Thinking big to develop a growing region
Denver International Airport poised for global expansion
Nearly 58.3 million passengers traveled through Denver International Airport (DEN) in 2016, marking the third consecutive year of record-setting traffic in the airport's history. DEN is the sixth-busiest airport in the nation and 18th busiest in the world.
Opened in 1995, DEN is the only major airport built in the United States in the past 27 years. The $4.2 billion facility encompasses 53 square miles, making DEN twice the size of Manhattan Island.
DEN’s record-setting 2017 was bolstered by new airlines and new destinations around the world. In addition to welcoming two new airlines in 2017 – Norwegian and Copa Airlines – two airlines also announced service scheduled to begin in 2018 – WestJet and Edelweiss.
Additionally, airlines continued to expand operations and DEN added 10 new destinations in 2017. Other airlines added frequencies to their schedules, including Lufthansa’s expansion to serve Munich daily and Aeromexico’s decision to fly year-round from Denver to Mexico City. Icelandair also increased its flights to Reykjavik from four times per week to nine times. In terms of international passenger traffic growth, DEN saw an increase of 11.2 percent in international passengers for the year to date ending in September – nearly double the rate of overall passenger traffic growth of 6.2 percent. DEN ranked sixth out of the 29 large-hub airports in this metric.
Passenger growth spurs expansion
DEN's new, $544 million Hotel and Transit Center includes a commuter rail station connecting the airport with downtown Denver. The University of Colorado A Line commuter rail from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport began service in 2016. The Westin Denver International Airport Hotel and Conference Center and its adjoining open-air plaza, opened in late 2015.
In the fall of 2017, DEN received approval for a $3.5 billion, five-year capital plan that includes growth to accommodate the added passenger traffic, and the traffic projected over the next decade or so. DEN will be modifying the Great Hall and the sixth floor passenger drop-off curb, adding 39 gates by telescoping out each of the concourses, adding a train set to the train that connects the terminal and the concourses, reconfiguring and widening parts of Peña Boulevard and studying a seventh runway.
Travelers from around the world have voted Denver International Airport (DEN) as the top U.S. airport serving 50-60 million passengers per year, according to the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
DEN was named the No. 3 best airport in the world serving 50-60 million passengers, making it the highest-rated U.S. airport in that category.
DEN received several other distinctions, including:
- No. 2 Best Regional Airport in North America
- No. 4 World’s Best Regional Airport
- No. 4 Best Airport Staff in North America
Reliever airports serve corporate business travelers
Colorado’s commercial and general aviation airports not only form a cohesive system for commerce and air travel needs, but generate a $36.7 billion annual impact according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Three strategically located airports serve as Metro Denver’s reliever airports: