Denver City Council Gives Denver International Airport Green Light on the Great Hall Completion

Jan. 11, 2022
Full buildout of the Great Hall will be completed.

Denver City Council approved Denver International Airport’s (DEN) proposed plan for the Great Hall Completion, the final phase of the Great Hall Project. The Jan. 10 approval came at a crucial time for the project, as DEN can now move forward with the design work, using personnel already working on the current project.

“We are grateful for the support of the Denver City Council and are excited and eager to get started on the final phase of this critical project,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “It is essential that we finish the full build-out of the terminal now so we can prepare DEN for the future. By investing in our airport, we will generate more flights, more local jobs, increased revenue for the region, and more economic impact for our region.”

The Great Hall Complete Phase will include:

  • Improved safety for passengers. An additional new security checkpoint with enhanced technology on the northeast side of Level 6. With the completion of this second checkpoint, both checkpoints on Level 5 will be relocated to Level 6. At the same time, this will enable DEN to add more screening lanes, increasing capacity by more than 60%.
  • Modern and spacious ticketing areas. New check-in areas will be built on the south end of Level 6 for all remaining airlines, not just United, Southwest and Frontier. These modular spaces will provide greater flexibility for airline expansion and other changing needs in the future.
  • Upgraded facility. The project will renovate restrooms and replace flooring, lighting, heating, cooling and fire protection systems and elevators/escalators. These improvements will save DEN approximately $200-250 million in maintenance costs over 10 years.
  • Comfortable spaces to meet and greet travelers. This includes both domestic and international arrivals on Level 5.
  • Developing a pipeline of aviation talent. Building and creating DEN’s Center of Excellence and Equity in Aviation, which will be constructed on Level 4 of the Westin Denver International Airport. The center will engage, educate, empower, motivate, and provide opportunities for students who are under-represented and young people who are interested in and passionate about careers in aviation. It will help build a future skilled workforce and become a focal point for aviation knowledge and best practices.

These additional improvements to the Jeppesen Terminal will provide numerous benefits to our passengers and community including:

  • Creating 6,500 direct jobs, 500 indirect jobs, 1,300 induced jobs and an estimated 54,000 additional apprenticeship hours. Additionally, the community will benefit from training and job opportunities once DEN’s Center of Excellence and Equity in Aviation opens.
  • Providing additional space to grow and better serve passengers with new airlines and destinations that better connect our community to the world.
  • Creating efficiencies with current construction activities to minimize construction impacts.
  • Increasing capacity of the terminal to accommodate at least 100 million annual passengers.

The approved budget for the Great Hall Completion including contingency and the capacity for DEN is $1.3 billion and will not be funded with taxpayer dollars, but rather by airport revenues.

DEN will immediately begin design work on the Completion Phase, by initiating design on key components. DEN plans to begin construction late this year on enabling work and expects completion between spring 2027 and summer 2028, with sections opening along the way. A more definitive timeline will be determined once design is complete.

Currently, Phase 2 of the Great Hall Project is under construction and will be done by mid-2024 with the new checkpoint in the northwest area of Level 6 completed in the first quarter of 2024. Hensel Phelps is the contractor for Phases 1 and 2 and will be the contractor for the Great Hall Completion. The first two phases will be constructed within the $770 million budget that was established at the start of the current Great Hall construction work.