Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport announced Wednesday, July 18, that effective Saturday, Sept. 8, curbside areas at all five DFW Airport Terminals will be designated for active loading and unloading only. The modification is part of a comprehensive program designed to improve the flow of traffic and decrease congestion at terminal curbsides and enhance safety and security for customers, employees and business partners.
This change means customers will no longer be able to idle in attended vehicles along the curbside while waiting for arriving passengers. Signs will be posted at the terminal curbsides in July, designating the areas for active loading and unloading only.
Instead, customers who are in parked or standing vehicles along the curbside will be informed and directed by DFW Department of Public Safety and Parking Teams to convenient nearby parking garages to make use of free 1-hour and 2-hour parking zones when picking up or dropping off passengers. The North Cell Phone lot, located just outside of the Parking Plaza, is also available to customers at no cost.
Full enforcement of the active loading and unloading zones will commence Sept. 8.
“There are more vehicles than ever at the airport, and we want to keep traffic moving while providing safer access to our terminals,” Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport, said. “These necessary changes will improve the overall customer experience as it relates to traffic flow, efficiencies and ease of navigation.”
At peak times, there can be congestion along the curbs at all terminals, sometimes resulting in ‘two cars deep’ loading and unloading, impeding the flow of traffic and creating safety issues. These changes will reduce the number of vehicles on the upper level and will bring DFW in line with other large airports which have not allowed curbside parking since 2001, including Dallas Love Field.
Donohue commented that part of the vehicle congestion issue at DFW has resulted from the unique original design of most of DFW’s airport terminals, which placed departure and arrival (including baggage retrieval) on the same upper level. The design was considered an advantage at the airport was built, but now is resulting in ‘curbside saturation on the upper level.’ Terminal D (built more recently in 2005) has departure and baggage retrieval on different levels, similar to other major airports in the United States including LAX (Los Angeles) and ORD (Chicago O’Hare).
Donohue said the reason the airport is making the change now is DFW has just completed over $250 million in parking-related improvements, including parking guidance systems to open spaces and adding short-term spaces.
The announcement gives DFW customers nearly eight weeks to adjust their driving habits to the change in rules.
In 2019, after active loading and unloading zones are implemented, DFW Airport will shift some transportation services to upper and lower concourses based on customer demand.
You can view video of the airport’s announcement below:
Written by Alan Fleck