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Salt Lake City’s HOK-Designed, $4.1B International Airport Opens

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — After two decades of planning and six years of construction, the new airport is replacing three aging, 1950s and 1960s terminals and concourses with a single facility on the same site.

The HOK-designed new central terminal building and the first 25-gate section of the linear Concourse A for Delta Airlines recently opened. A nearly 1,000-foot-long passenger tunnel links Concourse A to the parallel Concourse B, which will add 20 gates when it opens October 27.

Expected to be complete in 2022, the project’s second phase will include demolishing existing structures and building out the east portion of the South concourse, giving the airport the ability to accommodate up to 32 million passengers a year. The aging facilities (three terminals and five concourses) that the new complex is replacing were designed to handle 10 million travelers per year. The team has taken advantage of the dramatic global slowdown in air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate this next phase by two years, potentially saving up to $300 million from operational and construction efficiencies.

The team is targeting LEED Gold certification for the project, with a goal of establishing a U.S. benchmark for environmentally responsible airports. Sustainable design strategies aim to minimize the airport’s environmental footprint through high-performance glazing, daylighting, energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems, and an efficient configuration of terminal and gate locations that reduces fuel use and aircraft emissions.

As the biggest public works project in Utah’s history, the new airport positions Salt Lake City for future economic growth as an increasingly popular destination for tourism and home for businesses.

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