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Saying goodbye. Coming home. The airport is more than just a venue for travelers. It encompasses all emotions. It’s a meeting place for business, family, friends. It’s an active ecosystem with people from different cultures, backgrounds and countries, co-existing on their voyages. And an airport needs to be able to capture the needs of that ecosystem within the walls of the terminal.
When the 2.1 million-square-foot, $1.16 billion DFW International Airport Terminal D opened in late July 2005, it was one of the first major new terminals to open post 9-11. Passengers don’t see the extra structural reinforcements built to meet post 9-11 specifications. Instead, they continue to experience a passenger-oriented environment, integrated with retail in both secured and non-secured areas, designed to immediately familiarize passengers with a sense of place.
In 1999, the DFW International Airport Board undertook construction of a new international passenger terminal that would set new standards for facility design, function and amenities as part of its ﬁve-year, $2.7 billion Capital Development Program. To this point, no major terminal upgrades had been undertaken at DFW in more than 30 years, and the airport recognized that simply modifying its existing terminals would not accommodate the exponential growth and projected increase in international travel volume. A new, distinct international terminal was warranted, and DFW leaders saw the project as an opportunity to create a world-class facility that would advance the airport’s stature as an international gateway.
Project goals were complex and multi-faceted. Foremost was to shoehorn capacity for 37,800 passengers per day into a footprint originally designated for a terminal half that size, while providing maximum operational ﬂexibility. Add to that, the entire project required a design schedule that would allow fast-track construction without compromising airport operations. The project included a new access roadway, an 8,100-space parking garage, a 300-room hotel and connectivity to the airport-wide automated people-mover system. All projects completed at DFW International Airport were integrated seamlessly into the airport campus.
Design innovations provide immediate visual orientation for arriving passengers. Well-placed security/customs locations, open ﬂexible areas to accommodate a variety of needs and a 100,000-square-foot retail center provide patrons with an assortment of opportunities to dine and shop. Light, art installations and a high-style, open design offer balance to the traditional airport experience.