Denver International Airport to Receive $26.6M Infrastructure Grant from Federal Government

Feb. 26, 2024

President Biden's Chief Economist Heather Boushey joined Denver International Airport (DEN) CEO Phil Washington on Feb. 23 to discuss the announcement of nearly $1 billion to modernize airport terminals.

DEN previously announced a $26.6M grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fund a portion of the Baggage Handling System Modernization project (BHS), which will increase capacity and improve energy efficiency.

“As the airport makes improvements to check-in and security processes, it is critical the rest of the airport keeps up,” said Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. “We’re grateful for strong support from our congressional leaders for this grant that will ensure our baggage system brings efficiency and reliability to passengers, especially as we see more flights than ever come in and out of DEN.”

Passenger traffic forecasts for DEN suggest the need to accommodate 100M passengers well before the original 2032 Vision 100 strategic plan projection. To support this future growth, the current system requires equipment replacements with more modern and dependable technologies.

“Colorado is a leader in business, innovation, outdoor rec, and so many areas. Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make sure our airports reflect that,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper. “These terminal improvements will support Colorado’s economy and drive even more success,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper.

“This federal grant funding will support the continuance of DEN’s baggage handling system modernization efforts by replacing portions of the existing infrastructure that has been in place for more than 25 years with new, more efficient equipment,” said Phil Washington, DEN CEO. “We thank the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (FAA), Senator John Hickenlooper and Congresswoman Diana DeGette for their partnership in helping DEN fund this important infrastructure improvement project.”

Specifically, the $26.6M requested for BHS modernization and controls will lead to reduced maintenance costs, enhanced reliability, operational and energy efficiencies, and increased baggage capacity. DEN has planned for a multi-year project to complete the modernization, which requires phasing to maintain operations of the system while work is completed. The project is currently in the design phase and is expected to begin construction later this year.

“This is a big win for Denver! Denver International Airport serves as a vital hub for Colorado, connecting millions of travelers annually,” said Rep. DeGette. “It’s important the infrastructure there meets the evolving needs of those who rely on its services. This funding, thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law, will enhance efficiency and underscores our commitment to sustainable energy practices, ensuring DEN remains a beacon of progress and innovation.”

The grant received by DEN is part of $970 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda to 114 airports across the country to help meet the growing demand for air travel and launch projects to improve passenger experience, accessibility, and sustainability.