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Wayne County is reaching out to its airport customers before taking on the task of selecting a renovation design for the existing terminals at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The existing terminal complex, which includes the Davey, Smith, and Berry terminals, was built between the 1950s and 1970s. Since then, the number of passengers who have traveled through Metro has increased by more than 500%.

In 2001, Detroit Metro’s hub carrier Northwest Airlines, which currently occupies the Davey and Berry terminals, will move its operations into the new Midfield Terminal, now half completed. When that happens, more space in the existing facility will be available for many of Metro’s other airlines. Currently in its planning stage, the redevelopment of the existing terminal is being offered up to the public.

An Idea Center, located near the entrances to concourses A and B, has now opened; and customers are providing airport management with their opinions on what they would like to see in a renovated facility. The Idea Center features a four-minute continuous loop video that describes construction of the new 99-gate midfield terminal, new access road and the sixth runway at DTW. It also touches on several possible renovation concepts for the terminals, once Northwest Airlines and its partners move into the new midfield terminal 17 months from now.

Northwest is currently building a $1.2 billion Midfield Terminal at the airport. Scheduled to open in late 2001, the company will feature 123 gates at Midfield and a significant expansion on the company’s current number of 560 daily flights. A 400-room hotel will go up at the Midfield Terminal as well.

“With the Midfield Terminal project well under way, it’s crucial we continue to think towards the future,” says Wayne County executive Edward H, McNamara. “Our travelers deserve and expect all the comforts and conveniences of a world class airport. That’s why we are reaching out to our passengers and visitors to find out what we can do to make their trip through Metro an enjoyable one.”

Passengers visiting the Idea Center can view proposed plans for the existing terminal buildings and leave comments on what they believe should be improved. Passengers who don’t have the time to view the Idea Center displays are encouraged to take a brochure that introduces them to the redevelopment program and, on a postcard, deposit or mail their comments.

“It seems logical to me to ask our customers for their input before selecting design alternatives for renovating the existing terminal complex,” says airport director Lester Robinson. “Our target is to select a design and determine a funding mechanism by the end of this year.”

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