With Terminal D's opening pushed back 17 days, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport officials are adding training for airline and terminal workers.
Unsuccessful attempts to open Terminal D today had forced the staff to abbreviate passenger simulations that would familiarize workers with the new terminal.
Now, training will be complete when the first passengers arrive, Rusty Hodapp, managing director of the transition program, said at an airport board committee meeting Tuesday.
"A core group of the transition team will be moving in early," Hodapp said. Volunteers will pose as passengers July 13 to make sure that the terminal is operating correctly.
On July 18, security officials will sweep the terminal. After that, all of the terminal beyond the federal checkpoints will be considered "secure," said Alvy Dodson, D/FW's vice president of public safety.
A second passenger simulation is scheduled for July 18. The international airlines -- not counting American -- and federal agencies will move in overnight July 22. Opening day is the next morning.
Many concessionaires have incurred costs attempting to open by today, said Kevin Cox, D/FW's chief operating officer. To address the 17-day delay, the airport board may allow Terminal D concessionaires to pay rent for a limited time based on a percentage of their sales.
If accepted in full by the concessionaires, the plan will cost D/FW an estimated $481,102.
Also, DFS Group, the duty-free operator in the other terminals, will stay open through July 23. DFS Group had planned to close today.
Most of 63 retail spots were ready for business at the end of July. But their main source of income -- American Airlines daily passengers -- has been noticeably absent from the terminal.
The airport expects to waive rent for its 59 concession spots in Terminal D, where American Airlines delayed an opening by three months.
D/FW officials are quietly asking American -- the dominant market-share leader -- to spread its flights more evenly across gates.
At times, one security checkpoint at D/FW Airport may become choked with passengers even as checkpoints a short walk away stand completely empty.