation to design a new hotel, rail station and two bridges leading into the main terminal. The airport has the ability to add up to six additional runways, bringing the total number of runways to Once fully built out, DIA should be able to handle million passengers per year, up from 32 million at its opening. Two covered and uncovered parking areas are directly attached to the terminal — four garages and an economy parking lot on the east side; and four garages and an economy lot on the west side. The terminal is separated into west and east terminals for passenger drop off and pickup. Linked below is a map of the airlines associated with the terminals. The central area of the airport houses two security screening areas and exits from the underground train system. The north side of the Jeppesen Terminal contains a third security screening area and a segregated immigration, and customs area. The main terminal has six official floors, connected by elevators and escalators. Floors 1—3 comprise the lowest levels of the parking garages as well as the economy lots on both sides of the terminal. Floor 4 contains passenger pickup, as well as short-term and long-term parking. Floor 5 is used for parking as well as drop-offs and pick-ups for taxis and shuttles to rental car lots and off-site parking. The fifth floor also contains the baggage carousels and security checkpoints. The sixth floor is used for passenger dropoff and check-in counters. Passengers are routed first to airline ticket counters or kiosks on the sixth floor for checking in. Since all gates at Denver are in the outlying concourses, passengers clear security at one of three different checkpoints: Eventually, both pre and post security gathering and leisure areas will be incorporated into the spaces where the TSA security areas on Level 5 are currently located. The hotel opened November 19,  and the commuter rail service began on April 22, Gensler and AndersonMasonDale Architects were the architects for the project. The rail service provides a direct connection between Denver Union Station and the airport for both visitors and locals. RTD regional bus bays directly connecting cities like Aurora , Boulder and Westminster can also be found under the Hotel and adjacent to the Transit Center and rail lines. An 82, square-foot public plaza between the hotel and main terminal is one of Denver's newest venues for arts and entertainment and provides an area for travelers and visitors to relax and enjoy art, food, drinks, seasonal outdoor activities, sunshine and spanning views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Great Plains to the east without having to leave the airport. Once in and again once in , the train system encountered technical problems and shut down for several hours, creating tremendous back-logs of passengers in the main terminal since no pedestrian walkways exist between the terminal and the B and C Concourses. On both occasions, buses had to be used because of the train problems. The main difference is that DIA has no satellite unit of T gates directly attached to the terminal, and the spacing between the concourses at DIA is much greater than the spacing between the concourses in Atlanta. This allows for maximum operating efficiency as aircraft can push back from their gate while other taxiing aircraft can still taxi through the alley behind them without delay. The airport collects landing fees, rent and other revenues from the airlines to help offset its operating costs. Instead, the airport is an "enterprise fund" generating its own revenues in order to cover operating expenses. The airport operates off of revenue generated by the airlines — landing fees, rents and other payments — and revenues generated by non-airline resources — parking, concessions revenues, rent and other payments. In September , the airport completed construction of five new gates on the C Concourse, which now serve Southwest Airlines. With the opening of the Regional Jet Concourse on April 24, , United Airlines left Concourse A entirely and operates solely from B, with the exception of international flights requiring customs support. The project and the contracts for the architectural and construction work was approved by the Denver city council on November 13, When both the terminal renovation and concourse expansions are completed, the airport should be able to handle between 80 and 90 million passengers per year. A26—A53, A56, A59—65, and A67— Concourse A handles all international arrivals at the airport excluding airports with border preclearance , as well as the departing flights of all international carriers serving Denver. Furthermore, all domestic airlines, except for Alaska, Southwest, Spirit, and United, use this concourse, with Frontier Airlines having the largest presence. The first five gates are expected to be completed by June with the remaining project to be completed by December
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