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Ribbon-cutting ceremony opens 16 new gates at DIA

Southwest Airlines will use the new gates, while the airport is in the planning process for expansions in Concourses D and E.

DENVER — Denver's airport just got larger.

Denver International Airport (DIA) and Southwest Airlines opened 16 new gates on Concourse C with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.

As part of DIA's Gate Expansion Program that began in 2018, the new gates bring the total number of gates at the airport to 156.

The new 530,000-square-foot area on the far east end of Concourse C near Gates C63 to C67 is the largest space commissioned by DIA since the opening of the Westin Hotel and Transit Center in 2015.

The gates are leased by Southwest Airlines, which will begin operating out of them by early June.

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In May 2018, DIA broke ground on a project to add 39 gates to the airport by 2022 for $2.3 billion, with the gates to be added to the ends of each concourse.

The C-East expansion is the second of four expansion areas to be completed with the remaining two areas on Concourses A-West and B-East opening this fall.

“Denver International Airport is our region’s and Colorado’s largest economic engine, and these investments are critical to keeping that engine running to support our entire city and state,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “These new gates will bring more flights, jobs and economic opportunities to our region, while making even more destinations accessible for our residents, and making Denver even more accessible to travelers from around the world.”

"We’re looking at getting to 100 million passengers a year within 10 years, so these gates are very much needed for our airline partners to be able to get to that type of capacity," said Jim Starling, DIA's executive vice president of chief construction and infrastructure.

"Our Mile High Heart is beaming with pride as we introduce our customers and employees to this exceptional expansion, which gives us the ability to continue growing and serving our Denver customers,” said Steve Sisneros, Vice President of Airport Affairs at Southwest Airlines. “With the opening of the gates, we continue partnering with [DIA ]to design and build larger and modern facilities to support our long-term vision in Colorado which includes our recently opened Maintenance Hangar complex, and buildings for our Provisioning, Cargo, and Ground Support Teams, and a larger People Department to support our robust recruiting efforts.”

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