Travelers fly through new SLC terminal

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The newly opened Salt Lake Airport terminal will serve Utah travelers for years to come. (Salt Lake International Airport)

The Salt Lake International airport unveiled its new terminal Sept. 15 as the first phase of a $4.1 billion expansion project, and travelers are already enjoying the new facilities.

Concourse A of the new terminal, which cost $485.8 million, is the length of 12 football fields. Concourse B will be open in October.

“I loved it,” said Becki Neel from Seattle, who is a pilot and has seen her fair share of airport terminals. “It’s so bright from all the windows and so roomy. I appreciated the various vendors who were open, since a lot of airports and terminals I’ve been in lately have fewer eating options.”

New food and beverage options available in Concourse A include Bruges Belgian Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen, Panda Express and Utah’s first and only Panera Bread location. Some new retail stores are Coach, MAC and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. 

The new concourse adds quite a bit of space to the airport — the west area alone amounts to 456,630 square feet, and the east 370,720 square feet.

“I’m a pilot, so this is probably an outlier opinion, but I most appreciated the oversize bathrooms and stalls,” Neel said. “As someone who frequents airports with at least 2 bags and sometimes 3, it’s a relief to be able to easily get in and out of the stall with my things.”

The new facility is predicted to be 30% more energy-efficient, reducing 4,800 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and will use water-efficient plumbing, according to the SLC airport website.

The new terminal contains 50 ft. tall plaza windows and a plethora of new artwork, including “The Canyon,” an art installation that stretches across both walls of the facility.

“It’s very futuristic and cool,” said Carter Nelson, a passenger who flew through Delta to San Francisco on Sept. 23. “It’s very glassy — the walls are glass, it’s like the whole thing is made of windows.”

The second phase of the expansion, which will include another new concourse, is projected to be finished in 2024.

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