Colorado Public Works Journal, Winter 2023

16┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Center project in 2011. No stranger to high-impact, community improvement projects, before working for the airport, Williams was the Deputy Program Manager for the Better Denver Bond, a 2007 voter-passed effort to reinvest in civic infrastructure and enhance City facilities. Williams now adds another accomplishment in overseeing the concourse expansion program. As the main economic driver for the Front Range, DEN injects an estimated $33 billion annually into local economies. With passenger counts projected to exceed seventy million in 2023, DEN is already the third busiest airport in the United States. Importantly, from an operations perspective, a full 60 percent of DEN passengers are Origin and Destination (O&D) flights. With just 40 percent of passengers passing through on connecting flights, more of the dollars associated with travel to and from DEN are spent locally. This is a strong indicator of success for the airport and region, as are the long-standing partnerships with prominent airlines. “DEN is the only airport in the U.S. with three major airlines, which means more choice and lower costs for passengers. Our partners at United, Southwest, and Frontier all increased their presence with us by taking additional gates in this far-reaching expansion,” says Williams of the scope of impact at the ground level. The 39 new gates are spread out over all three concourses – A, B, and C – and increase the airport’s overall capacity by 30 percent. DEN broke ground on the Gate Expansion Program in May 2018. The first completed area (B West) opened in November 2020, and the most recently completed area (A West) opened in November 2022.