DFW International Airport Opens Largest, Most Technologically-Advanced Airport Passenger Terminal Built Post 9/11

International Terminal D Now Serves As North Texas’ New Front Door to the World, as New International Passenger Records Are Set

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, July 23 /PRNewswire/ — With the smooth touchdown of a Mexicana Airlines flight, DFW International Airport today opened the doors of its long-anticipated International Terminal D, ushering in a new era of world-class travel options and amenities for North Texas and its millions of international visitors. Mexicana Flight #178, an Airbus A319, arrived from Zacatecas, Mexico at 6:46 a.m. greeted by a DFW Department of Public Safety “shower of affection” on the taxiway and a DPS color guard on the tarmac. The flight’s 120 passengers enjoyed an inaugural reception inside the International Arrivals Hall, featuring Mariachi music and a Chinese Lion Dance performed for good luck. The new terminal will be the home of all of DFW’s international flights to a record 38 global destinations, and selected domestic flights.

“The opening of International Terminal D places DFW on the short list of the world’s top airports, in terms of its security, technology, architecture, engineering, design, construction and art,” said Jeff Fegan, Chief Executive Officer of DFW International Airport. “We’ve come a long way to get to this momentous day. Now International Terminal D begins serving our Airport and passengers with new elegance and efficiency and gives us a new front door to the world.”

The opening day festivities featured a distinct international flavor, befitting Terminal D’s status as the world’s newest international gateway. Passengers from the inaugural Mexicana flight were treated to a welcome from local dignitaries and community groups, and serenaded by the Mariachi Rosas Divinas, an all-female Mariachi band from Dallas.

Terminal D’s first official day of operation was celebrated with a Chinese Lion Dance, a tradition that dates back over one thousand years. Legend holds that the Lion Dance dispenses good blessings, and represents the hopes and aspirations for all the good things life holds.

“The terminal is wonderful,” said Alberto Aguilar of Lewisville, Texas, the first passenger to make it through Customs on Terminal D’s inaugural arrival. “I’m excited to be the first passenger. It was so easy to get through.”

“I learned to fly here at DFW 33 years ago and coming into this terminal is like a homecoming,” said Mexicana pilot Juan Jose Ambrosio. “I liked everything about it. Like Texas, it’s beautiful and huge.”

The welcome celebrations were repeated for Terminal D’s next two arriving flights, a Korean Air 747 from Seoul which arrived at 10:30 a.m. with 383 passengers on board, and an ATA L-1011 charter jet which arrived at 11:42 a.m. carrying 250+ members of the U.S. military home from Kuwait for two weeks of Rest & Relaxation.

The first three international arrivals were greeted by dignitaries including Fegan and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Cox, along with Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Flower Mound) and local business leaders. The welcoming committee formed a receiving line and led the distribution of gifts for arriving passengers, including a commemorative travel bag filled with mementos and chocolates.

The premiere flights were also greeted by a Parade of Nations, made of local residents representing a variety of international cultures dressed in the clothes of their native lands, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Turkey, Indonesia, Africa, India, Vietnam, The Phillippines, Sumatra, Hawaii, Tahiti and China. Finally, a traditional Korean drum celebration welcomed passengers from the Korean Air flight. And hundreds of local volunteers greeted the military troops with a rousing welcome, as has become the daily custom since the R&R program resumed at DFW in 2004.

International Terminal D will welcome all of DFW’s international visitors with soaring ceilings, wide-open spaces, and a $6 million art program comprised of a stunning collection of paintings, sculptures and floor medallions. At two million square feet, the international terminal is the world’s largest terminal built since 9/11, and features a Grand Hyatt Hotel and an 8,100-space garage with “Smart Parking” technology.

At a final cost of $1.2 billion, International Terminal D represents the crowning achievement of DFW’s $2.7 billion Capital Development Program. The five-year effort has produced not only the terminal complex but also Skylink, the world’s largest airport train, along with runway and infrastructure improvements at the Airport.

“Literally thousands of people worked millions of man-hours to make this building a reality, and we’ve all worked through some very tough times to design and build this terminal,” said Clay Paslay, DFW’s executive vice president for airport development. “To all of those who played a part, we owe a sincere debt of gratitude because this extraordinary building was completed on time and under its projected budget.”

The two-million square foot terminal will feature over 60 choices for dining and shopping, located mainly in two large concessions villages. The terminal also boasts two grand ticketing halls and the most advanced security systems in the world. Other passenger amenities include wireless Internet available throughout the terminal, along with two children’s playgrounds and two performance stages.

“Our new International Terminal D will be a truly memorable place for travelers who have time to shop or eat,” said Jeff Wentworth, Chairman of the DFW International Airport Board. “Terminal D will allow DFW to become the premier international gateway for the U.S. and continue to grow the economy of North Texas for the benefit of all. And our concessionaires offer a Texas flair that will make a lasting impression of our region for millions of international visitors.”

The first departing flight from Terminal D was an Air Canada Jazz regional jet flight to Toronto which departed from International Terminal D at 6:30 this morning.

For its first few weeks of operation, International Terminal D will host flights from DFW’s foreign flag carriers and charter carriers. American Airlines and American Eagle will operate from 19 of the 28 gates in Terminal D, and will have approximately 75 flights per day to 30 international destinations. However, because of the complexity of moving its large segment of international flights, American will require a few more weeks to phase in service to International Terminal D.

The new terminal opens at a time when DFW needs it most. The Airport’s international traffic has grown significantly in the last few years, and projections for 2005 show the Airport will host a record 5.6 million international passengers in the calendar year. That is a robust 10-percent improvement over the previous record of 5.1 million international passengers set just last year.

Those millions of visitors to Terminal D will be treated to a myriad of world-class amenities. Built into the center of International Terminal D is a Grand Hyatt Hotel, a 12-story hotel with luxury accommodations. The hotel features 298 guest rooms, banquet and ballrooms, restaurant, lounge, coffee bar, rooftop heated swimming pool and fully-equipped fitness center with spa treatment rooms. All guest rooms offer a full range of amenities, such as Hyatt’s signature Grand Bed, state-of-the-art 32-inch flat screen televisions and over-sized bathrooms.

Outside the terminal is an 8,100-space parking garage equipped with “Smart Parking” technology that will help drivers find the nearest available parking space.

The new terminal is designed to handle up to 12 million passengers per year. The security inside the terminals consists of three large screening checkpoints staffed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a Customs arrival hall capable of processing 2800 arriving passengers an hour, and an integrated baggage screening system which will examine all checked baggage for explosives.

International Terminal D is the first new terminal built at DFW International Airport since it opened 31 years ago. The new terminal houses 28 gates, 19 of which are operated by American Airlines. Other airlines which will serve DFW at Terminal D include foreign flag carriers AeroMexico, Air Canada Jazz, British Airways, Grupo TACA, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Mexicana Airlines, and charter carriers Champion Air, Ryan International and Sun Country.

International Terminal D By The Numbers

2,000: Passengers that can be ticketed per hour at Terminal D
2,500: People that can be screened through security per hour
2,800: International passengers that can be processed through Customs
per hour
37,000: Total passengers International Terminal D can handle per day
12.8 million: Total passengers International Terminal D can
handle per year
30,000: Pieces of luggage that can be processed per day
4: Number of American Airlines Centers that can fit in Terminal D’s
3: Number of Texas Stadiums that could fit in the footprint of Terminal
D and its Parking Garage
21: Number of NCAA/NBA basketball courts that can fit inside Terminal D
37,000: Square footage of Terminal D’s stainless steel roof, one of the
largest stainless steel surfaces in the world
1.84 billion: Pounds of concrete used in International Terminal D
(enough to build a typical sidewalk from DFW to Montreal,
a distance of 1,742-miles)
$1.2 billion: Total cost of building Terminal D, Grand Hyatt and parking
$30.5 million: Average monthly cash flow during construction
$98 million: Amount spent during October 2002, the peak month for
International Terminal D expenditures
$47 million: Money spent on security upgrades post 9/11
10-million: Man-hours spent on construction of Terminal D complex
53: Number of Architectural/Engineering Firms on Project
120: Number of Construction Firms on Project
12,000: Number of people who worked on the project

About International Terminal D

International Terminal D is a two million-square foot facility designed to handle as many as 37,000 passengers daily or 12.8 million passengers annually. The new terminal is part of a $2.7 billion, five-year Capital Development Program at DFW International Airport. In addition the program includes an integrated 298-room Grand Hyatt Hotel and the world’s largest airport train, Skylink, as well as runway expansion and infrastructure improvements. The expansion projects are expected to generate an estimated $34 billion impact on the North Texas economy and create 77,000 new jobs during the next 15 years.

About DFW International Airport

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s third busiest, offering nearly 1,800 flights per day and serving 57 million passengers a year. DFW International Airport provides non-stop service to 130 domestic and 37 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to http://www.dfwairport.com/.

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