DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas -- Six years of design and nearly five years of construction later, DFW International Airport's new International Terminal D will open July 23 as the world's largest post 9/11 airport expansion. The over two million square foot facility features the latest in security and customer enhancements, many put in place after September 11, 2001 and balancing tight security with passenger convenience.
Not only is the new International Terminal D a beautiful facility, but it also is designed and constructed to allow passengers to move quickly through security and feel at ease as they begin or end their journey.
"While you walk through the world's newest International Terminal, please admire the paintings, the architecture and the wide-open spaces. But also remember you're safe and all flights from DFW are among the safest in the world," said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, at the terminal's dedication last month.
"The best security you can have in airport or airline terminal is seamless to the passenger, "says Alvy Dodson, Vice President of Public Safety at DFW. "The best security is what travelers do not see. And the more than 300 men and women of our Department of Public Safety are poised and trained to handle the security requirements of this large new facility."
What passengers cannot see, and may not be aware of, are the safety and security measures melded into the heart of this facility. Following the tragic events of 9/11, an additional $47 million in security and safety upgrades were added to this terminal. The terminal also features a new inline baggage screening system, which will make checking bags easier for passengers, while maintaining tight security.
"Our architects, engineers, and security team scrutinized every aspect of security at Terminal D," said Kevin Cox, DFW Airport Chief Operating Officer. "As a result, our new inline baggage screening system will allow passengers to once again simply check their bags at the ticket counter and collect them at their destination."
DFW was the first major airport to study and design a comprehensive solution to the challenge of screening all baggage for explosives in a post 9/11 environment. And it was a DFW system proposal to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that paved the way for the use of similar inline baggage systems nationwide. The system includes 13 separate screening areas located within Terminals B, C, D, and E that contain a total of 47 explosive detection screening (EDS) machines and 104 explosive trace detection machines.
"The new in-line baggage system can screen bags more than twice as fast as the previous operations in place," said Clay Paslay, Executive Vice President of Airport Development at DFW. "In addition, the system reduces the number of bags opened for additional inspection, because these new state-of-the-art machines give screeners a clearer look inside the bags, and that prevents many false alarms."
Passengers will find three security checkpoints in this building on the concourse level for their use and a fourth one on the service level that monitors freight and other materials. Within the three security checkpoints 14 lanes have been designed for passenger use allowing hundreds of travelers to be processed per hour.
DFW's recently implemented improved, streamline screening process will also be available to those traveling through Terminal D. The airport provides travelers large plastic bags to hold metal objects such as keys, cell phones, pocket change, belts and other personal items. DFW is also providing disposable slippers to allow removal of shoes prior to arrival at the X-ray. In addition, the Airport has provided longer tables to ease passengers getting their carry-on items through security, improved signage on the tables and floors to guide passengers through the checkpoint, and multiple lanes to feed each screening station.
For those passengers arriving from abroad, the terminal offers centralized Immigration and Customs areas. Once passengers arrive at DFW, they will be directed to the Immigration corridor where they are surrounded by glass halls where they have the ability to view not only the airfield, but the interior of Terminal D as well.
Since more than half of the passengers arriving at DFW transfer to other flights, these passengers have views of the art, dining, and shopping that await them at the concourse level down below. Moving walkways assist passengers to quickly get to the INS hall where 2,800 passengers can be processed per hour. While waiting in queues, passengers can view 2 large paintings and photographic screens, part of the $6 million art program integrated into International Terminal D.
Once through passport control, passengers will now retrieve baggage and process through Customs. As they move down escalators they will be able to see planes arriving and taking off at D and the airfield or can look ahead and see a mesmerizing sculpture of local Dallas artist Tom Orr.
The International Baggage Claim hall, one of three baggage claim halls, has eight carousels each capable of handling a full load of luggage from two Boeing 747 aircraft. As quickly as bags are received, passengers will go through customs and either recheck for their next flight, or meet waiting family and friends.
The International Arrivals Hall not only has ample seating available, but also a news stand, a sandwich shop, vending machines and an amazing one-of-a-kind view of the newly installed Nasher Sculpture Garden directly across the arrivals level driveway.
"With one out of every 10 passengers in the US connecting through DFW Airport, we believe these amenities will reinforce our position as the best airport for passenger convenience, services and security," said Paslay.
International Terminal D Security Overview * $23 million in structural enhancements * $13.5 million in baggage screening upgrades. * $4.6 million in upgraded communication systems * $4 million in roadway improvements. * 459,000 cubic yards of concrete were used. * 12,500 tons of steel was used.