New Charlotte Airport project begins, concourse additions halfway through: CEG

The addition of 10 gates will house Delta Air Lines and three gates for common use. (Courtesy of CLT Airport)

Construction begins on the latest expansion of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina, a $231 million project to add to its Concourse A.

As this construction is just beginning, other construction efforts at CLT are underway.

In fact, travelers will see the airport concourse additions for the first time this summer, CLT officials told reporters on May 16.

Speaking with the Charlotte Observer, Jack Christine, the airport’s chief operating officer, said the $608 million concourse expansion is halfway done.

He added that parts of this construction effort will open in a few months, but the entire hall project is expected to be fully completed in 2025.

Concourse A will have 10 new passenger doors

The newest work at the airport is 191,848 square feet. in addition to Hall A, a project that is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

CLT noted on its website that the lobby will feature self-tinting windows to help control interior temperature and sunlight, hall seating with built-in power for charging electronics, terrazzo flooring in the central aisles and two new works of art which are currently in development.

The addition will be wider than other domestic concourses at the airport to give it an open and spacious feel accentuated by high ceilings and picture windows. It will also include a retail store, restaurant and two bars, CLT said. It sits on land that once housed the airport’s rental car site, which was demolished in early 2016.

Christine told the Observer that the new gates will allow Delta Air Lines to bolster its service to Charlotte Airport, with the airline gaining two gates to bring its total to seven at CLT. Each of Delta’s doors will be part of the new Concourse A extension.

Once construction is complete, 10 new passenger doors will have been added to the concourse.

Overall, the cost of Concourse A is around $231 million, according to CLT. It will be paid for by a state grant from the North Carolina Airport Improvement Program, a bond for passenger facility fees, and a bond for non-passenger facility fees.

JE Dunn Construction and McFarland Construction, working in a joint venture, are the building contractors for the project, which was designed by C Design in Charlotte and Perkins & Will in Chicago.

It follows an earlier extension to Concourse A that built nine gates in a $200 million project that ended in 2018.

The two concourse projects and terminal concourse work are part of Charlotte Airport’s Destination CLT, a $3.5 billion expansion and renovation program.

In total, CLT will have 125 gates after the Concourse A expansion is completed, Christine said.

In April, the airport opened another large-scale project, the Concourse E extension, which added a gate to the northern end of the concourse and moved nine existing gates to the new space for operational efficiency and to prepare installation of jet bridges by 2023.

The airport is experiencing a recovery

All of the construction activity is a good sign for Charlotte Douglas International, which saw a dramatic drop in traffic in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit North Carolina. Since then, however, the airport has made good progress towards a full recovery after registering 43 million travelers in 2021.

The Observer reported that this figure represents a 59% increase from the 27 million passengers who passed through the airport in 2020. This figure is still lower than the record 50.2 million passengers who traveled to, since and through CLT in 2019, airport officials explained.

But they predicted last January that passenger travel would fully recover by 2023.

“The recovery is strong here in Charlotte,” Christine said.

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