Case Study

DFW International Airport Terminal D An International Terminal Positions DFW as one of the World's Leading Airports

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, USA

The Challenge

To position DFW International Airport as a leading international airport by creating a Dallas/Fort Worth-branded terminal with modern amenities and flexibility to accommodate future technologies and concessions offerings.

The Design Solution

In one of the industry’s first “Big Rooms,” the entire project team worked collaboratively to design a terminal that would evolve and adapt to needs, trends and regulations over time.

The 2.1 million-square-foot, $1.2 billion DFW International Airport Terminal D program opened in 2005 as one of the first newly constructed terminals after September 11th. Yet passengers don’t notice the embedded security features that address post-9/11 security requirements because they’re seamlessly integrated into the design.

The designers went even further with Terminal D by ensuring it remained responsive and anticipatory to industry changes, additions and adaptations, allowing the terminal to remain at the fore of responsive aviation design.

Terminal D conveys a timeless environment and regional gateway that is adaptable to the constantly changing demands of revenue development and new technologies. HKS, as managing architect and design collaborator, was responsible for the overall execution of the project which included the terminal with retail, national and regional food and beverage offerings; premium lounges; a fully-integrated Grand Hyatt hotel and a new central utility plant, an 8,100-car parking garage, a connecting Skybridge to Terminal C and roadway improvements.

DFW’s Terminal D was designed in collaboration with HTNB and Corgan.

The Design Impact

According to The Perryman Group, an economic and financial analysis firm, DFW International Airport Terminal D has a current $37 billion annual economic impact to the North Texas region.

Project Features

  • 28 swing gates
  • 300-room Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • Integrated automated people mover (Skylink)
  • 8,100-car parking garage
  • Federal Inspection Services facility
  • Integrated art program


  • 2009 Texas Society of Architects, Design Award (Built)
  • 2006 Buildings Magazine, Innovator Award, Large Project
  • 2005 Dallas Business Journal, Topping Out Award
  • 2005 Dallas/Fort Worth Small & Emerging Business Development, Excellence in Diversity Award
  • 2005 Dallas Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities, Innovator Award
  • 2005 American Foundation for the Blind, Access Award

The terminal is a marvel of complexity that warmly draws people in to explore the many venues, while the majority of the facility works to ensure airlines, security, customs and retail operate seamlessly for optimal effectiveness.

CEO for DFW International Airport (Retired) (Dallas Business Journal, June 22, 2009)