Denver International Airport Reflects on 2015

Published on : Monday, January 4, 2016

Denver International Airport CEO Kim DayAs 2015 comes to a close, Denver International Airport (DEN) is reflecting back on a year filled with milestones and major achievements.



Here are the top 10 accomplishments, milestones and memories from DEN in 2015, listed in no particular order:



The Westin Denver International Airport completes a 20-year vision


On Nov. 19, more than 20 years after visionary planners conceived of a modern, globally connected airport with an on-site hotel and rail service to downtown Denver, the opening of the 519-room Westin Denver International Airport completed that decades-old vision. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock cut the ribbon to officially open the Westin Denver International Airport and the adjoining open-air plaza, which sit upon the new transit center that is set to open in April 2016. DEN’s location in nearly the center of the United States – just a two-hour flight from the West Coast and three hours from the East Coast – makes the Westin Denver International Airport a highly competitive and attractive location for meetings and conferences. Beyond that, guests will be connected to Denver’s vibrant downtown via the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) new University of Colorado A Line – scheduled to begin service on April 22, 2016 – that will take passengers from DEN to Denver Union Station in about 37 minutes. Together, these projects signal the beginning of the next 20 years of DEN’s history as a connected, world-class airport.


DEN turns 20


We celebrated our 20th anniversary on Feb. 28, marking a major milestone in our still relatively young facility. In 1995, DEN opened to the public and captured the world’s attention with its striking tented roof structure and technologically advanced operations. Twenty years later, DEN has established itself as the number one economic driver and job creator in the region. The first major new airport to be built in the United States in 20 years, DEN has grown from serving 31 million passengers in 1995 to an all-time record of 53.4 million passengers in 2014. Today, DEN generates more than $26 billion in annual economic impact for Colorado and supports nearly 190,000 jobs. This year, the annual Skytrax ratings of airports around the world found DEN in several top positions, including: ranked No. 8 for world’s best airports serving more than 50 million passengers; No. 3 best airport in North America; No. 2 for Best Airport Staff in North America; No. 2 for Best Regional Airport in North America; No. 5 for Best Domestic Airport; and No. 7 for World’s Best Regional Airport.


Voters approve IGA amendment, DEN Real Estate takes off


On Nov. 3, voters in Denver and Adams counties approved ballot measure 1A, which amended the 1988 intergovernmental agreement between the two counties to allow for commercial development on airport property. This historic agreement allows the start of our DEN Real Estate program with the creation of a 1,500-acre pilot program for commercial development on airport land. DEN Real Estate will generate new jobs, create new non-airline revenue, and benefit the entire metro region by boosting economic development. Already, we are starting to DEN Real Estate take off with construction well underway at 61st and Peña, where Panasonic Enterprise Solutions has committed to building an operations hub. This new facility will be a catalyst for future growth, and a global showcase for the possibilities that development on or near airport property can bring.


New air service brings DEN closer to the world


Air service is at the core of what we do, and our air service development team had a banner year of announcements and events, new flights to new places and new airlines to add to our stable of operators. In February, we hosted the annual Routes Americas conference, which was held in the United States for the very first time in Denver. This major aviation event helped put Denver on the map with airlines from around the world, and showcased our facility to representatives from airlines, airports, tourism authorities and other stakeholders. We had other milestones, too. Air Canada celebrated its 20th anniversary at DEN in October, bringing real-life members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the celebration. Also in October, Lufthansa announced it would bring back its Denver to Munich service beginning May 11, 2016, restoring a popular international flight. We also added some new airline tails in 2015, including Boutique Air to Alliance and Chadron, Nebraska, and Denver Air Connection service to Sheridan, Wyoming. Existing carriers added new service to North Bend, Seattle, Raleigh/Durham, Albany, Charlotte, San Diego, Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta. And, 2016 is shaping up to be even more exciting, with the addition of Virgin America service to San Francisco, Sun Country to Minneapolis, Air Canada service to Montreal, and Southwest with first-ever service to Buffalo, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia.


Record passenger traffic


In 2014, DEN set a new record for passenger traffic with more than 53.4 million travelers. That was a big accomplishment, but it’s even more impressive to potentially break that record in 2015. Although the final numbers won’t be in for another month or so, we are ending 2015 in a very strong position with several consecutive months of record-setting traffic. On Nov. 29, we set a new single-day record with an estimated 182,000 passengers, followed by continued high volume through the December holiday season and ending the year on pace to potentially break last year’s record numbers. That’s all the more important since 2015 saw dramatic service reductions by Frontier Airlines as it transitions to an ultra-low-cost carrier. But our other carriers have stepped up and filled – if not exceeded – most of those lost flights, and set us up for a potentially dramatic finish to 2015, after all.


Launch of CATS


Traveling though DEN got a little fluffier, a little cuter and a little cuddlier this year with the launch of our new Canine Airport Therapy Squad, or CATS program. With 28 certified and trained therapy dogs, the CATS program is among the largest and, certainly the best dressed, airport dog therapy programs in the country. These four-legged companions have been roaming the concourses since late October, looking to help travelers take some of the stress out of flying. The teams have been nothing short of a huge hit with passengers, young and old alike.



DEN launches a new look


In order to attract the attention of more passengers – from across the county and new passengers from across the world – it was time to introduce a fresh look that helps our passengers more easily identify with our iconic airport. As a result, for the first time in more than two decades, DEN introduced a new logo in 2015. It is a logo that evokes the airport’s most recognizable feature, the tented roof of the Jeppesen Terminal, which was not included in the original logo introduced in 1990, before the airport’s tents were even designed. In addition to adding our iconic tents, you may also notice that the logo uses DEN instead of DIA. While our beloved community refers to us as DIA, across the world, our airline partners and others know us as DEN, our official airport code, as do many of our passengers trying to book flights. At home, you can still call us DIA or you can choose to call us DEN, whichever you prefer. Either way, our goal is to better connect with our passengers and work to put Denver International Airport – and Denver, Colorado, on the world map.



FAA awards DEN for minority businesses



In August, DEN was selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the winner of the 2015 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advocate and Partner Award. The award, issued by the FAA’s Office of Civil Rights, recognizes the airport’s partnership with the Denver Office of Economic Development, Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO) in promoting opportunities for small businesses and certified minority-owned firms in concessions, construction and professional services at the airport. The FAA’s Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program for airport concessions has been a particular success at DEN. Since 2006, the airport has helped grow the percentage of gross concessions revenue earned by certified firms from 27.14 percent ($52.4 million) in FY05-06, to 39.35 percent ($129.9 million) in FY13-14 – exceeding the airport’s annual goal of 33 percent and setting an all-time record for concessions revenue earned by disadvantaged businesses at DEN.
Groundbreaking of Fire Station 35


After years of planning, we finally broke ground on Fire Station 35 on Aug. 25. The new facility will be DEN’s fifth fire station and will be the first one accessible to the public. Firefighters stationed at the building, located near Jackson Gap and 75th Avenue, will respond primarily to public safety needs at airport structures, rather than airfield emergencies. This amazing new facility will feature 18,000 square feet of modern firefighting capabilities, including four large apparatus bays. When completed next year, the exterior of Fire Station 35 will resemble an airplane hangar.



Fastest airport Wi-Fi


We receive a lot of comments from passengers on social media, but one item kept popping up time and time again in 2015 – Wi-Fi. This year, passengers took notice of our fast, free Wi-Fi service and consistently ranked it as a top airport amenity. In July, the mobile data analytics company, Wefi, named DEN as having the fastest public Wi-Fi service out of the top seven busiest airports in the country. So, passengers can stay connected while on the go, and they can do it at a blazing speed.



DEN thanks our passengers and community for their support and patronage this year. Happy New Year from everyone at Denver International Airport.



Source:- Denver International Airport


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