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DFW’s State of the Airport 2023: Terminal F and Terminal C Renderings Unveiled

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has been making headlines recently, and for all the right reasons. The 2023 State of the Airport event shed light on some exciting developments, including impressive economic impacts and tantalizing glimpses into the future of this bustling hub, including a clearer idea of what to expect from the long-awaited sixth terminal, and reconstruction of the aging Terminal C. Let’s dive right in.

The Terminal C of the future is dramatically different than the one we know today. (credit: DFW Airport)

DFW Airport has been a powerhouse, a critical economic engine for North Texas and the entire country, and the 2023 SOTA highlights just how significant its impact is. According to an updated economic impact study by the Perryman Group, DFW contributes a jaw-dropping $38 billion in direct and indirect payroll support, $24 billion in visitor spending, and $5 billion in state and local tax revenue annually. That’s no small feat, and it doesn’t stop there. The airport also supports over 634,000 direct and indirect jobs across the region. Impressive, right?

Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson couldn’t have put it better: “DFW Airport is an incredible asset driving the economic activity for our entire metro area.” It’s a sentiment shared by Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, who emphasized DFW’s role as a job creator and economic engine, connecting the region to global audiences and enhancing opportunities for residents and businesses alike. “Airports are not just gateways to the world, they are gateways for our community’s prosperity and progress,” said Parker.

I can’t tell if this is DFW or LaGuardia… and for the first time, that statement is a compliment to both (credit: DFW Airport)

DFW’s CEO, Sean Donohue, expressed pride in the airport’s continued role as a Texas economic powerhouse and reaffirmed its commitment to growth and success. “We are proud to continue serving as one of the main economic engines not just in North Texas, but in the entire state of Texas,” said Donohue. The numbers don’t lie, and DFW’s impact on the local and state economy is undeniable.

But let’s not forget what really piqued our interest during the SOTA event—those stunning new renderings of Terminal F and the much-needed reconstruction of Terminal C.

DFW is rapidly evolving into a world-class airport, a standout among U.S. airports. In fact, it’s now the second-busiest airport on the planet, with the 10 busiest travel days in DFW history all happening this past summer. Moreover, during the tumultuous shutdowns of 2020, DFW briefly held the title of the world’s busiest airport. It appears poised to regain that position permanently in the coming years.

DFW also already contains one of the highest lounge densities in the Western Hemisphere, with Chase set to open a new Sapphire Lounge in Terminal D next year. This is in addition to a bevy of quality dining and shopping options throughout the terminals (Pappasito’s, anyone?). Personally, it’s one of the few airports where I prefer longer layovers.

Now, onto the star of the show—Terminal F. The renderings are nothing short of breathtaking, and this terminal promises to be a game-changer for transit passengers. However, it may pose some challenges for origin and destination (O&D) travelers due to its unique design. With just 15 gates, Terminal F will be the smallest of DFW’s terminals and breaks from the traditional horseshoe layout of the others. Interestingly, Terminal F’s construction was always part of DFW’s master plan, with the Express South parking lot making way for its future location.

Then there’s the much-anticipated reconstruction of Terminal C, which was initially slated for demolition and was therefore left out of the initial round of renovations. However, based on these renderings, the newly reimagined Terminal C will be worth the wait, going from one of America’s worst hub terminals to one of the best. Parts of the terminal have shown their age, but the renderings give us a glimpse of its future – and futuristic it is! What’s unique about this project is that it’s being reconstructed piece by piece in a modular fashion—a first for a U.S. airport. These modular components are so massive that they’re being constructed on-site in a remote part of the airfield. Gates C35-C39 are already open, so if you want to see the future in-person, stop by on your next visit!

Terminal C Midpoint (courtesy: DFW Airport)

DFW Airport is soaring to new heights, not only in terms of economic impact but also in the quality of its facilities. While U.S. airports typically lag behind those in other countries, I firmly believe DFW has the potential to hold its own against major hubs around the globe. The renderings of Terminal F and the reconstruction of Terminal C are tantalizing teasers of what’s to come, and it’s clear that DFW is making strides to solidify its position on the world stage. Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments as DFW continues to evolve and transform.