Denver Airport

Denver International Airport Review

Denver International Airport is located in the northeast of Colorado US state. It comes in the top 5 busiest airport list in the world. In 2019, approximately 69 million passengers were making their travel through Denver international airport. Denver is also among the busiest airline hubs around the world of the largest aviation market. Denver Airport is one of the primary contributors that help the economic engine to be in a functional condition for Colorado State. From Denver, the Colorado state is able to generate $33.5 billion annually from the region.

Denver International Airport

Denver Airport is the largest airport with respect to sheer size in the United States. It comes to approximately 135.69 square kilometers and contains 6 runways with separation at a distance of 4200 feet between each other. DEN also contain a runway with a length of 16,000 ft that is considered the longest runway in the United State. Denver is considered a best airport in terms of travel, it started its operation in 1995 (AirAdvisor, 2021).

Denver International Airport with a mission of providing excellent services and support to 100 million passengers annually. The DEN has four pillars and four guiding principles to accomplish its vision and mission:


  • Powering the people: Making Denver a place where the business and government look forward to recruiting and selecting/hiring aviation enthusiastic people.
  • Growing the infrastructure: Denver with the mission of accommodating 100 million annual passengers is investing and ensuing growth of the facilities.
  • Maintaining what they have: As Denver is getting old, it’s been 27 years therefore it is experiencing damage as the rate of the passenger continues to increase.
  • Expanding their global connections: DENs with the vision of solidifying its connection, is creating more business and tourism opportunities for the world.

Guiding principles

  • Sustainability: Environmental protection and sustaining and reducing carbon emissions and becoming the greenest airport in the world.
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility: listing and respecting the viewpoint of each passenger.
  • Customer experience: Making a better and more comfortable environment for the customers and exceeding their needs and there to travel.
  • Their stakeholders: Many entities, organizations, businesses, governments, and partners including airlines, etc., look forward to the success of Denver. Therefore they are creating a collaborative environment where they work together and become successful.

Airport Facilities

At Denver Airport, there is only one terminal named Jeppesen Terminal which offers passenger drop-off, airline check-in and baggage check, security screening, passenger pickup, baggage claim, and gate access. The terminal is mostly called out in either Terminal East or Terminal West. The terminal features 1.5 million square feet of space and includes passenger ticketing, baggage claim, ground transportation, and the TSA security checkpoint. It connects the 3 concourses (gate A, gate B, and gate C) by train and walkway.

Level 5

  • Arrivals
  • Baggage Claim
  • North and South Security Checkpoints
  • Access to DEN Plaza and the Westin Denver International Airport

Level 6

  • Airline Check-In/ Ticketing Counters
  • Bridge Security Checkpoint

There are actually 3 checkpoints located at the Denver. The South TSA checkpoint is located on Level 5 near the Westin Hotel. This checkpoint is typically open 24 /7. The north checkpoint is on the other end of the terminal, also on Level 5. The north checkpoint is open from approximately 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The third checkpoint at Ashley. It’s the bridge security TSA checkpoint located in the far north. The bridge checkpoint remains open from approximately 4:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

There are 23 airlines in Denver, and their checking counters are located on the east or West side of Level 6. If you get dropped off on the wrong side of the terminal, you can still get from the east side to the West side and vice versa (DEN Virtual Tour: Navigating the Terminal, 2021).

Accessible Parking Options

Denver Airport has parking spaces at all airport-owned parking facilities. These parking spaces are located in Levels 1, 2, 4, and 5 from the East and the West parking garages, close to the entrances to Jeppesen Terminal (parking is unavailable at Level 3).

Aira: It’s a digital app that connects you with live assistance people that help you navigate the airport.

Language line: especially for the international language the interpreter services are available at the main terminal and also on each concourse.

Leading Airfield Technology

Aerobahn Surface Management System that provides real-time information on aircraft decision-making. They have the most comprehensive deicing fluid collection and recycling systems in the world. In 2015 DEN has installed a new advanced sensors network on runway 17L/35R.

Many more facilities like medical, paging, restrooms, animal services, telephone, Wi-Fi, train, wheelchair, electric cart service, smoking Den, lost and found, hotels, etc., are available at Denver international airport. 

Airport Ownership Model

The Denver airport is owned by the City and County of Denver and operated by the Denver Aviation Authority. The city’s $4.9 billion investment in the design and construction of DEN was funded by a combination of airport bonds, government aviation subsidies, and funds generated by Denver’s former Stapleton International Airport. With solid early planning, DEN has earned a strong reputation for financial stability and has been profitable every year since opening.

The Aviation Authority is a legal entity as defined by the Colorado Constitution. As a company, DEN does not use taxpayer money to operate. The Mayor of Denver appoints a CEO, who serves as a member of the mayor’s cabinet and reports directly to the mayor. The Denver City Council does not have the power to appoint administrators, but it does oversee contracts and purchases under city regulations. About 35,000 people work at airports, of which about 2,000 work for the Aviation Authority.

Denver is a state-owned enterprise. Denver Department of Aviation which is established and controlled by the state and county of Denver municipal charter operates the Denver international airport. The Colorado Constitution defined the Department of Aviation as an enterprise. The airport operates its own business and don’t rely on tax money. The CEO of Denver is chosen by the mayor, who appoints a cabinet member who is answerable only to him or her. The Denver City Council is in charge of overseeing contracts and purchases in accordance with established city regulations, but it has no say in who the chief executive officer is appointed.


  • Chief Executive Officer, Phillip A. Washington
  • Chief of Staff, Cristal DeHerrera
  • Chief Operating Officer, Steve Jaquith
  • Chief Financial Officer, Sylvester Lavender
  • Chief Commercial Officer, Penny May
  • ​​​​​​​Chief Construction and Infrastructure Officer, James Starling

Ongoing Project (Great Hall Project)

The airport Jeppesen Terminal has been undergoing major construction for the past few years. In March 2020 then started construction on phase one of the Great Hall project, which focused on the center of the Jeppesen terminal. In total, phase one of the project added 31,000 square feet to the terminal, which opened ahead of schedule in November 2021.

The second phase of the Great Hall project constructs one of two new security checkpoints on level 6 using advanced technology and adding lanes for a more efficient screening process. The second phase is expected to be completed in 2024. The final phase gets completed between 2027- 2028 and would be open along the way.

what “great hall project” brings to Denver Airport

The Great Hall project comes with many benefits, including enhanced safety, more capacity, a better passenger experience, and more opportunities for our community. Ultimately, it is a solution to dense unprecedented passenger growth and will ensure dense success today and in the future. You know, the airport is a tremendous asset for the city of Denver in the entire region, generating more than $33 billion in economic impact each year and providing about 30,000 direct jobs while supporting another 216,000 jobs.

The Great Hall Project is a major capital improvement in Den infrastructure that is very beneficial for the future by enhancing security, enhancing efficiency, and increasing the capacity of the Jeppesen building. In spite of DEN serving 69 million passengers in 2019, the Jeppesen Terminal was initially intended to accommodate 50 million passengers. Denver Airport is quickly recovering from the 2019 pandemic and now accommodating 70 million passengers (2022) and its goal is to accommodate 100 million passengers in the next 10 years. The Great Hall is a great project for Denver’s success in preparing for future growth and for their DEN Vision 100 plan (“Great Hall,” 2020).

Peña Boulevard Transportation and Mobility Master Plan

DEN has been working on the Peña Boulevard transportation and mobility Master Plan. For the development of this, DEN has been conducting studies related to transportation and mobility. Currently, the Gateway Area Travel Study is being conducted by the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) of Denver. Together, the three studies includes studies on transportation, mobility, and gateway area travel will help DEN form multi-modal solutions that will enhance mobility along Peña Boulevard and within the near side by communities. The Pea Boulevard Master Plan will contain suggested infrastructural, regulatory, and operational changes that will improve fairness while also improving environmental sustainability, quality of life, transportation and connectivity, and economic competitiveness.

Study Area and Corridor Description

Peña Boulevard is a roadway of 11.1 miles that provides accessibility to Denver Airport. It is also offering connectivity to many other off-airport developments and communities including Green Valley Ranch, Montbello, and Gateway

The Need for Improvements

  • Increased security
  • Reduce accidents – In 2019, there were over 200 accidents on Boulevard Peña. This equates to his four accidents in one week.
  • Encourage a shift to more sustainable transport modes – expand mobility options and create intelligent public transport connections
  • Improved Travel Time Reliability.
  • Prepare for 100 million passengers a year at DEN in 8-10 years
  • Address Barriers to Equality and Opportunity – Increase transport opportunities along corridors and within gateway areas to reduce barriers to opportunity 

DEN 50-Year Vision Denver, Colorado

The CH2M HILL and Tryba Architects have designed the Denver international airport. The airport is developed on 9,000 acres of land, composing 12 runways and a 53-square-mile footprint. That makes it one of the largest airports in the United States. It is the basic economic powerhouse of the state of Colorado as its making it utilizes its own income from its business operation. Economic growth, structure development, and making the airport a major multimodal gateway. The main objective of the 50-year vision is to make a hub for international trade and travel, innovation, and culture.

Carrier Shares for September 2021 – August 2022


Project Proposal for Handling Passenger

In 2019 Denver was being titled with the busiest airport in North America, as it had to accommodate the passenger traffic flow of 60 million. In 2022 the current situation is that the traffic rate is nearly 73 million. Within 5-8 years this annual passenger rate will hit 100 million and by 2050 it has the potential to reach 150 million but the terminal was built for the 50 million passengers.

As we have seen the Denver International airport is already working on its major projects with primary concern about facilitating the passengers and increasing mobility and enhancing the connectivity of the communities. The Great Hall project of the Denver International Airport is the first step toward handling higher passenger flow and from the completion of phase 1 of this project, a lot more facilities and comfort are provided to the customers. The full completion of the Great Hall project which is phase 2 in 2024 and phase 3 in 2028 approximately, will bring more space and capacity for accommodation in the Denver International Airport. DEN is also working on a triple escalator that will move screen passengers from the top level down to the train. Now we’re yet on when that will be completed.

The CEO of Denver airport said that “Of course, if we could close down the whole airport, we would get it done, you know, far ahead of schedule. But we can’t do that. I’ve said before that this is like remodeling your house while you’re still living in it. And that’s what we’re doing”

Denver International Airport making progress with Great Hall Project, 2022.

The improvement in the terminal also brings numerous benefits in different form that include:

  • Creating 6,500 direct jobs, 500 indirect jobs, 1,300 induced jobs, and an estimated 54,000 additional apprenticeship hours.
  • Creating efficiencies with current construction activities to minimize construction impacts.
  • Providing additional space to grow and better serve passengers with new airlines and destinations. That would better connect our community to the world.
  • Increasing the capacity of the terminal to accommodate at least 100 million annual passengers.

100 Vision

Denver International already has a vision of 100 million passenger accommodations that will come in the next 10 years. DEN’s strategic plan revolves around the four pillars of Vision 100 and each pillar comprises of a specific objective.

Vision 100 will enable DEN to prepare for accommodating the reach of 100 million annual passengers. The strategic plan is the blueprint for making aligned decision-making and enabling accountability. So DEN will be able to take the necessary steps for the preparation to serve 100 million passengers in the next 8-10 years. This plan will guide DEN’s work over the next 3-5 years, the first phase of reaching Vision 100.

Four guiding principles will be incorporated into the execution of each pillar and are also essential for success.

Recommendation for the Airport Management

There are 3 main functions that are performed using the terminal building and making them better would enhance the efficiency of the airport.

The Processing of Passengers and Baggage

Traveler handling within the terminal includes a few perspectives and is the term given to the treatment of the traveler and their baggage, notwithstanding the treatment of their information and security while they travel through the excursion to the destination which includes check-in, security, and governmental checks and the baggage screening and retrieval.

Requirement of a Change of Movement Type

One of the most important functions is the smooth flow of passengers. That are departing and arriving at various times via different transportation modes. Terminals are designed in such a way that they facilitate these passengers within the airport catchment area, to make them on board conveniently.

Accommodating Change of Mode

Terminals are designed to facilitate operations at both the airside and landside. Airside, passengers are being embarked/disembarked and the aircraft is ready to take off or land with the correct measures. While landslide includes how passengers get easy access to the airport.

The Denver international airport has to follow the same strategy and policies which they are following as it is creating a huge impact on the passenger handling facilities. For the inter-terminal travel, you’ll need to take a train to get to the gates. Catching the train is going to be about the same, but there will be more trains to catch. They’re going to add two complete trains. That’ll increase the capacity to about 20%. Right now, there are nearly 64 million people that use this airport every year.

After all the improvements, the capacity will be up to 80-100 million people. They’re just going to need more trains to get to and from the concourse efficiently. Over the next three years, 39 new gates will be added to the concourses. There will be 12 new gates built on the West End of Concourse A, and some of them will be able to handle international flights. Half a dozen temporary ground gates are also now on the. Inside of Concorde, say on Concourse B, there will be new games added on both ends, with four on the West side and seven on the East End, and on Concourse C-16 new games will be added on the East End (Future of Denver International Airport, 2018).

Decentralized Terminal Layout

For the busy terminals, a “decentralized” layout has been introduced. Decentralization is accomplished by the following strategies,

  • Division of the total terminal operation into several unit terminals that will have various operational roles, for instance, long haul-short-haul flights, and international or domestic routes.
  • Reverting to the actual entryways various dealing with tasks that recently were brought together in the takeoff involve check-in, seat allotment, and passenger hand baggage handle.
  • Sometimes, terminal layout with a decentralized strategy ends up in low walking distances for domestic passengers. Which makes it difficult for the interlining travelers who have to shift to different terminals for their journey. Keeping this perspective, the airport planning and development department must be cautious in anticipating the U.S. environment.

Conclusively, international and governmental requirements must be clubbed together to avoid terminal design and operational errors. Because an adverse terminal encounter could be impeding to the air terminal, thus terminal design and operations should be improved and new techniques should be considered to accommodate passengers efficiently. 

As the Denver international airport is running its operation from its own business running inside the terminals. It is the largest and busiest airport which means it has got its own value. Therefore, if the government would take part in its projects like terminal innovation or capacity building but allocate funds for the development and growth of the airport. Then the airport can quickly be able to achieve its goal and be able to provide better and good services and facilities to the community.

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One response to “Denver International Airport Review”

  1. […] Denver International Airport, often referred to as DEN, boasts the distinction of being the largest airport in the United States in terms of land area and stands as the second-largest globally. At present, DEN serves as the operational base for 25 different airlines. Collectively it offers non-stop flights to 215 destinations across different continents. Notably, it was among the pioneering airports in the United States to provide access to more than 200 destinations. […]

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