By Ariel Graham | DFW Newsflash | October 2017
DFW International Airport celebrated the grand opening of the new renovated Terminal E on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The modernization of Terminal E is part of the airport’s Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program [TRIP], a $2.7 billion construction project to renovate Terminals A, B and E.
“I can confidently say that our team has accomplished a truly remarkable makeover for Terminal E, transforming a 43-year-old terminal building into a welcoming space designed to serve 21st century air travelers,” said Khaled Naja, executive vice president of Infrastructure and Development for DFW Airport. “When the airport began this project in 2011, there were high hopes that the renovated terminal would enhance the customer experience. It is safe to say the results speak for themselves.”
DFW Airport’s Chief Executive Officer Sean Donohue said the new Terminal E marks an important milestone for the airport.
“This is another milestone for DFW Airport and another step toward our mission to transform travel and enhance the customer experience,” Donohue said. “Our customers are looking for convenience and amenities that make for a unique travel experience. These TRIP renovations will evolve to meet their needs for years to come.”
Over the past six years, the terminal was stripped down to bare concrete and rebuilt with many amenities for travelers. Thirty-six gates in Terminal E have been redesigned to include charging stations and free Wi-Fi throughout the Terminal, along with renovated security checkpoints and ticketing areas. The parking garage has also been expanded, increasing the total capacity from 4,036 spaces to 5,941, as well as adding a new enhanced parking guidance system and several electric vehicle charging stations.
Terminal E also features 16 new retail and 21 new food and beverage vendors, including DFW favorites such as Sonny Bryan’s BBQ and Texas Chef Tim Love’s “Love Shack.” Naja said because many travelers use DFW Airport as a transitory stop to their final destination, it is important to give those travelers the Texas experience without them needing to ever leave the terminal.
“It’s great for us to provide that ‘local flavor’ and local feel for our customers as they come through this airport and make sure they actually see what DFW has to offer as a Metroplex,” Naja explained. “You don’t have to go to different towns to experience local food. They can experience it right here inside the gate. They can get the best of what DFW has to offer.”
Renovations to Terminal A were completed earlier this year, and with the completion of Terminal E, Terminal B will be the final phase of TRIP. Airport officials expect the renovation of Terminal B to be completed within the next six months. Nate Smith, vice president of design, code and construction, said in addition to benefiting the airport and travelers, TRIP has also provided jobs and opportunities for many of the small businesses around DFW.
“The renovation work we’re doing here with TRIP helps build the capacity of small businesses throughout the DFW region and provides meaningful opportunities to these companies,” Smith said. “Terminal E alone employed over 124 individual subcontractors and vendors who worked out here to make this terminal great.”
Executive VP Kahled Naja hopes these renovations will continue to provide customers with not just a satisfying flight experience, but an experience they can only get in Texas.
“A lot of airports can provide a lot of different finishes, and people are receptive to those finishes. But the difference we can provide is the Texan hospitality and the Texan feel that can’t be offered anywhere else,” Naja said. “To me, that’s the biggest difference and that’s what customers keep coming back to DFW for.”