Watch how DFW International Airport builds $ 2 billion terminal extension like a prefab house

DFW International Airport unveiled on Wednesday how it plans to build a major extension in a busy terminal without completely disrupting air traffic for years to come.

Construction crews have already started work on sections of Terminal C’s upcoming four-door expansion. Parts are being built remotely and will be put in place later with massive moving vehicles. It’s a huge undertaking, but should cut total construction time by around 20% and avoid a lot of disruption to airport passengers.

DFW unveiled details of two new terminal expansions last week which are expected to add nine new combination doors to Terminals A and C to accompany a total refurbishment of the original Terminal C. The project is being carried out with the blessing of Fort Worth. American Airlines, which will ultimately foot the bill for the renovations with fees paid to rent space, land and pick up passengers.

The Terminal C extension, which includes four of the nine new gates, is under construction off-site, while the five new gates for the Terminal A extension are being built on-site.

So far, the hulls of six of the modules of the Terminal C extension have been built, the hulls on the east side of the airport. The modules were raised on pillars, have roofs and windows and concrete floors. The sections were safe enough to host a visit from U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, as well as American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, on Wednesday.

Six sections will be built for each terminal extension. The sections measure 84 feet by 84 feet each and will weigh approximately 450 tonnes when completed, depending on materials provided by contractor Walsh Construction. Even though it’s over a mile from the construction site to the terminal, Walsh estimates it will only take about 55 minutes to move it on “self-propelled modular carriers.”

Expansions are not expected to be fully completed until early 2026.

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DFW Airport plans to add 9 new gates by 2026

DFW’s board is set to vote Thursday on $ 172 million to fund projects that would also include renovations to the aging Terminal C structure which hasn’t seen a major renovation since the 1970s. Along with the refurbishment, DFW hopes to add new ‘jetties’ extending from Terminals A and C, essentially providing a new corridor to park planes so passengers can load and unload. In total, the renovation of Terminal C and the addition of new gates will cost more than $ 1.5 billion, or about half of the estimated cost for Terminal F.

“It’s fascinating,” said Parker of American Airlines. “It’s a great ingenuity that will allow us to fly. They’re building the doors, they’ll move them there, and we’ll have more doors for our customers a lot faster, which is great.

DFW was nearing capacity before the COVID-19 pandemic, with American Airlines operating its main hub from the airport. American Airlines reached more than 900 flights per day and carried out as many as 890 scheduled departing flights this summer, although air traffic is still down 20-30% nationwide.

DFW and American once relied on a brand new Terminal F to help reduce traffic, but the $ 3 billion project has been put on hold while airport and airline officials wait to see how long the recovery will take. complete trips.

Screenshot of a video showing how sections of the Terminal C extension at DFW International Airport will be moved from the construction site to the terminal.
Screenshot of a video showing how sections of the Terminal C extension at DFW International Airport will be moved from the construction site to the terminal.

“We’re flying here in DFW about what we stole in 2019, and obviously there will be more demand to come once business returns and international routes open up,” Parker said. “So we want to continue to grow and develop as much as possible. “

But American will ultimately need more space at DFW if it is to continue to grow, he said.

“We’ll get to 900 flights next year,” Parker said. “Where we go from there, you know, it’s hard to say. We will definitely need more doors to do more than that.

A translucent video image is displayed on the windows of the new Terminal D extension at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
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