Easy access to a bustling international airport is often cited as a big reason why corporations continue to flock to North Texas. With an expansion of the airport now underway, that reason may become even more meaningful.
Dallas-Fort Worth International is teaming up with American Airlines to develop a sixth terminal at the airport, which already serves more than 69 million customers a year. Plans call for up to $3.5 billion in improvements, including a new Terminal F and enhancements to Terminal C, which originally opened in 1974. The project will add up to 24 new gates, depending on demand. Design work is underway, with several options being considered for the layout of the new terminal. The development is part of a new airlines lease agreement that’s currently being negotiated. The partners anticipate the investment to be financed through bonds and repaid through airlines rates and charges over the life of the bonds.
Airport chief Sean Donohue said in a statement that the expansion will help the region compete with other international business centers. “The airport is growing faster than ever,” he said, “and it needs to keep pace with the Dallas-Fort Worth economy to provide jobs and connections for businesses and families.”
Along with executives at American and the airport, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and outgoing Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings helped pull the deal together. Rawlings called it one of the most significant announcements during his eight-year tenure and said the expansion would “further solidify DFW’s standing as one of the best international airports in the world.”
Much like the region it serves, DFW International is experiencing rapid growth.
The airport anticipates adding more passengers and air service in the next two years than in the past two decades. Last year, it announced 28 new destinations—giving it the largest domestic footprint in the country. By next month, American alone will operate more than 900 daily flights from the airport. The airline employs more than 31,000 people in North Texas.
Doug Parker, the airline’s chairman and CEO, said expansion plans “will allow for the continued growth of DFW and ensure the airport remains a premier gateway for American for many more years to come.”