SLC Airport 32

Construction is well underway at the new Salt Lake International Airport on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Opening day for the new terminal is less than a year away and plans to be operating on Sept. 15, 2020.

If you’ve been to the Salt Lake International Airport at any time in the last 12 months, you know.

The airport’s current space is bursting at the seams with more travelers and more Utahns and it makes for a pretty chaotic, unpleasant experience.

It seems odd that Utah’s current airport would have longer lines and fewer seats than say LAX or DFW. But when the TSA line in a terminal wraps around the 2nd floor, then proceeds down the escalator and past all baggage claim turnstiles ... there are some clear logistics issues and incapacities. If you’ve had the blessed opportunity to drop a loved one off at the airport for a flight, you’ve also likely experienced the winding roads to get in and out of the airport, much like a race course on an arcade video game.

Of course, more people coming and going from Utah is a good problem to have. More business and more residents, mean a growing robust population.

Fortunately, the airport expansion construction is well underway and the first phase’s completion anticipated to be one year out, which should significantly improve the experience for travelers and the ones shuttling them to and from.

On Monday, media were given a tour of facilities as they currently stand or are under development. According to reporting, construction on the $3.6 billion project, which has been dubbed “The New SLC,” began in July 2014 and work is set to continue in phases through 2024. The addition opening in 2020 will include a new parking garage, terminal, and portions of the South and North concourses. New retail and extra places to eat — like Fillings & Emulsions, Pizzeria Limone, Bruges, Pago and Shake Shack — is a plus.

“The airport plays an important role in supporting business and economic growth in the state,” according to a 2018 economic impact analysis. “Its operations are a key component in providing affordable access to worldwide destinations for business and individuals. To that end, improved operations of the airport will offer more efficient access to global markets and an opportunity to continue to add value to Utah’s economy by strengthening the ties of local institutions to their global peers (such as universities, hospitals, the arts, etc.), sustaining existing business, providing access to new business opportunities outside of the state and attracting new business to the state.”

Hopefully unlike a lot of construction ongoing in the state, this project will remain on time so Utahns will only have to endure unreasonable lines for one year longer.