DFW International Airport is kicking off a $2.5 billion capital development program, capping three years of strategic planning.

The program’s cornerstone is a $1.03 billion, 23-gate International Terminal D, totaling 1.8 million sf – double the size of the airport’s largest existing terminal. The terminal, to be completed in 2005, will house all international flights and feature 10 gates dedicated to the largest widebody aircraft. More than 112 ticketing stations will be incorporated into the design, which boasts skybridges, and a customs facility serving a maximum of 3,500 passengers per hour. Plans also are in the offing for a separate cargo transfer system for the terminal.Other capital improvements include a bi-directional, automated people mover system, eighth runway, extension of two existing runways and other infrastructure improvements. Investment in DFW’s infrastructure is estimated to run $1 million a day for the next six years.

“This is a milestone occasion for DFW International Airport,” says Jeff Fegan, Executive Director of DFW Airport. “This expansion will ensure that DFW remains globally competitive as the world’s airport of choice in the years ahead.”

DFW’s largest undertaking historically is designed to meet industry forecasts that 100 million passengers will be using the facility annually by 2025. In the past five years, DFW’s international passenger traffic has increased 22%, up from 2.1 million in 1993 to 3.9 million in the last accounting. The traffic increase supports predictions by travel experts who say international travel will double in the next decade.

The airport currently serves some 60 million passengers annually, averaging nearly 2,300 flights a day. Forecasters predict operations will nearly double by the year 2015, making DFW the world’s busiest airport in the near future.

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