15 US airports getting main renovations—and suggestions for navigating them






The tourism business remains to be rebounding from the sharp declines it skilled as a result of coronavirus pandemic, notably in the course of the intervals of lockdowns and heavy journey restrictions that plagued 2020. And that’s very true for air journey, each for enterprise and pleasure.

The U.S. Journey Affiliation is forecasting a surge in air journey that won’t solely surpass pre-pandemic numbers from 2019, however could change into the most important demand the U.S. has ever skilled. On the identical time, airports all through the nation are present process main transformations and, in some circumstances, being solely rebuilt. The purpose for a lot of is to supply new journey experiences for the trendy age—U.S. terminals are over 40 years previous on common, in accordance with the Airports Council Worldwide-North America.

The transformations are thanks partially to the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, which most not too long ago allotted $1 billion to 99 airports nationwide for terminal expansions, improved safety screening areas, higher passenger experiences (together with baggage dealing with), and extra. In some circumstances, funding can also be coming from the airways themselves.

To take a deeper have a look at among the transformations occurring throughout the nation, TravelPerk compiled an inventory of 15 U.S. airports whose renovations are nicely underway, about to start, or have not too long ago been accomplished, utilizing information from the Federal Aviation Administration, information organizations, and native airport authorities.

Whereas these initiatives are ongoing, passengers could expertise various ranges of upheaval on their technique to wheels-up, so logistics could worsen earlier than they get higher. Regardless of the vacation spot, vacationers ought to count on building, congestion, restricted parking, detours, and closures within the coming years. Meaning arriving early is now extra essential than ever.

Thankfully, most airports supply updates and alerts on their web sites, by way of e-mail signups, and, in some circumstances, on a cellular app. Learn on to see in case your native airport is getting a facelift and what you possibly can count on in your technique to the pleasant skies.

LAX sign.
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Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX)

At Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, building on an Automated Individuals Mover has been within the works since 2019. This new electric-powered transit system will join LAX to the town’s public rail system through the long run LAX/Metro Transit Heart Station, each of that are scheduled to open in 2024. Nevertheless, this is only one side of the $15 billion overhaul of the airport, whose “jet age” iteration dates again to 1961.

The funding helps modernize terminals, construct new parking amenities, enhance roadways, consolidate rental automobile amenities, and extra—all in preparation for the town to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Video games.

Within the meantime, there are highway closures between parking constructions 3 and 4 and across the Theme Constructing, and there is ongoing building inside Terminal 3 (which is able to enable direct passenger entry to the Tom Bradley Worldwide Terminal with out getting screened once more) and Terminal 4 (the place the Individuals Mover will join).

Aerial view of JFK Airport.
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John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is getting into the heavy building section of its $19 billion challenge to construct “A New JFK“—a significant transformation of one of many busiest airports within the U.S.

The Queens facility initially opened in 1948. Though new terminals have been added since then (most notably, the JetBlue terminal in 2008), this newest effort includes constructing a brand new worldwide terminal, which broke floor in September 2022 and is slated to open in 2026, changing Terminal 2 (demolished in early 2023) and Terminal 3 (aka the previous Pan Am Worldport, which was razed in 2013). A brand new mega-terminal will even exchange Terminals 6 and seven (forecasted to open in 2028 absolutely), and Terminals 4 and eight will each see reboots as nicely.

All because of this some visitors is being rerouted, some parking choices have modified, and a few rideshare pickups have been relocated. The Port Authority recommends taking public transportation to the airport whereas these enhancements are underway.

A number of rail traces (together with Lengthy Island Railroad and the MTA’s A, E, J, and Z subway traces) and bus traces connect with the AirTrain driverless folks mover. Nevertheless, the AirTrain station at Terminal 1 will expertise a long-term closure in the course of the building of the brand new terminal, so service to and from there shall be changed by a shuttle bus.

Highway traffic approaching LGA.
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LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

New York Metropolis’s LaGuardia Airport—the little sibling to the much-larger JFK Airport, additionally in Queens—has simply undergone an $8 billion transformation that primarily constructed an entire new airport, the primary of its sort to be constructed within the U.S. within the final 25 years.

Because the work started in 2016, there is a new Terminal B (which opened in 2020, changing the unique 1964 terminal) and Delta’s new Terminal C (which changed the previous Terminals C and D in 2022)—each of which now function alongside the historic Artwork Deco-style Marine Air Terminal (aka Terminal A), inbuilt 1939.

In response to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, these new terminals exchange what was broadly thought of one of many worst airport journey experiences, as reported by The New York Occasions. Nevertheless, regardless of the latest enhancements, the Port Authority has not but upgraded transport to LaGuardia airport, as plans for its personal AirTrain folks mover (just like the one at JFK) had been scrapped earlier in 2023. Within the meantime, the one choices for attending to and from LGA are taxi/rideshare, driving, or MTA bus.

Control tower at DFW airport.
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Dallas Fort Price Worldwide Airport (DFW)

Dallas Fort Price Worldwide Airport is the second-busiest airport on the planet, in accordance with Airports Council Worldwide. And with its new $4.8 billion plan, it will enhance its passenger and flight capability with a brand new 15-gate Terminal F. That challenge alone, set to happen from 2024 to 2026, will value $1.63 billion.

After which there’s the $2.72 billion renovation of the airport’s Terminal C, which dates again to the airport’s opening in 1974 (when it was often called DFW Regional Airport). Terminal C is the nation’s largest airport hub for American Airways, which already constitutes 80% of the airport’s visitors.

DFW plans to open up the house by eradicating columns, growing the peak of ceilings, and letting in additional pure gentle—enhancements that must be completed by 2028. Over the subsequent a number of years, airport roads will even be improved—and that can hopefully assist visitors circulation higher by way of the property, which covers extra floor space than the whole island of Manhattan.

Trains and planes at Orlando International Airport.
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Orlando Worldwide Airport (MCO)

Florida’s Orlando Worldwide Airport grew to become the world’s seventh-biggest airport in 2021—regardless of pandemic-imposed journey restrictions and even earlier than the completion of its new Terminal C, which elevated capability by greater than 10 million passengers. The terminal grew to become absolutely useful in September 2022. That challenge clocked in at $2.8 billion, because of expertise enhancements like facial recognition at gates and automatic TSA checkpoints.

The Higher Orlando Aviation Authority’s investments proceed with $69 million in federal funds going towards new connections to high-speed rail, extra parking amenities, a pedestrian bridge, and a rental automobile foyer.

However vacationers ought to beware that making flight connections inside Terminal C could require a prolonged stroll—as a lot as a half-mile lengthy—with out assistance from shifting walkways, which aren’t at present included in any section of the development. Nevertheless, passengers can switch between the primary terminals (Terminals A and B, which had been constructed in 1981) and Terminal C by hopping on the Terminal Hyperlink folks mover or a shuttle bus, each of which function 24 hours a day.

The advanced has come a good distance from its humble beginnings in 1942 as Orlando Military Air Discipline #2. It was later renamed McCoy Air Pressure Base in honor of Col. Michael Norman Wright McCoy, who died throughout a flight demonstration in 1957—therefore the airport’s present-day abbreviation, MCO.

Boeing 737 arriving at MCI.
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Kansas Metropolis Worldwide Airport (MCI)

The airport in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, has a brand new single terminal consisting of 1 million sq. toes and 39 gates—and, at a value of $1.5 billion, it is the most costly standalone infrastructure challenge within the metropolis’s historical past.

MCI was accomplished in 1972 as a three-terminal airport. This configuration was trendy on the time however had change into cramped and outdated over the past half-century, particularly with the town anticipating the NFL Draft in 2023 and the World Cup in 2026.

In addition to brand-new eateries and lounges, different new facilities embody a sensory room and a “apply” alternative for people who find themselves anxious about touring, people who could also be neurodivergent or have sensory variations, or those that have dementia. The brand new terminal, which opened in February 2023, was constructed on the previous website of Terminal A (demolished in 2019), subsequent to the now-closed Terminals B and C (additionally slated for demolition later this yr).

Though the previous terminals’ furnishings was auctioned off, among the ornamental mosaic medallions from the flooring are discovering new properties in each municipal buildings and the brand new terminal. A part of a 2004 public artwork challenge referred to as “Polarities” by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel, the medallions had been embedded in blue terrazzo flooring, a few of which was additionally faraway from Terminal A for reinstallation in its substitute.

Aerial view of BOS.
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Boston Logan Worldwide Airport (BOS)

The Logan Ahead initiative from Massport, the airport authority of Massachusetts, includes modernizing and increasing Boston Logan Airport’s worldwide terminal, Terminal E—which is able to obtain 4 new gates (three of which had been permitted again in 1995) and a brand new 320,000-square-foot addition, set to open in late summer season or early fall of 2023.

Upgrades will even make the 1974 terminal extra sustainable, with much less water waste, fewer greenhouse fuel emissions, and higher vitality effectivity—thanks partly to particular photo voltaic panels.

A few Logan’s different terminals are getting some work carried out, too—together with Terminal C, which is able to get a post-security connection to Terminal B, improved visitors circulation on the curb, and curbside safety from the weather. Meaning, nonetheless, that there are some highway closures, lane closures, and detours on the Arrivals degree that can have an effect on vacationers at each Terminals B and C till future discover.

Surprisingly, although, Logan Airport has saved all of its terminals open and useful throughout this large building challenge, which is a $2 billion funding for Massport ($62 million of which got here from the Biden administration).

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Colorful connecting terminal in Chicago O’Hare.
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Chicago O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD)

O’Hare 21 is a $12.1 billion plan to overtake Chicago’s largest airport “from curb to gate”—and it is already nicely underway. Though enhancements will happen over the course of a decade, the yr 2023 will see two main milestones: the completion of Terminal 5’s enlargement, which started in March 2019 and value $1.3 billion, and the beginning of building on two satellite tv for pc programs.

As soon as accomplished, the brand new satellites will enable Terminal 2 to be demolished and changed by a brand new World Terminal for each home and worldwide flights—with out the airport shedding gate capability. Terminal 2 initially opened in 1962, when Chicago’s Halfway Airport’s operations transferred to O’Hare, making it the world’s busiest airport. The World Terminal building does not start till 2026, however adjustments to Terminal 2 are already afoot: Delta moved its operations from Terminal 2 into the brand new Terminal 5 on the finish of 2022.

Proper now, parking choices are extraordinarily restricted at O’Hare whereas a brand new, six-story parking storage is below building. If Lot D is full, alternate options embody Financial system Tons G and H and the primary parking storage, which is a brief experience away through the Airport Transit System.

Interior view of Jeppesen Terminal at DEN.
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Denver Worldwide Airport (DEN)

United Airways’ Rocky Mountain area hub—its second-largest hub within the nation—is at Denver Worldwide Airport. And now, the airline is doubling down on its presence within the Mile Excessive Metropolis with 12 new gates, three new United Membership areas, six new routes, and nearly 200 brand-new Boeing planes. The gate enlargement, which is a part of an general $1 billion infrastructure funding, shall be accomplished in mid-2024.

In the meantime, DEN can also be at present present process the Nice Corridor Mission, which is able to enhance the Jeppesen Terminal’s ticketing areas and create a brand new safety checkpoint, amongst different renovations. Though the challenge is at present in its $1.3 billion completion section, it isn’t slated to wrap up till 2028. Thankfully for vacationers, the airport’s CEO, Phillip A. Washington, has promised that the worst of the disruptions are over.

Boeing 737 ready for takeoff at SAN.
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San Diego Worldwide Airport (SAN)

San Diego Airport’s Terminal 1 opened in 1967 when 2.5 million passengers yearly handed by way of this Southern California metropolis. Quick-forward practically six a long time, and the airport has outgrown its facility, serving 15.6 million vacationers in 2021.

In response, the San Diego Airport Authority broke floor on a $3.4 billion substitute terminal—or, the New T1, because it’s referred to as—in 2021. Its first section is slated to open in late summer season 2025, that includes high-profile eating places and bars to enormously develop upon the airport’s eating (in addition to buying) choices. However as soon as it is accomplished in early 2028, it’ll supply 30 whole new gates, extra gate-area seating, a streamlined new safety checkpoint, and added vitality and water conservation.

Within the meantime, demolition on the prevailing Terminal 1 is occurring at evening to reduce the consequences on these passing by way of the airport. However at any time of day or evening, count on heavy visitors with highway closures, detours, and the short-term relocation of the Terminal 1 Floor Transportation Heart (the place vacationers can discover courtesy shuttles, taxis, and rideshares). As a result of parking spots are arduous to come back by at this small airport to start with, reservations are beneficial.

Aerial view of BWI terminal.
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Baltimore/Washington Worldwide Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Main terminal enhancements at Baltimore’s BWI Airport started in 2022 and are set to wrap up in 2026. It value an estimated $332 million. That is no chump change—and for that capital funding, passengers will get an superior baggage system and the choice to attach immediately between Concourses A and B. However that is simply a part of an general $425 million glow-up for the Baltimore airport, initially devoted in 1950 and now one among three main airports that serve the Washington D.C. space.

Moreover, the most important terminal enchancment challenge ever for BWI will enable passengers to clean up in upgraded restrooms and dine and store at new concession choices. Airport parking could change into scarce on account of the work, particularly throughout vacation weekends and different peak occasions. A nationwide driver scarcity can also be inflicting potential delays on the free courtesy shuttles.

Terminal A of Hollywood Burbank airport.
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Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

In 2017, the Los Angeles metro space airport in Burbank rebranded from Bob Hope Airport (its identify since 2003) to Hollywood Burbank Airport. However it doesn’t matter what you name it, BUR is about to take an enormous leap ahead with a brand new 14-gate terminal slated to open in early 2024.

The Burbank–Glendale–Pasadena Airport Authority plans a state-of-the-art facility with more room for passengers—a plus for any traveler who has felt cramped within the slim corridors, could not discover a seat within the small ready areas on the gate, or needed to elbow their technique to declare their baggage.

These enhancements aren’t simply a part of good customer support and group relations, although: The airport has to exchange the unique airport constructing, which not complies with the FAA necessities for distance between constructions and the runways. The brand new terminal shall be constructed alongside the present one, which shall be demolished after the upgraded model is up and operating.

Interior arrival terminal at Sea-Tac airport.
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Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport (SEA)

Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport is the very best airport in North America this yr, in accordance with Skytrax’s World Airport Awards—however SeaTac is not resting on its laurels, because it prepares to develop its C Concourse by constructing 4 new flooring on prime of the prevailing constructing.

With a $340 million finances already permitted, preliminary building started in 2022 and issues are anticipated to rev up in 2023 because the airport strikes towards a completion date of 2027. The concourse enlargement is a component of a bigger $4.6 billion plan referred to as Improve SEA. New membership lounges are additionally coming to an enlarged Concourse A in 2024, and the SEA Gateway Mission will deliver an improved expertise from the beginning of the journey expertise, together with ticketing providers, check-in, and baggage examine.

The $986 million Worldwide Arrivals Facility and the $21.8 million makeover of the Central Terminal are already accomplished. The latter options new sit-down eating choices and the primary beer and wine backyard ever in a U.S. airport.

Passengers are urged to reach early, as some providers and amenities could have been moved. An added bonus: TSA PreCheck is not needed to hurry by way of safety at SeaTac; the web SEA Spot Saver permits vacationers to save lots of their spot within the safety line without cost.

Salt Lake City Airport and mountains.
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Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport (SLC)

Vacationers to and from Salt Lake Metropolis are already experiencing a completely new airport, The New SLC, which opened in September 2020. Certainly one of its greatest enhancements is much less passenger-centric: clearing airplane visitors jams from the tarmac.

However this LEED Gold-certified terminal advanced will not truly be absolutely carried out till 2024. The jap a part of Delta’s new Concourse A is barely half-opened (with 17 extra gates scheduled to open by the tip of October 2023) and Concourse B shall be increasing by 9 gates and extra concessions in fall 2024.

Though there’s nonetheless technically only one constructing at SLC, it is a doozy—and the gap from Terminal A to Terminal D is over a half-mile lengthy, which may take an estimated quarter-hour to stroll. And that is on prime of the stroll from the parking storage to the terminal. Thankfully, there are shifting walkways, however strolling on them will solely shave a few minute or two off that journey time.

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Plane landing at Portland Oregon.
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Portland Worldwide Airport (PDX)

Portland Worldwide Airport’s $2 billion renovation challenge, PDX Subsequent, features a new principal terminal opening in mid-2024, which the Port of Portland is touting as “much less like an airport” and “extra like a neighborhood.”

With native eating and buying choices (together with made-in-Oregon items), and a woodsy design aesthetic below a Douglas fir timber roof in a pre-security space referred to as The Backyard, it will deliver the Pacific Northwest expertise to Portlanders and out-of-towners alike. Guests will even have the ability to take a hike contained in the terminal, though it will be up a flight of stadium stairs as an alternative of up the facet of Mount Hood.

All of the quirky new options coming to PDX additionally imply some sacrifices: Concourse A was demolished in 2019, and the 33-year-old Clocktower Plaza was razed in 2022. However there’s purpose to rejoice, too: Certainly one of PDX’s most beloved icons—a Eighties teal carpet, with a runway-inspired geometric sample—is coming again, after having been controversially torn out in 2015. The brand new principal terminal will function 10 carpeted shoe-selfie stations that includes the unique sample all through.

Till the brand new terminal opens, vacationers will not have entry to pre-security buying choices, they usually’ll need to stroll lengthy distances alongside a detoured route between safety and Concourses C and D (at the very least till 2025). It is also not as straightforward to maneuver freely between the concourses as soon as by way of safety (passengers are assigned a TSA checkpoint primarily based on their gate); however fortuitously, a brand new Concourse Connector is coming in 2024.

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