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Frontier Airlines plans passenger boarding from tarmac at DIA

Frontier Airlines would like to build a 120,000-square-foot facility on the east side of Concourse A.

DENVER — Frontier Airlines is seeking approval from Denver City Council for a new ground boarding gate facility at Denver International Airport (DIA)

Frontier Airlines has proposed a 10-year agreement to build a 120,000-square-foot facility on the east side of DIA's Concourse A.

The facility would include 14 ground boarding gates, 18,000 square feet of support space and an adjacent 8,000-square-foot maintenance facility, Frontier said in a news release.

Frontier would have preferential use and scheduling rights for the 14 ground gates which will allow passengers to board and deplane through front and rear aircraft doors.

Frontier's plan was presented Wednesday to the Denver City Council Business, Arts, Workforce and Aviation Services Committee. Pending Committee approval, the plan could be presented to the full Denver City Council on Monday, April 18.

The first phase of the project including the first four gates is targeted for completion in fall 2023 with full project completion slated for summer 2024, according to Frontier.

Credit: Frontier Airlines

"This agreement marks a new era for Frontier Airlines and Denver International Airport," said Barry Biffle, president and CEO of Frontier Airlines. "A dedicated ground boarding facility will benefit customers by cutting in half the time for boarding and deplaning through the use of both the front and rear aircraft doors. That, in turn, will reduce our time on the ground between flights by nearly half and nearly double our number of aircraft operations per gate. We already serve 80 destinations from [DIA] and this new facility will enable us to bring even more service and more ultra-low fares to more people via Denver International Airport."

"We use ground boarding in a number of other airports around the U.S., including at one gate in Denver already, and it is common practice in international destinations," said Biffle. "Along with newly built, custom-designed areas for customers, team members and maintenance, this facility will be an extraordinary new addition to [DIA]."

The new Frontier facility would also include:

  • Escalators and elevators to transport customers from the existing Concourse A to the new ground-level facility.
  • Dedicated charging stations for electronic devices, a lactation room and a pet relief area, and food and retail options.
  • Air stairs and switchback ramps for each aircraft to enable dual door boarding and deplaning.
  • Support space for customer service, expanded break rooms, offices and storage.
  • Maintenance facility for centralization of personnel and parts in close proximity to the gates.

"This agreement further solidifies Frontier’s long-term commitment to Denver," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Not only is Frontier adding gates and expanding their presence at [DIA], they are also bringing more jobs to our community. This expanded ground load facility will allow Frontier to enhance its customer experience by giving travelers to and from Denver even more options for competitive fares." 

"We are proud to be Denver’s hometown airline," said Biffle. "This landmark new facility will enable us to continue to grow at [DIA], and provide more service for our customers, along with more jobs and greater economic benefit for the Denver community."

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