The paper is a gift marking the one-year anniversary, so the leadership of the Salt Lake City International Airport thought of a perfect gift to commemorate the first year the new airport operated.
Airport officials planned to give airport staff a celebratory paper flight in honor of Wednesday’s anniversary.
But when the plane arrived online last year, people returned to the skies – more than tripling the average number of passengers daily since its first week – and there is ample evidence that the new airport is not complete.
“We’re not finished yet,” said Bill Wyatt, the airport’s director, as passengers from the third-floor mezzanine flew down to Concourse A and down at the airport.
Some staff are finishing up the new Trax station outside the main terminal, while others are working on a Concourse extension that will ultimately facilitate the access to Concours B – something Wyatt jokes about is that they’ve probably heard a lot of feedback.
So when will the airport be completed? Well, this is a more fancy question.
“The answer at airports is that you’re not really finished,” Wyatt said. “As soon as you are finished, the demand will spur additional activity.”
Travel – and construction – growth a year later
Travel to and from Salt Lake City International Airport is slowly returning to normal. VAT estimates that travel was between 90% and 95% before the COVID-19 hit the travel industry. Due to the impact of the Kovid-19 and its travel, the new airport opened on September 15, 2020, with just over 7,000 people arriving daily. It is now returning to about 20,000 people daily, hitting 29,000 at one point this year, according to airport officials.
The lag of that journey can be a blessing. Prior to Kovid-19, airport staff were expecting a big first day so they could see which areas were being addressed. But it ultimately allowed airport employees to ease their new digging and resolve any issues without affecting any passengers.
“We’ve had a good part of a year and really worked on some of the kinks and bogs that are inevitable with the new facility,” Wyatt said. “I think I can say it’s really safe. We really have a feeling about the place. It’s doing much better.”
As the passengers got back on the plane, the crew asked for feedback that helped improve the airport. One of the major complaints is the gap between the A and B concourse. Watt said it was ironic because the distance between the two airports was not long enough to take place at the old airport. He doubts the difference in the design of a straight line under the tunnel against the old twists and turns of the old airport, creating a psychological belief for travelers that the distance is longer than the previous one.
Nevertheless, the next phase of the present is helping that distance. The crew is currently working on Concours A-East, which currently connects A and B Concours to the ground. The airport is planning a “topping” event that will put the building’s last beam next month. The first gates of the facility are scheduled to open in May 2023, but the entire construction project is set to expire in 2024.
The Utah Transit Authority is nearing completion of the new Trax station outside the airport. The Agency reports Its current bus bridge from the makeshift station near the airport to the main terminal’s outer terminal will continue until October 3. This is followed by a bus bridge between the airport and the UTA’s 1940 West Station, which runs from October 4 to October 4. 21 Before opening a new station
Long-term prospects and a return to normalcy
The airport’s long-term plan calls for another convention. The Concourse C project includes a light rail train within the central tunnel, which helps connect three Concours without much walking. According to Wyatt, its future remains shaded at the moment.
There is no specific date for when Concours C construction will begin. Instead, the work will begin once the airport reaches nearly 34 million annual passengers. Occasionally, the airport gets about 25 million passengers annually before the epidemic hits, Wyatt said.
It is still unclear when the airport will reach 25 million annual passengers, which has fallen to a target of 34 million. Airport officials believed that before the Delta transformation emerged and could interrupt normal travel again this year – though less than 2020 – Wyatt explained. He believes the airline has a better understanding of travel recovery after the upcoming ski ride, and if business travel or international travel returns to the COVID-19 pre-level.
“I think now that 2023 is the first normal year,” he said. “2022, I mean, very well. But most of what we think is normal may be 2023.”
This is a good time, as Concours A-East is expected to open slowly.
The airport was honored for being green
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City leaders and airport staff celebrated the airport’s one-year anniversary by accepting the award for its green quality. The US Green Building Council has been awarded Lead Gold Certified for its efficiency, water conservation and emission reduction efforts.
“It’s no surprise because our teams have been working deliberately for a decade. We’re standing here today and celebrating it,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “However, achieving this is no small feat. The facility is the LEED Gold Certified Airport Terminal measured in square feet in Western America.”
For each airport official, the airport’s “linear” coordination configuration cuts about 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, which is equivalent to the removal of 3,000 cars off the road each year. As a result of the transition from diesel to electric ground support equipment, 4,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases are removed annually.
There are 90 electric vehicle charging stations available for employees and passengers. Airport staff have also installed a new baggage management system, which can be started and stopped by the crew instead of running all day.
“We know that reducing our carbon emissions is very important not only to our local community but to our world, and we can do as much as we can to reduce mitigation and impact,” Mendenhall said.
Low-flow and sensor-based restroom features have helped average passengers reduce their water consumption from about a full gallon to about 2.5 gallons, officials said. In addition, about 95% of old airport equipment is used in one way rather than on landfills or incinerators toward the new airport, the mayor said.
Lisa Stanley, director of technical solutions at the US Green Building Council, said its green standards for certification were adopted by all 50 US states and 180 countries around the world. He then turned to Mendenhall and airport employees and presented the airport with a plaque honoring his work.
“Standing in the middle of this magnificent new construction, it is immediately clear how successful your combined efforts have been in bringing this project from idea to construction to LEED certification,” he said. “I was impressed not only by the beauty of the project but also by your ability to complete both of these large-scale projects amidst unimaginable circumstances a decade ago.”