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Orlando International Airport's new Terminal C

6 U.S. Airport Upgrades Making Road Warriors Happy

The travel experience is seeing an upgrade in Orlando, Newark, Chicago, Denver, and elsewhere.

Airports around the country have been celebrating ribbon-cuttings or expansion announcements this fall that promise new or expanded facilities to make the travel experience a bit better for you and your meeting attendees. Here are recent projects worth noting.

Orlando: Millions More Passengers
In September, Orlando International Airport opened Terminal C, which added 15 gates capable of handling both domestic and international operations and accommodating up to 20 aircraft. The $2.8 billion facility reportedly increases the airport’s capacity by 25 percent, or 10 to 12 million new passengers each year. While 10 international airlines have moved into the space, including British Airways and Emirates, the anchor airline is JetBlue.

Fresh Face in Northern New Jersey
Newark Liberty International Airport’s $2.7 billion new Terminal A is expected be fully operational by December 8. The new one million-square-foot building, which is expected to accommodate over 13.6 million passengers annually, will have 33 gates, four lounges, and touchless security. The terminal project also funded redesigned roadways, airfield paving, and a 2,700-space public parking facility.

Chicago O’Hare on the Move
In October, Delta moved its operations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Terminal 5 after investing $50 million in the facility, including a new 22,000-plus-square-foot Delta Sky Club, four times the size of the previous club in Terminal 2.

Bigger news at O’Hare was the November 21 announcement that the airport has the federal go-ahead for a $7.1 billion project to replace Terminal 2 with a “global terminal” (pictured) that will link domestic and international flights in one location. Demolition of Terminal 2 is expected to begin in 2026, with completion of the global terminal in 2030. ohare-global-terminal-chicago-airport-architecture-aerial.jpg

Rocky Mountain Gateway
Denver International Airport was in the news in early November, announcing the completion of its four-year gate-expansion project. In total, the project added 39 gates. However, the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the final phase: 12 new gates on A-West and 10 new gates on B-East, all of which are leased by United Airlines. Both expansion areas feature new seating options, workstations, charging stations, restrooms, and nursing rooms, with new shopping and dining options coming in 2023.

Central Missouri Access
In October, Columbia (Mo.) Regional Airport celebrated the opening of a new $23 million terminal. The 52,000-square-foot facility is more than three times the size of its predecessor and offers four gates with three passenger boarding bridges, increased charging outlets, workstations for business travelers. New amenities also include a restaurant and bar, a mother’s room, a sensory room, and an indoor service-animal relief area. American Airlines currently offers three daily flights to and from Dallas-Fort Worth and two daily flights to and from Chicago, and is planning to start twice-daily service to and from Charlotte, N.C.

Key West Airport Groundbreaking
November 2 saw the groundbreaking of a $100 million expansion for Key West International Airport in the Florida Keys. The two-and-a-half-year project will deliver a new concourse with nearly 50,000 square feet of space, including seven passenger jet bridges for all-weather boarding, additional baggage areas, and an upgraded security checkpoint. Currently, six carriers—Allegiant, American, Delta, Jet Blue, Silver, and United—have daily nonstop flights to and from Key West.

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