Salt Lake City International Airport is receiving a new terminal complex and parking garage to replace the current airport and the terminal building in 2020, according to the airport’s Media Relations Manager Jasen Asay.
Passengers do not need to arrive any earlier at the Salt Lake City International Airport because of the construction, according to Asay.
The development is being completed in phases. The airport’s Park and Wait Lot was relocated June 1 to the south of the existing lot in order to accommodate construction, according to a press release. The new lot has 34 more parking spaces than the old lot.
Beginning in fall 2017, the Park and Wait Lot will include a convenience store, gas station, car charging station, Beans and Brews Coffee House, Burger King and Costa Vida.
The new airport will eliminate airplane parking bottlenecks so there are fewer delays for passengers and will be “designed to high environmental standards,” according to the airport’s website.
Asay said the new building will be more passenger-friendly because it is a linear model with moving sidewalks to transport passengers across it. Asay said it shouldn’t take longer to get across the new airport than the current airport.
The airport is being redone because the current facilities are not built to today’s earthquake standards and are “too small to accommodate passenger needs,” according to the airport’s website.
Asay said the current facilities were built to handle about 10 million passengers a year, but 23 million passengers went through the airport in 2016.
BYU senior Calvin Madsen flew from Salt Lake City to Missouri on May 22. He said he didn’t notice any effect from the construction and everything “went pretty smoothly.” He said from his experiences flying, he hasn’t felt the airport was overcrowded.
“Honestly, all the experiences that I’ve had, I don’t think it needs to be any bigger,” Madsen said. “I’ve never had to wait anything longer than 20 or 30 minutes to get to my gate.”
BYU junior Skyler Cozzens said a benefit she saw from a new airport is the potential for more flights. She said when she flew to Georgia from Salt Lake City in May, she couldn’t fly back to the airport because she was using a different airline that didn’t have a hub in Salt Lake City.
“I think that if they do it right that it will definitely bring improvements to the airport, and making travel easier would be fantastic,” Cozzens said.
Asay said the new airport will have one terminal and two concourses, so there will be only one security checkpoint people will have to go through, whether they’re flying national or international. He said the terminal will have an elevated roadway to a third level passenger drop-off, a parking garage across the street connecting to the second level and a first level passenger pick-up area.
“No local tax dollars will be used for the terminal redevelopment program,” according to the airport’s website.
The construction is being funded by federal grants, airport revenue bonds, user fees and airport reserves, according to the airport’s website.