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"DIA to add gates; ranks as fourth-busiest in US"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

DIA to add gates; ranks as fourth-busiest in U.S.
The Denver (CO) Business Journal

Denver International Airport confirmed Thursday it would expand Concourse C
with eight gates in a $160 million construction project. 

The airport posted a request for proposals on the design of the project,
which has been rumored for weeks. 
Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings senior director Peter Stettler said the
airport informed Fitch it may take on $160 million in debt for an eight-gate
expansion of east side of Concourse C. 

It also told Fitch it may take on an additional $120 million for a six-gate
expansion on the west side of Concourse A. DIA would take on the debt in
2007-2008 and construction would happen from 2007-2012, Stettler said at the

These expansions would be in addition to the already planned $41.5 million
regional jet facility for United Airlines on Concourse B. 

DIA has been setting passenger traffic records for more than a year and is
on track to set an annual record this year of nearly 48 million passengers. 

The airport was built in the early to mid-1990s to accommodate about 50
million passengers and its creeping toward its capacity. 

The new expansion will allow for growth from airlines such as Southwest,
which entered the Denver market in January with 13 daily flights and has
grown to 322 daily departures. The Dallas-based airlines possesses more than
4 percent of the market at DIA. 

Meanwhile, DIA moved up in airport rankings for September, the Bureau of
Transportation Statistics said Thursday. DIA was ranked fourth in the nation
for scheduled domestic enplanements, with 1.6 million passengers during the
month. A year ago, DIA was in sixth place with 1.6 million passengers. 

Moving down the list was Los Angeles International Airport, which fell to
sixth place. 

The Atlanta airport remained No. 1, with 2.8 million enplanements in
September. The rankings also were unchanged for No. 2 Chicago O'Hare and No.
3 Dallas-Fort Worth. 

For the first nine months of the year, Denver was in fourth place, with 16.7
million enplanements, up from fifth place and 15.1 million enplanements a
year ago.

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