American Eagle will mark the end of an era today when it says so long to its satellite terminal at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and the buses that hauled more than 17 million passengers to the outlying gate area.
The regional-jet affiliate of Fort Worth-based American Airlines is in the process of moving all of its domestic flights to Terminal B.
The 13-gate satellite opened as a stand-alone building for American Eagle on Nov. 4, 2000, near Terminals A and C because there were no other gates available for the airline to empty and board its planes. Since then, several airlines have pulled out, including Delta Air Lines, which freed up 18 gates. Delta had its own satellite building near Terminal E that it used for regional jets and mainline aircraft. That, too, sits unused.
D/FW Airport will take control of the 25,000-square-foot facility after the last American Eagle flight arrives at 10:37 a.m. today.
Jeff Benvegnu, vice president of terminal management and airline affairs for D/FW, said the airport is looking at how it can reuse the terminal, including possibly making it a home for general-aviation flights.
Gates at Terminal B are being retrofitted to serve American Eagle's smaller commuter planes. In the meantime, American Eagle flights will be run out of Terminals A and D.
By the time renovations are done by this summer, the carrier should be flying 275 daily domestic flights out of 37 gates from Terminal A. Its international flights will run out of Terminal D. United Airlines will be the only other carrier in Terminal B.
"It's certainly another chapter in our history that we're moving on from," said Dave Jackson, an airline spokesman. "We're excited about the fact that our customers will have faster connection times and can get from gate to gate without the bus system."
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