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DFW Airport generates $37 billion in annual economic impact, contemplating Terminal F

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport served 63.6 million passengers in its most recent fiscal year that ended in September. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport served 63.6 million passengers in its most recent fiscal year that ended in September. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison) Star-Telegram

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s annual economic impact on the Metroplex has grown to $37 billion, a figure that could expand further if it adds another terminal.

DFW Airport Chief Executive Sean Donohue said Tuesday that the airport is in discussions with its largest tenant, American Airlines, about building Terminal F to accommodate more domestic and international flights.

“Now is the time to look at the master plan over the next couple of decades,” Donohue said during a presentation to“The population is growing and we have to make sure at the airport that we continue to be an enabler of that growth.”

Donohue said he hopes to have an agreement on Terminal F next year, which would allow a new terminal to open early in the next decade.

In the fiscal year which ended Sept. 30, the airport served 63.6 million passengers. It expects that to grow to 70 million annually in the next ten years, which would make it busier larger than Chicago O’Hare Airport.

“The existing 165 gates is not enough gates,” Donohue said. It’s too early to determine a cost for the new terminal, which would add about 30 international and domestic gates.

Talk about a new terminal comes with the airport just halfway through a $2.7 billion terminal renovation project that is updating its 40-year-old Terminals A, B, C and E. While significant work has been completed on A, B and E, the work on Terminal C has not yet begun.

Donohue said American has asked the airport to wait on Terminal C as it evaluates its gate usage at DFW following a rebanking of its flight schedule in the spring. Donohue said the delay is not expected to push the renovations off schedule; the project is supposed to be completed by 2020.

The economic impact study was released as part of DFW’s first “State of the Airport” luncheon. The study, compiled by The Perryman Group, said the airport also supports 228,000 jobs in the region with a payroll of $12.5 billion annually.

Other highlights from the airport’s recent fiscal year included DFW receiving a patent on its interactive information displays for passengers to locate restaurants and other services, and the unveiling of a new brand and logo.

DFW also recently was recognized by the Airports Council International for successfully reducing its carbon emissions by 25 percent. Donohue said 30 percent of the airport’s energy is renewable and the airport is becoming more energy-efficient as it replaces older systems in its terminals.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk