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Salt Lake City International Airport opens new canyon-like terminal

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


  • Salt Lake City International Airport just debuted the first milestone of its reconstruction with a new terminal headhouse and concourse. 
  • Utah-inspired artwork lines the terminal with passengers walking through a red rock canyon to get to their gate.
  • Delta Air Lines passengers are the first to use the new space with the airline also opening its largest SkyClub lounge to mark the occasion.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Salt Lake City International Airport is in the midst of a $4.1 billion reconstruction that will radically change the airport with a brand-new terminal and two new concourses. Six years following its 2014 groundbreaking, the airport just opened the first part of the new terminal to the public on September 15.

Delta Air Lines passengers were among the first to use the new facility – complete with a new SkyClub – as the carrier is the largest at the airport. With Delta accounting for around 70% of the airport’s daily departures, it’s no surprise that the new terminal layout resembles that of other Delta hubs in Detroit and Atlanta.

Two parallel east-west concourses aim to replace the airport’s current pier layout where concourses radiate from a central terminal, allowing for more gates and less congestion in between concourses. 

The pandemic has been kinder to Salt Lake City as Delta’s gateway to the mountainous region where social distancing is more easily achieved. In October, Salt Lake City International will only see its year-on-year flying reduced by 15%, Travel Weekly reported, while other hubs elsewhere are seeing reductions of nearly 50%.

 Take a closer look at the first phase of the new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International first announced plans for an overhaul in 2014, replacing its 1950s-era terminal with a new clean-sheet design adjacent to the existing terminal.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

Delta Air Lines is the leading carrier in Salt Lake City, having acquired the hub in its 1980s merger with Western Airlines.

FILE PHOTO: Delta Airlines planes are loaded and unloaded as travel has cutback amid concerns of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Delta Airlines planes are loaded and unloaded at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City

Reuters


Source: LA Times

The hub has grown under Delta with regular non-stop flights to Europe and Asia, while also acting as a gateway to the mountain destinations of the region.

Airplane landing mountains Salt Lake City Utah



Austin Deppe / Shutterstock.com


And come winter, the slopes of nearby Park City, Utah will be filled with skiers and snowboarders, out-of-state visitors to which will likely pass through the new airport.

People ski on the slopes of Kanin after the Slovenian government called an official end to the country's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kanin, Slovenia, May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic

People ski on the slopes of Kanin after the Slovenian government called an official end to the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kanin

Reuters


The new design calls for completely new structures and the demolition of the previous terminal.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Two parallel concourses will sit opposite each other separated by a large ramp area for taxiing aircraft.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


It’s quite similar to the layout of other Delta hubs in Atlanta and Detroit, with two taxiways located in between the concourses reducing the opportunity for congestion.

Atlanta Airport



Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock.com


Departing passengers enter on the building’s top floor where airline check-in counters are located.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


The linear design of the new headhouse replaces its predecessor’s curved design.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Delta is in the launch tenant with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all moving in when the terminal’s second concourse opens on October 27.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: The Points Guy

After checking in, passengers then descend one level into “The Canyon,” an art installation surrounding the central thoroughfare.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Gordon Huether is the artist behind the installation, representing the natural wonders of Utah.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

All departing passengers will see the installation as they head towards the security checkpoint while arriving passengers will walk through the center of the canyon en route to the arrivals hall.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

Three lighting schemes also represent different aspects of Utah’s outdoor environment.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


This one represents Utah’s red rocks while others represent alpine peaks and moving water.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


“The Canyon” is just one of many art installations in the airport that give it a local feel.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


The “Column Plates” installation in the arrivals area turns structural infrastructure into art.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

They’re also intended to highlight Utah’s outdoor space and the activities that can be found in the state.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


The bases of each are also benches for travelers to rest.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


Just beyond the columns is the fireplace-equipped Greeting Room, an arrivals space for visitors to wait for arriving passengers.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: The Points Guy

Departing passengers, however, will traverse “The Canyon” until arriving at the state-of-the-art security checkpoint with 16 automated screening lanes.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


The automated system allows for multiple passengers to access bins at once and then returns the bins to the front of the conveyor belt at the end of the process.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


The Canyon then culminates in a large atrium flanked by retail shops and eateries with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the nearby mountain ranges that surround Salt Lake City.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Concourse A opened first with 25 gates debuting on September 15. The remaining 27 gates will open as the old terminal is demolished and space becomes available.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

Once complete, the concourse will span 3,700 feet, making it over half a mile long with moving walkways helping passengers get to their gate.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

Each gate will have digital signage to assist with way finding, indicating the airline, flight number, and destination.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Social distancing measures come standard in the new terminal including plexiglass partitions at gates and ticket counters.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Seats in the concourse will also come with cupholders, USB charging ports, and 110v AC power outlets.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: The Points Guy

The artwork also continues into the terminal with additional pieces hovering over the wide walkways found in the concourse.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Even bathrooms have their own unique designs.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


The last piece of art that arriving passengers will likely see is “The Falls,” which spans the length of an escalator shaft in the headhouse.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


The three-story feature uses dichroic glass and natural to create visual effects for the viewer.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Stuart Ruckman Photography


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

As the largest occupant, Delta also built a new SkyClub lounge for the terminal to entertain premium passengers.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The Delta Sky Club at the new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Delta Air Lines


Source: Delta Air Lines

It’s the largest SkyClub in Delta’s network boasting over 28,000 square feet of space with two full-service bars.

Delta Sky Club Salt Lake City International Airport

The Delta Sky Club at the new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Delta Air Lines


Source: Delta Air Lines

Much like the terminal below, the lounge’s Utah-inspired design and artwork also evoke a sense of place, even if just passing through on a layover.

Delta Sky Club Salt Lake City International Airport

The Delta Sky Club at the new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Delta Air Lines


Source: Delta Air Lines

And a 360-degree fireplace also keeps them warm.

Delta Sky Club Salt Lake City International Airport

The Delta Sky Club at the new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Delta Air Lines


Source: Delta Air Lines

The completed terminal will be able to house 34 million passengers and span 2.6 million square feet.

New Salt Lake City International Airport

The new Salt Lake City International Airport.

Salt Lake City International Airport


Source: Salt Lake City International Airport

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