More passengers flying to and from DIA than connecting

A lot's changed in the 20 years since the airport was built - originally the airport was a "coast connector."

DENVER – Our Next Question last week about international flights at Denver International Airport got us thinking about the size of the airport.

So we sat down Wednesday with Patrick Heck, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Commercial Development at Denver International Airport.

One of his daily tasks is working with airlines to draw more routes into Denver.

"As Denver grows... and as Denver's gotten more population and people and then as the hubs have grown here for the carriers the opportunities for more international expansion," he told Next.

When DIA opened in the 90s, it was considered more of a connection airport; a convenient stop between east and west coast cities like New York and Los Angeles.

"The airport was designed to accommodate 60 percent connecting traffic... we're actually close to almost 65 percent origination and destination traffic which is people begin or end trips here in Denver,” he said.

Origination and destination, known in the business as O and D traffic, means more people are taking off from or choosing Denver as their final destination. Something Heck credits to our state’s booming population and economy.

"We are the 18th biggest metropolitan area in the country and yet the sixth most served market in the country when it comes to O and D traffic so people in Denver tend to fly more," he said.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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