By Joe Snell | DFW Newsflash | March 2017
Joe Taney, American Airlines VP of Hub Operations in Dallas/Fort Worth, felt like he was speaking on behalf of 18,000 DFW International Airport workers as he addressed executives on Jan. 26 to unveil a newly renovated Terminal A. The project, part of the $2.7 billion Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP), also includes ongoing renovations to Terminals B and E.
“American is investing more than $3 billion in improving the customer experience here at American Airlines both on the ground and in the air,” Taney said.
Renovations on Terminal A, the first terminal to be completed under the TRIP program, began in 2011 after airport executives noticed outdated systems across multiple terminals.
“This really is a milestone event for DFW airport,” said Sean Donohue, Chief Executive Officer of the international hub. “I think you all know the airport’s 43 years old, and therefore this terminal is 43 years old. It became apparent several years ago to DFW airport and obviously our great partner American Airlines, that we needed to update the facilities.”
In total, the Terminal A project cost roughly $1 billion of the total TRIP budget and is the largest portion of the project, involving more than 6,000 jobs across design, engineering, contracting and direct construction work. American, the only carrier in Terminal A, paid nearly all of Terminal A’s renovation costs and has added 314 new aircraft since 2012.
Changes inside the one million square-foot terminal include the roof being raised five feet as well as creating 50 percent more concession space. Upgraded dining options include the Dallas Cowboys Club, Ling & Louie’s, and the Salt Lick Barbecue. American contributed new seats, improved wifi, more device powering options, refurbished airport clubs, and upgraded food and beverage options.
Customer entry and check-in areas were also upgraded, as 26 passenger gates and two baggage claim areas were updated and three security checkpoints were expanded. The renovations have also added more check-in kiosks. The project also built a new parking garage that uses parking assistance technologies.
“We not only refurbished and renovated the terminal, we basically built a brand new parking garage,” Donohue said. “Technology like a parking guidance system has been a huge hit with our customers. There’s a lot of technology behind the scenes that has and will, contribute to the customer experience as well as making this a much more efficient terminal.”
TRIP program improvements have been unveiled in intervals for months, as continued renovations on Terminals B and E are expected to be completed within the year. Terminal E is slated for completion this summer and will also feature a new parking garage.
“The renovation work we’re doing in the TRIP program has built the capacity for small businesses and the community, and provides a meaningful opportunity for the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” said Khaled Naja, EVP of Infrastructure and Development at DFW Airport.
Airport executives also hope the renovations will facilitate a lower overall carbon footprint despite heavier foot traffic, as DFW is North America’s sole carbon-neutral airport and by far the world’s largest, joining only 23 other airports worldwide to claim the environmentally green distinction.
“We’re the only airport in the Americas and the largest airport in the world that is carbon neutral,” Donohue said. “A lot of the technology that you see in Terminal A will help us as we continue down that sustainability path.”